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Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel is the founder of DreamBuilder Financial, LLC,a bookkeeping, accounting, and business strategy company, and is host of...

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Christopher T. Anderson

Christopher T. Anderson has authored numerous articles and speaks on a wide range of topics, including law firm management,...

Episode Notes

Neglecting to foster good financial habits is a common issue in solo and small law firms, and we all know lawyers get little to no business training in law school. What can be done to help them get a handle on their numbers and start running profitable businesses? Un-Billable Hour host Christopher Anderson talks with Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel about his methods for helping firm owners optimize their finances, use their metrics to turn a greater profit, and live life according to their own personal goals. 

Check out the Law Firm Growth Summit coming up on December 16-20 for new business development strategies.

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel is the founder of DreamBuilder Financial, LLC and host of the Profit With Law podcast.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NexaSolo Practice UniversityScorpion, and Lawclerk.

Transcript

The Un-Billable Hour

Live Life Your Way with a Profitable Business

12/12/2019

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Managing your law practice can be challenging. Marketing, time management, attracting clients, and all the things besides the cases that you need to do that aren’t billable. Welcome to this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. This is where you will get the information you need from expert guests and host Christopher Anderson, here on Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Welcome to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast helping attorneys achieve more success. We are glad you can listen today on the Legal Talk Network.

 

Today’s episode is about one of my favorite topics and one that some consider to be a little bit taboo in our profession. In fact — well, I have got stories around that, but it’s amazing how uncomfortable sometimes people get around this topic. Everybody is getting all titillated now, like, oh my God, he is going to talk about something fun.

 

The topic that it’s about is about giving up things we like less. Notice I didn’t say things we dislike, though it could be that too, but giving up things we like less in exchange for things we like more or want more. And of course this is the way in which we make profit.

 

So today’s episode is about profit and our title today is “Live Life Your Way with a Profitable Business”. And my guest is Moshe Amsel. Now, Moshe is the host of Profit With Law Podcast, and of the Law Firm Growth Summit. He helps law firm owners to grow their practice with a focus on creating generational wealth.

 

Moshe has 20 years of experience in the IT industry as a business executive and he has also got extensive experience in sales and marketing, closing over 30 million dollars in sales in one year.

 

He currently owns an accounting practice called DreamBuilder Financial, where he helps his clients with business advisory and tax strategy services.

 

And of course I am just your host Christopher Anderson, an attorney with a singular passion for helping other lawyers achieve success with their law firm businesses.

 

In The Un-Billable Hour each month we explore an area important to help you be a more profitable lawyer through growing your revenues, getting back more of your time and getting more professional satisfaction from your business.

 

The Un-Billable Hour is dedicated to bringing you guests each month to help you learn more about how to make your law firm business work for you instead of the other way around. And today we are going to talk about it working profitably.

 

But before we get started I do want to say a thank you to our sponsors; Nexa, Solo Practice University, Scorpion, and LAWCLERK.

 

Nexa, formerly known as Answer 1, is a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for law firms. Learn more by giving them a call at 1800-267-9371 or online at www.nexa.com.

 

Solo Practice University is a great resource for solos, no matter how long you have been practicing. Make sure you check out solopracticeuniversity.com and learn how to run your practice better.

 

Scorpion crushes the standard for law firm online marketing with proven campaign strategies to get attorneys better cases from the Internet. Partner with Scorpion to get an award-winning website and ROI positive marketing programs today. Visit scorpionlegal.com/podcast.

 

LAWCLERK, where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers. Visit lawclerk.legal to learn how to increase your productivity and your profits by working with talented freelance lawyers.

 

And today’s episode of The Un-Billable Hour is “Live Life Your Way with a Profitable Business”.

 

And my guest is Moshe Amsel. And he is the host of the Profit With Law Podcast and the Law Firm Growth Summit. And of course he is the owner of DreamBuilder Financial.

 

Moshe, welcome to The Un-Billable Hour.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Christopher, thank you so much for having me. It is absolutely my pleasure to be here today.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Well, it’s exciting to have you.

