Surf City Lawyers - July 2018

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As Anna and I grow closer, I’m privileged to learn more about her traditions. The way her family spends the Fourth of July has always been something special to her. Most of us know how big of a deal the Huntington Beach parade is for our local community, but it goes beyond just Orange County. It is the largest Independence Day parade west of the Mississippi. Every year, Anna and her family used to camp out a couple of days before so they could have just the right spot for their viewing pleasure. Well, Anna, being the generous person she is, let me in on this tradition, and I did what any sane person would do. I hijacked it. “If you haven’t spent time at 2 a.m. negotiating with strangers for land space at a Fourth of July event, you haven’t lived.” NEW 4TH OF JULY TRADITIONS How Surf City Celebrates Independence Day We use Anna’s tradition for our firm now as a way to show appreciation for our clients. The platform gives us an opportunity for others to spend time in a prime location and enjoy the spectacle. We’re all about developing more in-depth relationships, and this is one way we can do that. Our referral partners come down, and every year, we get to meet new people. But the experience isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It takes work to find the right spot. If you haven’t spent time at 2 a.m. negotiating with strangers for land space at a Fourth of July event, you haven’t lived. When we first started, it was just Anna and me rotating shifts to stake a claim

and keep our space. There were lots of sacrifices just for a little plot of land, but it wasn’t all bad. As the years went by, negotiations turned into friendships. Now we have people we collaborate with to mark our territory. Sure, I’m still out there camping out on Main Street from time to time, but the bonds I’ve forged have made it wonderful.

Once the parade rolls through town, it’s all fun and games. A couple of years ago, we had this crazy beach ball idea. We ordered 200 Surf City Lawyers beach balls and

proceeded to spend the next three days blowing them up all on our own. Just before the parade started, we let them loose on Main Street and blanketed the

whole block. Kids ran around playing with them, and there were beach balls in the crowd for the rest of the parade. I’m not sure what the return on investment was in that marketing venture, but the fun factor made it completely worth it.

Camping for days on end, blowing up hundreds of beach balls, and fighting off people for space all might sound like a drag, but it’s always worth it. After the festivities, we head back to my roof where we can see professional firework shows in every direction. We eat some classic American meals and spend time in great company. We live here, and we work here. This is our hometown. We love to have fun on the Fourth because our work is fun (and we like to think that we’re fun, too). It’s all about community for us. The pageantry and the holiday are incredible, but it would all be for naught without the people we celebrate with. Come on down this year and see for yourself. We’re not sure if there will be hundreds of beach balls, but there sure will be good company.

–Christine Kingston

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4 CUSTOMER

THATWILL RUIN RELATIONSHIPS AND REPEAT BUSINESS

SERVICE MISTAKES

some of the most common customer service killers and advice on how to avoid them.

Bezos, “The best customer service is if the customer doesn’t need to call you.” Focus on customer service every step of the way rather than only using it as damage control, and you’ll start getting those five-star reviews.

POOR LISTENING SKILLS

There is nothing more frustrating for a customer than feeling like they’re talking to a brick wall. Having a system for customer complaints and feedback isn’t a bad idea, but being inflexible is. Remember that you’re talking to a person. The more closely you listen, the better you’ll be able to address their concerns. Rob Pace, CEO of feedback software company HundredX, says, “The ultimate goal is for the customer to feel they are heard.”

FORGETTING YOUR MANNERS

This might sound basic, but you’d be shocked by how often politeness gets overlooked. The most important phrases a customer service rep can learn are “thank you” and “I’m sorry.” Practicing good manners goes a long way in building trust and ensuring customers feel cared for.

REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION

ONLY BEING REACTIVE

If you have a customer on the phone, you should never make them tell you the same thing twice. Information should be recorded and easy to hand off in the event of an escalation. You can bet that the third time you ask for a customer’s email, they’ll respond with a mountain of irritation.

According to entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Daymond John, “Customer service is more important than anything else in your business.” Without high-level customer service, you can kiss repeat business goodbye. Here are

Customer service doesn’t just happen on the back end. Working to create a great experience on the front end will impress customers and cut down on those after-purchase calls. To quote Jeff

As our society adapts to changes in assisted reproductive technology, we are faced with complex decisions about what we should do with our power to bring life into the world. Women are having children later in life. According to the CDC, 2016 marked the first year ever where women in their early 30s had babies more than any other age demographic. One reason for this barometer movement is the ability for women to take control over their rights and the circumstances in which they have a child. It also indicates a paradigm change of how women view their roles in the world. Apple and Facebook saw this movement and created a controversial new benefit for their employees. According to multiple studies, anywhere from 30–43 percent of mothers leave the workforce after having children. If you’re a massive technology company that relies on highly skilled workers, retaining top talent is of utmost priority. These two industry leaders understood the necessity for employee retention and offered up the ability for female workers to freeze their eggs in The Answer Will Surprise You WHAT DO REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS HAVE TO DOWITH YOUR ESTATE PLAN?

