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Consulting the Experts - Richard Claywell - Episode # 026

Consulting the Experts - Richard Claywell - Episode # 026

April 12, 2022

Richard Claywell is the Owner of J. Richard Claywell, CPA. He has been in business since 1985, and he has a wide depth of experience and knowledge to share. He sits down with host Tom Dufton to share some tips on how to run a successful solo practice. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Don’t be afraid to consult experts. It’s ok to not know everything, and sometimes you might need advice from an expert to help you out.
  • Not all CPAs are created equal. You want to make sure that you are getting the best of the best. 
  • Immerse yourself in your work. Running a practice can be difficult and demanding, but if you put the time and effort into it you will be successful.
  • Help your clients by educating attorneys through nuances. 
  • When handling a case, think about how many years of experience you have in that case and consider if you are the right person for it. 
  • Attorneys often think that because they handle a couple of cases they are experts in the field, but every case is unique and should be treated as such.​
  • Outliers can have a major impact on your business. 

 

Links

 

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Crushing Chaos - Allison Williams - Episode # 025

Crushing Chaos - Allison Williams - Episode # 025

March 22, 2022

Allison Williams is the Business Coach for Solo Law Firm Owners at Law Firm Mentor, LLC. She’s seen firsthand what working too many hours can do a person, and she wants to get the word out about it. She joins host Tom Dufton to talk about how to avoid burnout and gives her tips on how to run a successful law firm. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Systematize everything. The more organized you are, the easier your work life will be as everything's in its proper place. 
  • Outsourcing helps if you want to have more time. Having more time on your plate allows you to focus on the areas you are strong in.
  • Always look to hire someone who can bring in more money. They might cost more in the short run, but at the end of the day the money they are bringing to your firm is greater than that of someone you would spend less on.
  • Invest in your people. Taking the time to train your employees and making sure they are a good fit will provide a great benefit in the long run.
  • Set your mindset so that you are focusing on things you can accomplish. It’s easy to get weighed down by the negative. Believe in your goals. 
  • Even when you work from home, act and dress as if you are at work because you are still on the clock.
  • Don’t be a victim of burnout. Make sure to stay sharp and set boundaries in your work life so you don’t spend all your energy and time working. 

 

 

Quote of the show

 

13:24 “We tell people, do a rinse and repeat on your mindset. Let's figure out what is working. And let's figure out what's not working. Leave the things that are not working. You have to be more aggressively in pursuit of what you are seeking, but when you do that, the right person sees the right message in the right time for them.”

Links

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Being Authentic - Russell Farbiarz - Episode # 024

Being Authentic - Russell Farbiarz - Episode # 024

March 1, 2022

Russell Farbiarz is a Partner at Antanavage Farbiarz PLLC. Being yourself in a law practice can be a positive experience, and it can help your clients connect with you on a better level. Russell sees this and encourages everyone not just “think like a lawyer” as he was taught in law school. He joins host Tom Dufton to share some of his other tips on how to successfully run a law practice. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Running a law firm is like running a business. You can’t practice what you love if you aren’t able to pay the rent. 
  • In law school, students are often taught to “think like a lawyer”, but you have to be willing to step outside the box.
  • You need to have empathy for your clients. They can tell when you are being sincere or not and it makes a difference. 
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself. You want clients who feel comfortable with you and will keep coming back to you, they won’t do that if they know you aren’t being your true self.
  • Have a plan. You can’t run a successful business or law practice without a solid plan in place. 
  • You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s ok to admit that you don’t know something, and take the time to learn more and be more well rounded.
  • Set quarterly goals. This will help you to stay on task and will help you to determine if your business is working or not. 

 

Quote of the show

 

3:08 “Law school is all about teaching and learning a particular way of thinking. And that would be, you know, a very analytical thought process. But if they took some of the time that they spent in law school, teaching us how to use citations and use what's called the blue book, and took some of that time and actually taught us,  how do you talk to clients?  How do you create a business plan?  How do you manage a staff?  How do you market?  Those would all be helpful tools as well, and probably more practical than blue book citation.”

 

 

Links

 

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Buying Back Your Time - Nequosha Anderson - Episode # 023

Buying Back Your Time - Nequosha Anderson - Episode # 023

February 15, 2022

Nequosha Anderson is the Founder and Managing Attorney at Anderson Law Firm PLLC. She is also the co-host of the Professional Use Only Podcast. She sees the importance of time and how precious it is, and she has some great advice on how attorneys can use their time wisely and how outsourcing can help with that. She joins host Tom Dufton to share that and more information for how to successfully run a solo law practice.

 

Takeaways 

  • Hire help as soon as possible. This allows you more time to focus on the things that you know and do the best, while having someone else focus on a different task.
  • Time is incredibly valuable. You can’t buy back any amount of time, and you can save yourself stress by outsourcing.
  • Write down all the things you do in a day, and put a value of how much time and money it costs you to do those things, then outsource the ones that take up most of your time.
  • You don’t have to know everything. It’s ok to not have all the information, sometimes you learn more when you are out in the trenches. 
  • A big challenge for a lot of solo attorneys is finances. It can be a difficult subject to understand so outsourcing for that will save a lot of money and stress.
  • Have sympathy for others. You don’t know what other people are going through or what they might know, so have patience and be kind.  
  • Most lawyers struggle with networking because they weren’t taught to focus on that. But building relationships can lead to new clients. 

