In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Brian Beckcom discuss:
- Doing the hard thing, even when that means doing nothing.
- How Brian’s childhood led him to build his own personal injury law firm.
- Overcoming the peer pressure and expectations society (and big law) puts on you as a lawyer.
- Taking action with purpose and passion to get the most out of your talents and strengths.
- The only thing in life that gives true happiness and fulfillment is overcoming obstacles and challenges.
- You should decide what you want your life to look like then design your business to suit your life.
- Set parameters and priorities for yourself and hold to them. It will be easier to make the hard decisions and will help you find your happiness.
- One shortcut to happiness is to help other people.
“If you, as a lawyer, develop the skills to bring in business, you can basically do whatever you want to do.” — Brian Beckcom
Connect with Brian Beckcom:
Thank you to our Sponsors!
LegalEase Marketing: https://legaleasemarketing.com/
Practice Panther: https://www.practicepanther.com/
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
YouTube: Steve Fretzin
Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911
Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.
lawyer, people, business, steve, brian, helping, life, ben, day, firm, clients, years, happy, happiness, struggles, listening, podcast, job, hard, talking
Stephanie Vaughn Jones, Narrator, Brian Beckcom, Steve Fretzin, Jordan Ostroff
Brian Beckcom [00:00]
If you as a lawyer develop the skills to bring in business, you can basically do whatever you want to do.
You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer, coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.
Steve Fretzin [00:34]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer, the show that is all about helping you be more successful as an attorney growing a law practice. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that, you know, it’s my job to make sure that I bring in great guests with great takeaways, things that are actually going to help you move the needle not just 20,000 foot views of methodologies or ideas. It’s it’s it’s getting into the weeds and actually thinking strategically and tactically about how you’re going to build this thing called the law practice. We all know that the key to success as a lawyer, yes, you got to be a smart lawyer. The other piece of it is, how are you picking up clients? How are you living a balanced life? How are you keeping your Saturday making sure that every day is is a great day and not a day that you’re you’re wishing it was to nap and that you could get over it? Brian, Brian, how you doing, man?
I’m doing great. I’m doing great. I’m really excited about this. And I gotta tell you, Steve, I really appreciate you inviting me to be on the show today,
Steve Fretzin [01:29]
ya know, well, listen, you’re the talent man, you’re the one who asked to perform, I just gotta sit back and relax. Let you do the heavy lifting. You know, this is old hat to me. And you’re a podcaster. So you totally get it. You know, you just got to let the guests go, where the guest is gonna go, especially if it’s in a really positive direction, which I know, I know, you know, you and I, and our conversation today will be just that. Also, I just want to mention, if you’re interested in learning more about Fretzin IQ, you can go to my email@example.com. I also have four books for sale on Amazon. Just type in my name and Amazon you’ll see them the most recent one is legal business development isn’t rocket science. Guess what it’s not actually was talking to someone about a rocket scientist today. And I met him. He’s a lawyer, but he was an engineer and a rocket science in the past. And I was like, I should show my book. But anyway, pick up a copy of that on Amazon support my son’s 529 For crying out loud. Let’s go we gotta send these kids to college. Want to take a moment to thank our sponsors we’ve got money Penny doing the live chat on my website they’re doing virtual reception if you don’t have a good receptionist or you’re doing a phone treat, bad call, get money, Penny. We got legalese doing all the marketing that you need that social media, the newsletters, websites, all that jazz. And of course practice Panther, helping you get organized with your practice management system and making sure that you got your pipeline full. And your time worked out and all the automations in place. So big thank you to them. All right. Wow, that was I feel like I’m exhausted just from the intro there. Brian is so kind to send me a quote really, really cool quote, the cave you fear to enter holds the gold you seek. That is we don’t know who that is. We don’t know who said that.
I’m not sure who said that. But it’s an old old quote. Like, I think it’s hundreds and hundreds of years old.
Steve Fretzin [03:12]
What if I just took credit for that and said, it’s mine. No one can take it. Yeah, that’s why I came up with that.
