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“Building a Business on Life Lessons” w/ Michelle Dellino 240
Categories: Podcast

In today’s podcast episode we joined Michelle Dellino, the Managing Attorney of Dellino Law Group. Michelle founded her firm with the belief that there is, very simply, a solution to every problem. She is both a trained mediator and former criminal trial attorney.

In today’s episode we discuss the journey from dropping out of high school to battling cancer to owning a seven figure law firm. 

3:17 lessons from dropping out of high school
8:34 opening your own firm
10:05 lessons from Starbucks
17:11 80% intake conversion rate
20:32 teaching a team to relate to clients
26:10 look to what’s next
26:57 networking for referrals

Listen to the podcast here.
Watch the video here.

Jim’s Hack: App: Just Call – used for the leads team, transfer the call, send a message, listen in on a call.

Tyson’s Tip: Emailmeter.com – gives you stats to analyze your inbox.

Michelle’s Tip: Use Voice Over IP 

If you enjoyed the show, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and leave a 5-Star review!

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Guild


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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. It’s fun. I was just talking to our guest and to you about the fact that we’re recording this at the end of the day, so we’ve got to see if we can bring the same energy and umpf that we do when we record in the morning,

Tyson: Man, no chance that’s going to happen for me. I’m actually tired. I’ve had a long freakin’ week, but I’m still excited to be here though. I’m going to have energy but not as much energy.

Jim: Well, that’s all right. Sometimes, you’re a little too hyper, anyway. Do you want to go ahead and introduce our guest?

Tyson: I do. Give me a second.

Our guest today is Michelle Dellino. I actually don’t have a bio in front of me, like I normally have, so I can’t do a full introduction.

But Michelle, thanks for being on the show. How are you doing?

Michelle: Hey. Good. Good to be here.

Yeah, it’s afternoon here, too. It feels like it’s been a long week. I can’t believe it’s not Friday. How did that happen?

Jim: Michelle is one of our few Guild members who lives on the west coast, so we’re happy to record this later in the day.

And I was looking over the notes that Becca sent us over about you. And one of the topics that you said you felt comfortable talking about was overcoming adversity and dropping out of high school. I want to hear all about how you go from dropping out of high school to sitting in that chair running your own seven-figure firm.

Michelle: Yeah, it’s an interesting story. I mean, I guess the high-level overview of that, so I’ve been running the firm here for seven years. Before that, I was in private practice – kind of working backwards. Before that, I was clerking. But way before that, I dropped out of high school. I had kind of a rough time like– you know, I found my initial clients, I was in public defense, and I kind of bonded with them over that being able to tell them that, “I dropped out of school like you so there’s no reason you can’t turn it around, if I did.”

I dropped out of school. I had some stuff going on when I was a teenager like a lot of teenagers do. And it took me a while to figure things out. So, I then became a manager, like people do in Seattle, at Starbucks. Became a manager of a Starbucks. I did that for a while, I learned all the important life lessons and management lessons. And I credit a lot of running my business well to learning how to run a Starbucks.

So, I did that before I ever went to college and then figured out, I kind of tapped out there and I needed to get it together. And then, I passed the high school equivalency exam, got myself into college, got myself to a four-year college. And then, on we go, from there, to law school.

So really, anything can happen, you know. And along the way, I’ve overcome cancer a few times. I had to deal with that while I was in college. Once I finally got on my feet, I had to find out. You know, in my 20s I was dealing with that. So really, nothing that comes up now seems like that big a deal. [inaudible 0010:54]

Tyson: I wasn’t going to to start with saying holy shit. And like I’ve got so many like places I want to go with this.

I originally would ask you about, you know, Starbucks, and running the business, and how that helped you, but I want to go back, actually.

I guess, why did you drop out of high school? Like what– 

Michelle: Yeah. You know–

Tyson: Why? And then, I guess, what lessons did you learn from that?