 

So traditionally, we kind of make a joke of it now on The Un-Billable Hour, my introductions are brief and inadequate. So I would like to start the show off just by, if you don’t mind, explaining a little bit about how you came to be doing the Profit With Law Podcast, the Law Firm Growth Summit, and how you arrived at this place where you like talking to law firms about profit.

 

(00:04:45)

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Sure. So I am a husband first, father second, business owner third, and when I started my business I very intentionally wanted to position myself in a way that I can keep those priorities in check. So initially I aligned myself with a few different advisory service items that made me unique; one of them being a Profit First Professional, another being a LivePlan Expert.

 

And in my journey of establishing my accounting practice through Profit First, I attracted a law firm client and that law firm client referred another, which referred another, which referred another, and before I knew it I had five law firms as clients in my accounting business.

 

And I started to see a very common thread between them and that common thread led me to believe that there is a need in the industry for another perspective and hence my travels began into the legal industry, which is certainly an interesting one, and some amazing folks that I have been able to come in contact with.

 

But shortly after starting I decided to launch my podcast and start providing value for free to everybody so that they can start to appreciate another perspective, which is from a business first mindset, which is very different than what law firm owners have been exposed to, both in law school, which is — there is no business training there, we all know that.

 

And then when they work for a large law firm, the way that large law firms operate their business is very different from the way that a solo or small or up-and-coming law firm needs to practice. And when they bring those habits with them into the new practice and ignore where business is made, where profits are made and how businesses run, they basically are setting themselves up for a very long and painful ride.

 

So that’s essentially how I got involved with the legal industry and helping law firm owners, and since establishing the podcast back in March, I have also created a number of connections with industry influencers, people who are out there doing podcasting, Facebook Lives, blog post articles, speaking at events, and I have collaborated with a lot of these people, yourself included, to figure out if there is another way to bring free, useful information to law firm owners. And that’s where the Law Firm Growth Summit was born, which is a completely free and virtual conference.

 

I would like to plug that at the end of the show; I don’t want to focus on that right now, but that — those are my front running pieces for the industry at large to help perhaps retrain law firm owners on what running a small business really is all about.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Cool. So one thing that struck me about that was that you said that as you were working with, you got a law firm client, then you got another law firm client, as you started working with law firms you noticed a common thread that you wanted to help them with that was burdening their businesses. Can you tell listeners what that thread is and how they can identify it in their own business, if it’s there?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yes, certainly. So all of them were seeking the advice of a coach or consultant and getting outside help in growing their practice, and each one had their own unique idea that they were bringing to the table to help them grow, but they were all focused on one point. So one might have been focused specifically on growing leads coming into the practice, so just bring in more leads and ignore everything else.

 

Another one might have been focusing specifically on team development, let’s get the best team in house, let’s work on that and everything else will follow.

 

And another might have been working specifically on the sales, not the marketing, let’s increase your close rate, let’s work in that area.

 

And what they were all ignoring is the financial part of the business. What I was finding is firm owners who were getting themselves into expensive leases, having nice offices, that created a nice professional image to the public, they were adding staff that they didn’t necessarily — that weren’t necessarily keeping busy or they were keeping busy, but not billing enough or effectively to be able to be profitable.

 

And the worst thing that I found is that they absolutely had no idea what their financial picture was. Every single one of them either was not using an accounting software or did not have a bookkeeper, was doing it themselves and were far behind and also not entering things correctly.

 

And at the end of the day they — when I said, when was the last time you looked at your profit and loss statement, when was the last time you had any idea whether or not your firm is profitable, none of them could answer that question.

