John Sciaccotta: Getting Involved and Building Relationships Everywhere You Go

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and John Sciaccotta discuss:

  • Building relationships everywhere you go.
  • Connecting authentically and building trust in the community.
  • The time of building relationships and expected outcomes.
  • Breaking out of the billable hour hampster wheel.
  • Controlling your destiny.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get active, get involved, and maintain friendships within the legal practice.
  • Wherever you have a relationship, give them a business card and tell them what you do. Tell them to think of you first.
  • Make significant touches every single day – social media will allow you to do that easier than ever before.
  • Step one is to be a great lawyer. But that’s not all there is to building your own business. You will need to understand more about business and sales than law school has led you to believe.
  • It is never too early to start learning networking, relationships, and non-verbal communication. They are the ingredients to success as a human being, as well as in your law firm.

“Life is about needs. If you can identify the need of a potential client or a referral source, and you can fulfill that need, you’re going to get what you want.” —  John Sciaccotta

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About John Sciaccotta: John C. Sciaccotta has more than 37 years of trial and litigation experience advocating for clients in complex civil litigation, arbitration, mediation and business counseling matters with a special emphasis on complex civil trial and appellate cases brought in federal and state courts and tribunals throughout the United States.

John represents publicly and privately held domestic and foreign business entities, business owners, lenders, employers, municipalities, government bodies and individuals in transactional matters and disputes, which include:

Counseling and advocating for business entities and their owners in disputes involving Business Divorce issues, including corporate control, valuation, corporate squeeze-outs, minority oppression, dissolution actions and breaches of fiduciary duty and business tort claims.

In addition, John has been appointed as a Neutral Arbitrator and Mediator for many years to resolve and arbitrate business-related disputes. He serves on the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Arbitrators.

Connect with John Sciaccotta:  






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Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

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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.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hello, my Be That Lawyer friends. Before we dive in today’s show, I have a small favor to ask. My mission in the legal industry is to help legal professionals like you take law practice growth seriously. I hope you’re finding value in this podcast and it’s aiding you in growing your law practice. Now, it only takes a moment to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

[00:00:19] Steve Fretzin: If you’re enjoying the show, please help us spread the word. A kind review or five star rating would go a long way in helping us reach more of your amazing colleagues. Thank you for your support, and now, let’s get on to the show.

[00:00:34] Narrator: 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

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the Be That Lawyer with Fretzin podcast. I’m thrilled that you’re here. Uh, again, if you’re a long time listener, keep going. We got two shows a week, every single week, and we’re going to continue to bring on amazing guests for you to enjoy and learn from and be someone that is.

[00:01:13] Steve Fretzin: You know really taking their career to the next level. Uh, if you’re new to the show, uh, you’re gonna enjoy it It’s uh, it’s quite a ride. We’re gonna have some laughs and fun, right john. That’s absolutely right. Yeah, I think Yeah, yeah, man. Absolutely. I’m happy to have you back and I know every time we get together we have engaging, uh, fun exciting interesting conversations and Uh, today will be no different unless you blow it.

[00:01:35] Steve Fretzin: I mean, if you blow it, then then maybe not, but that’s not your thing. You don’t really, 

[00:01:39] John Sciaccotta: I’m sorry. Apology to the 

[00:01:42] Steve Fretzin: occasion. You will rise. I know you will. You’re the master guys. We love to start off with a quote of the show. Normally I say the quote, but John’s is, is actually unique to John. So I’m going to let him say the quote and then we’ll discuss it for a moment and then we’ll move on.

[00:01:56] Steve Fretzin: But, uh, you, you shared it with me a few minutes ago and I thought it was great. So, so laying on us. 

[00:02:00] John Sciaccotta: You know, this is something that I passionately believe. If you’re active and participate in bar associations, it will enhance your career, it will enrich your life and the contributions you make will better our legal profession.

[00:02:15] John Sciaccotta: And I truly believe that it’s been my experience for almost 40 years that, you know, I am, as you well know, president elect, I’ll be installed on June 27th, 2024 as president of the Chicago Bar Association. And all of those things are true. And thank you. And I just encourage people to get active, get involved, establish relationships, make friends in the practice.

[00:02:43] John Sciaccotta: That is my, that is my tagline 

[00:02:45] Steve Fretzin: before we go deep into your background and into this, this conversation. I mean, let’s just take a moment to why, why, why would some, what would, what would someone who’s unsuccessful being involved in a bar? What would be the reasons that someone would wouldn’t get those attributes you just mentioned?

