James Grant: Mistakes to Avoid in Building Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and James Grant discuss:

  • Hiring a business coach early in your law firm.
  • Missteps along the journey to having a successful law firm.
  • Why you need to understand your numbers.
  • Time blocking, not multitasking.

Key Takeaways:

  • Coaches may be expensive, but if you are getting a 10x return or more on that investment, it is absolutely worth it.
  • If you are cheap in your law firm, you will reap what you sow.
  • In hiring an attorney, they should be producing profit for the firm within 4-6 weeks.
  • You might be a great attorney with a great mind, but if you aren’t running a good business your client will not be getting the best service.

“You may not be the best numbers person, but don’t be afraid of the numbers; the more you know, the better decisions you can make based on objective metrics.” —  James Grant

Connect with James Grant:  

Website: https://www.gtakg.com/

Phone: 833-4TheWin

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6YLXt4TEKCgZluDLkzwOQ

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-grant-ba0b5328/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/georgiatrialattorneys

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Connect with Steve Fretzin:

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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, attorneys, law firm, lawyer, coach, firm, client, business, numbers, helping, practice, james, run, year, personal injury attorney, mistake, grow, law, weeks, head

SPEAKERS

Stephanie Vaughn Jones, Narrator, James Grant, Steve Fretzin, Jordan Ostroff

 

James Grant  [00:00]

You may not be the best numbers person, but just don’t be afraid of the numbers. The more you know, the better decisions you can make based on objective metrics.

 

Narrator  [00:14]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for grilling a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:36]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin, as the announcer mentioned, and this show, as you know, is all about helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized and a skilled Rainmaker and my job every single week is to try to bring guests on and interview them and try to pull out the nuggets, the golden nuggets that are going to help you to be stronger, better, faster attorney live a better life, et cetera, et cetera, and go on from there. And, you know, look, I’ve got over 200 episodes under my belt, I feel really good about the show. If you like it, and you’re getting value every single week that you’re listening, please, you know, take a moment to just like us on on your Apple phone or making a comment or review and whatever platform you’re listening to this on and really appreciate it. Again, helping more attorneys to understand and hear the show and get value from what we’re doing today. I’ve got James waiting in the wings, going to introduce him in a minute and of course have to thank our sponsors. We’ve got legalese helping me on the social media, the newsletter and helping attorneys all over the country. Of course, mani pedi doing the live chat on your website and the live reception. So if you’re like paying overpaying a receptionist you want to automate that or heaven forbid you’re doing a phone tree, don’t do a phone tree, what a mistake, especially with intake, right? James got something to say about that, I’m sure. And then of course, our newest sponsor practice Panther, working with us now and helping people with their practice management software. So big shout out to practice Panther more about all three of those sponsors in a bit. James Grant, welcome to the show, man. How are you?

 

James Grant  [02:03]

I am Excellent. Thanks for having me on. Steven, it’s a pleasure to be here and just kind of talking about the business of practicing law.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:08]

Yeah, we’re gonna, you know, chat it up a bit and get into the weeds on this stuff. You submitted a great quote, which I, by the time this airs, I will have already come back from Memphis and have visited the Civil Rights Museum and all that. But you’ve got a great quote today from Martin Luther King Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So that’s really cool, man. Why’d you submit that? What was that mean to you?

 

James Grant  [02:31]

Well, I mean, I got my start when I was a prosecutor. So I mean, I was on the prosecutor side of making sure that you know, the state and victims of the state are taken care of. And it just ties in so well with what I do as a personal injury attorney, you know, people that are wronged in negligence situations, whether it’s a car accident, some football or any number of things. It’s kind of like a David versus Goliath situation, you are going against a, you know, either multinational or global billion dollar a year Corporation. And if you don’t have either true representation, or really good representation, like you’re in a world of hurt, because they’re in the business of making money, and they’re really, really good at it. So I mean, we see it on all sides, whether it’s the criminal defense side of things of civil justice system, or, you know, just the simple Personal Injury side of things like there can be a lot of justice, or injustice out there. And you got to make sure that you treat people right and just do the right thing.