 

(00:10:00)

 

And that was to me, coming from the business world and with an accounting background as well, that was mind-boggling, that somebody can actually run a business that way, and it made me realize that it’s not that they don’t want to be successful, it’s that they were never told how.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right. I mean obviously everybody — well, we shouldn’t ever generalize, right, but I think most people start their law firm and enter into the ownership of a practice with some hope of being successful in a variety of ways. Yet you are seeing that they are not having good habits with their financials, not entering the numbers, or at least not reviewing them. Do you find — like as you have been working with them, is it a competence problem; in other words, they never learned about the numbers so they don’t even know what to do, or is it sort of a willful, like I don’t like to look at the numbers kind of thing?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: I think you will find both camps in the marketplace. Obviously there are people who, money is taboo, looking at the money makes them break out in a cold sweat, just talking about it, thinking about it is something that they can’t deal with. However, I think that’s a minority of the population.

 

I think the majority is the other camp. I think the majority is basically not understanding what the numbers mean and not understanding the power of understanding those numbers, and essentially in any other industry when somebody comes to sell them a service, the immediate thing is they want to know what’s the ROI, what’s my return on investment, how is this going to increase my business or decrease my expenses so that I am more profitable at the end of the year. And in the legal industry that calculation is kind of ignored by and large and they will look at, do I need to bring on a staff member based on are all of my team members too busy.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, right, yeah, not are we being efficient, not are we building, not are we — Clio just recently released their 2019 Legal Trends Report and once again they are showing that small law firms, attorneys in small law firms are billing — I think billing and collecting something, I don’t have it in front of me, but close to 2.3 hours a day, but yet I guarantee you they are busy.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: I think 2.3 hours is the billing and like 1.8 hours is the collection, which is mind-boggling, because if you do the math, you need to have a really seriously high hourly rate to be profitable off of each attorney in the firm, and if you are solo, we are talking about you too. The cost of your attorney should be somewhere between 25-40% of the revenue that they are bringing in. You have to pay for everything else on top of that; you have got the paralegal, you have got the overhead of the office. So if you can’t bill and collect enough to quadruple your attorney’s salary, then you have a broken business model, so adding another attorney to the mix is just going to make their problem worse, not better.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, yeah, and yet what you just said, it’s like they are looking and saying okay, everybody is busy, but we are only billing 2.8 hours, so we are going to add another attorney, and indeed you make the problem worse.

 

I wanted to ask one question before I moved on, which was you mentioned as we were talking about some attorneys don’t have any accounting software at all. Well, obviously they can’t see their numbers if they don’t, we need to solve that problem, but you also mentioned some of them are doing it themselves. What do you say to a law firm owner who, let’s say they are using QuickBooks or FreshBooks or something like that and feels that they are competent to do their own books and so they do it themselves, what’s the risk in that?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: There is a difference between competence and where you shine. I follow Michael Hyatt, who is a big name in the productivity side of the world, and he has you identify the tasks that you are doing into four zones.

 

One zone is where you are really good at it, you are proficient at it, and you also love it. And another zone is where you are proficient at it, but you don’t love it. And essentially you want to get all of your activities to be in that zone where you are proficient and you love doing it.

 

Now, essentially if you are proficient at your books and you love doing it, should you keep doing it? If that lights you up, sure, but recognize that there is a cost involved as well, and that is the cost of not doing other things during the time that you are maintaining your books, and if you are willing to forego that, if you have made the calculation and decided, hey, I can go with four hours less a week of billing so I could do my books, then sure, make that decision. But if you look at the cost of having somebody else do your books, the math is very simple and it’s easy to say, let me go have a professional who loves doing this go and do it.

 

(00:15:14)

 

So I think most law firm owners probably don’t love it. They might be good at it, but they probably don’t love it, so it’s probably something you want to outsource.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah. And the last point on that too is when there is a challenge, when there is something difficult going on in the business and you are doing your own, I think there is a really big risk of looking away for a while. Like there is something bad there so I don’t want to look at it, and having somebody else do it keeps it happening, whereas you might turn away.

 

I am talking with Moshe Amsel. He is the host of Profit With Law Podcast, Law Firm Growth Summit, and we have been talking about law firm owners struggling to really be in touch with their numbers.

 

We are going to take a break and hear from our sponsors and when we come back I am going to ask Moshe what do we do to get law firms more in touch with their numbers and then what those numbers really should be in profitability. But first, we will hear from our sponsors.

