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“No Upper Limit” w/ Brian Manning 203
Categories: Podcast

This week on the show we have attorney Brian Manning. Brian owns Manning Asylum Law in Houston, TX.

He worked as a government Asylum Officer for the government’s two main agencies for refugee and asylum matters for 11 years and uses his insights from this experience to help his clients present the strongest possible case for asylum and other immigration benefits.

In today’s episode we’ll talk about what it’s really like to start your own practice, setting goals from the start, and turning experience into expertise!

Jim’s Hack:
With more people working from home right now, create a routine for yourself that sets clear lines between work and personal time.

Tyson’s Tip:
When working at home Tyson leaves out his front door as if he were leaving to his work office, and comes in the back door to work in his home office (his kids think he’s gone).

Brian’s Tip:
Brian recommends the software at remove.vg to remove backgrounds from photos, it’s free and the best tool he’s found for this!

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You can also go to MaximumLawyer.com or, if you’d prefer, email us at: info@maximumlawyer.com

 


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: I’m Tyson. What’s up, Jimmy?

Jim: Hey, Tyson. Good to talk to you, brother. How have you been?

Tyson: Good. I haven’t talked to you in a whole– what? I don’t know, six hours, so just doing well, man. Doing great. What about you?

Jim: I’m always happy when we’re getting episodes back in the can. It’s always good to be a little bit ahead of the game. I’m excited about our guest today. Always happy when we have an immigration lawyer on the show. This is someone who I’ve been talking to offline for a very long time. He’s a good friend, Brian Manning.

Brian, welcome to the show.

Brian: Hey, Jim and Tyson. Thanks for having me. I’m excited, a big fan. I think I’ve listened to every single episode so it’s an honor to be on with you guys.

Tyson: I love it whenever people say that. It’s just so awesome to know that people have actually taken the time to listen to all the episodes. That’s really cool.

All right, Brian. I don’t know you as well as Jim does, so tell everybody about what you do and how you got to where you are now.

Brian: Thanks, Tyson.

Almost two months ago, I launched my immigration practice. Before that, I had worked for the Federal Government for 11 years. So, it’s all new to me.

I grew up in Oklahoma, in the Oklahoma City area. I went to undergrad there. I went to law school in Minnesota. To the end of law school, I was thinking that I wanted to do some kind of job where I could keep doing a bit of traveling because I had studied abroad a few times throughout undergrad and law school. And so, I was applying for a bunch of government jobs, like in Foreign Affairs, and waiting for one of them to come through because they can take a while to pin down and to get all the clearances and whatnot. My loans were about to go into repayment, student loans, so I had to get a job and I worked back in Oklahoma, just kind of business litigation and employment law type of stuff for about a year. And then, I went over to the State Department. I was a diplomat for about eight and a half years.

And then, two and a half years ago, my wife and I kind of decided we wanted to settle down, put down roots, stop moving around so much and have the kids grow up around family – seeing family a lot more. And so, we decided to move. We came to Houston which is driving distance to Oklahoma City which was important to us. That’s where our families still are. We wanted to be in a large diverse city as well. I knew that I would probably want to get into immigration practice, so it’s a city that can support that. That’s kind of what happened.

In the last two and a half years, I was at the Houston Asylum Office, so that’s part of US Citizenship and Immigration Services which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security. And then, just two months ago, I finally took the leap and started my own firm all by myself.

Jim: Brian, having listened to all of our episodes, you know that we spend a lot of time talking with lawyers about sort of that mindset shifting from working for somebody else to working on your own. I want to talk about the preparation that had gone into this decision because, in all honesty, with all the lawyers that I have spoken with over the last four years – Tyson reminded me today, both on air and friendships that have developed, I’ve never met anyone who spent as much time planning as you. Could you talk a little bit about your approach to planning and sort of how you brought yourself around to finally getting started?

Brian: Sure, sure. Thanks, Jim. I’ll take that as a compliment.

