LFMM Podcast 005:
How to Make 2013 Your Best Year Ever

Click here to go to the show notes from episode 5

Hello, and welcome to the Law Firm Marketing Mastery Podcast, where we work smart to get more clients, make more money, step-by-step. I’m your host, Christopher Small, and I’m excited to dive into Episode 5, where we talk about how to make 2013 your best year ever! And, in the tip of the week, we’ll talk about a podcast that I think can help you to have more confidence in your business.

What’s New with Me?

Okay, let’s start this podcast with the way that we start every other podcast: a little bit about what’s going on with me, and some things that may be interesting about me, for you, right?

As you know, last weekend was Thanksgiving. And in keeping with the theme of this podcast, I spent it doing a lot of thinking, doing a lot of internalizing, and doing a lot of kind of reflection about 2012 and what I want 2013 to be like.

And a lot of that kind of goes towards having a specific kind of mindset when it comes to goals and resolutions for you.

The way I see it, resolutions are the things that most people make when they think about the New Year and think about things they want to do, changes they want to make. Resolutions are really made to be broken.

I’ve been thinking about it, I don’t know, the percentages are very… I know there it’s a very, very high percentage of people that make resolutions and then break those resolutions within like the first month, you know? So for me, resolutions are meant to be broken.

Goals, on the other hand, are meant to be reached. They are things to be attained, and when it comes to goal setting, particularly when it comes to changing habits and changing mindset and doing new things, I think is important not to try to change to many things at once.

If you do that, you’re simply going to fail, bottom line. If you want to start waking up earlier, you want to lose 30 pounds, you want to eat better, you want to stop smoking, you want stop checking your email 5 times a day, what is going to happen is you’re going to end up not accomplishing any of those goals.

So, you know, I think particularly when it comes to habits you have, personal goals that you want to attain, it’s important to focus on one thing at the time and pick one thing and do it, and then move on to the next thing, you know, creating healthy habits, good habits, and then building on those habits. It is, in my experience, the best way to kind of get the most out of yourself, you know?

And, when it comes to goal setting, when it comes to resolutions, when it comes to milestones, whatever you want to call them, the difference between achieving everything you want and falling short really is following through and setting up a plan to make following through easier.

And that kind of leads me a little bit into what the future segments are going to be. We are going to talk about goal setting, and I’m going to be running through an exercise that I typically do to kind of try to meet my goals and set myself up for success.

When you’re thinking about what kind of goals you want for 2013, when you’re thinking about what 2013 is going to be like for you, I want to make sure that you are making a list of what you want, right? And in my notes here I have “YOU” in capital letters, because it’s important to do things that you want to do, and here in my notes I have: “Don’t write down what you think you should do!”

“Don’t write down what you think others want you to achieve, think about what you really want out of life and make 2013 the year you start to go after that.”

You know, so often we think: “What are people going to think of that goal, what are people going to think if I tell them I’m going to start my own law firm?”

What are people going to tell you – that you’re an idiot, you know? They’re going to say: “How can you do that? The economy is so bad, it’s so scary, what if you fail?” When people are confronted with things that they don’t want to do, or that they would be too afraid to do, they tend to try to help, and I say “help” kind of like a guessing with air quotes, “help” the person that’s considering doing the thing to kind of back out of it, so they’ll tell you those things.

They will try to convince you that you are making a bad decision, because it isn’t necessarily something that they would do, is not something that they come to define as success, or as something that they were going to do.

So really, when you’re making these lists, and you know, make lists that you’ll never show anybody. Think about:

“What would I really want to do if I had the opportunity?”

“What if fear wasn’t a driving factor, what if failure wasn’t a possibility?”

“What would I really want to do?”

“What would I kind of like to pursue in life?”

“What would I like to go after?”

And then, you know, maybe by the end of this you’ll have convinced yourself that you should at least look into it and give it a shot. And I really think you should. I don’t even care what it is. You can want to go be a rodeo clown for all I care, and I would still suggest that you go give it a shot, because you know we’ve only got one life to live, and if you spent that time worrying about what other people are thinking about you, worrying about failing, then it’s going to be a wasted life.

So, make 2013 your best year ever. I’m going to make it my best year ever, and I’m going to do that by setting some goals for myself and then setting up a plan to help me achieve those goals, okay?

Feature Segment: How to Make 2013 Your Best Year Ever

Let’s get into the Feature Segment: “How to make 2013 your best year ever?”