Michelle: I guess the why was just– it’s crazy because I wasn’t getting along with my parents. I felt like I knew everything better than them. I didn’t really mean to drop out. I just kind of felt like– my initial thought was, “I’m going to go to community college and I’m going to finish there.” And then, I ended up not doing that and ended up just working and then didn’t want to go back because I was embarrassed. I actually moved out to my parents’ house.

My parents were both educators. My mom’s a– well, she’s not anymore. She’s retired, but she was a school principal and my dad’s a school guidance counselor. So, kind of not doing school the traditional way was kind of the biggest, you know, in your face to them at the time, so. And I’d been a really good student before that. So, it wasn’t the way I planned it but that’s what happened.

And I think the biggest thing I learned– I’m actually glad though, I think, because in the beginning I felt a lot of insecurity about not taking the traditional path. And I wouldn’t really trade it for anything now because I learned so many more things, having different jobs, dealing with different kinds of people, sort of being forced into the working world earlier, I think, than your average went straight through high school to college person. And I never lived in a dorm or did any of that. And I, you know, learn how to get an apartment, and pay bills, and do stuff a lot earlier. So, I think, from the very beginning, it kind of shaped who I am and how I deal with things so.

Jim: This is so great for me to hear right now because my eldest son is 18. He thinks he knows everything. He’s looking for all those FU moments he can for his parents before he leaves for college.

Michelle: Yeah, he’ll be fine though. Like even if he gives you a big FU moment. Like, I hadn’t talked to my parents for almost a year and now I talk to them like every day so. I mean, it’ll be fine.

Jim: So, tell us about your ending college and thinking about law school. What is that– I mean, that that’s a huge shift from–

Michelle: You know, it was never actually a question when I– the away I kind of do things is I always have a plan that I’m working on. And when I went to college, it was to go to law school. A lot of people today, like probably couldn’t relate to this, but I don’t know If you guys remember. Jim, you might remember because you’re older. Remember like Franklin planners where you would write everything down? Remember that shit, like–?

Jim: [inaudible 00:13:35].

Michelle: So, I would write down, in my Franklin planner, like what’s going to happen here? And so, I wrote out, when I went to– I moved to New York [inaudible 00:13:44]. When I went in back to school, I was like, “I’m going to do this big.” So, I really wanted to move to New York. So, I went to NYU and I wrote out like what was going to happen every semester, and when I was going to go to law school, and when I was going to graduate. So, I mapped out like the next seven years of my life, when I went to college. I was really determined not to let anything derail that. That was my plan the whole time.

And the reason why this is so misguided now, but when I worked at Starbucks, I worked in this building downtown that had an office tower above it. Everybody that worked in there was a lawyer. And I was like, “Oh, these people don’t seem that smart and they’re making all this money. And if they can do this–” I liked the idea of it. I thought I could do it. I was like, “I can do this. I’m just going to go to law school. That’s what I’m going to do.” And they were always like, “Oh, come work for us. Leave Starbucks and be an admin assistant.” And I was like, “No, I’m going to come back and be a lawyer.” So that was kind of my plan from the beginning.

Jim: Good for you.

Michelle: Yeah.

Tyson: That is so awesome. My favorite part about what you just said– one of my favorite parts was that Jim’s older so that was– that was–

Man, this is so great.

So, [inaudible 00:14:56] is it fair to say like you have a pretty good idea of your vision? Like you knew exactly like what you wanted to do and you executed upon it. So like, do you have the same idea for like whenever you’re like 65?

Michelle: No, not anymore. My vision’s changed. I mean, you know, when I went to law school, I had no idea what I wanted to do after that so. Then, I just thought I wanted to work for somebody else, you know. I didn’t really even think about starting my own firm, so I went. I worked for a court at first because I had no idea how to get experience. And I think I was always trying to get like legitimacy. And I think that kind of comes from dropping out of high school. And I thought, “Okay, I’ll go to work for a court and that’ll give me like some street cred, and I’ll learn stuff.”

