Business Launch Podcast
Balanced Family Law with Perpetua Kish
October 30, 2022
Perpetua Kish shares her journey on how she got started her career in Law and her employer getting liquidated and decided to start Balanced Law with colleagues. Pepe started doing Webinars and Online Events before the COVID hit. Balanced LAw was set up really well during the Pandemic and was easier to transition. Perputua help promote her business by being guests in Podcasts, and social media specially linkedin where she is considered a micro lawfluencer. Perputua networked to get their business recognised and won a few awards on the way. Perpetua changed the narative of what a Family Law Business by helping a great outcome to the families. Goals 1. Having enough rest for herself and feel rested and on hamster wheel. 2. Continue to feel motivated 3. Continue to be Content

[00:00:00] Carlo Selorio: It's Carlo Selorio so here from The Business Launch Podcast today I am, I'm with a good friend of mine, Pep Kish. She's been a high school friend and she's a, she is running a very successful family law business in Canberra.

[00:00:16] I'm here to welcome Pep Ki how are you? 

[00:00:19] Pepe Kish: Hi car. I'm well. 

[00:00:21] Carlo Selorio: How are you? I'm great, thank you. And it's good to finally catch up. I think it's, Let's not say how many years has been Since you last seen each other? Since I think it was a year 10 reunion. We're about 25, right?

[00:00:37] That's about it, 

[00:00:38] Pepe Kish: yeah. Yeah. Long time ago, but. Time flyers. Hey. Yeah. It feels like yesterday that we saw each other and we were hanging around in the corridors of Francis and 

[00:00:51] Carlo Selorio: wow. It's it's taking me back now. 

[00:00:53] So tell us a bit about yourself. So I know your origins from high school [00:01:00] up to year 11 and 12 at college as well. So explain a bit about yourself and how you got started in business and especially law.

[00:01:11] Pepe Kish: Okay, so straight after uni I went to law school. I studied a double degree in arts and law, and that was really because my mom had said that I had to study law, the decision was made for me and it made sense because my best subjects at school were English and social sciences. So it made sense.

[00:01:30] So it seemed like a good fit. To be honest, I didn't really. Take to law. I didn't love it at first, and I decided as soon as I finished I would go off and do something else. But. I was quite fortunate. So around my fourth year of study, so a law degree is a five year degree or a double degree is a five year degree.

[00:01:52] So in my fourth year, I was lucky to get a opportunity to be an associate to the children's court magistrate. [00:02:00] Wow. And that gave me a bit of an idea about, children's issues. So I worked with the Children's Court and assisted the magistrate to. To deal with youth justice and care protection matters, and that really introduced me.

[00:02:18] To that sort of world. And I then ended up working in child protection, both as a lawyer and as a case manager and doing some more study in human services and in the mix. I've also spent some time taking time out from from law and doing a bit of acting, of course, being a mom, getting married, all of that, and then ended up in the practice of family law.

[00:02:43] And after a long time actually working for a firm, I worked for eight years for a private family law firm. That firm was then liquidated and a series of events really prompted me to think what do I wanna do next? And [00:03:00] decided then let's open my own firm. And that's how Balance came to be.

[00:03:04] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Excellent. So I was gonna see how it came to be. So it's actually liquidation of. The previous work that you had. So what made you think, what was the, I guess the decision of you starting your own firm and like what was it, a big decision for you and your family as well?

[00:03:26] Pepe Kish: Yeah, it was a bit of a snap decision actually, and it was a decision made based on not. That I'd planned or aspired to be a business owner? Not, definitely not a law firm business owner, but it was a decision that came out of knowing what I didn't want to do , so I didn't want to return to the public sector where I'd also worked for a period of time.

[00:03:51] Yeah. And I didn't really want to work with any other family law firm. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with those family law firms. I [00:04:00] just discovered that I practiced law in quite like I a unique way a way that was a little bit different to the standard. Approach and I wanted to be able to just that so I could practice, explore the way I wanted to.

[00:04:20] And so my actions, and I guess my values could be in sync and align with each other. Sometimes practicing in family law can be very challenging and I dunno. Some of the conventional ways. My business was really a chance to do things differently with a very child centered, family focused approach.

[00:04:44] Carlo Selorio: Perfect, perfect. I know it would be a lot of challenges, especially in family law. There's a lot of emotions involve a lot of families who are trying to make things right, for their families. what were the big wins for your business when you first [00:05:00] started? I know that you came from the public sector and then I know there's different speeds from the public into private sector.

