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Stop Learning From Other Lawyers

When I started my practice, I did what most people do: I looked to my left, looked to my right, and copied what everyone else was doing. Why reinvent the wheel? After all, that’s what we lawyers are taught to do.

Law school teaches us to look at what has happened before and then use that precedent to find a solution. Add that to the fact that lawyers tend to be relatively conservative in their practices … and they end up using the same thinking when it comes to their business. They look around at what their competitors are doing and say, “Oh, well they’re doing that - so I’ll do that too.”

What they don’t realize is that when everyone is looking at everyone else, everyone is just following the recipe for mediocrity.

Modeling your peers, print publications and what you learned from your apprenticeship may help you build a better case, but it won’t help you build a better business.

What should you do instead?

First figure out your business model. Sooner or later you're going to have to make a decision. You'll either choose the traditional route of exchanging time for money and never being disconnected from your office, or you can make the decision to use your practice as a vehicle to create freedom and wealth for yourself.

Start asking better questions.

What kind of business model do you really want for your practice?

If you can honestly say that the business model you want is trading time for money and never being disconnected from the office, then great, a traditional mediocre law model works perfectly. Go to it.

On the other hand, you can choose to use your practice as a vehicle to create freedom and wealth for yourself. If that’s your choice, it’s time to stop looking at those traditional models and start looking outside our industry to build a better practice.

Unlikely Inspiration

The inspiration for my pricing model came from my cell phone carrier, of all places. One day while checking the mail, I realized I was getting a bill every month whether I used my phone or not. Even the months I was abroad and didn’t touch my phone, I’d get a bill -- and I’d gladly pay it.

Why?

The same reason you do. The service is incredibly valuable.

I used that as the inspiration to start asking questions like, “How can I make a subscription model work for my business?”

To create a practice with that model, I continued to ask, “How do I sell it?” and “How do I package it?”

I kept asking questions, and I kept looking for other examples to help answer each question.

There is no reason you can’t do the same thing.  No matter how far you feel from financial freedom, you are never stuck with a traditional legal business model.

The root of all progress starts with asking better questions, not listening to other lawyers. When you realize that 95% of the advice you are getting from those legal periodicals comes from what they think you want to read, you won’t be able to trash them fast enough.

Get curious. And build a better model.

Raj Jha

A Confession ...

Raj Jha