And then, I went and worked for a firm and I thought– I kind of thought I would just stay there for a long time. That’s what I saw as my vision was being like the best associate and a criminal defense firm I could be. And then, I realized that that vision sort of wasn’t really a vision and got derailed when they weren’t offering me enough money. That was the best thing they ever could’ve done because I realized, “Why am I doing this for them? I could do this my way.” And I left there, voluntarily, to start my own thing.

So now that I’ve started my own thing– it’s been a while. It’s been seven years now, which is crazy. I kind of have it. I do have a vision now. Probably not till I’m 65 because I’m definitely not going to work that long. Now, I have my whole vision shifted. So, the vision I thought I was going to have, coming out of law school, ended up really not being what it was. And, at this point, I’ll never work for anyone else. Just like, probably a lot of people watching this podcast can relate to, you know, or listening in can relate to. I would never work for anyone else.

Visions can shift and change. I like to plan but I also like to adapt. So, I’m always kind of looking for the next thing to be working on. And if I don’t have that thing that I’m working on, I’m going to find it, probably like a lot of other people.

Jim: Talk to us about the day before you announced that you were going to open your firm and then the day you had your first day at your firm.

Michelle: Yeah, that’s funny.

The day before I told people I was going to open my firm, I think people thought that maybe I was just having some kind of breakdown or something because I quit this job. Nobody really knew what I was doing. They were like, “What are you doing?” And so, I’d taken a vacation to Hawaii. I think people thought that was sort of crazy because I quit my job. Some people thought maybe I was going to go back to my job. And a lot of my friends and family– you know, I kind of told my family what I was going to do but no one was really sure, but I was sure.

So, the day before, I just was kind of getting ready. And then, the day that I told everybody I was starting, the best advice I got was, “Tell everyone”, like tell everyone. And I wanted to kind of have a uniform. You know, I did a lot of planning, so I was like, Okay.

I wish that I’d done more because I didn’t even know about, you know, all these different things I found out about later for law firm owners. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just kind of figured out on my own. But, you know, I was like, “I’ve got to have my website. I’ve got to have a logo.” I wanted to like present like I was legitimate because that’s kind of a theme for me.

So, I got everything together and I started telling everybody I could. “This is what I’m doing”, you know. I thought it was just going to be me hanging out like in this rented space that I got, this like 600 square foot rented space, waiting for people to like message me or something. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen but that’s not what happened. So, yeah.

Tyson: So now, I want to get back to the Starbucks thing.

Michelle: Okay. 

Tyson: Because I’ve always thought that like working at a place like Starbucks would really help you run a business–

Michelle: Yeah.

Tyson: They’re so great. I mean, at least, the Starbucks I go to, they’re always usually pretty good, like just really helpful and nice. So how did that help you run your firm?

Michelle: It helped me a lot. I’ll tell you the three biggest takeaways.

So, when I started there, I just started there making coffee as a regular barista. And then, I got really bored and I was kind of always hanging around. And so, they said, “Hey, why don’t you join our retail management training program?” So I did that and I learned a ton of valuable things, just basics, that I think a lot of people don’t know about reading a profit and loss statement, about maximizing efficiency in the store, about ordering. I learned a lot of stuff like that. And then, I became a store manager when I was 20.

But the three biggest takeaways that I think Starbucks still left me with and how to manage my firm were management– number one, was management style. I learned really quickly that you can’t manage people the same way. They had a whole class on this, in the very beginning, that was kind of the first time I’d ever learned anything like this. And they were like, “Okay, you can’t have– every employee doesn’t need high support and high direction. Some employees need low support, low direction. Some employees need–” They kind of drew this diagram. And then, they walked us through. And it really resonated with me. 

And so now, even today, when I have associates, or support staff, or whoever, I always think, “What kind of a management style does this person really need?” because I want to help them succeed and I want to bring out the best in them. And I can’t be the same boss to everyone. If I treat everybody with the same level of support– not everybody needs that. Some people need more, some people need less. So, Starbucks really taught me that at an early, early age.

