230: Curtis Kaiser of Kaiser Law Group discusses building his boutique estate planning firm.

Curtis Kaiser Kaiser PhotoCurtis Kaiser of Kaiser Law Group is a board-certified specialist in estate planning with a business background and an MBA from UCLA. Curtis’ practice is focused on estate planning for the millionaire next door. Curtis has taught Strategic Communication at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business as well as Estate Planning at UC Irvine’s paralegal program. In addition to running his thriving practice, Curtis is a co-chair of a local chapter of Tiger 21, North America’s premier peer-learning group for high-net worth investors.

Listen to the podcast

Fail fast to succeed faster

  • Listen in as Curtis shares that he has hired really great, very talented people that didn’t fit in the culture of his firm and that has been a recipe for problems.

Tell us something good

  • Curtis was in a peer learning group for MBA Students (Vistage) where he was challenged to create a business plan.  He created the plan in 2012 and by the end of 2014, he was already hitting the numbers that he had planned on acheiveing in 2017.

What’s on your desk?

  • Curtis tells us that his practice is pretty evenly divided between estate planning and plan implementation.  Curtis says that a primary focus of the planning is on estate tax exemption by keeping things simple, especially through his focus on income and basis taxes.

Favorite Resource

  • A standing desk
  • A three-monitor set-up (with UltraMon to manage open windows across them)
  • Upwork (outsourced freelancers – formerly odesk.com)
  • Captio (easy way to send email to yourself from Iphone)
  • Weekly review (taken from David Allen’s Getting Things Done)

Favorite Books:

  • The Celebrity Experience: Insider Secrets to Delivering Red Carpet Customer Service The Celebrity Experience combines the best practices of the business world with those of the celebrity world to create a practical and proactive guide for anyone who wants to bring their business’s internal and external customer service to the level of star treatment. Based on the unique ways celebrities are treated, the book shares techniques you can use to treat your customers to a red-carpet experience, guaranteeing repeat business and stellar word of mouth.
  • The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy (I offer a copy on which I put my firm’s information to many of my clients.) The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door.
  • The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content. (Curtis says, I am nowhere close to pulling it off; but try and implement some of the concepts)Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and OrganizingDespite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles? Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results.
  • Strangers in Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations An astonishing fact is that the vast majority of the wealthy come from middle-class or working-class backgrounds. Born and raised in modest economic circumstances, they find themselves as adults in the wonderful but unfamiliar world of wealth, like immigrants to a new land. Their adjustment is often harder than they anticipate. Yet awaiting wealth’s newcomers is an even more daunting task: how to raise children and grandchildren successfully in the family’s new world of affluence. Written by a prominent wealth psychologist, Strangers in Paradise takes an innovative approach to the challenges facing wealth’s “immigrants and natives.” Combining clear reasoning with real-world stories, Strangers in Paradise outlines for the first time how the key process for families of wealth – like all immigrant families – is adaptation.
  • Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say “yes.” Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of persuasion.
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityIn today’s world, yesterday’s methods just don’t work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen’s premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.

Thanks for Listening

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Miranda McCroskey – host of Lawpreneur Radio

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