I, like for over a decade, had thought, “Okay. I might someday want to get into private practice.” I got serious about it a few years ago, probably three or four years ago. There was actually a kind of a point on the horizon that I could see where I knew would be a good time to jump and that was, I was in this program where, if you work in what they call like a Federal or a public interest job for 10 years, you can get a bunch of your student loans forgiven. I was kind of waiting to get to that point where I was eligible for that. I knew that could be a good jumping off point.

I kind of always knew, “Okay, maybe in three years. I’m probably going to start it in three years.” And then it was two, then one, or whatever. A few years ago, I just started basically, with listening to podcasts, just everything I could find about law firms, law firm management, entrepreneurialism, running a small business, things like that.

So, a lot of podcasts, lots of books and I just talked to a bunch of people. Jim, I reached out to you quite a while back to get your opinion on lots of different ideas that I had about how to do this. One of the major questions was, “Do I go with a firm or do I do it on my own?” One of the deciding factors in making that decision for me was that, as I had been trying to learn as much as I could about how to run a business and how to how to get clients as a lawyer and the like, I developed very kind of particular opinions about how I wanted to manage things. I wanted to be forward leaning on social media and use of paid advertising, use of video. All the stuff that you guys are talking about all the time on Maximum Lawyer. I felt like I couldn’t probably do that. I wouldn’t be as free to do that, let’s say, in a firm. I had a vision that I wanted to do. And so, I figured it’d be best to do that on my own.

In addition to just listening to podcasts and reading all that I could about all this stuff, I started networking hard a few years ago, both for the purpose of learning, and just getting advice and wisdom from folks who have been there before and have had success, but also for the purpose of laying the groundwork to try to get referrals and get business in immigration law. 

Actually, it’s kind of cool. The first person that I signed as a client, about a week into my practice, was someone that I eventually got out of a process that I put in motion like 11 years ago, just through a couple of people that I reached out to for purposes of networking. And then, a guy finally referred this woman to me to be my very first client. That was kind of cool to see that the long game was paying off and it has.

There have been a couple weeks, in my two months of practice, that I’ve been twiddling my thumbs thinking, ”Gosh, was this a terrible decision?” More recently, it’s been going well, been going much better and a lot of it is from referrals and stuff that I kind of put in place a long time ago. Like a year and a half ago, in Houston, I started reaching out to tons of immigration lawyers and trying to get to know them and develop referral sources. It looks like that was a good idea. 

Tyson: Brian, sort of, you touched on this a little bit but I want to dig a little bit deeper. It’s been a couple months. How are you feeling? Talk about the emotions that you’ve gone through and just the thoughts and feelings that you’ve had over the last couple of months.

Brian: Sure.

The first week was rough and here’s why. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with an online course that I thought was going to like make me rich. I bought into all of this, Russell Brunson Click Funnels stuff. I learned valuable lessons from all the time that I’ve spent following people like him about sales. I think I drink a little too much of the Kool Aid and thought that I was going to get rich by turning on this switch on, you know, the moment that I cease being a government employee, the moment I turned on the ads for this course that I was trying to sell.

I spent hundreds of hours on it – on making the course, putting it all together, the kind of the funnel – the sales funnel for it. That’s where all my energy and attention pretty much went for the last couple of months, before I launched my firm, at the expense of laying more groundwork for kind of the more traditional law practice side of things. It completely failed, this online course. I might revisit it in a few weeks or months and change some things and try again but there were various problems with it and just it didn’t work. I haven’t made a dime off of it.

In my whole first week of practice, I was dealing with that. I was like trying to fix it and trying to make it work. And so, that was a super stressful and depressing first week. But then, things started to kind of fall in place for opportunities on the more traditional side of immigration law practice. And so, then it started to feel better. But even then, I had a good week or two. And then, there was a more quiet week or two where– oh gosh, this is going to be rough. Talking to other solo practitioners, especially, one of my buddies in immigration law, who’s by himself as well was like, “You know, that feeling never goes away of waking up and being like, Ooh, maybe those cases that I did happen to get last week. I don’t know. Was that just a one off? Am I going to get that lucky again this week?” That anxiety surrounding that never goes away from– at least, according to what some people have told me but I hope that I can reach a point where there’s not too much of that.

