If your practice isn’t where you want it to be and you feel “stuck”, do you know why? There may be plenty of reasons why. However, more often than not, there are a lot of things that you, the estate planning attorney, are doing (or not doing) that are the reasons why can’t seem to move forward.
Having worked with estate planning attorney, Philip Kavesh, for over 12 years, both in his law practice and with our attorney customers of The Ultimate Estate Planner, I’ve seen a commonality in most attorneys and what’s preventing them from being able to move their practice to the next level. Below, I’ve compiled what I believe to be the top 6 ways that estate planning attorneys are holding themselves back from achieving the law practice they’ve always wanted.
- Giving into limiting beliefs.
We talk about this during our Ultimate Level training, but too often we are guilty of limiting beliefs. We tell ourselves that there is not enough time or not enough money. Or, perhaps we start to convince ourselves that changes coming in tax laws and low-priced competition will be the nail in the coffin to your estate planning practice. All of these negative, limiting beliefs will hold you back from moving forward. It’s not to say that you should live in a state of disillusioned reality, where everything is a bed roses and you never prepare your business to respond to market conditions, but having a positive outlook and eliminating the limiting beliefs that hold you back is a great place to start.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
- Resisting change.
Let’s face it. Change is hard. But, it’s necessary for growth and it’s necessary for any estate planning attorney to take his or her practice to the next level. What’s harder than change is being stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. You don’t have to change everything in your practice, but if you can identify areas that need change and work on those areas, the little changes will add up and lead to a huge overall impact to your firm. This, however, brings us to the next one, which is…
- Not taking the time to work on your business.
If you own your own law firm, then you’re a business owner in addition to being a lawyer. This means, that like any other business owner, you need to work on your business for it to see any forward growth. This is an area where I truly believe law school (and even continuing education programs) fail most attorneys. They equip you with the technical book knowledge to be a lawyer, but how can you possibly run a successful practice if you don’t have any training about how to run a successful business? This is, thankfully, where we can help. But, the first thing you have to do is block out the time each week where you will work on your business. It doesn’t have to be an entire day, but block a chunk of one day each week where you will work to improve your business in some way.
- Keeping negative and cancerous employees on board.
This is also a tough one, but more often than not, there are one or two employees in your office that you are not happy with, but you merely “tolerate”. Many business owners make the mistake of being quick to hire and slow to fire. The result is disastrous, however. Having negative, cancerous employees in your office is extremely taxing. It has a huge ripple effect on other employees and it can create a great deal of chaos and disruption.
- Paralyzed by Perfectionism.
Perfectionism is both a blessing a curse. I know this from personal experience, as well as from having worked so closely with attorneys over the years. The blessing in perfectionism it typically results in a hard-working, detail-oriented, and 150% all of the time kind of worker. However, the curse is that perfection often leads to paralysis. Now, you’re not getting estate plans out the door, you’re not able to trust those you do hire to take on tasks you shouldn’t be doing, or you’re perhaps you’re not even able to hire (or keep anyone you do hire) because of it. As a result, you’re a lone wolf operation, doing everything by yourself (including administrative tasks that would be better handled by a non-attorney). It won’t happen overnight, but if you can begin to loosen the reigns, learn the power of proper training, delegation and supervision, you will slowly begin to let go and trust others and then beautiful things will begin to happen in your practice and in your life.
- Failing to take care of yourself.
Last, but not least, one of the main ways that you may be holding yourself and your firm back is a failure to take care of #1…YOU. What do I mean by this? The harsh reality is, if you’re not taking care of yourself and you’re working so hard that you’re burning the candle at both ends, where do you think that will leave you in a few years? You’re going to burnout. Your health, personal relationships, quality of your work, and overall happiness is at stake. You must find a healthy work-balance, where you’re doing the tasks that you love and that are the highest and best use of your time, and then you will find the state of your practice already in a much better place.
In conclusion, if any of the above resonated with you, I want you to know that you’re not alone. We’ve seen it time and time again with your fellow attorney colleagues. You can’t possibly know how to handle these things if you’ve never been trained on how to properly handle them.
The good news is that this is an area where we can help you.
THE ULTIMATE LEVEL ONLINE TRAINING PROGRAM
If this type of training and understanding of what it takes to properly staff and run your practice is of interest to you, then you should definitely consider our revamped Ultimate Level program – – now online!
This is the kind of training to develop a successful estate planning practice that you simply don’t get in law school or in any CE courses. >>MORE INFO
FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION
You have the unique opportunity to schedule a free 30-minute consultation* with our Executive Director, Kristina Schneider. Kristina has been with The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. since it started in 2004 and has worked side-by-side nationally renowned estate planning attorney, Philip Kavesh, and his estate planning law firm during this time.
From your 30-minute consultation with our Executive Director, you will be able to walk away with an idea about what it is that you may need most to help you in your practice and determine whether we, at The Ultimate Estate Planner, or through our affiliations with a variety of organizations in the industry, may have something to help meet your practice needs. >>MORE INFO
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristina Schneider is the current Executive Director of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2004 and was hired right out of college to work for the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, coordinating and facilitating Philip Kavesh’s “Missing Link” Boot Camps while also providing administrative support to Mr. Kavesh as his Executive Assistant for over seven years. Through her direct hands-on experience in Mr. Kavesh’s law firm, Kristina has been able to assist numerous estate planning professionals through The Ultimate Estate Planner and, equally as important, many of their staff members, in the successful implementation of Ultimate Estate Planner’s products and systems.
You can reach Kristina at (424) 247-9495 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
- PRACTICE-BUILDING: “The 10 Biggest Mistakes Estate Planning Attorneys Make – – Running Their Business!” by Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
- ADVANCED PLANNING: “The Viability of Delaware Dynasty Trusts After the Kloiber Case” by Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished)
- TAX PLANNING: “Investment Opportunities Involving Private Foundations And Pension Plans” by Bruce Givner, Esq.