[00:03:02] Steve Fretzin: What would, what would they have to do or not do to be unsuccessful? 

[00:03:06] John Sciaccotta: You know, I really feel that if you’re unsuccessful, it’s because you’re not involved. I think if you become involved, immerse yourself, participate, meet people, nothing but good is going to come about it. It’s, it’s really been a, a game changer for me in my life, in my career, the people I’ve met, the relationships I’ve established, the friends I’ve made.

[00:03:34] John Sciaccotta: I mean, I think it’s really the recipe for success. And, um, I also think it’s, you know, really effective for business development. 

[00:03:45] Steve Fretzin: Uh, we’re going to, we’re going to have to come back to that one, but, uh, I think what you’re saying is it’s, you know, like most things in life, it’s what you put in is what you get out.

[00:03:52] Steve Fretzin: Absolutely. 

[00:03:53] John Sciaccotta: And I think I’ve, as much as I’ve put in, I think I’ve gotten way more out of it than what I’ve put in and I put in a ton. Yeah. So. You know, it’s a lot of time, Drew, but I think it’s well worthwhile. 

[00:04:08] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:04:08] John Sciaccotta: Um, and I think it all comes 

[00:04:10] Steve Fretzin: back. Take, but speaking of taking us back, go, let’s take us back and figure and give a little, um, a little insight on your background, John.

[00:04:17] Steve Fretzin: John Cicotta, by the way, is a senior equity partner at Aaron Burr Golgan here in Chicago. It’s one of the, I think Chicago’s oldest law firms, most, you know, you guys have been around for 120 plus years. And, uh, also by the way, the first law firm I ever worked with, and I don’t know if I shared that. If anyone knew that at the time, I didn’t like make that as my selling point, by the way, when I was meeting with your firm, by the way, you’ll be my first firm.

[00:04:42] Steve Fretzin: Like I played it off, like I’d worked with law firms forever. But the reality is that what I was presenting was exactly what your firm needed at the time. And it was a good fit. But, but ultimately it led me to working with a lot more firms. You have to start somewhere, right, John? 

[00:04:55] John Sciaccotta: Well, I didn’t know that, but I feel really honored.

[00:04:58] John Sciaccotta: Our firm is actually the third oldest law firm in Chicago. 

[00:05:02] Steve Fretzin: There you go. 

[00:05:02] John Sciaccotta: We were started in 1892 and we’ve continuously operated since then. And it’s really one of the old world, you know, last. Chicago real partnerships, wow. Partnerships. Yeah. You know, a lot of Chicago firms have been merged with national firms or regional firms, and we’re still where we are, I think, really doing good work and, you know, really contributing outside of our clients in the community, in the bar associations.

[00:05:35] John Sciaccotta: One of my other partners, Karen Mills is going to be president of the DuPage County Bar Association here in Illinois. So it’s really a commitment to giving back and helping the next generation. That’s what we’re about. 

[00:05:51] Steve Fretzin: And give us, give us a little background, not only on your legal expertise and, and kind of what areas you serve and that, but then also give us your background on why business development was important, how you got started in it and kind of give us that because we’re going to be, we’re everybody, just so you know, John is one of the top rainmakers I know in Chicago, um, he’s been hustling and, and, and like crazy for years and years and ever since I met him and, uh, give us, give us, give us that background.

[00:06:16] Steve Fretzin: Cause I think that’s important to the conversation we’re going to have today. 

[00:06:19] John Sciaccotta: Well, one of the things that I feel like I’m sort of rare in this regard, I wanted to be a lawyer since I was five years old. Okay. I went to traffic court here in Chicago with my grandfather who raised me. I looked at everything.

[00:06:35] John Sciaccotta: I saw the lawyers, the judges right there at five years old, 57 years ago, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I didn’t have anyone in my family that went to college. I was the first one, let alone the first lawyer. And I really started at ground zero. And what I was really lucky is that I had a mentor who was very involved at the Chicago Bar Association.

[00:07:01] John Sciaccotta: And he told me when I was in law school to get active in this bar association. And he also always told me, if he told me once, he told me a hundred times. Make friends in the practice and establish relationships. He also told me wherever I spent money to give them a business card. Okay. Wherever you had a relationship to give them your business card, tell them what you do, tell them if they have a legal issue that comes up to think of you first.