Generally speaking, it’s been pretty good. It’s fun being in charge, not having to answer to anyone, being able to do things the way that I want to do them. I can see where, once I get a more steady stream of business and get more of my procedures in place, that it will be increasingly fun and less stressful, hopefully.

Jim: Brian, you talked about sort of where you thought you were cases were to come from and your planning ahead. Talk to us about your planning as far as running the system itself, the during unit.

Brian: I did almost no preparation for the during unit. I’ve spent many, many, many, many hours on the before and virtually not on the during. I researched immigration software and a couple of things like that. I got the phones. I’m using Smith. I’ve got a few pieces of software for that. I didn’t take much time to really develop it.

It is kind of a hassle to try to make it up as I go along. For example, contracts. I knew, ahead of time, that I wanted to use some kind of software to make contracts easily so that people could sign them electronically and stuff. And so, I found the one that I wanted to use. I’m using PandaDocs. But still, to actually go in there and like make it work, and to understand it, and set it up, it’s kind of a drag on my time when I wish I could be moving much more quickly.

I’ve not put much into the during and focused just much, much more on the on the before of trying to get clients which I’m not sure that that’s the wrong way to approach it. I still think that’s probably my preferred way is to focus more, at least, at the beginning on trying to attract business rather than making it run as smoothly as possible once you get it.

Tyson: All right. That’s a good segue. I’m going to do the ad this week. Jim normally does it but I’m going to do the ads this week since you’ve mentioned Smith AI. They’re one of our sponsors. And so, let’s take a pause and hear from our sponsor, Smith. AI.

 

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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? If you’re in a solo or small firm, I know you’ll appreciate this.

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Tyson: All right. We are back with asylum lawyer, Manning Asylum Law, Brian Manning. We were talking about immigration, starting his practice.

Real quick. Jim, what do you think about my toss over to the ad? What do you think?

Jim: That’s pretty smooth, dude. You sound like you’ve been on the Mighty [inaudible 00:12:26] OX for the last 20 years, brother. 

Tyson: I know, man. I’ve been learning from you. You usually go so smooth into it, I figured I’d try it out. I had no plans of doing that until he mentioned Smith.

All right. Brian, let’s kind of jump back in. You’re so new into it, so early into it. Let’s talk about like some of the struggles that you’re having, maybe we can walk through it. What are some issues you’re having that maybe Jim and I can walk you through?

Brian: I struggle with having a plan for, let’s say, a week or even a day, sticking to it. I’m not sure what I can do to motivate myself to do it. I know that there’s value to be had in thinking strategically, at least a day before, if not, the week before, about prioritizing what you want to get done over a given timeframe but I’m not doing that. I’m just sort of waking up and putting out fires or tending to what seems to be the most urgent thing. I know that’s not the best approach. I welcome your thoughts on the mind frame shift – the mind shift that I need to make myself disciplined to plan.

Tyson: Jim, I’m going to jump in really quick, if you don’t mind.

You said you know what’s wrong, like you know exactly what you need to be doing. I think just setting aside the time to do it. I’m curious to see if you’ve got a vision in place and things like that, and whether or not you’re setting quarterly goals, and whether or not you’re setting the things you need to do every single day on your calendar because if you have your vision and you’re setting those goals– I’m a firm believer in having those benchmarks, so having that vision, setting those five- and three-year goals. Setting your quarterly goals. And then, creating those three things you need to be doing everyday – three things at most, you need to be doing every single day. And then, doing those things because the thing is that what people do is they do exactly what you’re doing. They don’t have those three things set on their calendar to do every single day, so they don’t do them because they’re just putting out fires every day.

Do you have those goals? What goals do you have set up? 

