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Insight vs. Information

By April 9, 2019October 13th, 2020Approach, focus, law, Operations

If you want to grow your law practice into a smooth-running, profitable business you’ll need help.

No shame in needing help. Running any kind of modern business is challenging.

It’s just the inescapable reality.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get the help you need.

The principles for creating successful businesses have been documented. And you can find them in books, or courses. Or even seminars.

Of course, many lawyers don’t have time to read books, take courses, or attend seminars.

You know this, right?

You’re probably too busy also.

And even if you were to read books, take courses, or attend seminars…what does that really get you?

Mostly just information.

Information that you then have to figure out how to apply…to get useful results.

And, when you finally get the time to work ON your business instead of IN it…

You’ve forgotten most of what you learned in those books, courses or seminars.

So…let’s face the hard facts: you don’t need information.

You need insight!

Preferably at the very moment you can apply it, not three months before.

THAT’s why going to legal conferences is mostly not that helpful (if you’re looking for ways to radically improve your law practice, that is).

Smart business owners know better.

For example, they join organizations like YPO, which is a…

“leadership organization for more than 27,000 chief executives in over 130 countries and the global platform for them to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders…”

My brother is in YPO. He says it’s vital for him to be able to meet with similarly situated business owners on a regular basis.

He has a food service business in Panama, which employs over 130 people.

He grew the business from scratch, but not without a lot of help. All along the way, he got advice from friends who also had businesses, and who’d faced the same problems he faced in growing his business.

Once his business grew to a certain level he joined the local chapter of YPO in Panama so he could keep getting insights and advice but at a higher level.

You need to find groups for lawyers like that. Groups of business-minded lawyers who are at your same level of growth.

A new kind of group has been emerging in the non-lawyer world, something called mastermind groups.

I’ve joined a couple of mastermind groups to learn how to better manage my online business. It was clear that running an online business was quite challenging, even for someone with strong technology skills.

Most of the masterminds I joined in the beginning were useless.

But the last two I joined were invaluable.

Invaluable for quickly learning how to grow my business smoothly and effectively. And also for showing me what not to do, which is often the more valuable thing to know (because a lot of ideas SEEM like good ideas, but experienced folks have learned that they’re not).

The #1 success factor in a good masterminds is the other people in the group with you.

Imagine if you were in a group of lawyers who were discussing things like:

  • Which practice management software do you use, and what do you like or not like about it?
  • Where do you go to find good virtual assistance?
  • Who is good at doing bookkeeping (with trust accounting) for small law firms?
  • What’s the best printer for a small firm?
  • Has anyone tried online review services like Podium or Birdeye and what are your experiences?
  • Anyone try a print newsletter service like Newsletter Pro? What’s your take?
  • “What is the best way to learn Zapier? I am trying to connect Trello to Clio, as well as other programs with Clio to make our office run more efficient.”
  • Has anyone tried the new Scansnap scanner (the reviews on Amazon are not great)?
  • “Electronic binder for trail notebooks? I’d like to use a Table of Contents and be able to click on any document in the case. I’ve found pdfDocs and Bundledocs. Each of them look like they’d work. Does anyone have experience with either of them or another electronic binder product?
  • “I am looking for help cleaning up and building out hotdocs. Any suggestions for a hotdocs developer or service looking for some periodic project work?”
  • “I’m interested in incorporating digital signature software into my client on-boarding process. I have looked at HelloSign. What others do we suggest?”
  • “I am working on my workflow and automation process. I want to make clients fill out a questionnaire for the first consultation. Do you think it is best to send them a fillable PDF by email to fill out or to send them a link to an online form that I’ll integrate with my CRM?

By the way, these are verbatim questions that appeared in the private discussion group that’s part of the LawFirm Co-Pilot program.

So as you probably know, online discussions are now an important part of a good mastermind experience.

They provide you with access to insight from fellow lawyers, and trustworthy consultants (which is way better than just raw information).

Yes, access. That’s what you need.

Access to insight from fellow lawyers, and trustworthy consultants.

Access on a regular basis so you can get the advice you need at the moment you need it most.

Oh, and…

Another factor that makes for a great mastermind is if the organizer is running the group not just as a “side project.”

The best masterminds usually (but not necessarily always) cost money to join. And here’s a helpful rule of thumb…

The more it costs to join a mastermind, the higher the level of discussion tends to be.

Why is that?

Well, because the people who join are committed to making big changes in their business. They see the money they pay to join the mastermind as an investment.

Because, when you spend money to help you grow your practice…

It’s an investment.

On the other hand, going to conferences and grabbing random chunks of information is nothing more than an expense .

And usually a waste of time.

At least, if you’re playing the long game (as opposed to chasing those ever-present “shiny objects.”


P.S. If you appreciate my approach and observations, you might want to check out my free PDF download.