[00:07:35] John Sciaccotta: And that’s what I’ve done my entire career. I’ve connected with people. Uh, he was also very gifted in terms of connecting, connecting with people, having empathy in terms of their circumstances and make them like you. If somebody likes you, they’re going to trust you. And if they trust you and believe that you’re a good lawyer, good things will happen.

[00:08:01] John Sciaccotta: He also told me that every year, your business will double after your second year in the practice. And he was absolutely right. It went from 60 to 120 to 240 and he was right for me. And it was a lot of work, you know, being involved not only in the bar associations, but in not for profit boards in the community networks among my schooling and my fraternity brothers in college and just wherever, you know, someone try to connect with them and let them know what you do.

[00:08:42] John Sciaccotta: And I can’t stress it enough. I think making friends in the practice and establishing relationships really is the secret sauce Yeah, as far as i’m concerned. It’s worked for me And I started at ground zero 

[00:08:56] Steve Fretzin: and john. I think it’s the beginning I mean if you can’t build trust and relationships and don’t have the the likeability, uh, Then where do you go from there?

[00:09:05] Steve Fretzin: I mean your clients aren’t going to like you your friends aren’t coming You’re not going to be getting anywhere but if you’re working at that and then what So again, what would, what would, you know, what would lawyers be doing that would be, would, would stop them from being successful business development?

[00:09:22] Steve Fretzin: What are things that, is it just hiding behind their desk? Like what, what are the things that don’t allow for that cultivation to occur? 

[00:09:28] John Sciaccotta: My mentor always said that everything good about business development starts after five o’clock. Okay. And, and at first I was like, I didn’t really understand that, but you’ve got to be out.

[00:09:43] John Sciaccotta: You’ve got to let people know what you’re doing. You know, you can do that by, you know, speaking, writing, participating in bar associations, getting involved in not for profit organizations that you have a passion for. It’s all about relationships. How do you establish them? How do you create them? How do you nurture them?

[00:10:05] John Sciaccotta: How do you execute upon them? In today’s world, we didn’t have social media. I think social media is the greatest connector and relationship builder. There is with LinkedIn and with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, you can be in front of people more often than in the old days where we had to pick up the phone.

[00:10:29] John Sciaccotta: Or meet with somebody and that’s why the bar association was so effective because you’d go there And there would be all lawyers there, right and they would talk about a case And you know, they have this one matter that they don’t handle do you handle and that was something that Allowed you to be in the mix Okay, and today it’s a lot different you can be in the mix Virtually, you can touch people virtually.

[00:10:58] John Sciaccotta: Yeah. I have a saying at our firm You That you want to have significant touches. You want to have at least one or two a day. What is a significant touch? Well, it could be an email or a text or a video call or a phone call, but it’s touching those potential clients, those referral sources, those fellow lawyers and business people that are in contact with the public, it could potentially refer you matters.

[00:11:31] John Sciaccotta: That’s sort of the mindset. And, but let me, 

[00:11:35] Steve Fretzin: let me go back to what you said though, John, because the advice that was given to your mentor, and I’m not going to say how many years ago that was, uh, but it was, it was great advice I think at the time. And if you said to me, Steve, you know, the only way to be successful is, you know, happening after five o’clock, I’d say, well, I’m not gonna be very successful.

[00:11:54] Steve Fretzin: Because my after five o’clock, I’m shut down. My brain is shut down for the most part. So I think what you but the other thing that you just said, which is so smart and right on, is that you have linked in. You have Facebook. You have all these. Zoom, you have all these technologies that are allowing you to get access and allowing you to network and meet new people and develop relationships all day, weekends, evenings, it doesn’t matter.

[00:12:17] Steve Fretzin: It’s whatever time makes sense for you, you can get involved and do things. Yes, you still have, now there’s like, you know, breakfasts and lunches and things too you can do during the day versus having to have cocktails every night or go out and play a five, six hour round of golf or whatever it takes to, you know, the old, kind of that old, older kind of seventies, eighties.

[00:12:36] Steve Fretzin: You know, kind of mentality of glad handing. That’s not for most people today. And that’s not what is necessary. I think today. 

[00:12:42] John Sciaccotta: I agree with you. I think today, you know, there was a time when I was a younger lawyer, I would have breakfasts, lunches, and dinners all lined up the week. Okay. Now you can effectively touch people.

