This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Are you struggling to grow your business? Do you find yourself getting stuck in negative thought patterns that hinder your progress? In this episode, entrepreneur and bestselling author James Ashford shares his insights on how to improve your mindset and achieve business success. Here are five tips inspired by his interview:
➡️ Have a dream and a goal that is beyond your means: According to James, having a big dream and a goal that seems impossible can push you to do better and achieve more.
➡️ Simplify your business: James suggests automating processes, outsourcing non-core tasks, and creating a culture of autonomy to help you focus on the key things that need to be done.
➡️ Focus on delivering exceptional experiences to your customers: By focusing on results rather than just delivering services, you can stand out from the competition and command higher fees.
➡️Let go of past negative experiences and surround yourself with positive influences: James emphasizes the importance of rewiring your core belief system to improve your results and achieve success.
➡️ Block out distractions and focus on the task at hand: To achieve big outcomes in short timeframes, James suggests ignoring everyone and being comfortable with being ignorant to people during times of absolute focus.
By adopting these tips and focusing on improving your mindset, you can overcome challenges and achieve success in your business. So, what are you waiting for? Start implementing these tips today and see the results for yourself!
02:01 Meet James, successes and fails
07:08 When you do not have the right systems and people in place
07:47 When you spread resources too thinly
10:39 How a scarcity mindset can lead to undermining
11:35 The importance of simplifying a business
16:17 The challenges of running a professional services business
21:52 Helping firms increase their fees
24:50 The importance of working on your mindset
Jim’s Hack: Pick an anthem of the day song to listen over and over to help you focus.
James Tip: achieving big outcomes in short timeframes: ignoring everyone and blocking everything else out.
Tyson Tip: book “Make Your Bed” by Admiral William McRaven, which offers tips on how small things can change your life and maybe the world. Speech at graduation of Texas on YouTube
- Selling to Serve: Sell Your Accounting & Bookkeeping Services with Unshakeable Confidence for More Than You Thought Possible by James Ashford
- Untapped: Break Through the Fear & Grow Your Revenue from Existing Clients by James Ashford
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- Two Lengths of the Pool: Sometimes the simplest ideas have the greatest impact by Simon Hartley
- Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms by Ronald J. Baker
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven
🎥 Watch the full video on YouTube here.
Connect with James:
- Join the Guild Membership
- Subscribe to the Maximum Lawyer Youtube Channel
- Follow us on Instagram
- Join the Facebook Group
- Follow the Facebook Page
- Follow us on LinkedIn
Transcript: Simplifying Your Business for Better Results with James Ashford
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. Welcome back to the maximum lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim hacking and
Tyson nutrix What’s up, Jimmy?
Oh Tyson. I’m really excited about our guest today. This harkens back to our old Infusionsoft days, we were in iKON at their conference in Phoenix. And I heard a great presentation by a guy from Great Britain named James Ashford James was speaking our language he was he advises and coaches and, and suggest ways to improve for people in the accountancy business in Great Britain. He’s written two great books, selling to serve right as the first one, and untapped as the second one and untapped as the one we’re going to talk about today. But James was very kind to have breakfast with me that morning after his presentation, and we became friends on Facebook. He’s also quite the comedian. One of my favorite things about James is he plays tricks on his wife. And one of my favorite ones was, there’s a video on Facebook, James is up on the second floor of his house and his wife is downstairs and she’s bringing in the groceries and she keeps closing the trunk of the car. And then he clicks to open it so it keeps popping back up. It’s hilarious. So James, welcome to the show.
Yeah, thank you. Thanks for having me. Great. See you guys in there. Yeah, of all the videos, all the educational, wonderful content I’ve ever produced. That’s the one video that kind of gets more likes than anything else.
Fantastic. And that’s how it goes. Sometimes it’s kind of crazy. Well, James, it’s nice to meet you. Can you share a little bit about your journey on when it comes to becoming the founder of goproposal? And also a best selling author and sort of how your insights you think will will apply to the legal industry?
