Welcome to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Every week she will share valuable information that you need to know in order to successfully invest in real estate and other business endeavors in North America. We believe in helping clients invest, live, work, and play across borders. And now, your host, Lauren Cohen.
Lauren Cohen 0:26
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to the investing across borders podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Cohen, international, legal and real estate expert. And I’m here to share with you tips from experts about how to invest live, work and play across borders. Because at the end of the day, if there’s one thing COVID has brought to us, it’s the realization that the world really is very small. And we have the opportunity to create amazing global businesses and global investment portfolios. I’m here today with my friend actually longtime friend Shahar right, we’ve been friends, although we’ve never met in person, which is normal during COVID, but not as normal pre COVID. We met probably I don’t know, about six or eight years ago, right. So yeah, maybe something like that. Yeah. And Shahar actually reached out to me to be a guest on her podcast, the CEO effect, which I loved that name, by the way, Shahar always stuck with me. And when I there was one time when your name escapes me, and I was like, I remember the name of her podcast. And sure enough, that was my way, reach back out to you. So we’ve done a little bit of business together over time. I think Shahara is a single mom like myself, right. And we have commiserated over that time too. And now challenging it wise, although we haven’t really caught up about the challenges during COVID, which for me, were major with my kid. I’m sure you do as well. Sharon is a lawyer, as well as an amazing business owner. And I would love for you to introduce yourself, because I’m not going to do it justice.
Shahara Wright 2:02
Thank you so much, Lauren. I appreciate the kind words and yes, so my name is Shahar, right. I am a business law attorney and business strategist I work with for profit and nonprofit organizations where I serve as general counsel for these organizations. I’ve been practicing for 22 years, I’m licensed in the great state of Texas. But I work with clients all over my clients are all over the US because you know, these days and times, pre COVID, and post COVID, where you know, clients are online and doing business all over. And so it’s important for me as an attorney, and as well, for my clients to understand the nuances of doing business on a wider skill, because one technology allows us to and into the times require it. So that’s definitely you know, about me.
Lauren Cohen 2:51
Well, that’s amazing. And the reality is that being in Texas is a very, it’s like being in Florida or being in Arizona right now. Because everybody wants to set up a business there, invest in real estate, expand their business move there, the doors are open, right businesses, as much as usual as possible. We may or may not politically agree with that, you know, I know you’re probably have the same political mindset as I am. But at the end of the day, it does definitely inspire business and help to attract, especially for me, foreign investors into our world. So have has COVID actually made cause you to be more busy, or like what but the beginning, probably there were some challenges, but probably now you have a lot of people looking to you to help with all of the legal aspects of setting up and running a business in Texas, right?
Shahara Wright 3:43
Yeah, I’m definitely busy. And I think part of you know, I tell people, you know, COVID, for me, personally, I think was kind of what I needed in terms of pandemic itself, you know, in the shutdown kind of what I needed to kind of reset myself, and determine where I wanted my law practice itself to go. And so I shifted, you know, a bit as well in terms of what I was offering, what, you know, what kind of work I was doing, and I really just said, you know, what, I had been transactional, meaning I wasn’t going to court anymore. But really kind of shifting the kind of work that I was doing with my clients and really saying, okay, they need more legal strategies, they need more, you know, because they’re small businesses, you’re talking about one to 10 mil, probably can’t really afford to have a full time, you know, in house counsel. So no, you need that outside counsel. And that’s really kind of where I started positioning myself. And I saw that need really arise, especially during this time, because people just didn’t know where to go what to do. They had all of these different issues that were happening, clients that were trying to get PPP and I don’t, didn’t have, you know, the proper structure in place, even though you know, they were making millions of dollars and they still, you know, weren’t didn’t have the thing they needed to have a place to take advantage of all these opportunities. So I really saw a shift in that that kind of created the space for me to enter into these businesses, and then also for these businesses to realize the importance of having legal counsel and consistent legal counsel in a way that I think pre COVID, the same businesses would not have taken it seriously. So I think, you know, there’s kind of this kind of meshing of times, which allowed this opportunity for me and for my clients to be able to take advantage of, you know, what is needed, and having, you know, ongoing legal counsel, not just to advise you in a time of crisis, but to prepare you for things so that you can take advantage of whatever you need to do, I think, has been a big difference maker, and I think it’s opened the eyes of a lot of small business owners to realize this is something that’s necessary and that they have to have it as a part of their growth strategy.