 

[Music]

 

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[Music]

 

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Christopher T. Anderson: And welcome back to The Un-Billable Hour. I am talking with Moshe Amsel, and we have been talking about law firm owners getting and staying in touch with their numbers and working to their best and highest use. We mentioned that the average in the Clio Legal Trends Report was that law firms are billing about — law firm lawyers in small law firms are billing about 2.3 hours a day, and that’s part of the struggle.

 

So Moshe, what I wanted to move to in this segment is to start to talk a little bit about solving the problem, right?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yeah, absolutely.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: So we have identified that they don’t teach us much about this in law school, that it’s usually not the highest and best use of the attorney’s time to be worried about the books and quite honestly most of them aren’t doing it at all. So how do we move lawyers to get — because we can’t move them towards profitability until they have a sense of what the numbers are, how do we move them in that direction?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yeah, it’s a really good question Christopher and what I like to do is I like to first help the law firm owner understand that business holistically is the marriage of all the pieces of the business coming together as a unified team to create a profit stream for the owner. And when I say all of the pieces of the business, I am referring to the five cores, which is marketing, sales, leadership and team development, technology and process implementation and the financials. You cannot be successful in a quick amount of time, in a short period of time if you are not having all five of those work in concert.

 

And the problem is, is that we tend to focus on one or two of them and ignore the rest and hope that it’s going to pull the rest of the firm forward. And that does work seasonally, it works occasionally, but it doesn’t work in the long-term and it really slows you down.

 

So the first thing to understand is I need to have all of these pieces working together, so how can I make that happen. And from there we then go to the financials, because that really is the driving force of everything else. In other words, if you don’t know how much you can afford to spend on marketing, then you are going to be doing haphazard marketing, not knowing what you are doing.

 

If you don’t know what your sales conversion metrics are, then you are not going to know what efforts need to be applied in the sales arena in order to improve your sales, in order to outsource them, bring somebody on to do your sales, those kinds of discussions, you can’t figure those out if you don’t have a handle on the numbers.

 

(00:19:53)

 

Leadership and team development; leadership is not something that’s easily quantifiable, but the productivity of your team certainly is. So knowing how productive your team is, whether — one of the things law firms tend to do, especially if you are running an hourly billing practice is, you have your billing cycle and when you go through your billing cycle, you review the bill and you make adjustments to the actual time spent versus what you are going to bill the client. And it boggles my mind to see what happens in this process, where human nature kicks in and you start to question oh, why did this take this long, I cannot possibly charge my client for that time, let me cut it down, let me charge them for less.

 

And this is an epidemic in the industry, so much so that that your podcast is called The Un-Billable Hour. I have episodes titled the Death of the Billable Hour and talking about how to get rid of hourly billing, because I think that this is a killer when it comes to what the law firms are able to produce.

 

But understanding those numbers, like the Clio Trends Report number, how much per hour are you actually bringing in or what is your hourly collection rate? Most law firm owners don’t have that information, and without that information you have no idea whether your team is doing okay or not doing okay, whether your people are productive or not productive. So you don’t even know if you should be focusing heavily in that area.

 

So I think it all starts with the financial piece and really starting to understand what are the metrics that are important. And then from there, I like to say that there is the rearview mirror, there is the current situation and then there is the forward-looking path, right? And there are pieces for each one.

 

So the rearview mirror, that’s your bookkeeping, that’s your profit and loss statement, that’s your practice management software reporting, which by the way, most of them really stink, so you need to start learning how to extract the data and make your own reports in Excel and things like that, because none of them do a really good job at giving you the data you need in an easily readable, readily available format.

 

And then there is the forward-looking piece, right? So the rear looking is the books and the P&L and the practice management software. The forward-looking piece is the planning, and I want to dive into that a little bit deeper in a moment, and then the current piece, which is what do I do currently with the cash coming in and cash going out in the business.

