Seeing the bigger picture is easier said than done; the bigger picture sees outside your organization. You think you have it all figured out, but what about the things you don’t know because you don’t have anyone to ask? Atty Brian LaBovick joins us for a conversation about growth through helping others.
In his latest book, Not a Good Neighbor, Biran, gives out all of his insights and knowledge on handling accident insurance claims so that people, as in normal people without a law degree, can take control over their own claims without having to hire him or any other attorney. And why is he doing that? Because he sees the bigger picture, he knows that the more help he gives out to his community and even to his competitors, the bigger and stronger his law firm will become.
Our conversation explores everything in between following your call to what mastermind is the right one for you. So click play and relax and focus on the blue blue ocean that is in front of you.
Resources mentioned in our episode:
- Not a Good Neighbor: A Lawyer’s Guide to Beating Big Insurance by Settling Your Own Auto Accident Case
- LaBovick Law Group
Send us your questions at email@example.com
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Liel: [00:00:00] The greater law in karma states that whatever thoughts or energy we put out, we get back good or bad. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is In Camera podcast, where we believe that kindness, knowledge and extraordinary help nets greater returns in terms of revenue and profits. Welcome to In Camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations, Grace. Welcome back.
Grace: [00:00:53] Thank you, Liel. How are you today?
Liel: [00:00:55] Great, Grace. Just coming out of Google marketing Livestream because, yes, since last year, Marketing Live has moved and transitioned to Livestream or some sort of adaptation of that. A lot of memories, right. Because last time there was a Google marketing living person. I was there and it was so much fun because it was such a massive event. I mean, not just the keynotes, but everything around it, from the social events to all of the building up towards the event, the sandbox, like all of the demos that they would do there. And it was just insane, right. And now it really got stripped down to a two-hour event online stream. But I must say, there is a lot of very exciting updates coming up in Google and yes, yes, yes, yes. There are a few things that were announced today. Some of them we already knew some new updates. I can just say that really privacy is at the center and core of everything, right. It does not go unnoticed to Google that the whole privacy and tracking model needs to be heavily changed if they want their ads-supported Internet to continue standing a chance in the future. And so if you were to ask me, in brief, of those are my main takeaways from that. But we’re probably going to dive into this particular conversation at some point, because today, as you very well know, we have a very, very, very interesting conversation lined up. And so, Grace, as always, please do the honors and introduce our next guest while
Grace: [00:02:33] Everybody, we do have very exciting guests today and today, we are joined by attorney Brian Labovick. Brian is a lawyer and entrepreneur who has earned more than 400 million for his clients. He is the CEO of the Labovick Law Group, an advisory board member of Kaiser University’s Legal Education Division, a past president of the North Palm Beach County Bar Association, former director of the Palm Beach County Justice Association, and most recently the best selling author of Not a Good Neighbor A Lawyer’s Guide to Beating Big Insurance by Settling Your Own Auto Accident Case.
Liel: [00:03:08] Brian, welcome to In Camera podcast. How are you today?
Brian: [00:03:11] I’m awesome. Thank you for having me.
Liel: [00:03:13] It’s great having you, Brian. And just share with your audience. Where is this podcast finding you?
Brian: [00:03:19] So I am in Palm Beach County, Florida. We’re in the north part of Palm Beach County, Florida, which is Palm Beach Gardens. And I have a building and I’m co-owner of the building and we’re right out on I-95. So I stick right out onto the highway.
Liel: [00:03:34] Well, you do have a beautiful office, I must say. We get to see a lot of the great things that you have there on your wall. Quite a beautiful setting. So, yeah, of course, Brian. So thank you very much for creating the time to have this conversation with us. And as Grace just mentioned in your introduction, you recently published a book, right? Not a good neighbor, very cleverly titled. Let Me. That’s because the good neighbor that the insurance companies are supposed to be portraying themselves to be and they’re not really that good.
Brian: [00:04:06] Because some people haven’t got it. They were like, why is it about neighbors? You’re a PI lawyer. I was like the State Farm commercial. It’s kind of a play on that. So, yeah,
Liel: [00:04:16] Honestly, I think people who do not get or do not remember or insurance commercials haven’t stuck in their minds, yet they’re living on the dirt under a rock like insurance. Advertising is like pop is for music. It’s so effective. It’s catchy. You cannot ignore it.
Brian: [00:04:36] And we do a lot of things like we were going to name it, don’t go with the flow. And then we’re like, don’t trust the gecko. And we landed at I’m not a good neighbor.
Liel: [00:04:44] So yeah, no, I mean, the first time I heard it, I was yeah. This is an insurance reference anyhow, so of course, no. Great, great book. Great title. So Brian, let’s just we’re very curious here about the thought process of actually writing this book because you’re a personal injury lawyer. You wrote a book. For people to be able to handle their own claims.
Brian: [00:05:08] Yes.
Liel: [00:05:09] Why would a lawyer do that?
Brian: [00:05:11] Yeah, and it’s interesting because I had an attorney who I’m friendly with, who I talked to him about endorsing the book. And he was like, no, I think this is a terrible idea. Why are you doing this? And so I had to explain it to him. The concept here is that as an attorney, my goal has been to add value to my client’s client. Right. A person comes to me, they’re hurt. They have a problem. They need help. And when you look at that person’s world and as a lawyer, they want to take their problem and put it on your back and you’ve got to take that and you’ve got to make something good happen with it. Right. So I take there their problem and I want to make something good happen. But if the thing that I can make happen doesn’t hold value for that person or enough value for that person, then it becomes a really acrimonious relationship. Right. So instead of being a positive business relationship, it becomes a negative business relationship. And the things where I’ve tried to help, where I couldn’t get to a place where I could help have been the places where I’ve run into the most, I guess, difficult situation with clients. Right. And because of the way Florida law works, there are a lot of situations under Florida law where the lawyer can’t add enough value to make it worthwhile for the client to even hire a lawyer to get the case done, where if they kind of knew what they were doing, they were given a little bit of instruction.
