My friend Mike Kim asked me a stunning question the other day.
He said, “Ernie, what breaks your heart?”
No one ever asked me that before, and certainly not out of the blue.
So I was stunned.
But I thought about it, and then the answer quickly bubbled up and I knew…
I knew because of the hundreds of hours that I’ve spent talking to hundreds of solo and small firm lawyers.
Wanna know what it is?
Okay, so here’s what breaks my heart…
Lawyers who begin their practices filled with enthusiasm. But who soon find themselves overworked and underpaid.
Worst of all: they’re busting their asses for clients who don’t appreciate their hard work.
That’s what breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart that so many of them hate the practice of law, but I can’t say I blame them.
It really breaks my heart when I see them get so desperate that they’ll try anything to improve things.
Desperate, how? Well…
Some get desperate and start wasting money on lame advertising. Not because they know a lot about advertising or even marketing. But…
Because some “expert” told them to.
So they blow a bunch of money doing what the expert says to do…
But instead of their practice becoming more enjoyable, they get a steady stream of low-quality clients.
Ones who just make their lives even more miserable.
Other lawyers are so desperate they fall in love with technology.
Well, what they fall in love with is the IDEA of technology.
That is, the idea that it might somehow streamline their practices in some magically transformative way.
But in reality…for most lawyers, technology just leads to more frustration.
Sometimes, even disaster.
When I see greedy marketers or tech consultants taking advantage of hard-working lawyers,…
It pisses me off.
Almost as bad is the well-intentioned advice that comes from clueless do-gooders.
Look, it doesn’t matter what intention people have when they dispense advice.
If the advice is bad, the results are going to be bad too.
So beware of