Leaving the Legal Field to Become an Entrepreneur with Hannah Shtein
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 14
What would it look like if you started saying yes to yourself? Hannah Shtein is an entrepreneur who, like many, had the vision of entrepreneurship in their mind for a while, but it wasn’t until she learned how to say yes to herself that her vision came into fruition. Hannah is also a prime example of what it means to take purpose into your work and she has a really incredible story that she’s going to share with us today about how her path led her to entrepreneurship.
Tune in to hear:
- Why saying “yes” to yourself may be the one things standing in your way from seeing your biggest vision through
- How Hannah left the legal field to start helping entrepreneurs start and scale their own online business
- Lessons of entrepreneurship from Hannah Shtein
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Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries. Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. I am your host, Leah Gervais. I am so excited to be here with you and so excited to have our guest today. She means a lot to me. We have Hannah Shtein with us. Hi Hannah.
Hannah Shtein: Hey Leah. I’m so excited to be here.
Leah Gervais: I’m so excited that you’re here. Thanks for being here. So Hannah is an entrepreneur that I think really is a great example of what it means to take purpose into your work. So she has a really incredible story that she’s going to share with us today about how her path led her to entrepreneurship, how I think she was tempted for many years to do this. Um, but you know, she, she thought she was being responsible or however you ended up wanting to share it, uh, but just continued to say yes to herself.
And I think in a sense finally said yes to herself and, and how her life has changed in sentence. So if you are listening to this and you’re wondering if something, if it’s the right time for you to start something, or if you’re feeling blocked, um, or you can’t quite give yourself permission, I think Hannah is going to help you a lot. So thanks again for being here. Hannah, do you want to give us, you know, a one to two sentence synopsis about what you do now, and then we’ll go backward a bit?
Hannah Shtein: Yes, absolutely. So I help new and aspiring entrepreneurs start and scale, um, heart-centered online businesses and get their first clients and then keep scaling from there. Okay.
Leah Gervais: Incredible so needed, especially right now. So take us back a little bit. Hannah, when you were in college, did you think you’d be an entrepreneur?
Hannah Shtein: Um, not at all. In college, I thought I was going to go to law school, which I did, and I was super tightly wound and I felt very like lost, but I had no idea what to do to do the finding.
Leah Gervais: Where, what did you want to do with a law degree?
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, great question. I wish I would have been able to answer that I didn’t even know, but I was just so anxious about knowing what I was supposed to do with my life. And I felt like I needed to have everything figured out. Um, I come from first-generation immigrant background, so maybe some of that. Um, but I just thought, okay, I need to have like my entire life planned out by the time I’m like 18 for some reason. And I had no idea what I wanted to do. And I thought again, immigrant background, but I thought that you had to have a graduate degree to have a quote unquote good job.
The only careers I really was aware of were like doctor, lawyer, engineer, um, computer programmer. Um, so I was like, all right, well, I don’t want to do any of those things and I don’t have a plan, so I need to go to law school. And I just made this plan when I was like 16 and it was not at all tied to anything my heart was saying to me as cheesy as that sounds, but I didn’t even know how to tap into that part of myself at that point. So I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I thought that that was the safe way to make money, have a quote unquote, good career have status. Um, so yeah, that’s where that comes from.
Leah Gervais: Sure. Well, as you know, I can relate to that a lot. I thought also that I was going to go to law school. It was my plan since I was in high school. I don’t know who we think we are in high school, deciding that we’re going to go to law school. It’s like so far away. So many hundreds of thousands of dollars away. You don’t really know what it’s like to be a lawyer. It’s, it’s very bizarre how it kind of plays out for a lot of people.
I think all of those graduate tracks are really just, well I think some people really do want to be them. It’s not that I think they’re all inherently bad, but I think that there’s equally as many people who like the idea of them without actually knowing kind of what the day-to-day life is like. So you kind of hinted at this, but do you look back at that time, you know, even in high school or college and then going to law school, does it feel anxious when you look back on is it anxious?