Brian: [00:06:34] And I’ve given a lot of this instruction when people have called me for advice. So what kind of led to the book is that I do this anyways, right? If somebody were to call me and that’s what really led to it. I had a client call me. He’s in the book and I coached him through getting a settlement on his case. And the truth is, is that particular person would never have been happy in the end of that case, because in the end of that case, had I been included in it, gotten a policy limit tender, giving him the amount of money that he got after that because of the cost of labor and the cost of the lawyer, the cost of getting that money, he would have come out with less in his pocket. And so the math added up for him that he could get to where he needed to go without having a lawyer. And so he became a great advocate. And now he’s referred me 10 PI cases that all had value. Right. And that I could help people because they were never going to get to a full settlement without a lawyer where he was able to say to them, this guy is really honest and he’ll get you to where you need to go and the best way possible. So my goal has always been to just add value. And if I add value to my client’s lives, they’ll keep the business coming to me. And that seems to be a good, workable system.
Grace: [00:07:47] That’s pretty amazing. You know, you never really hear that, right? So let’s backtrack just a little bit. When did you realize you wanted to write this book? Where did it come from?
Brian: [00:07:59] It actually was about 10 years ago. And I had a new Internet Web employee, somebody who came aboard and took over our Web. And he had come from an Internet company that basically gave away one hundred percent of what they did. And through doing that, they had built up this big share of the market and the data that they collected in the market. And they ended up doing very, very well financially in the growth of that business, giving away everything important that they did. And we started talking ten years ago about this concept of like just giving away one hundred percent of the knowledge that we have of how to deal with injury cases. And that’s what put it in my head. And that was like 10 years ago. Right. And what happens is that you know, you get busy and you start working. And we were working on the business and I don’t know if you remember, but ten years ago, the world was a little upside-down financially. We went through this terrible crisis. And the truth is, and I’ve told this story before, is that when I left the government as a prosecutor and I started on my own, you know, my experience was that everything I touched turned to gold. And so I would get a case and I would work hard on it and I would have a good result. And that would lead to more people and more people led to more money and more money led to more cases. And then I started to get some press coverage and we were golden, like truly.
Brian: [00:09:22] And hubris was my middle name because I was like, everything I touch turns to gold. I’m super awesome. And I invested in some things and put myself out there in a way financially that was just very overextended, to be very candid. And so the world obviously crashed. And when that happened, I lost a lot of money and property that I thought was like, oh, property is always going to double every year. Right? So that didn’t happen. And anyways, so I learned a lot about being humble and about being realistic in the world. And that’s when this idea came about. Just give away your knowledge and grow your business that way. But because of what was going on in the world, we were struggling to make sure that we kept our doors open and that took like five years to overcome the losses that that happened, and then in twenty, fifteen and 16, we really turned a corner and we kind of got back on track. And then in 18, I started thinking about writing the book again. And that’s when I helped out the gentleman that I helped out that gave me the idea of getting back into it. And then when COVID hit, I was like, no trials. I’m going to be out of trials for a long time. Let me take this opportunity and write the book already. So there’s the story. Maybe that’s boring. I’m sorry.
Grace: [00:10:36] No, I like it. That’s great. And what do you mean, boring? That was awesome.
Brian: [00:10:40] Awesome.
Grace: [00:10:41] And to come from, you know, the reasons behind everything that the story, that’s what people want. I mean, I want to know why I came to be in your life and what happens to you that makes you actually come and do something or take action we’re all about taking action here on this podcast in particular. I mean, at the end of the podcast, we’re constantly saying, what are three actionable takeaways? Right. So the fact that you took action on what was happening to you in your life and you wrote a book about it is phenomenal.
Brian: [00:11:13] Thank you.
Grace: [00:11:14] To me that that actually is perfect for the next question that I have in my mind. And that’s, you know, everyone takes books and what someone else writes, however you write it is is how you were interpreting it when you’re writing it. But when I’m reading it, I might be interpreting it a little differently. Right. So everyone has their own experience when they read your book. But what do you think attorneys, other attorneys like you potentially write at this time in their life? What can they take from or learn from this book?
Brian: [00:11:45] I think there’s a couple of things right. As an attorney, when you read this book, and this is the things that I’ve been told by the attorneys who have read the book. So I’ve had a lot of friends read the book. I was just on a podcast the other day and that host was an attorney. And he said, and this is I really took great pride in this. He was like, the thing that I loved reading about your book was the number of stories that you told of your own failures. And we all feel this as lawyers. We feel this need to be like bulletproof superheroes for people. But the truth is, is that we all learn from failing. And I do a lot of that storytelling in the book. And I’m really very disclosing about a lot of the things that I’ve made mistakes on, because I feel like by telling those things, I’m letting other people know, like, you can overcome mistakes and you can learn and you can get better and you can help people by recognizing those things and learning from them. And so that’s one thing that I think is the takeaway is that and it comes from that other lesson, too, like recognize that there’s nothing that is like nothing is as good or as bad as it feels in that moment. And so even when things feel bad, there’s probably some good that you can learn from them and do better within the future. And so always be humble and always be learning. And when you do that and just always be pushing value out. Right. And the more I give away value, the more I get better business that comes to me, the more I keep giving away, the more I have to do with which I can’t give away, which is just this amazing karma of life that I learned over time that wasn’t natural to me.
