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AOL 145: Are You Committed?

Daily thoughts on law firm success.

AOL 145: Are You Committed?

Listen everyone.

I can’t remember what I said on this podcast – I recorded it about a week ago.

Here’s what I know – it’s amazing stuff.

Instead of wondering, hit the play button or read the transcript below.


Christopher Small

Are You Committed Transcript

Hey everybody welcome to episode one forty four of The Art Of Lawyering Podcast. I’m excited to be here. I’m sitting out on the deck of my office. You can hear so much ever growing by. Beautiful view of the island big mountains and the Lake Washington and I’m here to talk to you today about something kind of fun. Before I get there, I want to remind you about my coaching program. So I have decided to reopen the inner circle which is my coaching program to ten people and before I get there. You know I want to, so I’m going to go back, and so when I started you know, I started practicing law in two thousand and five. Opened my firm in two thousand and eight. I don’t know anything about business. I didn’t know anything about marketing. I didn’t know anything about management or leadership. I didn’t even know anything about practicing law in city. I had just moved to Washington. I didn’t know anybody, it was two thousand eight. The economy had crashed and we thought life was going to be terrible. And I, in my infinite wisdom decided to open up a law firm. And I guess at that time though I knew I had a little bit of an interest in business because I started documenting my journey.

Literally from day one. I started documenting the things I was experiencing. The ups, the downs, the successes, the failures, the fears and how I overcame those fears and how I became successful. And I ended up building a multiple six figure firm before I sold it last year. It was we, are on pace to grow. Well I think we did gross almost right at six hundred thousand dollars last year and. You know, I started talking about how to do this and learning how to do this. I tell you, one of the things that really got me over the hump and got me to that place was coaching and I got some law firm owner coaching, I got some other business coaching. But the fact is I got someone to help me. And the beauty of coaching is that it gets you to where you want to be faster. It gets you there with proven systems and it also gives you some accountability and some push, some support. You know those things that you need that you may not be able to get from anywhere because it’s just you or your business partner. You guys both have no idea what you’re doing. Coaching can help you do that, right. And that’s one of the reasons why I coach is because I love the opportunity to give back. I love seeing people grow. I love seeing people succeed.

It’s extremely fulfilling and it’s one of the joys I get from owning my law firm is that I get to teach other people what’s working for me. So I have decided to, you know for a long time I’ve had Law Firm Confidential which is, it is coaching in its own way but it’s not one on one there’s no real specific interaction with me. There’s no specific access to me other than the Facebook group email things like that. But nothing, no specific conversation to happen and I wanted to give some people the opportunity to really jumpstart their firm and reach that next level. Get over that plateau whatever it is that they’re doing. So I open up ten spots for this coaching. I’m going to roll this out and really really really crush this for people. That’s why I’m limiting it to ten because I want to be able to focus on them and them only. Also perfect the system, perfect that the processes, the way that everything runs and right now there are already five spots filled and I think I have three or four more conversation schedule with other people that are interested. So, but I want to let you know about it. And remind you that if you’re interested even if you hear this a year from now you can go and check this thing out. All right. You can go to and you’ll see the thing where you can just put your e-mail address in and sort of raise your hand and say you’re interested.

And then I will have a conversation and see if you’re a good fit. And that’s actually whether or not you’re a good fit, sort of comes is the starting point for this episode because I’ve had several conversations with people. Some I invited to go to the coaching and some I didn’t. And the real reason for that was committment. You know, most of these conversations I have are about thirty to forty five minutes in length or so depending on how many questions are asked. But I can tell you when it comes to whether or not someone’s going to be successful with coaching or successful with their law firm at all really boils down to two questions. Question number one is how committed are you to success. And question number two is what are you willing to do to get there. You’re gonna be surprised. I want you to ask those questions yourself right now. How committed are you to success and when I ask this question, some people they say I’m sure, I’m committed, I’m in, I’m ready to go. Just like that. In that situation, they’re good to go. When I ask other people they say, well you know, I have to do XYZ. I have to do ABC. These other things they need to happen. The world needs to align and then man then, I’m going to be super committed. And that’s just not how it works.

