We recently were reminded of the impact each of your firms have on your clients and community. Last week we attended our annual law firm holiday open house. It is a wonderful reminder of many things. Much of what we have focused on comes to life when we walk into the Armstrong, Fisch & Tutoli Law Firm and are greeted by our staff and clients. Although we are not there day to day, the faces of everyone confirmed that our “why” is alive and well. The most memorable are the client comments; the appreciation we heard, the generations of families served, and the specific stories clients told of how our firm had helped them and their families. It’s always a moving and humbling experience to be reminded of the impact we intended and how it lines up with what others feel has been delivered.
As the Academy wraps almost two decades of serving law firms who serve clients just like ours, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what matters most.
First, it’s about relationships. For both of us, it’s with great pride that we look back on the relationships we have established with members, their families and staff over the past two decades. Our association with the extraordinarily talented firms we’ve had the privilege of serving is beyond what we ever thought possible.
Second, helping you help others. The number of clients across 44 states who’ve had the good fortune of working with an Academy member is staggering. Improving your relationships with your clients is the foundation of the services the Academy offers. The responsibility of providing legal education, comprehensive documents, one on one coaching, state of the art technology and a host of other tools so you can have the credibility you deserve in your community is daunting. We thank you for the trust, confidence and opportunity you have given us.
Finally, there’s a financial impact we see for our Members. As we wrap up the year and begin our review of the first 25 or so sets of financials that have already started to come in, it’s clear that the Academy’s tools and strategies has had a positive impact on the financial security of so many members and their staff. We are reminded regularly of the privilege we have to work with some of the brightest, most successful attorneys anywhere.
Our “why” is very simple: to transform the lives and practices of estate planning attorneys across the country, and we thank you for your commitment and passionate execution of systems and strategies that have had such a dramatic impact on your community.
As the new year launches, we hope that you’re reflecting on your “why.” It is the one thing that can always keep you centered. Be clear about what that is and share that message with your staff and your clients. Once stated clearly, the “how” and the “what” look after themselves and your vision shows up in every area of your practice.
Make this the year when everything you do rests upon the clarity of your WHY. Remember, your “why” isn’t a detailed agenda of what you will and won’t do. It is a purpose, a mission. It’s at the root of what lights you up. We encourage you to reflect on the past year. Look at the growth you’ve experienced personally and professionally. Look closely at the areas that may not have measured up to your intentions. Take a moment as the year ends to celebrate your victories and, in areas that may not have hit their potential, look again at your “why.” Often when the why isn’t defined, or it isn’t in alignment with what we’re doing, there is pain or, at the very least, a lack of satisfaction. It’s an easy adjustment to make at this time of the year as we plan out our future.
Our optimism about what lies ahead in 2013 could not be higher and the entire Academy Team looks forward to leading you into the future we are all creating. We firmly believe that our Spring Summit, where we celebrate our 20th Anniversary together, will be one of the most memorable gatherings in our history. It will be the perfect time to celebrate our relationships, our accomplishments and the achievement of our goals, but more importantly it will be a time to take aim at what’s possible. We’ll also be focusing on the importance of structures for ancillary businesses and continued emphasis on Elder Law tools. As an added bonus, we’ll have a number of sessions taught by the most popular speakers in our event history.
Finally, we want to acknowledge each of you for your commitment to continuous improvement as counselors and leaders in your communities. We are grateful and proud of our affiliation and we wish you a wonderful holiday season with health and prosperity in the New Year!
To your success in 2013,
Robert and Sandy
Robert Armstrong & Sanford M. Fisch
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128