The excitement is building here at the Academy as we gear up for our 20th annual Fall Summit happening at the beginning of October in San Diego. We can’t wait to reconnect with our Members and their teams. They serve as our inspiration and motivation to keep following our “why,” which is to help attorneys create practices they love. We hold two major educational summits each year and several specialized training events sprinkled in throughout the year. Just about every Member tells us after each event, that they believe THIS event was the best so far. We’ve heard this now for 20 years and we never tire of it. It means we have achieved what we set out to do… to surpass their expectations, provide them with new ideas and fresh perspectives to take and share with their teams and their clients back home.
Our events are filled with sharing, camaraderie and enthusiasm of what the future holds for our Members and their practices. A future of possibility, abundance and happiness. Doesn’t sound like your typical attorney events do they? Well, that’s because they aren’t. Members tell us time and time again, our events are nothing like what most attorneys experience when they go to their local bar meetings or other national events. We like that we’re different. We love to share innovative business building ideas, new programs and cutting edge CLE training that improves our attorney firms. In our environment of sharing, Members in turn, share their successes with their fellow attorneys and everyone benefits.
Members often share with us why coming to the Academy events means so much to them, so I thought it would be timely to share some of those reasons here.
Reason #1: For the second time, and always now in the future, I have brought my team to the Academy event. They left as energized as I do when I leave. They came back to the office with great ideas and we are already taking action and implementing those ideas. As good of a communicator as I believe I am, I am no match to an event filled with the energy and ideas buzzing, the AAEPA team and the stewardship and leadership of the founders, Robert & Sandy.
Reason #2: At the last Summit, I picked up lots of great ideas and just one of them should result in a significant amount of additional monthly revenue for the life of my practice. More importantly, I have created a life and practice that are pretty close to ideal … not flawless, not without occasional stress and missteps, but very fulfilling. Is high-level training and rubbing elbows with other successful people an expense or an investment? For me, it has definitely been the latter.
Reason #3: The sessions are always interesting and sometimes a bit intimidating, which is a good thing. It makes me glad that I belong to an organization that keeps pushing us to be on the edge because it is easy to want to stay where you are comfortable. But without the push to keep on the cutting edge, being “good” can quickly become not enough.
Reason #4: The Summits are phenomenal… everything from the CLE topics to the marketing and practice management sessions. Thank you!
Reason #5: Attendance at the Academy events is a “must-attend” for all Members. Between the Marketing sessions, the Education sessions, and the Practice Building sessions, the information, coaching, and incredible amount of helpful pointers are invaluable. Where else can you go where other Attorneys are so open to sharing and helping each other? I haven’t missed an event in my 20 years of Membership – and never will. The events are too valuable to miss, not to mention the fellowship and camaraderie among the Members – very special!
Reason #6: I never fully appreciated the Academy’s use of the word “Summit” to describe the semi-annual meetings of the entire Membership until I came to know a number of the Members and began to absorb the culture of the organization. According to Webster, a “summit” is “a conference or meeting of high level leaders.” Whenever I attend an Academy Summit, I am both humbled and privileged to be in the company of the nation’s leaders—not only in estate planning, but also in entrepreneurial spirit, positive thinking and creative problem solving. These individuals show me the future of law, technology, management and ethics, all of which bring untold value to my practice and my life.
Reason #7: I always attend both Summits each year. If I miss one, there is a whole year between Summit attendance for me, and that’s too long. This Fall, I’m bringing my new Client Services Coordinator so she can meet and exchange ideas with team Members from other highly successful firms from around the country. I ALWAYS pick up valuable ideas and strategies at the Summit (often during casual conversations with other Members). Plus, it gives me a few days to work on my business and rekindle friendships that I’ve developed in my 18 years as an Academy member!
Reason #8: When attending my first summit as a guest, Stan Byrd (former member, Seattle, WA) stood up and said “Every Summit, I walk away with at least one $10,000 idea.” I have found this to be one of the truest statements in my Academy Membership. Every summit, an idea in practice management or team development allows us to grow our practice in new and measurable ways. Summit attendance has been one of the “secrets” of our practice development and team training.
Reason #9: I like that the Academy always stays one step ahead for us. I also find that the Academy’s CLE is better than most I can find elsewhere. We are doing more asset protection planning so they always have helpful sessions that keep me apprised of the latest techniques and rulings.
Reason #10: The Spring Summit Financial Database session, is one of the most valuable sessions I attend each year since it was started years ago. What would I pay to attend an open forum with the best estate planning attorneys in the country, freely sharing data to help me better manage my practice? How much would I pay for professional benchmarks to know what my costs and revenue targets should be to copy other successful firms? What benefit comes from listening to a panel of Academy Members who share the details of the application and success they achieved applying the Academy systems? The investment of time and resources to come to the events is priceless to me. Some will say you should not be frivolous with your money. I could not agree more, however one must also avoid falling prey to a scarcity mindset. Over the years, this financial session has provided me solid information to measure and improve my practice every year. I have often expressed that this is one of the most powerful tools the Academy invested resources in to provide and benefit Members.
Hope to see you soon at one of our events!
Director of Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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