I love the old Trained Flea story! In case you haven’t heard it before, it’s the story about the guy who caught a flea and put the flea in a big, tall jar with a lid on it. The flea wanted out so he jumped and he jumped. And each time he jumped, he repeatedly hit his head on the top of the jar. After his headache kicked in, he decided to jump *almost* to the top of the jar, just barely missing the lid… to avoid the pain of slamming into the top of the covered jar again. After a short while, the guy came back and took the lid off the jar… and guess what happened?
The flea jumped almost to the top of the jar but no higher. Even with the lid off, he jumped and he jumped but he never got out of that jar.
In some estate planning law firms – as far as the legal marketing, the legal education and the law firm management or leadership of the practice go – we often see the same thing happen! You do something a few times and it doesn’t work – it looks a lot like it never will, so you only go to that expected or anticipated limit every time and never really look for a new way or a fresh view.
Perhaps you’ve tried meeting with centers of influence in the past and never saw positive results. Chances are you are either still having nice, relaxing sociable (aka: unproductive) lunches to this day or you gave up on even trying to make those types of referral and private seminar opportunities work.
Or maybe if you’re the attorney and you’re still doing non-attorney work (like creating your own estate planning documents or conducting final signing meetings), is it because of the pain you went through trying to delegate it to the wrong non-attorney a long time ago?
BAM, you hit your head with that marketing approach or BAM you hit your head delegating work that keeps you from generating new revenue or steering your practice in an innovative direction… and BAM you stopped short of finding out what the next level of success in those areas actually could be.
Now may be a good time to stop and look at how you’re handling certain things in your practice. Are you falling short in order to avoid hitting your head again? Take a look at old habits and conditioning with renewed energy and ask yourself WHAT IF ____ WAS POSSIBLE? Fill in that blank. You may want to scratch your head and look at your fees with new eyes, look at the team you’ve built and their true potential, or look at the non-attorney minutia that the attorneys in your practice are doing and reinvent the way your law firm’s future could look. Not until you do something different—will things actually be different!
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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