Building the Foundation for Business and Embodying the Queen of Swords & Emperor with Summer Burnley

On episode 25 of Living Tarot, I interview Summer Burnley. Summer is a business strategist, attorney, and owner of Burnley Law PLLC, a virtual boutique law firm specializing in business and trademark law. Her law firm is a progressive law practice that has abandoned the traditional ways of doing law. She has purposely chosen to forego a brick and mortar, she has ditched the billable hour, and has said bye-bye to the ultra-conservative legal uniform. She is humbled to be part of the elite group of less than 1.7% of black attorneys who practice Intellectual Property law. Her background is in managing and strategizing high-end multi 6 & 7 figure businesses for growth. This expertise and skillset lend her to be a vital and integral member of her client’s businesses. Whether it be legally or operationally, Summer enjoys making sure her clients have a foundationally sound business that is set up to scale. Summer is on a mission to see more women of color entrepreneurs boldly protecting and owning their brands so that they can operate businesses that bring them more freedom.

  • Summer shares her unique story of knowing what she wanted to be when she grew up since the time she was in 7th grade.
  • We discuss How intuition speaks to summer through her work and how important intuition is for lawyers
  • We discuss the importance of believing in your vision for your business over anybody else’s and how to know the difference
  • Summer also talks about a time when she ignored her intuition and what she learned from that experience
  • Summer explains how she has sustained a connection to her intuition and used it as an inner guidance system in her career to sustain her motivation and push her out of her comfort zone.
  • We share some of the similarities between our two businesses and how often clients come in looking for an answer but are really handed more questions to ponder for themselves.

Summer is an excellent example of somebody who uses intuition to guide every move she makes in her business and how that has led her to being a success both professionally.


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Check out this episode!


Sheila M  0:05  

Welcome to Living Tarot. I’m your host Sheila Masterson. I’m a tarot reader and teacher, an energy healer and medium and creator of Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives. Each week on this podcast, I’ll share my own experience of embracing and growing intuition and interview guests about how they heard the call of intuition, embraced the adventure and embodied the tarot along the way. Join us and learn how you can stop second guessing, empower yourself through intuition, and live intentionally with the tarot.

Welcome back to Living Tarot. On today’s episode, I interview my awesome friend Summer Burnley. Summer Burnley is a business strategist, attorney and owner of Burnley Law PLLC, a virtual boutique law firm specializing in business and trademark law. Her law firm is a progressive law practice that has abandoned the traditional ways of doing law. She has purposely chosen to forego a brick and mortar and has ditched the billable hour model and has said bye bye to the ultra conservative legal uniform. She is humbled to be part of an elite group of less than 1.7% of black attorneys who practice intellectual property law. Her background is managing and strategizing high end six and seven figure business growth. This expertise and skill set lend her to be a vital and integral member of her clients businesses. Whether it be legally or operationally, Summer enjoys making sure her clients have a foundationally sound business that’s set up to scale. Summer is on a mission to see more women of color entrepreneurs boldly protecting and owning their brands. So they can operate businesses that bring them more freedom. Summer and I have a really, really amazing conversation about how intuition shows up in a law practice and how it’s really been the guiding force that has guided her through her career from the time that she was in seventh grade. Summer’s story is really unbelievable at points and so, so much about how different intuitive understanding can be from person to person and I really want it to have Summer on because I know how much intuition shows up in untraditional places in business and she is a perfect example and embodiment of that. We also talk about how she in her work is an embodiment of the queen of swords. And on a personal level is an embodiment of the Emperor card. I am so excited to be putting out another episode with somebody who is not in a traditional witchy career because I do really think this is the perfect example of how when we really tune into what we want, we can be a success outside of kind of a traditionally intuitive career, because so much of what summer does has really been led by her own guidance system and kind of an untraditional path to end up exactly where she is today. So without further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Alright, so welcome to the podcast, Summer Burnley, can you tell me in your own words what you do in the world? 

Summer Burnley  3:45  

Yes, so I help amazing and ambitious entrepreneurs launch their businesses and protect and own their brand assets.

Sheila M  3:57  

I love so much about what you sent me as your bio and the conversations that we’ve had about your work. And I’m really excited to have somebody who’s not in like a traditionally witchy type of job on the podcast because I truly believe that there are a lot of different types of intuition, first of all, and that we all have kind of a different level or different sections of the gift that really informs the type of work that we do. So I’m super excited for this conversation today. So let’s look back way way up. If we were going to talk about your origin story of how you ended up in the law, what kind of drew you into that work.

Summer Burnley  4:46  

So honestly, this goes like way, way, way back for me. Like, I’ve known since I was in the seventh grade that I was going to be an attorney and I was in a Mr hills history class. Brookhaven Middle School. Shout out to Brookhaven.

Sheila M  5:03  

Yeah, I love it.

Summer Burnley  5:05  

And I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I’ve always been a very inquisitive and analytical child. So this is nothing new for me in my adulthood. And he kind of got tired of me asking questions and basically was like, you know, well, if you want to change that you have to be a lawyer. And I was like, Well, I guess I will then.

Sheila M  5:28  

Okay, I love this so much. Because I’ve heard these stories from people who are like, Okay, then I will, like, from the time that they’re really young, and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I love that like sense of purpose that goes back that far. That’s so funny. 

Summer Burnley  5:44  

Yeah. And you know, what’s even crazier? Okay, so I didn’t know this at the time. But of course, like, literally, my mom and my father were telling me the story about how, when I was born, my great grandfather, so my grandfather’s father looked at me when I was born on his first time meeting me and said, this is going to be the attorney in our family. How crazy is that?

Sheila M  6:12  

That is so wild. I mean, yeah, talk about like, some intuitive stuff. Holy smokes.

Unknown Speaker  6:19  

No, no idea. And like they had never told me that. Nobody fed me that. Yeah, it was just like, so crazy. And so yeah, ever since you know, that seventh grade moment, I was going to be an attorney and that’s what I set out to do. And I mean, I didn’t even know I had to go to undergrad first. I was just like, Get out of here, leave middle school, high school, be a lawyer.