Brian: [00:13:28] I don’t know if you guys are in a great firm. Right. Like you guys are a part of a great firm. And I know that firm. In fact, I’m in a mastermind with some people in that firm. Very, very bright people, very, very committed people. And so what I’ve learned about great firms like this and firms in my market is that the more they give away, if I call any PI lawyer of any substance and say, I need X, I need to know how to do this malpractice because I need this document. I need to know what your experiences with this adjuster, with this everybody gives away. They’re like we all give to each other. And the best people out there who give away their stuff are the ones who have the most sophisticated, most successful, most interesting practices with the most interesting lives. And so I’ve learned that karmically over time. That was not like I unfortunately grew up in a very competitive neighborhood, in a competitive place. I’m a competitive person. And so my initial feeling is red ocean. Right. My initial feeling is that limited resources, we all have to fight for resources. But the truth is, is that it’s a very blue ocean out there and there’s plenty for everybody. And the more that I give away to people, the more that I get back. And the more that you get, the more that you’ll be giving. It’s just an amazing, infinite amount of goodness in the world if we put ourselves out there for it.
Liel: [00:14:47] Brian, I actually can very well relate to what you’re saying. Right. Particularly because before having my own marketing agency, I work in the hospitality industry, which is a fierce industry, fierce environment. Right. You need to fight for your title every single day. And I’m not saying it necessarily everywhere it’s like that or that it’s still like that. It’s been quite a few years now. So culture is changing, is changing everywhere. But I’m very interested in hearing what were those moments or which moment made you realize that? You know what? Not everyone’s trying to take what you have. Maybe there is an opportunity to build partnerships and grow together and help others that will help you. Was that also true the way that you started handling or your relationships with clients that you could, potential clients that you were not able to help or did not listen came from other more B2B relations?
Brian: [00:15:43] So it was B2B relations since we’re getting there. And it was a couple of people in my market who we came even though we’re competing and the personal injury field for the same personal injury cases were both major advertisers in our market. And yet I have this really good relationship with that firm and that firm and I have shared a lot of work and we’ve pushed work back and forth to each other at this level. I mean, so if there is, let’s say, top seven or eight advertisers and my market, we’re all in that list. And they are a number two advertiser. I’m probably number five or six or something. And so I ended up going out to lunch with the lead partner and he and I started talking about business and we were both doing something called PIP work, which is a very small segment of work in Florida. And I was talking about our PIP department. He was talking about his department. He admitted to me that his department was not a very successful PIP department. And I asked him if he would be interested in us co-counseling that department for him and we could take that work on for him. And so we ended up taking on one hundred percent of their department and we made them more money and referral fees than they were making hiring their lawyer and doing the department on their own.
Brian: [00:17:10] And they freed up a lawyer to do personal injury work, which they needed. And they made more money off that lawyer who did a better job in just doing PI cases for them. And it was a win-win for both of us. And so we had this great working relationship where we were feeding this work back and forth, even though we were both competing for the same cases in the same market. And then he came to me about seven or eight months later and said that was a really good deal that we made. You guys have a much bigger SSD department than us. We have a very large SSD department. Would you mind thinking about taking on our SSD department? And so we took on their SSD department after that. So here’s like my main competitor who I never thought I would do business with. We became friends, we started doing business, and we both are doing better. And then I started to get Med Mal cases, which I don’t do Med Mal cases. And I was able to say, hey, you just have a really good med mal work.
Brian: [00:18:00] Let me send you some of. And they were like that. Be great. Right. So so it’s just an amazing blue ocean of work out there where even though we’re kind of fiercely competing for that same auto case, we have all these other cases that work really well together, and it’s not just that firm, it’s an amazing number of really quality personal injury lawyers in my neighborhood who all kind of worked together. They feed each other information. And, you know, I’ve got a PI lawyer leaving right now to go to one of the biggest advertising firms in the state of Florida. And it’s a very amicable, great transition. I mean, I’m sad that he’s leaving, but I think it’s a great opportunity for him. And so I’m like, OK, let’s work together on these cases. It’s going to be good for me in the long run. I’m going to make money on the cases. So I think that if you just have your mind open, instead of feeling like it’s going to be a red ocean, that there’s a blue ocean opportunity, you can really make good in the community, even amongst the worst of competitors or the hardest of competitors.
Grace: [00:19:07] Yeah, it’s a positive feedback loop. I like to call that. I totally understand that. And that’s perfect. I mean, you know, personal injury in Florida is so ridiculously competitive. Right. How many jokes have you heard? You know, throw a penny and you’ll hit how many lawyers in Florida? I’m sure you’ve heard them a million.
Brian: [00:19:23] No doubt. No doubt.
Grace: [00:19:25] It being one of the most competitive markets. What is what has been your strategy to sort of stand out and get those 400 million dollar settlements that people are always talking about?
