In today’s episode we’re sharing a presentation from MacLawCon 2020. Our originally scheduled MaxLawCon 2020 speaker Anneke Godlewski presented LIVE to the Maximum Lawyer Guild community and today we share her talk: Find Your Why.
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Transcript: “Find Your Why” with Anneke Godlewski
Run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast, podcast, your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation from Max law con 2020. Our originally scheduled Max con speaker Annika bluesky, presented live to the maximum lawyer guild community.
And today we share her talk, find your why. Let’s get to it. I’m Monica Lewinsky, I’ve met a ton of you. And I’m really excited. I was really bummed that we couldn’t do this live in St. Louis. But at least I figured we could do it here. And I know that everybody is really gonna miss each other. You know, and I think there’s been a little bit of chatter, like, especially with next week coming up when we would have been in St. Louis. I was like, Oh, it’s so it’s such a bummer. But it’s nice that you guys were willing to have us present electronically. That’s, that’s really great. Absolutely.
I completely agree. It’s gonna take a long time to get to next year, but we’re already planning for it. So I’m excited.
Yeah. And it was nice, because everything I think, for the most part is just going to seamlessly transfer. So hopefully, it will work out.
Take it away. Yeah. So what I was planning on talking about in St. Louis was how to find your why. And I know that that’s a really broad topic. But I think that it should be one of the cornerstones or one of the key stones of figuring out your the way that you want to market your practice. So I mean, I’m sure a lot of you guys have heard me say this before, my little stick does that. So many people would read like, they don’t even want to hire an attorney, they dread it because they would rather not have the problem that they have in the first place that requires them to need an attorney. So I’m not going to go into the same old spiel that I always talk to people about about, you know, connecting with people before they even have a problem showing them that you are the best option, all of those things. But sometimes, I mean, we all get that, that you should start marketing and start connecting even before somebody has an issue. But it’s also important to figure out in those marketing messages, why you do what you do, because that’s one way that it’s going to help you connect with those potential clients and help them also kind of understand what it is you do, and how to explain to other people what you do, which makes it easier for referrals and stuff. Because sometimes, you know, we have these happy clients, and we have these people who would go to the ends of the earth for you as a lawyer because you’ve solved their problem you have changed their life, you’ve you know, prevented them from serious, serious tragedy from their tragedies extending the rest of their lives. They would love to send you referrals, but they don’t really know what to say, all they know is like call my guy or call my girl or call my lady. But if that person’s like, well, what are they going to do for me? And you know, like, what’s this? What are the specific things that they’re going to be able to help me with? It’s sort of there’s, there’s maybe like a little piece missing? Right? Because they don’t, they don’t know exactly all they know is that the problem was solved. So I guess that’s a long winded way of introducing the What’s your why. And it was really awesome, because I did this exercise with Billy Umansky, which was, anybody who knows about is, you know, he’s hilarious. And I said, Okay, well, let’s just let’s just try this out. And I will say that in the guild, there are a series of videos that you can watch, and it’ll break all of this down, all these different questions are completely broken down, they have videos to go with each stage of figuring out your why. And then a worksheet that you can download to so if it sounds like I’m jumping all over the place, because let’s face it, I do you all know me, feel free to go to the videos, and you can get my full in order thing. But at its core, figuring out your why is what gets you out of bed in the morning, why you do what you do, and what makes you feel like you’re the best option for your potential clients. And again, like it is a very broad topic. But if you can kind of narrow down what your passion is, it’ll help you talk about your firm and not so much of a I’m a lawyer and I can solve all your problems, but more like, Hey, I’ve been there, I’ve dealt with crazy stressful situations too. And I want to prevent you from having to deal with the same thing. So the main, like the basic outline of figuring out your why is to do some exercises with yourself. I will you know, I had all these like really cool like headings of which ones are which so I’m going to I’ll share my screen with you and you can see because I’m finally getting a little bit better at PowerPoint. So I was so excited that they looked so good. But so the first question that I encourage people to ask is, who’s the real you? Right? Who are you? And I’m not talking about what type of law you practice. I’m not talking about where you went to law school. I’m not talking about, you know, I don’t know, when your family came to the, to the United States. I’m talking like, who are you? When you’re not in the office? What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? Maybe you are an avid cyclist? Maybe you and your family love to rock climb? Maybe you have a passion for volunteering, you know, who are you? If you didn’t have to be at the office? What would you be and time and money? Were no option are no, like, no issue at all? What would you be doing with your life? And that kind of forces you to think about what your clients are also preferring to? Do? You know, like, do they enjoy spending time with their family the same way that you do? Do they like walking their dog? Do they enjoy? You know, getting up early and watching the sunrise? I know, it’s quirky, which is right, like write the answers down, you’ll see it in the in the little little course, it’s in the maximum layer gills, but who are you talking about all the different things that you enjoy doing? Okay, so the next one, people are like, Okay, what, why did? Why do I have to, you know, figure out who I am. So hang on. Next one is why you chose to practice law. And sometimes these you know, this reason is going to be