order to delay motherhood. The service and the intent behind providing it raised a lot of questions on women’s rights. But one significant question was overlooked: How does this affect an estate plan? WHO HAS RIGHTS? Few people who consider freezing their eggs think about how doing so might affect their estate plan, but let’s look at this unique situation: Let’s say you have a daughter, and she decides to have her eggs frozen, but before she has a child, she passes away. What happens to those eggs if they do not have any clear designation? Custody battles over frozen embryos have exploded in recent years as this situation becomes more prevalent. HOW DO YOU DEFINE FAMILY? If you take the example one step further, what happens if, after your daughter’s passing, her husband gains custody of the eggs and then decides to have them implanted in a surrogate mother? Does that baby then become your grandchild? And does that grandchild need to be factored into your estate plan? Having an effective estate plan is all about asking difficult questions. It may be uncomfortable at the time, but setting up a clear line of succession is the only way to make sure your wishes are carried out without complication. Reach out to us today and let us show you how to set up a thorough plan for you and your family.

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THERE IS NO SHAME IN DEFEAT

ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVEN’T LOST

FAILED PRIDE

Shame is a profound human emotion that has a direct impact on the stance we take on a situation. Consider any action from your daily life, for example. It can be something as simple as taking out the trash or as intimidating as a public performance. Adding shame to that equation completely changes the way you approach that task. When we deal with bankruptcy, shame is often the ultimate obstacle that holds individuals back from opening their minds. But where does shame come from, and why is it associated with bankruptcy?

feel ashamed. But bankruptcy is not like cheating on a spouse. Money has a way of creating a lot of conflicting emotions, but freeing yourself from the burden of debt does not directly harm those closest to you.

The antithesis of shame is pride, but in spite of how far apart they are in meaning, their effect on bankruptcy is nearly the same. A prideful person may not declare bankruptcy because they cannot admit “defeat.” But when that hubris turns to shame, turning to bankruptcy also becomes an issue. The only difference is the rationale. Where a prideful person cannot humble themselves, a shameful person won’t declare bankruptcy out of fear. The truth is bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not a failure if you are willing to understand that you have a tool at your disposal to free yourself from emotional and financial pain. Reach out to us today and let us show you how bankruptcy can liberate you and help you start fresh.

COLLECTIVE CONSENSUS

Somewhere along the way, a perception was imparted to us that bankruptcy is terrible. Perhaps it stems from playing Monopoly, where if you went bankrupt, you lost. In Monopoly, however, you’re not faced with complex real-life decisions such as feeding your children or paying a bill, and there are no collectors harassing you. Bankruptcy in real life is more like the beginning of Monopoly, not the end. When you wipe out your debt, it’s back to square one, but you’ve created an opportunity to win later on.

IMPLIED CHARACTER FLAWS

The notion that you’re letting yourself or others down — perpetuating an action that you know is wrong based on a moral code or general principles of how to treat others — can make you

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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Come See Us This 4th of July

4 Customer Experience Killers

Should My Frozen Eggs Be in My Estate Plan?

Debunking the Shame Behind Bankruptcy

Word Search

Must-See Swimming Holes of the World

R E

O F

EXCLUSIVE SPOTS YOU MUST SEE TO BELIEVE

what each waterfall does, showcasing a serene experience unlike any other. But the beauty of this one-of-a-kind experience is only outdone by its exclusivity. To reach these pools, you’ll have to hike through dense forest, deep marshes, and wide-open pastures of sugar cane.

are the Blue Eye and the Black Eye. Both offer unforgettable experiences, but the price of entry is a hefty sense of adventure. You’ll need a full set of scuba gear to get to either hole.

Summertime is for swimming, but why settle for a community pool when you can have access to the most beautiful swimming locales in the world? These three exclusive, little-known spots are sure to take your breath away.

THE BATHS, VIRGIN GORDA

DOS OJOS, MEXICO

A day in the Caribbean is like living every moment inside a beautiful pastel painting. The elegance of this location in the British Virgin Islands will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a cathedral. The large boulders and natural rock formations create shallow caves that will captivate your eyes as you wade through the water in wonder. When you exit, you’ll witness the sight that gives this beautiful spot its name. A handful of 40-foot granite boulders form private pools as if that was what they were made for.

The Spanish translation of the name for this magical system of caves is “two eyes,” and you’ll want to have yours checked after you see this swimming hole. When limestone bedrock collapses, a sinkhole called a “cenote” is formed. The unearthed water from the natural aquifer balances a color palette of earth tones with the most majestic shades of blue you’ll ever behold. The calling cards for these bodies of water

HALI’I FALLS, HAWAII

With its spiral staircase of waterfalls, this remote jungle location offers up more than one unique spot to take a plunge. Visitors never fail to be awestruck by the deep blue-green hue of each pool created by the four cascading waterfalls. Hali’i means “to spread out,” which is precisely

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