Brian: [00:19:37] So we’ve been really fortunate. There’ve been a couple of things that have been good. Right. Number one, we’ve been solid trial lawyers, so we are not a settlement mill. Which happens in a lot of advertising firms, right? You start advertising and you end up just selling a lot of cases and not really trying a lot of cases. So we fortunately try our cases and we end up getting some press on some cases. And when that happens, it kind of raises your stakes in the community where people say, OK, that person is a fighter in the community. The other thing is that my business motive has always been to be a fighter, my just who I am as a human being, like our mission, our vision, our vision is very clear. Right. So one of the things that I’ve learned over time is that clarity of vision, clarity of mission, clarity of values drives an entire organization to success. And the more clear we are and the more we push that out and the more people buy into that, the better our results are, our results are, and the better our clients are and the happier they are in the more business we have. So our mission is to maximize justice by aggressively fighting for our client’s rights. And our vision is to be warriors for justice and our core values. No one is fight to win passion to serve on it and relentless innovation. And we live by those really, really well. And the whole team lives by that. And when we all got on that page, it was about three years ago where everybody bought into that the business skyrocketed. I mean, like, we’ve tripled our revenue and we’ve doubled our staff in the last year. I mean, during covid we grew double. So and it’s all based on just organizational health. I mentioned a little earlier that I really believe that organizational health is the key to organizational growth. And we have found that lesson to be very true. And we aren’t just out of control growing.
Liel: [00:21:41] Brian, let’s stay a little bit there. You’ve doubled your size, you just said during covid. Right. And you also talk about one of your core values being innovation. So can you tell us a little bit about how you’ve adapted, what innovations you’ve implemented over the past year that has helped you, that have helped you really exponentially grow? Right. A double growth on a single year is already remarkable. Now died on a covid pandemic year. It’s quite remarkable. So tell us a little bit about how did year go?
Brian: [00:22:16] So we are that that core value of relentless innovation is really very serious here to the point that as a small firm you know, we were let’s go back a year ago, we were thirty-one total staff, including six lawyers, but we had on staff a full time IT person, a full-time assistant I.T. person, a full-time SQL database person, and sixteen programmers in India because we’d written two programs for our own office, home grown software programs, and we were manipulating and growing those to the point that one of them is going to be a standalone product in the market. So we did our own CRM software called Intec Matters and we did our own software for the PIP side of the firm called Demand Central. We also own a medical billing company and that medical billing company we developed the software for that which is called pro web billing software. And so that’s used for a number of hospitals and doctors to do a lot of their specialized billing related to automobile accidents and comp accidents. And so that’s what I mean by this relentless innovation. And so there has been a very serious commitment to technology and our ability to utilize large scale data to get to maximum value settlements for hospitals and doctors across the state of Florida, and that’s been a very significant part of our growth.
Liel: [00:23:48] How was the journey to realizing? Because there is no shortage of already existing solutions out there. Right. But you obviously thought that if rather than use an existing system, I’m going to create my own right or right, rather than using billing service provider or a software solution, I want to create my own. What push you towards that mindset? What’s been the. Because obviously it’s the end result can be tremendously valuable. Right. But putting yourself through the motions, it’s hard and it takes time and it can be also expensive in terms of resources and such. What has been the motivation or the interest of doing that? I understand the core value, but, you know, pushing yourself to do it is a whole different thing, right?
Brian: [00:24:36] Yeah. So the the motivation and the behavior came before the determination of what we were going to call a core value. I didn’t have core values back then that were really tied to the way that we behaved. We behaved a certain way. And then later, three or four years ago, we sat down and we said, let’s articulate these things better. So it was kind of backward for us. And so what you ask is that when we started this relentless innovation behavior pattern, it was at a time when there wasn’t anything in the market. There was really no good solutions for lawyers in the market for intake. There was no CRM out there. There was no lidify, no smart advocate, no file vine. None of these programs that came up in the last 10 years, really five years we’re in the market. There were some project products out there that were doing the beginnings, like HubSpot was just starting maybe eight years ago and an active campaigns and some other online software systems. But we didn’t have a tool and we were getting all of these influx of cases through the Internet and people were calling from advertising. And we had all of this influx and we didn’t have a way to capture all of these people except on Excel spreadsheets. And so we started with a sequel database like the most simple SQL database, and that built into a first generation product, which then built into a second generation product, which then in 16, built into an online SQL database product, which then built into a completely online Azur product.
Brian: [00:26:13] I mean, so we’ve just grown it and developed it over time and it kind of blossomed. Right. And that corresponded with the creation of this medical billing company because there was no medical billing company out there that was specializing in PIP and Comp. And those two small buckets of revenue that go into the medical community are underutilized and poorly achieved by regular medical billing companies out there, so a medical doctor or hospital can outsource their medical billing for three or four percent, and that’ll do really good by your government payers, Medicare or Medicaid or your contracted payers, all of your health insurance carriers. But it’s not going to do well for Comp and it’s not going to do well for PIP. And so we would go back through and we would go and rebuild all of those smaller buckets and drive in millions of dollars of revenue for people. And because we had that going on so much, we built the software to be able to do that. And there was no billing software in the market for that at the time. So we just kept needing tools that weren’t in the market. And that led us to this concept of being relentlessly innovative.
Liel: [00:27:22] That’s amazing. That’s the very inspirational. Not a lot of stories like that. And I think what’s even more remarkable is that even after I understand that when you started having the need of these solutions, there was not a real market of options there. Right. But as these markets have emerged, you were not you did not give up on your own projects and went on after some probably now better-established solutions you kept with yours. And that’s actually great. And so when are any of these already available for the general market and what’s the what’s the future for those?