[00:12:55] John Sciaccotta: Okay. In a significant way by using technology, it’s much easier. I mean, you can be on a zoom call. Okay. Whatever time of the day. Okay. And be effective. But the key is, is, is what is your messaging? What is your messaging to these people? You have to tell them what you do and what you do and what your firm does and what you do and what the firm does well.

[00:13:24] John Sciaccotta: Why are you, how can you be impactful? In order for them, A, to like you, B, to trust you, C, to hire you. Those are the steps, okay? There was a time, Steve, when I would go to this business person’s, it was a, it was a dinner club, sort of, and I went seven years, once a month, to this, it took me seven years to get a piece of business.

[00:13:56] John Sciaccotta: It was a significant piece of business. But the key is, is that I didn’t necessarily go there for the business, although that was on my mind. I’d like to people, it was social, but the point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t always hit it. It’s not always a cause and effect. Sometimes it takes a long time.

[00:14:18] John Sciaccotta: And I think what people. really get disgruntled with is it’s not a quick return on your investment. Okay. And that is difficult. And that is part of sales. Part of sales is getting rejected, right? But what you have to do is you have to persevere. You have to be committed. You have to stay with it. You know, I tell young lawyers at the firm all the time, Don’t get down on yourself because you didn’t close the deal.

[00:14:47] John Sciaccotta: You may not have closed the deal today, but ultimately you may close a deal in the future. And that’s how you have to look at it. It doesn’t always, it’s not always a quick return. And I think that’s difficult for some people because you put a lot of time in, you put a lot of effort. And if you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere, it’s demotivating.

[00:15:09] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:15:10] John Sciaccotta: Okay. It really is. 

[00:15:11] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, 

[00:15:11] John Sciaccotta: but you just have to stay with it. 

[00:15:16] Steve Fretzin: Hey everyone ever wonder where your real inefficiencies are hiding or how much more business you could be bringing in Take the be that lawyer challenge today. We’ll meet for 30 minutes to discuss your practice If I can’t identify where are you losing time and money i’ll pay your hourly rate for the time we spend together Are you ready to be challenged?

[00:15:34] Steve Fretzin: Just visit my website at www. fretson. com slash VTL challenge and select a time to meet with me. It’s that simple, and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

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[00:17:12] Steve Fretzin: So it’s not so much about, you know, me, you know, did I close or did I not close? But I would want to know. In debriefing with a client is what happened in that meeting that led it to the to the to the result of not closing what was not asked what was not said what was not brought to the table what you missed something you missed a decision maker that was involved that you never asked about you didn’t ask about their money you didn’t ask about things you didn’t build a strong enough report to your point earlier like there’s a lot of factors that go into whether you know someone will hire you or not are they meeting with three other firms And so it’s, it’s the not knowing and then wondering, did I get it?

[00:17:49] Steve Fretzin: Why didn’t I get it? Not knowing that really, I think eats away at most attorneys. 

[00:17:53] John Sciaccotta: Yeah. And I think, I think a lot of lawyers are not necessarily trained or that good at picking up on cues. Yeah. Okay. With respect to emotional intelligence. Okay. They’re just not, it’s not in our training. A lot of people aren’t very good at it.

[00:18:13] John Sciaccotta: But in every meeting that you’re with, either virtual, in person, on the phone, you have to be able to pick up cues, okay? Because everyone sends messages. They’ll be non verbal messages, but if you’re really concentrating and you’re really into it, and you’re really having a substantive conversation, you will pick up these cues.

[00:18:35] John Sciaccotta: And, the other, you make a very, very good point. A lot of lawyers Don’t know how to ask. Okay? And if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Okay. I learned that very early on. Um, but I think it’s how they, the 

[00:18:50] Steve Fretzin: problem, John, is how they ask. I think that’s the big concern 

[00:18:53] John Sciaccotta: as well. 

[00:18:54] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. You have to have, and you have to have, and my wife gives me credit for, for doing this all the time, which is, you know, not necessarily just asking, but it’s how you phrase something.

[00:19:03] Steve Fretzin: It’s how you word it and how you come across. Maybe it’s self deprecating or maybe it’s, it’s, you know, out of curiosity. It’s not a demand. It’s, it’s a question that, Yeah. allows you to gain insight without being forceful. You’re just kind of like, you know, kind of wiggling your way through to get a question answered that could be important to whether this deal is going to close or whether, you know, something, you know, positive is going to come out of this or not.