I tell you that all the time. Hey, that’s a great way to put it. I’m gonna steal that.
Steve Fretzin [03:24]
Let’s do it. Yeah, no one’s gonna know it’s never gonna come back to haunt me. But what are you kidding aside, though, that’s a pretty cool, well, why did you why did you submit that? What do you like about that quote?
The thing I like about that quote is it encapsulates really a lot of the philosophy that I’ve been thinking about for the last three or four years, which is, you know, not to get off into a discussion about a different topic, but I started jujitsu when I was 47 years old, walked into the studio didn’t know anybody. I was scared out of my mind. I don’t know if we can cuss on this podcast. I was scared. shitless Okay, yeah.
Steve Fretzin [03:56]
Well, you’re gonna get kicked out. I mean, that’s that.
Yeah. And you see all these 25 year old Brazilian kids at 220 pounds. Yeah, I was so scared. But I’ll tell you what, man. After about six months to get my ass kicked. I started getting it. And it was so exhilarating. And it made me realize that the only thing in life that really gives true deep happiness or fulfillment is overcoming struggles and obstacles. I mean, you know, you were talking earlier about self medicating with lying the past couple days because my son, my first son, I just dropped him off at college a couple of weeks ago. And you know, you can drink a little wine, a little bird and play some golf stuff like that. Be happy temporarily. But long term fulfillment. Long term happiness can only be obtained by doing stuff that’s hard. And that’s really jujitsu taught me that I kind of knew that already. Steve, to be honest with you, but I’d forgotten it. One of the problems that I have had and I don’t want this to sound the wrong way, but I’ve been successful. I’m was 50 years old, I have a good practice. I have a good podcast, I have a great family. And but frankly, four or five years ago, I started getting lazy. And here’s another quote that I liked. Success is dangerous. Success can cause you to pull back, be lazy, take things for granted, you name it. And so I started looking around and I was like, Man, I got a great life. But if I’m not careful, in five years, I’m going to be 50 pounds overweight, I’m going to be in a bad mood, I’m not pushing myself hard enough. I’m taking all this stuff for granted. So but the original quote, cave you fear to enter holds the gold you see is all about true fulfillment. And true happiness is about doing stuff that’s hard doing stuff that you’re afraid of.
Steve Fretzin [05:48]
Sometimes the hard thing is not doing anything like, you know, when your kids had Hell Week in college, or, or my son, as you know, there’s just I want to tell them what to do all the time. And instead, I just let them struggle, I let them fail and deal with the consequences. And that’s hard as a parent to do. But it’s important for, you know, I think if you if you bulldoze or helicopter your way, you know, with your kids or whatever, you know, anybody then then they’re not going to have the same struggles that we had coming up, or even similar struggles. And then what are they prepared for?
Yeah, no doubt about it. There’s a great Bruce Lee saying I saw we were talking about this. But before we went on the air, my son is not only going off to college, but he’s going to Corps Cadets today. And it was like going to a military camp inside of a college. And so he had his hell week. Last week, and it was super tough. And I saw this quote from Bruce Lee, I’m not going to get it exact. But essentially what he said was, don’t pray that your children have an easy life, pray that they have a hard life and that they learn how to deal with obstacles. And I was like, That’s so good. Because you just said Steve is so true. Like, I want to every time I kid I got three kids every time something happens, where they’re struggling and stuff like all parents, we want to reach out. Yeah, we want to fix it for him. We want to make it better. We don’t want to see him depressed or upset. And you’re 100%, right, that sometimes the best parenting is doing nothing, and let them figure it out on their own. And that’s hard for parents that care, but you’re exactly right. Sometimes the best thing is just to let them screw up and let them struggle and just step away. And so I’ve been trying to teach, it’s hard. There’s a mom, I’m
Steve Fretzin [07:26]
looking at where you and I are like most most people are solutions people, lawyers are problem solvers. And so we see problems, we want to solve them. And, you know, to not do that, to go against the grain to go against what we you know, we feel insides pulling us towards it, and to let it go. It’s really, really hard to do. But that’s life, man. That’s we, you know, sometimes we got to we got to make those tough decisions. Hey, you know, Brian, Brian Beckham is the founder of VB attorneys. And you have one of the most interesting backgrounds. I’d love for you to share a little more about it because I think between some of the things I remember you telling me with having a mentor like Ben Glass, in your background at computer science, can you give everybody a little bit of a flavor? Yeah,
