David Bolno is a seasoned entrepreneur with a unique calling: to manage the financial well-being of professional entertainers and athletes. The inspiration for his business was born from his lifelong passion for sports and entertainment. Recognizing the necessity for these professionals to manage their wealth effectively, David delved into a career that would allow him to serve this niche market.
An early riser, David starts his day by centering himself and focusing on gratitude, laying the groundwork for a positive mindset. He attributes his productivity to rigorous preparation before client meetings, daily exercise, and maintaining a work-life balance. After overcoming a near burnout early in his career, he now contributes to the Los Angeles community through volunteer work, enriching his perspective and adding balance to his life.
David brings ideas to life through strategic brainstorming sessions, allowing himself the freedom to dream big. He believes that this method helps him sift through various possibilities and zero in on actionable ideas. His interest in seeing his clients connect meaningfully with their audiences is a testament to his commitment to authenticity in relationships.
In a competitive industry, David has an edge: a law degree. Despite already having an undergraduate degree and working full-time, he chose to further invest in his education. This additional qualification has not only bolstered his credibility but also amplified his voice within the industry. Yet, he maintains that his business’s growth was a learning process. An early setback was a lackluster marketing strategy, which he swiftly overcame by hiring a top-tier marketing agency.
Community-oriented, David holds the view that anyone can make a difference, regardless of their financial standing or availability. He recently contributed to the relief efforts for Tropical Storm Hilary, displaying his commitment to social causes. Tech-savvy, he leverages tools like Clio for efficient case management, and Avvo and Law Depot for service listings and document access.
His mantra is simple yet powerful: Thank everyone who has taken the time to engage with you. For David Bolno, this philosophy isn’t just a best practice—it’s a way of life that he believes can trigger a chain reaction of positivity.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I use the quiet early morning time to center myself and think about the people and circumstances in my life that inspire feelings of gratitude. I have my share of challenges like everyone else, but I choose to reframe them as opportunities to gain experience and grow. This helps me maintain a positive attitude throughout the day. Daily exercise keeps my mind sharp as well.
After eating a low-fat and high-protein breakfast, I look at my client appointments for the day. I consider what I know about each client and their goals. I then jot down questions to ask them at our upcoming meeting along with brief snippets of advice I can provide. For me, preparation is key to feeling present and available to clients during each meeting.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I start by having a brainstorming session around a certain topic. I keep writing without limiting myself and then rank the ideas according to how probable it is to make them a reality. I start with the first idea and figure out the steps needed to bring it to life.
Not everything I write down makes it off the piece of paper, but I go as far as I can on my own and then seek outside assistance if necessary. The important thing is that I give myself permission to dream big.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love seeing my clients have more meaningful interactions with their audiences. Whether it is in person at a concert or game or online via a social media following, they place high value on authentic connection. I like to think that the time I take getting to know my clients and investing in their success has a trickle-down effect on them.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Early in my career, I focused so much on success that I did little more than work and sleep. I nearly burned out before learning how to live a more balanced life. I try to leave work at work unless it is an emergency. Volunteering in the local Los Angeles community has also helped me become a healthier and more balanced individual.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry if you haven’t found your passion when you go off to college. You will grow a lot during these years and discover what brings excitement and purpose and what does not. You don’t need to have your life planned out at 18 years old.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
Anyone can make a difference in the lives of others, regardless of their finances or amount of free time. Even if you only have $5 to spare or work full-time, having an outward focus makes for a happier life. As I have grown more successful in my career, I have found it deeply rewarding to invest in causes that matter to me.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Thank everyone who took the time to talk to me that day, whether it resulted in a new client meeting or not. People are busy, and I appreciate them giving me their time to learn more about me and my business. My hope is that I can create a chain reaction of positivity by showing genuine appreciation.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Even though I was working full-time and had already earned an undergraduate degree, I decided to enroll in law school. Having this credential gave me an authoritative voice with my clients and in my industry. I am also a big proponent of continuing education.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I assumed that because I had put the time into earning two college degrees and had a strong interest in representing entertainers and athletes, they would automatically sign up for my services. I failed to develop an aggressive marketing strategy when I first opened my business, which caused me to get off to a slow start. Once I realized my mistake, I hired a marketing agency known for stellar results to get new clients walking through the door.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Consider becoming an English-Spanish translator in the legal field. Approximately 13 percent of the population in the United States speaks Spanish as their primary language, making our country second only to Mexico as having the highest number of native Spanish speakers. Translators who can help people who struggle with English understand their legal options are in high demand, and this work can be deeply rewarding.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use Clio, a comprehensive legal software that allows me to consolidate everything I need in one place. From client intake to case management and billing, I couldn’t be happier with the ease of use of this software. I also like the website Avvo to list my services and Law Depot to access and print common documents.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
Emotional Intelligence for Leadership by Dr. Louise Lily Wain. I recommend this book to all managers and leaders in my business network because people often overlook the importance of being in touch with our own emotions and understanding how emotions drive others. College courses tend to focus on hard skills like leadership and business finance, leaving people floundering when it comes to mastering the power of emotions.
- Thank everyone in your life as often as you can.
- Preparation is key to being present.
- Anyone can make a difference in the lives of others.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.