And then number two is people can say yeah I’m extremely committed and I can say all right. You know what are you doing today to promote your firm. To take the next step. They say, well you know I got, there’s this thing, I’ve got to do, right. And so number two overcomes this is that actions speak louder than words kind of mantra, right. Put your money where your mouth is.Tell me what you’re actually doing to see if you’re willing to actually get there because starting a successful law firm is not easy. It takes a lot of work. It’s possible pretty much across the board but it takes a lot of work. Takes a lot of time and a lot of effort and there’s a lot of fear of all. There’s a lot of scary times because you know you’re doing things and you’re sort of not sure if they’re going to work, right. So you know that’s what those two things come from. And by the way I want to point out that when it comes to success when it comes to commitment and when it comes to taking action. You know I want to point out that I didn’t mention anything about coaching, right. Coaching is not really necessarily required for success. They can just really sort of jump start your success and get you there faster. Right. Get you there faster because you get to work with people that have already been there. They know what they’re doing that can help you prevent mistakes and waste time and focus on things that don’t matter.

You know coaching help you take the next step if you’re not sure what to do next. When you’re kind of stuck. Coaching can help you, by giving a proven system that works. By giving you the step by step sort of rules to follow to get to where you want to go. But it’s not necessary. Coaching is not necessary to success. What is necessary is action. I was watching Gary Vaynerchuk video this morning, five minute video and he was, he was talking about, that’s exactly what he’s talking about. It’s like stop watching all my videos, stop reading those books. Stop making lists. Stop talking about what you think you want to do and get your butt out there and start doing stuff. Start taking action. You know, I don’t care if I have a million followers. I don’t care if I make any more money. If that means that you are successful and I really feel the same way. You know this is a totally an outlet for me to share what I’ve learned and share what’s working for me so that you can use this information to get there. Now, if you want that actual level and you really want to deep dive and ask me specific questions and get specific feedback and make sure you’re going in the right direction and that’s where the coaching comes in. But you could literally listen all these episodes go back and go through and listen to what I said and do what I say and achieve a great level of success. I believe that. Now, this, you know I mentioned that I had some conversations with some people and that’s really where this commitment episode came from.

And there were two specific people that I remember that really epitomize both sides of this. One, you know is currently working at a job. He’s not even working at a legal job but he’s had a dream of starting a law firm for years. Three or four years probably. He just haven’t been able to pull the trigger because he can’t choose a niche. He’s waiting for someone or something to come and smack over the head and tell him what kind of a niche he should choose for his law firm. And when I asked him if he was committed. He said yeah I am committed if I can choose this niche. I said, well choosing a niche is easy you just pick and then you go forward and if it doesn’t work you can choose a different one. You can move on and do something different. But you know he just couldn’t get there. The reason that he was because really he’s not committed. He was too scared. He’s too fearful of the unknown to take a leap. The second guy, he when I asked, if he was committed. He said, yes, one hundred percent and when I said, what are you doing today to achieve this success that you’re committed to, he told me a hundred different things he was doing. All great things and by the way the second guy which is interesting, not everybody has done this but he did in particular. When I told what the price of the coaching was I’m giving it a huge discount for these first ten and then the price is going to go up after that because the value is there and I really just want to go on to give, I want to show my thanks for these first ten. You know, for acting quickly.

He said, honestly I would paid you the full price. I would paid you a full price because I can see the benefit and those who help me. I know, I’m gonna make it back. You know, I can pay for all years worth of the coaching in one case and I know you can help me get that. And then some, so I mean and that’s the difference right there between really really acting committed and being committed. Saying you’re committed and being committed. Those are two different things. So what would you do today as you’re sitting here right now listening to this. I want you to ask yourself are you committed and what are you willing to do to get there and maybe write this down. Are you committed yes or no? There’s no in between. There’s no kind of yes but, yes and, whatever. It’s a yes or no question. And then what you’re committed to do to get there and I would invite you to make sure that you are taking those steps every day to get to where you want to go, right. That’s it for today. Got a meeting to get to in about four minutes. Some I’m gonna say good bye. But remember if you’re interested in coaching, Once the ten spots are full, I’m gonna close it for a while. So if you get a close screen, there’ll be an option to sort of put your name in there again in the list. In case I or when I open it up again but go check it out. Consider where you’re at now where you want to be. And make the leap. Alright, talk to you later. Bye.

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