[00:05:08] Yeah, 

[00:05:09] Pepe Kish: The big wins, so I think it was. It was the reception we received. So when we came out and started doing our thing, so we being myself and Jonathan Nafe, so he actually started off as my assistant and then my paralegal, and then my junior lawyer and then co-founder of Balance Family law.

[00:05:29] And I guess the reception was very positive to our different. Business. So pre Covid, we ran a ver, a virtual online firm. So before everybody had to do things by Zoom. We were already doing things like that, and it was based on keeping our overheads as low as possible so that we could offer a really.

[00:05:53] A great affordable service to our clients. Perfect. Yeah. Make it more accessible to them and [00:06:00] yeah, just make it a little less formal. I think some clients get really intimidated. They come into an office and everyone's dressed up very corporate. We just wanted to make it more relaxed, make people formal at home and at ease in our presence.

[00:06:13] So I think. We ended up doing is across social media on our website in interviews like these podcasts, we just really expressed ourselves as humans first and then lawyers second, and there was a really. Positive or overwhelming. Overwhelmingly positive response to that. And it saw us pick up a few awards very early on.

[00:06:37] Yeah. So yeah, so that was great. And it also saw us build some really powerful connections with. Other people in the industry or in similar industries to help us really work towards changing that dialogue and that narrative about family law from one of combat and ugliness and [00:07:00] fighting to one of kindness and working together and pe.

[00:07:03] Carlo Selorio: Wow. Yeah, there was definitely, I worked for cch, so we did a lot of Law books back in. So still is. So you, I'm pretty sure you, were, you still use or no reference to those books, but I do. Absolutely. It's actually great niche that you got into. So it's actually changing the narrative as you say.

[00:07:26] There's a lot of I think different misconceptions about law, especially family law with that. Yeah, with the, like a lot of fighting, I guess changing that puts you on a different playing field. 

[00:07:41] Pepe Kish: That's right. And I think one of our biggest challenges has been when people come to see us, when they're seeking some advice following their separation, they're already expecting or ready for sort of a fight.

[00:07:55] Yes. And for it to be them against their ex. And we really want to refocus [00:08:00] that. No shouldn't be you against your ex, it should be you and your ex against. All the problems that come when you are trying to transition from being a couple to being. Separated or in circumstances where you have children, co-parents.

[00:08:15] Yeah. So your relationship is changing. It's not over yet. Yeah. If for financial matters, it's not over until you get all of that sorted and you decide who's getting what. So you still having to work together. Yeah. And if you've got kids, you are going to be in each other's lives. Until, Yeah, you've got kids until, at least, until they're 18, usually beyond that.

[00:08:39] Yeah. So yeah, it's important to rethink or just take a different view of the end of a relationship because there's a lot to do before it actually is over or is ever over. Yeah. So you wanna make sure you're able to work together and communicate while you're transitioning. 

[00:08:56] Carlo Selorio: Excellent, Excellent. On the flip side, how were, I know [00:09:00] that you actually Bri I'm thinking you breezed through Covid, the Covid lockdowns because you actually started doing all the webinars, I'd say with all this in your business, and you're actually ahead of the game.

[00:09:13] On the flip side, what events happened where you weren't so sure if the business would survive or if you did have any or those kind of Things that you went through starting. 

[00:09:24] Pepe Kish: Yeah, very early on, so I talked a lot about the positive, overwhelming response, but there were also a few people, people in our inner circle, closer circle who were not as positive.

[00:09:36] So we originally had a third person involved at the beginning, and that person, much to my. Great disappointment back then decided that wasn't something that they wanted to do. Yeah. They had different goals and aspirations and that felt huge because this person, was a very, she was a very big personality.

[00:09:58] She. [00:10:00] Was outgoing, and believe it or not I was a bit quieter after eight years working for a firm. I'd gotten used to being more behind the scenes. So I was Lexi. I would've called myself an introvert back then, and the thought of going out and networking and socializing was a bit overwhelming. So when this person said, and she the extrovert of the three of us, that she wasn't going to be involved.

[00:10:23] I was terrified initially and thought, Oh, I'm not gonna be able to do it. But in fact, her leaving was probably the biggest blessing in disguise cause it forced me out of my comfort zone. Yeah. And it made me do all the things I thought I wouldn't want to do, I couldn't do. And realized I'm actually quite good at it.

[00:10:42] And most of the time I really. Enjoy it. Sometimes it gets a bit tiring, but most of the time I do getting out there and talking about what we do and building connections with other people. That was initially really difficult, but it ended up being, that silver lining a blessing in disguise.

