In today’s podcast episode Jim and Tyson joined attorney Nicole Reid, the managing partner and owner of Reid Legal Solutions in Mount Dora, Florida.
Watch the interview here.
2:10 starting in news and journalism
5:05 transitioning out of media
7:10 the day before and after going out on your own
8:28 worst case scenario
9:50 what surprised you the most
11:29 what is your why
12:45 protecting intellectual property
13:34 team setup
21:18 3 year plan
26:37 what are you best at
Jim’s Hack: Delegate out if someone can do it 80% as good as you can do it yourself.
Nicole’s Tip: Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller
Tyson’s Tip: Managing employee’s time off with Factorial, for HR functions for very cheap.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an interview, presentation or training!
- 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: “A Quick Start” w/ Nicole Reid
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 went on a long walk this morning. I just got back. I made some pancakes for the Nornator, getting her fed, so she lets me record this podcast in peace. And then, I’ve got sort of a busy day.
I’ve been working from home a lot because I was on quarantine, but I think that I’m going to start working from home a whole lot more. I was back in the office yesterday and it was like bullets were flying and there’s like too much excitement. I’m used to this sort of slower, gentlemanly pace of working at home.
Tyson: Slower, gentlemanly pace. What a thing to say. It’s interesting that you said that because we’ve been talking about whether or not office space is important for the last few months. And you tended to fall on the other side of it, where you definitely need the office space, you’ve got to be around other people. It’s interesting though that you’ve kind of flipped– I wouldn’t say you flipped on that but your perspective is a little bit different than I would’ve expected.
I did read an article recently. I think it was in Inc or Fortune, where they had– maybe it’s in Entrepreneur Magazine but how everyone has thought for a while that productivity goes up when you work from home. And they’re finding that that’s not so true. So, did you find that you were more productive at home?
Jim: No. I’m just not wanting to be as productive.
Tyson: You just don’t want to deal with work?
Jim: Right. Right. I’m in a phase.
But let’s get straight to our guest. Our guest today is Nicole Reid. She’s the managing partner and owner of Reid Legal Solutions. They’re down in Florida. She’s been practicing a law since 2012.
And we’re really glad to welcome her to the show. Nicole, how are you?
Nicole: I’m great. Thanks for having me, guys.
Tyson: So, Nicole, walk us through your journey and how you got to where you are today.
Nicole: I actually took a little bit of a detour. I did undergrad at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) and graduated with a journalism degree back in 2002. Stuck around for a year and did a production degree as well.
So, I actually started my career in journalism. And I did some producing of TV pilots. I produced a biker show which was so out of my box. Produced some infomercials which was wild. You know, think Roomba. Like, I actually did one of the Roomba infomercials. It was just a crazy time. It was a lot of fun.
And then, I started working in broadcast news. And I sort of realized that I wasn’t really helping anyone. I was just sort of broadcasting the tragedy of the day which is really kind of depressing when you think about it. And then, I realized I had to sort of turn off my emotions so that I could objectively deliver the news.
And I didn’t like having to be that cold sort of emotionless facts-only kind of person. I just didn’t like having to shut off that whole side of me just to do my job. So, I decided it was time for Plan B. It was law school time. And that kind of always been Plan B but I figured I would pursue the journalism thing before I spent a bunch of money on law school debt. But, it was time. So, I quit my news job and started law school at the University of Miami and figured I would do some good in the world and help people a little bit.
And then, I quickly realized that I don’t actually like people enough to do things like family law, or criminal defense, or something that’s very client-heavy– you know, client-facing heavy. So, I decided, you know, I love entrepreneurs, and I love business, and I sort of just started on that path. For about five years, I focused solely on legal malpractice defense which was really interesting because it kept me from getting bored because every case was different. It may be an underlying real estate law case one day and an underlying family law case, the next. So, it kept me from getting bored. I was constantly learning new things and I really enjoyed that but it didn’t translate well to solo practice. So, when I started my own firm, I sort of had to expand my practice areas, so I went back to doing business intellectual property and some real estate stuff.
Jim: All right, Nicole. So, I can’t let this pass – the fact that you work on infomercials because I actually watch infomercials not so much because I’m interested in the Thigh Master but more because I love to think about the marketing strategies that are at play in these infomercials. Before we get in all the legal stuff, tell me, if you can, any insight information or things that you’ve learned from watching people produce infomercials.