Before I get into the goal setting process, to help all of us reach our goals, I want to talk to you a little bit about my 2012 goals.

Now, admittedly, in 2012, this year, I didn’t necessarily follow a lot of my own advice when it comes to goal setting and setting up a plan to help you reach your goals, and you’re going to see this when I talk about my goals. And that is one of the reasons, actually, why I’m talking about it now, at the end of November, instead of at the end of December, because it’s something that you need to give yourself some time to work through, it’s something that you need to give yourself some time to plan.

And, when you start now, it also kind of builds the suspense so that when the New Year rolls around, you’re ready to really hit the ground running.

And that’s what we want. We want you start off with positive feedback, with positive steps, so that you can continue on and reach your eventual goal. So, here are my ten goals for this year, and I’m going to run through all of them and talk a little bit about each of them too.

Goal Number 1 was to make $350,000 in revenue with my law firm. I’m not going to reach that goal. I’m going to be about a $120,000 short probably, so I think I’m on track to make about, gross about, $230,000. And there are some things that kind of got in the way of reaching that goal, in particular the Google algorithm changes that I talked about, that kind of set me back a little bit with my search engine placement.

And then, to be honest with you, I really didn’t execute a lot of my plans. I can tell you honestly, when you go from startup law firm, when you go from starting a brand new law firm to thinking about taking that next step to really going to go for the big time, it’s just as scary as it was when you start out, because you’re putting just as much on the line.

I talked about that radio advertising, there are some things that you simply just have to do, that are risky, and that are scary. And, I did my best to put off doing those things this year, so basically I just treaded water, and I’m going to work on not doing that for this next year, and we are going to talk about that pretty soon.

Goal number 2 was to get a new car and I actually did achieve that goal. It’s not a brand new car, but I did, I have been able to put that 1998 Toyota 4Runner at least into a secondary use. I got a new car and you know, new cars are nice, nothing fancy, nothing special, but it’s comfortable, it gets good gas mileage and, you know, I’m not a big car guy, so it’s not a huge deal to me. I like to just have something that’s reliable, something that’s kind of cool, at least, I mean I’m not driving around in a minivan. No offense to any of you minivan owners out there, but yeah, so I’m one for two so far.

Goal number 3 was to pay down the other car that we own by about $6000, which is $500 a month, and we did achieve that goal, which was nice. It’s a car that we bought from some family members, so you now, there’s no financing, there’s not necessarily set monthly payment, but I still like to make sure that I honor the commitments that I make even to my family, particularly when they give us a car for, you know, without interest and all that kind of stuff.

We did that and, by the way, when you’re making these goals it’s important to have some personal goals and some professional goals. I would write them all out in the same place and go through the same process with each of them. Because without doing that you’re going to hurt the likely hood that you’re going to, you know, meet those goals. So do that, and that’s why this list is both personal and professional.

The fourth goal that I had was to pick up five total clients in the search engine optimization business that I was running. I believe I did actually have five clients at one time, but I don’t anymore.

Once Google changed the rules of the game, some people decided to drop out, some people have decided to let go, so I only have one of those clients right now that I’m helping out for his search engine placement. So that goal, while not achieved, was kind of a victim of circumstance. And we’ll talk about that too. We’ll talk about pivoting when some of the assumptions that you make don’t necessarily pan out in the real world.

Goal number 5 was to get a contract attorney and give them at least two cases a month. Well, I sort of met this goal and sort of didn’t at the same time. At the very beginning of the year I did have a contract attorney that I tried to get set up, but I didn’t have the infrastructure in place, the policies and procedures in place to really kind of give him an opportunity to do his best and so that didn’t work out.

Then in February I decided to hire an associate attorney, and I did that for about six months. That didn’t work out. I end up letting him go, and it’s just me and my assistant Kate now, working at the law firm.

And again, some of that was that was a bad fit, some of it was I didn’t have the policies and procedures in place, some of it also was, you know, business slowed down there for a few months and I didn’t think I had enough to keep both of us going. So it’s kind of a… I think that is just not a win nor a loss.

Goal number 6 was to have four DUI trials this year. I think I did two of them, and that’s both, I’m kind of a victim of circumstance and also, you know, to be honest, that’s kind of one of those things that when I set these goals, it’s kind of one of those goals that I thought that other people would like to hear, you know?