Lauren Cohen 5:53
Yeah, agreed. I have many colleagues that invest in Texas, what percentage of your practice would you say, is based on real estate versus based on pure corporate?
Shahara Wright 6:06
So, it’s kind of mixed. I would say that it’s not pure real estate, I don’t have anything that’s like pure 100%. Like just real estate, like none of my clients are just that I have one client, who does a lot of real estate, not just investing, but you know, they do rebuild, you know, partner with other clients that have land, and they do the building and construction and all that kind of stuff. So I have a couple of clients like that. But they also have other things. So you know, with a lot of my clients, there, the real estate part is an additional aspect of their business, and not the 100% aspect of their business, that makes sense that, you know, we using real estate to leverage the other things where, you know, it’s not like a complete whole real estate business, which has a little different thing to it, which is important. But you know, it works differently. So a lot of my clients, maybe have either multiple businesses, and just real estate is just a part of it. Or within the business, we’re doing some with some real estate things to an order to leverage, you know, what we need to have, in terms of creating a new business that maybe holds the entities, you know, holds the real estate and those kinds of things.
Lauren Cohen 7:17
So, obviously, as you know, I’m dealing mainly with foreign investors coming in from other countries, most commonly Canada, which is where I’m from, yeah, it makes sense. But how many clients would you say? Or what, uh, do you often work with clients from other countries and serve as their general counsel here in the US?
Shahara Wright 7:38
Yes, absolutely. And so really what you know, we have to do, especially when that is the case, and maybe the principle, people are not here in the US, right? Now, it takes obviously a little bit more hand holding, because you have to you kind of like the person on the ground that’s here. So you have to kind of check everything that’s going on. So clients that are coming in here, you know, these are set up an entity and trying to figure out where’s the best place to set that entity up, you got to have you know, your somebody here, who can get the EIN somebody here who can serve as a Registered Agent and beat there’s companies for that, but you still got to have somebody a person, that is me, they’re trying to find the right manager, somebody who’s going to oversee what’s going to be there. And then a good contact, pert point for myself, to ensure that the things that need to get done are getting done. So those are kind of like the initial things that I see that has to happen is that, you know, in terms of setting up that you kind of have to have that management structure there in order to be able to get things done, or else things will stall. So part of my job is to work with my clients to ensure that we find, you know, a good fit in terms of what all the things need to be done here so that we have the person Hey, I’m telling you, this is the stuff that you’re going to have to do we need somebody who can do that.
Lauren Cohen 8:52
Right. Okay, cool. Now, you can work anywhere in the whole state, right?
Shahara Wright 8:58
Oh, yes, absolutely.
Lauren Cohen 8:59
So cool. And do you like what is it? What does an ideal client look like for you today?
Shahara Wright 9:06
Well, my ideal client is, you know, anywhere between one and 10 mil space. I know there’s a wide number in terms of numbers, but it’s not really wide, in terms of what they’re going through. Because I find that any once you start hitting a million, you realize that you need some operational structure and things like that place and even up to 10 million, it still probably isn’t completely there. And you may not really have a full component of you know, your operational legal, you know, accounting and all that kind of stuff working together to ensure that you know, you’re able to scale past that. So you know, that space and then really willing what clients who are looking to restructure, not necessarily in terms of business formation, but the internals and really saying, Okay, we need to put in structure in place, you know, we need to have policies and plays, we need to have, you know, our garden council to, you know, review our contracts. And to make sure we need things together, we need IP, trademarks, copyrights, these are all the things that we need to have. So we need to have somebody who’s in place who can do that. And we need one point of contact that we can do it right. So my ideal client really is kind of in that space where they’re realizing we need more, we need more consistency, and we need somebody who can oversee this aspect of our business. And that’s what I do.