Sheila M  6:43  

I mean, you definitely, I think had more realistic dreams than I did at that age. Like, I still thought I was going to be like, a ballerina or something like that, you know what I mean? I feel like that’s very together for somebody who is just in seventh grade. I love it. 

Summer Burnley  7:01  

Which is, you know, probably very accurate of me and my personality. Now, it’s probably not surprising to those who know me.

Sheila M  7:13  

Yeah, yeah. No, I love that. So was the idea that you had when you were young, like, did it, when you actually went into law school, and we’re learning about the law and learning to change all of these things, did that drastically change your experience of wanting to practice law or were you like, yeah, like, this is what I like, this is what I’m here for? Or was it different than you expected?

Summer Burnley  7:39  

Oh, it was. The only thing that was different than expected was the interaction with other people. Like, I’d done, of course, in my true inquisitive nature, like I’d done a lot of research, I made every single decision, you know, from that moment, seriously thinking, Okay, what do I want to do and moving forward as to how do I structure my life to become an attorney. And so, I wasn’t necessarily surprised, per se, but the one thing that was interesting is, you know, you get there on your first day, and you’re separated into these groups. And so your first year, you go to every single class with your group. So, like, you know, Group A take class with all a group A, and I don’t remember what my group number was or letter was, but you know, those become like your people for that, that first year. And what was interesting, it was like, everybody’s like, Oh, yeah, you know, I’m the best because I’m in law school. And it’s like, okay, but we’re all in law school.

Sheila M  8:44  

Yeah, yeah. Oh, my God, this is very funny to me, because I actually, I went to theater school. And there’s a similar experience because I came from they’re very, like, being a big fish in a very small pond to get a bunch of big fish in a big giant ocean and everybody had that same attitude of like, I’m the shit like everybody knows who I am. Which is like, it’s so funny now, looking back, because I’m like, Oh my gosh, I was like, so intimidated by all these people, because I was the one coming in being like, Oh, this is gonna be like, a whole different experience, you know? 

Summer Burnley  9:19  

Yeah. Yeah. I like really went in with the idea of this was the next step. Right? So it very much was okay, I’m here. Now I have to do the work. Now I have to graduate because this is like the one of the last two things like in my way between becoming an attorney. The next one would have been passing the bar. And so I was friendly with people. I associated with people but like I did not go into law school or interact necessarily with the intention of, I’m here to make friends. And so I was involved, and I came up with some really great friends from law school, who I’m still really close with to this day, but like I didn’t care about, you know, being in who’s ever pod or like study group. I’m like, I can study by myself. Like, you know what I mean? So, and I actually studied better that way. And some people did not take lightly, you know, did not like that, because it was like, Oh, do you think you’re better than this? Why can’t you study with us? And, you know, and it’s like, does it matter?

Sheila M  10:29  

Yeah. And I think like, everybody has such a different style, to the way that they learn and the way that they study. I’m like, I have some things where I’ve needed, like, I’ve needed accountability of other people to keep me on track or like, I just don’t understand it well enough, or I understand it better through discussion. But for most things I like, learn on my own, like, I just prefer it that way. So I totally get what you’re saying, yeah.

Summer Burnley  10:55  

Yeah, it ended up being like the silliest argument. So one of my first friends that I made in law school, who she’s very extroverted, and very much a people person. She was in every single thing you could think of. Everybody loved her. And I remember she was like, Well, why aren’t you like an our group, you know. And I’m like, I don’t do study groups, I don’t need to do a study group, like, I’m cool on a study group. And me and one of my other really good friends, we would, like sit next to each other in the library and both study. And I remember she was like, my first friend was like, I saw you studying, like, for the past week with so and so; I thought you said you don’t do study groups. And I’m like, No, I’m studying one thing, she’s studying another thing. We are not in a study group. We are not collaborating. She’s there and I’m like, checking on her like, Hey, are you still alive? Are you still breathing? Have you eaten like in the past four hours? Like, yeah, I’m good. And then that’s it. Like, we are not in a study group. It’s like, that is okay. You know, but yeah,

Sheila M  11:58  

Yeah. And so when you graduated from law school, and wanted to get out into the working world, did you work for a firm or did you immediately start working for yourself?

Unknown Speaker  12:11  

Neither actually. I took a very strategic and purposeful approach to doing all pro bono legal work. So I was on the board of a nonprofit here, where we help domestic violence victims get divorced. And I did some other pro bono stuff, too, but I’d been working with them while I was in law school, a family lawsuit while I was in law school, and I did our clinic while I was there. And so naturally, I wanted to continue work with them, because it was very good work. I loved what I was doing. But because of the type of person that I am, I knew that I could not sustain being in family law, because these situations were horrific. And you know, in all honesty, Shelia, it would be like, so draining, because I’m like, Oh my gosh, I want to give them food. I want to give them money, I want to like go buy their kids stuff. You know what I mean? And it’s like, you can’t do that, like, ethically.

Sheila M  13:05  

And you can’t not care about your work, too. You know what I mean? Like you’re bringing passion into it. And I think when it’s something like that, where there are these people that really need your help you just like want to give, you know.