I do want to be a good DUI attorney and I am a good DUI attorney, but I think that being a good DUI attorney sometimes means that you don’t do a lot of trials. If you do the work upfront you don’t have the opportunity to do a lot of that, a lot of trial work. So, I didn’t reach that goal, that wasn’t for lack of trying. I’m never really afraid to take any case to trial, but you know, the client has, they make the final decision on that.

Goal number 7 was $100 a month in adsense revenue. If you’re familiar with adwords, the advertising that you do, where, if you search for something there are those ads that pop up on the top of the page and then go down the right side of the page. When people click on those, as you know, you pay money. But if someone is on a website and clicks on that ad, the owner of that website gets money.

I was making some money from that in the past with some other stuff that I was doing but, again, with the recent Google changes I cleaned all of that up and decided not to do that. I was going to go in a different direction and have gone in another different direction. So I’m not making a $100 a month from ads… and I think I did sometime during this year.

Number 8 was to rent out a house that I came to own back in Kansas. That was completed. We renovated it, rented it out. It’s been ranted since March and it’s going fantastic. It’s a great source of supplemental income and it’s just kind of cool to, you know, be an owner of real-estate. I love real-estate. I love the idea of fixing houses and helping people live well, so I’m doing that.

Goal number 9 was to have a baby. Success! I have an eight week old baby, Blakely, and everything is going great with her. This week we actually started trying to get her to sleep all the way through the night, and we’ve had some pretty good success with that, so I’m pretty excited about that. My body is pretty excited about that because now I get to sleep for a lot longer, so that’s good.

Goal number 10 was 1,000 Facebook fans, and I’m nowhere near that. I think we just crossed the 300 Facebook fan threshold, and that’s on my law firm Facebook page, facebook.com/cmslawfirm.

And again, you know, some of these goals that I set, I was just trying to come up with numbers, and it was less a big picture thing. When you think about what Facebook does for you, having a lot of… the more fans the better because that increases your reach, but if you’re going to spend all your time getting Facebook fans, as a law firm owner, you’re not going to necessarily see a lot of return on investment.

That’s something that I think you want to try to build over time and you want to make sure that you are pushing your Facebook page. You want to make sure you have a Facebook page, and you want to make sure you have a Twitter feed, but it’s important to understand that those tools typically are more useful as branding mediums and as top of mind awareness mediums, rather than legitimate business creation tools. Does that make sense?

The great thing about Facebook for example, is that every time you post it’s shown on the profiles of all of the people that like your page. And all of the people that see their page have the potential to see your post, right?

Not only does it remind the person that liked your page that you’re there and remind to them what you do, but it also provides an opportunity for other people to see what you do and to get other people to like your page and convert to your service. So, you know, I didn’t meet that goal, I probably met about half of them, which is fine.

Things I Learned in 2012

I wrote down a couple of things that I learned from that last year, you know:

1. Writing goals down is not enough. You need to make measurable milestones and create a plan of execution.

2. I need to be honest with what I want from my goals.

3. Not meeting your goals should not be seen as a failure. You know, the purpose of goals is not to make you feel bad if you don’t reach them, it’s to give you something to shoot for.

If you don’t reach your goals, you can see it as failure if you want, right? And no one is going to probably get in the way of you feeling that way.

But when I don’t reach goals, I simply see that as an opportunity to get better, as an opportunity to continue the journey, right, because I would assume that even if you don’t meet a goal completely, that at least you took some good steps on the path towards meeting that goal, right?

So, if you, I don’t know, if your goal was to go to the gym three times a week, you know, even if you’re going just one time a week you’re still doing a good thing, right? You can either choose to feel bad about not meeting the three times a week goal, or you can feel good that at least now you’ve established a pattern of going one time a week.

And then, you know, do what you can, set up a plan and place to make that two times a week, and eventually three times a week, and then you’ll be there.

Before I get into my 2013 goals, which you guys may or may not be interested in, I want to talk about my goal setting process: the things that I do to help make, to give me the best opportunity to reach my goals.

Because, no matter who you are, no matter what you do, what you’re shooting for with your goals, there are going to be things that get in the way, that you need built in systems, in place, to fight, does that make sense? There are going to be things that pop up that give you opportunities to deviate from the behaviors that will help you reach your goals. And you need to be able to have something in place that will help you make the right decision when the time comes.