Brian: Yeah, I took some time a while back to plot out some like three- and five-year goals but, to be honest with you, I couldn’t tell you what they are right now. I thought about revenue goals. I thought about profit goals. I thought about size of the law firm goals but like I didn’t take it seriously enough that I couldn’t even remember what they are right now. I have it on a Google Doc somewhere on my Google G Suite, on my drive. I thought about it but it’s not something that’s present in my mind such that it motivates or drives me to take shorter term steps to get there.

Tyson: Jim, I want you to ask your next question, but I just want to make a comment really quick.

Once you do that. Once you write all that stuff down and you have it out somewhere where you can see it on a regular basis, you’ve got your vision, you’ve got your goals, you’ve got your quarterly goals– I mean, you need to have all of those things, not just one of them but all of them. And then, you have those daily tasks to do. All those fires will go away. You won’t have the fires anymore because you will be working on other those other things that will automatically solve those problems created by the fires. Trust me. You’ve got to trust process, it’ll happen.

Jim: Wait a minute.

Brian: Yeah, that sounds like good advice.

Jim: It’s sort of good advice but here’s the thing–

Tyson: It’s great advice, Jim, because you’re Mister calendar. You have a chaotic calendar. I’m curious to see what you have to say, Jimbo, but it’s actually perfect advice.

Jim: I agree with– it’s kind of a long play, just planning out things that you’re going to solve for later. There’s a time and a place for that.

When you opened up your business, when you opened up your firm, there is a more of a degree– I mean, you have the luxury of having other people work for you now, Tyson, and it’s a segue that you have to make. You have to move from fixing the urgent into fixing things systemically.

I think the better way to do it is, as one problem arises, identify it as a problem, get to the root cause and then build a system to prevent that from happening again. I think sitting down, conceptually, to figure out all the problem areas in the future that you need to fix. I think that’s tough. I think your return on investment is going to be tough. I think the better thing is to, as a problem arises– obviously, you’re trying to prevent a problem, but if a problem arises, that you then systematize that problem out of existence in the future.

Brian: Yeah. Okay.

Tyson: Here’s what I’ll say to that. One of your top three priorities right now needs to be systemizing everything, right, or systematizing. I don’t know how other people say that. That needs to be one of your top three things. And so, because you know that you need to be doing that every single day. And so, it’s baby steps. Jim is right. All you have to do though is make that one of your top three things.

Walk us through your typical day right now. It’s like you get up, you go to the office, or you work from home or whatever. What’s your day look like?

Brian: It’s hard to say. I haven’t had something I would call a typical day. I am spending my days though, generally speaking, corresponding with people who–

Okay, a couple of things. A lot of it is I’ve been doing a lot of contracting work for people where I’ve been writing briefs and other stuff for them, for immigration stuff, mainly for political asylum. I spend a lot of time like corresponding with these people about these jobs and then doing the job for them. I’ll take chunks of it. Like literally all day today, since 5:00 a.m., I’ve been writing a brief for someone with hardly anything else going on. Checking my email a few times to respond to a few inquiries that I’ve gotten from a couple of calls, potential clients, but all day basically on this brief.

But then, another day, I might be trying to do some things on social media. I’m doing Facebook Ads right now and some Google Ads so I’ll spend time. I might spend a couple hours of time on the ads and perfecting or trying to improve a lead magnet that I’ve got for that.

So yeah. I don’t know. It’s hard to say what a typical day is. There hasn’t really been one. I don’t know. Maybe, that’s a problem.

Jim: I don’t know that it’s a problem. I think it’s a matter of being two months old. 

Brian, what’s your favorite thing about running your firm right now? And if you had someone– if we could wave a magic wand and you could have someone in your office working 40 hours a week, what would you have that person do?

Brian: Everything has been agreeing with people on ways that I can help them and that I think that I actually am helping them, so convincing them of my worth, how I can add value, and what’s usually a difficult time for someone who is thinking about trying to apply for asylum has been really rewarding. That’s probably my favorite thing is actually sort of working through with someone, how I can help them, and then getting them to see that, and then getting them to agree to hire me to help them. That’s been rewardingly fun.

