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What happens when you realize that you're the bottleneck inhibiting your business's growth and profitability?

Nina Kaufman is a business attorney and small business champion who caught my attention with her Checklist for Small Business Owners.

Here are the first few questions:

  • Ever feel like you can take time off even one day a week seems unrealistic
  • Ever miss time from a family vacation because you were back in the office fighting fires
  • Are you fed up not making the kind of money that can support the life you want to lead
  • Are you working way too hard for way too little money to show for it
  • Do you feel constrained and frustrated by your inability to make a greater impact in the world

If your business is based on your knowledge and expertise, you're a professional services business. And the trap that many professional services businesses fall into, says Nina, is you can only sell the number of hours you have available to give to clients.  Suddenly you're a slave to your own business, and the vision of being your own boss is distressingly like working for a terrible boss.

When Nina found herself in that trap, in your small law practice, she took it as a challenge: what are the essential elements for building a million dollar road map where you leverage, rather than sell, your expertise.

When Nina Kaufman asks: when would it be a good time to think about redesigning your business model so that it's more self-sustaining and less dependent on you? She's really wondering : When would the answer be it be NOW?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning small business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. Nina has a personal mission of offering straight-talk legal to bolster your business. Companies in the consulting, creative, and professional services arena save time, money, and aggravation with the foundation of contracts, agreements they need for success. — the legal bedrock they need to build self-sustaining companies.

Her creative approaches to serving the small business community garnered her the SBA's 2011 regional Women in Business Champion of the Year Award. Her multi-faceted business model, developed from over 15 years of small business legal experience guides knowledge economy firms through the legal issues they face in starting and running their own companies.

Her humorous, practical understanding of the issues that cause deer-in-the-headlights paralysis is reflected in the titles of some of her programs: What is the solution to small business slavery? How do we choose business partners who won't [BLEEP] us? How can we train our clients to pay us? Do you know where you intellectual property is tonight? and she has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Crain's NY,,, PINK magazine, The New York Law Journal, the American Bar Association Journal, and Entrepreneur magazine and has appeared on MSNBC and Fox Channel 5's Good Day NY program.

Nina is an educator at heart, which is reflected in her approach to legal services and pricing models, her writing, her professional speaking, and the online resources she has created for entrepreneurs at I'm taking her up on her offer to Livelihood listeners for her Million Dollar Map program.