To: Members of The Solo & Small Law Firm Management & Marketing Bootcamp

From: RJon

Re: Valentines Day & Risk Management

Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011

 It’s a balmy Saturday afternoon here in Sunny South Florida.  Ale and I just went out for a wonderful brunch and now she’s off to the gym for a quick workout before we head out to see Art Miami where her latest collector is exhibiting a few of her paintings for sale. 

 Minidog is resting by my feet and as I look across the room I see Microsoft has me booked to appear in San Francisco next week to promote the tour (www.National-CLE-Tour.com) at the Association of Continuing Legal Administrators’ mid-year meeting after which we expect to book 20+ more Tour Dates. 

 My partners are flying-in to Miami at the end of February for a strategy session for us to plan for our anticipated growth and how we are going to pack-in even more value to our program for you.  And after a brief mis-step with a poorly-chosen employee (all my fault) we’ve welcomed Ms. Cara Valentino to the team to help make the Bootcamp even better than ever and introduce some exciting new programs to help you even more this year!  In short, life is good.  And by all measures it looks like our business should at least double in the first two quarters of 2011.

  • But what if the unexpected were to happen to me?
  • What if I were to get hit by the proverbial bus?
  • How would you be assured of continued service and value?
  • Would my family, my partners and my staff know what to do in order to keep the business running and avoid a cashflow crunch at the worst possible time? 

The easy answer is “yes”.  For the most part I’ve sufficiently e-mythified my business so that it can be run without me.  And even if my partners and/or my family were to decide not to implement the systems & procedures we’ve designed “just in case” you would still continue to get great value during a reasonably-orderly wind-down.

So why am I sharing all of this with you and why now?

Because February 14th is Valentine’s Day.  And instead of just giving your sweetie a box of chocolates and a card (don’t forget the card!) I want to suggest an even more thoughtful gift:  Peace of Mind.

More specifically, the peace of mind YOU will enjoy when you have a proper “Peace of Mind Plan” in place just in case it’s YOU who gets hit by the proverbial bus and you’re unable to work for a little or a long time.  Incidentally, the plan we’re going to work on this month will also give you peace of mind in case of the sort of natural disasters we’re accustomed to here in Miami when the occasional hurricane passes through and makes a few well-positioned lawyers very, very wealthy. 

 The materials enclosed with the February Monthly Care Package will help you implement your own “Peace of Mind Plan” for your law firm to protect you, your family, your clients and your staff in the event “the bus” hits you or your office.

 Strategically there are three main scenarios to keep in mind each of which can be turned into your strategic advantage:

1.) The bus hits you.  By implementing the kinds of policies & procedures we work on each month in the Bootcamp you are actually creating a business that has value and cash-flow-ability without you being there all the time.  Beyond the obvious insulation against bad things happening to you this also gives you a big strategic advantage as those very same risk-management policies & procedures can also be used to liberate you from parts of your daily operations and allow you more time and emotional capacity to focus on your unique brilliance.  (See the “When I Die Or Am Disabled” letter enclosed).

2.)   The bus hits your office.  Every month there is a law firm that’s becoming uninhabitable due to fire, smoke, water or some other reason which prevents the lawyer(s) and staff from being able to work there.  By implementing the kinds of policies & procedures we work on each month in the Bootcamp you are protecting yourself and your ability to protect your clients and cashflow in the event the bus hits just your office.  No-one wakes up thinking today’s going to be the day my office burns down.  As you’ll learn more about this month, by planning-ahead you can not only protect yourself from the downside but you can actually turn your plan into your strategic advantage. (See the “Buddy System Letter” enclosed).

3.) A fleet of busses hit  all the offices in your local market.  Every time there’s a hurricane in Miami a few smart lawyers get very, very rich.  But not the way you may imagine.  They get rich because the beat their competitors by opening up for business again in a matter of days after the storm passes rather than a matter of weeks or with some storms, months.  Fact:  Between August 24 – December 31 2005 most of the law firms in Miami were, for all practical purposes shut-down.  The lawyers who implemented “The Buddy System” we’ll talk about this month beat their competitors in returning to business as usual and in the process picked-up millions of dollars of new business from neglected clients.

 Of course I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking.  I also live in the real world and know the power that comes from peace of mind.  So encourage you to take seriously this month’s assignments and give your loved ones a truly valuable Valentines’ Day Gift in 2011.

 I look forward to speaking with you during the February Coaching Call Tuesday February 15, 2011 at 3pm EST.  Make sure you mark your calendar now so you don’t forget.

   ~ RJON

p.s. It will give me great pleasure to introduce you on the call to long-time friend Henry Harlow, an experienced coach to hundreds of successful lawyers.  I’ve learned a lot from Henry, he’s a great person who really understands lawyers.  I’m thrilled to say Henry has finally agreed to join my team and will be assisting me with some of my monthly coaching responsibilities.