Starbucks also taught me the importance of connecting with people which I think I’ve kind of built my business on. I still see people in that building where I used to make coffee over 20 years ago. I remember their names. I remember what they used to drink, which I don’t know how that happened, but I learned that there. And so, now, when I meet clients, I might talk to somebody and get to know something about them. And maybe they hire us or maybe they don’t, but I’ll remember things about them and it matters to them. So, I connect with people.

And I also learned, as part of that, to listen more and talk less. And listening to people, I think working at Starbucks, and we hear about their stories, whether it was other staff or the customers that would come in. That’s how you build rapport with people. So, that totally helped in my business.

And then the third thing was really just what I mentioned earlier, how to manage a budget. I never would’ve learned that. I never would have had a clue if I hadn’t worked there so, yeah.

Jim: This is great. I’m always telling Becca that Tyson needs a lot of support and a lot of direction. He doesn’t seem to listen, but I’m glad that–

Tyson: Yeah. Yeah, I’m the one–

Michelle: Yeah, [inaudible 00:21:22] model, right? Like–

Tyson: Let’s go and bring Becca on and let her talk about–

Jim: You see, I hit a raw nerve there, Michelle.

Talk to us about your firm. What do you do? What’s your favorite part of running it? What’s your least favorite part of running it?

Michelle: My favorite part of running it– it’s kind of the same. I mean, my favorite part of running it– okay. No, maybe not. I was going to say my favorite part of running it is the clients and my least favorite part is the clients, but I don’t really mean that.

I’d say my favorite part of running it is that it’s what I love doing the most. I love the business aspect of the firm. I love having the vision and actually seeing it be able to be carried out by different people in the firm. I realized really early on, like I hired an associate right away when I started my practice, within like two months, because I realized, otherwise, it would just be me and I’d be one to one doing what I wanted to do, but I could be one attorney to one client, you know, and that’s it. Having a staff and having a team, I can be one to many. And I love like kind of seeing, “Okay, we’re going to do this this way” and seeing it happen and seeing it work. So, I like the execution part of it. And just the implementation of the vision is probably my favorite part. I like the clients, too.

The least favorite part is probably dealing with the negativity of family law which can be really difficult. I think every practice area has its own things. Family law has a lot of rewards. You can help a lot of people. But it also– you know, there’s a lot of sadness, and there’s a lot of drama, and a lot of stress that can come in. Sometimes you don’t have control over that so, you know, it’s not always the happiest. We don’t always do the happy kind of family law here. We do a lot of high conflict work. We litigate. We do a lot of stuff like that, so it’s not always happy.

Tyson: So, Michelle, you’ve been through quite a bit, clearly. You’ve dropped out of high school. You’ve gone through cancer. And you you’ve got this great, just energy and you’re very positive. I mean, what is it that you struggle with in life, in general?

Michelle: Not enough hours in the day.

I would say I struggle when I don’t have that next thing to be working on. You know, it was kind of like, at first, for me, okay, I had my plan, I was going to work this plan. That’s what I like about the firm. I’ve always got something to be working on, you know, but I struggle when things maybe don’t go exactly how I want them to go or maybe something’s not working out. You know, I had a plan for it. We were going to implement something and it didn’t work the way I wanted it to.

I struggle and things don’t go according to plan, necessarily. It sounds maybe like a– I don’t know, maybe it’s something other people who run firms or manage people would say, but I struggle when people don’t meet my expectations and when I don’t meet my expectations for myself, so I’m like, “Hey, if other people aren’t getting the job done, that’s frustrating, but it’s also probably because did I not set them up for success? Is there something I could have done differently?” So, a lot of the time I feel like if I put something together, I can do anything. So, if something doesn’t happen right the first time, I have to go, “Okay, got to troubleshoot” and that’s not always the easiest thing for me. So then, I try to think, “Who could do this better than me?” and find someone or hire someone to do it for me.