Hannah Shtein: Like the most anxious I have ever been just feeling like this intense uncertainty and also dissatisfaction and this pressure to decide my future and no, and being really upset with myself that I didn’t.
Leah Gervais: And is this something you see in your clients a lot nowadays as well? That they’d be they’re recovered from that or they’re still in it?
Hannah Shtein: Yes. 100%. So many people are still in it and some people have kind of recovered, but still revert back into it because I think it’s sort of like schooled into us, unfortunately. Not because people are like trying to do harm, but it’s just, it’s sort of the way the educational system is. And there is this pressure.
Leah Gervais: Right? Yeah. I mean, I think that you, you know, have brought in a few different ways that it happened for you, both from being a first-generation, um, in your family, in the U S as well as just kind of the society that we’re baked into. And though it sucks that you went through that, I’m sure you’re able to help so many people, because I think that there’s almost this, this paralyzing anxiousness. And so if you’re able to help people work through that really it’s the only way. So, um, before I kind of asked you how you, how you left this career, I would love to hear a little bit more about the path and, and kind of finish the story. So you did go to law school?
Hannah Shtein: Yes. I did go to law school and I’ll try not to ramble, but it’s okay. It’s a law school and pretty much felt that it wasn’t for me immediately. Yeah. Like literally first semester, second week I was like, what’s happening, but I did not have the trust in myself at the time to say this isn’t for me. And I’m going to figure it out the way now I would totally do that. But at the time I was like, Oh my gosh, I hate this, but I have to finish, or I don’t know what to do. Like, what am I going to do drop out? And then, then what will I do? What will people think? All of that kind of stuff. So I really, I mean, I was super depressed in law school. You probably would not have known it externally, but I am so happy for that experience because I realized probably in the middle that I just like, can’t do this.
And even though I’m scared, I’m not going to drop out because I’m too scared I’m going to finish. But the next thing I’m going to do is going to be something that feels right to me, even if I don’t know exactly where that is going to lead, or if it doesn’t work out, I was just like my way of doing life up until this point has not worked like this is going to make me so unhappy. I can’t be in this head space anymore. Um, so I’m just gonna shift and that was such a pivotal point in my life. Um, because that’s when that was the first time that I allowed myself to start thinking, okay, well, what do I genuinely want? Like that was the first time I really tuned into myself. Um, so super grateful for that. And I ended up thinking that I wanted to work in the entertainment industry.
Hannah Shtein: So I was just like, all right, I’m going to graduate law school, passed the bar or whatever. And then I’m going to try and work in entertainment. And I don’t know if it’s what I want. I don’t know if it will work out, but I’m excited by it right now. So I’m going to move in that direction of the thing that I’m excited about. Um, so I did end up doing that. I moved to LA, I worked in entertainment and I ended up feeling like that wasn’t a fit. But again, it was such a great experience because it was something I did based on a genuine desire. And then after that, I thought I wanted to work in, um, recruiting or human resources. And I ended up getting a job, doing tech recruiting and kind of this whole time, I’m thinking none of this feels quite right.
Hannah Shtein: Like I’m moving in the direction of my desires, but I want to work with people more closely. And I had always been interested in entrepreneurship in like a vague way, but I had no idea how to do it. And I was just like, I don’t know how, but I would write these notes in my iPhone about how I was going to start a blog or maybe start a coaching business. But it was just super like vague. And I never really believed it was real, but so that’s kind of going on in the background, but then fast forward, I’m this recruiting job I’m sort of growing, just satisfied there because I’m just feeling like I want something more.
I want to connect with people more deeply. And I really want freedom. Like, that’s one of my core values. So I’m kind of thinking about the entrepreneurship thing again, but I have this stable six-figure job. So I’m like, I am scared to leave. I don’t want to. And then, um, COVID starts happening and my company that I was at starts going under and they lay off my entire department and I spend some time kind of like panicking, applying for other recruiting jobs. And then I have this moment of clarity, like literally, what are you doing? This is such a sign from the universe to do this thing that you have been craving and start your own business and put those stupid iPhone notes into actual fruition. So, sorry.