[00:19:27] John Sciaccotta: One of my key secret sauces. Okay. Tell the world because I care about our profession deeply. I care about lawyers being successful. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’m going to be president of the bar because I want to make the profession. And us better, all of us life is about needs. It comes down to needs.

[00:19:54] John Sciaccotta: And if you can identify the need of a potential client or a referral source, and you can fulfill that need, you are going to get what you want. It’s that simple. Okay. And you have to analyze it from that perspective. What is this client or potential client? What do they need? What are they unhappy with?

[00:20:17] John Sciaccotta: What are they disgruntled with with their current counsel? Are they getting sued? Do they have a deal? Uh, do they have a you know, a disgruntled employee? You know, you have to find out what’s the need and then you can satisfy the need And you have to understand and pick up on that and that’s really what I think for the most part It boils down to I think the need for purposes of getting involved in bar associations And not for profit, you know, charitable organizations and community organizations is they usually have a need for something.

[00:20:56] John Sciaccotta: If you can fulfill that need and also establish relationships, that to me is something that’s going to really benefit you and your career. And it goes without saying you have to first be a great lawyer. And that’s the first really, really 

[00:21:12] Steve Fretzin: important 

[00:21:12] John Sciaccotta: point, John, you can’t, you can’t cut through that. The first 10 years.

[00:21:18] John Sciaccotta: You should be active at the bar associations, active in your community, establishing relationships. My mentor used to say, you’re not a lawyer until you’re out 10 years. And I used to say, that’s, I don’t believe that at all. But he’s right. He was right. Because after 10 years, you’re sort of, you got the game.

[00:21:41] John Sciaccotta: Okay. For some people, it’s a little earlier, depending on your background, 10 years, be a great lawyer first. That’s what I tell all young people. My son’s my, one of my four children is a lawyer. I tell him, I tell all of them be a great lawyer first, and then business development will come. Okay. And you have to keep building your resume, right?

[00:22:07] John Sciaccotta: Build that resume. And because clients, especially in today’s world and in any time, these are very significant matters to them and they are not going to be able to trust you with a significant legal matter unless they believe that you’re a really good lawyer. So I tell all young lawyers, you need to focus on building.

[00:22:31] John Sciaccotta: Your resume, your experience, your know how. And that’s why the first 10 years is the, to me is the keys to your career. 

[00:22:39] Steve Fretzin: But here’s the problem. So 10 years, a lawyer has been learning the craft, honing the craft, maybe incredible at the area of practice that, that they are focusing on and they’re loaded with work, that everything’s going great there, but they’re doing everyone else’s work, right?

[00:22:55] Steve Fretzin: Cause that’s how they came up. They were being given clients. They were being given. Uh, matters on a regular basis and they’re now they’re in the, what I call the billable hour hamster wheel. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re just, they’re just grinding away, grinding away. And that’s great for everyone above them to get their stuff done by an expert, right there, you know, that their, their work’s being done by someone who’s really, really great at that.

[00:23:17] Steve Fretzin: But how does the lawyer then break out of the 10 year gap and then start, you know, start focusing on getting out and doing the business development when they’re loaded up with all that work? So 

[00:23:28] John Sciaccotta: You know, you’ve got to work really hard. And I suffered through the same thing. I was doing other people’s work, but I still worked extremely hard and I was out and active.

[00:23:39] John Sciaccotta: And it’s just a matter of, you’ve got to do the work that’s on your plate because you don’t have enough to keep yourself busy. And then you’ve got to go out and do what you necessarily can do. But in today’s world, it’s much easier because you have zoom, you have technology. You’re able to make significant touches.

[00:23:58] John Sciaccotta: To others, to build your practice, to create, to me, it’s developing relationships, establishing relationships, and you have to, you know, I used to work all the time. I would do all of the work that I was given. Cause I had to build my hours and then I did others, other stuff. And when I started building my practice and building my practice, I was able to sustain myself and then I would be the leader of the team and I wasn’t working on other people’s matters anymore.

[00:24:33] John Sciaccotta: You know, maybe to pitch a client or things like that. And that’s another part of it. You know, how do you pitch a client? How do you approach the client? And that’s something, Steve, you do so well with your lawyer training. You help lawyers understand because lawyers in and of themselves are not salespeople.

