Today on the podcast Jim and Tyson joined Brian LaBovick. Brian is the CEO and Founder of LaBovick Law Group in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Numbers wise they have 8 attorneys, 40 office staff, and offices in Florida and Massachusetts. Since 1991, the firm has won more than $400 Million for clients.
What most excites Brian these days is ‘Safety 4 Life Foundation’ – his foundation focused on improving youth’s safety regarding the road, the internet, the police, and human trafficking.
Brian also wrote a well-known book called ‘Not a Good Neighbor: A Lawyer’s Guide to Beating Big Insurance by Settling Your Own Auto Accident Case’.
Jim’s Hack: Book: Subtract by Leidy Klotz
Brian’s Tip: TED Talk by Patrick Lencioni on Ideal Team Player or the Five Dysfunctions of Team. But Ideal Team Player is the one that I think people should use.
Tyson’s Tip: Finilize, a really cool productivity tool that takes in that concept that Jason Selk teaches where you pick your top number of things for the day. It reminds you via text. So, you get a text the night before. You enter your three things for the day. And then, it reminds you throughout the day, “Hey, how are you doing with your tasks?” If you’re interested in it head to maxlawaccountability.com.
Watch the interview here.
Run your law firm the right way.
This is The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux.
Let’s partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show.
Jim: Welcome back to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim Hacking.
Tyson: And I’m Tyson Mutrux. What’s up, Jimmy?
Jim: Oh, Tyson, I’ve been reading a great book which I will talk about in my hack of the week but it’s encouraging me to declutter my life. It’s sort of along that Marie Kondo book, but it’s a little bit better. I’ll tell you all about that. But I’ve been cutting things back and I’ve been really enjoying it. So, life is good.
Tyson: That is what we call a tease, people. That’s a tease. I like the tease. Very nicely done.
So, I, Jimmy, this morning, have flown an airplane. I have taken my kids to school. And, now, I’m here having a coffee with you. I’ve had a great morning. It’s pretty exciting stuff.
Jim: Well, let me go ahead and introduce our guest. His name is Brian LaBovick. He’s the CEO and founder of the LaBovick Law Group in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. They have eight attorneys and 40 office staff. They have offices in two states, Florida and Massachusetts, and they’ve won millions and millions for their clients.
Brian, welcome to the show, brother.
Brian: Thank you very much. I really appreciate it, guys. And I’m super jealous. I love flying in a plane like those little small planes. So, Tyson, that sounds like a great start to the morning to me.
Tyson: Hey, tell me when you want to go flying. Let me know. We’ll go have some fun.
Brian: I would love that. My wife has like specifically prohibited me from going in those little planes, you know, out of fear. But I think they’re super fun. We–
Tyson: My wife drove me nuts because she’s got the opposite approach. She’s encouraging it, so. Maybe your wife–
Brian: Oh, interesting. You do have a big insurance policy, right?
Tyson: My wife’s right over there. She’s actually just walked in so she’s hearing everything I’m saying, so.
Brian: Got it.
Tyson: Oh, she’s brought me Starbucks, so I’ve got to be careful.
So, Brian, tell us about your story. What’s your journey? How’d you get to where you are now?
Brian: So, my journey started in the law. So, I’m in Dayton, Ohio and I’ve got two other really, really good friends. And both of their parents were very forward thinking for them, pushing them into pre‑professional stuff. One of them is a cardiologist. The other one is a Wharton‑educated lawyer, now, as adults.
And I got the benefit of that because my parents came from more humble beginnings. My dad got into two years of college. And then, when he wasn’t making it at the Penn State football team, he decided to go and do other things. So, you know, college was a nice thing but not like crazy over‑the‑top thing.
I ended up thinking I was going to be a doctor, in high school. And I got a traffic ticket. And I defended the traffic ticket myself. And I went in. And in Ohio, there’s a prosecuting attorney, and there’s a judge, and it’s a formal proceeding. And I did a really good job defending myself and I fell in love with it. And I crushed this officer on cross exam. And when I got done with that, the judge said to me, “I want you to come back to chambers with me.” So, I went back into the judge’s chambers and sat with them. And she said, “You know, young man,–” I was, I think, a junior in high school. “–what are you going to do when you go to college?” And I said, “Well, right now, you know, I’m an AP physiology, and I’m an AP chemistry, I’m an AP Biology. I’m going to be a doctor.” She goes, “No, my friend. You’re going to be a lawyer. What I just saw, like that natural capacity to cross examine like that is super rare. And you need to use that talent and just go and do that.” And from that moment forward, I just wanted to fight in court.