If I could have someone working for me. Man, I don’t know. Jim, I’ve been thinking about that. I’ve been thinking, “Okay, when I’m ready to hire someone or even, say, if I get a virtual assistant in the Philippines or whatever, what would I have them do?” I don’t really– I don’t know. I haven’t identified enough small things that I could keep someone busy even part time in the foreseeable future, definitely not now.

Maybe one thing is I’ve wanted to prioritize videos. I made a few videos before I launched. But since I’ve launched, I’ve only made like one. I want to be making several a week. So, I’ve been doing all the editing for those and everything involved with the videos from like getting transcription and been posting it and everything that goes with it. That’s something that I could see. Okay, that’s a natural first thing to outsource through Fiverr, or Upwork, or whatever.

Tyson: Jim, I’m going to defer to you. You’ve gone through this, right? You’ve blazed this trail. What are some things that Brian can be doing, knowing what he just said, that could help him out? You’ve done this. You’ve gone through. You’ve automated a bunch of this stuff. You’ve hired a bunch of people. What are your thoughts?

Jim: Amany and I are in the middle of season four of Better Call Saul, getting towards the end, and it’s making its way towards Breaking Bad. Saul or Jimmy McGill just got his office. I saw him walking through his office the other day and I was laughing. I was like, “Oh, man, that seems like a long time ago.” I remember walking through the empty office and picturing where each person was going to go and all the furniture was going to go. That’s such an exciting time. Brian, I think that this is a really exciting time for you.

I think that Tyson’s calendaring approach is generally good. I think that you’ve got to block out time for each of the things that you want to do. Otherwise, you’re just going to get run over by the moments of the day. I think you’ve got to adopt sort of an 80/20 rule where 20% of my day, I’m going to focus on fixing things for the future, building for the future – if that’s shooting videos, if it’s writing out systems, if it’s working with a VA. And then, let the 80% havoc come.

Now, to me — I’m a morning person, that time of focus is usually between 7:00 [inaudible 00:21:53] if I can, you know. You have kids. And so, you know how that is. But just generally, I think that blocking out particular amounts of time to do the important work is good.

As far as, not finding time to do videos and stuff, I think you ought to just call bullshit on that– oh, can I cuss on here? You’ve got to just make it a priority. It’s not too late for you. You can join our video challenge of doing one video every day and that’ll just make you do it. I think that just making a list of everything you want to get done and then just doing a little bit of it each day, that’s what always works for me.

Getting client wise, I think you’re doing all the right things. I’ll be interested because I’ve never run a Facebook Ad or Google Ad so I’ll be interested to hear about your successes in there and I hope it goes well. I think that organic search based on videos, and content on your website, and long-tail search where people are writing in questions, that takes a long time, but I think that you’ve got to do that.

And then, the other thing, I think you’ve just got to target particular immigrant communities. You and I have talked about this. I am the lawyer for Nigerian people in Houston. Houston’s a huge market for immigrants, obviously. Your marketing has to be tailored to each of those groups. You don’t want to just say, “I’m an immigration lawyer for all immigrants.” I think that resonating with people– and you know how it is when one immigrant likes you, they’re going to refer you to 10 others.

Brian: Yeah, I agree. I agree.

Along the lines of what you’re saying, niching down has been something that I’ve been focusing on instead of trying to be all things to all people even within immigration. This is something that you and I discussed. I’ve tried to collect people’s thoughts on this about how niched down I should go.

I did decide, for branding purposes, kind of the way I hold myself out, that I’m going to try to be the asylum guy instead of being an immigration lawyer. I’m saying that, “I’m an asylum lawyer.” I don’t know if anyone else in the country who does that but I’m trying to play to my strength and my experience of having been an asylum officer and been with the government for a long time. So far, I think it’s working pretty well.

I do have like a placeholder website up that’s kind of more general, it’s Manning Immigration. The website that I’m usually directing people to is just for asylum law. I’ve got business cards for both, one that’s just immigration lawyer and one that’s asylum, but I am seeing that the asylum thing is taking hold much better like, literally, everything that I’ve worked on, except for one matter, has been asylum, in my two months in practice. I like it that way because like asylum. I’m passionate about it and I know it well so I can do it efficiently as opposed to learning about other areas of immigration law but I don’t know as well.