Nicole: You’ve always got to have a bonus gift. And it should be something that is tangentially related to the main product but not exactly. So, a lot of cases will do like the buy-one-get-one-half-off. That’s not ideal. It’s better to have a complementary product to go along with it. There’s my infomercial tip of the day.
Tyson: That’s a fairly good– it’s a really good one. It makes me think of like what I could give is bonus gifts in my practice.
But what was the transition like whenever you said, ”Okay, I’m going to go out on my own and do my own thing”? I mean, talk about that experience.
Nicole: It was absolutely terrifying. I had always worked for medium or large law firms just because that’s really where the legal malpractice defense work was. The malpractice insurance carriers are the ones that hire the attorneys that defend their insured. So that was really– they like to have the big firms on panel that have the $2-million malpractice coverage. So, that was where that work was. So, I always worked for sort of bigger firms.
And it dawned on me, one day– I mean, more than one day, it dawned on me multiple times over the course of seven years, that I was really just focused on the billable hour to the detriment of my clients. You know, there’s so much emphasis on meeting your weekly, monthly, annual billing requirements so that the partners in the corner offices can buy their third Porsche when that may not necessarily be what’s best for your client. I may be able to pick up the phone and resolve this issue with a five-minute phone call, but I can only bill 0.1 one for that phone call. If I send a three-page letter, now I can bill almost an hour.
So, I just didn’t like that I wasn’t necessarily putting my client’s needs ahead of the firm’s and that I had really no control over the matter. So, that was sort of the final straw for me that led me to say, “You know what? I’m going to do this for myself and do it the way I want to do it.” And sort of along with that, right around the time that I started really considering starting my own firm, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease. And it’s really strange in Florida because that’s not something that we’re supposed to have here but we do. And the toll that that took on me, I was just very fatigued a lot of the time. I had to take a lot of time off for treatments. I had some neurological things. I couldn’t remember for a while what yellow lights meant, so I had to stop driving. So, it just really interfered with really being able to bill 200 hours month for a big firm. So, I figured, let me step back. Do it my way. And then, I can have more flexibility and control over my own life.
Jim: So, Nicole, talk to us about the day before you went out on your own and the day after you went out on your own.
Nicole: I would like to say that I had planned but I didn’t. I tend to be a pretty impulsive person. And that was exactly what happened. I was literally sitting at work one day and I had been toying over the idea for a while. I have a few friends that also have their own firms and I had sort of reached out to them. And they said, “Well, if that’s something you want to do, we can outsource some work to you because we have more than we can handle but not enough to hire someone. So, if you do want to start your own firm, like we can give you some contract work.” So, it was in the back of my mind and I just had a particularly rough day at the office. You know, big firm politics were at play. And I literally just said to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” I got up, walked into the Managing Director’s office and resigned.
And I gave two weeks. I ended up only filling out the rest of that week. And then, I literally said, “Okay, I’m starting my firm over the weekend.” So, I did. And, within about six days, I had my firm fully up and running.
Tyson: I mean, that’s a really scary time. I mean, did you really have a plan? I mean, it doesn’t seem like you had a plan. You were just like, “I’m done. I’m just done, I’m going to start–” Did you sit down and map it out or you just jumped in the water?
Nicole: I just jumped in.
And it was especially terrifying. I thankfully don’t have a whole lot of responsibilities. I don’t have children. But, at the same time, I’m not married, so I didn’t really have that financial safety net either. So, it was sort of like, there’s no option but for this to work, you know. And if it doesn’t work then, worst-case scenario, I go back and get another job. Not the end of the world. But I’ll never know if don’t try it.
And honestly, I think, had I tried to plan it out, I probably would have scared myself away from it. I think the only way for me to really do it was to hit that breaking point where I said, “I can’t do this anymore. Enough.” and just jumped and trust that I would catch myself. And thankfully, I have.
I’m coming up on one year, actually, in about two weeks.
Jim: We have had a lot of people on the show who’ve gotten frustrated and left a firm. I don’t know that we’ve ever had someone who did it on a Friday-Monday kind of– I mean, or a Monday-Monday where– you know, I was married at the time that I started my firm. And so, my wife- I would’ve done what you did, right? I would’ve totally gotten upset wherever I was and gone ahead and left but my wife wanted me to have more of a plan. And we’ve talked about this before on the show. I think sometimes the plan’s overrated, especially if the plan’s keeping you from taking that action.