very closely aligned with what you are also passionate about, you know, what you’re passionate about in your life. So, or maybe it could be very closely related to something that has happened to you, or, you know, a big problem that you might have had an actually wondering if, when you’re the next question will also address this issue. But but write down all the reasons why you’d like to help other people. You know, I know, especially in this group, that becoming a lawyer was not all because of the paycheck and you know, whether or not you decided to go into a certain practice area, because that’s where, you know, that was a practice area that you were a law clerk in, or maybe because you’re in a family firm, where if that’s what your parents did, and you’re taking over the firm, but write down, you know, write down, why you chose to do what you do, and, and also some of the things that bring you joy when the case is resolved, whether it’s, you know, helping a mom get back on her feet after a nasty divorce, or if it’s helping somebody kind of get their life back after they were seriously hurt in a car accident and unable to work. So write that down, then we’ll put it all together at the very end, I promise. And the fourth one is, or the third one is rather, how do you deal with stress? For me when I’m super stressed out, I cannot sleep, I fall asleep and then I wake up, fall asleep, wake up, fall asleep, wake up, I try my best not to be impatient with my adorable seven year old who often seems to be the most needy when I am extra stress. It’s almost like he can feel it and and add the you know, sometimes it adds to it. But what do you do? Do you how do you cope? I mean, do you? Do you find yourself just kind of pulling back? Do you find yourself not really hanging out with your family? As much? Do you find yourself working late, you know, unable to sleep, or maybe you are just, you know, short when you don’t mean to be short. Or maybe you tend to just not talk to anybody at all, because you’re just so lost in your own thoughts. Think about that, think about what your your own reaction is to large amounts of stress. And the next one is, remember, when you almost lost your belief, the story of the most stressful problem ever experience. So I want you to then think about and write down a problem that was that seemed so insurmountable, that you just didn’t think that you were going to overcome it. And you know, maybe it was something financial, maybe it was losing a loved one, maybe it was a really bad diagnosis. You know, obviously we don’t, we don’t like to think about those tragedies. But if we’re going to try our best to connect with our clients and just discussed and figure out what our y is and then communicate that to them, we have to remember that they are going through something really bad nine times out of 10 they’re going through something really bad. So this is a good way to connect with that and to try to think of how they’re thinking so what is you know, think of a problem that was really scary for you write it down? And and try to think about also what the circumstances were that led up to that problem. You know, maybe in a maybe for a car accident, right? You have this horrible car accident and you the beginning stages of it were that you didn’t really think about the insurance coverage or you didn’t really think about you know, you thought I’m invincible nobody’s ever gonna hit me. And then all of a sudden, the, the car accident was a problem, of course. But even a bigger problem was that now you’re dealing with all these insurance insurance companies and you don’t have enough coverage because you didn’t even think about it. So like, think about life before this big problem, and then how those how life before and maybe a decision or lack of decision caused extra problems later. Again, this is probably isn’t gonna make much sense as I go through it. But when we put it together, we’ll you’ll see, hey, guys, it’s
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that I want you to think of how that problem was resolved. Right? How did you see the light at the end of the tunnel? The feeling of having your stressful problem solved? What? How did you get there? What did did you receive help from a family member? Did you have to hire an attorney of your own? Did you have? I don’t know. So we’ve shown some grace by a company that really didn’t have to do whatever it was that they did to help solve that problem. You know, when what? What was the solution? And how did it come about? And then how did you feel after you received that solution or after everything was, it was over? I mean, for me, you know, a lot of the crazy stuff that’s happened even recently in my life, you know, when when a problem is, is finally solved, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. I feel like there is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and I feel like I can breathe again. And I feel like I can not cry at the, you know, Hallmark commercials that are on TV or I can you know, not pick out a Mother’s Day card without tearing up, you know, like silly stuff like that. But I know it sounds a little goofy to describe things in such mundane detail. But believe me, if you write it all down, it will help you when we put it all together, and I can sleep again. So figure out what it is, you know, think about how you deal with stress. Think about a problem that caused you a lot of stress. Think about how you felt during that problem and how you were able to resolve it, and then how you felt afterward. And another thing that I think is important, again, it’s mentioned in the courses is when you’re figuring out when you’re when you’re identifying what the solution was and who it was that helped you. How did you feel toward that person or that company? Did you want to say thank you write a thank you card? Did you want to give a good testimonial? Did you want to give them a hug? Did you want to, you know, like sing from the rooftops their name and tell everybody around you about them. Chances are that you are so relieved. And you’re so thankful that the problem was solved, that you want to do something, anything to show your appreciation for them. And then also how to give other people dealing with the same problem that you did the gift of having that other person as a solution. So you’re really you probably chomping at the bit to make the referral. So when we put this all together, and again, there’s a worksheet. So I keep saying that. But you know, I always get nervous, something biggest thing. So whatever.
