Episode 2

Today’s post is part two of SmartTalk, a Podcast in which I chat with estate planning attorney Victor Medina about lawyer-entrepreneurship, managed risk, voodoo, peer pressure, failing faster, the Ku Klux Klan, Victor’s paranoia, microfiche, unsolved murders, how Google changed Mark’s life, what Americans do at night, The California Switchblade, clicks and conversions, the uses of video, the power of “new,” and the lizard brain.

Mark:

Let’s talk about the other half, which is attorney-ship, in terms of being solo and owning your own business. I wrote an article called “11 Reasons that Attorneys Don’t Do Marketing.” I think that it’s kind of interesting that the qualities attorneys have, through temperament or maybe through training, inhibit entrepreneurship and financial success. One of them, of course, is being risk adverse. Something that you and I have talked about before. Attorneys live in a world that requires prudence, contracts, having estate plans in place. They want guarantees. They operate in a world where there’s liability, malpractice suits and judgments. I think all of these things naturally lead to prudence on the part of an attorney, whereas entrepreneurship is all about risk. All about managed risk, reasonable risk. But risk. You have to take it. The training of an attorney actually does its best to take away whatever entrepreneurial abilities he or she had.

Victor:

You can see it from the beginning of any law school class. Those folks aren’t going to be dissuaded no matter what. They are totally focused on the public interest aspects of what they can do. They are not even considering capitalism or the commercial clickability of their law degree.

Mark:

They are motivated by a desire to serve, and to right wrongs.

Victor:

Certainly. I went to Northeastern University, which is a progressive and liberal law school where public interest is a mandatory requirement of the education. That also exists in other places. I have friends from my hometown that went to law school at Harvard and ended up being domestic violence advocates. They didn’t link those tickets to success. They went with the more altruistic purpose. That said, I do think that legal training does lend itself to being risk adverse. The training leads to an analysis of a situation that leads to paralysis. If you’re able to see all of the potential downfalls to come, then you’re less likely to go down any one of those avenues. Solo practitioners who have a responsibility to somebody other than themselves, a family or whatever, are more likely to overcome that than other folks.

There are a lot of inertia issues for new associates as they begin their career at large law firms. There have two options. They can either stay there forever, provided they can continue to stay employed. Or they can swing into an in-house position, which is the same as working for a company. But they’re never going to be able to break out, because inertia is going to hold them back. The salary, the golden handcuffs, everything about that. They look at their life and think this is not worth jeopardizing for what could potentially come down the road.

Mark:

Here’s another lawyer quality I think makes entrepreneurship difficult. Lawyers are trained skeptics. And entrepreneurship takes faith. How can you tell people about marketing. It’s half science. It’s half voodoo. And the voodoo part is: you have a vision, you believe in it, and you do it. It doesn’t matter what the market says. It doesn’t matter what the evidence says. It doesn’t matter. You’re going forward.

I have clients who are litigators. One of the things I find really funny is that if I tell them what they should do in terms of their marketing, the way they respond is to argue with me. If I can beat them in the argument, then they’ll do what I said. This is the way they understand the world. You can call it the Socratic method if you want.

Victor:

The other thing that I’ll bring up as a potential resistance to lawyers understanding the business aspect of what they’re doing is peer pressure. If you are a non-conformist, you don’t belong to the guild. If you don’t belong to the guild, you’re not a true lawyer. So stop taking another step forward.

Mark:

That’s really funny you should say that. I discuss that very issue in my article, which I’m not pimping in any way. I don’t make any money from it. You can go to my website, www.smartmarketingnow.com, click on Smart Articles and you’ll find the article. Reason number 11 in that article is entitled “Attorneys Are Obsessed With What Other Attorneys Think of Them.”

Victor:

So true.

Mark:

That’s the point you were making.