Like I wrestled in high school. I tried to go to college and wrestle. I wasn’t good enough to wrestle in D1 College, but I did join the boxing team and I boxed. My nickname in college was box. In fact, I just got a friend of mine who’s in Palm Beach County and said, “Box, I just saw your commercial on TV. That’s so cool.” So, anyways. So, I boxed in college. I’m a highly competitive person. And the thought of just being a modern‑day gladiator was turning me on. So, I’ve loved it ever since.
Jim: All right, great. So, tell us about starting your firm and how you’ve grown it to be a two‑office firm with all those employees and attorneys.
Brian: So, quick story. I got out of the law school. I joined every competition that there was in law school. Luckily, Miami had a lot of teams. I graduated Order of the Barrister. Only two kids are picked to be that, each law school class.
So, I was very committed to being a trial lawyer from day one. And then, I got a job at the Justice Department, in their honors graduate program. It’s the only way to get into justice without two years of experience. And so, I applied for that and I fortunately made it.
And I turned down a job – a couple of really great paying jobs, to be a government lawyer. And so, did my wife. She worked for Janet Reno. So, between the two of us, we got a lot of trial experience when we were young.
And then, I decided that it was fun being a prosecutor, but it would be fun being, you know, a civil lawyer and actually making some money. And I got a job with a mass mill crazy mill firm– PI firm down in Hollywood where the owner was literally phobic to going to court. And so, it was just he and I and like 30 office staff. And I was the only one who’d go into the courtroom. And so, everything felt to me to just go to court, go to court, go to court, go to court.
And it was a great job. It was a really wonderful job until I opened up on my own. And then, I moved to Palm Beach County on a kind of a lucky break and have had a great run of it. Quite honestly, it’s been a great thing for us.
Tyson: So, Brian, you have 68 employees and that’s– I mean, that’s quite a bit. So, at what point did you see growth? Has it been steady growth? Did you see, you know, accelerated growth early? Did you see it late? I mean, tell us about your growth and how you got to 68 employees.
Brian: So, I had– if you look at a lot of like business growth charts– and I came to my business degree, the hardest way possible. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Philosophy which got me exactly zero business acumen. I knew nothing about balance sheets. I knew nothing about, you know, profit & loss statements. Really, I had no idea about how to run a business. And my concept of running a business was if I made more money than I spent, then I was doing a good job running a business. And that’s not necessarily true.
But in the law, if you’re doing well, you know, money wipes away all sins. So, when I started, I started in a business where I made $60,000 gross the first year I started the firm. And the next year, we made like $174,000 and I got a paralegal. And then, the next year, we made $350,000 and my wife joined me. And then, the next year, we made $500,000 or 500– like it was this very quick, you know, exponential double, on doubles, on doubles for a couple of years.
And then, we kind of hit this plateau, just under a million dollars. And I think that’s pretty common for a lot of small firms. You know, one lawyer, two lawyers. They’re like ranging between 500 and a million, a million two. And they’re kind of– they’re stuck in that ceiling there.
And I went to a seminar with a guy named Mark Powers at Atticus. I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of him, but he runs a lot of like business seminars for lawyers. And I read The E‑myth, right? So, I read The E‑myth and I realized that I need business systems. So, I started business systems like two years later. And then, we got that next pop, right? So, we went from 1 million to 5 million.
So, now, I’m 10 years into my own practice. It’s like 2004 or 2005 and things are kind of cruising. And then, we hit another ceiling. And that ceiling was like the 5‑million ceiling. And we were 25 to 30 employees. And we sat there until 2010 which, you know, at that point, by 2010, my hubris in business acumen had caught up with me, where I thought everything I touched turned to gold. And I was super smart because I read The E-Myth. And so, everything was going to be easy. And I knew everything about business. And I was super overextended. And I had bought a building. I had bought two houses on the water. I owned a house in another place. I had a house in [inaudible 00:07:56]. I had a house in– you know, like I had all this stuff that wasn’t actually worth as much as I thought in the 2010 environment. But I owed a lot of money, a lot more than I had in value. So, I came to grips with the fact that I needed to learn a lot about business to make my business run. And I went back to school, basically, of hard knocks by reading every possible business book that I could get my hands on getting, you know, HBR so that I’m, you know, reading Harvard Business Review and getting those articles and just trying to learn, you know, learn about marketing, learn about management, learn about HR, and learn about finance.