Yeah.

Jim: All right. So, in talking about your firm and signing people up, I noticed, in your notes to Becca, that you have a like an 80% conversion rate on closing the people that come to see you. And as someone who’s going through a revamping of how we do that here, I’d love to hear why you think that is and how it works.

Michelle: Yeah. That’s a great question.

That’s one of the things that’s worked really well for me and, I think, for the firm from the beginning. Again, it just comes to– I don’t know. I think everybody just consults differently. And I know, it’s been interesting, especially in the whole COVID-era. Before that, I never wanted to do consults via Zoom or via the phone because they felt like I couldn’t connect with people as well or it wasn’t going to be as effective. I realized, really quickly, that wasn’t the case. So, we do them that way too now. And it really hasn’t hurt our conversion rate at all.

But I think my conversion rate is high because, again, I do something that a lot of people don’t do and I listen. And, you know, I believe that, in a consultation, you should be doing about less than one third of the talking and the client should be doing the majority of it.

And so, I think when you have somebody– you know, of course, you kind of have to read that. But I think, for me, I try to work with some of the associates on it who don’t have as high of closing rates. But, for me, it really comes down to listening and determining, “What does this person want?” And then, at the end, it’s really my opportunity to go over what roadmaps exist for them and what options that they have, as opposed to trying to talk the whole time and sound, you know, like I know so much, to try to sell them on myself.

I don’t look at a consultation as– you know, I’m not here to like sell you a car, or sell you a pizza or something. I’m here to listen to you and then tell you, even if it’s what you don’t want to hear. And I find that people really value that. People value getting honest feedback and really feeling like you heard them, like you didn’t talk over them, like you’re able to pull from what they said and use their examples and giving them a roadmap at the end. And it kind of makes them want to come along with you, you know, at the end, because you feel like you’ve heard them. Now, they’re hearing you.

And I have my three big things that I tell every client. And I try to– this is really– this is kind of like a life thing. And then I’ll stop talking. But it’s three things. One, I tell every client that we have to have trust, like you have to trust that I know what I’m doing and that I know what I’m talking about, right? You have to trust that the firm is going to help you. And I have to trust you, I have to trust you that you’re going to be honest with me enough that we’re going to have a good relationship.

The second thing is you have to have good communication because attorney-client relationships fail because of communication all the time. Everybody knows that. So, you have to make sure that we’re going to communicate with you the way you want. Do you want a text? Do you want an email? Do you want a phone call? And vice-versa, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and talk to me. You don’t have to want to have a beer with me, but you have to like me enough to communicate with me and not be one of those clients that just goes dark. 

And then the third thing is they have to be able to afford it. I don’t ever want to put a client in a situation that they can’t afford because then that’s going to become the focus of the relationship. So I tell the clients, “If you have those three things, if you have trust communication, and you can afford the representation, you’re going to have a good relationship, whether it’s us or somebody down the street. So, make sure you have those three things, you’re not going to go wrong.”

And I think if we match up with them, you know, then it works out. And that happens more often than not.

Tyson: So, Michelle, I mean, a lot of what you’re talking about, I mean, it’s so true, and like listening to clients and everything, but being able to relate to them has a lot to do with your background. I mean, like that’s a really big part of it. Whenever you’re dealing with your team, like how do you sort of convey that to them and teach them how to relate to clients in the same way?

Michelle: You know, I was talking to an associate about that the other day. I think, a lot of the time, people get stuck in not either being able to relate or not agreeing with the client. And one of the things I was explaining the other day, I think a very important skill that everybody needs to learn whether it’s in closing the client in a consultation or the representation is that you can validate somebody without agreeing with them.

And I can listen to somebody– and I do it all the time. I might not agree with 90% of what you just said, if you’re sitting here telling me what’s going on with you or what you’ve been doing, or what your family law situation is. You might be in contempt and had done a whole ton of stuff, but I can validate why you did those things, and your feelings, and listen to you and make you feel heard, and get on the same page with you. But then, I can tell you why it was wrong and you’re going to take that a lot better from me because I just validated how you felt and I related to you.