Victor:

For the most part, the people who hang out in the list serve bar that we hang out in are probably among the more progressive-thinking lawyers out there. They’re at least willing to consider something, even if they’re going to debate it. And even on there, you encounter this resistance and concern about what other lawyers are thinking. Mark, it reminds me of your story about how hardware store owners don’t care about what other hardware store owners down the street think of them.

Mark:

It argues against entrepreneurship again. I’ve been reading this book called Return to the Little Kingdom. You and I talked about it a little. It’s basically about Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and the beginnings of Apple computer. It’s very, very clear that in instance after instance, Steve Jobs didn’t care what anyone else thought. He didn’t care about market research. He didn’t care about where his parents thought he should go to school. Or maybe he cared and he just ignored it.

I saw an interview with one of the early Apple executives, where he was asked something about market research. He said Steve’s left brain was wired to his right brain, and that was their market research.

Victor:

One of the things that I think is problematic with society today is that we depend too much on the pack approval of others. We’ve lost the ability to self-define who we are. We are too comfortable with what we’re doing. We require the input of the outside world in order to make a judgment. That occurs a lot in law school. It occurs a lot in the case of witnessing somebody get absolutely decimated by a professor in the Socratic method.

It’s the understanding of where people rank. And that rank leads to success. And success leads to whatever else. And so there is a culture there that breeds pack acceptance and punishes to a large extent anybody who is a non-conformist. If you do not understand how to answer a question by spotting the issue, citing the rule, making the argument, and making a conclusion, then you will not be successful. There’s no other way to approach this.

Historically though, anybody who has been largely successful in the grandest sense, has done something that was completely non-conformist.

Mark:

Occasionally, I’ll have a client who says, I’ve got this great idea. Maybe it’s for a business, or for a marketing plan, or whatever. They ask what I think. I tell them what I think, but then I’ll always add, if you have a vision, don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to anybody. Because nobody sees what you see. You have to pursue that vision and make it happen. And don’t give a damn what I think.

Victor:

So without betraying client confidences, are there people out there doing transcendent things when it comes to marketing their law firm or establishing themselves as attorneys in the community? Things outside of the tried and true.

Mark:

Yes, sure. But I should temper that by saying that I’ve had clients try to do some things that flopped wildly. I had a client, I won’t name the name, put together this virtual law firm of top experts in all parts of the country. It was a nightmare and it went nowhere.

Victor:

The dogs didn’t like the dog food?

Mark:

No. The dogs wanted to kill each other. It was like the Woody Allen quote, “It’s worse than a dog-eat-dog world. It’s a dog-won’t-return-the-other-dog’s-phone-call world.”

I’ve had clients who’ve had some terrific ideas for marketing innovations, and we pursued them and they were terrifically successful. And then others just flopped. There’s another quality of entrepreneurship that attorneys generally are not very comfortable with. That is, in marketing you’ve got to try stuff and be willing to fail. You’ve got to be willing to fail, lose money, and then get onto the next thing.

There’s a business theory, right out of business school textbooks, called “fail faster,” which is key to success. If you’re going to do 10 things, and the 10th thing is what’s going to work and make you rich, the best thing you can do is get through the first nine fast. Try it, implement it, see it fail, and get onto the next one. Don’t sit there dithering. If you stop to lick your wounds after the first one fails, you’re going to be that much slower to get into the next one. And then if that one fails, you’ll start to consider yourself a failure. It’s not a good way to do it. I think you and I have talked about persistence as a quality for success.

I read this article by the actor Roy Scheider, who said he went to 122 auditions before he got his first acting job. I thought to myself, how many people would have given up after 10? How many after 25? How many after 50? And how many after 100 would have gone home and said, I’m never going to be an actor. Nobody wants me. I’ve been rejected 100 times. Persistence is a huge part of entrepreneurship, and part of that is the willingness to fail.