And it took me a couple of years, but I kind of came to a point where I was running a better business, but I still wasn’t making headway. We were still like in this one year we were doing great, you know, $5.8 million. The next year we’re doing crappy, $3.8 million. You know, PI’s kind of up and down as things go. And I needed to get to the next level.
And I went back and I kind of did this entire deep dive therapy with my team, my leadership team. And we re‑branded ourselves. We re‑enculturated ourselves. And we got really deep into who our identity was.
And this is like my big preaching point. Now, organizational health is you know, Patrick Lencioni‑type stuff. And just deep diving into your brand, into your culture, into your personality and finding out your why and, you know, like what really drives me. And we went all the way back to high school, and college, and the things that I told you about right at the beginning – about the fact that I like to fight. I mean, I like to fight, right? And that’s been my thing. I like to fight. And I like to fight for people because I’m totally enchanted with this concept of being a knight of the round table or, you know, being the Spider Man character, being the Superman character. I want to save people. I want to help people.
So, we got back into that. And, by getting there, all of a sudden, like all the wheels started to click. It’s almost magical, right? I wrote a Vivid Vision, for Cameron Herold. I don’t know if you’ve read that book, Vivid Vision by Cameron Herold. It’s short. It’s awesome. You do that. You get your team on board. You get your mission, and your vision, and your core values down on paper. You force people to behave within your core values. And it’s like rocket fuel, right? Those guys, from Michigan, Michael Morris, right?
Yeah, it’s rocket fuel for your business. It’s amazing what, you know, meetings will do if you run proper meetings. And if you have the right brand and everybody buys in. And we just took off. And we went in one and a half years, during COVID, from basically a $5‑million firm to probably a $12‑ to $14‑million firm this year, and going to $25 million, we perceive, within the next two years. It’s just rocket fuel, guys. It’s amazing.
Jim: Love it, Brian. There’s lots of different ways that we could go with that. I’d like to ask about that time you spent diving into your culture. You said you went back to high school and pulled out the fact that you like to fight. How do you involve your team in that? How do you get them excited about that? How do you infuse that into the firm?
Brian: So, it’s a good question. And I think that everybody’s firm is probably different, right, so you kind of have to figure out what the culture of your firm is. But anybody who is in my firm knows very quickly that I’m the firm. And that has been the culture of this firm is that I have been the driving personality, the driving force, the driving system. You know, things go through me that probably shouldn’t. As a business owner, I needed to kind of, you know, delegate to elevate as they say.
But when we first started this process, I was super involved in everything from trying all the cases and running them through to the smallest management and marketing decisions. And because of that, it was very easy for me to go back to me and say, “Okay, what drives this firm? I’m driving this firm.” And that wasn’t me saying it. That was my team. And I have a pretty big team. I mean, like, my leadership team is a director of three different divisions. So, three different people, in three different divisions – Chief Administrator, a Chief Technology Officer – and these are highly compensated people, a Controller, and Chief Marketing Officer. So, I had a lot of people coming to me and saying, “You’re it, dude.” Like you’re the visionary. It’s your vision. It’s your thought process.
That concept in Traction, the book Traction that Gino Wickman wrote, fit my business model very quickly and very easily. And so, we applied it. And they went to say, “What’s your vision?” And I said, “This is my vision.” And once I gave that to people– and I just– I very– I tried to be as humble as possible, asking, “Is this really what people want? And are people buying into this?” And everybody, across the board, universal in my firm, bought in and said, “That’s what we wanted to hear from you. That’s the vision we wanted.” And by me just coming out and articulating it, people were like, “We can buy into that. That’s a really good vision. We like that thought process.”
Then, we came up with a great mission statement, “To maximize justice by aggressively fighting for our clients’ rights.” We’ve worked on every word on that. And that fit me to a tee, right? And almost to a fault because I have been known to fight for too long on things that I think are either right or just when I should probably, in a more practical world, give up.