 

Steve Fretzin  [03:23]

And on a lighter side, I’m now driving with my teenager, he got his permit now do I get I get a personal injury attorney to help me protect myself against

 

James Grant  [03:32]

him. I mean, sometimes it’s worthwhile just to have like a little, you know, car that goes like the big trucks that are pulling wide loads, if you just have somebody drive in front of your kids saying, hey, world, my son’s come and my daughter’s coming. I feel like I’m gonna probably be doing the same thing. Because let everybody know, Hey, be aware. Yeah. There’s some newbies that out in the road

 

Steve Fretzin  [03:51]

that I got, I got the magnet that goes on the back that says student driver amps. I apologize in advance, or whatever it says. But James Grant, you’re the CO founding partner of Georgia trial attorneys. Welcome to the show. And I just loved our pre interview chat. I thought we were two peas in a pod when it comes to, you know, the way we see things and growing a law practice. So I was really excited to have you on what’s your background, and in practicing the law and kind of coaching attorneys and like being the kind of a real kind of motivated guy in the industry.

 

James Grant  [04:22]

So I mean, like I said, it all started when I was a prosecutor. And I was like, no, like, it’s great. It’s fun. I enjoy it. But there’s this whole other side as well. I mean, so many people, when they think attorney, they’re like, Oh, you do criminal defense, because that’s all people really think. But there’s a whole nother side of the law. So once I got involved in that, my business partner, Mark, and we looked at each other and we’re like, we can do this. We can put systems and things in place, and we can run a really good business model. And I mean, we started our business in 2015. We were two dudes that I call just we were idiots. We were doing like we were just hanging out in Marks basement and We had these grand plans of what it was going to be. But we didn’t know how to get there. And if I would just have the ability to go back and talk to myself and give myself like one or two pieces of advice that would just change so much. But I mean, you know, we, we started the system, we put things in place, we’ve grown consistently, year after year, I mean, we average more than 30% growth year after year, this year, we’re on track for almost 100% growth. So I mean, you know, things things are possible when you put the pieces and people in place to be successful. And it’s just been fun.

 

Steve Fretzin  [05:29]

Yeah, I mean, fun is fun is good. And obviously, there’s mistakes that are made, and anything we can do. And one of the reasons I think people work with me and work with a coach in general is to try to avoid mistakes in the first place. But the reality is that that’s honestly how we learn. We can’t get through life without making mistakes and, and doing things. And so when you think about kind of getting started 2015 hanging out in the basement with Matt, and all that, like, what were some of the things that you guys, like the biggest mistakes you’ve made, that you made along the way in the journey to building a successful practice, I think it’d be good for people to hear those. Yeah, by far,

 

James Grant  [06:03]

the absolute biggest mistake that we made was not hiring a business coach fast enough. When you think about it, from a legal perspective, you know, we go to law school, and we’re trained not even how to practice law, we’re just trained how to think like attorneys in that three or five years, whatever program you’re in, and then you get out. And the bar knows that I would say a vast majority of attorneys are either going to own their own practice, or they’re going to be really high up in the decision making process of a law firm. And none of us are very few of us have true business knowledge and expertise and understanding. So it’s kind of like, you don’t know what you don’t know. And the second we got a business coach, I mean, we were growing, like I said, we were growing consistently year after year, but it was like throwing gas on the fire. I mean, we were able to do things that I just didn’t know were possible. Because, you know, when you grow from one level, when you grow from $0 to $250,000, in gross revenue, to 500 to a million to 2 million to hopefully next year, we’re going to be at 5 million. You know, like when you start reaching those levels of revenue, your firm changes every single time. And if we don’t have a coach telling us what to do, like, we will just be flailing around.

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:16]

Yeah. But James, let me push back on you. Because I’ve heard the rumor that coaches are expensive. And you know, they’re going to take you away from the billable hour or so it’s probably best if people don’t hire coaches.

 

James Grant  [07:28]

I would say 100% Correct. If you think about it from that perspective, yeah. Could a coach be expensive? Yeah. I mean, could a coach charge $1,000? Could a coach charge $10,000? But if you’re getting a 10x, or more return on any of that, like, if you tell me, Hey, I’m gonna give you 100 bucks. But then you’re gonna give me back 10,000? Deal? How many times? Can we do this over and over again? Yeah, I know that then to answer your other question. Yeah, billable hours. Most of us that started law firms did not start law firms so that we could be a slave to our law firm, I started a law firm to help a lot of people and do a lot of good, but also to provide for my family and to give me a lifestyle that I want to be able to enjoy. So I don’t want to be working all those hours, when I can build a law firm that helps me get there and help a lot of people at the same time. So yeah, you can do both of those.