So, the first thing I do with my goal setting process is that I simply sit down and think about all the things that I want to do for the next year. And I actually have a five year plan and I even have a ten year plan. Ten year goals are big, they are big hairy audacious goals like, I don’t remember what book that’s from, but I didn’t create that. And then, you know, the five year is the same kind of thing, you know, you think about where you want to be in five years and how you’re going to get there.

Number 2, the goals should be personal and professional. I already talked about that a little bit. You want to be doing some things to kind of make yourself better and you want to be doing some things to make your business better, or advance your career.

Number 3: once you have your list, you kind of want to pare it down a little bit to something that is manageable. You know, if you have ten goals that are impossible to meet, no matter how much effort you provide, then you have to cut some, right?

You are going to just want to do one goal at a time, or two goals at a time, but you want to make sure that you provide enough time so that you can meet the goals that you have, right?

If you want to save that goal, then save it, you know? Make a list of things you want to do, like a bucket list kind of, right? And then get there.

Like, for example, I have a goal to play professional golf on the senior PGA tour, right? So, when you turn 50 you can play on the Professional Golf Association’s Senior PGA Tour. And right now I’m not good enough to do that. I’m probably like a 9 or 10 handicap, and to get there I would have to really practice a lot, I would have to probably get some coaching, I would have to devote a lot more time to meeting that goal.

And right now that is not a high priority goal for me. I’m 32 years old, that’s eighteen years away, you know, and I feel like by meeting some of the goals that I’m reaching for now, hopefully I will free up some time to pursue some more of those goals that are out there a little bit, you know? That are closer to dreams, right, than necessarily goals, because not everybody can play professional golf. But I’d like to give it a shot, so pare it down a little bit, you know?

Make it manageable.

Then, for each of the goals that you have, you want to take, you want to start at the end, and then you want to try to back into it until you get to the smallest steps that are possible, right?

So to give you kind of an example I guess, let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds next year, right? So what I would kind of do is, I would think about alright, 30 pounds, over… actually let’s do this, let’s make it easier: 36 pounds over the year, so you got 12 months in the year, so you need to lose three pounds a month.

So you need to be losing, you know, a little under one pound a week to do that. And then I would think: “Ok, what can I do to just cut out less than one pound a week?”

You can exercise, you can eat better, you can, I don’t know, maybe sleep more, you can, I don’t know, let’s just go with those 2, right? So eat better and work out more. Ok?

So then I would think about: “Ok, work out more, what does that mean? Maybe I’ll go to the gym, I want to go to the gym twice a week, for 30 minutes a time, okay?” And I would think: “Okay, twice a week, let’s do Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30. And then I might think: “Okay, what’s going to help me go to the gym Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30?” Maybe, you know, obviously getting a gym membership is something that needs to happen and then, you know, maybe I’ll hire a personal trainer. If you pay him fifty bucks an hour that’s fifty extra bucks a week and that would give you the push that you need to show up, right? Because you’re more likely to show up because you don’t want to let him down.

Or, you know, maybe you join up with another friend that you know wants to lose a couple of pounds, and you guys agree to meet up every Monday and Thursday at 5:30 and work out together and track your progress together.

That’s a great way to do it, but you see, you want to just keep, you want to start at the end of the goals, and then work your way back to the smallest steps possible so that: a) you know what you need to do and then; and b) you know, every time you go to the gym, when you set your goals up that way, you’re going to have a small victory.

And, you know, let’s say you get through a month and you lose 4 pounds, alright? Or you just lose three pounds. But you meet goal and then that’s going to push you for the next month, you know, and you’re going to gain momentum, and reaching your goals is all about momentum. You know, if you just start with “I want to lose 36 pounds this year,” and you leave it at that, that’s hard to do, because you don’t have the tools in place to meet that goal, so do that.

Once you figure out those steps then you calendar those steps, then you actually literally put them on the calendar: “These are the things that I need to do on these days,” and then you go do them. When they are on the calendar it’s much easier for them to get done.

Set yourself reminders so it pups up on your phone. Set yourself email request or something, you know, talk to people too, and tell them: “This is what I’m going to do.”

And then, the final step is, you know, to basically not do what I just did for the year 2012.

I had these goals and they have been on my phone the whole time but I never actually took any time to check on the progress of those goals throughout this whole year. I pretty much didn’t look at them until I got prepared for this podcast to talk about goals. And that’s, maybe one of my goals for this year should be to follow through with my goals for next year, right?