Tyson: So, Brian, as you’ve added these additional roles, these high‑level people, I mean, did you do this all at one time? Did you do this over time? And then, a follow up to that question would be, you know, which of those roles, whenever you gave it up, did it really accelerate that growth even more?
Brian: That’s a really good question. So, if you looked at our firm history, I recognized, back in 2010, when things were getting hard, but we were still doing pretty well, as a firm, as a 30‑person firm, that I didn’t know what I was doing in the business, right? So, I ended up hiring a guy who had been a retired firm partner in New York to come in and be the COO of the company with me. And he came in and did an organizational chart. Like I didn’t even have a pyramid, you know? Like no one knew who reported to who. We were all just a big family team. And that’s what it was, when we first started, you know. Like, doesn’t everybody start as just this family team? When you’re a solo, and your paralegal‑secretary and her husband, and you and your wife, partner, and your secretary’s daughter all go to lunch. You know, like, that’s the type of thing that you do.
And, all of a sudden, you’ve got 25 employees and you may not even know, you know, the receptionist that was hired two weeks ago, and you don’t have training systems, and you get a guy who organizes you, right? And that’s what he came in and did. And he ended up hiring a secretary for himself, just basically like a secretary to organize himself. And he turned out to be not such a nice person, especially to some of the younger female staff. And so, I fired him very quickly, when I found out that he wasn’t nice.
So, I ended up going to that secretary and saying, “Look. You know, I fired your boss and I need help because I don’t know how long it’s going to take to replace him.” And she looked at me and said, “I’ve got to tell you. You don’t need to replace him because he hasn’t done anything since I’ve been here. Like he doesn’t do anything. He really has no duties, you know? He’s just basically bossing people around. And I think that we, you and me, can do this. I’ll tell you what we’re doing, tell you where he was going with things, and you can go and get them done very easily.”
And that person took over the HR that we were outsourcing to a PEO company. She took over the chief administrator’s job. She took over my personal secretary’s job. She took out like four positions, worked her tail off, and she’s now still, 10 years later, our chief administrator and handles more work than any human being other than me in this firm. So, I got lucky with a really strong second‑in‑command who was, you know, loyal to me and the firm and was amazing right from the get‑go, like from, you know, 12 years back, now.
And then, we just started adding pieces slowly. So, we needed a technology piece. And she’s really good at hiring. She brought a lot of really good systems to the hiring process. And a very critical eye.
My personality is like we meet where I’m like, “Hey, you know, these guys are cool, you know. Let me give Tyson a job. He’s cool.” That’s my threshold of– you know, he flies a plane. I’m sure he’ll be a good lawyer. Let’s be friends. But she’s not that way at all. So, she’s very much, you know, critical and is able to look at somebody and kind of judge whether they’ll fit the job well.
So, we started adding great pieces to the job. And it all came together at COVID because, for three years, my team has been telling me that the thing that has been holding us back is that I’m still the main trial lawyer in the firm. And what I didn’t realize is that there’s a lot of things that I do that are non‑trial related to the business – business building, and marketing, and systems, you know. And when I go to trial for the week or two before trial, I’m totally locked down. For the week or two of trial, I’m totally locked down. And for the week after trial, I’m totally burned out. So, I can’t even think straight after a trial. I mean, I barely sleep during a trial. I’m totally invested in it.
So, that means that, you know, a one‑ or two‑week trial will take eight weeks out of my job that I need to do well in. And I do that twice a year, three times a year, which, you know, three trials a year seems to be a pretty good, you know, batting average for a PI firm, for a lawyer. And that’s pretty aggressive. But it takes a third of the year away from my working time.
COVID killed it, right? So, COVID kills 100% of the thing that was taking me away from my job. And I dive into this madness of, “What can I do to grow my practice? What else have I not done on my bucket list of things that I wanted to do in the practice?” One of them was write a book, you know. So, I got a book written. And I, you know, started to look up my marketing and I ended up– just by luck, I was looking for a marketing assistant to help me with the marketing and the firm. And I had a person apply, who is here on a work visa and was from Argentina. She had worked for a big multinational company as their marketing director. But, now, she’s here in United States living in my neighborhood, basically, looking for something to do. And so, I hire her in as a marketing assistant to me. And she turns into the best marketing human being that you could ever imagine, just such an ideal team player. She fits that model.