Yeah, sure. So it’s kind of a lot of questions that Tyson so if I go off track, please pull me back. I usually
go a little simpler, but I figured I’d go low. I figured you could handle it. Yeah, that’s
cool. Cool. So I always wanted to set up my own business, I don’t quite know where that thought came from. I think I kind of had relatives like an uncle and an auntie when I was younger, that had their own business, relatively small businesses, but they kind of seem to be happier and had nicer cars and did cooler things than my family did. So I think I always associated a level of financial freedom with setting up a business, I tried various things over the years, and nothing really took off the ground, did many jobs, and then eventually, kind of in the middle of the last recession, with one child on the way, decided to the way to financial freedom was to set up my own business. And I create a marketing agency. And it was good, you know, it creates some income. But you know, when you set up any business, you’re an expert on your craft. But there’s kind of a million other things that you’re an absolute amateur app, and you desperately trying to learn all of these other things, right. And one of the big failings I had was I didn’t have the finance function in place properly into that business, and unknowingly, we were heading kind of over a cliff. And we ended up going over and kind of cause huge problems for myself and my family, I split with my wife at the time. And I put ourself in a compromising position financially. And I then started, you know, I picked up the pieces again. And funnily enough, last night, we’ve just moved house just temporarily while we had some work done on the house, and I found my notebooks. And I was just flicking through just to kind of remind myself of that time. And after that, I had the weight of been underground of that business. And I just started to learn, like the way out was to start learning and I found all my notebooks of all the books I was reading at the time. And I wasn’t just kind of making notes on books, I was studying, like I was finding the best people in the world. How do I kind of where do I get this information from? And I just went on this reprogramming of my belief system. And then I started attending conferences and courses and at some point on that journey, Jim, that’s where kind of we met. And then in the books, and it wasn’t straight away. I did an autopsy of my previous business. Why went under why I felt in that moment was me accepting, I blamed a lot of people or blamed a lot of things. I think up until that point, I heard a great phrase earlier today, blame thrower. I think it was a blame thrower, right. And I accepted responsibility for all of my failings and in all the problems that caused and then I started to kind of move forward and grow forward. I did a really introspective of what was important to me, what does a great life look like what I want to stop doing? What are my core principles moving forward. And then in the middle of the book, I’ve written life changes here. And then a little bit later on, I wrote out my 5 million pound plan, and I turned things around. And what I realized Tyson was sometimes when you’re kind of buried under the way and you feel beneath the earth, and you feel like you’ve been buried, you can also reinterpret that as you’ve been planted, and I grew out of that and that and kind of set up your proposal and achieved quite rapid success in a short space of time. And somebody said, You’ve been an overnight success. And I said, Yeah, but you’ve no idea how long that night was like it was a long night, like 10 years. So kind of that’s my quick journey.
That’s awesome. James, where does that come from? Like, internally? Where did that come from? You I mean, you talk in your book, and we see it a lot with law firm owners about people that are just stuck and that are feeling frustrated. They’re not happy with their life. But not everybody. Does that hard work that you did in the book is full of a lot of the examples of the people that you studied. What was it about you that allowed that to even happen?
I think I’ve been really looking at this reason, because I’ve been, I’ve started to go back into colleges and talk to college students to kind of try and map out my journey. So I’m doing more of an introspective at the moment, I think it’s two forces at work. One is you have to have a dream and a goal. That’s way beyond your means that way beyond your capabilities that you have no, right. So you have no right to have. And if you shared it with people, people would kind of pull it down because they think you’re crazy to even think that big do you need that. And then the other component that you need need is a complete sense of inadequacy, and feeling that you’re no good, and that you need to do better. And it’s kind of those two forces at work, this this huge dream that you’re heading towards, and this thing that’s pushing you as well, which is I need to do better, I need to do more. And I think it was those two things in place. But I’d like to think Jim, at that point was I lacked focus. And I remember meeting this guy at the time. And he said, she’s kind of one of the sparks, but goproposal. And he said, I don’t know how you’re not a millionaire yet. I’m like, I know, it’s doing my head in as well. He said, You’re either full of ship, and I’ve just not spotted it yet, or you’ve just not stuck to one thing for long enough. And I said, I hope it’s that. And he said, I’ll help you to stick to it. And that was it.
So I want to back up a little bit when you’re telling me your story when it comes to when things are sort of falling apart? Right. And it was right before your your rebirth. And so what was going on? What were the things that you were doing? Because I think this is a really valuable lesson for law firm owners like to sort of get back on course, and what were the things that we were doing in your business in your life that were derailing you.