Victor:

I purchased a successory a while ago. They were the hottest thing. I still keep it with me, even though it doesn’t go with my current office décor. It’s a little cheesy, but you can read it backwards. There it is … Perseverance.
Mark:

It’s funny that you and I both keep little inspirational things on our desks. I have mine here. It’s really adapted from the Strategic Coach. I rewrote it a little and put it on a custom plaque. It says, “Show up on time. Do what you say. Finish what you start. Say please and thank you.” Those are Dan Sullivan’s four rules for ultimate referability. I think of them as the fundamentals. Just like the fundamentals in baseball are run, catch, throw and hit. If you do those things, you’ll be good. That’s your minimum.

I think “show up on time” is huge. I have a little bit, maybe too much, of a fanatical obsession about this. My staff laughs at me and says, why do you bother being on time? No one else ever is. There’s a certain amount of truth in that, but I believe in it.

“Do what you say” is obvious. The world is full of BS, as you and I both know. People who say they’re going to do something and actually do it are rare, even down to a small thing, like saying I’ll call you for lunch. When people say they’re going to do something, in this day and age, they’re declaring a vague intention. Not an actual promise. Whatever I say I’m going to do, I do. I think very quickly people will pick up on the fact that you’re ultimately a reliable person, and you do whatever you say you’re going to do.

“Finish what you start.” That’s a huge one, too. You and I both know an attorney, who shall remain nameless. I guess he’s an ex-attorney at this point. He got in big trouble for taking people’s money and not being able to deliver the work. Not finishing what he started. I see that in my business all the time.

“Say please and thank you.” You wouldn’t think you had to tell or teach that to anyone. It’s amazing to me how many times that rule is ignored.

Those are my fundamentals. I figure if I do them consistently, I’ll be OK.

Victor:

I have a couple of topics for discussion. One of the issues with the Internet is that it has given individuals the ability to find and communicate with people that think their way. That’s both good and bad. You’ve got KKK members that all of a sudden feel as though their behavior is acceptable, because they found other people in Wichita that think the same way. But by the same token, it has helped people collaborate and refine best practices to the benefit of whatever industry they’re in or whatever they do.

Mark, do you think the Internet has made forward-thinking lawyers who understand marketing and business entrepreneurship easier to find? Harder? Has the Internet impacted what you do?

Mark:

I think it’s huge. Let’s start with the Internet in general. I saw this special on PBS featuring interviews with some scientists. One of them was talking about the fact that there have been four great revolutions in human communications. Number one was the invention of spoken language. Number two was the invention of written language – the alphabet. Number three was Gutenberg and the printing press – books. And number four is the Internet. That’s just how big and transformative it has been.

If it wasn’t for the Internet, I’d have a little advertising agency in Southwest Florida serving the real estate industry, because that is what’s here. There’s no way I could have the national practice that I have. For a lot of my clients, and for a lot of my friends, the ability to go online and find like-minded thinkers gives them the emotional courage to go ahead and be who they are. They’re not alone in this world.

Of course, the intellectual discourse is immense. Victor, you can find out what a very successful estate planning attorney in California is doing that is making him so successful. You can call him, e-mail him, or Skype him and cross question him about it. What an immense advantage that is.

Intellectual stimulation is another benefit that I get from the Internet and list serve. Without the Internet, I couldn’t have this conversation with Victor Medina. Or any of the previous conversations we’ve had, which are incredibly useful to me. They spark my own thinking to the extent that I have to explain what I think. I really have to think it though and know why I think a certain way. And the fact that you have insights that I don’t think about is incredibly valuable to me. Multiply that by a couple dozen very valuable relationships that I’ve formed out there. How about you?

Victor:

Yes. It’s been helpful to me. The downside of a solo practice is that even if you develop a practice that employs a staff, you have to rely on local connections in order to be successful. As the business leader, you’re totally alone. And if you’re paranoid like I am, you don’t want to be sharing your trade secrets with the guy down the street, who’ll take them and start implementing them.

Mark:

But you don’t mind sharing them with a guy in California?