 

 

Quote of the show:

 

2:00 “Hiring help early allows you to buy back your time. That's the most important resource that you will ever have. If you can buy back time, it affords you the opportunity to do other things that you wouldn't necessarily be able to do if your deliverables are keeping you in the line of production.”

Links

 

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Understanding Your Finances - Chelsea Williams - Episode # 022

Understanding Your Finances - Chelsea Williams - Episode # 022

February 1, 2022

Chelsea Williams is the Founder/Financial Guru at Core Solutions Group, Inc. She sees that while law school is helpful, it doesn’t do everything to necessarily prepare you for running your own solo practice. She sits down with host Kory Underdown to talk about the importance of financial literacy when it comes to running your business.

 

Takeaways 

  • Law school is a great place to start but it won’t always teach you the things you need to know about running a law firm because that requires you to be an entrepreneur. 
  • Financial literacy is incredibly important. You won’t learn that from school, but it’s an important skill to have. 
  • There are 5 key financial players; Your bookkeeper, your tax preparer, your CFO, your banker and your financial planner. 
  • Human relationships are so important for business. Take your employees out for lunch once in a while, send them good business referrals, etc
  • When you receive money, set some aside and let it grow in interest. That is the fastest way to leverage compounding interests. 
  • Outsourcing for bookkeeping is a great solution so that you can save money on it and always receive the services. 
  • Parkinson’s Law says that with every increase in revenue, expenses will also rise to either meet or exceed that revenue increase unless a specific force is placed against it.

 

 

Quote of the show: 

 

12:15 “What matters is establishing the habit, the habitual action of when you receive you set aside to invest, because there is nothing more powerful that will get you to wealth than compounding interest. And that is what an investment is,it's leveraging compounding interest.”

Links

 

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Confidence is Key - Katy Mickelson - Episode # 021

Confidence is Key - Katy Mickelson - Episode # 021

January 25, 2022

Katy Mickelson is a Divorce and Family Law Attorney at Beermann LLP. She sees the importance of even the little parts of being a lawyer and the difference it can make in the relationship between a lawyer and their clients. She sits down with host Kory Underdown to share her tips on how to run a successful solo practice. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Getting clients has a lot to do with who you are as a person. It’s important to be your true authentic self. 
  • You want to have a good reputation. It takes a long time to build but it all comes down to who you hire, how you handle cases and your ability to relate to your clients. 
  • Having a good relationship with your clients is important. You have to be honest with them, you can’t always be a yes person. You should always be transparent with them.
  • Clients need to be heard. If they feel like they aren’t being heard, they will tune out anything you are saying. 
  • Listening is key. Sometimes the best thing you can do is sit and listen to what the client is saying. 
  • Lack of explanation and information to the client can be extremely detrimental. Walk the client through the process in a very elementary way to make sure they understand.
  • Clients are typically in a situation where they are so stressed out that they might not understand things they typically get.  

Quote of the show:

 

5:12 “There's a process of building that trust with the client. I think what comes from that is being responsive, being honest, and telling clients what they might not want to hear. Because I think that that commands more respect than being a yes person.”

Links

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Carpe Diem - Steve Fretzin - Episode # 20

Carpe Diem - Steve Fretzin - Episode # 20

January 18, 2022

Steve Fretzin is the President of FRETZIN, INC. He’s also the host of the BE THAT LAWYER podcast and the author of “Sales-Free Selling:The Death of Sales and the Rise of a New Methodology”. He sits down with host Kory Underdown to talk about how solo entrepreneurial attorneys can better run their business.

 

Takeaways 

  • In law school, they don’t teach you the importance of getting your own clients. When you have your own clients, there is control and freedom in when you do the business.
  • People in law school should consider who is in their classes. You never know who could get what job and they might be able to get you business in the future. 
  • When you are a lawyer, you need to not only know the law aspect of your business but also the business side of law.
  • Having someone be a coach to you can help you in many ways. That person can help you avoid the pains and mistakes you might otherwise make without their knowledge.
  • Sometimes you need to come up with a softer way to say things. What needs to be said may be hard to take but saying it in a better way can make a difference. 
  • It’s a good idea to collaborate with other attorneys. Someone could be strong in an area you are weak in and vice versa, and that can help both you and your business.
  • You can still have fun, but take everyday seriously. Don’t take time for granted and enjoy the little moments in life. 

 

 

Quote of the show

 

1:36 “Individuals that are going through law school to become lawyers, they really should be considering who's in their classes. Who's sitting to their left and their right and developing those relationships because in 5, 10, 15 years, the lawyers that you're dealing with and engaging with every day in a classroom setting could be the GC general counsel of a big corporation, or could be a lawyer that could refer you business or whatever. It's not just about practicing the law. It's now there's the business of law side of it that needs to come to the forefront of it.”