 

Steve Fretzin  [08:24]

Yeah, yeah, obviously, you know, a little bit of goof there. But the idea is that you need to really vet a coach and look, so if somebody’s gonna hire me or hire someone else, again, whatever is going to do the trick. Just make sure that that coach understands the industry understands you that the personality fits there, and what they deliver is what you need to get to the next level. And so I would talk to their client, like I always encourage my clients to come and sit in through one of my classes or speak to my clients. Well, why? Because I want them to hear from another lawyer 10x 20x, whatever the number is, it’s not something that they can just sort of maybe get a handle on what that investment should be and what the ROI is, without doing a little bit of research. I just, you know, I just I think it’s important for that transparency to occur. Oh, yeah,

 

James Grant  [09:13]

I mean, you’ve got to be on the same page, because obviously, there’s going to be some level of intimacy, like you’re going to be knowing things about how the firm works, what the processes are, what the gross revenue is, what the profit margins are, like, there’s so many numbers that you may not want to share with just any other person, but you still need to have that level of confidence where you can share information but you can also accept criticism because even though you’re an attorney, you don’t know everything.

 

Steve Fretzin  [09:39]

Yeah, I think confidence trust and I’m gonna throw one more in that’s understanding and so when I meet with someone and I evaluate their gaps, if there are gaps are what I do. Let’s Let’s continue the conversation. If the gaps are they need a website, the gaps or they need a business coach, because they’re looking to scale they want to hire and scale that’s not really my jam. I’m more on the business development, how do we create business? So I’m the first one to say, hey, you need to talk with other these other coaches, and I’ve got a whole, you know, kind of stable of them. And but I think it’s that level of if I could repeat back and say, Look, based on what you’re telling me, you need this, this, this, this, this, this, these are the gaps, okay? This is what I do, they should feel like, Oh, this guy was listening, he understands. And he understand he thinks that it’s a might be a fit,

 

James Grant  [10:24]

let’s keep exploring it. Yeah, I mean, because you’ve got different parts of a law firm, I mean, from, from the marketing, to the sales to the production of how you actually do things, the people that you need, you know, the financial controls, and the metrics and the human resources. And then you’ve also got your personal development, I mean, there’s a lot of different things that you can focus on throughout a law firm in a business that, you know, one person may be good at one or two or three things and you may need help on another area. So realizing that is, you know, I think is key.

 

Steve Fretzin  [10:52]

So not have not getting a coach fast enough is one thing, you’re kind of putting out there that you wish, if you could go back in time, you would have done it sooner. What’s another couple things that you found were sort of missteps along the journey to have a very successful firm.

 

James Grant  [11:09]

Number two is easy, being cheap, like anything, whether it’s software, technology, equipment, staff, whatever it is, if you are cheap on anything, you reap what you sow, and a lot of it is perspective, it took me a while to realize this. But when it comes to, for instance, staffing, so many times, especially attorneys, because I talked to him, you know, we get these numbers in our head of oh, I’ve got to bring in this associate, and I’m gonna pay him, you know, 5060 100 120 150 200, whatever the number is, you get that annual number and that number is stuck in your head, and oh, my goodness, where am I going to come up with $150,000. But that’s not the way you should think of it. You know, if you’re hiring an attorney, that attorney should be producing revenue to the firm and profit to the firm, within four to six weeks. So really, you’re only out their salary, while they get trained on your system and learn how to do things, four to six weeks max, if they’re not producing at a 4x or more, then maybe they’re not the right fit for your law firm. But you don’t have to be out $200,000 You’re out just you know, four to six weeks. And when you look at it from that perspective, because all these investments will save you time and make you more efficient, and ultimately make you more money.

 

Steve Fretzin  [12:30]

Do you have any tips? Just this is sort of an off the off the cuff question but around hiring the right people in saying how do you evaluate in that four to six week period, that they’re a strong player producer? Keep them or this is not what I thought because I think that’s a big issue with what’s going on right now with the resignation. And with the just the, you know, economy and everything. Are there any any secret sauce, ideas you could share there.

