When you want to see change, you have to disrupt the current state. You have to be the disruptor within an industry to be the innovator within it.
Some industries however are more challenging than others, and Law would classify as one of those industries.
Katie Richards is up for the challenge though, launching her company ‘Virtual Legal’ in 2013, Katie is aiming to empower everyday Australians to improve their own lives through access to legal services, regardless of where they live or what they earn.
We caught up with Katie to have a chat about her mission to create change within a challenging industry.
What is your vision and mission for Virtual Legal?
Our vision is for a world where every person has the ability to build a better life, feel protected and respected, regardless of what they earn or where they live.
Our mission is to bring legal services to the world in a way that is easily accessible so that geography bares no deterrence, and the services are priced such that they are affordable without the quality of the service deteriorating.
We are doing this by ensuring the hard costs wasted by law firms are minimised in our practice, for example expensive city rents. Being purely online and using offshore administrative assistance has reduced our company’s fixed costs considerably.
Part of our mission is to provide free education so that the world can self-educate, to create a trusted buying environment. We also only employ members of our team who believe and live our values 100% to ensure the culture remains true to it’s core as the company grows and expands.
What have been your biggest wins since starting?
Making finalist in the Telstra Business Awards was probably the biggest one because although we didn’t win that one, it gave me the confidence to know that other people believed in what we were doing.
Being the legal industry which is very adverse to change, the first two years of business were quite tough and felt like a constant uphill battle which was often met with disapproval and degradation from my fellow lawyers.
Winning the Startup of the Year for Consumer Services at the Stevie International Business Awards in New York was the highlight after that, but the real emotional turning point for me and my team was Telstra.
What is the best piece of advice you have received since starting?
Jack Delosa gave the advice that a business will never outgrow its founder, and that I needed to take care of myself if I am going to be able to run a successful business.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a workaholic and tend to put others before what I need. So learning that has helped me to show up as the person my team needs me to be to maintain the positive drive to push this company forward into unchartered waters.
It has really had an impact on my personal relationships too and my inner peace. Thanks Jack!
What impact has The Entourage and our community had on your business and your life?
Being a part of The Entourage has changed my life spiritually, commercially and personally.
It has forced me to step up and play a bigger game which has not always been easy, but it was something I always had in me and was I guess too scared to take that leap. Having the community around me makes all the difference.
There are members of The Entourage who I would consider as close as family.
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