You’re going to end up with kind of a, a story, if you will, of, hey, I know what it’s like to be stressed when I’m stressed. And when I’m scared. And when I’m worried, I’m not able to eat and I’m not able to sleep and I’m impatient with my kids. Especially, you know, I can remember this one time where I just I thought well here I’ll give you a good example. And I don’t think I don’t know how not a lot of people know this, but my husband used to own a motorcycle or a motorsport shop. And in 2014, he had a really bad falling out with his business partners business partner, stole a bunch of inventory and shut the doors and locks just it was a it was a bad situation. And my husband had to file bankruptcy. And it was terrifying because he had put his heart and his soul his heart and soul into that place. And, you know, for the past eight years we had an 18 month old baby at home Um, and I was scared, shitless terrified, and I didn’t, I really didn’t think that we were going to get out, you know, figure out a way to overcome it, we had only been married for a few years. And, you know, it’s it, that’s tough as it is. And I was really, I was really scared. And luckily, you know, there, there was a great attorney who was able to walk us through everything and make sure that we didn’t, you know, lose everything. But after it was over and after, my husband went back to work and blessing in disguise that that happened, because life is so much better now, especially for my husband, and it was with that company anyway, I felt a lot of relief, right? So how do you feel when you’re stressed? What is it problem that you can think of that caused you the most stress you’ve ever felt in your life? What was the resolution? And how did you feel when it was over? And, you know, how did what did you want to do to thank or recognize that person that helped you, I mean, the attorney that was in our corner, when he was walking my husband, and kind of me through everything, it was mostly him. But we were so grateful. And I was grateful, because he was able to figure out everything and help us in such a way that it didn’t, it didn’t ruin my life, like he I was able to separate, he was able to separate everything, like my own personal things from what Brian had going on, because it was our business. But, you know, if we wouldn’t have had somebody who was so diligent in trying to preserve our family’s well being, then, you know, maybe the outcome would have been the same way. So, you know, we’d like to thank that guy, leave him a good testimonial, and, you know, recommend him to other people. So when you look at all of this and compare it or or merge it with why you decided to go into the practice area that you did, even if the reason that you went into the practice area that you did doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the story of your stress. Like, for instance, let’s pretend that I’m a lawyer. And my story of why I decided to become a divorce attorney has nothing to do with my big stressful bankruptcy problem, right. But you can still make a connection between the feelings that people are feeling. And when you put it all together, and you kind of simplify it into something like, I’m an attorney, because I want to help other people eliminate some of the same stresses that I dealt with over the course of, you know, over however, many years ago, when you can figure out a nice phrase of how to say it, then when you are talking to a neighbor, or the mailman, or, you know, a friend of a friend at a party. And they’re like, What do you do, instead of just saying, Oh, I’m an attorney, and have that be kind of a forgetful answer. You know, people like Okay, great, you’re an attorney. Instead, you have something to talk about and say like, look, I don’t ever want anybody to feel the same stress that I had. And I remember, and you don’t have to go into specifics, do I tell the story about how my husband had to file bankruptcy to everybody meet? No, of course, I don’t. And, I mean, this is a very small group. So I feel comfortable saying that, because I, you know, love and trust so many of you guys. But showing that human side of yourself that you aren’t just some attorney who’s amazing and can solve everybody’s problems, you know, showing that you do have a human side is what is relatable and what’s memorable about you. And, you know, figuring out your why is also it can translate into other aspects of your firm instead of just marketing. For instance, I went down to a law firm in South Carolina, and I spent three days with them. It was it had started off as a question about, you know, just marketing, consulting, but then it kind of morphed into all of these other tweaks and all these other improvements that could be made in the firm, based on their why, right. So if the attorney is Why is to serve his community, and to help give his clients kind of, you know, the peace of mind knowing that even though they they committed a crime, or even though they got in a really