Francesca Witzburg, Esq., is an award-winning intellectual property attorney and brand protection expert representing top businesses, entrepreneurs, brands, and celebrities in real life and the Metaverse. Inspired by a love of culture and the arts, she helps businesses monetize their intellectual property and stay protected and profitable with their current and forward-thinking business models including NFTs and Web3.
Francesca is a partner at the nationally-ranked law firm Loza & Loza where her practice centers on all aspects of trademark, copyright, and brand protection matters, as well as commercial transactions. Prior to joining the firm, she worked in the Manhattan office of the world’s largest law firm and has in-house experience at large-scale brands including Prada and Tory Burch. Francesca has counseled top businesses, celebrities, artists, athletes and influencers, as well as an array of clients from Fortune 500 companies.
Francesca’s passion for advising individuals and businesses comes from her own experience as an entrepreneur, creator, and investor. As a mentor, she created the Becoming a Boss, Esq. community to mentor young law students, lawyers, and professionals. At Villanova University, Francesca graduated cum laude with a double major in History and Spanish and received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the top ranked Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal.
Francesca is passionate about intellectual property and frequently writes, speaks, and teaches on the subject, with academically published pieces in The Trademark Reporter, Women’s Wear Daily, and Pepperdine Journal of Business, and is also the editor for MothersEsquire in collaboration with Above the Law. She has also been recognized as New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars and as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.
She’s currently the Boss Talks director for the New York and New Jersey chapters, sits on the board of one of the top food and beverage venture capital companies, Grant Barco Capital, and advises leading Web3 platform Entre, the anti-Asian discrimination organization AAP(I BELONG), and the fashion tech company, Phoenix Fashion Week. She invests in NFTs, the Metaverse, and is a VeeFriend and World of Women Galaxy holder. In her personal life, Francesca is a novelist who loves to spend time with her husband and two baby boys, read and run marathons.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Francesca Witzburg: Thank you for having me! My name is Francesca Witzburg, and I am an award-winning intellectual property attorney and brand protection expert. I help entrepreneurs, brands, and celebrities protect their businesses in real life and the Metaverse.
With an entrepreneurial spirit and family background, I counsel clients with a practical and business-focused lens. Currently, I am a partner at Loza & Loza LLP, a nationally-ranked intellectual property law firm. Along with their focus on IP, Loza & Loza appealed to me for their value of diversity, as a firm founded and led by women and minorities.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Francesca Witzburg: Both 2020 and 2021 threw me as many curveballs as everyone else. My husband and I started our family during the pandemic, and we now have two adorable little boys, which has been life changing to say the least.
I’ve learned to expect the unexpected, but also that these times of difficulty and change can be the most transformative of your life, for the better. When it comes to business, I’ve gone from commuting four hours a day to working fully remote, which has allowed me to not only spend time with my family, but also serve more clients on a daily basis.
I’ve realized that you can build real relationships online, and that the space is never too crowded. Late in 2020, I started my journey of building a book of business fully remote and online, and what I’ve found is that I’ve made valuable business connections and real friendships through various forms of social media. I believe that to thrive in 2022, you just need to have the right mindset that business is abundant, and if you make genuine connections with people, the success and growth will follow.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Francesca Witzburg: The number one piece of advice is to adapt. I’m living proof that you can not only maintain, but also grow your business to new levels if you’re finding the right connections online. My advice is to keep putting yourself out there, whether its online or in person. Many people have let the pandemic throw them off their rhythm, and I believe that you have to make it a priority every day to keep your foot on the gas and focus on growth.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Francesca Witzburg: I now work for a fully remote law firm. I believe that the legal field has shifted dramatically to this format over the past two years. I used to be at in person networking events 2-4 times per month. Now that those events have dramatically been reduced, I found new networking events online. Whether its Instagram, Clubhouse, LinkedIn—all of them have tremendous opportunities to network and find valuable business connections.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Francesca Witzburg: If I could have known one thing from the start, it would have been to protect my energy and routine. I have recently found my way to focus on the things that get me closer to my personal and financial goals and say no to things that don’t.
Daily rituals like getting up early, exercising, and eating clean that have kept me feeling good are critical to performing to the best of my abilities. The year 2022 has been about improving and locking in high-performance and positive routines and rituals because I truly believe that everything starts there.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Francesca Witzburg: I expect the trend to continue. I know many companies are now working in hybrid formats with certain employees in offices on different days. Remote working ultimately leads to less overhead for companies of all sizes, and therefore I think its likely to continue and grow. If anything, the pandemic served as a trial run for how I believe many businesses will operate in the future.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Francesca Witzburg: I’d say 10-11 hours a day if I’m being honest. Right now, I’m growing and scaling my business. When I came to Loza & Loza, I made the jump to partner. That means that I had to establish and build my own book of business from scratch. Many people don’t look at the legal field this way, but we are entrepreneurs.
We have to go out and find customers and build trusted relationships just like every other business that offers products or services. I have big goals for how I want my practice to look, so I’m okay with putting in the hours now. As I scale and build a team, I expect those hours to come down.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Francesca Witzburg: My personal story is how I connect with people. I worked for one of the largest law firms in the world prior to Loza & Loza. I learned a ton and wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It made me the lawyer I am today, but it also taught me a lot about work life balance.
When I made the jump to partner here at Loza & Loza, I took a bet on myself, and it was the best decision I ever made. Because of it, I’ve connected with many co-workers and fellow entrepreneurs who are now valued clients.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Francesca Witzburg: I think fear. It’s so easy to listen to all the noise on social media and in the news. If you’re fearful of the economy or in your outlook in general, you’re most likely not operating to your fullest potential. People think we’re heading towards or in a recession.
Whether or not that’s the case, I won’t let it affect how hard I work. I believe you shouldn’t let it affect you either. If anything, it should be the motivation to learn more, look for and create new opportunities, and focus on how you can thrive in any economy.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Francesca Witzburg: One of the biggest things I’m grateful for over the past two years is that I became very passionate about NFTs, the Metaverse, and Web3 technology. I believe that it is going transform many businesses and business models over the next ten years.
I’m currently working with many entrepreneurs who are early adopters of NFTs and see the potential in their businesses already. My motivation here is that I want to be well-positioned in 3-5 years when I believe every business will need to protect themselves in Web3 and the Metaverse.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Francesca Witzburg: I think there are good and bad bosses. I also personally believe that there’s so much opportunity and awareness now of people making money online with flexibility or the ability to work on their own terms that this trend will continue. Companies prioritizing and valuing employees and work-life balance will help but only to an extent.
One of the reasons I position myself as an intellectual property and brand expert is because I believe we’re going to see massive growth in the number of entrepreneurs and startup businesses (big and small) over the next ten years that need to protect their names, digital products, creations, and businesses.
I think companies are going to have to fight to retain talent because it’s so abundantly obvious to people of all ages that you don’t have to work a 9-5 with a salary to be successful.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Francesca Witzburg: My business superpower would be listening and asking the right questions. I know that the best businesspeople listen, absorb, reflect, and ask the right questions. It’s an important skill, especially when creating contracts for clients to make sure I build the right legal documents to protect their business or the transaction.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Francesca Witzburg: Success to me means growth. If I’m growing, I feel successful. I want to be better than yesterday, last month, last year, etc. As I build my practice, I’m learning to keep new metrics to track my growth and progress. In 2022, I’ve had a lot of personal growth, which has coincided with business growth. As long as I continue to see that growth, I know the success I’m looking to achieve is on the horizon.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Francesca Witzburg for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Francesca Witzburg or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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