Links

 

Ways to Tune in:

Managing Employee Experiences - Molly McGrath - Episode # 019

Managing Employee Experiences - Molly McGrath - Episode # 019

January 11, 2022

Molly McGrath is the Founder of Hiring and Empowering Solutions. She knows how important it is to build a healthy work environment and make sure that employees feel welcomed and enjoy their job. She sits down with host Kory Underdown to talk about important tips for running a successful solo law firm. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Attorneys need to understand that their success depends fully on the people they hire. If you hire employees who aren’t hard workers or are bad at their jobs, you won’t be in business long. 
  • The days are over for attorneys thinking people should be grateful for work. COVID has shown people how important it is to feel the human connection at work and love what you do. 
  • You don’t want to burn out your employees. Burn out is more likely to happen earlier than ever now
  • The employee review is an outdated form of checking on your employees. It is a one-sided conversation that doesn't foster a good working relationship.
  • People will never leave their company if they are treated with respect, given good feedback, proper attention and inspiration.
  • You want employees to feel welcomed at work and like what they do. It creates a bad work environment if employees dread going to work, and then their work suffers. 
  • Outsourcing is a great idea. Even if your team is working perfectly, you can find some cost-effective solutions and it allows the spotlight to be on you, the leader.

 

Quote of the show:

 

0:32 “I can't tell you how many attorneys still believe in this mindset that employees should be grateful to have a job. They should be honored to work at this law firm. Their goal is to just come in and do great work, keep their mouth shut and keep their head down and collect their paycheck. Those days are over. If you want to be a successful law firm owner in 2022 and beyond, my greatest piece of advice for you is to really look at how you view your employees and what type of culture you are creating for them.”

 

Links

 

Ways to Tune in:

Mastering Your Online Presence - Leanne Gallant - Episode # 018

Mastering Your Online Presence - Leanne Gallant - Episode # 018

January 4, 2022
Leanne Gallant, Founder and President of leannegallant.com and letsleveragelocal.com, is a highly skilled marketing strategist. She joins host Kory Underdown to discuss ways to better optimize their business online and on Google. Leanne shares tips to help people find your business easier online and they’ll be more likely to be a customer.
 
Takeaways
 
  • It’s important to set up and optimize your company's Google Business Profile. It’s something we use everyday without even knowing we use it. 
  • You want to make sure the information about your company is accurate and current because your Google Business Profile is often the first place people find you online. They may never even go to your website.
  • Adding in little details can help your SEO and put your business on a higher page in Google search results.
  • Your Google Business Profile is like a “welcome mat.” You need to make your business inviting and welcoming to potential customers. 
  • You (as the owner) should be the one answering questions on your profile. Anyone can answer questions on your Google Business Profile, but it looks more professional to potential clients when it comes from you. 
  • The biggest mistake that people make with their Google Business Profile is they set it and forget it. You don't want your profile to have no activity and look outdated or abandoned. You don't want people guessing whether or not you're still in business. 

 

 

Quote of the show: 

 

7:23 “I refer to it as your welcome mat. You want to welcome people and show off what you've got and make things look good. You want to be welcoming to them. You want to have reviews and you want to have questions answered. Random people on the internet can go to your Google business listing and ask questions. So you want to answer those questions and you can still answer the question, point them in the right direction. It's just so important.” 

Links

Ways to Tune in:

Flying Solo - Stephanie Everett - Episode # 017

Flying Solo - Stephanie Everett - Episode # 017

December 28, 2021

Stephanie Everett is the CEO of Lawyerist and the author of the book, “The Small Firm Road Map.” After law school, Stephanie joined a big firm and always thought she was going to spend her career and retire there. But she ended up launching her own firm when she realized that she could focus on her area of expertise better. Stephanie joins host Kory Underdown to share tips on how to successfully run a solo attorney business, such as setting realistic goals that you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. 

 

 

Takeaways

  • In order to run a successful law firm, you need to realize you are running a business. You need to understand the needs and desires of your business in order to succeed.
  • You should hire people that are stronger in your areas that you are weaker in, that way you can really focus on your strong suits. 
  • You need to build a team around you of people who make your business stronger and people you can trust. 
  • You don’t need to do everything yourself, if you try that then you will burn out faster and the business will fail.
  • The legal field is shifting so that people can show more of their personality when marketing and there is a better work/life balance.
  • If you make small, consistent changes each week or each month you will be head and shoulders above the competition.
  • Set benchmarks for your goals. That will help you realize if you are getting closer to your goal or you’re moving in the wrong direction.

 

 

Quote of the show: 

 

14:45 “We start setting really lofty goals and we're really excited about them. And then three weeks in, whatever breaks loose, and we never get to them. And then those goals kind of get left behind. So we were really ambitious. Instead just start small. If you just make small, simple changes, but you do it consistently each and every week or each month you get 1% better. Over time, you will be heads and shoulders above everybody else because most firms are stagnant or declining.”

Links:

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