Because I certainly didn’t do that, and by creating times for you to review your goals it’s going to help you know where you’re at, get you back on track if you are off track, slap yourself on the back if you are on track, and then at the end of the day meet your goals, right?

And that’s what we want: we want you to meet your goals. And, you know the other thing is, if your goals are not being met, or if your priorities have changed, it will allow you to pivot. It will allow you to, you know, take a right turn on your goal, so that you are working towards something that is important for you, even though your original idea is really no longer relevant.

So those are the thing that you want to do, those are the things that I’m doing in my goal setting process to help me meet my goals.

For me, 2013 is an important year. It’s a year where I want to, and where I will, make a lot of really big steps in my life, right? I have a kid now, and I have a specific direction that I want to go in, both for my law firm business and for this kind of law firm marketing business that I’m creating.

And I want, 2013 is the year that I start to put all of that together. And I can see in my mind what that looks like and I’m excited to get there. And I know that by going through this goal setting process I’m going to be able to get where I want to be, and I’m excited about that.

So, here are my goals for 2013, and these still are subject to change I guess, there is still a month left, and I will look at these again for sure, and as I work back through the process for each one of these goals I may find that one of them needs to be put off until next year, or one of them in not really something that I want to do, it’s something that someone else wants me to do, or something that I think people think I should want to do and so I’ll change that. But right now, these are my goals:

2013 Goals

1. Make three hundred thousand dollars in revenue with the law firm. Now, that’s a lower goal than last year, but I want to set goals realistically, I want to set goals that I can reach. And I think that three hundred thousand dollars mark is something that I can actually do.

2. Publish a “’How to start a law firm” book. And I’m actually going to start working on this immediately. Is a resource that I think all of you need. I don’t think that there’s anything out there right now that gives you the tools to start a successful law firm, particularly with the way that technology has freed up your ability to work in ways that were not even considered possible maybe like ten years ago, right?

So I want to make that book. I want to tell you about my law firm experience, the experience I had starting my law firm. I want to provide you tips and tools and information and a guide that I didn’t have when I started, so that you can really hit the ground running when you start.

And the way I’m going to do the book, I think, is to start at the beginning as if I were starting over today. Let’s say that my law firm closed down and I needed to start back up. What are the things that I would do in a step by step manner to start my law firm again?

And I’m just going to run through those. I’m going to list them all out, obviously with some commentary, probably with some anecdotes from my own experience, and then I’m going to get that out there to you guys, so that if you are considering starting a law firm, you’ve got a resource that works in today’s world.

And I’m talking about this in a couple of my other posts and maybe even on some other podcasts, but the books that are out there today just are not written for today’s world. They don’t consider the power of the internet. They don’t consider the tools that are out there to market yourself that weren’t available before, and they also haven’t taken into account the differences in cost that have been created over time, right?

It does not cost as much to start a law firm as it once did. Marketing your law firm doesn’t cost nearly as much as it once did. The yellow pages doesn’t exist really anymore, for example.

And in Foonberg’s book he talks about yellow pages. He talks about getting a postage meter. He talks about stuff that is just irrelevant in today’s age.

So that’s one of my mangles and I’m really excited about doing that, and I’ve been talking about doing it for literally two years, but this is the time to get it done. And by talking about it on this podcast, by making promises to you all, that’s going to help me push myself to get that done.

3. Launch a law firm marketing mastery membership site. So, I talk a lot about law firm marketing on here, and I’ve got a lot of information to give you, but, you know, there is an added element to being part of a community that isn’t present here that I think we could all benefit from.

There are some membership sites that I’m a part of, that are not related to the law, but are kind of business membership sites, and they are fantastic. They make a huge difference in the success of me personally, they make a huge difference in the success of my firm, and I want to create a place like that for us.

I want to create a place where we can go and talk about the business of our law firms openly and honestly and actually get some constructive feedback and some ideas that don’t include “just look at what everyone else is doing.” So the goal is to start a membership site as soon as I can get it put together, by the end of the year, obviously.

And you know, then, within that, I’m going to make some of this content probably strictly for that site, strictly for those members. I’m going to start doing some interviews here on the podcast that are going to be amazing, that are going to knock your socks of, and some of that information I’m going to reserve for, you know, people that really want it, so that is my third goal.