so it as briefly as I can. I was raised by Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew tuner combat missions over Vietnam and holds a Distinguished Flying Cross was the second highest military honor you can get my mother died when I was 10. She was an Air Force nurse. And so my dad raised my brother and I and an older adopted brother on his own, and he kind of became my hero, because I saw him serving his country. He was an Air Force Intelligence after he got out of the B 50. twos. Plus, he made every single one of my brothers and I sports events. I think he missed one sporting event when I was in high school, and it was because he was on alert. And he had to be there for military stuff. But in any event, he went to a&m, he played football there, I was a basketball player in high school, I went to a&m followed. And then I joined the Corps like my dad did. And I was a computer science major, and a philosophy major. And I started looking around and I was like, Man, I spent four years in college behind a computer screen with a bunch of nerds programming. I don’t want to do this. So went to went to law school, and what do I do? 20 years later, I sit behind a computer screen. But But I’ll tell you so my dad, my dad, actually, I knew nothing about this at the time, because I was so young, but my dad, my mother’s death was a result of some very, very, very serious medical malpractice by an Air Force doctor, and I won’t get into details of it. But it was pretty obvious. And my dad brought a case against the United States government back in the early 80s. which back then was impossible. It’s still very, very hard. And he won the case. And it wasn’t a lot of money, but it was enough for an Air Force father to help pay for his kids college. And so it really launched me and then I don’t know, I guess it was subconscious, but the lawyer that helped my family after about two years of defending insurance companies, I said I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to do with this lawyer did for my family for as many families as I can and so Uh, kind of a circuitous route to get to where I am now, but boy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Steve Fretzin [10:08]
Yeah, that’s really cool. It’s really cool. So you’ve had a journey, you know, through this, you know, to where you are today. And, you know, we were talking about philosophy we were talking about, you know, balance and peace of mind. And it’s, you know, I think, you know, what I really wanted to pull out of you today is what are some of the, you know, the things that lawyers need to be thinking about and asking themselves before they begin a law firm go out on their own or decide that they’re going to build a real law practice?
Yeah, so Great question, great question. Because they don’t teach any of this in law schools, they don’t teach about the county, they don’t teach about the marketing, none of that stuff, running a business, you name it. And so I started my own firm, about three and a half years after I became a lawyer, I was pretty young started with a partner. And we had no cases, we had no staff, we didn’t know how to get cases, I think we had $100,000 line of credit, which we got completely just with our signature, and we didn’t have the collateral to back it up. And so I had to, I had two choices. I had to figure this stuff out, where I was gonna fail. And I got super lucky to bump into a guy named Ben Glass, Ben Glass, for people that don’t know is a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia. He’s also been running a lawyer marketing and mindset group for 20 plus years, I was one of the first members of this group. And Ben, next to my dad, high school basketball coach is probably had one of the biggest influences on me as an adult. Because he the first thing that Ben taught me, okay, when I was starting my business, and this is this is so, so important, is you got to get your mindset, right. And Ben’s point was, what most people do is they design their business, and then they fit the pieces of their life into their business, that’s backwards, what you should do is you should say, This is what I want my life to look like, and then design your business to serve your life. And so I remember, probably 10, so I’m, for 14 year, I know the number because my daughter’s 14 years old for 14 years, I’ve been going to Colorado for the entire month of July. And this is long before zooms and remotes and all that stuff. And I remember one time I was up there, and I was walking around like on a Tuesday afternoon, 70 degrees, beautiful weather downtown bail, something like that. And I looked around and I said, I’m wealthy. I’m not as rich as most lawyers. I’m not as rich as my former boss, but I’m far wealthier than them. Because all those guys or girls probably in the office right now grinding out 10 hour days, and I’m hanging out with my newborn daughter and my two boys who were two and four at the time. So. And you know, it wasn’t always like that when I started a big firm, Steve, I mean, the partners were like, if you’re not in the office, 10 hours a day, six days a week, you’re not going to succeed. And so there’s all this peer pressure on us as lawyers, there’s these expectations, that we have to do certain things, and there’s partnership track and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. The other thing Ben taught me is to constantly ask, Who made that rule? Like who said, You got to do it that way? Right? And so, so bend glass, and for people that don’t know, bend glasses, marketing companies, Great Legal Marketing, I get I get nothing for referring people to him. But he is such a good human being and such a smart guy, that anybody that’s listening to this is thinking about starting a business or wants to learn about marketing. That would be the very first thing I would do was go check out Ben’s stuff. Yeah. Yeah, I
Steve Fretzin [13:41]
mean, I’ve heard his name, but I’ve never met him. I’ve heard his name for many, many years, especially when I got into legal. And maybe I’ll get him on the show.