Victor:

No. In fact, I do so in hopes that he shares something with me that will be useful to me. The ability to establish friendships with like-minded folks is enormous, because it gives you the confidence to be successful. It gives you the confidence that you don’t have to change who you are in order to be successful. Being a non-conformist doesn’t have any romantic connotations.

I think most solo attorneys don’t like to introduce new ideas to their local communities and being judged.

Mark:

And having all these smart, experienced people telling him he’s doing it the wrong way.

Victor:

Yes. They’ve been at it for 30 years and they’ve been able to send their kids to college a few times over. And they’ve got the summer house on the shore, and whatever. Their way works. Maybe I should think about changing.

The Internet helps you maintain who you are, because you can see other people’s success. The Internet levels the playing field.

Mark:

I love that! I’ve got personal injury clients in TV markets that are totally dominated by the big guys. They’re big national firms who buy millions of dollars in TV advertising. There’s just no way to match them. But the Internet is different. My clients who are savvy and on the cutting edge, and who are willing to put in the hard work, have been able to knock those big guys over.

Victor:

And they never saw it coming. I don’t mind that I’m susceptible to getting knocked over because the playing field is level. I’d rather fight that battle, than not be able to enter the field of competition at all.

Mark:

In classic marketing, you’re taught to use gorilla tactics to get to be top dog in the market. And then you use a big advertising budget to keep everybody else out. The Internet has really leveled that playing field. You can’t keep the little guy out. If the little guy is willing to spend 24 hours a day on the Internet blogging and messing with his search engine rankings, he’s going to kill you. To me, that’s really a great gift.

I often have cause to think about how the Internet has changed my life. How it’s changed the way we do things. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it to this audience, but my background was as a newspaper reporter. I remember writing an article in the late ’80s. My assignment was to do a magazine article about unsolved murders in Southwest Florida. The way that I went about searching was to go to the library and down into the basement where they kept the microfiche of old newspapers.

Victor:

My step-mom is a librarian, so I know all about microfiche.

Mark:

As I was researching the article, it occurred to me that there had been this guy who killed his whole family in Pennsylvania. America’s Most Wanted had done a bust of him how he would look now. As a result, he was caught. That was all I knew. Now how was I going to find the details of that case? I didn’t remember his name. I remembered Pennsylvania, and that was about it. By the way, the guy’s name was John List.

Victor:

He was the basis for the guy in “The Usual Suspects” … Keyser Söze.

Mark:
Right, but I couldn’t remember any details off the top of my head. It had happened in like 1976. This was 1986 or something. I spent hours and hours researching, and then putting together the article. Today, I would go on Google and have all the information ever written about the case in about 13 seconds. I would retype three paragraphs describing the case and stick it in my story.

Victor:

Would you have gotten paid the same for it?

Mark:

We had a little bit of an advance jump in the newspaper business, because we had access to a huge database – LexisNexis. There would be one dedicated computer in the newsroom, where you could do certain kinds of searches. We were doing that before the general public was. It has so revolutionized everything that everybody does.

I remember reading an article about TV. The person writing the article said before 1950, if you asked Americans what they did in the evening, you’d have gotten 100 different answers. They read books, played the piano, did family plays, played board games, and listened to the radio. After 1950, there’s only one answer: TV. I think the Internet is just about that sweeping.

Every now and then I get clients who say, “rich people don’t look for their advisors on the Internet,” or “people over 75 don’t use the Internet.” That’s all baloney. Everybody uses it for everything. It’s completely changed the way we do everything in my view.

Victor:

And that includes how you encourage people to market their legal services, obviously?

Mark:

Yes. It’s the number one thing. If you had asked that same question even 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have been number one. But it has completely taken over. When I look at the number of my employees, I can see the Internet department growing huge. It has just become more and more important. Of course, there’s no secondary cost. There’s no paper, no postage, no buying an ad on TV, or any of that.

Victor:

All your kickbacks just went away. That probably impacted your revenue.