 

James Grant  [12:54]

So one thing that we started doing is we started developing scorecards early on in the interview process, and then maintaining those through the first couple of weeks of onboarding, but you filter tons of resumes, because tons of people apply, and you still get lots of applications. But you have to have a scorecard of, you know, these are the things that I want in an employee. And this is what we’re going to be focused on. And then asking them questions in the interview of these are what I see as the three or four main metrics of success in the first 60 to 90 days. What do you think about that? Which one of these would you prioritize, and getting people to buy into what they’re going to be doing in the objectives early on, as opposed to well, you know, Johnny, over here, recommend Sally. So they’re obviously going to be great, because they did well at that law firm. And then you get them in and say, well, here’s 5000 tasks that need to be done two weeks ago, can you start on all them? Like, you can’t dump on people? It’s not going to work? Right?

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:58]

But I like the idea that that we we track and measure and score, what we’re looking to accomplish and including them in the process as well. Instead of you know, okay, now welcome to the firm, here’s your phone, here’s your desk, go to work, do whatever and the training is ended. Right? They just need to know what they’re supposed to do. That’s not real. That’s not That’s not real life. Right? So we’ve got hiring a coach, we’ve got stopped being so damn cheap. And then what would be another sort of mistake that we would want to advise lawyers to avoid?

 

James Grant  [14:30]

So it’s funny because your off the cuff comment leads directly

 

Steve Fretzin  [14:33]

to my there wasn’t so off the cuff, maybe yeah, that’s

 

James Grant  [14:37]

good. I like that. You’re smart coach. I see what was happening here. But no, it’s just the failings of not training and retraining throughout an employee’s duration with the firm. You know, we were very big early on about writing down having templates and policies and procedures and processes and all of that stuff in zoom and video recordings and, you know, tons and tons of data on how to do the job. And everybody gets all these different modules and all this training, and those first four to six weeks. And then we fall off the wagon and assume that they’re going to remember all that stuff and not doing consistent retraining. And, hey, we’ve made an update to the manual, here’s the new update, familiarize yourself and please ask us questions to make sure that we’re all on the same page, and that we’re still achieving the desired result. Because you know, when someone leaves is generally when you start to look under the hood, and you’re like, oh, they were doing this the wrong way for the last six months. Whereas if you were training them on a regular basis, and retraining, you make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks. And people don’t start going rogue with your manuals and your processes. Because at the end of the day, it’s your name on the door. So you signed off on whatever they did, regardless whether it was good or bad.

 

Steve Fretzin  [15:56]

Yeah, and I think there’s a definite correlation between the time that we invest in people and the return on that investment in the sense of how they feel connected to you how they feel connected to the firm, what they’re learning. I think people crave feedback, even though not everybody takes feedback the same way. You’ve got to be flexible about how that but But what younger lawyer wouldn’t want to learn from someone who’s successful? I mean, that would be like that’s, that’s sort of the big deal of having a mentor having someone that you can that you can learn from, if you’re not hungry to learn, then you’re not going to be very good attorney.

 

James Grant  [16:30]

Yeah, I mean, and having that person that you can look up to whether it’s in your farm, or whether it’s another firm, like there’s a lot of attorneys and a lot of business people that are out there that are willing to talk about what they do and how they’ve gotten there. So, you know, shoot off an email, shoot out a DM, like, just reach out to people. And there’s, you’ll be surprised at how much feedback that you get. Yeah.

 

[16:53]

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Jordan Ostroff  [17:34]

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Steve Fretzin  [17:56]

Hey Steph, tell everyone what Moneypenny does for law firms

 

Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [18:00]

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Steve Fretzin  [18:13]

I did not know that. That’s a lot of business going away right there. Let’s cut to the chase. What are you prepared to do for my listeners?

 

Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [18:20]

We’re offering an exclusive two week free trial. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can call me directly on 470-534-8846. I mentioned that you’ve heard this add on Steve’s podcast.

 

Steve Fretzin  [18:34]

Very cool, thanks. What would be another another mistake or misstep that lawyers make in trying to start a practice grow practice?

 

James Grant  [18:44]

I mean, one of the things that I see all across the gambit is you know, most people went to law school, because they weren’t great at math and science. You know, they’re like, I’m not good at those things. So the next best thing, I couldn’t be an engineer, so I’m gonna go to law school. I was a civil engineer, before I went to law school. So I’ve got a little bit of a, you know, numbers side of things. But still, accounting scares me because it’s just, it’s backwards math to me, like the credits and debits, when you first get in there, like accounting can seem overwhelming. And you have, you know, profit and loss statements and balance sheets and cash flow reports and, you know, pipeline reports and all these different reports that you can look at. But if you take charge of your numbers, and you know your numbers, and you review these reports, not just once a year, but like your weekly and bi weekly and monthly and quarterly reviewing certain reports and tracking the data and knowing where your firm is, from a financial standpoint, it’s going to make things so much easier. So you may not be the best numbers person, but just don’t be afraid of the numbers. The more you know, the better decisions you can make based on objective metrics as opposed to well, I think we’re doing really good this month like that.