Yeah, absolutely terrified. He just started a podcast, and I’m gonna be one of his guests
Steve Fretzin [13:52]
on there you go, Morrow. Wonderful. There you go. What was I going to ask you was something about, you know, obviously, I’m teaching business development. And one of the benefits of it is clear that, you know, you have your own client base, you know, you dictate the work, you dictate what you bring in, you dictate what you hand out, you dictate what you refer. And you can kind of write the rules, when you have your own clients, when you don’t have your own clients. And you’re, you’re getting fed business right there, then that all the expectations of the clients or your boss, and also, by the way, all your partners or your bosses, because they’re the ones that have this client relationships, and they’re sending you stuff, you gotta get it done. And so how does that play into the designing of a firm where you can have balance and have, you know, that type of that type of lifestyle?
Yeah, so if the question is, how do you do it if you’re not the boss? Basically, if you’re an associate or something like that, clearly, there’s going to be things that you’re going to have to respond to that maybe you don’t have a lot of control over, but you certainly have control over where you work. You don’t have control over the type of work you do. And you certainly have control over some of the parameters that you set both for yourself and for the people you work with. So for instance, one of the things, one of my parameters is my kids have a sporting event, I go to that period. And unless there, you know, and there’s situations, I own the damn business, but there’s situations where I can’t do it, because I gotta be in a court trial or something like that. But as long as I have a decision, that’s my heuristic, so I don’t even have to think of it like somebody invites me, Hey, Brian, let’s go out and have drinks after work. And, you know, we’ll we’ll do this and that, we’ll go have a good time. And I don’t have to think about all I do is say, can do it tonight, because I got got a kids thing. So it’s, it’s definitely a little bit harder when you’re working for somebody else. But you can still set parameters for yourself, you can still set priorities for yourself. And the hard thing about it is when you’re younger, and you’re trying to impress somebody you’re working for, it’s hard to say no, to have a boss, it’s hard to set those parameters. So I’m not saying it’s easy when you’re in that position, but it can be done.
Steve Fretzin [16:12]
Well, and that’s why I’m bringing up the whole obviously, the shows about about, you know, happiness as a lawyer happiness and not imbalance. And, you know, it’s not the only way. But one way is through, you know, obtaining your own clients. If you have that power that control the firm can’t then dictate me, this isn’t happening maybe to a third year associate, but you’re working towards something where you have your own client base as a way to dictate the rules, because if you have the clients, then you can then you have the power. And that’s that’s something that lawyers all know and recruiters all say yet, there’s only 10 or 20% of the legal population that really does anything about it.