Brian: [00:27:58] So the intake CRM software is going to be available probably in the next 12 months. It should be available now because we’ve got a minimum viable product, you know, but we really want it to be good for the market. And really, that market is going to be the trial lawyers who are still using needles and trial works and some of the other older on-prem software systems where they don’t want to get off of them. There’s a lot of small PI lawyers, especially in the Northeast, that are on those systems. And the intake software that matches up with those is very limited. And because we had trial works and because we understand both products, we now have tied them into the back end of those products. So we’ve got pretty much the only CRM solution in the market for very minimal money that you can get as a SaaS system, bring it in very easily, tie it into your trial works or meals, and then have a very good Intec module. So that’s kind of our market.
Grace: [00:28:59] I definitely have something to say, Liel’s nodding because he has something to say about that, I got to tell you, I don’t know if you know about the side, the other side of what I actually personally deal with. And that’s persist communications.
Brian: [00:29:12] Yes.
Grace: [00:29:13] Automated communication software that has been the bane of my existence is not being able to integrate with needles and or trial works because they have an object database. So the fact that you have an intake software is pretty amazing that integrates with those two systems, because I feel for those guys and I felt for you guys that not having anything to be able to do everything automated the way you wanted to, you had to have MailChimp, you had to have constant contact. You had to have all these things exported by Excel and then imported into trial and needles, right?
Brian: [00:29:49] Yep.
Grace: [00:29:50] Wow, what an experience. I’m so glad that you invented something. That’s what ends up happening. Truthfully, when your story develops, you start realizing and that relentless innovation is almost unheard of when it comes to lawyers. I mean, you know that, right? So let’s talk about your younger self kind of when you came out and when you first became a lawyer or maybe right after college, what advice would you give your younger self?
Brian: [00:30:18] I think that the thing that I and I’ve got children now that are coming out of college. Right. So I feel like I’m giving this advice a lot to them and their friends. Right. And I’ve been very consistent in my message that the things that are important to you as a human being, whatever your passion is, whatever drives you, whatever your dreams are, to be a part of whatever interests you be intentional in going after those concepts and trying to be a part of those concepts, whatever those things are that drive your interest. And don’t worry about the money. I mean, people are very driven for the money. And I feel like people’s sliding doors open and close and they make unintentional decisions that cost them years of sideways movement in life. And I see that a lot with a lot of people. And I don’t I certainly don’t want it for my children. And my children are very blessed in that they’ve got a father and a mother who are able to support them going after their dream. Not everybody has that ability to be like, oh, I’m not going to take job X for eighty thousand a year. I’m going to take jobs for forty thousand a year because that’s more intentional to me.
Brian: [00:31:28] Right. But that’s the advice that I want to give people. Don’t take the job for the money. Don’t take the job, because it’s the thing that came along after college that hired you go into something that you really are passionate about, that you’re interested in. That’s something that you love and be intentional in your direction. And by doing that, you will find a path that will catapult you into a place that will be much better in a much shorter time frame than doing this sideways side to side movement, trying to find your way. So that’s my advice to young lawyers. You’re coming out of law school, you’re looking for a job. Don’t take the job with the real estate firm if you don’t want to be a real estate lawyer, you know, like, I know that it pays eighty-five thousand or ninety-five thousand one hundred ten thousand a year. But if you really want to be a divorce lawyer, even if you can’t find a job as a divorce lawyer, go an intern in a divorce lawyers place, like go and find your path there. Don’t just take the job to pay the bills or to pay the, it’s just it’s much better to do what you love.
Liel: [00:32:30] Your path was one like that when you initiated your career? Were you making decisions without mindset?
Brian: [00:32:36] Yes and no. When I went to law school, I was very intentional that I wanted to be a trial lawyer. I went through college knowing I wanted to be a trial lawyer. There’s a story in the book and a story that I tell about an experience I had in high school where I acted as my own lawyer. I tried my own case. I cross-examined a couple of officers. The judge brought me back into chambers afterward and was like, you need to be a lawyer. At the time, I thought I was going to be a doctor because my friend convinced me that we were bright young kids and doctors was the best choice of wealthy profession. And after that, from that moment forward, I always wanted to be a litigator, period, end of sentence. I knew what I wanted to be, but I thought I wanted to be a prosecutor. And until I was a prosecutor and until I was a Justice Department prosecutor and I went through that experience and I realized that I was going to be happier being on my own. I’m a very entrepreneurial person. Being a government employee wasn’t the right job for me personally. It’s a great job. I mean, truly, as a trial lawyer, your best government job is as a state prosecutor. My wife had a job with Janet Reno in the Dade County state attorney’s office, and I was down there. And that was the best experience in trying cases in my life. Right. It just was awesome. But as a civil lawyer and as an entrepreneur, this was a better place for me to be out. I used to call myself and I even trademarked the name civil justice prosecutor, but I could never get traction in the market with it, so I ended up not using it and just going to Warriors for Justice, which is a different trademark name.
Liel: [00:34:11] I think one thing that we need to also acknowledge is how times have changed. Right. But I don’t know how much I can comment on this, but being a lawyer 20 years ago was not something that people were commonly associating with. You can be a lawyer and an entrepreneur at the same time, right? I mean, those are not necessarily two concepts that were supposed to be attached to each other. Right? Either you’re a business owner or you’re a lawyer. And I think it has to come with time that we have to learn to see. Well, you can be anything and still be entrepreneurial and innovator and a business owner. And every single business doesn’t matter whether it’s a law firm or a hospital. There’s different sides to the business. Right. There’s those who are practicing the law or medicine or health care, and there are those who are running the strategy on the back end. And so you can decide where you want to focus and opportunities. So I think that broadening and understanding of how business works as a whole has helped a lot of people just to become more happy. Right. Because you don’t have to feel yourself on a sale and stay there for the rest of your life. If things change and you evolve and you’ve all from the sudden realize you’re interested in other things and you want to explore that. And so that’s great. I have one last question that I want to ask about your overall experience and how you became this now best selling author and obviously the leader of a very successful personal injury law firm, Masterminds. You brought him up, right? You say that you are going to masterminds, that you are meeting there other very successful lawyers and such. What role Masterminds have played in your development? In your success, when is it the right time to join masterminds? Right. Because for some, the title may just be intimidating as a whole. Right. Am I ready for that? Is not the kind of thing for me or not. Which one should I go to? Give us some tips and advice.