Unknown Speaker  13:18  

Yes, yes. And so I continued working with them once I graduated and passed the bar, I was actually an attorney. I could be on the actual board of the nonprofit organization and they welcomed me with open arms, and I was the volunteer attorney, lead attorney for them. And it was amazing. But as far as like what I was doing to actually make money I sought out like newer entrepreneurs, who were launching businesses in the area that I was in, because I knew I wanted to start my own law firm, and it’s very looked down upon to, like, graduate and then go hang your own shingle. Right? So I purposefully did that. And found an amazing man and his wife. I started with them with their company, I was their third employee they hired. By the time I left, I had spent the last four, I had been with them five years, I spent the last four years managing and growing their multi high end six figure and seven figure businesses. We had seven physical locations in two different states. We had several micro locations as well. So that for me was very purposeful and saying, okay, I want to get the business aspect and and honestly, part of it was I was like, I don’t think Sallie Mae is going to give me any more money to go get like an MBA. So I have to be strategic about how I’m going to get this, you know, education. So it was very much like paid education and the owner of our business, he was awesome. At the time, he saw things in me that I didn’t even realize I had or that were skill sets, to be honest. I thought, you know, this is just my work ethic all people are like this. And it’s like you quickly realize, no people are not. So that was an amazing, amazing experience, and largely I attribute it to the success in my law firm now like within the first year. And you know,  we talk about, like, intuition and stuff. And I didn’t know that I was, I didn’t know why I was called to do the work with him. I didn’t know why. And I started from the bottom, like, let’s be clear. Like, started from the bottom. From the bottom, like, I was making a decent wage, but when that first year, most of my attorney friends were making more than I was, by that time, that second year came around, and like, I kept getting promoted, all of my friends were like, what are you doing? Why are you doing this? And I’m like, first of all, I’m happier than you more satisfied than you and since we’re talking about money, I make way more than you. So, you know, there’s that. But yeah, it was very strategic, you know, like, and how I did it. And it’s like, I didn’t know why, but from the very beginning, he was just like, I have very big plans for you. And it’s like, I heard him talking, but it’s like, it was not him who was talking to me; it’s as if, God was speaking through him, like trust me, this is where you need to go, this is what you need to do. And I just didn’t..I mean this man didn’t know me from, you know, Eve, like, you know, and yeah, just trusted it and went with it. And it worked out very, very well.

Sheila M  16:47  

I think it’s so there’s so many things that you’re saying that I so resonate with. And I think it’s really interesting, because I’ve experienced that so many times where it’s like, for whatever reason, like the voice, like you’re saying, like the voice of God is like coming out of someone else. And it’s exactly what you needed to hear in that moment. And it doesn’t, it doesn’t rationally make any sense, like what you did does not it’s not like the traditional path out of law school like at all, and you were just like, no, I feel like this is the right thing to do and you listened to that. And I think it’s so interesting, because like you said, you found someone who not only was speaking a language that resonated with you, but then also saw things in you that you didn’t see, because when we’re good at things, or like when something comes naturally. Like, for me, I didn’t know that I was hearing energy until I was 30 years old, which sounds crazy, but like I had no other context, because that’s what I’ve always done. So like, as soon as somebody was like, Oh, no, that’s not normal. I was like, oh, like, truly and it’s like a similar thing because if it was always natural to you to pick up on these things, then you’re not going to think that it’s anything special. But other people look at it. And they’re like, this is unbelievable. Like, she’s so good at this. 

Summer Burnley  18:07  

You know, okay, you know what’s so funny is, I didn’t realize that my skill set was actually a skill set until I launched my law firm. So what happened was, I started, like a coaching program through the firm, where I helped entrepreneurs go from like ideation to launch. And so we covered a course like all the legal stuff, but one of the things that I quickly noticed while working with entrepreneurs is like, they’re good at whatever their thing is, but they have no idea how to run a business. And so I, you know, like, did this three month program, and most of my clients were like, Hey, can we continue to, like, keep this up, like, I want to continue working with you, you know. And so I ended up like, coaching them through like business, their business stuff, you know, and like doing a lot of consulting and coaching. And it wasn’t until that first client was like, No, we need to, like, keep this going, like, this is so valuable to me, like, I’m learning so much stuff and being able to see them take action, and it actually improved their business, that I was like, Okay, this is like what he saw, like, I have this innate ability to be able to look at things generally, but specifically in a business sense from a long scope, a short scope, but then also to tell you within that short and long scope, what those issues or problems, or hindrances are going to be for you trying to get to that goal. And then also saying, Hey, here’s a solution to help that, but then also saying, Hey, here’s how you implement that solution.

Sheila M  19:43  

Yeah, yes. Yeah. And that’s the thing. It’s like, there’s this intuitive ability to kind of see a pattern and one of the hard things that I learned in my first year in business was that I was really taking on two jobs which was like the job of the person that was like facilitating healing and doing readings for people and then also the job of being like a business manager, which is I had the skills for because I have like 12 years of project management experience, but I was like, This is what I was trying to get out of and no here I am doing it for myself. 

Summer Burnley  20:20  

Now we delegate. We hire and delegate.

Sheila M  20:24  

Yeah. So, so I love your like description of that and everything, too. And so a lot of people, like I said, at the beginning might feel like, being a lawyer is not an intuitive profession. But I suspect that you would disagree and that you have to rely on that a lot in your work. Can you talk about how that comes up for you? Other than like what you already said about like, your career journey and everything, which is like pretty like, astonishing.

Summer Burnley  20:56  

Oh, yeah, definitely. So a lot of what I do with my clients now, so most of my practice is trademark registration, but I also do entity formation, we do contract drafting review, like all the business planning type stuff that you need to do for the business. And a lot of what I end up working with my clients on like, some of them, it depends, like some clients I do every week, some clients are doing bi weekly, and some are like, No, I just mean, like once a month session, but we’re doing a lot of strategy. And what I have noticed is because I’m very attuned to what that intuition is combined with my skill set, it allows me to pinpoint those things and be able to guide them in their business to be able to make decisions for the goals that they have in mind. And, again, you know, I told you, it’s interesting, because I just thought that’s just that’s just me, that’s just who I was. And it’s a very valuable tool for other people. 

Sheila M  21:56  

Yeah, yeah. I love that. I think that’s so cool. And so how do these things come across for you when they, like when you’re working with a client do you get like, a physical sensation? Do you feel like you’re hearing something? I always like to talk about this part. And some people like it’s a combination of like, a lot of different things, but I always like to just check in, because sometimes my guests have like, really unique things that they experience or that they feel when they’re working with someone.