Yeah, well, and you’re an expert in this the so you know, that I could not agree with you more. If you as a lawyer, develop the skills to bring in business, you can basically do whatever you want to do. I mean, that is the most important thing in there. I’ll tell you there. And you know that Steve, there’s a lot of really, really good travelers that I know, that don’t do so well, because they don’t get business. I mean, the analogy that Ben likes to use is if you start a cookie shop and you make the best cookies in town, but nobody knows about it, you’re going to fail. So marking it and it’s the same in every single business. I don’t care. That’s another thing Ben taught me. Everybody’s like, Well, my business is different. The law business is different. We have these regulations. And there’s things that we can’t Well tell you what, look at what these financial analysts have to do and they start their regulations are so oppressive, it’s beyond ridiculous. So the point is, is that every business is the same and marketing is the Uber skill being able to bring in business is the Uber skill.
Steve Fretzin [18:01]
As a listener of this podcast, I hope you’ve learned some valuable lessons when it comes to not just managing your firm but helping it thrive. Practice Panther the all in one legal practice management software is designed to help you do just that. It has powerful reporting that gives you real time feedback on the health of your firm and its finances automated workflows that free of your schedule while keeping your cases on track, and tons of native feature like E signature and two way texting that keeps your clients happy and informed. With practice Panther you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Get a free demo with practice panther.com/v That lawyer to receive 10% off your first year.
Jordan Ostroff [18:37]
legalese marketing is not your traditional marketing vendor. Instead, we’re a true fractional cmo that helps you save time and spend your money the right way to build the practice of your dreams. We help through the entire process from customizing your intake system to driving leads, and even getting more reviews afterwards, schedule your free call at legalese marketing.com.
Steve Fretzin [19:00]
Hey Steph, tell everyone what money Penny does for law firms
Stephanie Vaughn Jones [19:04]
where the call handling and live chat experts and Moneypenny receptionist can ensure that your calls are directed to the right person seamlessly saving you time and money. Steve, did you know that 69% of people don’t like to leave a voicemail.
Steve Fretzin [19:17]
I did not know that. That’s a lot of business going away right there. Let’s cut to the chase. What are you prepared to do for my listeners?
Stephanie Vaughn Jones [19:23]
We’re offering an exclusive two week free trial. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can call me directly on 470-534-8846. I mentioned that you’ve heard this ad on Steve’s podcast. Very cool. Thanks.
Steve Fretzin [19:40]
But one of the things I mentioned a minute ago was you know the goal I think of most people in their lives, whether they’re a lawyer or in any profession, or or whatever it is to find, you know, happiness, it’s to try to get to a place and I feel like you’re there I feel like I’m there and there’s people listening they might be there too or you know, and it’s not something that we just have and then it’s there Are Forever we have to continue to maintain and, and take care of ourselves in a way where that happiness can exist. What do you feel is like the best way to make yourself happier for someone else to make themselves happy.
This is going to sound totally contradictory. But the best way to be happy is not to seek happiness. seeking happiness will leave you unfulfilled. seeking happiness will cause you to be unhappy. And it’s a paradox. But trying to be happy is the wrong approach, what you should try to do is you should try to have a purpose, you should try to do something that motivates you something you think is important, something that’s hard, something that not everybody can do, and everybody has certain skills. And so you need to identify what those skills are, and what you’re passionate about what you like, and the happiness is a byproduct of that. So I’m happy, not because my job is easy. My job is not easy. I mean, I’m dealing with stuff in my office right now about some staffing issues. And I got a couple of clients that are upset, and I got, frankly, too many cases right now I’m trying to hire some more people and, and it’s always like that, you know, 20 years ago, when I started my firm, I was like, I’m gonna get to a point where this is all easy. And that never happens. And matter of fact, can you imagine, Steve, if you woke up tomorrow, and you didn’t have a single problem to solve? That would be
Steve Fretzin [21:25]
terrible. Yeah. My Oh, they’re awful. My father is retired from law, he doesn’t have anything to solve any. I think he plays upwards of two hours of solitaire day, and he just reads Dukkha Dukkha. Right, he seems happy yet. At the same time. You know, I feel like you know, having a purpose, you know, giving to others. I mean, that’s how I get my juice I give to others, I help others that yeah, I get paid for it. In some ways, in some ways, I don’t. But the idea is that, you know, you like you said, you find a skill, a passion, something that you do really well, and just focus, and just just plow through. And every day, I feel fulfilled every day, I feel happy. You know, I’ve also had a lot of tragedy and a lot of things I’ve had to overcome in my life. So I think that also adds to it because sure know what the backside is, you know, for sure know what the when you’re not in a good physical place, or a mental place with that can be. But I think you said something,
you said something right there that I don’t want to let this go on. Because I think it’s so important. One shortcut, if there are shortcuts to be unhappy, is to help other people. Yeah, that will make you happy. So I don’t care if you’re the most selfish asshole in the world. Helping other people is kind of a selfish act sometimes because it makes you feel better. And it makes Frank makes you feel far better than helping yourself makes you so that is 100% Spot on cannot agree with you more. And that is a real direct route. If you focus your life on how can I be of service to other people? That’s a pretty good guarantee of living a relatively happy life. That right there.