But after– tell us about when it started to sink in, last year, that you were on your own and sort of what surprised you most about it, maybe the good and the bad.
So, I think the first couple of weeks were very exciting because I was still doing things like designing my website, my Facebook page, my Google My Business Page, starting to make connections and put my name out there. So, the first couple weeks was more excitement than terror. And then, I realized, “Oh crap, how am I going to get the phones to ring?” You know, that wasn’t something I never had to worry about before.
There was definitely, I would say, a healthy mix of fear and excitement at the same time. What made things so much easier are all the incredible resources that are out there, particularly Facebook groups, like Maximum Lawyer. There are a bunch of female-focused attorney groups. Again, I have a lot of friends that had their own firms, so they were really able to sort of point me in the right direction, say, “This is a great resource. Join this group.” You know, I could post in the groups and say, “Hey, can you send me samples of your engagement agreements?” for instance. And then, I could sort of instead of reinventing the wheel, sort of create my documents based on sort of the wealth of knowledge that was already out there from those who had gone before me.
So those groups, I think, really saved me not only in just an informational perspective but also just the camaraderie because from going from a large firm, where there’s 14 other attorneys down the hallway to I’m by myself in my office, it’s just me, I’m all alone. Having someone to bounce things off of – even basic things. You know, what kind of computer monitors are you guys liking these days? You know, just anything. It’s nice to have that community there and that kept me from feeling totally alone.
Tyson: So, Nicole, this is a question we like to ask. We didn’t always ask it from the beginning. It’s something more recent but what is your why? Why do you do what you do? Why did you start your firm?
Nicole: That’s a really great question. And I think if I had to boil it down to one why it would be so that I have control over my own future. I don’t want to let other people sort of dictate my path.
Jim: All right. So, what’s your setup now? What areas of law do you focus on? And how do you get your new clients?
Nicole: I focus primarily on business intellectual property, so trademarks and copyright. I help do the patent stuff. I send that out. And real estate. And sort of the reason I do real estate is because I’m in Lake County, Florida where it is just constantly growing. And to not get involved in real estate out here would be silly, so that just sort of makes sense. But, really, business and trademarks are probably 80% of my practice area.
Most of my clients, pleasantly, surprisingly are coming from word of mouth, from other attorneys, and from former clients. Even clients that I served when I was with firms. They’re now seeking me out individually which is, obviously, a really nice feeling that I have clients that knew me from a firm and they’re coming to me directly now. So, that’s where most of my clients are coming from. That’s great.
Tyson: So, in the questionnaire, you said one of the things that you have knowledge about is protecting your brand’s intellectual property. So, what are some tips on protecting your firm’s intellectual property?
Nicole: Obviously, the very first thing, biggest tip is trademark, trademark, trademark. So, if you do not already have your firm name trademarked, it’s definitely a good idea to. I do not take my own advice. My own name is not trademarked because it really can’t be. It’s not original enough. But, definitely, if your name is something that is a defining part of your brand, you want to make sure you protect that. It’s not enough just to register with your state’s Secretary of State. That keeps other businesses in your state from being able to use your same name but that does nothing for everybody in all of the other states. So, you really want to make sure you get that federal registration locked down so that your brand name is protected.
Jim: And then, tell us about your team. Are you a true solo? Do you have people that help you, or VAs? Or, how do you have it set up?
Nicole: I do have a part-time virtual assistant. And she was another gift from one of these Facebook groups. A friend of mine had her own firm. She had a virtual assistant who wanted more hours. My friend wasn’t in a position to give her more hours, and she knew I was looking, and she said, “Hey, why don’t you give her some hours.” So, it ended up working out perfectly. So, my friend and I, we both share the same virtual assistant. She works for both of us and it works really well.
I do need to get better at delegating though. I need to get some processes and systems down so I can hand some more things off because I’m at that growth point now where it’s like I can’t do everything myself. I don’t have time to teach her either so I’m at that uncomfortable phase.
Tyson: Well, let’s stay in that uncomfortable phase for a second. Let’s talk about that. I guess, is what is stopping you from delegating more things, and hiring more people, and all that?
