Andrew Taylor founded Net Lawman in 1991. His career before then was largely spent as a solicitor and he has over 25 years experience of working in private practice. He has handled many areas of law, but his expertise has always been in commercial property, and more generally, in commercial and company law. Andrew has also spent significant time away from the legal profession – “work on the other side of the desk” as he calls it. In the 1970’s he built a jewelry manufacturing business that both sold to trade and direct to customers through retail concessions in large department stores. In the late 1980’s he started a commercial property company that he eventually listed on AIM. During his career, he has also had interests (as a shareholder or as a director) in a great diversity of businesses, from garden centers to industrial conglomerates to Internet dating sites.
It is the change of status between advisor and client that has given Andrew his unique ability to see what a client needs. He can draw documents that provide not only an excellent legal framework but also many sensible (and some cunning) commercial provisions. Andrew has always embraced the use of technology in law. He laughs when he recalls being a founder member of the Society for Computers and Law in 1979: having a computer on his desk before IBM thought of a PC in the days when many solicitors were still coming to terms with a calculator. His quest then was the same as it is now: to promote the commoditization of the provision of all legal services and to make the law more accessible. Andrew now controls Net Lawman from the Director’s chair and doubles as a chief legal draftsman with a passion for drawing excellent documents.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Andrew Taylor: I am the director and founder of Net Lawman, an online-based legal document template platform established in 1991. We work with businesses and individuals to provide legal and financial advice to ensure that they are making the most of what is available to them.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Andrew Taylor: Perhaps my very first boss I ever had. They taught me a lot in terms of responding to the needs of both clients and staff.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Andrew Taylor: A lot of confusion hit us. Being a global company, differing governments were reacting differently so we completely lost cohesion between staff members as well as guidelines for differing clients. Everyone needed to step up, self manage and get the job done and I was grateful I had such a dedicated and passionate team to do this. I felt a failure as a leader, as I was unable to lead.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Andrew Taylor: Fortunately no. I benefit from this now I believe, as we outsource a lot of work and find that a lot of people are switching to freelancing or self-employment, so there is a huge scope of talent available out there now, ready and willing to work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Andrew Taylor: A little nervous for the economy honestly. Such upheavals will always bring volatile environments and uncertainty. There will always be a flow-on effect. If I know anything about business, it is that owners simply pass down the costs.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
Andrew Taylor: Ensure staff know they have a purpose and are needed in a company. Make sure they see their future, see their worth and see that both are valued in your company. Do this through a skills finder course – (such as StrengthsFinder). You understand your staff’s skills, given tools as to where to appropriately place them so they are fulfilled in their role and you can together carve out a path for the future that utilizes the best. Beneficial to the company and the wellbeing of your staff member.
Do not embrace hustle culture – rather embrace alternative hobbies. Understand the close relationship between involved company culture and borderline hustle culture. Allow for staff to enjoy extra-curricular activities with one another, but understand others need complete downtime from work environments.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
Andrew Taylor: Ah, yes. So this is hustle culture summed up quite nicely. Also. working remotely means that finding that work/life balance is harder. Work will generally consume your home life balance. Insist on a Digi-detox day for your staff. A day they are off and uncontactable.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Andrew Taylor: People are burned out. They are prioritizing their wellbeing – and their families. Help them by doing this too, and they will be less willing to leave.
Thank you for all that, our readers are grateful for your insightful comments! Now, if the Great Resignation isn’t your greatest concern, what is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Andrew Taylor: Digital security.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had 10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
Andrew Taylor: Climate charity. Although that is but a drop in the ocean. I suppose I would choose to support a single business that would do immense positive change – like those hemp or mushroom products to replace plastic.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Andrew Taylor for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Andrew Taylor or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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