Steve Fretzin [23:06]
Is that ultimately, is that the purpose of our lives? Is it to help others is it to enjoy the time we have is it a combination. I mean, I always think about these things. It’s very deep, right? Heavy, got deep and heavy, real quick,
on the philosophy.
Steve Fretzin [23:23]
I took I took Philosophy of Religion my freshman year in college and dropped out of that real fast. The professor was like, Are you a freshman? Ready? Go? Yeah, he goes, should you really be here? I should not be here, sir.
I got ya know, I started putting my focus on my philosophy degree was on ethics and morals and how to live an ethical life and things like that. Yeah, philosophical underpinnings of all that stuff. But the point is, it’s like, I’ve been pondering this, like, basically, the question is, like, what’s the purpose? Like, what are we doing here have been Potter that for years now, I think the two things I just said, first of all, I don’t know what the purpose life is, okay. But I tell my kids, I say, getting the most out of whatever talents you have, is a pretty good compass. Like if you just spend your days trying to be a little bit better. Every day, whatever it is, you’re doing whatever talents you have, just try to make the most of those. That’s a pretty good purpose in life. And then what we were just talking about helping other people is also a pretty good purpose in life. So I don’t know the definitive answer to why we’re here what the purpose of life is, but those are two working theories that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
Steve Fretzin [24:40]
Yeah, I mean, I’m putting them together like I’m leveraging my skills and my you know, special purpose of, you know, into the legal space like So ultimately, what I what I have said in the past is, I’m not going to be able to help everybody directly meaning coaching, I have a limited bandwidth how many people I can take on and impact directly, but by books, my video, my podcast, my legacy ultimately, when I’ll be gone, but you know is that I’m leaving the legal industry better than I found it. And, and I, that’s what I’m striving for every day.
How do you feel about that? When you when you say it that way? How does that make you feel
Steve Fretzin [25:15]
Juice Man, it just that’s where I get the energy? Yeah, for sure for sure. And people I think can sense that about you, when they when they get to know you when they, you know, read what you’ve written or hear what you’re saying. And they they, they can tell when you’re full of shit. And when they can tell when you’re authentic. And I don’t think there’s anyone that knows me, you know, directly or whatever, that doesn’t know, I’m out there for them. Yeah, and I and I, you know what I get in return? Yeah, I get paid a little bit, right. But what do I get in return? Oh, man, it’s beyond words. It’s amazing the feeling I get. When I talk to a client today, he just finished up six months of being in my class. It’s a weekly class he did for six months. Data. I’m asking a lot from these. And he just said, like, we were having a one on one. Normally, it’s about his problems. Steve, I just want to walk you through all the takeaways. He just sat there with me for 10 minutes, just listing out all the things he got out of it, and how it benefited kind of like you talked about, about Ben. And I’m just sitting here my heart’s like, twice as big as it was what before we started the conversation. So that’s for me, I think that and maybe I’m gonna throw one more thing. And that’s, and I think this may sound cheesy, but it’s love, love for my family, love for my friends, love for the people in my life and appreciation, right? 100% 100% mush it all together, it’s hard to be angry, it’s hard to be you know, resentful. When you have those things in your corner.