Have you guys read that book, Ideal Team Player? There’s a great book, Ideal Team Player. I suggest, everybody listening to this podcast read that. If you ever need to judge your employees by some standard, that’s the standard that you want to go back to in your head. There’s three things that you want to judge people on which is hungry, smart, and humble. Hungry being wanting to do their job well. Smart being good with people smart. And humble being just being a humble person. Yeah, Ideal Team Player, Pat Lencioni is the author, Patrick Lencioni.
So, she fits that mold. Like when somebody just comes in and fits, and is awesome, and is super like intelligent, and also a good teammate, and also honest – and our marketing like turned around a thousand percent. And she’s now, instead of an assistant, she’s now the marketing director of the department. And I think I have probably one of the best marketing directors in the country. And as soon as she learns, in another year or two, because she’s only been in the PI market for a year, the PI marketing knows all the players and knows all the systems, she’s going to be the best. So, I’m super blessed that I got lucky and found somebody that took our marketing to the next level.
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Jim: You’re listening to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. Our guest today, Brian LaBovick, he’s been talking about the growth of his firm. They’ve gotten pretty big and he’s let go of some things.
Brian, the question is now that COVID is lessening, hopefully, you know, with these variants and everything, but as we get out of COVID, whenever that is, are you going to go back to trying cases like you did before? How are you going to let go of that which you as the boxer, you as the fighter, that was your whole persona, how are you going to transition or are you going to transition?
Brian: That’s another really good question. At a personal level, for my firm, I’m having a little bit of a hard time giving that up to be quite honest with you. I know that it’s what I should do. I know that, in some respects, it’s what I want to do because have you guys ever tried cases? If you’ve ever tried a case, I think that, the litigators, we all go through this feeling of “Why do I do this to myself?” Like the week before trial, you’re second guessing yourself and you’re killing yourself. And you’re like, “I’m so stressed. I could so easily live so much better a life if I never tried another case in my life,” right? And then. you walk into the courtroom, and you say your first words, and you’re like, “Oh. Okay, I got this.” Like, I got this. And then, when you’re done with it, especially if you win, you’re like, “I cannot wait to do this again. This was the best experience.” It’s like– you know, I don’t know of parachuting, because I haven’t gone parachuting. It’s that same experience, like you’re on the plane flying, you’re like, “Why the hell am I doing this to myself?” And then you jump out. You’re like, “Oh, this is excellent,” you know.
Have you done that? Have either of you done that? I’ve been planning to do it.
Tyson: I have. And no, they’re not the same. They’re not the same.
Tyson: They’re completely different.
But I’m glad we had this conversation. And, Jim, I’m glad you asked this question because, Brian, I’m struggling with the same thing, right? I know, in my brain, I need to let the litigation go. I need to hire more and more trial lawyers. But I mean, I enjoy it. It’s funny, the way you describe it is exactly, in my head, how I was describing it. It was like, oh, you hate it, right? You hate the whole process until you step foot into that courtroom and you’re like, you know, get your suit and you’re good to go. Like you’ve got your armor on, you know, and you’re just ready to battle. It’s such a great feeling. It’s such a hard thing to give up. I mean, do you think you will?
Brian: I think so. So, um, we are set for a bunch of trials. I don’t know if other firms have found this. I’m assuming we all are feeling this. But as the courts have opened up, because they’ve been constipated with cases for 18 months, they’ve got a lot of cases to get through, right, out of the system. So, where I’m normally set for three trials in a year, you know, that come up occasion like maybe you’re set for six, and three settle and three trial, or whatever.
But, um, I’m set for nine trials between now and the end of December, like in a row. I got one on the 13th. I got one on the 20th. I got one October 4. I got another one– I do– just they’re all like backed up which is very stressful.
And I don’t really have anybody in place that I can turn to right now in the firm that can do those on their own. So, I hired one attorney who, I think, is going to grow into a really, really good trial lawyer, but I need to train him. So, I’m going to have to try a couple of cases with them. You know, like, “What are they saying?” In the doctor world it’s like watch one, do one, teach one. So, I need to at least have him watch one first, right? So, I’ve got to do that with him. And then, I think I’ll start to get out of it if he’s half as good as I think he’ll be.