bad car accident, he was mostly Criminal Defense and Personal Injury, that he wanted to be that solution for them. And he wanted to be able to lift people up and realize that their lives can go on after something bad like that happens, then what does it take? If that’s the why then what does it take to communicate that to the client, you have to be able to look at your firm and make sure that all the different steps that you’re taking in your firm are matching that? Why? So for instance, like the intake process, right, we were able to tweak the intake process and realize that there were a couple of things that were being left out just because nobody had really nobody had really thought about it. So it wasn’t that they were doing anything bad. But when you’re like, look, if I want these people to be so comfortable and so confident knowing that we will be able to take care of their solution because I was in their shoes once and I don’t ever want anybody else to deal with the same problem or stress that I did. Then, in the intake process, we can use specific language that reiterates that like, you know what, I’m so glad I’m so glad you called us you found the right place. Or you know what the attorney has gone through something just like that. And you are probably so stressed out, I remember when, and again, an intake, I know that time is of the essence. So you don’t have to necessarily go this is kind of a weird example. Because you can’t always go into this long long spiel when you’re on the phone and trying to sell somebody. But you know, how would you feel if you call up a firm, and the intake person is like, oh, my gosh, I’m so happy that you found us because my boss has gone through the same exact thing. And he used to tell me all the time, when he was dealing with, you know, a DUI that was taught, like, he should have never gotten it, and he was terrified of losing his nursing license, he was stressed out, you must be feeling so stressed out, you must be completely unable to sleep, it creates that bond with people almost immediately, instead of what’s your name, what’s your address? What’s your phone number, and we have a $250 consultation fee. Who would you Who would you rather talk to, you know, somebody who, who already seems to get you a complete stranger seems to get you or somebody who’s just like, you know, going through the motions of wanting to sign you up. So I know that this, this is kind of a, it definitely will take a little bit more work, right than just 10 minutes of writing all this stuff down. But even if you have 10 minutes, just, you know, go through the exercises, and I think it’ll help you discover a lot about yourself, that will then give you the confidence to explain it. Like the more you practice it, the more you’ll be able to explain to other people, you know, hey, this is what I this is why I do what I do. And these are the feelings that I had when I was in your shoes. So not only will that be able, like that ability to communicate your Why help with potential clients. But I mean, for this firm down in South Carolina, it was it was able to connect this guy to his staff too, because the staff, you know, it’s easy for a staff member to see this attorney as you know, the guy who signs your paycheck and the guy who tells them what to do, and the guy who, you know, has all these rules. But if they really understand the reason that you do get out of bed every morning, then they’re going to share with you the reason that they get out of bed every morning. And the more that you can do to understand that and the more that they understand you, the more cohesive the firm is going to be and the more communication that you guys will have. And I mean, really, the more cohesiveness you’ll be able to show the clients and something that the clients will look at, and appreciate because it seems like you guys, and it will cause you to be a real team. And that way, everybody’s on the same page. So potential clients, figuring out your why we’ll help potential clients understand what you know why you do what you do, it’ll help your employees figure out why you do what you do, and kind of get them more invested in in the firm and wanting to do a good job to, to fit that why. And then third, like I touched on before, it’ll be able to, you know, you’ll be able to help referral sources, and you’ll be able to really, you know, explain to them explain to your clients exactly why you did it. But then also, I mean, again, if somebody is going to refer you refer their friends to you, they don’t care about the nitty gritty of the order my medical records, you know, every 30 days, and they, you know, send a letter to the insurance company, they don’t care what the logistics, but they do care about sending their friends and family to somebody who gives a shit really, and what better way to show somebody that you give your vision then to be able to explain why you do what you do, but in an emotional and human way. So I think I think that might be it.