 

And your listeners are very familiar with Profit First, because you are heavily involved with that, you have had Ron Saharyan interviewed here on the podcast from Profit First Professionals headquarters, so I am not going to go into the details of Profit First. But Profit First is just a cash management solution, but you have to have a way of determining what to do with cash when it comes in and how to control those expenses when they go out. And that’s the current, what you do today.

 

And then forward-looking is planning, and I think that this is the biggest component that’s missing. Even though I opened up with telling you that people are not even maintaining their books, the problem is, is that even the ones who are doing a good job and they do know historically what’s happened in the firm, they are not doing forward-looking planning.

 

And again, there are definitely law firm owners out there who are killing it and who are doing all these things. But if you are struggling, chances are you are missing one or more of these components, and forward-looking planning is basically like the GPS or your map.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, it’s different than hoping?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Exactly.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: It’s taking what you want to happen, but then putting proposed actions behind it and measurements that you expect to happen as a result of those actions.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yeah. And the perfect example and I think you mentioned this example to me in a recent session we did together, where if somebody just plunked you down somewhere in the middle of nowhere and you have no idea where you are and handed you a map and said, here, go to New York. You have absolutely no idea how to get there because you don’t know where you are starting from.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, yeah, you don’t even know which direction to start walking.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Exactly. In the same vein, if somebody were to plunk you down in a spot and say, you are right now in this and this location, now go to New York, and you have no map, you have no directions. You could potentially get there, right, you could ask people, you can look at the sky and at least know whether you need to go east, west, north or south and try to figure that out from where the sun is.

 

But essentially without a map or without a GPS and without knowing where you are starting, you can’t get from point A to point B, and that’s where knowing where you have come from and where you are today and where you are going in the future is so critically important. And it’s such a simple analogy to business, but we completely ignore it.

 

People are going to listen to this, they are going to hear it, it’s going to go in one ear, out the other, they are going to continue doing what they are doing, because we just attack what’s in front of us with — we are not forward-looking thinkers innately by nature. So we really need to be intentional with that direction that we are taking, that forward-looking direction and make a plan of how we are going to get there.

 

(00:25:06)

 

So how does this look as an example? So let’s just say that my goal is to take the firm from where we are today at 500,000 to, I don’t know, 50,000 in profit, to a million and 250,000 in profit. So now I know the big numbers, but now I can start looking at each of the pieces and how do they play into all the other components that I just mentioned.

 

So now we can start saying okay, if I am going to bring in a million dollars into the firm and my average case value is $10,000, well, now I know that I need, what is it, 100 matters or 100 cases to get to a million. Well, now I could say okay, now my current marketing efforts are bringing in 20. So I need to close the gap and make it 80.

 

Well, actually I said we were at 500,000, so we are at 50 now, we have got to bring in 50 more. So now I can look at my marketing and say — well, first we look at our sales and say okay, what’s our close rate and try to figure out whether we could eke out more sales from the leads that are coming in.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: What, you mean the solution isn’t more leads, more leads, more leads, more leads?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Not necessarily, it could be, right, it could be.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, yeah.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: So you have to look at all the pieces. So we look at our sales close rate. We see if there is more we could do to bring in more new business. We also look at, because I mentioned profit, right, it’s not just how much — it’s not just the million we are bringing in, but it’s how much we are taking home, we can also look at the expenses being placed in producing that.

 

So we are also going to look at the production of the team and figure out if there is better ways to do things. We are going to look at our technology and figure out whether we can automate things that are being done manually, whether we can improve our customer experience, which is going to increase our profitability.

 

And then ultimately we will get to the marketing side and say okay, how many more leads do I need, but if we start looking at each of these pieces in the holistic picture of how am I going to increase both my top line and my bottom line in this process, now we are cooking on all five cylinders.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: And it’s amazing, I mean it does touch each and every part of the business and you need to be looking at all of them, but because — I think your point was because you started with a plan, I want to get to a million, now you know how much to tweak each part, how much results you want to get out of each one, and to your point, not to focus on just one of them, but to make sure that the whole business operates in concert.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Right. Now, obviously this is a very, very simplistic view because we have a short timeframe. You have to understand all the pieces to figure out which is the needle that’s going to move me the most and identify — what I like to do is I work on quarters, so 90-day increments.