And then, last night, the entire leadership team took out a possible new hire. And we took him out to dinner. And we really interviewed him hard. And he’s meeting with two senior members today for lunch. We brought him down from Kentucky. He’s a trial lawyer. He’s a trial lawyer. He’s a trial lawyer and he wants to move to Florida. And so, I’m hoping that all works out for us. And if that happens, and I have somebody that I know I can trust, I’m going to try to give it up.
Tyson: I love it. At least–
Brian: [inaudible 00:23:43] on anything but the most significant fun like let’s go crush eight‑figure cases.
Tyson: I love it. You and I are going to stay in touch because you and I are going to plan our exit plans on this because there’s got to be a good way of doing this. So, we’ll stay in touch.
Brian: I think I’m way older than you, Tyson. So, I’ve got an exit plan that’s much sooner than yours.
Tyson: That’s true. I don’t know. I’m trying to get out of this. My plan is, generally, to have basically like three or five cases or bigger cases. And if we’d have to try those cases, we do. If not, all the smaller cases, I’ll let other people try. That’s kind of the game plan.
We’ve hired three new lawyers. And one of ‘em we’re calling a senior trial counsel. So, I’m going to take a stab at that and see if that works but there’s still a select few cases I plan on trying. We’ll see. See how it goes. You’re right. We’ve got to train up those lawyers.
Brian: How many people are in your firm?
Tyson: Let’s see. Total is 22. We’re at 22 people. And that’s a mix of full‑time virtual assistants and actual employees. So, it’s about split 50/50.
Brian: That’s something that I’m really investigating now is that full time virtual but even foreign, you know, employees to do some of the route tasks. I hate the concept of foreign‑born employees doing client communication because I think the clients don’t appreciate it. But I do think that there’s a lot of smart people in the world and I think that we can have them do a lot of, you know, the job tasks that we’re doing here pretty easily in this environment. And we’ve got such a significant technology investment.
My technology director and I have built two pieces of software that are pretty significant. One was a CRM called Intake Matters. Other one is a medical billing software called Proweb Billing Software. We also own a medical billing company.
Tyson: Oh, nice.
Brian: It’s kind of a subsidiary. So, my practice has four divisions. One is the PI Division. One is the SSD Division. One is the Work Comp Division. And the last one is a Florida‑born division called PIP which is personal injury protection. It’s an insurance collection division for doctors, and hospitals, and ambulance companies, MRI companies. And it’s a very significant part of the practice.
But we also started a medical billing company. And we did the medical billing software for that because nobody in the market was solving the problem of how to maximize PIP and comp, right? But now I’ve sold that. So, now, a third– yeah, another party, you know, operates that company, but we still do the legal work for it. So, that has been a great benefit to the two of us.
So, we’re so invested in technology that I really believe we can make a strong accountability system and link work with foreign‑born employees. So, I’m going to try that out probably fourth quarter this year, maybe? Maybe, first quarter ‘22.
Tyson: Love it.
All right. We do need to wrap things up, Brian.
Before I do, I want to remind everyone to join us in the big Facebook group. There’s a lot of great activity going on there. If you’re interested in a little more high‑level conversation, join us in the Guild at maxlawguild.com.
By the time you have listened to this podcast, we’ve probably already sold out the tickets. But, if not, go to maxlawcon.com and you can join us at MaxLawCon2021.
Jimmy, what’s your hack of the week?
Jim: A couple of things. Number one, I think you and Brian need to get back in the boxing ring, and give up trial work, and get your fix that way – boxing. Number two, Brian, we hired a year and a half ago, a young lady who’s a US citizen, who grew up in Argentina, and she’s helping us with our marketing and our leads team, and she’s helped us. I have a full time paralegal now, in Argentina, and we’re starting to like really grow that. We’re going to bring in our next lead person from Argentina. And so, it’s exciting stuff. So, it can work. And I’d love to, as you move into it, if you want to stay in touch and talk about it, I’d be happy to do that.
Brian: I would love to do that. I’m excited because I was looking at my schedule to try to fit in this MaxLawCon that you guys have coming up. It seems awesome. You know, that’s like October 12th and 13th, just going off the top of my head.