[00:10:57] Yeah, that's perfect. 

[00:10:58] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. To be [00:11:00] able to get, But I've known you for while, I guess not being. Being behind the scenes, you've always had that in you to be able to communicate with others. You're very, you're a very personable person. So that's what I thought. Thank you. That's from high school days,

[00:11:21] what makes balance, family law Different or what separates you from other businesses? 

[00:11:27] Pepe Kish: I'd like to say we just really walk the talk, so we don't think about, Oh, what's a lawyer supposed to be doing here? We just do it . If I have an opinion on something, I often just give that opinion and yeah, some people.

[00:11:49] Oh, aren't you a bit worried about what people think of you? And I'm like, No. No. I guess I've worked out over the years that I don't really fit the typical lawyer mold. Yeah. [00:12:00] And so rather than trying to change myself to fit that lawyer mold, I'm like, you know what? I'm gonna be myself and if the law can work around that and I can still deliver great outcomes for my clients.

[00:12:13] Yeah, let's just do it that way. So the law has to fit in with

[00:12:25] their laws to suit me. That would be cool too.

[00:12:31] So can be suited around some aspirations. You don't have to do things in a cookie cutaway. Yeah. 

[00:12:38] Carlo Selorio: Excellent. Do you have. Are your competitors interstate or do you have a lot of competitors around the local area for you? 

[00:12:45] Pepe Kish: I like to say we don't have any competitors, only future collaborators.

[00:12:49] So nice

[00:00:00] Pepe Kish: Yeah. I think somebody said to me, Oh, you are a micro influencer or a legal, or a law influencer. Law influencer, I think they call them. So I don't have a huge audience, but I have a focused audience of people who are interested in what I'm talking about. Yeah. So yeah, social media has been, Very helpful not only for balanced family law, but for my personal brand I guess you could say.

[00:00:29] Yep. So I started on Instagram actually, and what appealed to me about Instagram is it was very visual and I have a creative side and I liked using pictures to tell stories. Yeah. That's where it started. And then I was quite reluctant to come over to LinkedIn. A lot of people said, Oh, you should come to LinkedIn, it's place to be.

[00:00:51] And just over a year ago I started to share sort of my thoughts and insights on LinkedIn and quite quickly it. [00:01:00] Gained momentum and I think one of the best things about it is it's connected with Mia, me with a whole heap of people, not just in Australia, but even overseas. And there's been opportunities that have come from that to write and contribute to articles, to speak at events.

[00:01:18] Wow. To be on podcasts like this. Yeah, just, it's been great. And also just to meet people and connect and learn about them and help them learn more about what we do at balance and in relation to family. So it's been great. It's been a, it's been networking and perhaps this covid has something to do with it.

[00:01:41] I think Covid forced us all to get online a lot more. Yeah. And Meeting and getting to know people online has been really normalized. Yep. And some of my connections, I'd say my strongest connections I've never even met in real 

[00:01:57] Carlo Selorio: life. 

[00:01:57] Oh wow. . Yeah. [00:02:00] There's some really good influences here at LinkedIn and I think you being there, being able to actually share your story has.

[00:02:11] Made your personal brand a bit more, a lot more awareness yeah. 

[00:02:16] Going forward for your business, I know that you are actually having an event next, next month. Yeah. So what's that 

[00:02:24] Pepe Kish: about? 

[00:02:26] Oh, so I have joined a community called Connecting Lawyer Moms and I'm the vice chair of that community.

[00:02:33] And together with a local Victorian business networking group called G wbc, we are putting on an event called Success and learning in Life and in business, and essentially the focus. I guess the focus is on, on parents, but it's really anybody who just needs some inspiration and wants to connect with people and hear from [00:03:00] people about the challenges.

[00:03:02] Of being a working parent and how we can come together. And something I guess, unique about the event is that it's an a learning, obviously it's a learning opportunity. There's gonna be 20 panelists who will be sharing their insights, but it's also an opportunity to let your hair down and have a bit of fun.

[00:03:23] So there's dinner, there's drinks, and there's actually a fashion show. Wow. So we've got doing a runway show. It's a bit of everything. Yeah. But the, I think why not learn while having fun and have fun while learning, 

[00:03:37] Carlo Selorio: , it's great to have those kind of connections, I guess in, in being able to connect with people who actually enjoy what they do and enjoy.

[00:03:46] Sharing it with others and it's yeah, it's great. It's great. It's really great to know that you're doing really well with your business. 