 

So we will now take that year goal, break it down into four pieces, create 90-day increments and choose just three needles that we are going to try to move during 90 days and no more than that. So we are not trying to fix everything at once.

 

It’s kind of like with Profit First, you are trying to just move 1%, 2% in a specific category in each quarter, because too much change or trying to change too much at the same time is just going to make you very busy and not going to create results.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right, and also make it hard to see the results because of all the different variables going on.

 

All right, we are going to take a break here. I am talking with Moshe Amsel. He is the host of Profit with Law Podcast and the Law Firm Growth Summit as well as the owner of DreamBuilder Financial.

 

We have been talking about how law firms can use the numbers that they are getting closer to, that they need to be in touch with in order to improve their business by incorporating planning, because the numbers tell them where they have been, the plan of where they are going and some real good policies about what to do with the money as it comes in the door.

 

Moshe, when we come back from this break, we have got to hear a couple of words from our sponsor, I am going to be asking a little bit more about the title of this program. So we titled this “Living Life Your Way with a Profitable Business” and what that means is why determining your way is really important to these plans, but first, a word from our sponsors.

 

[Music]

 

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[Music]

 

(00:29:54)

 

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Christopher T. Anderson: And we are back with Moshe Amsel, and we are talking about running your law firm in a more cognizant and intentional way, with attention to metrics, not just financial metrics, because we have been talking about efficiency and utilization, but with metrics across the board and what Moshe has called the five cores of the business.

 

And so what I said we wanted to do when we came back though was to address the title, because we have talked about planning and the title of the program is “Live Life Your Way with a Profitable Business”.

 

So Moshe, what does that mean? How does what we have been talking about, paying attention, setting a goal, knowing where you are, having a plan, how does that enable you to live life your way?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: That’s a great question Christopher and when I opened I said that I am a husband first, father second and business owner third, and that essentially has created this awareness for me of realizing that owning the business is a means to an end, whether it’s increasing my impact in the world or increasing my wealth or my family’s financial position. At the end of the day, the business itself is not the goal; it’s the impact the business is going to create.

 

And I don’t want to dedicate the bulk of my life to the tool that’s going to supposedly provide the means at the end that I want to achieve. And I am assuming that everyone listening to this is kind of sitting there shaking their head and saying yeah, that’s me too.

 

Now, for you it might not be family, for you it might not be impacting others, maybe it’s philanthropy, maybe it’s hobbies that are meaningful to you, but there is more to life than the time at work. And one of the biggest things that I hear from law firm owners is I don’t have time, even when it comes to just spending a few hours on planning for the business, oh, I don’t have time for that.

 

And what’s crazy is, is that what the Clio Trends Report doesn’t tell us is how many hours people are spending to eke out those two billable hours a day.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: That’s right, that’s right.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: And if you are spending 12 hours a day to get two billable hours, that’s not a good model. As a matter of fact, there are studies that say that your productivity begins to decrease, your peak productivity begins to decrease when you work more than 26 hours a week and yet Corporate America is built on a 40 hour workweek and the legal industry, the legal industry is built on 60 or 70 hours a week; the accounting industry is not much better.

 

But the concept of needing to work more hours to produce a better result is a broken concept, and I believe, I firmly believe and I have clients that can prove it that you do not need to put in more hours to be more productive and there are ways to move the needle that are way easier than just putting in more time.

 

And the biggest suck of our time, the biggest waste of our time is a lack of planning, because when you don’t enter the day with a plan of what you need to get done, you end up getting stuck doing things or procrastinating or just going down rabbit holes that are not necessary.

 

And if you have a very clear plan at the start of the day, saying okay, to reach our target goals today, these are my big three that I need to do, and if you knock those out first, then anything else you do is fluff, you are checking off your task list, but essentially you have made sure that you move the needle forward.