That was so good. So I have not viewed your videos in the Kajabi membership. But what I liked about that was okay, so they’re gonna do their why, and that’s great. And they might have thought and then that’s it. But what I love is you’re like, No, then there are these offices making changes based on what they’re finding what they’re why that’s awesome.
Yeah. And, and, again, it doesn’t have to, it doesn’t have to be like this highlight of oh my gosh, these are 60 things that we’re doing wrong. I’m talking like, you can look at every single process in your firm. I mean, I’m talking from marketing all the way to two years out of settlement, settlement or resolution, right? But if you look at every single step, and even if it is something as mundane as following up on medical records, right, you have to call a facility and find out where these records are. That’s a step of the process for a personal injury case. If you say, Okay, I’m the medical records person. Why does my boss do what he does? He because he wants people to have resolution he wants he doesn’t want people to suffer because he knows what it was like watching his his mom in a car accident, right? So When this medical records person is on the phone with the person, if the why is to help other people so that they don’t have to suffer anymore, and so that they can get a resolution in a kind way, then and that has been communicated to the employees, you can integrate that that feeling and that that phrasing right in the way that she asks for the medical records update, hey, this is Annika, I’m calling from, you know, Smith law firm, and I’m just checking up on those records. I know that it’s probably annoying to you know, have to deal with all these requests, but we just we really want this client to not suffer anymore, and they’ve gone through so much. So is there anything that you might be able to let me know about when it you know, when they might arrive? So humanizing that right and showing the client showing that the why behind why you want those records is at the core to help the client get better, that person is going to be so much more likely to actually grab the file and look it up and and get those records out to you faster than Yeah, we ordered those records 30 days ago, where are they? You know, I mean, it’s just it’s like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t seem like it would make that much of a difference. But think about all the different people that you have to talk to every day. And you can remember, you remember the pleasant, you don’t really remember the pleasant ones as much as you remember the jerks, but it’s just It’s refreshing. You know, it’s refreshing when you’re like, oh, because it’s that’s, and that’s also as a side note, I think that that’s why everyone has been having such a hard time with this COVID stuff and all of the isolation. I mean, I really, really struggled with it. When I went out on my own. And I was working from home. I mean, I wasn’t seeing anybody for four days. And I didn’t realize how much of an emotional toll that takes on on your psyche, right? Because humans are they they are born to be able to connect with other humans and make eye contact and hear good inflections in people’s voices and have like really meaningful conversation or meaningful connections. So if you can take just a sliver of that humanity, even on the most mundane thing of checking up on medical records, then think of all the you will quickly get the reputation for being a pleasant firm to work with. I don’t know. So just to just try it. I mean, go through all the different things. And and I’m telling you, it’s not. And it’s not just some, oh, you know, another one of these community marketing, Annika talks about community marketing, it’s a field of thing, like it doesn’t necessarily have to be about rosy colored glasses and Kumbaya. Yeah, it’s like these 60 things that we came up with this, that, you know, together, we came up for this firm. I mean, these are tiny tweaks that equate to dollars, right. So I mean, if it’s going to increase for for referrals, if it’s going to speed up the time it takes to settle a case, if it can affect the relationship, or you know, the rapport that you have with an insurance adjuster causing that which could cause them to give you a higher settlement offer. Or if it could make a client, you know, you’re going the extra mile for the client because of your why and explaining that why and making them over the moon happy, which will again, return turn into either repeat a repeat client or referral, that all equals dollars. So yeah, it’s kind of sappy, but it will make you money too, which is at the end of the day, why everybody’s in business. So I don’t know, it just, I hope you try it
don’t work. Absolutely. That’s awesome. I think and you know, say a week or two, we should check in with the group too. And see, you know, who’s watched this video who’s happened to Kajabi and done it and maybe even chat about what they found, or maybe changes they’re gonna make to? That’d be cool.
Yeah, yeah. And I think Bill has a podcast coming out soon with us doing this exercise for him. And it’ll be really funny. So you guys have to make sure. The law man, I think he calls it the law man podcast, but I don’t know. Look for it’s on Facebook somewhere. But it’s, it’ll be pretty funny too. And we should live up to.