Brian: [00:35:54] That’s a really good question because I think that now that’s kind of the the soup is you’re right. Like everybody’s like, oh, I’m in a mastermind. That’s like the new thing. Like I’m in a mastermind and this mastermind and I’m in and I’m in like three or four at this point. Right. Like, I ended up joining and then I got a little overwhelmed with it. So what I found over time is that it started with me with a business coach many years ago, Marc Powers of Atticus. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Atticus, but he’s a nationally known business coach brand. And he he’s the one who introduced me to this concept of being an entrepreneur and being a business owner and making the business the thing that I had to concentrate on more than the lawyer thing that I was supposed to concentrate on. And so we read a book called The E Myth, which is kind of the seminal book to teach professionals about how to run a business. And that was my first real, quote unquote, mastermind. I joined a group that met every month and we talked it out and we kind of learn business lessons. And I did that for about two years. And then I felt like I wasn’t getting enough out of it anymore. So I ended up falling out of that for a while. And then I was out of things for a while. And then I ended up getting into some other masterminds. I think that there’s a lot of business coaching now that’s available in the world.
Brian: [00:37:15] And I think that people have to find the system that they really like that fits who they are and build the business that fits who they are. Right. So you can get into there’s a business, an online mastermind, I think it’s called like Maximum Lawyer podcast. And so what I found in the maximum lawyer podcast is that most of those people are smaller businesses that are trying to grow. Right. And they want some advice in growing. They’re usually solos or small firms, three or four lawyers. And then there’s kind of a step up from there. There’s a guy, SMB and Bill Couser, and he’s doing a mastermind and he’s kind of taking people from the maximum lawyer size to a little bigger size. And then you’ve got the crisp masterminds, which are very big masterminds, and they’re trying to grow people from like seven-figure firms to eight-figure firms. And then there’s some big, big masterminds like there’s an eight-figure mastermind with PILMMA, which is the Plaintiffs Lawyers Management and Marketing Association group that is a great group. And they’ve got some great masterminds, both at the seven-figure level, eight-figure level. And so there’s all these. You just got to find the right level for you and find who you want to be and then grow into that. Well, but by having people kind of in that same situation, you get to feed on each other a lot. And that’s kind of nice.
Liel: [00:38:39] Yeah, absolutely. And probably kind of like a Segway also to that mindset where you say that, you know, not everyone is there to compete against you, some you know, some of them can become partners in the journey of getting there. Right. It doesn’t have to be the mindset of like in order for me to grow, I need to make sure that everybody else is failing. Or they cannot get ahead of me, which, you know, it’s an antiquated mindset on business, but one that still prevails and it’s out ther, I hear.
Brian: [00:39:08] Yeah. So I do want to plug one other. There’s another group called Vista with Tim McVeigh. And this group is another really good group of people want to look into either a mastermind or a business coach. Chris was very good. This is very good. PILLMA is very good. That maximum lawyer is nice. The SMB group is great. So those are the things that I found in the market now that are kind of best in class. Now, there are some things that are not related to law but are related to law. So Mike Morris wrote a book called Fireproof, right?
Liel: [00:39:38] Yeah. And he’s a friend of the podcast.
Brian: [00:39:41] Yeah. So an amazing book and an amazing guy and an amazing firm. But that came off of Wittman’s traction and the eos, that entrepreneurial operating system. So that’s one methodology of kind of growing a business. And that’s big out there now in the law. And the other thing that’s big out there that the PILLMA Group is advocating is the Verne Harnish scaling up system. So that’s like another system that’s out there. And then there’s Kameron Herald and the vivid vision, double double. Get a great COO system that’s out there. So there’s Patrick Lencioni and his stuff. I don’t know if you’ve read any of that. Five dysfunctions of a team. And Grace is giving me the smile. We all have been through this the ring of education. So.
Liel: [00:40:30] Yeah, but you’ve certainly heard theories, you’ve heard you’ve done the research. And I think that also puts you in an advantageous position. Right. It’s different when you come with an opinion and having done some research and are aware of things, then when you haven’t really set up the table before and hearing things for the first time, which everybody starts from somewhere, but obviously there needs to be some will and effort put up from your side just joining, showing up. It’s going to do something. It’s not going to do everything right. Before we move to the takeaways, I have one more question for you. Right. Oftentimes, people always ask, what’s one decision that you regret in the way you marketed or did or something, something that you thought it was going to work didn’t work. And that’s also interesting. But I’m more interested in hearing one particular decision or bet that you’ve made and maybe people challenged you on that and to say now you probably shouldn’t be doing that or so, but you still went with your intuition and it actually ended up working. You have an example of something like that that you faced in your career and it could be at any stage in life.