Nicole: To be honest, probably, fear. I know that, in reality, I probably could bring on a paralegal or an associate and, in theory, generate enough business that they would pay for themselves but it’s a terrifying thing to be responsible for someone else’s livelihood. It’s one thing to be responsible for part time hours for a virtual assistant. It’s an entirely different ball of wax to be responsible for someone’s entire salary.
So, that’s one of those things that sort of paralyzes me, to be honest. It’s almost so terrifying that I’m afraid to act either way. And I know that that’s something that I need to think about and work on but, to be honest, I never even imagined that I would have a part-time virtual assistant as early on in the process as I did.
So, I’m sort of ahead of my own benchmarks in trying to cut myself some slack but, at the same time, I’m exhausted. I need to off load some things. So, I definitely need to figure that out soon.
Jim: What’s holding you back? I know that it’s fearful. Walk us through what would it take for you to feel comfortable bringing on the person that you need.
Nicole: I need to develop my own processes and workflows much better. Because I’ve been doing everything myself, I’ve never written down a workflow. I’ve never written a step by step of this is how this goes. So actually, just earlier or, I guess, later last week, I had a phone conference with my virtual assistant to sort of start assigning her some new things and halfway through our conversation, she was like, “Man, this would really be a lot better if there were like, you know, a written step by step chart.” Like, yes, you’re a hundred percent right. It definitely would be a lot easier if I had done that, but I haven’t. So, here we are. So, that’s definitely something that is all on me and I know that I need to do.
And part of the problem, I think, for me, is, I wasn’t really sure what form my firm was going to take because I hadn’t done these areas of law as a solo. You know, obviously, I haven’t done any areas of law as a solo when I first started out. I wasn’t sure which area was really going to sort of reign supreme. Am I going to be 80% trademark work and just a little bit of the other stuff? I don’t know. So, I didn’t want to invest heavily in setting up systems and case management software when I didn’t really know what shape my firm was going to take. So, I’m still sort of feeling it out. And I’m not 100% sure where the ball is going to settle in terms of defining practice areas. So, I’ve been hesitant to sort of commit to any specific process, or program, or setting up forms when I’m still sort of feeling it out. Does that make sense?
Tyson: Oh, it makes complete sense. And I’m going to tell you right now what it is. It’s funny, Jim and I, how we differ on vision. He thinks it’s important but not as important as I do. But if you sat down and had written out your vision, a year ago, this would not be confusing to you. You’d know exactly what you needed to do.
So, here’s my question to you and I know the answer but I’m going to ask it anyways. Have you sat down and have you ever written down your vision? And I know you’ve not. And so, why not?
Nicole: Well, I’m busted. Why not? I feel like I’m– I mean, this is the oldest, lamest excuse in the book, but I don’t feel like I had time to. I don’t feel like I have the time to set aside and focus on that and only that. And I know that’s the wrong answer but I feel like I’m so busy putting out fires and just sort of keeping my head above water, that I don’t have time to do as much work on my business as I’d like. I’m too busy working in my business. And that’s, again, sort of why I feel the need to start delegating things because I need to start working on my business again.
Jim: So, it’s almost like we’re in a chicken-and-the-egg situation like which comes first? It’s sort of a vicious cycle. I can’t free myself to build the systems to properly delegate.
I mean, I’ll defer to Tyson on this. Maybe, Tyson, you chime in. But I think getting the VA or the person that you hire involved in actually building the systems with you. Like, don’t think you have to set aside time to actually develop this stuff, just have them follow you around and record what you do because you already have systems. They’re just not written down. So, it’s all a matter of– you know, Ryan McKeen said, at MaxLawCon 2019, he said, “The most dangerous thing is when all the information is in one person’s head.” So, you’ve got to get all that information out onto paper – even just paper, and that could just be somebody, literally, following you around with a recorder or a video camera and just get all that information out. And then, they have the process. You don’t have to do this independent thing. They can just follow you around for two or three weeks.
Nicole: That’s actually brilliant. And as you know, my VA’s virtual. She’s not physically here but that just sort of triggered the light bulb in my head of, “Well, duh, why don’t I just record voice memos and send them to her?” That literally never occurred to me until you just said that. Problem solved. Good job, guys.