Lauren Cohen 10:32
So you know, it’s kind of interesting, because as I think you remember, I was in house counsel for many, many years, and indeed came up with the idea for my skill up checkup concept based on that, which was when we originally I think, may have met, and then my whole business model is almost like serving as a in a general counsel role. Because I’m not necessarily Now unlike you, I’m not necessarily the one who provides the actual legal services, I’m the one who coordinates all the legal services and bring somebody like Shahara in to provide the legal services in that great state of Texas. And so at the end of the day, I’m really serving as the General Counsel slash general contractor, the quarterback that gets everything done, and then Shahara is serving is that more on an internal basis, so she’s gonna go in and analyze where the business is lacking, what challenges might exist, and help to fix those. And the reality is, a lot of my clients, even existing businesses, or franchise, investors that are investing into the Texas area, definitely need to speak with Shahara. And she is a great resource and always very generous with her time. And tell me what made you start the CEO effect that podcast? And what prompted you to do that? I thought it was a brilliant name, by the way.
Shahara Wright 11:53
Thank you. Well, the CEO effected the name of my company, a consulting company that I started in 2015. So I won’t bore everybody with the details. But really, I’m just kind of like, at the time, ready to kind of move, I think I was tired of law at the time, I really just kind of wanted to do something different.
Lauren Cohen 12:12
Imagine that, art of law.
Shahara Wright 12:14
I know, right? Like, we should have a whole podcast about attorneys being sick of law.
Lauren Cohen 12:20
You know what, there are podcasts like that. And the reality is that the beauty of law school is, there’s the sky’s the limit you can be anything you want.
Shahara Wright 12:29
It is. It’s a blessing in that you can really choose. I think that journey with the CEO effect really allowed me to figure out where I wanted to be, you know, in my practice, and you know, what I really wanted. So the CEO effect really had to do with me having a love of business and business strategy, you know, that I really didn’t like just being put in this boiler box in the sense that all I want you to do is, you know, read my contracts, and I don’t really want to hear about anything else that you have to say.
Lauren Cohen 13:03
I have a brain, I think besides that. I think that the difference with you and me versus and I’m not saying this negatively about traditional lawyers, okay. But a lot of lawyers go to law school, because they really want to be lawyers working in big firms, you know, producing volume for clients. And originally, I wanted to be an m&a lawyer, I wanted to be like doing deals, and I love doing deals, don’t get me wrong. But now I’m doing real estate deals. And now I’m doing commercial transactions. And it’s just a different kind of deal. And I’m doing cross border transactions. And that excites me, because I can get my teeth into it. It’s not just like your, you know, thing, this clause doesn’t make sense. If this clause doesn’t comply, or whatever it is, or there’s inconsistency or you’re in breach. And, you know, it’s not that we don’t love the law, but we’ve taken the law and created something bigger with it, that allows us to provide our clients with a range of services that aren’t otherwise available. And thinking outside of the box, right?
Shahara Wright 14:09
Yes, absolutely. I mean, I think that for me, you know, I was like, there’s a skill that I have, that I feel like is an innate skill, you know, a God given skill, that I have the ability about organization and administration, and I can look at something and say, Hey, this is what we need to do here. We these are the people we need to have in place. And that was more than just, you know, reviewing a contract. So the CEO SEC was really kind of trying to create that space for me, worked well. With that. I think it gave me a platform to go and talk about business strategies in the conversation. What didn’t really work? Well, I think you’ve probably experienced the same to Lauren is that business owners really didn’t understand, you know, strictly business strategy, right. Like they really didn’t understand what it meant to really do through strategic planning that 90 day, you know, action plans, you know?