So I had this vision of what a business should be. And you have this vision of what success looks like because you’ve watched Dragon’s Den or in the in the US Shark Tank, and you’ve watched the apprentice and you’ve read, you know, Richard Branson’s book and whatever, various books, right. So you have this vision, and then you get into business and you don’t actually have a business, you have a job very often, you know, because you don’t have the systems in place. You don’t have the right people, you don’t know how to recruit the right people, you don’t have to delegate properly, you get in their way, you don’t know how to allow people to flourish, all of these failings that you have to learn. And so you have a job, a tough job. And it’s not this thing that you thought it was going to be. And so I started to look elsewhere and started to spread myself quite thinly. And so I thought, well, this isn’t the business that I thought it was going to be to maybe it’s over here, or maybe it’s with this venture and this idea. So I had kind of multiple things going on. But what I was doing, I was spreading my resource, really, really thinly placing lots of bets, but they were kind of, you know, the bets were too thin, and that they just went were never going to pay off. I didn’t have a grasp of the finances, I didn’t invest enough into that finance function, I didn’t understand enough about marketing, you know, if you’re unable, this, this causes so many problems in business, if you’re unable to attract your dream customers, and to get them in and to command a high fee that causes nearly every other problem downwind of that, right? Because let’s say you go speak to a firm, law firm, accounting firm, whatever, what’s your biggest challenge car, get the right staff, you just can’t get them. I can’t get them anywhere. It’s like you can if you can afford to pay them enough. So why can’t you afford to pay them enough? Because you’re not charging high enough fees, you’re not attracting enough of your dream customers, you’re doing too much work for free. And so what I’m interested in is how do you trace those issues back? Because very often, you’re dealing with the surface issues taste and all the time everyone’s trying to deal with the surface issues, because they’re not aware of the core issues. What my studies took me into is, what are the core issues? What connects all businesses, what drives all businesses? What’s the purpose of every single business? And how do you achieve that? And that was the bit that was missing.
So I want to switch to the book now because this is a nice segue right into the book because this is certainly a main theme of untapped. And so I have a slightly unusual way of doing books. So I get the audio version and the Kindle version. I listen and I outline the Kindle itself. And James’s audio version is fun because he does it himself. And he does like Gary Vee does these little aside. So he’ll be read and read and reading and then we’ll tell a little side story and then we’ll come back so I recommend getting both but in that point that you’re talking about about the fundamental problem with most law firms or accountancy firms is that they aren’t charging enough is so key and you said in the book, there are only three ways you can improve your profit margin, which is to reduce overheads, improve efficiencies or increased prices. And you talked about how people often focus on reducing overheads and how that that really comes from a scare City mindset. Can you talk about that, James?
Yeah, sure. So the primary function of any businesses to make money, and we’ve all read, or perhaps you’ve already Simon cynics start with why, and that’s beautiful, right? I want to change the world, I want to, you know, improve employment in my area and reduce homelessness, whatever it is that you want to do your reason why it’s beautiful, that’s going to get you out of bed in the morning. But the primary function of the business is to make money because without that, you can’t do all any of those things that you want to do. And so the only ways that we can make money is to get more customers, or to give more value to the customers that you’ve already got. And then beyond that, the way to keep more of that money is to improve your profit margin, which is you just outlined there, Jim, those three areas there. And what people do is they become fearful. They listen to everything that’s going on, especially what’s happening in the world right now. Okay? They believe in this recessive mindset. They’re starting to retreat, because we’re facing economic hardship. They’re believing everything we’re hearing in the news, they’re passing that information on to their clients as well. They’re talking about it over and over again. And so that switches them into scarcity mindset, which says, I haven’t got enough, and there isn’t enough. And so that’s when they start to reduce their overheads. And they actually then start to undermine their ability to do all of the other things.
So you talk about simplifying the business, automating processes, outsourcing non core tasks, and then creating a culture of autonomy. When we talk about simplifying the business. I really liked that one. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because I think that is an overlooked part of it. And Jim, like you mentioned, Infusionsoft, like whenever Jim first built out his Infusionsoft, he made it really, really complicated. And he couldn’t even use it. Yeah. So we talked about that aspect of things.