Tyson: Well, I mean, it’s– and there’s more to it. I mean, we can say that and that’s great. It sounds wonderful. But I mean, if you don’t put it on your calendar because– I don’t know about you, but like my calendar runs my life. If it’s not on my calendar, it won’t happen. And so, you need to put it on your calendar. So, however much time you need to set aside per day or per week, you need to do that. So, you need to set these, they’re called process goals. So, you need to like set aside time for your process goals.
And so, if you want to build out your systems, let’s say you spend an hour a week where you can do that, let’s say 30 minutes a day or 15 minutes a day, whatever you have time to do. And I’m sure you have 15 minutes a day. Not everyone, you know, blows off something for a part of their day, you know? So, take 15 minutes a day and spend that 15 minutes recording yourself doing something, or writing out a step-by-step guide on how to do something. Everyone can do that.
It may take longer than two to three weeks, I’ll tell you this. I mean, Jim and I are building out systems every day. I mean, I was building out stuff yesterday. So, it’s not going to stop. I mean, your firm’s going to keep getting better, but you’ve got to devote the time to do it.
If you don’t put– “Okay, at 9:15, for 30 minutes, I’m going to work on systems.” You won’t do it. You’ll be putting out that fire over here. And then, you’ll take this phone call. Next thing you know it’s one o’clock and you’ll say, “Oh, I’ll get to that later on tonight.” And then, you won’t do it. So, that’s why you need to make sure you put it on your calendar.
Tyson: How’s all that sinking in? Makes sense?
Nicole: Yeah. Absolutely, 100%. That’s exactly where I am. And you’re right, my calendar does rule my life. So, you’re right. It’s a great tip and I’m definitely going to calendar some time today.
Jim: Well, let’s shift gears for a minute.
What do you view as the vision for the firm in the next, say, three years? So, if we were sitting here three years from now, what would have had to happen for you to feel like you’ve made progress towards your goals?
Nicole: A few things. I think I would like more office space which I know isn’t the story for everybody. I do lease some great space. I’ve got a couple of offices. You know, it’s a nice space. It’s downtown Mount Dora. I love it. But I would like more space. I would like my own free-standing building, I think, at some point.
I would like to bring enough staff on board whether that’s just a paralegal or a paralegal associate. I’m not sure where, at this point. But I would like to bring enough staff on board that the majority of my time can be devoted to working on my business. I love practicing law. I don’t ever want to only be a rainmaker or only be a managing partner and not actually get my hands dirty. But I would like to sort of be able to offload the heavy lifting to someone else and then just handle the fine tuning and focus on building, and perfecting, and sort of streamlining my business. I think that’s really where I’d like to be in about three years.
Tyson: You know, you mentioned a couple of things. You mentioned the office space and you mentioned the people that you wanted to hire. I’m just curious, why are those things important to you?
Nicole: The people I want to hire is an easier sort of prong to approach there because– again, I think the reason that’s important to me is I would like to be able to spend most of my time growing my business, perfecting my business. You know, doing the marketing and the things that actually bring in the money and the clients instead of drafting motion and brief after brief. So that’s sort of an easier one.
Why I think more office space is important to me, I feel like there is– and this is probably just my old school sort of mentality, there is something satisfying about seeing your name on a building and being able to, you know, unlock the door and say, “This is my space.” And right now, I’m leasing space in a building but that’s not quite the same thing. So, I definitely– I want to have a brick and mortar place that is mine that I have built. It’s sort of that sense of accomplishment, I guess.
Jim: Why is that important to you? That strikes me as a curious goal, one year out of opening your own firm.
Nicole: I don’t know. Like I said, I think that’s just the old school part of me that’s like, “I want to build something.” And I don’t mean physically build a building but I want to build something that is fixed, and permanent, and solid, and shows that I have really accomplished something and sort of written my name in ink, if that makes sense.
Tyson: No, it does.
I know, we’re sort of running short on time, but I want to dig a little deeper on this because this is sort of fascinating to me. Tell us about your background. Like when you’re younger, like when you were a kid. Like, what kind of a family were you from? Like, tell us about that a little bit.
Nicole: So, I had kind of a little bit of a different childhood. My sister– I only have one sibling and she’s 12 years older than me. So, by the time I was eight, she was married and out of the house. So, you know, I was sort of an only child but not really. I almost had two moms. So, it was it was sort of a little different.