4. Hire a contract attorney for my traffic ticket cases. That’s pretty straight forward. We’re going to hire someone that’s going to agree to just do all of my traffic ticket cases. And, to make $300,000 of revenue to reach my other goal I’m going to have to do quite a few more traffic cases. So I want someone that’s committed to helping me do that and, well, then obviously, reap the benefit of getting paid to do that.

5. Hire a contract attorney for DUIs. And this contract attorney, for both sides of my firm, I actually want them to at some point probably come on with the firm in a formal kind of a capacity. I want them to embody the things that I find important, to act the way that I think is necessary for success. And the way to start that, for me at least, is to start someone off on a part time basis, to show me what they can do, and then come on full time, hopefully as business pick up as well.

6. Pay off my credit cards. I don’t know if you guys have credit card debt, but I do, and I’d love to pay it off. I think it is freeing to have as little debt as possible. And if I meet these goals that I’m setting for myself, I should be able to pay the credit cards off by the end of the year.

7. Do a Law Firm Marketing Mastery podcast every week. I’m already on a week five of five so that’s good, obviously, I want to keep doing these forever. I really enjoy them, and once I start getting some people on here to interview, they should start to get really exciting and, so I want to do that, that’s a goal for me.

8. “Procedurize” everything. While “procedurize” might not be a word, it does, I think, explain what I want to do. One of the ways that you can really increase the efficiency of your firm and the efficiency of the things that you do is to create standard operative procedures for those, for all the tasks that you do, and then keep those some place so that when you have someone do the work for you, or even when you do it yourself, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Here are two examples of that:

The first example, let’s talk about like a traffic ticket case of mine. I have a standard operative procedure for my assistant, for how to handle traffic cases. It starts with answering the telephone and it ends with the conclusory email and letter wrapping up the case.

And between those two things, are about probably fifty steps. Each step is written down, and whenever we modify or add a step we add it or modify it to the standard operative procedure and that: a) helps her to know what she is supposed to do; b) it helps me make sure that she is doing what she needs to be doing; and then c) if anyone else ever comes on, it provides a very quick and dirty guide to being a successful employee at my law firm.

The second example of that, which takes it out of the kind of the employee context, is these podcasts. So I created a standard operative procedure for what I do with every single podcast. It starts basically from the recording, all the way through to when the transcript is posted online.

And I now have a guy doing these transcripts for me, so they should be getting thrown up every week, pretty quickly after the audio part comes out. So, I have that done, and that saved me a lot of time. I just pop that list open, I go “boom boom boom”, I just go right down the check list, and pretty soon it’s done.

9. Help my brother-in-law take his business to ten thousand dollars a month in revenue. I’m helping out my brother in law, he owns a tile business, and I know that he can do a couple of really small changes and get a lot of really big returns, so I’m going to help him do that this year, 2013.

10. Create a program for Law Firm Marketing Mastery. 30 days to blogging success. Even with the way that Google has changed their algorithms blogging is still very, very important. And they can serve you and your business greatly if you take care of them right, and if you set them up right, and if you do the right things to make them grow.

And I wanted to create a program to help anyone that’s new to starting a law firm or new into blogging to get their blog off the ground, to hopefully get it successful quickly, to get it recognized in the search engines, and to get some people reading it. And so I want to create a program for that.

11. Get to $12,000 in revenue from Law Firm Marketing Mastery. That’s only a thousand dollars a month. It’s probably pretty easy to do, but that’s a goal that I have for this year.

I want to, like I said, I want to start, I want to take this to the next level too. I don’t want to just be some guy on a microphone talking about law firm marketing. I want to really put my money where my mouth is and provide you with a real value. And I think I’m already doing that, but the only way to know for sure is to get out there and create some real value that deserves some value in kind.

12. Take a vacation out of Washington State that’s not Kansas. So, I mean that kind of speaks for itself, that’s a personal goal. I want to make sure that I take the wife and the kid out of Washington State to go do something fun basically, and we’re going to do that.

13. Become a copywriting expert. So much of what we do and say when it comes to the business of owning a law firm is persuasive copywriting. Whether it’s your website, whether it’s an email, whether it’s a blog, whether is a newsletter, whether it’s a direct mail piece, whether it’s a adwords add, whether it’s a radio advertisement, whatever it is, you are in the business of selling your services.

And if you don’t have a good comprehension of copywriting and persuasive writing, and the tools and the tricks of the trade, then you are at a great disadvantage. And there is a lot of fantastic information out there to help you build an expertise in copywriting, and that’s something that I want to do this year.