Summer Burnley  22:33  

So, it doesn’t necessarily; it’s not like a; sometimes it’s a feeling, kind of like the we always talk about like women’s intuition, like that feeling like yes, sometimes I get that as well. But a lot of like, a lot of times it’s, I don’t even realizing I’m doing it like it’s also very intuitive for me, like it just happens kind of naturally. And the more I’m able to pay attention to it, and like realize it’s happening when it’s happening. Sometimes it’s an energy shift, right. That’s the easiest way that I can think about it, and say, like you, once you say, like, Oh, this just does not feel right. Right? Or it feels great. And so we need to move in this direction. And a lot of times, because like, for some things, I make the decisions for my clients. For some things, I have to talk them through the decision. And so I then use like this little practice where I help guide them to say, Okay, what feels good to you. Right? And then kind of, like, go through that so that they get used to easily making some of these decisions on their own. Yeah, I hope they keep me, you know, for lifetime as part of their team, but the whole purpose of you being CEO is so that you can get more comfortable, you know, in your business and actually managing and running your business in the way that you want. Otherwise, somebody is just telling you what to do.

Sheila M  24:07  

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I experienced that, too. So I think this is so interesting, because I’m seeing some parallels between what you do and what I do, even though they’re very, very different. And one of the things that happens a lot, and less so now because I’ve been more intentional in how I talk about what I do. But in the beginning, I would have a lot of people that came in and like wanted me to give them the answer. And I’m sure that that happens for you, too, where people are like, just tell me what to do. And you’re like, well, it kind of depends on

Summer Burnley  24:39  

what you want to do. 

Sheila M  24:42  

Exactly. And so it’s very similar in that like you are, you have the knowledge and you can give them the tools that they need in order to build the business in the way that they want, but they have to have some kind of input. And that’s the same thing I experience with people who come in for a session, because sometimes people are like, they want to be like dazzled by somebody intuitive, which I’m like, that’s cool and all and like, I can do that. But like, I could either spend my effort doing that for the session, when you’ve already decided to pay for it, so you’ve already decided that you believe in enough to pay for it. You’re wasting your time and money if you’re coming in, like waiting for me to prove it, like, just sit down, tell me what we’re like looking at and then we’ll like do a reading on it. And I think it’s so interesting, because a lot of the same stuff is obviously coming up for you as well. Which is like, you can give general business advice, but it really depends on the person and their business.

Summer Burnley  25:39  

Yeah, you know what, I find this a lot with, ideal clients, services, and processes is where it seems to come up the most, you know, and a question I find asking almost every single person that I end up working with, okay, is, like you said, What do you want to do? Like, this is your business, you get now to choose. So you get to choose what you want to do, you don’t have to be should-ed to death. Right? And so I want you to really think about what it is that you want, how do you want to show up? How do you want to provide your services? How do you want this system to look, what do you want your client experience or your client journey to look like? You know, even when we’re talking about brand protection, you know, you may have five different things you come to me that you want to protect and you’re like, oh, but I can’t protect all five, okay, I can give you a suggested order, but what do you want to protect? What you know, what’s most coveted to you? So I think and that’s, you know, a whole other conversation about, you know, feeling secure in your business as an entrepreneur to be able to make those decisions. But I feel like it’s a learning process. And then when you’re, when you have this, like intuitive nature that you’re using to help other people as well, they link on to that intuitive nature. And they’re like, Oh, that was a good decision, let me see what other kinds of decisions you can make. You know? It’s like, no, sis, you make the decisions. You tell me what kind of decisions you want to make. 

Sheila M  27:14  

Exactly. And one of the things that I think is so funny is, it’s really often that people will come in, they’ll kind of tell me what’s going on, I’ll do a reading, and I’ll see something and they’ll be like, I knew it. Like, they’re like, I knew that was the thing, I just didn’t trust it. And I’ve experienced, especially since I’ve made the shift over to focusing on people and their careers and their businesses, is that over time, they like start to build that confidence from working with me. So like, the next time they come in, they’re like, I think it’s this, let’s like, look at this thing. This is what I’m hung up on or concerned about right now, like, can we look at that. But they’re like starting to direct it a little bit more as they come back, which is so cool to see, do you experience that in your work as well?

Summer Burnley  28:00  

Yeah, so I typically, you know, have people who will, they have 1,000,001 questions, right? And they want you to answer all million and one of them. Right. And just to be clear, these are not about like, the legal stuff like that I would have, that this is like the stuff they need to make the decisions on like in their business. Right? Like operationally. And so after we start to work together, you can see where, because people get more secure in their own decisions, which is why I think it’s really important that if you are working with people in that capacity, you have to be able to teach them and encourage them and support them to make those decisions for themselves. Right? That’s not only beneficial to you, but to them in their business, as well. But they get more secure in being able to make those decisions or they kind of see a pattern, right. Like I have one client, I love her to death, but she’s like, I always make the wrong decisions, I make the crappiest decisions. And she’s like, so usually when I’m debating between three things, whichever one I’m going to go with, I’ve learned to pick the opposite, because that’s the one summer is gonna tell me to probably pick because that’s the one that’s got to be the right one. And I’m like, hey, at least you got a system.

Sheila M  29:15  

Seriously. I know. And that’s the thing. I do think it’s like really funny, because so often, especially when it comes to business, I think we can make decisions out of fear, which is like, yeah, a lot of people are asking me to do this thing. And so I feel like I have to do this thing, even though I don’t love it or like, I feel exhausted from doing it or like I always feel tired afterwards or like it’s just like an unpleasant experience to do it. But I feel like if I stopped doing it, then people will be like disappointed in me and I won’t make any money.