But when I was very young, my family moved out to Clermont, Florida, which is a little– it’s bigger now, but back then it was a little tiny, a very rural town. I used to say there’s more cows than people. Now, there’s probably more people than cows because it’s grown a lot in the last decade or so. But, back then, we had to take a cooler to the grocery store because everything would melt getting back home. It was a 45-minute drive to the grocery store. The closest movie theater was an hour and a half away. So, we had lots of land, and horses, and cows. And I would go play in the woods and climb orange trees and stuff but it was– I wouldn’t want to say a very lonely existence but it kind of was because I didn’t have friends in the neighborhood. There was no neighborhood. My neighborhood was a mile-long dirt road that I had to walk to get to the bus stop in the morning. So, I think maybe that’s part of what drives me to sort of have my own space, if that makes sense, because like I was so far removed from everything.
And then, I graduated high school at 16. I skipped fourth grade, so I was a little bit ahead, and immediately said, “I’m getting out of here. I’m getting out of Clermont. I’m going to the big city of Gainesville where there’s sidewalks, and people, and things to do.” And I immediately left and swore I was never coming back. And then, of course, I came back. I’m back in Lee County. And my parents are an hour down the road. And it’s great, because it’s actually a growing city now. But maybe that is something behind why I’ve had that. That sort of desire to have a physical space. Yeah.
Jim: I think that’s a great insight. And it reminds me of that quote. It’s about the people having to go around the world to come back home and find themselves. So, that’s great. That’s a good insight, Tyson. I’m glad you brought that up.
And I think more and more of the time that Tyson and I are spending with people, we’re seeing that a lot of their goals and aspirations and even their blocks and hurdles come from things that are deep and old. That was great. So, thanks for sharing that.
This will be my last question. What are you best at?
Nicole: I am best at connecting with people. And I think that is, in part, what fueled me to get a journalism degree and then go to law school. I think that’s sort of the common thread throughout pretty much all the jobs I’ve had and all of the professions I’ve been attracted to is just connecting with people, getting down to what is really going on and sort of pulling the truth out of that. I think that’s really what my strength is.
Tyson: All right. I love it.
All right, we’re a little bit over time but we’re going to wrap things up. Before I do, I want to remind everyone, go to the Facebook group. Get involved there. If you don’t mind, taking a couple seconds, as we finish this episode, to go and give us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, we would greatly appreciate it. And if you want to join The Guild, we’ve got a lot of great members. A lot of great new members, too. Check us out at maximumlawyer.com.
But, Jimbo, what’s your hack of the week? What’s your hack of the week?
Jim: So, my hack of the week goes along exactly with what we’ve been talking to Nicole about. You know, I practice with my wife and she’s a class A personality, just all driving, all hard, very forceful, and she has a hard time delegating and giving things to other people. And specifically, she would get frustrated when things don’t come back to her perfectly. And I introduced her to this concept that I learned about in Strategic Coach from Dan Sullivan. And it’s the 80% rule. And it’s not the Pareto Principle or any of that stuff. The 80% idea is that, when you’re working with someone that you’re delegating work to, don’t think that they have to get it exactly the way that you would do it. Think, “Can they get it to 80% of what I need? Then, I can finish it up. And I’m still leveraging out that 80% of the part that I don’t need to be doing.” And that’s a really good intro to leverage and to– you know, lawyers always love to say on this show, “Oh, I wish I could clone myself.” Well, you know what, you can’t clone yourself but you can find someone, especially if you record and build out those systems, like we talked about earlier, to get it 80% of the way there so then you can walk it to the finish line.
Tyson: I love it. So, that’s a very good hack.
Hey, Jimbo, while I ask Nicole about her tip or hack of the week, get your ad ready so you can read your live read because you’ve not done your live read.
Jim: You’re right. You’re right. Thanks.
Tyson: So, I’m going to give you a little bit of chance to get that together.
Nicole, we know you’ve got a tip for us. So, what is your tip or hack of the week?
Nicole: I do. So, I recently was recommended this book to read by a fellow entrepreneur, not a lawyer, so it sort of applies to all businesses. It’s called The ONE Thing. Here’s what it looks like. And it was written by Gary Keller who is the Keller of Keller Williams Realty. And I’m still making my way through it. But, essentially, the premise of it, which I found to be really helpful, is focus on the one thing that you need to do to get you to where you want to go. Everything else doesn’t really matter. Find that one thing that can sort of put you in the position you want to be in and focus on that and only that. And it really sort of helps you eliminate the distractions, and cut through the clutter, and sort of prioritize all those pesky items on your to-do list, sort of 2 through 500 sort of become much less important when you’re really focusing on that one thing. And then, when you get to that, find the next one thing, so the next phase. And I think that was just sort of a– I mean, it sounds simple in theory but actually implementing it is obviously a lot harder than it is to just talk about it. So, the book really sort of gives some very real-life examples of how you can implement that. I think that’s really, really been helping me.
Tyson: I have one for you, put it on your damn calendar. It’s your process [crosstalk]. Get it on your calendar and make it easy on you.
Jimbo, you ready?
Jim: Yeah. So, I’m enjoying us doing the live read because it’s never the same conversation twice, right? Like, sometimes you interrupt at different parts and we just sort of riff off it. So, here we go.
Thanks to our sponsor, Smith AI. Smith AI is a superior receptionist service for law firms, trusted by many maximum lawyers, including me. At my immigration practice, the Hacking Law Practice, Smith AI’s friendly US-based receptionists respond to potential clients in English and in Spanish. They screen and schedule new leads and they even take payment for our consults.
The best part is that they don’t just handle these conversations via phone, they also have live agents and chatbots capturing leads on our website through their chat widget. They serve as our friendly gatekeepers while my team and I work uninterrupted. We get new clients and we get work done. How awesome is that?
Tyson, you’re not even going to have to interrupt me on this one. I’m going to interrupt myself. So, getting back to that scheduling and taking payments for our consults. So, I was talking to one of our Maximum Law Guild members last night and she was telling me that Smith takes the call, but they don’t actually schedule the consult. I thought that was curious. And I said, “Well, how many calls do you get a year?” And she said, 1400. And I said, “They charge $1 extra to do the actual scheduling so that’s $1400.” Now, her average case value ranges from $800 for uncontested divorces to $6000 to $8000 for contested divorce. And I was like, “Well, if you had them schedule all your consults, you could get out of that and it would cost you one and a half uncontested divorces and one part of one contested divorce. So, I think she’s going to call Smith today to tell them to start scheduling those consults for them. I mean, it’s just one less thing to do, especially when you’re a small firm.
And speaking of solo and small firms, if you’re one of those, I know you’ll appreciate this. Smith AI now offers 24/7 virtual receptionist services, answering calls, website chats, texts and Facebook messages. Plans start at just $70 a month for calls, $100 a month for chats. They even have his great free chatbot so there’s really no excuse. Try Smith AI today and see for yourself why attorneys like me say, “Smith AI receptionists are the secret to business growth.”
Smith AI offers a free trial. And Maximum Lawyer listeners get an awesome extra $100-dollar discount with promo code MAXLAW100. That’s M-A-X-L-A-W-1-0-0. Sign up and learn more at www.smith.ai. Trust me when I say don’t let another day go by, try Smith AI.
Tyson: Nicely done, Jimbo. That is officially the longest tip and hack section segment we’ve ever had in the history of Maximum Lawyer podcast. So, you’re welcome for that.
All right. So, mine is going to be really short. Factorial. I couldn’t sleep the other night. I was skimming through Product Hunt. If you don’t have that app, I really recommend it. I’ve recommended it in the past. Product Hunt is really good.
But, I was scrolling through and I saw this thing about managing your employees’ vacation time, and time off, and all that kind of stuff. And Candice is always talking about how it’s difficult for her to do, keeping track of hours. Because, honestly, QuickBooks is not that great at it. And so, I saw Factorial. And it’s really great. Like, they can submit their request in advance. They can be approved by Candice. It’s basically HR for really, really cheap. And it’s really, really great. There’s functionality that you don’t get from QuickBooks. And there’s a team calendar, if you want to use the team calendar. And it all syncs with G Suite and everything else. It’s really, really helpful. So, if you need help managing your employees’ time off, I really recommend it.
Nicole, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been a lot of fun. I’m glad you were willing to be a little bit vulnerable and share your story. So, that was great. So, thank you so much.
Nicole: Thanks for having me. It was a great time.
Tyson: Thank you. We’ll see ya.
Thanks for listening to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
To stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content, go to maximumlawyer.com.
Have a great week and catch you next time.