 

Steve Fretzin  [19:57]

I mean, I think my teenager could run circles around me in math right? Now as a sophomore in high school, I mean, it’s, it’s that bad. And I use my phone calculator for just about everything. And if I didn’t have a bookkeeper that sends me, my AR sends me my p&l, my balance sheet, you know, it just gives me all the data that I need to understand, where’s my marketing budget going? Where’s my old? Where’s my overhead? Where should it be? Like all that information is so critical to making decisions. And so people that just avoid the numbers because they that’s not their jam, you need to make sure you get some help with that, whether that’s a bookkeeper or accountant or advisor. I’ve worked with a number of financial advisors in the legal industry that helped people should I be getting 3x or 4x out of an associate? And what does that look like? They don’t even know what they’re getting. They don’t I talked to my client on Monday, then he’s like, I have no idea like, what’s going on? I was like, he’s just like, I just know that we’re paying out too much. And we’re not taking in enough like, Okay, well, gotta get more detailed than that.

 

James Grant  [20:57]

Yeah, we’re gonna have to dive into the, you know, budget, the Budget Variance reports and all those things, but like, the way I see it is if you can turn those fears into almost a sales proposition and a marketing effort as well, because then when you’re having that sales call with a prospective client, you can say, Hey, I know my numbers, you know, I know exactly what it’s going to take to get your case from A to B. And then the alternatives that come along the way like we’re, you know, our firm is stable, our firm has financial stability. And we know exactly where we are, you know, the other firms that are out there, because, again, we all go to the bar association meetings, we all talk, we all know people, you know, there’s people that are out there that are, you know, running by the seat of their pants, or that they’re having trust reconciliation issues, or they’re pulling out money when they shouldn’t be, there’s all sorts of things where you may be a great attorney or legal mind. But if you’re running a terrible business, the client is going not, they’re not the client not going to get the best level of service.

 

Steve Fretzin  [21:56]

And I’ll tell you something else. And I interviewed my dad on my 200th podcast, and I didn’t share this story, because I think it would have embarrassed him. But he doesn’t listen to this. So I think I can share with you who’s watching this after he retired. He was walking down the sales Street in Chicago, and an old client of his saw on their passing on the street. And she walked Oh, my God, Larry, are you’re in the city? Are you still pretty good? No, I’m retired. I’m just down here for some, you know, for some, I think he was doing some arbitration or something like that. And she goes, You are the best attorney I ever had hands down. And God were you cheap. And right, so your head just lowered. My heart just sank into my stomach. And my father is one of these guys who’s a he grew up in the projects, he grew up with a sense of fairness, I think he mentioned in the interview that he doesn’t care if he’s got a multimillion dollar client or, you know, someone off the street that needs help, he’s going to represent everybody equally. That being said, he didn’t understand his value. And he didn’t price himself where he should have priced himself. He didn’t raise it the way he was, he should have raised it over time. And I think it ultimately hurt is, you know, he’s retired now he’s retired, he’s fine. He’s not in any kind of stress about money. But I think he probably could have brought in an extra million or two over the years if he had just that little

 

James Grant  [23:11]

tidbit of advice. Well, I don’t spend a lot of time. I mean, I don’t do hourly billing. I don’t do flat fee billing. I’m a contingency lawyer. So I mean, sometimes that’s a little bit different from this conversation, but I talk with a lot of attorneys that are on that side of the fence. And we get so scared and in our heads that, oh, if I raise my prices, there’s 50 lawyers down the street that will do it for less. Well, all you’re doing is you’re psyching yourself out, have you actually tested it? Like have you actually gone and raised your prices to see, do you have less calls? Do you have less conversions? Or is it just this mental thing that you’ve worked up where I can’t do it? Because a lot of people that I talked to that raise their prices, clients pay it, and now they make more money. And it was just them that was holding themselves back? As opposed to the market.