Leah Gervais: I just said, wow. I mean, it’s amazing.
Hannah Shtein: Thank you. Um, so at that point I was like, you know what, I’m going to try this. I’m going to go all in. And I think I had been following you on social media or I don’t even remember. Maybe I got just like a random email at the right time. And I watched one of your Facebook lives. And your story really resonated with me with like the law school thing and just your tone and manner. Like I just vibed with you. And course then I ended up taking Scale Your Side hustle and starting my business. And you know, the rest is history.
Leah Gervais: Oh, I have so much, I could like pull out from there. So I’m so glad that you were in scale, your side hustle. But what I think is really amazing about your story, and I think a lot of people can resonate with is that you had a rock bottom. It sounds like when you were in law school, when you were halfway through, when you had that moment of like, okay, I’m going through law school, I’m in it, I’m going to finish it. And I’m never going to let myself feel like this again. I mean, it sounds like that really stuck with you and law school. I mean like your health was on the line like that was, would you consider that a rock bottom where you were?
Hannah Shtein: Yes, absolutely. It was the worst I’ve ever felt. I was binge drinking. I also had an eating disorder and it was all just like I was crying like every day. That sounds so dramatic, but it’s true. Um, yeah.
Leah Gervais: Well, thank you so much for sharing that I know that’s vulnerable to share, but what I think is so powerful about that rock bottom, and my story also can kind of relate to this, is that on the surface, it doesn’t look like rock bottom on the surface. It looks like you’re in law school. You know, that’s a really prestigious thing to do. You have a career in front of you, you’re young, you’re very intelligent. You have everything going for you. And internally you’re feeling the most disconnected from yourself.
Leah Gervais: You’ve ever felt yourself abandoning you, you aren’t eating you. Aren’t um, you’re, you’re, overdrinking, you’re numbing, you’re crying, you’re depressed. I mean, really, really dark moments of the soul. And I think it’s so brave of you to share that. So clearly, because I think there are probably people listening here and I’m sure your clients feel this way, where sometimes you almost feel guilty if you have a rock bottom and it doesn’t look like how you think a rock bottom should feel, which further perpetuates you feeling crappy about yourself and you feeling like something’s wrong with you. And I’m sure that you probably worked through those emotions, but for you to be able to stand here on the other side and say like, no, I can say that just because things were on the surface looking good does not mean that, that wasn’t a horrible time in my life. And I, you know, that’s kind of what led you to follow your own internal compass after it sounds like almost a decade of, of silencing it.
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, absolutely. And part of the reason that I share it is because I do think so many people go through this type of thing and their lives look great on the outside. And often even their close friends are saying, well, like what’s wrong. Everything is good. And people feel like, Oh my gosh, there’s something wrong with me that this feels off. Like I need to fix myself that I feel like it manifests that way really often. Unfortunately, instead of saying, no, this is me sending myself a message and I should listen. They instead start thinking that something is wrong and it’s like, no, nothing is wrong.
Leah Gervais: Right. I totally agree. I totally agree. It’s, it’s an invitation to change. And I think especially women feel this sense of like, you should just be grateful for what you have. And I think it’s amazing that you, you know, we’re able to move through that. So when you, when you let that guide you after law school and after, um, you know, I think you’re, you’re, you’re such a good coach because I think you’ve had these two very, very common phenomenons that are really hard for people to work through. One is like the rock bottom when everything looks perfect, that’s hard. But in a sense, I was just talking to my sister about this yesterday. Sometimes I feel like working with people who have been to the rock bottom is easier because they are so like, I’m changing this no matter what, I can’t live like this anymore, I’ll do whatever.