[00:24:52] John Sciaccotta: That’s not what we’re trained to do. Okay. Some have the gene. Most don’t. And in order to understand, I was lucky. My father, the summer between eighth grade and my freshman year in high school, He told me to go to the Chicago public library and read every book on sales. And I was like, I’m going to be a lawyer.

[00:25:15] Steve Fretzin: I’m 

[00:25:15] John Sciaccotta: going to be a lawyer. I’m not going to be a salesman. And he said to me, everything you will do in your life, there will be a sales component. And so I did, I went to go read, I don’t know how many books. And I also have been lucky enough throughout my career to take negotiation and leadership dispute resolution courses, which have, you know, refined those sales techniques.

[00:25:45] John Sciaccotta: I’m also an arbitrator and a mediator, as well as a commercial litigator and a commercial transactional lawyer. And, you know, I wish I would have taken those courses earlier in my career. I wound up taking them a little later in my career. I think here’s a bucket list for everyone who’s watching and listening.

[00:26:06] John Sciaccotta: I went to the Harvard Law School. Uh, executive course on leadership and negotiation. It was a bucket list thing. I wanted to do my entire career. I did it three years ago. I wish I would have done it five years out. I’m encouraging my son who’s been a lawyer about seven years to go and do it now, because things that you learn in that course are invaluable, um, to allow you to not only be a good leader.

[00:26:35] John Sciaccotta: But also to understand how business people look at things. The course had about 150 people in it. I thought it was going to be all lawyers. There were four lawyers. All the rest were business people. So what an insight I got and received into how business people look at things that are totally different than how we lawyers do it, totally.

[00:27:01] John Sciaccotta: We went through a number of vignettes. I would be focusing on issue spotting. That’s what lawyers do. They’re looking at the big picture. 

[00:27:09] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. 

[00:27:10] John Sciaccotta: And so that unbelievably helped me understand that when I go pitch them for work and communicate with them, they’re looking at it to a different lens than I’m looking at it as a lawyer.

[00:27:25] John Sciaccotta: And I think when you’re doing business development, you have to put a different hat on. I tell my people at the office all the time. You don’t, you have to take off your lawyer hat. Okay. And you have to put on your, I’ll call it a sales, but it’s really listening and picking up nonverbal cues and really understanding the client’s situation and understanding the client’s needs.

[00:27:54] John Sciaccotta: You learn anything from today, you have to learn. And I think you have to appreciate that life is about needs. And if you can pick that up in a conversation, it’s going to help you. 

[00:28:05] Steve Fretzin: Well, I, I have a takeaway to that you mentioned, and I just want to go back for a second and then we’re going to wrap up with our game changing book.

[00:28:12] Steve Fretzin: So let me, let me just share when you went to the library in eighth grade and you read books on sales and your father, you know, bless him for, for, for, you know, putting that in front of you, what I’m taking away that lawyers aren’t doing, and yes, you want to be a great lawyer, job one, I get it. But is there a reason why you’re not?

[00:28:31] Steve Fretzin: Someone that’s in law that understands that client development is a huge part of control, freedom, advocacy and the future for their financial freedom to not be a student of sales, business development, marketing, time management, the things that are going to ultimately make you successful in your career beyond the knowledge of the law.

[00:28:51] Steve Fretzin: And I think your father was very forward thinking and most kids that might know my teenager would have rejected that outright just at the thought of it. But I just think that’s such a powerful message that it’s maybe never too early to start learning networking and relationships and nonverbal communication as a human being, let alone a lawyer.

[00:29:10] Steve Fretzin: So I just want to kind of put that out there. Yeah. 

[00:29:14] John Sciaccotta: Yeah, I mean, I, I can’t agree with you more. I think those are the ingredients to success. Yeah. The being independent, I always wanted to develop my own practice. That’s what my mentor said. You never want to rely on somebody else to steer the boat. You always want to build your own practice.

[00:29:35] John Sciaccotta: You want to have your own following. You want to control your destiny. And so I was extremely driven to do that. Okay. I. That’s just was my mindset. I wanted to do it. I felt I had the ability to do it. I had the willingness to want to do it. That’s the first step. There’s many lawyers out there that don’t want to do it.