I was sitting in a, this gonna sound goofy as hell. But I did about 10 of these sensory deprivation tanks where you lie in this tank, it’s pitch black can’t see anything, you’re floating in water, that’s the same temperature as your skin, you can’t hear anything. So you’re completely deprive. And you’d sit there for an hour, an hour and a half, something like that. And I meditate during this timeframe. And it’s it’s really cool. If you haven’t tried it, you ought to try it some time. A lot of athletes do it for recovery purposes. But I was floating in this thing a couple years ago and kind of meditating, watching my thoughts and so forth. And I suddenly this insight, I don’t know if it’s an insight, but suddenly this thought hit me that love is what matters. And so that kind of like love is all that matters, really. And so that really is about that ties in perfectly what we were talking about in terms of helping others but I’ll tell you one thing, you make money, helping others. So do I, and Ben’s like, you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. In order to do what you’re doing, in order to do what you’re doing in order for me to help people’s alert, I have to make money, right? So Ben’s like, don’t ever apology, anybody’s listen to this. Don’t ever apologize for making a bunch of money, if you do it the right way. Because you got to do that in order to help people like one of the things I think my mindset has changed dramatically in the last five years, Steve, to more of a focus on what am I going to do with the second half of my life. But I couldn’t do that. If I didn’t have my own shit together, right? If I didn’t have my own business and finances and my mental state, my physical state, so don’t ever apologize for working on yourself making money, exercising, working on your mental state, because you got to take care of yourself first, in order to help other people.
Steve Fretzin [28:27]
Yeah, and I mean, here I am teaching lawyers how to not only, you know, get more business, but in many cases identify the need to raise the rates, that the rates are not where they should be. And I do the same thing, what am I going to tell them to raise their rates, but I’m not going to raise my rates every year. And you know, as I continue to get better what I’m doing and how I’m helping my clients, lawyers are doing the same thing. So we’re all in this together. We’re all solving problems and helping each other ultimately. Kind of final thoughts as we wrap up today. Brian, any any kind of like final thoughts before we get to Game Changing books?
You know, I guess what I would say is, and for lawyers, I would just go back to what I talked about earlier, there’s these expectations we have as lawyers that we have to work six hour days, 10 hours a day, and if you’re not billing 2500 hours a year or something, then you’re not a real lawyer, and that is utter and complete. Nonsense. The other thing is, you know, you got this lawyers got a private jet. This lawyers got a 10,000 square foot house and the richest part of whatever. I used to get that and I’d be like, oh, man, I wish I had all that stuff. And now, I’m glad I don’t. Because I know what a burden, that sort of thing is. I think a lot of lawyers just do that sort of thing just to kind of brag to each other. So figure out as best you can, what your values are, what your priorities are, what you want your life to look like, and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Don’t map out everybody else’s expectations and all that stuff. Do it on your terms
Steve Fretzin [30:05]
at O’Brien just fantastic, man, I appreciate it. Let’s talk about your game changing book I appreciate you submit, this is a one we haven’t heard before called clockwork. And tell us a little bit about that book.