But then you kind of went through this other transition, this other period that I also see people go through where they’re not at rock bottom, where things are, where they’re, where they are happy. They’re fine. And it sounds like maybe that’s how you were at your recruiting jobs or in the entertainment industry. You so much happier than you were. It’s not that you were no longer happy things were good and you had to fight for them to get great. And that’s also a scary phenomenon because it feels scary to reject the good for similar reasons that it feels scary to admit you’re in a rock bottom when things look glossy, because you have to, you have to fight against what’s working in order to claim what’s great. So did, do you feel like that was sort of a similar phenomenon when you were fighting against your, your turmoil during law school to when you were saying no to those jobs? Or do you feel like it was kind of a different experience and how’d you work through the ladder?
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, no, it was different. And I think that you are exactly right. And in some ways the rock bottom is not easier in the sense of like, this is a fun experience, but easier in the sense of you get to that head space where you’re like, I absolutely cannot do this again. That change is easier to make. Um, but in some ways that second transition was more difficult because I wasn’t unhappy, right. Things were going well, I was doing fine. I was getting a good salary. Like my life was, it was good. So it was weird to question it. And again, that feeling of is something wrong with me that I’m unsatisfied again, coming up. And I think it comes up for so many people and it’s what makes them not take a leap when they want to, because they’re like, no, something’s wrong with me.
I’m not grateful enough. Or, you know, I need to change my perspective. So the way that I was able to work through that, I mean, again, I got lucky because like I said, the universe did me a favor with that lay off. Um, I did obviously decide to stop applying for jobs and do my own thing. And I think that was because of the rock bottom experience, which really led me to more than anything else, just trust myself and develop my own intuition. And at that point, um, and I’m so grateful for this. I was at a place where I was like, if, if something inside me is telling me that this doesn’t feel right and something else does, or even if I don’t know what feels right, but this feels wrong. I’m going to listen to that. I got to a place where I was like, I will never not listen to my inner voice, intuition, whatever you want to call it again. Um, and I really stand by that. So I think that’s really what helped me get through it and make that decision
Leah Gervais: So beautiful. And I can definitely vouch for you from that sentence. You know, having watched you grow through the side hustle and the mastermind, you, um, are always willing to like look in the mirror and, and it’s not always easy, you know, to think like, what am I doing? That’s holding me back from what I really want.
And I’ve always been really struck by how much responsibility you’re able to take for when you’re, when you do want things to get better, or you do want things to look different, or you do want something more, you know, for so many, they don’t even bother asking either because they don’t even know that they have the power to change it, or they don’t want to admit that it’s up to them to change it. And I think that you, um, have really dedicated yourself to fulfilling what you promise in law school. And I, and I think it’s great because this is our one shot. It’s like, if you’re, if you’re not going to do it now, when are you going to do it? You know, what are people waiting for it? And you’re very good at that.
Hannah Shtein: Well, thank you so much. And it’s been so wonderful to be supported by you and scale your side hustle and the mastermind. I could not do it alone.
Leah Gervais: Oh, well, thank you. But it has mostly been you. All right. So now tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurship journey. So you have all this to kind of work with and that, you know, you want to help people with you start scaling your side hustle and did new fears come up as you started, or do you feel like you had been kind of ready to navigate them since you have gone through so much personal development?
Hannah Shtein: Oh, God. New fears come up like every day to know that because it is normal. And I think people think like fear is not supposed to come up or it means like you’re doing something wrong if it comes up. And I want people to know that that is not true. And fear doesn’t mean anything. It’s so natural, but yes, all of the new fears came up.
So I started scale your side hustle. And, you know, initially I thought that I wanted to be a career coach, not because I wanted to be a career coach, but because I felt like I needed to, because that was my background in recruiting, but I wasn’t passionate about it, but I was like, I need qualifications, which is also a fear. Um, so I started out doing that. Then I was like, no, I’m more passionate about mindset. So I pivoted and I was stressing about having the perfect knee and I was stressing about if my audience would want to buy from me.