I think it will help me and my business, I think it will help you and your business. I think it’s good for this blog. I think it’s good for me if I’m talking about marketing to really build and have an expertise in marketing and that’s one of the way that I’m going to do it.

14. Read 1 book a week. That is pretty aggressive I think, but it’s something that I want to do, and it’s something that I’m going to do. I love to read anyway, and I’ve gotten away from it, but I think I can do it. So one book a week, and then what I’m going to do is probably just talk about that each book, each week, not here on the podcast, but I’ll talk about it probably in my blog post.

I may talk about it here, if it’s irrelevant, and I’m reading a great book now about vulnerability that I think it’s going to be a game changer for me. It’s about, as you might expect, being vulnerable. I’m not that far into it but it’s already really kind of opened my eyes to a lot of insightful things. And particularly the idea that being vulnerable does not mean being weak. And I think that’s important.

15. Make dinner for my wife once a week. We work hard at what we do, and we tend to eat dinner quickly. We sit down, but you know, I want to take the opportunity to make her dinner, to tell her how thankful I am that she is there, to make sure that we are staying connected, and making dinner is a great way to do that.

Okay, at the end of the first month of these goals I’ll check my progress and adjust where necessary. So maybe I’ll start checking in, maybe I’ll touch on some of these goals every month.

If you subscribe to my newsletter I’m going to give you a link to here pretty soon (here’s the link), you will be able to know if I’m making my goal of the revenue, if I’m making my revenue goals, because I give you those every week, or every month. And that’s one way that you’re going to know if I do that.

All right, so those are my goals for the year. Like I said, I’m super pumped about getting the year started, so I can start tracking these goals down. I probably will honestly start working towards them now, because I’m excited to go out there and give it a shot, and put myself out there, and see if I can reach my true potential.

Tip of the Week

Okay, onto our final segment this week, the tip of the week. I’m going to make it quick because we are already about 48 minutes into this thing. It’s gone on a little longer than I thought.

When you’re taking about goals though, when you’re taking about mind set, it’s important that you really have a good grasp of it though, so it’s okay to run long if you’re making a progress.

So, my tip of the week is, I just want to invite you to check out one of the podcast that I listen to a lot. It is not a law firm podcast, it is a business podcast. It’s called “Internet Business Mastery,” and if you want to learn more about it, I’ve created a page on my blog that you can check out, lawfirmmarketingmastery.com/IBM, which is short for Internet Business Mastery.

It’s a site that is devoted really to internet marketing, to internet businesses, but it has a lot of really great information about business mindset, about creating successful situations for yourself, and it also has some great information about marketing a business that translates to our profession.

So I encourage you to go check it out. It’s fantastic, it’s free, and it’s great.

What I do is I have an iPhone, I have the Podcruncher app on my phone. I just load up those podcast on there and when I’m driving, when I’m at the gym, when I’m standing in line, when I’m bored, I put my headphones in, I fire it up, and they are pretty entertaining too, so that helps, and I just listen to what they have to say. So give it a shot.

Okay. Now, to close up, I just want to remind you to a couple of things:

The first is to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already. You can either go to the front page of the site http://lawfirmmarketingmastery.com and there is a sign up box there, or you can go to http://lawfirmmarketingmastery.com/newsletter and there will be the obtainer right there on the page. So that will be an easy way to do it as well.

Like I said, with that newsletter you get some inside information that I don’t’ provide on the podcast or on the blog, you get my monthly revenue numbers and you also get an invite to a webinar every month that no one else gets.

If you want some of that information, if you want to be part of that experience then just go sign up for the newsletter. It’s completely free and I think it’s got a lot of great information in there.

Second, I want to invite you to go sign up for my facebook page, and also go and follow me on twitter.

Again, on those 2 pages I provide a lot of snippets and quotes and stuff like that that I don’t talk about here on the podcast or talk about on the blog, because they are too short. Or I just want to forward you a cool article that I found, and that’s a great place to do that. A great way to do that.

And finally, before I leave, I want to hear from you. Do you have a topic that you want to hear about? Do you have a comment, or question? Please shoot me an email, let me know, you can email me at chrisophersmall@lawfirmmarketingmastery.com

Okay, thank you very much for listening, I know we went a little long this week, I want to hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to talk to you next week.

Take care.