It’s quite interesting that when people get in Infusionsoft, and then they kind of got this bad nickname of confusion soft, and then they’ve tried to rebrand it as keep, rather than challenge what the real issue is, which is what happens is, the reason why you get into that position is because your processes are confusing in the first place, right? So you get this automation technology, and you take your flawed, complicated processes, and you try and shoehorn it into this tech and doesn’t work, then you blame the tech and just bring it back like you’ve overcomplicated the business in the first place. And there’s so many things that pull you in different directions. There’s a really good book called, I’m gonna get the name wrong now. But I think it’s called to lens of the pool. And it was a swimmer, and a swimming coach. And for years he was struggling. And what it boiled down to is when he was swimming, so he was swimming, his race was 100 meters, and he was swimming in a 50 meter pool. And what happened was, he realized that he was trying to achieve so many things, he was trying to win the race, he was trying to beat his competitor, he was trying to get gold. He was trying to appeal to the fans, he was trying to do all these things, were distracting him. And he said, It took them years to figure out that the only thing you had to do was to swim to length of the pool as fast as he could. That was it. And he said, It seems so simple now. But that was his goal. And the moment you realize that your goal is now what are all the other things that we that contribute to swimming to length of the pool as fast as you can. And that’s what we need to do in business. And to my mind, it’s about finding what your TrueNorth is, which for me is always in the service of your clients in the service of your existing clients. If ever I’ve been lost in business and thinking, what direction do I go in? What’s the most important thing now? I always bring myself back to who do we already have this working with us? That trust us? That Lycos that’s given us money? How can we serve them more? How can we deliver a better experience to those people? How can we have a greater impact on their lives? That’s always been my TrueNorth not trying to get more customers or anything like that. It’s always bringing it back to that that’s always been my to length of the pool. And if you can’t define that, there’s so many things you can get distracted with. And when you focus on those things, and people become really busy, right? It’s an easy question. Is it a busy? Yeah, am I really busy, right? It’s a crap question. Everyone’s busy. If you’re busy on the wrong things, you’ve been lazy, and no one likes to hear that. But if you’re busy in yourself, it’s because you’re choosing to avoid the key thing that you need to do right now, which may be going back to your existing clients and having a difficult conversation with them. We avoid these difficult conversations because we’re scared of who we might hear the truth, but it’s in those truthful conversations that we can find out how to deliver more impact to our clients.
The Guild is maximum lawyers community of legal entrepreneurs who are taking their businesses and lives to the next level. As a guild member, you’re granted exclusive access to quarterly in person events around the country. The next mastermind is coming up on July 20 and 21st in Denver, Colorado, featuring hotseat sessions and personal coaching with renowned performance coach Jason Selke. This event will give you the opportunity to work directly with Jason who has helped countless high performing individuals and teams reach their full potential. During the hotseat sessions you’ll gain valuable insights and learn strategies to help you overcome the challenges you’re facing in your practice. This for a limited time, you can get your ticket at the lowest early bird price, head to max law events.com to join now and reserve your spot at the upcoming guild mastermind.
You’re listening to the maximum lawyer podcast. Our guest today is James Ashford. He’s the author of the great new book called untapped. He helps accountancy firms in the United Kingdom, make more money and live better lives. James, as you’ve met with literally hundreds of accountancy firms, what are the things that still surprised you? Or what are the things that you see over and over again, that are holding these accountancy firm owners back?
Yeah, so the challenge with all kinds of professional service businesses, so law firms, accountancy firms, is that it’s hard for them to put their hand up and say, I don’t know how to run a successful business, right? If you’re a plumber, or a builder or hairdresser, and you start out in business, and you find it tough in your struggle, and you can say, Hey, I’ve no idea how to do this, like how do I improve my finances? How do I improve my marketing, whatever? The moment, you’re in a professional services industries, like you feel this expectation that you should know how to run a business, like you’re a professional service, what are you talking about, you should know how to do this. So it’s hard for an accountant to put their hands up and say, I don’t know how to make money, I don’t know how to charge the right fee. I don’t know how to do this stuff. Because the expectation is that they should know. But in their training, when you look at their training, they’re not trained in how to do this. In all of these professional services business, if you trace the history back of them in the UK, I’ve been told it’s like in America, in the UK, accountant 30 years ago, were not allowed to market and advertise their services, it was against the law, they couldn’t do it, right. So to be able to market and sell their services is a relatively new thing. And the other thing that causes accountants and lawyers, it’s the same problem is that there are accountants and lawyers, so they think like accountants and lawyers. So accountants are always looking for what’s wrong, lawyers are always looking for what’s wrong, okay, that makes them great lawyers and great accountants problem, you then put them into a business, and you’re trying to help them to improve and to grow, develop their processes. And the first thing they think of is, what’s wrong? What’s gonna go wrong with this. So like, I try and help accountants with their pricing. And I say, Listen, it’s not going to be perfect. You know, pricing is never sold, it’s only ever tuned. So you have to be comfortable with Starting with version one, and getting to version 1.1. And version 1.2. Like, I don’t know what software My iPhone is up to now, but 15.6, let’s say, right, they didn’t wait to get to 15.6. Before they launched it, they launched version one, and then got to version 1.1 1.2. Accounting lawyers don’t like that, because they focus on what’s wrong with this, versus what could go right with this.