Brian: [00:41:36] So I will tell you one that caused a lot of growth here. And it was a really good decision that we made. We had an intake department that was trying to cover too much. And I was very hesitant to outsource some portion of intake. And we ended up outsourcing to a third party vendor. I was the only person who really wanted to do this on my leadership team. So we have a nine-person leadership team. I lead that team. There’s four administrators, four divisional lawyers in each of the four divisions in the firm. So I’ve got kind of the COO, the chief technology officer, the controller and the marketing director. And then over here I’ve got the PI director, the SSD director, the PIP director, and the work comp director. And so I’ve got these like groups. And I was like, we’re going to outsource this function and we’re going to try and we’re going to move it away from what we’re doing right now. And everybody freaked out and they did not want to do that. And I was adamant that we were going to have to do that. And I made it happen. And my first move was a wrong move. And I went to an organization. I’m not going to say what organization, but it didn’t work out well.
Brian: [00:42:46] And everybody was just like, we just need to move back. We just need to move back. And I was still adamant and I was like, no, I don’t care that I failed the first time. We’re going to try this again. I’m going to try a new system. And I called up and I’m going to plug somebody right now because he did a great job coaching me through this. But Gary Falkowitz did an amazing job coaching me through getting my intake right and working through the division of intake and what we could handle and what I could outsource to his group to handle. And he really just did an amazing job helping me get through that. And it doubled where we were like when we finally got our intake right. And we stopped losing that bleed of cases, we didn’t even realize how significant of a bleed it was. So that has been a definitive moment where I just had to put my foot down and I was right. So I don’t get to say that a lot. My staff will tell you people, my team will tell you that I’m wrong a lot. But I was right here and it may be have been different for us.
Liel: [00:43:46] Yeah, that’s what we like to ask that question. It’s always nicer to tell a story about. Yeah. You see, I was right, but that’s actually quite remarkable in this particular case because it didn’t really work right away, and you’ve probably got quite a bit of resistance, it’s not easy implementing change, and particularly when you don’t have the Buy-In of the majority of your team and then things start going bad and you’re still adamant of moving forward with it. That makes a lot of determination. And so, yeah, good for you. Good for your team that they allowed you to also pursue this.
Grace: [00:44:20] So, Brian, this is the part where we ask you, what are three actionable takeaways that lawyers can start implementing now?
Brian: [00:44:28] Ok, so the first takeaway I will say is that when my leadership team got together and we started to try to practice organizational health, and that means being able to articulate what our vision was and where we were going. Being able to articulate a clear mission that we could all buy into and recognizing what our actual values were, not what we wanted to say to the world, our values were not a marketing value, but an actual who we are as an organization. When I could get those things online, those three things coordinated, that that was the missing component toward launching forward with health and organizational health and growth and that three little things which seem so commonplace. Right. Like everybody should know that. Right. But if you can’t articulate that and if you can’t have that go down flow to the entire organization, there’s just it’s like we all know that we want to charge over the hill in a battle. And yet when I’m in the front of the line and I’m like charge and I start running over the hill and I look back and one guy is running that way and one guy’s running that way and three people are running backwards, you know. But if we all are on board with those three concepts we’re all charging over the hill together, it’s an incredible difference in the way that your organization will run.
Brian: [00:45:57] So that’s the first thing that I think is so important to people who are running an organization to get clarity on. So that would be one. The second thing that I think I learned over the last couple of years is to be very consistent with your messaging, and that means having very clear meetings and meeting structures that are well-run and not a waste of time. Right. And getting good at your meetings and your messaging is something that makes a world of difference in pushing forward an agenda. Right. So having those weekly meetings, having those daily meetings, having those monthly meetings, having those off site leadership meetings, and you can learn about any of those in any of the meeting books that are out there. Right. So there’s meeting books from Cameron Herold in his meetings books, and any of the groups, like every single person can give you meeting books on the best meetings to find the meetings that work for you. We have found that once a week, all staff meetings to push out information, to keep people apprised of what’s going on in the firm is enough for our whole team. Right. Some people meet every day. Some people like if I just heard a Web podcast from Greg Ward down in Miami, a firm that is busting at the seams, you know, they’ve come out in the last couple of years.
Brian: [00:47:14] They’re doing great. And he meets with his team every day, like every single day. They’ve got forty-five minutes of four or five different meetings or three or four different meetings that they do to keep their team on board. Right. My team doesn’t need that. We need once a week for the whole team. I need one on one meetings with my leadership. So me and my leadership one on one. So get your meetings down. That would be my second takeaway. I know that we didn’t talk much about that, but I think it’s really important for people to recognize. And I guess my third takeaway is that no matter what you do, the more you give it away, the more business you’ll have. And so to karmically believe in the blue ocean and don’t get caught up in red ocean competitiveness. And I think that’s really important. It’s good for your mental health. It’s good for like being able to run a firm. It’s good for attitude. It’s good for everybody in the firm to feel like there’s plenty of business and money out in the world that we’re all going to be OK. And so that has been a big lesson for me and has been a great reliever of stress.
Liel: [00:48:20] If you want to get rid of the toxic competition mindset right there can be competition, but it can be healthy and it can be one that looks after your neighbors like a good one, not a bad one. All right. Well, Brian, thank you so much for this really, really insightful conversation. It’s been a real pleasure having you on our podcast. And for our listeners, we’ll make sure that there are links to your Amazon book page. And…
Brian: [00:48:48] Of course, I’ll plug it here. Just hold it.