[00:30:00] John Sciaccotta: It’s just, it’s uncomfortable. But what I always tell people, you can write articles if you don’t feel like you want a speech or, you know, writing articles is great, participating in panels, doing seminars. I mean, there’s so many things out there that you can do. And in today’s world of, you know, technology and virtual.

[00:30:23] John Sciaccotta: You know, platforms, you can do so much. I believe, I believe that you’ve got to identify lawyers and any person, and you have to put them in a position to succeed. And you have to look at them and say, what are your strengths? You may be a great writer. You may be a great speaker. You may be somebody that enjoys doing one thing where other people want to do something else.

[00:30:53] John Sciaccotta: You’ve got to identify their strengths, because one of my other maxim in life is, I had a teacher that said to me years ago, Whatever you do, do something that you’re good at, because if you’re good at it, you’re going to like it. And you’re going to Excel trade up full disclosure. There’s lots of lawyers out there that don’t like what they do.

[00:31:17] John Sciaccotta: And maybe they’re not that great at it. So, you know, I always say a legal education is a great thing. And sometimes, you know, being a practicing lawyer, isn’t the thing, maybe going into business. Or, you know, going into education or different fields. I think the law school education is really second to none in terms of how to, how to think and your thought processing, but do what you’re good at.

[00:31:42] John Sciaccotta: Yeah. And do what you’re good at. And do what you enjoy. And what you’re going to enjoy it. Yeah. You’re going to enjoy it. Because if you paid practicing law and that’s 

[00:31:48] Steve Fretzin: what you do every day, you know, that’s, that’s, you’ll get one shot at this thing called life and you don’t want to, you know, maybe it’s just a matter of being in it.

[00:31:55] Steve Fretzin: You’d want to try a different area of practice. You’ve got to look at the, to your point, the options. Yeah. Hey, John, we got to wrap up though, man. The, um, the game changing book that you sent me is what’s your why it’s a, is it Simon Sinek? 

[00:32:08] John Sciaccotta: Yeah. I will tell you, Steve, that that. Reading all of his books changed my life.

[00:32:16] John Sciaccotta: I always felt that I had a purposeful goals in life, but Simon Sinek to me is one of the brilliant people of our world. He was able to break down for me that you have to know what your why is. You have to know what your purpose is. And once you figure that out, and by the way, you need to find out what the client’s why is.

[00:32:45] John Sciaccotta: And what their purposes and what their objectives are and what their goals are. It helped me to really understand. And really be, be better at business development. Once I understood what my purpose was. 

[00:33:00] Steve Fretzin: Really great. I highly 

[00:33:01] John Sciaccotta: recommend his books. 

[00:33:03] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. No, they’re the best. They are. I agree. I agree. As we wrap up, John, of course, we’ve got our great sponsors, Get Staffed Up, Green Cardigan Marketing and Lawmatics.

[00:33:12] Steve Fretzin: Uh, go back and listen to their commercials if you missed them or fast forward it through them. How dare you? Everybody. And John, thank you so much for coming back on the show. I mean, you have so much wisdom, so much Wonderful knowledge that you were willing and able to share today that I just, I just can’t thank you enough.

[00:33:28] Steve Fretzin: And I just think the world of you and I’m just happy we’re friends and I’m excited for your, uh, your, your CBA presidentship and all that. It’s just, It’s just all very exciting, man. Appreciate it. 

[00:33:38] John Sciaccotta: Dave, such an honor to be with you, and I’m grateful and thankful for our friendship. I think what you do is amazing.

[00:33:45] John Sciaccotta: You’ve helped so many. And keep it up, because you’re making a difference. 

[00:33:49] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think we both have the same, maybe that’s one of the reasons why we get along so well, is because we both Believe that the the legal industry needs More support they need more help They need more guidance than maybe they’ve been given in the past and and I I also even though as i’m a non lawyer I care truly deeply about the the lawyers.

[00:34:07] Steve Fretzin: I I work with and the lawyers I don’t work with the ones that I just want to help through my content content and things I produce. So Um, anyway, I think I think we make a great team. So I appreciate it. Thank you. Steve. Thanks for having me Yeah. And thank you everyone. Yeah. Thank you everybody for spending time with John and I today on the, be that lawyer with Fretzin podcast.

[00:34:26] Steve Fretzin: Uh, we’re helping you every single week, twice a week to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident organized in a skilled rainmaker. Take care everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again very soon.

[00:34:39] Narrator: 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 .