I really like that. So I’ve got a potentially complicated question. So I think raising prices is always a really good one, like focusing on that is a really, really good one. We tell lawyers that all the time, we always talk a lot about technology. But I think there’s an elephant in the room we need to talk about and that’s when it comes to artificial intelligence and the way things have changed recently, quite a bit over the last few months. So how do you think that that’s going to affect things when it comes to outsourcing because I mean, a lot of the things that we typically have outsource can now we can actually bring back in house because we don’t need outsource it because many of those things can be taken care of when it comes to AI. So how do you think that that might affect pricing strategies? how it might affect outsourcing in the future? Can you talk a little bit about that?
It’s a really interesting question. And I think it comes down to what the law firm or the accounting firm have been focusing on for all these years, right. So if they’re just focusing on the client and delivering the service, so effectively acting fairly robotically, then there is a great chance that they’re going to be replaced by robots, okay, if they are human centered, and heart centered, and person first centered, so I was very closely involved with an accounting firm here. And I implemented a principle which was person first client second, which was you’ve got to treat the person first, not the client, and I learned this from my friend who’s a PT physiotherapist in the UK now we trained for the PTs in the US, and PT is quite interesting because physiotherapist sell time for money effectively, okay, like lawyers do, like accountants do. And what they’re going to do is switch it to results, right. So what happens is, if you’ve got a bad back, you’re in your physio, and they all ask you the same question. Hey, Tyson, how long have you had the back pain? Whereabouts it her? What type of pain is there? What makes it worse, etc. Right? The treating the patient, they’re not treating the person the way the conversation should go is Hey, Tyson, before we get on to your back, can you tell me what this back pain is preventing you from doing? Well? I used to go run in I used to do CrossFit. I’m like gardening, I’m a tango dancer, etc. Okay, so you’re looking to kind of get back tango dancing and you’ll Okay, that’s what you’re trying to do. Now. Let’s talk about your back and the pain that’s preventing you from doing that is person first client second. What lawyers and accountants typically do and physiotherapists is They want to get it back to their skill set, they want to get it back to where they feel comfortable, because they’re fearful of talking to people as humans. So when I first started working with this accounting firm, what I said is, look, you’re trying to you’re talking about bookkeeping services, you’re talking about management accounts and annual accounts, I don’t give a shit about any of that, I want to move closer to my children school, so they can play with their friends, I want my wife to leave a job because she got a really tough gig. And I want to be able to take my kids to and from school every day. And if you don’t know that, because you’ve not had that conversation with me, there is no way you can be given the most value to me that you possibly can. And professional services are all guilty of it. And now, what’s happening is chat GPT. And all of these, an AI is exposing the fact that people have been able to operate at a low level for so long, that’s what it’s exposing, it’s not threatening the industry, it’s going to shake the industry up and allow those human centered firms to absolutely crush him moving forward.
All right now, that’s an awesome answer and great advice. And I want to get to the heart of the book, which is about raising fees. And James, I want you to know that the book had a profound effect on me, we’ve now built out a system so that every quarter, we are raising our fees every quarter, that’s great, and we’re going to use a duck sort of across the board. So marketing, you’ll be able to use it intake, we’ll use it because they’ll have a deadline coming up. And then it’s going to help our cash flow. And I think we waited too long to raise our fees. So the book couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally, but talk to us about the mindset that you see with people when they’re resistant to raising their fees. And then sort of what of that turns out to be bullshit in their head versus things that are real. And then the successes that they see. I mean, your book is full of success story after success story of people who listen to you who use go proposal, who increased their fees, and sort of really turned their companies that had been struggling around.