Mark:

There go my commissions, right. It’s an incredibly effective means of marketing, probably THE most effective.

Victor:

I’ve got two follow-up questions. The first is, do you have to make a big splash in there in order to be effective? Earlier, we were discussing outrageous attorney advertising. Is that necessary, or can you use less aggressive shock techniques in order to get noticed?

Mark:

I think the shock techniques are really very rare, which is why they get all the commentary they do. If everybody was doing it, we wouldn’t be talking about it on the list serve. Most people want a marketing style that is based on information and education that preserves the dignity and respect of their profession.

There’s a book called Marketing Outrageously by Jon Spoelstra. I had a chance to meet and talk to him quite a bit. He’s a really interesting guy, and was nice enough to give me a blurb for my own book. The first thing you have to do with any kind of marketing or advertising is to get somebody’s attention. There’s so much Internet clutter out there. If you just do what everybody else does, you’re not going to jolt anybody that’s only half paying attention to what they see anyway. I think you can use humor and those kinds of things to get somebody’s attention, but then you have to deliver the goods. You’ve got to deliver something a little more substantive.

Victor, you’ve seen the ads my company has done on reasons to do estate planning. You’ve even contributed your own, which was very clever. That’s using humor. It’s a little bit outrageous, but it piques people’s interest and now we can talk to them about estate planning. I am as repulsed as anybody seeing ads that say, “call Jack the Hammer, he’ll nail them.”

Victor:

The California Switchblade is my favorite. I like the notion that through video you can establish emotional connections and impressions with people that you could formerly only do in person. And that’s now available for a low entry fee, in terms of doing the video. Do you see that as the next step?

Mark:

I’m a fan of video. I like it a lot because I believe that when people buy professional services, they buy the person who provides the service. They don’t buy Acme Legal Corporation, they buy Victor. In giving people an idea of who you are, in person is best, obviously. Video is second best, and a photograph would be third.

Victor:

I haven’t been able to implement it the way I would like, but I agree with you. Out of a fear of rejection, it’s a nice way to passively introduce yourself to somebody. To have a calling card that encapsulates everything you are. For example, the fact that you provide great client-focused service, or that you’re a premium level attorney offering premium-level services. All of that can be captured in a video.

I think video offers two advantages. The first is the low entry fee. And once it’s produced, it’s out there forever … 24 hours a day. The second is the fact that it doesn’t require somebody to pass judgment about whether or not they want to see it. By the time they’ve come to your site and clicked the play button, they’ve agreed to learning a little bit more about you. You don’t have to convince them. You don’t have to feel as though it’s an imposition. I like that aspect of it, especially for this industry.

Mark:

I’ve done a lot of video. Speaking of fear of rejection, I’m 59 years old and I detest the way that I look. I look at myself on video and see a wreckage of what I once was. I tell people this isn’t me, this is something that happened to me. All that apart, it allows people to connect with me on a level that’s beyond written content, that is beyond a photograph.

I can give you a concrete example. There are two halves to the Internet equation. One half is called clicks, which is getting people to your website. The other half is called conversions, which is getting people to do what you want them to do.

Most of us have a contact page or contact form. I have one too. In its first iteration, it was a form with some text beside it that said, “Please fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation with Mark. These are the kind of questions he’ll ask you. What he won’t do is twist your arm to sell you, or stalk you, or anything like that.” And that got a pretty good response.

Then I added my picture to the form, and the response got better. Then I added a video. The video says, “I know that you are reluctant to fill out a form on the Internet. You don’t want to feel like you’re giving away your information. And you don’t want to feel like some salesman is going to call you and twist your arm into doing something. That’s not the way we do business here. Here is what’s going to happen if you fill out this form: I’m going to call you. We’re going to have a conversation. These are the kind of questions I’m going to ask you. And these are the questions that I’m open to you asking me about. I look forward to meeting you.” Boy, our conversions went way up! There are lots of uses for video that may not immediately occur to you.

