The Art of Letting Go of Less Important Tasks When You Own a Law Firm: How to Multiply Your Productivity and Create More Jobs to Make You More Money
If you want to grow your law firm, you can’t be the one doing everything.
That is the moment of transformation for most lawyers from the six-figure realm to the seven-figure zone. At the very least, it is exceptionally hard to sustain a seven-figure firm when you have your hands in every cookie jar.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Once you let go of the first set of tasks, new items make it onto your to-do list. They tend to be higher-level opportunities and involve more of the “interesting problems” surrounding owning a business, such as hiring and building a high-performance culture. However, the journey to make the next million, no matter where you are today, involves letting go of even more.
Eventually, you can’t be the one doing all of the intake training. (Of course, you should be doing some kind of intake training in your practice right now. The phones and intake are absolutely critical to your success.)
You shouldn’t answer every call (or, in the case of many GLM members, any calls at all) or order supplies or any other small task.
To grow, you must let go.
Sounds simple, I know. It sounds so simple, in fact, that we take the concept for granted.
Yet whenever I talk with law firm owners and ask them what they do in a day, they frequently talk to me about all the little things that need to get done. It is rare that they tell me that half the day is devoted to growing the business while the other half is used to move high-level cases or other major moneymaking work. Instead, there are stories about answering questions from staff all day and putting out fires.
How often do you find yourself “putting out a fire” in your office?
If that is happening, it is usually because your staff expects you to be the one to make every decision. This culture occurs for one of two reasons. Either it’s because you constantly express a desire to insert yourself in every decision or because the staff is afraid of your reaction to a decision that isn’t precisely, 100% what you would do. Can you see yourself in one of those descriptions? I’m sure there is a small ringing bell in your head – or maybe a big, resounding gong.
Have you ever evaluated your time-value ratio?
If you have, when did you last go through the exercise?
You need to regularly examine the value of your time and compare it to the value of the work you do in a day.
Sometimes, we can work backwards to get the result. For example, if you want to make $250,000 in a year, your rough time-value ratio is $125 per hour. That means we want the tasks you do to add up to that value. Is going to lunch with a high-value referral source a good use of your time? Yes, probably. Is spending an hour with a prospect who definitely can’t afford your fee worth it? Probably not. How about writing new content for your website? Honestly, it depends on where you are in your growth. If you’re relatively new to marketing and doing less than $300,000 per year in revenue, then it probably is worth your time. However, it shouldn’t be something you spend a lot of time on as you broach the million-dollar mark (unless you are an SEO wizard who pumps out the world’s greatest content and you are certain that your magic is what keeps you at the top of Google’s search – then it may be a high enough value task to keep on your plate… for now).
As you encounter tasks that are below the value of your time, you shed them.
Other people can do them.
We do this all the time – moving tasks down the chain to the employee with the appropriate time-value ratio.
At BenGlassLaw, we regularly go through this process with the leaders of the practice. Whenever a bottleneck is detected, we find someone else to handle the task, freeing up the leader to pursue higher level goals and opportunities.
Letting go frees you to achieve more and make more money.
The only thing holding you back is the voice saying, “I’m the only one who can do this.”
I have no doubt you are good at whatever it is, but there is someone else who can do it for you. Maybe even better than you. And then you get to count the dollars made for you by the person handling that task.
It’s a great feeling.
Gain More Time to Be Your CMO
All-time marketing master, Dan Kennedy, has often said that the first job of a business owner is to be the Chief Marketing Officer. Yes, you are the CEO as well, but you need to command your marketing.
After all, bringing in real, paying clients is probably the highest value thing you can do. It’s the financial fuel for every other thing you want to do with your law firm.
As you know, the opportunities to attract more clients are endless…
And that’s part of the problem.
You want to spend your valuable time focused only on the best places to attract those clients.
Want to see how Ben became a master CMO of his law firm, including the actual plan he used (and still uses) at BenGlassLaw to get more clients, make more money, and still get home every night for dinner with his family?
New members of Great Legal Marketing get the entire plan plus templates to accelerate your path to implementation. Whether you are a six-figure firm looking to crack the seven-figure barrier or a seven-figure practice ready to add the million, this is how you make it happen faster and without wasting money on the constant barrage of marketing gimmicks. It requires focus and ambition – and a willingness to upend the status quo of what others say about marketing. If you’re one of those renegades who understands what it means to go against the grain, our marketing system can transform your life for the better.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Charley Mann
Charley is the Chief Marketing Officer at Great Legal Marketing and believes in results, Results, RESULTS!