I only have two real clients that are like fully my own client cases from like beginning of their immigration matter to the end. One of them is a family-based Green Card case which is considered to be normally absent exigent circumstances like the easiest kind of immigration case there is but it’s someone that’s causing me the most heartburn to make sure that I’m doing it correctly as opposed to asylum-related stuff where I can get there really efficiently and quickly.

Jim: I think that goes along with a lot of things we’ve talked about. We talk all the time on here about giving up practice areas that give you headaches. We once had an associate here who worked for us for about a year. She had come to us from being an ICE attorney in Virginia. I always said to her, “Man, if you stick around, the marketing pitch that I’m going to give for you is, ex-DHS attorney, Homeland Security attorney, is now working for the good side.”

And so, I think with you, I would just play it up all day long, the fact that you were an asylum officer. You worked in that asylum office. You know the people in that asylum office. I’m sure there’s probably some outer limits of what you can say about that but certainly, in consults and things, I would be dropping that left and right. Most immigration lawyers did not work as an asylum officer, so I think that’s a huge plus in your cap.

Brian: Thanks. Yeah, I’m trying to. I’m trying to play it up.

Tyson: Brian, there’s this point, like when you’re running your practice, it’s really early on. I guess, I still have it. I’m sure Jim probably still has it but like where you are like super, super excited about the future. You know what I mean? You’re like, “This is going to be freakin’ awesome. I can’t wait.” There’s a lot of fear in all that, too. Talk about your excitement. Talk about what you’re excited about for the future.

Brian: I am excited. I’m excited. My vision, when I decided to do this, was that my wife and I wanted to be in a position where I had the freedom in terms of being my own boss and not having to ask permission to, for example, take big chunks of time for vacation, so freedom of schedule. But also, hopefully, making enough money to be able to enjoy that and to do some traveling because like my two jobs ago, we were living overseas. We were traveling. We were in Europe and it was super easy to bounce around and do this great travel. And then, we came to Houston. We’ve been here two and a half years and we’re just kind of like, “Uh, we’re living in suburbia with nothing exciting going on in our lives”. That was kind of depressing and took some serious getting used to. We do like Houston now, as I said, but I want to get to where I can afford to do a lot of travel with my family because that’s the most important to me. I’m excited about it.

What excites me is this idea that, “Okay, I can see where this thing that I’m trying to build could be viable.” Especially the last two or three weeks, it’s gone well. Like, I’ve gotten some good stuff happening the last couple of weeks. It just makes me think that, “Okay, if I can snowball this–” I know there’ll be ups and downs but if the general projection is, over time, upward then yeah that is exciting. It could put me in a place where I could build something that I’m proud of, and it helps a lot of people and, at the same time, it’s making decent money for me and supporting a good lifestyle. I have been encouraged, especially the last couple weeks. We’ll see what the future holds.

There’s almost no upper limit as where, in my old job with the government, you’re pretty limited. Especially with DHS, there’s nowhere that exciting that I dreamt of going in terms of position or what you could achieve there.

State Department, where I worked before that, was a little more exciting in that sense but DHS not so much. It’s fun to be doing something where I’m like, “Oh, I can keep growing” in a sense of like, literally growing the firm and trying to grow revenues, trying to grow the number of people that my firm is representing. I like that. That’s exciting. 

Jim: Brian, my last question. Given that asylum is Federal and that you can practice in all 50 states, what are your thoughts about taking asylum cases outside of Houston?

Brian: Yeah, I’ll do it. I’ll do it. I’ve had a couple of consultations with people outside that haven’t ended up hiring me but I’m open for it and I’ll be happy to do it.

I don’t want to travel a ton. My wife went back to work recently. When I was leaving my decent-paying super stable government job with good benefits, my wife hadn’t worked a long time because, when I was a diplomat we were moving around a lot, she couldn’t do her profession. She does ultrasounds. She’s a sonographer. She couldn’t really do that in other countries. And then we had kids and she stayed at home for a while with them because they were in school. Anyway, she just started working again and she likes her job a lot. And so, I don’t want to be traveling a ton because it’d be tough with the kids and my wife working.