 

Steve Fretzin  [23:59]

And in to your point testing it? I mean, it’s a lot of it is the head trash of I’m not worth it. I don’t deserve it. I you know, it’s not true in most cases. And the idea is that if you’re charging like say 375 an hour, and you’ve never tested 400 or 425. And let’s say you do in the first 10 People say sure that’s no problem, where do you want me to send the check or whatever. You’re like, Oh, my God. And so you do the math on the billable hour over that time. And it’s a tremendous amount of money being left on the table. And that’s one of the first things I look at when I work with a client is Jeez, what should your numbers be? Because it sounds like that’s really low. And I don’t know, you know, 10 years, 15 years of experience, you should be at that level. But that’s just one piece of it. Let’s let’s get into the weeds a little bit on what’s the mark, in your opinion, have a great lawyer and a great business professional, great business lawyer. Somebody can really generally you know, build a law firm. What does that look like? What’s the what are that attributes?

 

James Grant  [24:57]

So I mean, it goes back to the first mistake If you’re not having a coach fast enough, but if you are either a client looking for a law firm, or you’re an employee looking for a boss, you know, or you just want to be a entrepreneur, like you need to have a business coach, you need to have that as a part of your business. Because you don’t know everything. You may be the best criminal defense attorney for, you know, firms that are revenues between 250 and $500,000 a year. But the second you ramp up your marketing, and you’re a million dollar firm, guess what, everything changes, you can’t run your firm that same way. And if you try to, you’re going to run yourself ragged. So you know, you run your business, like a business, just because you’re a law firm doesn’t mean you’re special. You can be just like Amazon, it’s, you’re a business owner, that just so happens to practice law. It’s all this in the second year, like you said, take your head out of it, and just run based on objective numbers and metrics, things are so much easier. Yeah.

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:05]

I agree. And I think you know, lawyers hear that all the time. It’s, you know, the law of business and business law and should be run like a business. I don’t understand why that doesn’t resonate. I think they’re just, they’re just trying to avoid the, you know, avoid that’s almost like sales. Like I could say, you know, hey, you’re selling legal services, I’m not selling legal services, oh, at the best word, oh, my god, once we just own it, and just say, You know what, screw it. I’m a business owner, I’m a sales man, I’m a whatever it whatever, move past it, and understand that the business doesn’t work without you being a business person. This, this doesn’t come in without you having to go out and sell legal services. Now, I try to teach sales, free selling to help, you know, give it a softer play and a softer method. So you don’t have to convince in convincing job people to get in. However, at the end of the day, it’s client development, you have to go out and get it. So I think we’re just, you know, mixing words around to try to make it comfortable for the snowflakes.

 

James Grant  [27:01]

Well, yeah, I mean, if you don’t get out of your comfort zone, like, you’re never gonna go anywhere. Yeah, I agree.

 

Steve Fretzin  [27:06]

So what’s the advice then to any law firm owner or future owner and I know coaching is top of the list, we’ve got that covered, what’s one or two other things you’d say, look, you’re gonna go in, you’re gonna run a law firm, you’re gonna break away from your firm, you got to do this. And don’t be silly about it.

 

James Grant  [27:22]

distractions and time management. I mean, I’m terrible about this. I’ve been working on this for ever. But in the society that we’re in, like, everything is a notification, whether it’s a text, or an email, I mean, you’re gonna get a ding on your phone, you’re gonna get a ding on your outlook, you’re getting a little pop up on the bottom of your screen. Like there’s notifications and bells and whistles that are going off all the time. Don’t fall prey to those dopamine addictions, because that’s exactly what it is. And it can be an addiction that distracts you. Because every time you’re pulled away, you may think you’re the best multitasker, you are not a good multitasker. It’s not possible. So just block off time, say, you know, for these two hours, the first two hours of the day, I’m going to plan out my day, or it may not take that long, but at least you block off that time that I’m Do Not Disturb no incoming calls, no people in the office, if you’re in the office, like any number of things, but you just set aside certain blocks of this is what I’m doing. This is the only thing I’ll be doing. And guess what if I don’t finish the given task in that time, I’ll come back to it tomorrow. Because rarely, is anything like pants on fire. Oh, my goodness, the law firm is burning to the ground. Everyone needs to leave now like, That rarely happens. It’s not a true emergency. And lawyers

 