So if I just give a bit of background where it came from, it was just kind of half after COVID. So kind of, again, economic uncertainty. And accountants like lawyers were looking to reduce their fees. And goproposal is a piece of software that enables firms to sell their services more profitably. And we have a very active community. And someone in there, our standard level fee of our product is 120 pounds a month. And then we have a lower level at 60 pounds a month. But you’re restricted to how many proposals you can get out the door and somebody who’s having a go in the community saying I shouldn’t, you know, it’s, I don’t have to pay that extra 60 pounds a month to be able to, you know, send out more proposals what’s going on, I got really annoyed. I’m like, What are you talking about? Like, you only have to kind of increase the fee of three clients, and you’ve covered the cost. Why are you even thinking in this way, and I got really annoyed. And then I stopped myself and I thought hang on a minute, I’ve not done enough to help these people to switch from scarcity, thinking and get into an abundant mindset to believe that there is enough and that you can get more and that you deserve more to earn it. So I said, Look, I’ll tell you what, I’ll take 50 firms, and if you make 20% profit margin, if I can help you to increase your fees for existing clients by 300 pounds a month that will cover the cost of the increase the life of the product, do you all agree? So I took these 50 firms, and within 30 days had increased their collective revenue by over half a million pound, right. So that’s an average of 830 pounds increase in fees from existing clients doing nothing weird, no crazy sales technique, just straightforward, logical conversations, I thought I’d flipped it, I thought maybe I’ve got just 50 Random firms that happen to be on the precipice of growing their fees anyway, took another 50 firms and repeat the process with them a month later, again, 30 days, they will increase our fees by over half a million pounds. And all I did was I just went back through my journey in terms of what I had done to get my mindset in the right place. And what we want, Jim is we want to improve the results we’re getting in our life. That’s ultimately what we’re trying to do, we want to improve these results. But in order to improve the results, we have to change our actions, the thing that’s driving the actions that you’re taking are your feelings, your feelings are ultimately controlling your actions. And the underlying thing that is controlling your feelings is your core belief system. You have to rewire your core belief system, which is a super, super hard thing to do nothing you can enter in lightly. Jim Rohn talks about this, you have to work harder on yourself than on your business. And that’s exactly what he’s talking about. You have to rewire that core belief system. And so when I went back to the first question, you asked me about the journey that I went on, I had to do that it was an immersive experience. You have to surround yourself with the right people. You have to get deep into that learning to improve that that mindset is a super, super hard thing to do. But ultimately, if you don’t do that, you will always bring forward bullshit excuses. I could lay out perfect a gym, I could map out and I do this the exact steps that you need to take to go and increase those fees. It’s very, very logical. But if you are coupled to things in your past that are holding you back, if you are surrounded by negative thinking people, if you constantly consume the news, if you don’t invest in your own development, you will never buy into those things. So we have to work on our mindset. I don’t know if I answered your question there. We just went off on a rant. Jim, I apologize.
It was awesome. I wanted the rant. The rant was great.
That was great. I think the length of focus on mindsets perfect spot on, I do want to ask you a question. Because I think that raising rates is the right way to go. I am curious, I’m in a contingency fee business. So I represent injury clients. And we we actually charge more than most firms we charge, like, a lot of firms will charge a third right 33.33% We charge 35%. Right. And then on premises liability cases, we charge 38%. Then like med mal, we charge 40%. So I mean, that’s pretty standard across the board when it comes to most firms, except for most like we’re like, you know, a third and then if you file suit, it goes to 40%. So I wonder what pricing strategies you might recommend? Like, would you recommend that maybe a firm like mine, okay, no, instead of 35 is 30%, and then set a 40% 42%? Like, what are your thoughts and stuff like that we’re in whenever it is, in an industry when it’s pretty standard? What those rates? Are?
You didn’t give me a warning about how complicated that question was going to be Tyson. But that is a much more complicated, I
apologize, you can pass it if you want
to know I won’t do I’ll do my very best to answer it. The only way you know, the most you can charge for something is what Jim was talking about before, which is to keep increasing your prices. And see at which point is people stop paying it. That is the only actual way you can do it. What most people do is they look towards the competitor. And they think like you brought some thinking that is which is the fact that that’s it. You said the word that’s a standard pricing. Therefore, you now think that you have to conform to that standard pricing. There’s a road not too far from where I live. And if I start a one that sells cars, and you could see the first few cars as a Kia Garriage, there’s a Renault Garriage, the Peugeot Garriage. And you could think that this is standard pricing, right? But then you get to the Audi Garriage. Then there’s a ranger of a garage. And there’s a Porsche Garriage. Right. And then also, it’s not standard. It’s not standard. So what’s happening differently along there, what’s the experience that people are getting, and people don’t talk about this. So we talk about Systemising our business. And the reason why we want to systemize is that we can scale it so that it can run consistently so that we can bring team members in, etc. But the ultimate reason to systemize a business is to provide incredible experiences for our customers. And the moment you start to move into experiences. That’s when prices can really start to go up. But here’s the irony of it all. You can’t get into experiences until you charge enough to allow you to be able to deliver a level of service that your clients actually want to pay for. Right. So you have to unravel that. There’s a hotel near here that we go to a couple of hours away from where I live. It’s the number one hotel in the UK got voted last year. You turn up there, you get greeted at the gate. They take your name you drive down a crunchy drive. You get there, they get up Mr. Ashford, they know who you are, because the people at the gate have already rang down to say that Mr. Ashfords arrived, they take you out that you hand them your keys. Leave your case in the car, there’s a champagne reception waiting for you like the experiences incredible. Like what you pay for a night there is ridiculous. So you can tell what’s the standard fee of a hotel room. There isn’t a standard fee, the moment you start to get into providing incredible experiences because the experiences you provide will change the way that your clients are made to feel. And your clients will remember how you made them feel long after they’ve forgotten what you’ve done for them.
Alright, so I had another question. But I remembered when you were just talking right now, James, my absolute favorite story from the book and I think it’d be a great way for us to end and that is when procrastinating James Ashford waited till the last minute to make his valentine day reservation at the restaurant. If you could tell that story, I think it’d be a great way for us to wrap up because to me, it demonstrates something we talked about here a lot based on our friend Jason Selke, relentless solution focused, you just focus on finding a solution. And I can’t think of a story that fits that better than that Valentine’s Day story. That’s cool.
Thank you. Yeah. So it brings a lot of things in this is about being resourceful. Most people will blame resources or lack of resources as to why they can’t achieve what they want to achieve. But you’ve got to be resourceful. And you’ve got to be unreasonable. And you’ve got to be relentless. And I think one thing that I’ve always been very good at Jim is thinking this is the outcome that I’m going to achieve by this date. And I’m going to find a way my first reaction is I’m going to find a way and if I can’t find a way I’m going to make away and if I can’t make away, I’m going to get people around me who can help me to make away but either way, I’m coming through it over it or around it. And you have to have that mindset in business. So the story you’re telling is it was there’s a I live in a small town. There’s not a lot of very good restaurants but there’s there was one really cool restaurant called the room rooms and they started serving some great Eat food and the become quite renowned in the town. And it was Valentine’s Day was Valentine’s Day on the Saturday. It was now the Wednesday and my wife had said, Have you booked the room rooms yet? And I said no should outsource it. So she rang the the guys called the inn. And she had it on loudspeaker and she said, Hi, I want to book a table for Saturday for Valentine’s Day. And I could just hear him laughing on the phone. And I’m thinking, this is not a good sign. Oh, he’s like, we’ve been booked up since last year. Like you got no, I’m really sorry, like coming to see us later. So she came off the phone gave me a bit of a rollicking, and I said all sorts it. So it now got to Friday, and I realized that not sorted it and I was sat in a shopping mall carpark. So I rang up, and I said, Hey, you spend my wife on Wednesday? I just wondered if kind of any tables had come free, how many cancellations? He said we’ve got some really sorry, we just have no room at all. We’ve we’ve fully booked. And I said okay, can I just ask, what is it an issue of like, Is it is it an issue of tables? Because we have a small table? I could we could arrive early. I could bring it bring a couple of chairs. We could squeeze in upstairs. He said no, no. He says we’re, we’re just a really small restaurant upstairs. There is there is just isn’t the room. I said okay. I said, Well, what about downstairs? It’s all that’s the bar area that says Ya know that but I mean, you can fit us in somewhere we can just sit in the corner is cool. He said No, it’s for drinking only. That’s an even smaller area. All right. I says you’ve got a courtyard out back. I said, Is there any chance we could sit out there? He said, It’s February. It’s freezing. I says, Okay, is there any way you could make it warmer out there? It’s well, I guess I could put a fire basket outside or something like that. He said, But it’s dark. I said, Okay. Could you make it lighter? He said, Well, we’ve got some fairy lights in the back and we could hang those and stuff. I said, brilliant. What time could we have the table for? And he said, Come at 830 and have it all set up for you. Right. So I came off the phone around. Around back yesterday. I’ve got a table book that the room rooms Saturday night? Should How did you book that? I can’t tell you I’ve just sorted it. I thought if I tell her we sit in outside, it’s game over. Right. So anyway, returned, agreed on it took us out back. And this is huge courtyard right in the middle a bit. There was a fire basket fire going fairy lights all around third blankets. The candles in the middle. It was exquisite. It was like some celebrities are turned up. Like people were coming out and said who are you like how have you managed to get this table? I’m a big deal, right? Anyway. So we had we had the meal, my wife lived there. And then it was great story, right. And what I think about that is many of the people have rang that restaurant, I was the only person that got that table. Because I was committed to my goal. I wasn’t afraid of my feelings. I wasn’t afraid of feeling embarrassed. I wasn’t afraid of being rejected. I was committed to that goal. Three months later went back to the restaurant, the guy greeted, as they recognize me said, let me show you out here. He took us out back. He built an outside eating area with five tables and increase the covers of that restaurant by 50%. With the tables a year later, went back for my niece’s birthday went back, he says you’ve got to come and see this now. He’s got an outdoor bar outside, he’s got a stage area, double the size of his dining area. And I like to think that I was the person that sparked that off, because I was unreasonable. There’s a great quote by George Bernard Shaw, which is the reasonable man will adapt himself to the world, the Unreasonable Man will attempt to adapt the world to Himself. Therefore, all progress is dependent upon the Unreasonable Man. Awesome.