Summer Burnley  29:47  

Yeah. Which is a whole other conversation. I mean, you and I have had this conversation before, but you know, I am not a person who operates from a scarcity type mindset. I 100% operate from abundance in any and every single thing that I do, including my business. So not only did I get here untraditionally, but even when I started, I started untraditionally. So yeah, I turned down people. Yes, if you were not a good fit, I did not work with you. So I was not scrimping and scraping, trying to accept every single person that came to me just because, you know, I needed money, or I wanted to take them so that, you know, I could have something coming in, I don’t operate in that way. And so, for me, it’s very important that not only in my own business do things align, but when I’m working with somebody, because yes, I basically become like, a team member for my clients. Right. So we have to work good together, like because if we don’t, this is not gonna work out. You know, like you are not going to do well. And a lot of times it does, again, it doesn’t necessarily come down to someone being a bad person. Sometimes it’s just energy, like you say. Sometimes it’s just, you know, like, the vibe with a person, vibe with people. And I almost got into a situation where I had a client who was needing several services, so it was going to be a fairly large ticket, and it happened to be a male client. And the way that everything just transpired was very off putting, and it was just, like, really weird. And I remember having a conversation with my husband, like, I don’t think I’m gonna take this client, you know, and I remember him being like, but isn’t this person gonna pay you X amount of money? And I’m like, yeah, but that’s, I feel like it’s gonna cost me way, much more than that. This is going to be like an extremely high maintenance client, you know what I mean? Like you just know that the energy part, you know, is, is really not there. And I prayed on it, prayed on it, prayed on it, prayed on it. And finally, about a week later, it was like, you need to go ahead and send this client email saying that you will not be engaging them in services. Right. And I did. It was like the most freeing feeling ever. Right. But at the same time, I knew I’d made other decisions. And for me, my business had gotten to a point where it was starting to do very, very well. And I felt like I was being tested, like, okay, are you now going to become that person who’s just going to start taking people, even though you know, you shouldn’t take them just because money’s in your face or are you going to continue to stay true to yourself and your business and who you are and whose you are and continue to operate from that place of abundance. And within a week, I had three more clients who tripled what that client would have been. And I was like, these are the lessons. It was like he was saying, okay, you passed, congratulations, here you go, you know.

Sheila M  33:14  

Hey there, I wanted to let you know that I’m currently accepting bookings for my career ahead tarot readings. These readings are designed to help you see the energy of the year ahead, to close out anything that’s been holding you back in the present year, and help you expand into your highest level in your career or business. Each reading happens to go through the year, month by month, talk about what you’ll be dealing with and how to best approach any challenges or hiccups that might come up in the year ahead. I have very limited bookings around the holidays and I’m starting to get booked up into the new year as well. So if you are interested, please head on over to the show notes for this episode or check out my website at And if you’re more of a do it yourself kind of person, I’ve also created a DIY year ahead tarot guide that will lead you through a very similar spread to what I do with my clients and help you to define what you really want out of this year and see any challenges and how to approach them through the year. It is an entirely personal reading, it is a very accessible price point, and you can use it over and over. So it’s not specific to next year and it’s not even specific to this time of year. You can use it for your relationship around your anniversary, you can use it on your business anniversary, or your birthday. The options are really endless. So if you are interested in purchasing your own DIY year ahead guide, you can do that by heading over to the show notes today.

Yeah. Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. Yeah, I know exactly what you need when something, you’re like, Oh, I’m really like battling over this and then and then it just becomes so clear after you make the decision and I know what you mean, too, about being like, relieved. So kind of along that line have you had times where you’ve ignored your intuition on that kind of stuff and done something that you are later like, why did I do that, like, this is so stupid?

Summer Burnley  35:33  

In my business, no. When I work for somebody else,yes. And that’s what led me to actually leave. So, and it’s twofold. Right. It was the intuition that was telling me it was time for me to leave, and I was ignoring it. I claimed 2020 for me as the year of obedience, because all 2019, I was completely disobedient, knowing that I was supposed to leave that job. And it got to a point where things became not necessarily difficult. But you could just tell like, there was this struggle, this pull, and it had really nothing to do with the people that I was working with. It was just like, inside of me, you know. And so like, things would start to happen. And the only way that I could explain was none of this was personal. God was gonna make it so that he was just how he puts you in a position to thrive. I was not listening. I was being disobedient. I was not moving. When he told me to move. I didn’t exit when he told me to exit. So he was going to do everything in His power to make it so that I couldn’t stay. It was like, Okay, I’m gonna give you time to do this yourself, sweet one, okay, little one, I’m gonna give you time to do this. You’re like, No, I’m fine, right here, I’m just gonna stay rooted. And it’s like, oh really, well, let me give you this and see how you handle it. And then of course, I handle it well, and it’s like, Okay, well, let me throw this at you, you know. It started for me last, was it last year or the year before, but I ended up in the hospital. And this was after, so I told you I had offices in two different states. And one of them was Milwaukee. And so funny story, my husband and I closed on our house on a Friday. That Monday, the owner of the company that I work for called me and was like, Oh, hey, by the way, I’m sending you to the Milwaukee, I don’t know when you’re going to come back. And it was like, okay. I ended up being gone that time for six months. Came back for a couple of months, and was gone for like another three months. So I basically spent all of 2018 living it up in a hotel, ubering around Milwaukee. And when I got back the last time, that November. Mind you I left in January. So the last time I got back in November, I ended up in the hospital for three or four days. And it was very, it was just odd. I can’t remember what it was called. But they kept saying, you know, like when people binge drink, and the thing that happens to your liver, I forgot what they call it. But my numbers were so high, they suspected that’s what I’m doing. And I am not a drinker like I may have one glass of wine every quarter, right? Like, I’m not really a drinker. Yeah. And I will never forget, I was in so much pain. They ran the test. They were like, Oh, this is why. They came to ask me and my husband about four different times and like, different ways. Have you been drinking? Maybe just had one drink? Did you go on a binge? I’m like, we’re like, NO. So I basically had to stay in the hospital until those levels came down, which was like four days later. Yeah, so complete situation where He was like, Look, you need to sit, you’re behind down and if you’re not gonna do it, I’m gonna make you do it. Right? That’s what it was. He’s like, oh, if you’re not gonna listen to me, I’m gonna force you to listen to me. And I knew at that time that I needed to start planning my exit. But did I? No.

Sheila M  39:25  

I only laugh because I’ve like been through it myself. Yeah.

Summer Burnley  39:29  

You know, it’s like, you think that would be enough? You know? And yeah, it’s like, all these little things tend to happen. And I kid you not one day, I started to pay more attention to it. Because I would ask for signs, Sheila, and would be like, Oh, is this a sign I’m supposed to leave. And it’s like, you know, the sign would come and it’s like, I would dodge it or block it and be like, oh, that wasn’t for me, that was like for the person behind me like, that was completely not for me. 

Sheila M  39:53  

Yeah. Oh the next one. 