Steve Fretzin  [28:45]

always take that road. It’s always you know, I can’t do this. Because I’ve got you know, the available, they’re picking up their phone talking to every client, and they don’t get anything done. And they don’t realize that if they just take a step back and realize it’s all about setting expectations, my clients know they can call me any time. They also know that if if I don’t pick up leave a message because I’ll get back to them. If I’m fishing with my son, I’m not going to pick up the Father I have, honestly, but I try not to pick up the phone. When I’m on a date night with my wife. I’m not picking up the phone. So leave message I’ll get back to you. It’s not You’re not calling me because again, the barns on fire. So I think lawyers just have to realize if they can set the expectations of what the turnaround time is on a call and email, then it’s not quite you know, such a big deal. Couple of thoughts to just, I was thinking about the show or the movie, the social dilemma. Do you ever see that? I have not Oh my god. So if you think about how your phone and social media are impacting your ability to run your lifetime, manage how you feel about yourself. Check out that I don’t remember what channel the time but social dilemma really gets into the weeds and it’s again talking to people actually programmed, you know, Facebook and all that stuff to talk about what they meant to do, and that is to destroy your life. Exactly. So really be careful with that we got to find the silver linings through that social media mess. But that’s a really good one. And then of course, I’m a big fan of getting things done with David Allen. And atomic habits is a good one, as well. So a lot of content out there to just be more productive. And I think we have to become students of productivity, time management, delegation, etc. In order to get things you need to get anything going today. Otherwise, you’re just buried in that you’re drowning, quicksand, or, you know, buried in the mud. Well, and

 

James Grant  [30:29]

I’ll give you a quick bonus tip, no, attorneys like to think that they need to do everything. attorneys do not need to do everything. Now, you know, what do you need your law license to do? Need your law license to approach the judge, argue in court attend mediations, and depositions and things like that. You need a law license to sign pleadings. And you need a law license to give legal advice. If you’re an attorney, and you’re doing anything else other than those three things, you are not maximizing your value to the client. Everything else can be done by other lower level but still highly skilled staff members. I mean, we have staff members all across the globe, in our law firm, we are almost an entirely virtual law firm. And our attorneys only handle high level things because that’s the best use of their time. And the best uses of the client’s time because it gets their case resolved faster.

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:22]

And no doubt about it. James, thanks so much for being here. You have submitted a favorite book game changing book, The Power of Ted, the empowerment dynamic, why do you submit that book.

 

James Grant  [31:36]

So I mean, there’s so much that’s wrapped up in that book. But the biggest goal is to either be a coach or accept coaching. And it’s just wrapping your head around how you change from, there’s this thing called the dreaded Drama Triangle and in the power of Ted, and how you can be either a victim or a persecutor. I mean, there’s so many different little nuggets in there about how people feel right now. And how if they don’t change, they’re gonna feel the same way in 510 1520 years, you need to change the way you think and the way you ask and the way you receive information, because it’s just going to help you in your professional, professional and financial life.

 

Steve Fretzin  [32:17]

Yeah, very cool. I mean, all that kind of stuff is so important right now, especially with all the craziness going on in the world, we need to get our heads straight. And we need to think about the positive and we need to focus and it’s just, it’s never been more challenging to do. And so I appreciate you coming on the show, sharing your wisdom, lots of mistakes you made and lots of things you’ve figured out and solved and sharing your wisdom with my audience. Just really appreciate it, James.

 

James Grant  [32:41]

No, I’m glad to do it. I mean, I’m also glad to talk with people as well. So you know, if you want to get a hold of me, you know, it’s it’s not hard. How do they find you give the digits. Alright, so, you know, obviously, you can go to our website, you can call our phone number, it’s all the same. We’re 833 for the win. That’s the number for ice that makes it easy. It’s spelling. You can also find me on everywhere. Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok. I’m Accident Attorney JG so if you want to, you know, DM me, if you want to comment on one of my videos and ask question, always get back to you.

 

Steve Fretzin  [33:10]

Yeah. Well, you’re quite the personality and I can see you know why you’re successful in what you’re doing and just the way you handle yourself and everything and I just appreciate you taking the time. So thanks again, James. No, no problem. Thank you. And thank you everybody for spending some time with James and I today. Again, the goal helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s competent, organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Take care of the safety well, we’ll talk again soon.

 

Narrator  [33:39]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com. For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes