Today on the podcast Jim and Tyson want you to ask yourself “What Do I Want?”
2:53 what do I want
7:05 you are the creator of your life
8:03 not saying no enough
10:02 it’s ok to want
11:55 convey to your team
14:20 reverse engineer it
17:44 what you deserve
19:59 confidence relates to success
Jim’s Hack: Giving tips can help make your life better.
Tyson’s Tip: Say no simple things to free up time for yourself.
Watch the interview here.
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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 had a great weekend in New York. I got to hang out with our friend Jay Ruane, not once but twice. We saw the Dave Matthews Band live in concert, at the end of their tour, at Madison Square Garden. It was an epic show. Then, the next day, my son, Yussuf, had come up and we went to see To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway which was a total blast. And then, we got to see the Jets get their asses kicked on Sunday, 45 – 3. They came back and scored two mop‑up touchdowns but, in my mind, I consider it a 45 – 3 loss.
Tyson: So, you had so much fun. You were with some great people. Like, you– you, Russ, and Jay–
Jim: Yeah, Russ was there.
Tyson: Like if I were at a Chief’s game, I would be miserable. Like, was it miserable or were you having a lot of fun still?
Jim: Well, Jay got us a luxury box which was great and that was a real blast. And just being with those guys was fun. Getting to see Jay’s kids, and Russell’s kids, and both of their spouses.
It was real fun. Jay’s wife is a trip. When I went to look for Gary Vee because Jay thought he knew which section Gary Vee usually sits in, but I couldn’t find him. It was his birthday, so he probably didn’t want to hang out with those loser Jets the whole day. But, anyway, I went looking for him. And that’s when they scored those mop‑up touchdowns. So, when I came back, Jay’s wife started yelling at me to get out of the luxury box because good things happen when I’m gone.
Tyson: Yeah, that’s how we– that’s how [inaudible 00:01:47], too.
Tyson: I mean, just good things happen whenever Jim’s gone. Just teasing.
No. So, yeah– so I’m actually on my way to St. Louis, going to be doing an interview for Jason Korner. Jason Korner is a DWI lawyer in St. Louis and he wants me to do an interview to– talk about [inaudible 00:02:06] cases and stuff so fun little thing. So, doing it as a favor.
Jim: Why do you have to drive all the way to St. Louis to do that?
Tyson: It’s one of those in‑person interviews. One of those professional‑looking videos.
Jim: Oh, nice.
Tyson: That’s why. Can’t do it via Zoom. It’s, yeah, one of those nice little video montages.
Jim: Well, I have a big topic for us today.
Tyson: I know. I’m curious to see what your angle is but let’s hear it.
Jim: So, this is a new thing that I’ve been working on. And I think it might even rise to the level of some of our favorite things like polishing the silverware and stopping the bullshit.
And so, I’ve been playing around with this question. I mean, I’ve actually been playing around with it for a few years. And it’s a basic question. So, it sort of might be surprising to people how much time I spent thinking about it.
But the question is four words and stick with me for a minute. So, the words are “What do I want?” Those four words. What do I want? And, when I’m talking about it or when I’m thinking about what do I want, I have found it very interesting to use my inflection differently, four different ways, to emphasize one word each time. And I think that if we go through each one, it’s really sort of a revealing thing that I think could help a lot of our big group members, our Guild members, for sure, because I think that a lot of people are afraid to ask what they want. And I think a lot of people feel guilty for wanting things.
And I want us, and I think we have, to build a community where it’s okay to figure out what you want. You know, some people want a small firm that runs really, really well. Some people want a big firm. Some people want to work, you know, handling cases. Some people want to handle the marketing. Some people want to, you know, chase that perhaps mythical law firm that runs on its own, right? I don’t know if that’s achievable. But, you know, everyone has different things that they want. But the purpose of this podcast is I want to give everybody permission to figure out what it is that they want and to say it out loud.
So, what do you think about that before I get into each of the inflections?
Tyson: I mean, I think it’s great. I think you hit on a lot of different points. The main one, that’s striking for me, and I think strikes a chord, that one is that people are afraid to ask for what they want and they’re guilty. They feel guilty about asking for what they want. And so, they sacrifice a lot of their dreams because of that. So, I think that that’s– I think it’s an important point.
I’m curious to see what you’re talking about when it comes to the inflection. I think I know what you mean but let’s jump right in. Give me some examples. So, we’re starting with what. You said we’d break it down to what do I want? So, give–
Jim: Yeah, but it’s–
Tyson: –start with what.
So, the first one is, what do I want? And I think when you focus on the “what” word that gives you the ability to view the whole canvas as blank. You know, what are all the possibilities? When you focus on what – “What do I want?”, you know, where what is emphasized, I think you’re able to think about each of the things that you might want.
Like, you’ve been watching other lawyers, you’ve been seeing what they do, you know, forever, and one thing that I wanted was a basement. And what I mean by that is when– the first time I visited Price Benowitz and I talked to Seth, I saw what he had in the basement as far as his intake team, his leads team, his marketing, down in the basement, and I wanted a basement.
So, when you think about what – what do I want? It’s like what are all the possibilities of the things that I could want for my life, for my firm, for my family, for my parents, for the people that work with me. You know, what is it that I want?
Tyson: All right. So, the what– the “What do I want?” Okay. So, what do I want?
How many–? Like, I’m going to kick this back to you, for a second. How many people do you actually think think about the things that they actually want? Like, the things they want. Like, the what of it. Like, is it something where people actually sit down and think about these things or is it something like it is in the back of their minds and like, “Oh, I wish I had that”?
Jim: Well, as I mentioned at the end of the conference, I think we all need to spend more time in our comfy chair, with our feet up on the ottoman or the footrest, and, you know, having maybe a little notebook and just thinking about what we want.
So, I think that other than money or other than more cases, I don’t know how much pre‑planning goes into it for a lot of people. And, you know, the people that do– you know, like Jay Ruane’s been on this mission for a while to, you know, find someone, to get completely out of the practice. And if anyone’s close, he’s the closest because he has like 1500 systems. He has people running all different things and so– but he’s in that position now because, 10 years ago, he started, you know, with the end in mind and started thinking about “What do I want?”, and “What does it look like?”, and “How do I get there?” and he reverse engineered it. Jay’s really big on reverse engineering.
And so, that’s something I think that, you’re right, most people don’t do enough of. And as the creator of our lives, we’re the only ones who can do it for ourselves. No one else is going to do that for us.
Tyson: Well, that was a trick question.
Tyson: I think the opposite is true.
Tyson: I think people spend too much time thinking about the things that they want and to the point where the question is not what do I want? It should be “What is the most important thing I should be focusing on that I want?” You know what I mean?
Jim: And I think– I think that comes–
Tyson: –I want.
Jim: I think I think that comes from the “do” because when you say, “What do I want?”, then you’ve had your list of, you know, what’s. You know, my what’s are all the possibilities.
And “do” – what do I want? I think, there, you get into, you know, on this whole big canvas, what are the things that I want? And I think that that gets to your point is that we get to that big canvas with everything painted on it but then we don’t pick and choose the things that we can work on. I mean, I think so much of what we have problems with is because we’re trying to do too much and we’re not saying no enough, like you were saying the other day, and not narrowing our focus. So, we have everything that’s on the canvas now. But, now, we need to say, “Okay. I’m going to do number 13, number 9, number 26, and number 4.”
Tyson: I like it.
All right. So, we’ve got a canvas with the what, all right.
I kind of like use it like the “do I” together, but I get why you have the I separately. I almost want to use “do I” and then “I” separately. So, do I– like, do I? Do I really want to do all these things? So, yeah, you could use it in a variety of different ways, but I would do “What do I–? I– But– so, do I? I do like the whole idea of the filtering process because I do think that the majority of people, they know that things that they should be doing. They really do know it, right? They’ve got all these things but they know that there’s these top priorities and they don’t do them for some reason. I think having them go through this exercise will help that narrow that down and actually say, “Hey, I need to stop doing these other things.”
But when it comes to the other thing, I do think it’s important that you’re not saying that you give those things up forever, right? You’re saying that you’re not doing those things right now. What do I want? But it’s also, you know, what do I want right now? What do I want that’s most important? There are some other questions that you have to ask.
So, we have the “what”. We have the “do”. Okay, what do we actually want to do? Do I want to do these things? But, now, we’ve got to get to the “I”, right? We’re like, “Okay. Is this really what I want to do or am I doing it for other people?” Am I picking up where you’re going with this?
Jim: Right. You’re going right where I’m going. And I like the double emphasis on I. I’m totally happy with using I twice. So, what do I–? And then, I.
Yeah, so with the I, this is the part where the permission really comes into play. You know, you really are an artist in creating the life that you want. Whatever life you have now, whatever law firm you have now, that’s what you’ve created. That’s the end result of past thinking, right?
And so, what Tyson and I want to do is empower you, as a law firm owner, to say out loud, to write it down, to put it up on– you know, nail it on the door, like Martin Luther, whatever it takes for you, once you’ve identified what it is that I want. What do I want? And it’s okay to want and it’s okay to think about yourself. Not okay to think about yourself all the time. Not okay to punish other people for your choices. But it’s okay to have the experience and the thought process of I of “What do I want?“ And it doesn’t matter what other people want. What do I want for my life?
Tyson: You know, I think that’s awesome. I think it’s really, really important both personally, professionally. I do think there’s an added step. So, you have to first, obviously, figure out what it is that you want, right? That’s crucial. You’ve got to figure all that out and write it out. But I think you also need to make sure that your teams know what it is you want. It can’t just be in your head. You can’t just assume that they know what you want.
And part of this comes from I just read Vivid Vision. And Vivid Vision, they talk about making sure that you get it out in writing. You make sure that your team knows about it. That’s something that I’m actually working on myself to make sure I get out to the team what it is that I want. And that’s all going to be– we have a big launch that we’re going to do. December 15th is like our big launch, so I’m going to make sure everyone knows that. But going through this process is fantastic. I like this “What do I want?” exercise.
The I part of it is you can’t just say what do I– say, you know, “I want this. This is what I want.” but then keep it to yourself because, if you don’t– you don’t tell other people, you know– and it’s not of those things where you go tell other people so you can accomplish your goals. It’s not what I’m talking about.
If you’ve got a vision for your firm, these things that you want for your firm, you’ve got to convey that to your team. Otherwise, it will just sit on your whiteboard for years and nothing will happen. And that’s what a lot of people do. They’ve got this idea for their firm, and then they don’t tell people about it, and then they get pissed off. They get frustrated about it whenever their employees don’t do the things that they want. It’s crucial. I think that the crucial element is conveying that to your team.
Jim: Yeah. And a lot of people don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing that. They don’t know even how to do that. They’re reluctant to do it. But I think it is important.
And I do think it’s important for– I mean, one, I think just saying it out loud and writing it down, it becomes concrete. And you’d be really surprised if you’d sit down and figure out, you know, all the changes that you’ve made. And when you get to the end, or when you get to the next plateau and you see, “Man! This is what I said I wanted.” Like, for me, I said that I wanted to be working a few hours in the day, hanging out in San Diego a lot, and coaching people. And like I’m getting there, right? So, I think there’s some special power in getting it out of your head where it’s not just you, you know, saying to yourself, “This is what I want” and hoping somehow that you get there.
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Tyson: So, the want part of this component is it’s sort of like the go‑giver where you’ve got to be willing to receive. Is that what the want part of it is?
Jim: Maybe. I was thinking more with want that this is where you get to play. What do I want? Like, of all these things that we’ve talked about and we’ve focused on the “me” and we’ve focused on the possibilities, what do I want?
So, our needs are met. We’re assuming that our needs are met. We’re now past needs. Whenever I think about want, I think about needs, right?
So, you know, now I’m in the real part of creativity. I’ve drilled down and now I get to figure out like, “How do I reverse engineer this? How do I get moving towards what I want? You know, how do I bring into reality the thoughts that I’ve had?” And it’s not your favorite manifesting. It’s more about reverse engineering. And, you know, these are the things I said I want. This is the kind of life that I want. What can I do now to start moving towards that so it’s not some big thing in the future where I’m retiring and my life is all great but that how do I– you know, what are all the ways that I could get to where I want to go and what’s the best way to do it?
Tyson: All right. So, the what’s are the needs, the want’s are the want’s? Is that how I’m looking at this? The want’s are the want’s and the what’s are the needs?
Tyson: No? [inaudible 00:14:56]
Jim: No. I just think, with wants, we’re past needs. Like, this is orchestrating your life. This is, you know, future pacing. This is, you know, knock on wood, my kids are healthy, my family’s good, my bills are paid and now I’m sort of operating–
Almost like in our Maximum Law in Minimum Time sort of stage four. Like, where am I going to fit into all this? Where’s my role? What’s my unique ability? What can I continue to bring to the organization or to the dream, right?
And this is where I get to say no to stuff? I don’t– No. I don’t want to do that. No. I don’t want to do that either.
Tyson: Yeah. I posted in The Guild about like no. Like, what’s one of the things you started saying no to? And like I’ve got a sticky note on my computer the use of no, just a reminder, just to say no to things but–
And that’s one of the things about no. I guess, once you get to the want, you can start talking about other things. Okay, what do I want to actually start sort of saying no to? So, I like that.
You know, I do. This is sort of into the David Neagle territory too where he’s telling people to go buy first‑class tickets, you know, because you’ve got to start living that life that you want. I think there’s a lot of good that can come from that I. I think it’s good.
I do like the whole idea of using the “what” to dream about the things that you actually want, you know, out of your life. And maybe this is the part of the exercise where people start to break out of the fear that they have when it comes to the whole planning and getting locked into the day‑to‑day and all that. And I do like this part of the exercise where you get away from now. These are the things I truly want for my life, for my firm.
I like this. I like this exercise, Jimmy. It should be fun.
Jim: It’s fun and it’s–
Tyson: How often have you been doing this? It’s like you’ve given this a lot of thought.
Jim: I have given a lot of thought, but I just started playing around with it because, you know, we’re getting ready for our firm retreat tomorrow. It is tomorrow. And, you know, as part of that, I’m going to start with my why and talk about my why. And I’m going to end with a little bit of, you know, what I want, and what I envisioned, and how we got here.
So, yeah, you’re right, sharing it is big. And–
But, yeah, I do– I play around with a lot. And, listen, ask yourself the question at various times during the day or even when people present you with an opportunity to do something and, you know, just “What do I want?” Like, is this match what I want? Hmm, I don’t know. Or, yeah, it does or yeah, it’s hell yeah, you know?
Tyson: No, I think it’s a good little– I wouldn’t say mantra but a little phrase you can use throughout the day. And, you know, what do I want? Like, you can use that to answer a lot of different questions, right? Let’s say that something comes onto your desk and you’re like, “What do I want? Does this fit in with what I want?” No. Okay, good. We need get rid of it.
I do think it’s a fun little exercise. I can’t wait to play with it after the podcast. So, it would be good.
Tyson: Wow! We’re kind of nearing the end. Anything else you want to add about “What do I want”? I like it.
Jim: No, just– you know, I think you and I spend a lot of time talking to a lot of law firm owners. And there’s a lot of talking about “what I deserve.” And I think that people sell themselves short on what they think they deserve. That’s a word that I’ve struggled with a lot with my therapist and a word that I generally don’t like is like, when people talk negatively to each other, I think it’s either they say to themselves, “I deserve something bad to happen to me or I don’t deserve something good to happen to me.”
And this rubric that we came up with just sort of throws that lie into the trash heap. And, you know, it’s future pacing. You know, it allows you to get past the urgency of the moment or, you know, the demons of the past. And it just sets you up for, you know, forget all that deserve bullshit and just get to, you know, what do I want to orchestrate? I’m going to work as hard as I can to bring about this reality. I might not get there but, if I’m not pointed in that direction, I’m never going to get there.
Tyson: Yeah. Something you just touched on, I think it’s really, really important. And Jason Selk talks a lot about it. And a lot of what I preach is, you know, Jason Selk stuff. But a lot of it starts with that negative self‑talk like confidence is a huge factor when it comes to success. And a lot of that begins with a negative self‑talk that you just mentioned. And if you can reverse that one thing, you stop that negative self-talk, you will change your trajectory. It is that simple because whatever you think about expands. We talked about that, too. So, if you think about negative things, guess what, more negative things are going to come in your life which is how it is. If you think about more– if you focus more on positive things–
And we’ll use someone like a– take an example of like a negative co‑worker. I think we’ve all had a negative co‑worker and think about everything that centers around that negative co‑worker, whenever they’re complaining about saying, when they’re talking to talking to other employees about negative things, and it just kind of spreads.
Now, reverse that. Let’s change that. Let’s say that that is a positive co‑worker, a co‑worker that you love being around. I’ll call it like the Mark Hammer’s of the world, right? Someone like Mark Hammer, you walk into the room with him and he instantly lights up your life, right? He’s just a positive person. That is the power of positivity versus negativity.
And so, I do think that just– I know. I don’t think. I know. I know that he will just change that one little thing, focus on the positive part of your life, all this other stuff will begin to sort of smooth over. And Jason talked about how just changing the way your brain works, kind of like thinking like a lawyer, right? We learn about that whenever we go to law school to become like a lawyer. Think like a positive person. Think like a successful person and they will change, so.
All right. I’ll get off my stump. We’re ready to wrap things up. Anything else you want to add?
Tyson: All right. Remind everyone to go to the Facebook group, if you want to join us there. There are over 5000 members. A lot of great activity every single day. There are, I don’t know, maybe dozens of posts a day now. A lot of great information being shared.
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Jimmy, what’s your hack of the week?
Jim: So, Jay, and Brendan, and I went out to dinner beforehand. And we went to this Brazilian steakhouse. And Jay said, “Jimmy, this is much better than any Brazilian steakhouse you’ve been to because the people that run it are actually Brazilian and they know how to do it right.” But he said, “Watch this.” So, apparently, there’s these little sausages that Brendan really likes that they have at the place.
Now, I know you’re not eating meat. But this is like the worst place ever for you. But Jay said, “Watch this.” And so, the first guy that came over with Brendan’s little sausages, Jay slipped him a $20 bill. And those guys did not leave us alone the rest of the night. Like, they were dropping off meat, left and right, all day long. And like we even when– you know, I don’t know if you’ve ever been but you’d turn the card to green if you want meat and red if you want it off. Even when it was off, they were still stopping by to bring Brennan his sausages.
So, Jay told me about an article which I’ve since read called the $20‑Millionaire. It’s from Esquire. It’s basically this guy tested how nice and comfortable he could make his life by handing out $20 bills and it really works.
Now, earlier that night, when I checked into the Westin, they said, “Oh, Mr. Hacking– because my son was coming to be with me and we needed two separate beds. “Oh, Mr. Hacking, we have you in a king.” I said, “Oh, that’s not going to work.” Oh, but when I first walked up to the counter, I had slipped her my credit card, my driver’s license, and a $20 bill. I just handed it to her. So, she said, “Oh, I don’t know, Mr. Hacking. I don’t know what we’re going to do.” And she said, “But hold on a second.” So, she went back to talk to the manager and she said, “Mr. Hacking, would it be okay if we put you up in the Presidential Suite?” And I said, “Oh, yes. For sure, that would be just fine.” So, the Presidential Suite it was. And then, to thank her, I gave her another $20 bill. So, you can get a whole lot of life lived in a very nice and comfortable way by making other people happy with $20 bills.
Tyson: I love it. I’m going to start using that. It’s easier for Jay Ruane because he’s got all that cash from criminal defense law. And so, I think I’ll pull some 20’s out of the ATM. I like it.
My tip of the week is– sort of teased it during this podcast, but one of the things that you’re going to start saying no to. There are a lot of just very successful people that part of the reason why they became successful is by saying no to things and things that– you really start to think– I started to like think about my week and like some things that I can start saying no to to free up my time. And it’s quite drastic how much time I can free up by just saying no to the little things.
So, if I start to say no to you, if you ask me for something, I’m sorry. But one of the things that you can say no to. It’s a really simple thing but I think it’s [inaudible 00:23:40].
Jimbo, we have a double date so I will talk to you in a couple of hours but, as always, good talking to you and great topic. I love it. Lot of fun.
Jim: Peace brother.
Tyson: See you, man. Bye.
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