[00:03:53] What are your goals in the next three, let's say three to 10 years for your business?[00:04:00]

[00:04:00] Okay, 

[00:04:01] Pepe Kish: so I'll tell you a bit of a secret. I actually find goals really hard to set or those type of goals that say, Oh I wanna achieve or make this much amount of money, or I wanna have 10 offices and things like that.

[00:04:13] I find those goals a little bit overwhelming and also a little bit restrictive. So my goals are, like to say, are feelings based goals. Around feeling a certain way and being a certain way rather than having things or having achieved certain things. So for me, what's important, and particularly so this week, you may have noticed I've been a little bit quiet on LinkedIn over the last couple of weeks, and that's been deliberate.

[00:04:40] Sort of not. I've been busy with that event and a few other things, but I've realized the importance of getting enough rest. And I used to pride myself, or I still pride myself from being a bit of an energizer bunny. People say, You have so much energy and yes, I get to do all these things, but you have to [00:05:00] get rest.

[00:05:00] And so a goal for me is to definitely feel rested in wherever I am in. 3-4 or 10 years time, I don't wanna feel like I'm on that hamster wheel. Yeah. And I feel like so many business owners often feel like exhausted. Like, when is this going to end? So a goal of mine, Has to get more rest, and then obviously to feel, continue to feel motivated and also content.

[00:05:31] And the reason I choose those three things in particular is I've smashed a bit of a goal. In these last few weeks. So we've taken on board a wonderful new senior lawyer who has we've now got a growing team and there's a lot more people to do the work, which is really great. Used to be just Johnno and me for a long time.

[00:05:51] Yeah. And it's been a strange feeling. So he's calm and he's alleviated me of a lot of pressure and reduced my workload I'm [00:06:00] achieving I'm actually able now to step back and work more on the business than in the business. 

[00:06:05] Excellent. 

[00:06:06] And it, yeah, it should be excellent, but it is, it does feel a bit weird as well because it's an unusual place to be.

[00:06:14] And it's also made me think, oh, what has actually been motivating me all this time? So I think that high pressure environment, even though it's tiring, can also be really motivating. Yeah. Just cause you don't really have a choice to be anything but. So I have to now find a way to remain motivated without, I guess that fire burning behind me.

[00:06:37] Yes. Now I'm able to be relaxed. How do I make sure that I'm able to still stay focused and empowered or motivated, encouraged to do things when it has to come now internally, not from some external force. Excellent. 

[00:06:53] Yeah. Yeah. We. A few other questions I had. Who were [00:07:00] your influences growing up?

[00:07:01] Carlo Selorio: Just doesn't have to be business. It could be personal or in business.

[00:07:11] I, 

[00:07:11] Pepe Kish: You know what? This is really bad, but I've, maybe it's not bad, but I never really looked up to any sort of well known or celebrity person. I if had to choose somebody. I really liked, and this is a historical figure who was dead hundreds and hundreds of years ago, but it was a woman called Anne Berlin.

[00:07:34] The second wife of King Henry? Yeah. And for some reason her story always resonated with me just because she seemed really brave, and she ended up getting her head chopped off. I don't really wanna end up, down, down that, going down that path. But something that always stuck with me is when she gave her final words before she died and she was just so eloquent and brave [00:08:00] and She'd been a bit of a revolutionary.

[00:08:02] A lot of people can criticize what she said, but she definitely changed the course of history particularly for that institution. The Church of England. So something. Yeah. For some reason Anne Berlin has always resonated with me And I was joking to a colleague that I also, Steve Jobs always wears black skis, and I'm like, Oh, that's, I just wanna wear black skis in the, obviously every day.

[00:08:28] So maybe Steve Jobs. Yeah. Excellent.

[00:08:35] Carlo Selorio: What other advice would you have, or what's your top three advice do you have for for business owners or entrepreneurs? Out there? 

[00:08:44] Pepe Kish: I would, What would my advice be? My advice would be to stay curious and remember, it's not always about you. It will always. You'll be [00:09:00] thinking about yourself and how you come across and what you can do and how to build your reputation and all of that.

[00:09:06] But sometimes by sitting back and listening and watching the world, you can learn so much. So don't feel threatened by others. Don't feel like you have to compete with them. Just be coexist with them, learn from them, because you might find out some things about yourself on the way. So it's just, my advice would be is to always, I call it having good reflective function.

[00:09:35] So good friends said to me the other day, experience. You don't learn from experience. You learn from being able to reflect on your experience. So we can go through life and keep making the same mistakes on and on, over and over if we're not able to reflect and really look almost from a bird's eye perspective.