Victor:

So not only are you providing important information, but you’re also establishing an emotional connection. And you appear genuine and can be accepted at your word.

Mark:
Yes. Occasionally, when I’m talking to a client about a brochure, they get all bent out of shape about its contents. I say, it doesn’t matter what’s in the brochure, because nobody’s going to read the brochure. It only matters that there is a brochure.

In a sense, video is like that. It really doesn’t matter what I say. What matters to the client is that I appear to be a good guy and would be easy to talk to. That’s really about it.

Think about the reasons people call a law firm. Because they’re in trouble, right? They’re getting a divorce, they’re going bankrupt, somebody’s suing them, they got a DUI. I know estate planning is different, but I still think that people associate a law office and lawyers with crisis response. So why would anyone want to call a lawyer? Therefore, lawyers’ videos should convey sincerity, for example, “I’m a human being and you’re a human being. This is the way I have conversations, and this is what it would be like to work with me.”

Victor:

So as long as the rest of the world wants to do the same old same old video, you’ve got the counterpoint to the Hammer and Switchblade, and whoever else is out there.

Mark:

Exactly.

Victor:

Video lets you establish that you really are different than the other people out there. Clients can see visceral examples.

Mark:

Our friend Gerry Oginski specializes in videos for lawyers. One of his main thoughts is that lawyers want to get on camera and talk about themselves. That’s true of almost all lawyer marketing and lawyer advertising. Look at the Yellow Pages, just to pick one archaic means of advertising legal services. What does a Yellow Pages ad say, “We got 60 years of experience. We got 12 lawyers. We’ve been accredited by this one and rated by that one, and we’re great.” It doesn’t say one thing about the customer or client.

If you’re an elder law attorney, which of the following ads is better: an ad that says, “We’re great elder law attorneys.” Or, an ad that says, “What will happen to you and your family if you go into a nursing home?” Which one speaks to you?

Victor:

I’m going to ask you some trade secrets here, in order to provide value for the listeners. You’re not going to get compensated for it. Is that alright?

Mark:
We’ll see what the question is.

Victor:

Most of what we’re discussing here today is information that has been well established. It’s just a matter of implementing it in different ways. Is what you’re currently doing for your clients at a stable point, or is it being challenged because other people are starting to catch up?

Mark:

It’s always evolving. Markets are fluid and marketing is always changing. The thing I was doing three years ago that was working gangbusters, doesn’t work anymore. And part of the reason it doesn’t work anymore is that a whole lot of other people caught onto it and started doing it. I think in marketing there is a great value to new and different and fresh. If you look at studies of retail marketing, the power of the word new on a box or can or whatever is huge. We laugh about it, but it’s like the word free, it makes people act in crazy ways.

My thinking and methods are always evolving. It irks me when something that I innovated is being copied by somebody else. It bugs me, but I always think, I’m a smart guy and I’ll think of the next new thing before anybody else does. Then, in a couple of years, they can copy that too.

Victor:

People shouldn’t get comfortable. And by people, I mean me. We are not going to be able to have one thing that will work in perpetuity. Continual investment is going to be necessary, because things are always going to change.

Mark:
If you came into my office and emptied my drawers of everything that’s working now, you’d be good for two or three years. I’ve been doing this since 1994, and in my experience, every two or three years, whatever is working great, just stops working.

When I think back to the mid to late ’90s, we were marketing estate planning entirely based around the Estate Tax. That was our focus. To protect the money from Uncle Sam. You’re only worth half of what you think you’re worth. Because if you die tomorrow, Uncle Sam is going to want 55%. And they want it in cash, and in nine months. And that’s the reason you have to do an estate plan. And that was our whole focus.

Well, that stopped working, mostly because of the changes in the Estate Tax Law.