That’s great. That is absolutely wonderful. So very powerful, telling a great story and amazing quote, that’s great. So thanks so much, James. I even feel better wrapping it up. Now I just want to keep going. That’s so wonderful. But we do we do need to be respectful of your time. So before we wrap things up, I do want to remind everyone to join us in the big Facebook group. If you want more information on maximum lawyers search, maximum lawyer and Facebook and if you want a more high level conversation, go to max law guild.com. We’d love to have you there. But a great information being shared there are high level expertise being shared. And then while you’re listening to this episode, hearing our tips and our hacks of the week, if you’ll give us a five star review, we will greatly appreciate it. Jimmy What’s your Hagley
so I have many reasons to think that I have undiagnosed ADHD, but one of them is my hack of the day, which is that I pick an anthem of the day I usually pick a song on the way to work. And then I listened to that same song all day. I can’t usually listen to music with words on it when I’m working. But if it’s the same song over and over, for some reason, that just really helps me focus. And I think it’s on the people. My tribe is just picking a song. It can be a song that gets you pumped up, man, for me, it usually is. And that’s something that has really helped settle my mind down and helped me focus when I’m working.
I like that, ya know, you’ve mentioned that before that you like listening to songs over and over again. I think it’s kind of it’s kind of crazy, but that’s cool. All right. So James, we always ask our guests to give a tip or hack of the week. It could be a book it could be a podcast, could be a website, could be a quote could be a tip, whatever. Before I ask you for that though. I always have this impression that all Brits are Formula One fans, so is that true? Not me.
I don’t have time for sports. I don’t have time for anything. Like, if I can just get through a week and get my work done and get my kids roughly in the right place where they need to be, I feel like I’ve achieved something, you know,
I’m with you. I know. I do like Formula One. But as I was just curious, okay, but do you have a tip or Hackworth
the tip? So I’ve had some big deadlines this week. So I go on holiday, coming to Mexico on next week, and then flying over to Phoenix to give a talk, Phoenix, that’s gonna be cool. So I’ve had some big deadlines have been helping a friend of mine to get a book published and to get it out the door and it’s all been finished today. The only way I can get deadlines done like that to achieve big outcomes in short timeframes is just to ignore everybody. Like I just, I don’t reply to emails, I don’t respond to text messages. I don’t return phone calls, not even I don’t even tell them. I’m busy. Like, I don’t care. Like, because the moment you kind of say, I’m just busy. Yeah, can you just speak for five minutes, I don’t even want to get into that. So I’m comfortable with being ignorant to people in times of absolute focus. And if you can’t feel comfortable doing that, and blocking everything else out, like your life depends on it, you’ll always struggle to hit those deadlines.
I think that’s absolutely beautiful. I’m sure that you’ve just stressed a lot of people out. I do. I do think it’s absolutely beautiful. So that’s really good. So my tip of the week is a book and it’s the name of it’s make your bed, little things that can change your life and maybe the world. And it’s by Admiral William McRaven. Really, really good book. If you don’t have time to read it, it’s a small book, you can actually sit down and read in one setting. But if you just Google it, and he actually has a really good speech that he gives at a graduation at University of Texas, it covers the same things. But it’s a it’s a really good, really good speech. I read a really good book too. So highly recommend it. James, thanks so much for coming on. This has been a lot of fun, and just a lot of great information you shared. So thank you so much.
Thank you guys. I love the work that you’re doing. Jim, we’ve been friends for a while online and version we have met. But I just think the fact that you know what you’re trying to bring to your industry. And the fact that you’re making these contributions and helping to kind of elevate your industry is a wonderful thing, but your community through this work. So thank you.