 

And if you didn’t enter the day that way, then what ends up happening is, is that the things that are most important to moving towards the goal end up being the last things you do, what you end up not getting to, and you end up doing all the unimportant things, including spending time on social media and chatting with people around the water cooler and all the things that are peak productivity right now.

 

And I really think that when you start to be more intentional with where you are headed and the actions you need to take, that is going to essentially free up the time that you now have to spend on other things, where otherwise you thought that you were — you needed to put in those 60 or 70 hours.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Right. And I mean even the concept, like you said, in your example you just used nice round numbers, 500, we are going to go to a million, but even the concept of asking yourself why, like what does a million dollars and $250,000 of profit do for my life? Is that important to my life? Is it enough? Is it too much? What’s the motivation behind that number? How do you see that figuring into the planning?

 

(00:35:05)

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yeah, absolutely. So when I work with clients at the start, the very first thing that we do is we get very clear on your why, like why are you doing this, your mission statement of what your firm stands for and what you are trying to accomplish in the world, and then your own personal goals and – personal financial goals and your own business and your business financial goals. And the business financial goals are driven almost entirely by your personal financial goals.

 

So one person might be single and have no expenses and all they want to do is hit the golf range, and for that person having a quarter of a million dollar revenue practice with a $100,000-$150,000 profit is way more than enough and that’s all they need.

 

And somebody else might have five kids in private school, wanting to save money for the down payments on their homes, wanting to buy a second vacation home, and that list, laundry list of financial goals in their personal life bodes to a much larger producer of cash for themselves and they might need something bigger. So your personal needs directly dictate where you need to go with your practice.

 

Now, it’s not just financial, it’s also impact. So some people start a firm because of the financial rewards.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Exactly.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Some people start a firm because they are very passionate about changing something within that practice area.

 

So for example, I know somebody who — or more than one attorney who is very passionate about women’s rights and women’s rights in the workplace. They are going to keep growing their firm because they are trying to increase their impact. Their goal is not a financial one. They want to be financially set for themselves and their family, but ultimately they want to make a lasting impact in women’s rights. So they are going to — they are not going to stop at a specific goal.

 

But it still requires you to have immediate short-term goals and long-term goals for the practice so that you have something to aim for, because without it, just saying I want to increase my impact and not putting something on it, it just doesn’t work.

 

I mean you look at any industry, look at the health industry and look at weight loss, right, if you don’t choose to say hey, in six months, give it a time period, in six months I want to lose 30 pounds, without putting that definition on it and just saying hey, I want to lose weight, you will never lose weight, you will lose five pounds, you will put it back.

 

But having the goal, you are constantly able to measure, see how you are doing, am I getting there, do I need to make more tweaks, do I need to push harder, do I need to put more effort in if I want to really achieve this goal, and you can tell whether you are on the right track, because if by month three you have only lost five pounds, you are not on track to lose 30. But if by month three you have lost 20 and you have got 10 more to go, this is going to be a breeze, you should have no problem getting to that goal.

 

So just basic goal setting like that is necessary no matter what your motivation is. But absolutely, it’s extremely important to be clear on why you are doing this, what you want your firm to be all about, what your mission is. You want to resonate with the people you are bringing in, you want to resonate with your team, you want people to carry this torch with you, and you want to be very clear on what your own personal goals are, which then dictate the business goals, which then dictate your immediate short-term goals that you can actually take action on.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, I think that’s fantastic advice. I want to leave us with one last thought, which is, if you go to some of the larger — particularly larger tradeshows or Bar events that are going on and there will be topics about marketing and attracting more leads and there will be topics, like you mentioned earlier, about hiring and training your team and retaining your team, and there will be topics about substantive law, and there will be topics about case management software and there will be topics about improving financial results and measuring in metrics, and I promise you the ones about financials and measuring in metrics and planning are not the best attended.

 

Why do you think that is? What’s going on that — all the things that you and I have just been talking about, about really how to make a huge difference and move the needle for law firm owners are not the most sought after?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: I am trying to find the right analogy to answer your question Christopher, but essentially if — here we go, if somebody is walking around with cancer undiagnosed and they are walking past a doctor’s office and it says world’s number one oncologist here, we just had a cancellation, you can walk in and take an appointment, no charge, and the person walks right by. Why, because they didn’t know that they needed it, right? They didn’t know that that was their problem.