Summer Burnley  39:57  

Yeah. Make it more bold, you know. So I remember sitting on the couch. And this was like the end of June, I remember sitting on the couch. And I remember just like praying. So I’m like, man, I don’t know what’s going on, like, the energy’s just off with what I’m doing. Like, if this is not what I’m supposed to be doing, Lord, like just let me know, you know. And I remember and I think I told you this. It was like, He screamed at me, and was like, LEAVE THAT JOB. And I was like, first of all, Is he mad at me? Like, God had never yelled at me before. It was like, Whoa, okay, you know. Literally, I stopped, pulled out my computer and started typing up. I did a six week resignation. But I started like, typing up my six weeks notice. And that Monday, contacted my boss, like, hey, I need to talk to you, which at this time was different, I had to do that because for the two years that I’ve been running this business, the last two years, he left. And while he was still around, he was running, he was starting other businesses. He’s a serial entrepreneur. So like, part of the whole MO is like, how most people really should do it, is you start the thing, let other people run it and then you start the next thing, let other people run it, you start the next thing, you know. So you tell, they get a lot of this reoccurring revenue, right. Not reocurring revenue, but you know what I mean? And so, he was like, Oh, you know, I’m flying in tomorrow, let’s meet, yada yada, yada. And the day he got in, he called me was like, Oh, yeah, you know, I’m gonna come pick you up from the office, dodged me. Did not hear from this joker for like the whole day. And I was like, You know what, I am not gonna delay this. I was like, I’m trying not to because, you know, I’ve worked with this man for like, five years now, like hand in hand. Right? And was like, Okay, I don’t want to have to email this, but I will.

Sheila M  42:12  

Yeah, oh, my gosh, it’s so funny. Because when I was leaving my last job before, like, I started my business full time I literally had the same experience with my boss, because I was working like I’ve been working from home for like years before this. So I would only see her every now and then. And so I for like a week and a half was like trying to get on her calendar. And she was like, Oh, I have this, this, and this. So I literally had to look at her calendar. And I was like, I’ve been here for seven years, I don’t want to do this, like over the phone or email. So I literally saw that she had a 15 minute time slot open. And I called her and I was like, hey, it’s really important. And she was literally like driving home from a meeting. And I told her and she was like, speechless. I mean, just like, speechless, like so shocked. She should not have been like, I was like, like, I felt like a little guilty afterwards. And then I was like, Wait a second, I’ve been very clear, like, what my expectations are and what I think should happen for years. And nothing has happened in four years, like this should not be a surprise at all. \

Summer Burnley  43:18  

Right, right, yeah. It was, like, similar to the way he was. It’s funny, so he finally met up with me that Wednesday, and we went to like Starbucks or something. And he’s like, I knew this is what this was, this is why I didn’t meet with you yesterday. And I was like, you were avoiding me. And he’s like, Well, you know, I just got busy. He was like, I just had a long day. I just couldn’t take any of it. And it was but he was like, extremely, like happy for me. He’s like, I knew this day would come, I didn’t think it would like come now, you know, when I was like, well, I told you five years. And it’s and let me tell you what’s funny, is, when I say it was over, like all these companies, like I was legit over all these business, like, he was the only person above me and I was doing everything because like I said he was off doing like, all the other stuff. So, from managing all the departments to overseeing all of hiring, firing, managing everything, like that was me. And I remember going back to like, look at my file, and in my interview paperwork, it was like, you know, what’s your goal and it was like to raise enough money and to get enough experience so I can open up my own law firm in five years.

Sheila M  44:38  

I love it. You’re such like, your whole story. I feel like you’re such like a visionary and like so able to like see down the road for yourself, which I think is so cool.

Summer Burnley  44:51  

But you know what’s so funny is if you look at my Gallup results, it would tell you otherwise.

Sheila M  45:02  

Here’s the thing though, I think there’s a difference between being able to, like, objectively like, see an answer and being able to see into your personal future. You know what I mean. But I think it’s so interesting, like the amount of certainty that you’ve had at all of these different junctures in your life from the time you were in seventh grade, like I was certain of nothing in seventh grade. Like, that shocks me.

Summer Burnley  45:28  

Like, I was a different kind of child. I really was. I really was like, nerdiest of the nerds. Just like complete. Yeah. Like, it’s funny because my husband is almost the exact opposite. Not that he’s unsure. But he’s very much like, I don’t want to say a people pleaser, but he’s he puts pleasing other people before pleasing himself. You know? And I’m always like the opposite. You know, I’m like, if I’m not happy, I don’t care that it makes you happy or not. I’m not for it. I’m not with it. Like, I don’t want to do it. And he always talks about how he commends me of like, he’s like, I wish I could make decisions like you made decisions. I’m like, Well, you could you just have to look at point A and point B. He’s like, I don’t have time for all that.

It’s not. I know, and that’s another one of those things that I think I’ve learned, like, I tend to be very decisive, and my partner tends, he is much more like, always, like evaluating and evaluating and evaluating and like weighing different things. And I’m just kind of like, let’s do this. And he’s always like startled.

Sheila M  46:27  

Wait, I haven’t thought about it. Yeah

We haven’t accurately analyzed every single option yet. And I’m like, I’m not here for this. I have no patience for that.

Summer Burnley  46:55  

See, and see, that’s me. It’s like, I can be decisive after I’ve evaluated the decisions, but like, Don’t force me or rush me into like, making a decision, not one that’s gonna have like lasting impact. You know, like, anyway, like, I’m not one of those people who’s like, you know, you’re gonna… What are those things called, like, you know, if you go to like Vegas or somewhere and they want you to go to those talks where they show you the, the rooms and stuff, and want to get you to like, buy into charity. 

Sheila M  47:26  

Time share things

Summer Burnley  47:26  

Yes. And I’m like, Yeah, no, like, I remember that happened to us one time and my husband would have been totally swindled, he would have been like, here’s the card, where do I sign. And I’m like, thank God, I was here. They brought out like three people. And I’m like, Look, you can bring out the owner of this Hilton, if you want to, I’m not signing any papers, you can either give us our free shit so we can know or we can sit here and play this game a little longer. It’s up to you.

