Why I Created the Academy (Wrote This Book)
A few months ago, I met Harold, an attorney who was approaching retirement. His practice spanned more than 35 years, but he never considered himself “successful.” Over the years, he’d made a relatively modest income and never built a profitable law firm that he could sell.
The business he created – and law firms are, of course, businesses – never gave him the lifestyle he wanted. Now, at 70, he is still working, not because he wants to, but because he needs to. He reached out to us because he was looking for a way to get more cases. After learning how long and how much it would cost to build the flow of new business, he exclaimed, “I am just too old to get this going now.”
Not long after encountering Harold, I met Lacey, who was at the opposite end of her career. She was young and bright and wanted to create a prosperous business. She reached out because she, too, wanted to get more cases, but she lacked the resources to hire a high-performance marketing team.
Both lawyers would have liked to retain the digital marketing services my company offered and grow their client base – in other words, make more money – but decided they couldn’t.
Harold is out of time. Lacey doesn’t have the resources.
Both stories are hard. If Harold had strong business acumen, he would have built a better law firm sooner, but they don’t team business acumen in law schools. If Lacey had strong business acumen, she’d work to get the resources to invest into getting more clients. I can see her going the same route as Harold.
I see this all the time: smart ambitious attorneys struggle or make very average incomes despite the enormous investment of time, energy and money into becoming lawyers. I also see the top 2-3% of lawyers, who may not be better at law, but have the business acumen, built the skills and teams, and are absolutely flourishing.
It’s clear that business acumen is the deciding factor. If you got it and use it, you’ll build a great lifestyle.
Don’t have it? You’ll be stuck like Harold and Lacey. Both stories were heart-wrenching. And this is why I decided to create this academy: to give Harold’s and Lacey’s the insights they need to develop their business acumen, become CEOs of their law firms, and build a business that provides them with cash flow to live the lifestyle they want and retire or move on on their terms.
What makes me qualified for this? I’ve been a successful business owner-operator since 2000. I’ve studied business, management, and every other facet of the business, and have advised hundreds of businesses, many of which have grown very substantially based on what the owners learned from me.
Why GLF Academy or Book
The purpose of this book [Academy] is to teach you how to create a better, more profitable, more valuable business. One that fulfills your ambitions. One that you can sell when you’re ready.
And most importantly, one that supports the lifestyle you want and deserve.
Success or mediocrity: it’s a choice.
How do you choose success?
First, we have to look at what makes a business valuable, what makes it a cash-producing asset that can be sold.
As we said, law firms tend to be solo practices or small, cost-sharing partnerships (32%) or mid-size organizations (31%). Only about a third are bigger than that.
But they are all businesses and share the same basic systems like other companies.
The 5 Systems include:
- Leadership/Management. This is the brain trust that sets the goals and direction for a business, ensures that there are targets and plans in place and that the plans are timely executed, and outcomes are measured.
- Marketing. To get new clients, marketing forms the bridge between the company and prospects. The bigger and wider the bridge, the more prospective customers can cross it. Without marketing, firms are left to rely on the most unpredictable source: referrals.
- Sales converse and convert prospects into paying clients. (for most law firms, the main aspect of sales is the initial consult, but for Sales to operate successfully, there is so much more to it).
- Operations. This is the engine room of the company, where the lawyers deliver promised services to the clients.
- HR. This is an oft-overlooked aspect of business, HR recruits and trains candidates, and if it does this well, it creates the whole culture of an organization. With the right people and the right systems, a business can thrive.
These are the core elements of business and they’re exactly what we’ll cover in this book [or Academy].
Your first exercise: Stop thinking of yourself as a lawyer and start thinking of yourself as a business person.
If you’re patient, willing to learn, and ready to implement some changes, read on. We’ll show you exactly how to create the law firm you’ve always wanted.