On December 28th I shared an email I received from a lawyer who recently joined one of our coaching programs.  I’ve pasted last week’s email down below in case you missed it. 

As you may recall, the lawyer was asking for help communicating with his family because apparently they think that learning how to start, market & manage a successful law firm should be “easy”.
So I just thought you might appreciate some of the responses of support this lawyer has been getting from fellow members on our private members-only discussion forum:

…no offense to your family, but you can tell them from someone with experience, it’s about as easy as standing on your head, drinking  a glass of water and singing the national anthem.  Well, not really – but you get the point.  It takes a dedication and desire most don’t have.  Good for you for being willing to try!

——

That’s why most won’t try and many of those who do aren’t successful.  Negative attitude.  RJon is right – don’t buy it.  Keep the faith, work hard and even more importantly, work smart.  RJon and his fellow coaches are good advisors.  Keep the faith and happy new year!

In case you missed-it, here’s the original email I sent yesterday which contains the lawyer’s original question to me and my response…

Wednesday December 28, 2011

I had a great email almost-ready to send to you today about the last 7 seats remaining for the mastermind.  

But then I received this email from a lawyer who recently enrolled in my “How To START A Successful Law Firm” business development, management & coaching program.

I think this lawyer’s email DEMONSTRATES the need for the mastermind so well and that his demonstration of honesty and sincerity and the personal courage in this lawyer’s email to me, is so important.

And so I decided to share it with you below instead of what I had originally planned to send. 

I hope you appreciate it as much as I do

~ RJON 

From: XX <jxxxxxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 11:01:11 -0500
To: Alejandra Leibovich <alex@howtomanageasmalllawfirm.com>
Subject: RE: Start a law firm program

 Actually, I do have a question. My family thinks starting a law practice is easy, which has led to some “heated” discussions over the last few months.

Does the course material cover this aspect of starting a practice?

————->

My response is only slightly-edited to protect this lawyer’s identity:

Hi Jxxxx,

What a great question.  I’m going to post it on the discussion forum along with my answer to you below.  I will NOT attribute the question to you unless you decide to take credit for it on the forum when you see it.

OK, so I mean no disrespect to your family with the following observations.

I’m guessing the members of your family fall into One Of Two Different Categories:

1.) They have started some sort of small business or a service business from the ground-up, built it into a successful business which serves their financial, personal and professional needs and they have since forgotten how hard it was to do; or else

 2.) They have not started any kind of a business from scratch and built it into a successful business which serves their financial, personal and their professional needs too and so they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Bruce Lee (the famous karate guy – he was also a brilliant and a very successful entrepreneur) had a saying:

“To know and not to do is not to know.” 

In other words, unless you’ve built a successful professional services business, you can know all you want about it, but you still aren’t going to  know what you’re talking about until you’ve actually done it.

A third category:

There is a third category which is much more insidious and difficult to deal with.  Those are the people who are dishonest with themselves about their own experiences and accomplishments. 

Fear, Shame & Cruelty

Some people have so much fear, shame and/or ego wrapped-up in their accomplishments that they’re afraid to admit even to themselves that they aren’t nearly as successful as their self-image dictates they portray themselves to be. 

These tend to be the people who cannot admit to mistakes. 

Which ironically, being so-afraid of making a mistake that a person cannot even admit to it, is usually what keeps those types of people from asking questions, learning-from their mistakes and getting better so that they can have the courage to make more mistakes without a full-blown ego-implosion. 

Because it’s the mistakes we make and how we respond to them that signal growth.

It can be very difficult to spot these people because they tend to have A LOT vested in their self-image.  And in some cases they may be so-deep in denial that they really do believe what they’re saying.  So you can sometimes get a downright cruel reaction from them when you get too close to the truth they’re desperately afraid of. 

About the only way to spot them is to look at their accomplishments. 

Because accomplishments are real and everything else is just a story about why there aren’t any accomplishments. 

Happy Lawyers Really Do Make More Money

Remember, the definition of “success” we agreed makes sense:  A law firm that serves your financial, your personal AND your professional needs. 

Not just two out of three.  And the thing is, they’re YOUR needs not anyone else’s needs. 

So usually the best thing to do is keep your plans and your actions to yourself until you feel your own accomplishments are meeting your own needs and then you don’t really care what other people think.

Does this answer your question? 

What I don’t want you to do is go and try to justify anything to anyone. 

Because anyone who doesn’t know or has forgotten what it really takes to build a successful business isn’t equipped to understand most of what you’d think would justify your investment in yourself. 

And anyone who knows better but they’re just f’ing  with you for their own ego/amusement isn’t going to let you out of the corner and give up their game no matter what you say, so what’s the point?

RJON

p.s. I forgot if we talked about the mastermind.  If your family is really “in your head” about this the mastermind could help.  At the very least, attending the live quarterly meeting will expose you to a bunch of lawyers who have earned the right to have an opinion about how hard it is to start a successful law firm. 

The meeting this quarter is here in Miami January 14-15th and then the mastermind takes place the evening of the 15th – the afternoon of the 17th.

————> 

. . . and then what followed was a set of instructions for this lawyer to let my staff know s/he’s coming to the meeting in Miami. 

Which, by the way all of our Members get to attend these live quarterly meetings at no charge because “membership has its privleges” as the old AMEX commercials used to say. 

If you’re serious about being a happy lawyer and enjoying all the benefits that flow from having a successful law firm then the thing for you to do is go to  http://www.howtomanageasmalllawfirm.com/mastermind/ and schedule an admission-interview before we run out of space around the mastermind table, and you run out of time (whichever comes first)

-AND-

If you know from experience that it’s not so easy to try & start a SUCCESSFUL law firm (vs. one that just gets-by) -or if you’d prefer to just take our word for it and talk about enrolling in the next “How To START A Successful Law Firm” business-development, rainmaker-training and management coaching program you can visit www.HowToMANAGEaSmallLawFirm.com and click on whichever program seems to best fit your current situation.

  

~ RJON