Lauren Cohen 15:05
Right. They’re just running. They’re like, Oh, we’re making money. Let’s keep making money. Yeah, let’s create a strategy around that. Because at the end of the day, like, look at COVID, it puts so many put business spin. Yes. And even those with strategy were hit. But at least if you had a strategy, or you had multiple streams of income, right, right, which is what you know I’m talking about is having that additional stream like, especially for realtors having that passive stream of income, which they don’t otherwise have, and they have it with exp, I love getting a check in my bank account on the 21st of each month for stuff that I didn’t do other than connecting with people, right. And I think so many business owners get very focused on the bottom line. And when they are setting up, and this is something you’ll agree with, for sure, when they’re setting up. They’re so concerned about sales and marketing, but they pay no attention. And often they just start a business with they don’t even know if it should be an LLC or Corp or whatever. And this is particularly true when they’re coming in from other countries, particularly because they think everything is the same and they look online. And they’re like, oh, I need to set up an LLC. Well, guess what, if you do that, and you’re from Canada, you’re probably going to pay double taxation, if you can. So these are things that you’re not going to know unless you work with professionals like us. And you know, I think that this doing this podcast is kind of revisiting our relationship together and allowing us the opportunity to shine a bit because we’ve always, you know, had a similar like I said, mindset, and now we can have the opportunity to actually explode that and build something. And you know what, Chara I think you should be a little more involved with some of my marketing, as I’m talking because I’m doing a cross country Canadian ad campaign focused on bringing Canadian to the sun. Well, Texas is in the sun, right? Okay, Texas, Arizona, Florida, California. Those are really the four men a little bit of North Carolina, South Carolina, but yeah, really, that’s those are the main states. So there’s going to be a lot of activity. And, you know, the opportunity to work with quality and qualify, people like us is there and Shahar and I will, you know, collaborate and I think that’s what first brought us together. I’m sure I know. We’re gonna put this all in the shownotes. But how do people reach you?
Shahara Wright 17:27
Okay, sure. So the best way to reach me is through going to my website, thewrightlawyer.com You can also find me on Facebook at the wright lawyer, that’s my company page, on LinkedIn at the wright lawyer, that’s my company page. And then on Instagram it’s the real wright lawyer. And so I put out a lot of information there, do a lot of you know, social media in terms of information and things like that. I’m not doing any podcasts or shows right now. But I’ll probably start back somewhat back up, you know, coming 2022. But I do put out a lot of information. So those are great resources for you to get information. If they do any of those platforms, you can message me and contact me through my web page through a message me on Facebook, LinkedIn, I’m not that good at Instagram. I’m just gonna be honest, like, I’m not the best.
Lauren Cohen 18:26
Yeah okay, my girls are in the midst of sending messages on WhatsApp about tick tock. So that’s my one downfall for sure. Yeah, you know, I think what we should probably do Shahara is start a little while I’ll talk to you further about this. But we should start a little like bi weekly tips session on Facebook, do Facebook Live, and just talk about some tips for business owners together, you know, legal strategies taught, you know, we they need this, they need this, I’m just building an amazing course, which I’ll be launching really soon. It’s called the investing across borders course imagine that I have. It’s investing across borders Academy. And we have two very high end programs. And we’re adding this course which is going to be built with video. So maybe we can do a video as part of that course together. Yes, sounds are people investing in Texas, which as I say we have many of them. It’s truly been a pleasure to have you I wanted to also share with everybody that our amazing sponsor lend dye is actually available for investors into Texas. So I’ll share that with you as well. Blend dye is a company out of Israel that built a product that services foreign investors from Canada, Israel, the UK and Australia, investing in non owner occupied us real estate, it will be expanding beyond that. And it is available in Texas to foreign investors. And it’s a great product because it’s basically you set up an LLC or a corporate limited partnership, you get an EIN and you can qualify through your foreign credit as opposed to since you don’t have us credit so it’s a great product. It’s artificial intelligence. and artificial intelligence AI Len die. And they’re my sponsor. So very excited to have them. And it’s been a great ride. So thank you so much for joining us today. And I will be in touch with you, it’s a pleasure, take care.
Shahara Wright 20:16
It’s a pleasure to see you too. You have a great rest of the day. Thank you guys for listening. And I look forward to all the great things that are about to happen.
Lauren Cohen 20:23
Absolutely. Thank you, sweetheart. Bye for now, everybody. I’m Lauren Cohen signing off from investing across borders, where we teach you how to invest live, work and play across borders. And you can subscribe to our podcast on any of the podcast channels. Google Spotify, Apple, my favorite is apple, but I didn’t say that out loud. Anyway, it’s a pleasure to be here. I will continue to bring amazing guests like Shahar. Right, we look forward to serving you in Texas and every other state for that matter. Thank you so much. Bye for now.
Thanks for listening to Investing Across Borders with Lauren Cohen. Make sure to check the show notes for any links and for guests contact information. If you have questions for Lauren, please reach out to her at FOUNDER@ecouncilglobal.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, rate, review, and share the podcast with a friend.