Yeah, I’m definitely up for helping folks out, especially with asylum at other places.

Tyson: All right, Brian.

Time to wrap things up. Before I do, I want to remind everyone to go to the Facebook group. Get involved there. There’s a lot of great activity going on every single day. It’s kind of overwhelming at the moment but it’s still a lot of great information, especially in today’s climate.

One thing that I do ask that you do, I haven’t asked for this in a while but if you’ll take a second and just either pause this episode and while you’re listening to it, either one, but go and give us a five-star review. We’ve not asked for review in a while. If you will take a review, I would really, really appreciate it. It helps us spread the Love.

Jimbo, what is your hack of the week?

Jim: My hack of the week is for myself and for anyone else who finds it valuable. My hack of the week is that, with a lot of us working from home these days, I think it’s going to be really important to have a line of demarcation between work and home. It seems to me, these last couple of weeks, that work is bleeding over into home time and I feel sort of this sense of urgency and I’ve got to do everything right away. We still have to take care of ourselves. We still have to have downtime. We still have to have time with our families. So, try, to the extent that you can, to have a regular routine and to sort of keep to it, and to say to yourself, “I’m done for today,” when you’re done. I say that more for me than for anybody else.

Tyson: I love it. That’s a really, really, really good tip. I’ll give you a tip, in a second, that’s similar that.

Brian, what is your tip or hack of the week?

Brian: I’m going to go with a software tool. We talked earlier about making videos and doing stuff online with social media. I’m a big fan of a tool called Remove.bg to remove background from photos. So, if you want to take a photo of yourself doing something but then you want to paste just the part that’s the picture of you on top of something else, like some background that you want to have for, say, a YouTube thumbnail, or a Facebook Ad, or anything on social media, or anywhere, really, this tool is free. It’s by far the best that I’ve found for removing background. Some of them you have to like go in with your mouse and like touch up and erase like little lines that it doesn’t figure out it shouldn’t be there automatically. With this one, every single time, automatically, it completely removes the background leaving just the picture of the person. It’s remove, R-E-M-O-V-E.bg.

Jim: For instance, if I wanted to use that on the Maximum Lawyer website, I could erase little Tyson from most of the pictures?

Brian: You may be able to find a way to make it work in that fashion.

Jim: Awesome.

Tyson: Jim, my new nickname for you, should I use it? I don’t know if I will. You know what, I’m not going to be mean like you. I’m going to be the nice one. I’m going to remove myself from this. I’m not going to retaliate. You know what, I’m going to be the good one here.

My tip of the week is, at it relates to Jim, this comes from an adjuster I was talking to the other day. We were talking about working from home and everything. I’ve got this tip, whenever I work from home, I will pretend– because we have three kids and they’re younger. And so, they’re always wanting to be in the office whenever I’m there. I will leave through the front door. And then, I’ll go around to the back and, they’ll think I’m gone, I’ll come back in the back of the house. I’ve got to unlock the back door first. They think I’m gone, and I will sneak back in the house.

My tip, it’s a little deceptive, but it’s important so you can get work done. If you have kids at home, just pretend like you’re leaving like you normally do and get dressed and everything like you normally do. I think that’s also a little bonus tip too is get dressed like you’re going to work. To me, that’s really important for mindset is making sure that you’re ready to work. You’re not just lounging around. If you’re wearing your normal lounge gear, you’re probably not going to be as effective and as efficient and get as much done as you normally do. So, get dressed. Go to work. Sneak around the house and go on to the back.

All right. Brian, thanks so much for coming on. Appreciate talking about some things that probably aren’t that easy to talk about sometimes, so I really appreciate you coming on. I learned some stuff from you.

Brian: My pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity, guys.

Jim: Bye, guys. Good job. Bye.

Tyson: See you. 

 

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.

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