And I was so scared to post on social media and go on live video. I literally was scared of all the things like name, a fear. I had it. So lots of things came up, but again, it was so helpful in its own way because it led me to where I am today. And I think when things really clicked for me as when I just released this like pressure that I was putting on myself again, to have everything figured out where to be perfect and planned out. And I just decided to, I don’t know, be authentic. That sounds so lame, but just do what I wanted to do. Like I was, I wanted to be an entrepreneur coach actually from the beginning, but I was super scared too, because I was like, well, who am I to be teaching new entrepreneurs? I just started this journey. And that was holding me back for so long. And then I was like, you know what? You want this? You just need to try it.
Leah Gervais: Yeah. Well, and you know, I think you’ve done a really good job navigating. I know it’s something you’ve had to work through. It’s not always this easy for it to just come to you and you’ve done the work, but I think you stay in a lot of integrity by pushing yourself to try to do something before you feel totally ready, but not like faking it until you make it. And I think that that, that is a delicate balance because sometimes you do feel like there are people in the entrepreneurial space that are just like, it doesn’t matter if you’re not qualified, just do it anyway. And it’s like, it actually does, like, you know, you kind of need to know what you’re like, this is people’s money that you’re dealing with. And the sense of like, I know I have accomplished something so thoroughly that I am the go-to expert, I don’t think it totally exists.
It’s sort of like, I can imagine when you’re ready to get pregnant, you’re not like, okay, I have mastered humanity. There’s no such thing. You know, you just have to do the best you can with where you’ve come. And you did some pretty remarkable things in your first six months of business. Like getting clients without spending any money on marketing at all. And now, you know, I don’t know how much you’re willing to share, but you’re not even a year into business. And you’re able to sign clients for a pretty, you know, I don’t, I don’t know if advanced is the right word, but like a sizable investment.
And so when you, I think you’ve done a good job of owning, like you do know how to do things that other people don’t, and that is what you can teach people. And I think that that’s another reason why your clients see such success with you and why we’re so good at working with new people is because we all have to start somewhere, but we all have something to offer. And you almost like had to go into a crash course of figuring out what that meant for you, so you can help other people figure out what it means for them.
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, for sure. And thank you for saying that, but yeah, I think that a lot of people feel like, okay, they need to teach someone like everything kind of, like you said, mastered humanity, like, okay, just because you are teaching entrepreneurship does not mean you need to teach someone immediately how to build like a seven figure empire. Right. If you can, but it’s about just showing someone something that, you know, that they don’t and truly everybody has that. Right. It’s just about drawing that out and finding what that is within yourself.
Leah Gervais: Exactly. I love that. So what keeps you inspired these days?
Hannah Shtein: I love this question, honestly, just the people I see who I get to work with, or even just engaged with, like, I see so many people who have so much passion and potential, and that keeps me so motivated because I just want, like, I want to empower everyone to do this. And there’s so many people who are craving freedom and craving creating something for themselves. And it’s such an honor to guide people through that journey. And the other piece of it is that always entrepreneurship, like, yeah, I’m a business coach, but it really is. It’s like such a personal development journey, which you of course know, but just to see how people develop as humans and come into their own is so beautiful and inspiring. And that, again, sounds so cheesy, but I mean, it’s like, it’s crazy.
Leah Gervais: No, I mean, I completely understand you masterminders like move me to tears once a week. I swear. I’m such a mess about you all. You’re a very incredible group. Um, so I think this could be kind of a fun question and I don’t know if you’ve ever asked yourself this, so maybe this will be the first time, but so, you know, you went through so many, um, things in kind of like the corporate life that people listening about having started a business may be able to relate to you went to graduate school, you went through a lot of anxiety about figuring out where you need to be in life at a young age, you went into different nine to five careers that were like lukewarm. And you did that for years. And now you have around a year of entrepreneur entrepreneurship under your belt where you’ve worked for yourself, you’ve been able to do it.
You can totally brag. Like you’ve been able to do some really incredible things online and offline you’re, you know, in my mastermind, which I, which I love and I think is super exciting. So my question is how do they, what do you want to say to someone who is about to who might be about to start and like, how does your life compare how it is now versus how it was and what do you wish you could’ve told yourself even just two years ago about what would happen?