[00:09:58] Yeah. Of why we need the [00:10:00] things we do and why other people do the things they do. So it's getting. Outside of oneself and not being too focused on yourself, as my girls say to me, Mommy, don't be self focused. , don't be self obsessed. And why do they say that? Cause they see and hear me talking about a lot about myself and my business and seeing my face on things and.

[00:10:23] They are a good reminder that, yeah, it's not about me, it's about my place in the world and what I can learn from the world. Really good quote. One of my favorite quotes is Don't climb a mountain so the world can see you climb a mountain so you can see the world. 

[00:10:37] Carlo Selorio: Wow. Very good quote and a very good advice for everyone there.

[00:10:43] How do you want to impact the world and what kind of legacy do you want to have? As a person in the British Center. 

[00:10:52] Pepe Kish: I don't really think about that to be honest. I'm a bit of I think I mentioned I don't like goals can feel a bit restrictive and it's the [00:11:00] same type of thing. I don't wanna predetermine the outcome for me.

[00:11:04] I just enjoy taking each day as it comes. So I guess the impact I'd like to have or a legacy is not to. Yeah just to live life. Don't be so focused on the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey. 

[00:11:21] Carlo Selorio: Excellent. 

[00:11:22] A little bit of a side question. Do you have any books that you'd like to recommend for our listeners that you like or for business or personal? 

[00:11:38] Pepe Kish: Bit of a confession here. I don't actually read business books. Yeah they have, I haven't really found one that got me past the first few pages, to be honest.

[00:11:50] Sorry to all my friends who have written business books that I said I've read, which I haven't. But anyway, a book that I really enjoy, enjoyed, and I found it really [00:12:00] impactful, was a book by Laura Jean McKay called The Animals In That Country. Yep. And. Essentially it's about there's a zoo flu, so another pen, there's a pandemic and it gives humans the ability to speak to animals.

[00:12:18] So you may or may not know this, but I'm a vegan and animal welfare and rights is a very important issue for me. So this particular book I just found it had a lot of interesting insights and I would highly recommend it. Award women Award winning. Book as well. So lots other people have liked it to

[00:12:39] And another person I mentioned, actually, you asked before who's an influence and I actually, I really like Gary Vanner. Chuck, I think 

[00:12:46] Carlo Selorio: I love I, Yeah, I love Gary V. Yeah, I 

[00:12:49] Pepe Kish: forgot about good old Gary V. So I did actually read parts of his early business book, which I then gave. To Jonathan, my co-founder, [00:13:00] and I know he really enjoyed it.

[00:13:01] So I think Gary V has a really honest, forthright, yeah. Take on the world. So yeah. Love anything like 

[00:13:09] Carlo Selorio: I love Gary V that Yeah. The honesty and no filtered kind of way. He thought 

[00:13:16] Pepe Kish: delivers things. Exactly. He's not, he's polished, but he isn't, like everything he said is very articulate, but it's delivered in an unexpected, in his own authentic way.

[00:13:27] Yeah. It's not, he's definitely not cookie quite us. Me for the win. 

[00:13:30] Carlo Selorio: If our listeners wanted or need help from you or for your business how can they reach you? 

[00:13:41] Pepe Kish: Okay, so they can reach me at and through my LinkedIn, which is under my full name, Perpetua K.

[00:13:51] So you'll be able to find me there. And I'm also, although it's. A bit neglected at the moment. I have an Instagram, which I have [00:14:00] planned to Enlive and called the Kind Lawyer. Yep. Set. So you can find me. I'll 

[00:14:04] Carlo Selorio: come add you in Instagram as well Excellent. Thank you very much, Peppi. It was great to finally catch up again.

[00:14:13] Hopefully we can catch up offline as well. Sometime meet up with Lynette and everyone else because it's been too long. I'm not gonna say how long I know. No, 

[00:14:22] Pepe Kish: it's been so long. Yeah, it's we should have a St. Francis and Lake Ginninderra reunion. 

[00:14:29] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Excellent. I'll see if we can put one together soon. So we should thank you very much and I'm looking forward to releasing this episode and we'll chat next.

[00:14:43] Thank you again for your time. I know how much your time for you are and yeah, thank you very much for just being here and being part of the episode. No 

[00:14:54] Pepe Kish: problem. Thanks Carlo. 

[00:14:56] Carlo Selorio: Okay. I will see you soon. [00:15:00] Okay. Okay. Bye bye.