 

(00:40:05)

 

I think that these are not well attended because firm owners are lacking the knowledge and education to even recognize where their problem lies. They think that I need more leads. They think that I need more sales. They think that I need my team to be more productive. They think that a software is going to answer my problem. What they are not realizing is, is that the problem is much deeper than that and they need to really get into — all of those are body work and really we need to get to the engine and work on the engine.

 

So that’s essentially where the issue lies and that’s where I think our job is, your job, my job as people who are trying to help the industry in this way, our job is to educate law firm owners, as many as we can, as quickly as we can, on, hey, there is a bigger problem here, there is a bigger picture here, and the sooner that you start to work from the inside out instead of the outside in, the faster that you will see results, the faster that we can help you.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: I think that’s a fantastic analogy. I appreciate that, walking past the clinic not knowing you have got the disease, absolutely fantastic.

 

So as we wrap up, I wanted to see if you had one tip that we could leave our listeners with today to implement as quick as they can to make a difference in their business.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: I just finished telling you that education is the problem and I am putting on a absolutely free virtual summit, and this summit, it’s basically a conference, it’s over the course of five days and it’s all about educating you in these areas of business, where you can come to the ones that you think you need and attend them. You can attend them all and it’s absolutely free. There is no barrier to entry. You can watch it from your home, from your office.

 

And I was trying to fix a problem where education is not easy to come by. In person conferences are very expensive, especially for small firm owners who can’t afford to leave the office for multiple days at a time. There is cost of travel, cost of entry. So what I did was I gathered 30 amazing thought leaders and influencers in the legal market and we broke it into these same five tracks that we have been talking about here. And six sessions a track and we have all of that information for you.

 

So honestly, the number one thing you can do right now is just go and register for it and get your free access to this event and take a look at the sessions and choose the ones that make sense for you.

 

I am doing one, Christopher is doing one, and there is a ton more there that are really valuable. They are not all going to be perfect for everybody, so it gives you the choice, but there is no conflicts, there is not overlapping. And the best thing is, is you have got 24 hours to consume that content and if you need more than that, then you can purchase an All Access Pass, but essentially the idea is to provide it to you absolutely free and start that education that we are so sorely missing.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: I think that’s a great piece of advice.

 

And that does wrap up this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Business Advisory Podcast. Our guest today has been Moshe Amsel. Thank you Moshe, it’s been a great pleasure having you.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Yeah, I just didn’t give the URL where they need to go.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Yeah, I was just coming up to that. So I was going to — what I was going to actually suggest is — or ask you is, if people want to learn more about anything we have talked about, including the Summit, what’s the best way that they can get more information?

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: Absolutely. So the Summit is lawfirmgrowthsummit.com/unbillablelawfirmgrowthsummit.com/unbillable. Go there for your free access to the Summit.

 

My podcast is Profit with Law. Search any podcast directory, you will find it there. And if you wish to connect with me personally, I am going to do something crazy here, just give you my phone number, and that’s 845 —

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Oh my goodness.

 

Moshe Rosenblum-Amsel: 504-0910, 845-504-0910, just give me a call, let’s talk, and see how I can be of help for you.

 

Christopher T. Anderson: Moshe, again, thanks so much.

 

This is Christopher Anderson and I look forward to seeing you all next month with another great guest as we learn more about topics that help us build the law firm business that works for you.

 

And remember, you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. Thanks for joining us and we will see you again soon.

 

[Music]

 

Outro: The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.

 

[Music]

 

Thanks for listening to The Un-Billable Hour, the Law Practice Advisory Podcast. Join us again for the next edition, right here with Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: December 12, 2019
Podcast: Un-Billable Hour
Category: Practice Management
Podcast
Un-Billable Hour
Un-Billable Hour

Best practices regarding your marketing, time management, and all the things outside of your client responsibilities.

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