Hannah Shtein: Oh my gosh, this is such a good question. I mean, there’s so much, I think what I want to say to people the most is like, if you want to do it, you absolutely can and will, and your desire is never lying to you. Like it’s just not and I wish that I could take all these people and just take away all of their like imposter syndrome and fear and just tell them to like, lean all the way in and just jump and do it. And it can’t not change you for the better, truly, not just as a business person, but as a human, like you are going to grow so much.
I can’t even describe how much my, like, soul has evolved on this journey. Um, so I think I would say that, and then I would also say that this fear and imposter syndrome and all of this personal stuff that comes up for everyone is so normal and it is not assigned to stop and you should actually welcome it. It’s a sign, you’re doing something that you are excited about and just like, feel the fear and do it anyway.
Leah Gervais: Beautiful. Beautiful. So, one last question. If someone were to work with you and I’d love to hear, I know you have a group program and you have coaching offerings. If someone were to work with you, I feel like you’ve given so much great mindset, advice and perspectives on how to think about things differently and how to move through fear. Is there a practical tip you want to leave them with as well? Because I think that that can really trip people up- I know it did me.
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, absolutely. And I learned a lot of this from you, but I think one of the most important practical things I learned is that sharing your story and transformation as a business owner is really powerful for connecting with your potential client, finding the right people for you. Um, so I really encourage people to do that, and I know it can feel scary and vulnerable, but it’s super powerful. And I think people will find that the more they do that, the more they will find, you know, find clients faster and find people who really align with them.
Leah Gervais: I love that tip. I love that tip. Amazing. And do you want to share a little bit about what your group program is and what it is like to work with you in case people aren’t interested?
Hannah Shtein: Yes, absolutely. So my group program is called Bold and Booked. It is a 12 week program that basically teaches you all of the business foundations, as well as the mindset for starting and scaling your first online service-based business with confidence. I’m super excited about it. And if anyone has questions about it, obviously they can DM me or reach out to me.
Leah Gervais: And how can people Join your Facebook group? You have a great one.
Hannah Shtein: Right? Thank you. Yes. I love my Facebook group so much. It is a super close community and I would love anyone to join. It’s called The Empowered Entrepreneur. You can just search it on Facebook and I would love to have you there to know that.
Leah Gervais: Okay. I have three lightning questions for you. Are you ready? What are you most proud of in your business journey so far?
Hannah Shtein: I am most proud of just moving through my fear and trusting myself and doing this.
Leah Gervais: Very, very good one. Especially after all your years of dedicating to self-trust after self abandoning. Um, what’s your go-to when you’re having a blue day?
Hannah Shtein: An off day. Um, gratitude journaling helps me so much and just journaling in general, getting all of my thoughts out on paper. Like there’s something magically therapeutic about it.
Leah Gervais: Beautiful. Uh, do you have a book, a business book or podcasts that’s helped you?
Hannah Shtein: Um, I recommend any Gabrielle Bernstein book. They are not business books, but they are huge just having internal shifts and learning to listen to yourself and trust yourself.
Leah Gervais: Beautiful. Okay. And where on Instagram or? Yeah, your Instagram. You already shared your Facebook group Instagram or anywhere else can people find you?
Hannah Shtein: Yeah, so my Instagram is just at @HannahShtein. And if you follow me, please say, hi, I really love meeting people on the internet truly.
Leah Gervais: Yeah go ahead and message her. Let her know you found her here and, um, we will also link your Facebook group and your Instagram in our notes as well. So if you are listening to this and need to find it there, you can. So thank you so much, Hannah. Congratulations on your success. It’s so inspiring to hear where you were and how far you’ve come. And I think people are really going to be moved by your dedication to yourself. I think that that’s people, that’s what people need more of in the world. So thanks for, thanks for doing that and dedicating yourself to it. And thank you for sharing with us.
Hannah Shtein: Thank you so much, Leah.
Leah Gervais: Talk to you soon, visionaries. Thank you so much.
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