Sheila M  47:51  

Oh, my God, I love it so much. I really do though. I love that. Okay, so I actually, I’m wondering, with the work that you’re doing now, and that you enjoy so much, how do you balance because so much of it is analytical and everything? How do you balance like, your head and your heart in your work, like when you’re going in and meeting with clients? Like how do you find that joy for like, both, you know?

Summer Burnley  48:22  

So part of it is because that is what brings me joy. You know, I enjoy doing this type of work. I truly love being, like helping people navigate through their business and make decisions and protect their stuff and, you know, be able to, it’s like watching, you know, like a butterfly being born, like coming out of the cocoon. You know, it’s like, I absolutely love that. I love feeling like I’m part of the team. And you know, I would say I am very unselfish in nature. But you know, everybody has some selfish tendency. And I think mine would be that I want to be the person to help you get there. Like, I want to be the person to help you succeed. Like, that’s my selfish nature. And so, I think because I’m doing what I love to do, and not only something that I love to do, but that I’m actually good at, right. Like, I like baking, but I’m not necessarily the best at it. I think because they align, my heart and my mind typically align, like majority of the time when I’m going into meet with clients. And then I also like to you know, morally and ethically, like outside of the standards for being an attorney, just my personal morals and values. I always lead with those as well and so it also makes it, you know, easy for me to be authentic and honest with people, you know about who I am, what I expect, what I do, how I can help, or how I can’t know. You know?

Sheila M  50:11  

I love that. So I wanted to give you the opportunity, because just like reading your bio and your background and everything, and because you are a woman of color in a place where there are not a lot of women of color. What advice would you pass down to, like younger women of color who want to follow and similar footsteps? Like, what do you think? What do you wish somebody had told you when you were young?

Summer Burnley  50:40  


Sheila M  50:41  

No pressure. 

Summer Burnley  50:43  

So, again, this is going to be more, I guess what I would say is, instead of what I wish somebody would told would have told me is I’ll tell you what I was told. Because like I say, I’ve really always been this way. My mom and my dad were a really big support system. But my mom always told me, one, whatever it is that I wanted to do, didn’t matter, you know, didn’t matter that I was a little black girl, didn’t matter that I was going into an industry where I was an additional minority, where a lot of people did not look like me. I could succeed. I could be successful. I needed to put the work in and I needed to be true. And I needed to be authentic to myself in doing that. I also needed to always remember who’s I am. And by that being, you know, a child of God, you know, and knowing that His promises are true, His promises are real. Not that I won’t struggle. Not that I won’t have a trial or tribulation. Not that I won’t suffer. However, I will always be cared for. I will always be protected. And whatever I’m going through, there’s always a lesson on the other side of that, and I need to focus on what that is, instead of focusing on, you know, my woe at hand. And that honestly got me through a lot of my life, because as you can imagine, being somebody who’s always been very sure of themselves and also being more mature, that was odd. Like I was different. You know, it was like, why are you so weird? Why do you know what you want to do? Why? Why are you focused on this? Why are you doing? You know. And not being… I was blessed to have a good support system, a great support system, where even going through like those emotional things at a young age when you’re not rationally able to really like discern some of the stuff where you’re going through, I had a great system that was supporting me and reaffirming me. And those are the kind of lessons and things that I took on that just formed you know, who I am today. So staying true to who you are, doing what you want to do not feeling like you have to conform. Representation does matter, but there are more of us out here, and we will welcome you and there is space for you. 

Sheila M  53:11  

Yeah. I love that. I’m love that too and I feel like just saying something as like simple as there is space for you is so important because I think so often when you can’t see the example of it, it feels intimidating to be like the first one in or like, you’re like everybody’s already doing that, or like this already exists, like so much in the entrepreneurship world in general. But I think that’s really beautiful. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that.

Summer Burnley  53:40  

Yeah. No, thank you for asking. 

Sheila M  53:42  

Yeah. So I want to talk a little bit about what cards I really see you embodying with your work, because I do this with every guest that I have on I really talk about, like, where I see them kind of showing up in their business. So it’s interesting because this doesn’t always happen. But usually I get like a couple cards that kind of come up as I’m talking to people. So…

Summer Burnley  54:03  

Should I be taking notes? 

Sheila M  54:04  

Oh, no, you don’t have to.

Summer Burnley  54:08  

The nerd in me. Should I be writing this down?

Sheila M  54:09  

There’s no quiz at the end of this. So first of all, with the work that you do, I was thinking of like the queen of swords because so much about this type of like business and trademark law is about protecting what’s yours. And the queen of swords has this kind of wisdom of, okay, like, it came up specifically when you were saying like, Okay, what do you want to protect first, I can tell you what order I would go in, but like it’s ultimately about what you really feel a need to protect. And so there’s so much about balancing both like the intellectual and the emotional that comes in with the queen of swords. So I’m like, this is so much like the work that you’re doing, which I think is like so cool because I love that card. And also, it’s about, you know, marrying up the head in the heart and then protecting the boundaries all around that. So it’s just like, it’s so perfect for the work that you do and it makes like so much sense to me. I really kind of see that in your work. But with you and kind of how you show up for your work, I thought of the Emperor card, which is all about building, like, a stable foundation for like the rest of your work. And I feel like for you, like you’ve always been, you’ve always had that certainty. And like the Emperor comes with, like so much certainty, like, this is how it is like, this is how I am, this is how I’m going to show up, even if people tease me because I’m a seventh grader that knows exactly what I want to do with my life. 

Summer Burnley  54:09  


Sheila M  54:13  

And I would say, quite frankly, as someone who even like is older than that and knows what you want to do. Even being an adult and knowing what you want to do, you know. I think sometimes that can be like intimidating to people. But the Emperor is all about like showing up in a way that’s not like aggressive, but it’s just like, No, I’m here and like I’m taking up space and I’m an example of how to do that in a way that’s like stable and structured and has longevity. Because there’s something about the Emperor that’s so much about having strong roots that you can grow from and that you can build on top of over time.

Summer Burnley  56:25  

Yeah, I love that. I love both of those. 