Yeah, so great book. It’s one of those books where my theory on books and I read lots and lots of books. And if I can pull one or two insights out of a book, it’s worth it to me. So clockwork is about running a business. One of the things that the guy says at the very beginning is, as a business owner, your job is not to do all the work, your job, and this is going to this kind of caught me off guard a little bit when I read this. And he also said, your job is not to see, focus totally on how productive you can be. Because the problem with that is it becomes the more productive you are, the more efficient you are, the more work you get. And it’s kind of a never ending cycle. So he said, as a business owner, your real job is basically two things to make sure the right people are in the right seats, doing the right job, and to think about the business. And so, you know, during quarantine, I’m out there walking my dog for two hours, and you know, the middle of the day, every day, and I kind of feel guilty that I’m not sitting there reading depositions or something. And then I thought, man, but that’s not my job, my job is not to sit there and read depositions all day, my job is to make sure I have the lawyers that can do that effectively and do that well. And then think about the strategy of the firm. So it really it really kind of it completely shifted my mentality about I don’t have to do everything. I don’t even have to be the best trial lawyer in my own firm. Right? Like, that doesn’t matter. And
Steve Fretzin [31:48]
but when you start adding in, when you start adding in Brian automation, you start adding in virtual assistants, virtual, you know, help, you know, having a business that can work for you versus a business, you have to work for every day or workout every day. That’s changing. I mean, lawyers are slowly figuring out that, you know, I can have a business and I can have a really nice life and have that balance. It’s not easy, as you said, but it’s never been easier. I think today than it then it’s been in the past. Yeah,
yeah. And that’s because I one quick story, when I was a, I think it was a sophomore in high school, I had a job, I actually was one of my first jobs. You know, people used to have these decorative rocks, and instead of grass in their front yard, my job was when people change their mind about that to go in and shovel those rocks out in the middle of the summer. And I remember to that for like three days and going. I don’t want to work with my muscles. I want to work with my mind. And that’s what we as lawyers do. People ask me, what do you do on a daily basis, and I say solve problems. That’s my job. And you know what? My office is right here. That’s, that’s where my office really is. And so, yeah, I agree with you 100%. I don’t know what the future the law practice holds stay. But what I do know is not gonna look same as it looked 10 years ago, it’s going to be different. And I’m going to try to get in front of it. And I’m gonna try to predict it as best I can. But you know, I have these people that like, literally two days after the end of quarantine, they have everybody back in the office full time and I’m sitting there going, Why? Why is it just because you’ve always done it that way? Is that really the most efficient way to do things? Not so sure about that?
Steve Fretzin [33:29]
Hey, Brian, man, you’re the best. I so appreciate you coming on the show sharing your wisdom. When people want to get in touch with you or hear about you know, I would love for you to share about your podcast and let’s make sure people understand how to reach out.
Yeah, podcast has lessons from leaders with Brian Beckham, its military generals, colonels, New York Times bestselling author, sports people, lots of different people that are leaders in their industry. It’s on YouTube lessons from leaders, and all the podcasting apps. I’m on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, kind of the normal ones. I’m under my own name, Brian Beck and Instagram is Brian Beck and lawyer. So follow me on those sides. My website is Brian beckham.org It’s kind of a weird spelling PCK c o m, so two C’s Beckham prime beckham.org That’s got my writing. You’re the
Steve Fretzin [34:14]
first one in the comm space. Yeah. Yeah. tech.com.com And you should add
Yeah, and then my my firm is V as in Victor B’s and Brian VB attorneys.com. The reason we named it that is because my partner’s name is Luke via Senate pitch and we got sick of telling people how to use me but you’ve been as baby attorney, so we kind of shortened and that’s what the shirt is. Yeah, that’s awesome. Very cool. Well, cool state. And, by the way, just let me say this before, before you let me go. So you’re doing great stuff. I love what you’re doing. And your podcast is awesome. And again, seriously, I really, really appreciate you having me on today.
Steve Fretzin [34:53]
Now listen to the feeling’s mutual. I think you know people listening can totally appreciate you know, we’re working on And from and sort of where our minds are and ultimately you know, if the show is about helping lawyers live a better life then I think we’re both in a good place doing the right thing so
I got a lot more energy now than when we started this podcast. Seriously, that’s because of you talking to people like you good people doing good things gives me energy so
Steve Fretzin [35:20]
I feel the same way. Yeah, I’m shot out of a rock and it’s the end of the day for me so I got an I gotta go deal with my teenager who’s gonna want me to go fishing with me which isn’t so bad. We’ll see what happens he’s got these these got a guitar lesson though. That’s gonna kibosh that listen, everybody, you’ve been hanging out with Brian and I for about a half an hour and man just so much fun and so wonderful to talk you know about these kinds of things with another human being and someone who’s bright is Brian so you know if it’s helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized and a skilled Rainmaker, then we’re doing the right things here on the show. I want you all to take care to well be well, we’ll talk again soon.
Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes