The PopSmoke Show

Your Legal Docs Made Easy with NextGenJustice (PS019)

Meet Derek Distenfield

Derek Distenfield, founder NextGenJustice

Derek served in the Army as an IT and Communications Director. He’s a 2x TechStars Patriot Boot Camp Alumni, attending events in Madison, Wisconsin and New York City.

Derek also completed Syracuse’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. He holds a degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. His interests include traveling and investing.

Currently, Derek’s the CEO of NextGenJustice and the Executive Director of The Bunker of Jacksonville.

About NextGenJustice

NextGenJustice — legal solutions without lawyers.


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Show Notes

In today’s episode, Derek Distenfield answers:

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Can I come to NextGenJustice to set up my business? If so, what do I need to have?
  • What do you enjoy most about owning a business?
  • What was one mistake you made when first starting out?
  • What’s a challenge you’re experiencing right now?
  • What’s one thing you’re doing really well right now?
  • What’s the best business advice you ever received?
  • What made you want to help people with their legal matters?
  • How do you manage your brick and mortar locations in different states?
  • What’s the hardest part about opening a new store?
  • Who are your competitors, would you consider Legal Zoom and Docstoc competitors?
  • What’s a great habit you’re doing right now?

Key Topics discussed:

  • Veteran Entrepreneurship and the importance of having great mentors
  • The decision to pivot from Legal Docs by Me to NextGenJustice
  • How a Supreme Court restraining order didn’t stop NextGenJustice
  • The decision to have storefronts in an online world

Apps and Articles Mentioned

  • Jerry Castanos’s Veteran Doing it Big in 3D Printing Episode
  • Mark Rockefeller’s How Veteran Entrepreneurs Can Fund Their Business Episode
  • Michael Bradley’s Put Your Beer in the Crisper Episode
  • TechStars Patriot Boot Camp: TechStars Patriot Boot Camp helps military veterans and spouses build technology companies.
  • The Bunker: A program built by Veteran Entrepreneurs for Veteran Entrepreneurs. The Bunker targets existing veteran-owned tech startups and aspiring entrepreneurs to come, create, and conquer the business world through their ideas, hard work, and strategy.
  • IVMF: The IVMF’s the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service.
  • Watson: IBM computer beats Jeopardy. Watson is an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language.
  • Cold Shower Therapy: Want to change your mentality? Take cold showers first thing in the morning.
  • HipChat: Group and private chat, file sharing, and integrations.
  • Feedly: Read more, know more. Feedly’s news aggregator application for various web browsers and mobile devices.

Favorite Business Weapon

  • Pocket: Save For Later. Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket.
  • Trello: Derek loves using Trello at NextGenJustice. At PopSmoke, we love Trello too.

Favorite Business Books

  • The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz: The best CEO book for entrepreneurs. on for Free: The book goes through every entrepreneur’s experience. The good. The bad. The ugly. Great book if you’re a veteran entrepreneur, founder or co-founder.
  • The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries: Reis was a student of famous veteran entrepreneur, Steve Blank. Reis covers why most startups fail, and the new approach that entrepreneurs need to take when starting their businesses.
  • Zero to One by Peter Theil and Blake Masters: The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: Great book on how to interact with people.
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Favorite Quote

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of the rules. And They have no respect for the status quo.  You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve the, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent, They Imagine, They heal, They explore, They create, They Inspire, They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy.  How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. ~ Steve Jobs

Never deal with irrational people rationally. ~ Derek’s Dad

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