So, I try to tell my team, you have to separate your desire to maybe say “No. I’m an attorney, and I know everything. And here’s why you’re wrong” to treating them like a person. And anybody can do that. It doesn’t matter what your background is. Just talk to them like a person and forget what degrees are on your wall or what your– you know, forget trying to sell yourself. 

 

Really, just look at you connecting with them and validate them. And you don’t have to agree. And then, you can tell them what they need to do. So, I think that’s something that a lot of people just don’t get.

Jim: I am like Tyson before, where I don’t know which direction I want to go because there’s still a lot of things I want to talk to you about. Talk to me about being a female law firm owner. Is there anything special that stands out to you or you think that– I think female women lawyers really are held to a higher standard. I don’t think a lot of it’s fair. I’m just wondering what do you think [crosstalk].

Michelle: That’s a good question.

Yeah, you know. I don’t know if being a law firm owner, necessarily. I think just being a female lawyer. I always think about I tried a case, it was a few years ago now. Maybe, it was four or five years ago. It was with my associate because it was a huge– there was a ton of experts and witnesses. And so, we tried this case together. I was responsible for the opposing party. And so, you know, I crossed him and I did all this stuff. I think I’m a pretty decent trial lawyer. I thought I did a good job.

And then, we got the opinion later. Basically, this is the only time this has ever happened, but it really sticks with me, obviously, so I’m talking about it. The judge said, basically, that I was a bitch and I was too aggressive with the other party. I mean, I did my job. Meanwhile, the other associate, Mr. so and so was, you know, great. But I felt like, because I was a woman, it was, “Oh, I should’ve known my place.” And it was one of the things where I thought, “Wow, this is what people are talking about.” Because, before that, I was kind of like, “Oh, that’s not an issue anymore.” I mean, I live in Seattle. Things are super progressive here. There’s a lot of women lawyers. You know, whatever. 

And it didn’t really faze me but, when that happened, I kind of thought, “Wow! This is what people have gone through in much worse iterations than me, previously.” You know, I just feel lucky that it’s 2020. And I feel lucky to be practicing when I am and not 20 or 30 years ago, which I think would have been much harder. So, I kind of don’t feel like don’t have a lot to complain about because that was an isolated incident, right? What if that was every time? I can’t imagine it, you know?

So, I think it’s hard for women, but I also think I have the benefit of being somewhere that’s really progressive. And I think there’s a lot of women that paved the way for us, that took the brunt of it. So that’s kind of how I look at it. I’m just grateful to them.

Tyson: I think you’re so kick ass. You’re awesome.

So what is your advice? There’s a lot of people struggling right now. Jim and I have had a lot of conversations about this. We’ve talked to other lawyers. But you’ve gone through a ton, right? A lot of stuff, right? You’ve gone through a lot of adversity. What’s your advice to people right now that are struggling?

Michelle: Things will get better, you know. I know that sounds so cliché, but I think if you let– kind of be where you are but realize things will get better. And what I mean by that is, it’s okay to say– whether it’s in your life like your– you know, I mean, I’m divorced and remarried. And I was in a really bad place at one point. It was actually when I started my firm, when I was like, “Wow, this marriage failed. I just quit my job. Why did I do that? Like, what’s going on? Am I going to have any money? I don’t really know what’s going on.” And I kind of let myself be there. And I said, “Hey, this is a rough time, but I’ve got a plan and things are going to get better.” 

And so, right now, I think with everything that’s going on in our world whether, you know, it’s in your personal life or your business life, and there’s so many unknowns, let yourself say, “Hey, this is a scary time.” Again, validate yourself and let yourself be there and accept those things. Don’t deny it or don’t beat yourself up about it. Accept it, but then look at the next thing you’re going to do.