Liel: [00:48:50] And yeah, I know it’s got a great cover. I mean, it’s a really, really, really great book. And we highly recommend for those who either are on the lawyers side of things or as a consumer, give themselves a chance to read it. And Brian, again, thank you for joining us. And we hope we get to have you again for another conversation, because there’s so much to talk
Brian: [00:49:12] This was a great conversation, thank you guys, really appreciate it.
Liel: [00:49:25] Grace, another great conversation in the books, right?
Grace: [00:49:30] That was awesome. So super cool with all of his stories and information. And sharing. Yeah, right.
Liel: [00:49:36] Yeah. I mean, Grace, let’s be honest. There is no shortage of books from personal injury lawyers that have wrote a book explaining why it’s important to have the right lawyer by your side. I at least haven’t heard about a book from a personal injury lawyer that says, hey, your might be better off without hiring me. Right. And so I think that’s a very, very fresh approach that actually just associates very organically with his whole mindset like that. You can tell this is a product of someone who thinks like he does. And there is so much to learn here. We’ve already just got, like, really rich takeaways here, Grace. So can we make them ours?
Grace: [00:50:15] Yeah, I think so. It’s kind of why you saw me. I kind of wrote them out because I felt like they were really important to mention and maybe reformulate. But the same ones, right?
Liel: [00:50:25] Yeah.
Grace: [00:50:26] So I mean, the first one, as we all know, was his practice, organizational health. And in the way he explained it was having a clear mission, vision and values, and then actually came perfectly from the last podcast we just did on. Right.
Liel: [00:50:42] Exactly the conversation with George, that was exactly that. He was it like you want to be a successful law firm, you want to be on innovating and a leader in your field, you need to be able to articulate how success looks like and you need to be a leader. Right? That’s exactly what we just heard.
Grace: [00:51:05] The timing couldn’t be better. Right.
Liel: [00:51:07] And it’s just, you know, theory match to reality. Right. And of course, in George’s case, he’s also it’s the same case. He’s leaving that same thing in his own organization. Here was a great example of another organization, different industry doing the same, getting great results. Very remarkable, Grace.
Grace: [00:51:25] Exactly. And that takes us to the next one. Right. And that is consistency, including in your meetings. I couldn’t tell you how important it is to have an agenda clearly defined points as to what you’re going to be talking about at a meeting, because meetings can go off the rails so quickly and so quickly. I mean, you know, I’m sure, you know, I mean, I’m in marketing and in all of these worlds, even our own client meetings can go off the rails if there’s no agenda.
Liel: [00:51:51] And there’s nothing more frustrating for people at times to be sitting at a meeting where they have no interest or purpose of being there. And I think that’s important to understand. Right. Is your team geared up to have meetings every single day, which is not going to work towards a better working environment or is just going to create a more tedious, repetitive in a bad way environment? But what I do like Grace is what you said at the beginning, is consistency in your messaging. Don’t come up one day with one message, then the next day change it, adjust there or with your actions, show a different or deliver a different type of message. And I think Grace, I mean, in my times working in very, very, very big organizations. That’s how you achieve success. If top-level and entry-level people in the organization know the same message, you know what the goals are. No. What are you doing and what they’re after? There’s more likely of that actually happening. But when there is a disconnect between what’s the goals and the vision that exists at the top in, there is not a straight line to the people who are on the basis of the organizational structure. There is obviously not going to be great results. So I think consistency of messaging is something that. It’s essential for everything, whether it’s the short term goals and targets to the long term ones.
Grace: [00:53:22] Consistency is key, right? I mean, we’ve talked about that so many times. Guys, please take note of that. Superimportant. And that kind of takes me to the last one, which it’s another recurring theme I feel like in our conversations, which is give away the knowledge, give away the information. Why wouldn’t you? More information you give away, the more you are considered a thought leader, the more you share within your own industry, within other people, the more you give away, the more business you’ll have.
Liel: [00:53:56] So, Grace, I’ll be extremely honest here. That idea as a concept, I have again heard it before. Right. But what I did notice different in this conversation was the genuine intent here. A lot of us go and do that and we write books and we actually want to give out our knowledge. But knowing that a lot of people are going to be overwhelmed by the idea of having to do that themselves or whatever it is that you’re trying to give them resources so that they can go and find their own solutions and find our own path. And so the thought process of that very well. What I’m saying here is that I’m doing these and I’m providing all of the answers and I’m giving all of my content here so that people can then see me and trust me, so that they can hire me to do it for them. Right. And so and that works. We know that perfectly. It works. But what I heard in this conversation was real, genuine willingness of, hey, here is everything you need. And you know what? If you decide to go after it yourself and you kind of like come across some bumps on the road, give me a call and I’ll actually help you troubleshoot with that, I don’t seek for anything in return. That was the kind of level of interest I felt coming from Brian and really the way that I felt he feels about having created this book, like genuinely wanting to give a solution for people without necessarily having an agenda for him in relation to that. And then, of course, you know, I mean, that’s what he says. You just generally do not seek for anything immediately in return from having given your content. But on the long term, it just comes back to you. And I guess you can say that this came on in our previous conversation as well. But it just is the thread that we see constantly here. Do good things for others. And it’ll just come back to you
Grace: [00:55:59] To the golden rule. Right? The golden rule.
Liel: [00:56:02] The golden rule, grace, the golden rule that we have around this sport is that every single week we’ll be back with another conversation until we decide to take a week off. But. It’s not next week, so. Next week, Grace another conversation. That’s right?
Grace: [00:56:21] That’s right.
Liel: [00:56:22] Take care, bye.
Liel: [00:56:26] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers, leave us a review, and send us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you next week.