A lot of times I’ll run into a client who says, I did seminars for a while and was quite successful, but then they stopped working so I quit. When I investigate a little deeper, I always find that they were still doing the same seminar they did in 1989. They were even promoting it with the same invitation. Anybody who wanted to hear it had already heard it. And it probably wasn’t even relevant anymore. You have to introduce something new.

Victor:

I’m wired a little differently. I like new things. I’m excited to try something new. I like developing it, working to make it successful, and then turning it over to someone else to do.

Mark:

I’m the same way. I want to do great new things, but after awhile, I’m ready to move onto the next one.

Victor:

I’m okay with that because my core competency allows me to continue to be successful in life. If Congress makes estate planning obsolete, I would love the challenge of taking on a bankruptcy practice. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to start a lawyer coaching program.

Mark:

What a great idea, Victor. I can’t believe it took you so long.

Victor:

I think it’s probably really easy to do based on what I’ve seen out there. A lot of lawyers are doing it. Certainly it’s necessary. The market would support another one.

Mark:

You see my success, and that I don’t work at all.

Victor:

Nor does it require any skills.

Mark:

Or any particular brains.

Victor:

You don’t have to be good looking, smart or dedicated. All you have to do is say that you are and people will pay you.

Mark:
I agree with your original point. I often think to myself, what if all lawyers tomorrow were forbidden by law to do any marketing. I think I could market dentists. I know how to do this stuff. I could turn the engine around in a different direction. I don’t want to. But if it’s necessary, I will. I think that’s being open to new things.

Getting back to your comment about changing markets. I’ve had as many as a dozen clients say to me, I’ve got everything that I need. I’ve got my website, my Internet strategy, my brochures, and I’ve learned how to do seminars. I don’t need you anymore. Nicer than that, but basically that’s the message.

Victor:

It’s not just about you. They’re not saying, Mark we don’t like you. We’re just at the end of our journey.

Mark:
But I see a very significant number of those back in a year and half, wanting to hire me again. The thing they had that was so great stopped working. They quit marketing because their pipeline was full and they had so many clients. Of course, they went though all those clients. And now they don’t have any clients. Then they say to me, I notice everyone is doing this new thing called Podcasting or blogging. What is it? It didn’t exist two years ago when I left you.

Victor:

I approach it from a slightly different perspective. I hope you’ll respect it. I’m relatively cheap. As you know, I don’t like to spend money. I couldn’t imagine having spent a year and a half with you and gotten down to the lowest maintenance cost, and then leaving. That’s the point in time when I would really start to hammer you, since it’s costing me a fraction of what I was paying nine or 18 months ago. I’d want to do six new things. I don’t understand how anyone would leave at that point.

Mark:

I don’t either. There are many aspects of human behavior that are beyond my comprehension. Why would someone pay me $4,000 a month, and then ignore my advice? Explain that one to me.

Victor:

I get that a lot, too. I know people who pay for practice development advice, and then don’t utilize it. It’s probably still in the same shrink-wrap that it was delivered in. That drives me nuts.

Mark:
It’s a crazy human syndrome.

Victor:

It’s the Lizard Brain. In other words, you are content about a practice that is just keeping its head above water. You’re hesitant to discover what would happen if you were very successful. Nor are you prepared to face the new challenges and hard work that it would take to get there. You’d rather just leave it on the shelf in the shrink-wrap.

Mark:
It’s fear of success. Psychological inhibitors to success, as you say. There are many. We could deal with them extensively.

A lawyer might say, if I’m very successful, I’ll have to hire people. And I don’t want to hire people. I say, all these problems are really good problems to have. It’s true that people have very self-limiting psychological blocks. We build up these myths in our head that we can’t do this because of this reason or that, and it really limits us.

Victor:

This first Podcast was about an hour and 40 minutes. Do you think anyone is still listening? Did you like where we went?

Mark:
I thought it was a great conversation. So do you think there’s anybody out there that’s going to enjoy listening to us discussing this kind of stuff?

Victor:

It’s up to the market.

Mark:
The market will give us our answer.

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