My advice is always to say, “Okay, what’s next?” And if you have trouble finding what’s next, get help. I can’t tell you how many other lawyers– I think this is something people don’t talk about a lot. There’s a high risk of substance abuse with lawyers. There’s a high depression rate.

And whether it’s just people, in general, or lawyers, if you can’t look to what’s next and you’re really stuck in the now and it’s not just a situation for you, get help. Whether it’s friends, family, therapy, whatever it needs to be, talk to somebody about it and you’ll find a way to work through it. So, be where you are and look forward.

Jim: Yeah, you’re absolutely right about the depression, and suicide, and all that stuff with lawyers. 

I lost my train of thought of what I was going to ask you.

Oh, yeah. Let’s say that there is a new family law attorney wanting to hang their shingle in Minneapolis, Minnesota or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, what advice would you have them as far as getting new cases?

Michelle: The best cases are going to come not from– don’t build your business on Google ads. Don’t build your business on Google ads or Facebook ads. If you’re a new lawyer and you want to start a family law practice, get to know financial advisors. Get to know therapists. Get to know other attorneys in other practice areas that are going to refer you cases – bankruptcy lawyers, criminal defense attorneys. Get to know people that are going to refer you cases, that are other professionals, that are going to like you and trust you. Those are way better cases than Google bringing you people.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with paid ads but build your business on relationships and it will never stop. If you have 20 people that refer to you one case every other month, you could build a million-dollar business on that alone with no advertising. Do that and then advertising later, you know. Focus on the relationships first. If you do that and you start building up those referral relationships, it’s going to pay off for you and you’re going to be fine.

Tyson: That’s really great advice.

Unfortunately, I’m going to have to wrap things up because I’ve got to go and get my vehicle before the end of the day. Before I do, I do want to mention, Ryan McKeen says he loves you but that even though you’re a Yankees fan–

Michelle: Oh, I was going to say I don’t know– I don’t know. We disagree about the Yankees and Red Sox. I will say one thing about Ryan really quick. I’ve learned a lot just from looking at Ryan’s stuff online and chatting with him a bit. Ryan is awesome. He is a wealth of knowledge. And one thing I love about Ryan is he’s willing to share, a lot like you guys, so, I love your program.

Tyson: Well, Ryan’s great. You’re right, he’s so willing to share and–

Michelle: Yeah, which is so great. 

Tyson: [crosstalk] Jay Ruane and Seth Price and all that. They’re just great.

I guess, I’m going to let you one last word on this. What are your thoughts on the baseball season?

Michelle: Well, I mean– I guess, I feel like the Yankees are going to– the Yankees are my team and it’s a shortened season, so the Yankees are going to– I mean, they’re going to take it. But it has an asterisk next to it. It just does. I can’t help it.

I’m glad. I’ve been missing baseball. Talk about depression. I mean, it’s been– I kind of get to that point where I really need baseball. I have a home in Arizona that I go to and I really missed out on not having spring training happening this year. I look forward to that every year. I love baseball. It’s a big deal for me.

So, I’m really glad baseball is happening. But I think it’s going to be weird. I guess, I’m selfishly glad because I can watch it from home. The Yankees are going to take it. The Mariners are terrible. So, if anyone tells you otherwise. It’s the most the most pathetic franchise in sports. I’m from Seattle and I’m telling you that, but I don’t like mediocrity, so that’s why I don’t like the Mariners. There you go.

Tyson: Hey, don’t forget about the birds and the bat, okay?

Michelle: Okay.

Tyson: [inaudible 00:38:11]. 

Michelle: I know. I know. Yeah. I know. I know.

Jim: I’ve been waiting for a Yankees-Cardinals World Series for a while now. That would–

Michelle: Yep, that would be a fun one to watch. That would actually be– probably, a ton of people would watch that, too, I think.

Tyson: Oh my gosh, I agree.

Michelle: Yeah. 

Tyson: That’d be very–

Okay. I really do have to wrap things up.