Tyson: You got it.
Brian: I do want to ask one question before we break. I know that we’re probably out of time. But what was the book? You said, “I’m reading a good book” at the beginning.
Jim: Yeah. That’s coming. It’s coming. That’s my hack of the week.
Brian: All right.
Jim: It was so exciting. So, I had my meeting with David Frees who will be our keynote speaker. He’s a very successful estate planning lawyer from Pennsylvania. And he was telling me about this book that he’s reading. It’s called Subtract. And it’s by a man named Leidy Klotz, L‑E‑I‑D‑Y K‑L‑O‑T‑Z. I got it from Amazon. And I was getting on the plane to take my second son, Yusuf, to the University of Virginia, I opened up the book, and this guy’s a professor at the University of Virginia.
It’s a great book. I’m about halfway through. This is going to be a book that I actually finish. And when I’m done, Tyson, I’m going to send him an email with a CC to my son and say, “Hey, Leidy. I want to get you on the podcast because your book is so great.” And he sort of says, you know that Marie Kondo tidying up book and the essentialism book, and just sort of the cutting back is really good but that we don’t spend enough time trying to make our lives better by subtracting. We’re always trying to add. And so, just the act of subtracting and making that sort of part of our personal practice is a way to improve things. And I’ve really enjoyed it so far.
Tyson: I love it.
So, I have, since we’ve been on this podcast, purchased three freakin’ books on my phone. So, I’ve got a lot of work to do.
So, Brian, we actually ask our guests to give a tip or a hack of the week. It could be a podcast. It could be a book. It could be an article. It could be a piece of technology. Whatever you recommend. So, do you have a tip or a hack for us?
Brian: I do. It’s off the cuff, but I’m going to go back to what I said earlier. There is a TED Talk by Patrick Lencioni on Ideal Team Player or the Five Dysfunctions of Team. But Ideal Team Player is the one that I think people should use. I think, if you go and you watch that, and you just even Google, you know, ideal team player, you will see a great format for judging employee performance and employee capacity to be a good team player for your teams. And you can also then articulate and diagnose where they’re failing you, right? So, it becomes very clear how people will fail you, when you put them into these three contexts of hungry, smart, and humble. And it’s an amazing thought process.
So, I’ve loved it. It’s allowed me to create really good behavior from people that were almost there. So, there’s a lot of people that are almost there. Like everybody’s got– I’m not humble. Believe me, humble is not my strong suit. But I try really hard to recognize that, that I know that that’s not natural to me, and if I intellectualize that I can overcome my lack of humility and try to be more humble as a human being. I’m pretty smart which means I’m good with people. And I’m very hungry. I mean, I’m an older lawyer and I’m still fighting hard to make my business grow and win cases. And I’ve just been ultra‑competitive my whole life. But humble is not my middle name, for sure. So, yeah, do that. Go watch that Ted Talk. That’s my hack.
Tyson: I’m trying to pull it up now on my phone. So, I will add that to my list of things I’ve got to do now.
So, for my tip of the week, it’s a productivity tool that our Guild member, Jay Ruane, has developed over the last nine months. I actually posted about it in the big group. It’s called Finilize. It’s a really cool productivity tool because he really takes in that concept that Jason Selk teaches and a lot of other people teach where, you know, you pick your top number of things for the day. So, I have top three. Some people use five, like John Fisher. I use my top three for the day and I knock out those top three.
Well, it reminds you via text. So, you get a text the night before. So, last night, I got a text. You enter your three things for the day. Or, you can actually do three in the morning, three in the afternoon. I usually just do three for the day. And then, it reminds you throughout the day like, “Hey, how are you doing with your tasks?” It’s a really cool thing.
So, if you’re interested in it, he actually gave us a link for MaxLaw. It’s maxlawaccountability.com. That’s maxlawaccountability.com. It’s a really cool feature. So, if you need that little bit extra boost for your productivity and you’re not writing down your top three or your top five for the day, I highly recommend it.
Brian, thank you so much for coming on here. We’ve got to stay in touch. I really appreciate this conversation.
Jim: For sure. Yep, that was great.
Brian: Yeah, I look forward to meeting you guys in person someday soon.
Jim: Thanks, Brian. See you, buddy.
Brian: Take care.
Tyson: See you.
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