Sheila M  56:28  

Yeah, I do too and I was like, This is so cool, because I haven’t had anybody who’s been like these cards yet, either. And I really like to talk about tarot in this way because I think sometimes it can become this kind of like, vague idea and when you see somebody who’s really like, embodying the qualities of those archetypes, it’s so cool to see it in action.

Summer Burnley  56:50  

That is so awesome. Thank you for doing that for me. That was like, Oh, it’s like, I want to go find like a large, like queen of swords and emperor like card picture so that I can like frame it now and put it in my office. 

Sheila M  57:06  

Seriously, because I feel like it’s like, it’s such like an embodiment of the work that you do. And it is so like, in so many ways, like that is really inspirational because I think a lot of people in particular with like that queen of swords, like really struggle with that type of energy, like how do I balance these two things. And then also, how do I protect that balance over time? Like because there’s always gonna be people sending you their opinions that aren’t requested and, quite frankly, don’t belong on you, you know. So I think that’s so cool. So I know that you do so many different things in terms of kind of helping people build their businesses. So, how can people work with you?

Summer Burnley  57:49  

Oh, yeah, please like I have my website That’s B-U-R-N-L-E-Y, you can check out my website. There there’s also a contact me button. So if you’d like to schedule a consultation to talk about protecting and owning your brand through trademark registration or business planning, or if you just want to shout me and say hello, you can contact me there. You can also email me directly if you needed to or just had a quick question or maybe well, now you guys know that I’m doing coaching because I am saying it on the podcast. If that’s something you might be interested in, and I’m also on Instagram @Burnleylaw.

Sheila M  58:35  

And then I know that you.. I’ll put all of that in the show notes too, in case people are like I didn’t write it down fast enough. It’s also in the show notes for this episode. But I also wanted to talk about, I know you have your How to Launch and Secure Your Brand Like a Boss complimentary webinar. And I’ll include the link to that as well, but can you tell us a little bit about that webinar and what it can do for people?

Summer Burnley  59:06  

Oh my goodness, yes. So this was really put together because a lot of the common questions that I was getting was surrounded around, Okay, what type of entity structure should I start with? Do I need an LLC? Should I do a corporation? Should I stay a sole proprietor? What kind of contracts do I need? What exactly is this trademark or copyright thing? Are they different? And a lot of those things are essential to the foundations of your business. So I go through each of those entity formations, contracts and intellectual property for your business and break them all down each of those topics, one by one for you and even go into specifics. So I will talk specifically about LLC, specifically about corporations, what those differences are, specifically, you know about client service agreements and privacy policies, and specific about copyrights and trademarks and patents, so that you will have a solid foundational knowledge to know what you should be looking to protect in your business. 

Sheila M  1:00:11  

Okay, okay, I love that so much. I’m like, Oh my gosh, I need to watch this. 

Summer Burnley  1:00:15  

Yeah, please do. Give me your feedback. I love it.

Sheila M  1:00:17  

Yeah, yeah, that’s so cool. Um, well, I mean, thank you so much for being here. Do you have any last like pearls of wisdom or anything that you want to share? One of the things that I’ve been thinking about, especially kind of as this year is coming to a close, since you’re one of my last guests for 2020, any wisdom that you’d like to share that you’ve learned from this year?

Summer Burnley  1:00:44  

So I will reiterate what I said earlier, and this is just generally speaking to everyone, when I say there is space for you and your thing out there in the world, I mean it. You know, I think if this year has shown us anything, it’s showing us a lot of things, but from a business perspective, go ahead and launch it. And it doesn’t have to be perfect. It can be messy, we can figure out a lot of the you know, a lot of the nitty gritty and the other stuff, but don’t wait. So if there’s something you’ve been sitting on something that, you know, your intuition has been telling you to put out into the world, listen to it, take the leap, do it. If it works out, great. And if it doesn’t, guess what, that’s okay. You can do something else if you want, or you can decide this is not for you. Right? But do it and do it authentically. Do it purposefully. And do it with giving yourself the grace to learn along the way.

Sheila M  1:01:46  

Yeah. Oh, my gosh, I love that so much. I feel like there’s so much in that too, and like you said, with with failure, like you’re just getting more information. You haven’t really failed. Like you’re basically doing research on what works. 

Summer Burnley  1:02:01  


Sheila M  1:02:02  

Yeah, so, I love that. And it can feel really personal. Like it is, and especially when it’s something you love, it can feel really personal. But I love that you said that because it’s really true. And you might just be like, a couple degrees off where it needs to be, you know? 

Summer Burnley  1:02:16  

Oh, definitely, definitely. You know, when we’re talking about, like, previously on my podcast, you know, one thing we talked about is there’s no such thing as like an overnight success in entrepreneurship, or business period, right? It doesn’t, it just does not happen overnight. Like you don’t get to a six figure launch, you’d like the first time, the second time, or typically the third time, right. So work out all of your kinks, you know, seek out people to help you and to assist you. And find like your group of people, whoever that is, whatever that looks like, because I think community, especially at a time now where everyone is inside. We are still going through the pandemic. You can’t really get out and socialize like you want to. Having that community, especially if you’re doing something online is going to be very helpful and very beneficial to not only your growth in business, but your growth as a business owner and entrepreneur as well. 

Sheila M  1:03:13  

Yeah, yeah. I love that so much. Thank you so much for sharing everything today. I know that it’s going to speak to people and especially to listeners who are like not in a traditionally intuitive job, but are very intuitive. And so thank you so much for sharing that, Summer. I so appreciate it. 

Summer Burnley  1:03:31  

No, thank you so much for having me. This was so fun. I completely enjoyed it. I always have fun talking to you, Sheila. So thank you so very much for having me on the podcast. It was a complete honor.

Sheila M  1:03:45  

Thank you so much for listening to Living Tarot. If you love today’s episode, please leave us a review and subscribe so that you never miss an episode. This helps us reach even more budding intuitives. Feel free to share on Instagram and tag me @starsagespirit and let me know what you learned, what surprised you, and what you’d like to hear even more of. As always, if you want to hear more about my courses or book a reading with me or for full episode show notes you can head over to