Michelle: All right. Thanks, Ty–

Tyson: Before I do, I want to remind everyone, go to the Facebook group. Get involved there. We’ve got a lot of great people. Also, I want to remind everyone, it’s really interesting to me that a lot of people don’t know about the Guild. So, you and I are terrible, apparently, about promoting the Guild. But we have a lot of great people like Michelle in the Guild. It’s just a great group of people. So, if you’re interested about that, reach out to us. Go to maximumlawyer.com. 

And while you’re finishing the rest of this episode maybe, you know, switch over your phone to the review section in the podcast app and just give us a five-star review. We would really, really appreciate it.

Jimmy, what is your hack of the week?

Jim: Well, this is a great call.

Michelle, Tyson’s right, you are awesome. I’m glad that you came on the show. That was great.

My hack of the week is a phone app. It’s called JustCall and it’s on top of Twilio. It’s out of India. We’re using it for our phones, for all of our leads. So, just the leads team is using it but it’s great. You can transfer the call to the attorney. You can send a message. You can record it if you want. You can listen in on a call with your sales team, if you want. So, with us, out giving so much more responsibility to our leads team. It’s really great. And it’s the cheapest Twilio overlay out there, so we’re really happy with it so far.

Michelle: Cool.

Tyson: Very, very cool.

All right, Michelle, what is your tip or hack the week?

Michelle: Hack of the week, for me, would be– well, you know, I was going to give a plug to Dialpad. So, Jim kind of stole what I was going to do, so that’s a bummer.

Tyson: Way to go, Jimmy. Way to screw to it up.

Michelle: Yeah. 

Use voice over IP. That’s my hack of the week. Unchain yourself from the desk phone. We use it. We love it. You know, also to just get out there. Don’t lock yourself in your office. I’m in my office today but there’s no reason to be. Take your phone number and go anywhere.

Tyson: Yeah, it’s really interesting. So, I’m not going to call him out. He’ll probably give me crap if I do.

I was talking to an attorney the other day and he’s like, “Well, how do you have– like, how do you all talk to each other? Like, what if your internet goes down?” Because like we were talking about a lot of different things but like– how like we use FileVine. Like, what if your internet goes down? It’s like– well, the great thing– or, if like– because I was telling him we had VOIP in our phones at the dinner– what if your internet goes down?” I was like, “We’re in multiple locations.” Like so like you can– like, it doesn’t matter if your phones go down in one location. Like, as long as someone is in a location that has internet, you’re good, you know, with VOIP, so.

I know of people like John Fisher, they talk about having a landline. I just– I don’t understand it. 

Michelle: No.

Tyson: VOIP is the way to go. I guess, if you have like exclusively one location, maybe, but– I don’t know. These days, you’re all over the place but– anyways.

So my tip of week, I thought I had maybe given this tip but, I guess, I didn’t. So, those of you that don’t know, I’ve hired someone like Jim to handle my email and it is so freakin’ amazing. It is awesome. I am not quite to inbox zero. We are very, very close.

Again, I’m not going to talk about how many emails I have in there because it’s embarrassing but it was– it was over 10,000 is what I’ll say. It was a lot. It was ridiculous. And she is getting all those archived in the right places. It’s fantastic.

But something is really cool for me to watch is I’ve got something– I have the free version of email meter, so email meter, M-E-T-E-R. So, emailmeter.com. And it gives you all these awesome stats like your average response time, the messages you’ve received, the number of senders, the recipients. All this free data. It analyzes your inbox and you can upgrade for– it’s fairly cheap, I think, for a monthly plan to get more information, but it’s enough for me. So, emailmeter.com. It’s pretty awesome. It’s free. Go check it out.

Michelle, thank you so much. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve really enjoyed this. Thank you so much.

Michelle: Thank you. It’s great to talk to you guys. Have a great day. Take care.

Tyson: You, too. Thanks, Michelle.

Michelle: Okay. Bye. Bye.

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