Paul Angelle: Living Your Dynamic Business Plan

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Paul Angelle discuss:

  • Working through the lens of ownership.
  • The biggest opportunity for growth…and the biggest obstacle for growth.
  • Advice to law firm owners to create their business plans.
  • Repetitive problems law firms have with executing their business plan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your goal must be consistent with your why.
  • Share your business goals with your team you will have more consistency with an accountability partner.
  • Spreading the ownership of the business plan will improve your company culture.
  • Make sure the people in your law firm are in the right spot – it may mean moving people around or changing tasks to fit strengths and zones of genius.

“Businesses that grow, especially businesses that grow fast and in big numbers, have a plan. They never don’t have a plan.” —Paul Angelle

Find out more about the Mastering the Legal Clock and Thriving Event at: https://fretzin.com/events

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Episode References: 

About Paul Angelle: Paul Angelle never really had a choice; he was born into entrepreneurship. Working full-time in his father’s Cajun restaurant in south Louisiana from an early age, he learned the value of work through the lens of ownership. He never thought of himself as an employee as he proudly worked in the family business through college. That mindset would never change.

After graduating from the University of Louisiana with multiple degrees, he applied that same passion to sales. He was a natural salesman, a gifted networker, and very successful across multiple industries for over 20 years. In addition to starting his own successful media company, he earned a law degree from Loyola University in New Orleans which landed him a role as the first COO of a statewide, rapidly growing estate planning law firm. In that role, he managed a team of 20, and was instrumental in tripling revenue, increasing services, growing margins, and raising salaries during his 5+ years there.

During the lockdown in early 2020, Paul wrote a personal growth book. He had it published in 2021 and experienced the process of a launch that landed him numerous interviews, multiple book signings, and more coaching and consulting requests than he could have ever predicted. He realized that his lifetime goal of helping as many people as possible was finally in reach.

After more than 5 years of success growing a law firm, nearly 2 decades of achievement in regional and territory sales, and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment in publishing, Paul seized the opportunity to use his varied experiences to help others. His track record of success, his infectious enthusiasm, his specific skillset, and his varied experiences made him a perfect fit for HTM.

A former “undefeated” little league coach for his sons’ baseball teams, Paul enjoys cooking, fishing and writing. He’s a huge fan of his alma mater and enjoys watching and supporting the Ragin’ Cajuns whenever he can. He’s a father of four who lives on a small farm in tiny Sunset, LA with his beautiful wife Dawn and their horses, goats, chickens, dogs, and cats.

Connect with Paul Angelle:  

Website: https://lawfamilia.net/

Website: https://paulangelle.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulangelle/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

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

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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everyone, listen up real quick. Before we begin the show, I’d like to present my Be That Lawyer Challenge. If you’ve ever wondered how much more you could be making as an attorney, I challenge you to meet with me for 30 minutes to discuss your law firm. If I’m unable to identify ways to bring in more business for you, I’ll pay your hourly rate for our time together.

[00:00:19] Steve Fretzin: I’m just that confident. Go to Fretzin. com to accept this challenge and hope to meet you soon.

[00:00:29] 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 greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve

[00:00:50] Paul Angelle: Fretzin.

[00:00:51] Steve Fretzin: Well hey everybody, welcome back to Be That Lawyer. The show where you go to learn everything about how to live the best lawyer’s life you can. Uh, you guys know me, uh, Steve Fretzin, the host. And I’m happy that I’m here today again to interview a wonderful guy named Paul, who’s going to tell us all about how to help you, you know, plan for your business and execute on a business plan.

[00:01:12] Steve Fretzin: How you doing, Paul? Good.

[00:01:14] Paul Angelle: Great to see you, man. You live on a farm? A very small farm, about five acres, uh, South Louisiana. We, we, um, I bought my wife a miniature cow. For Christmas. I

[00:01:25] Steve Fretzin: hear they’re delicious. I’m just kidding. We’re going to know it’s already has a name, right? A name of personality. We don’t have, I have

[00:01:33] Paul Angelle: horses and goats

[00:01:34] Steve Fretzin: and a lot of chick.

[00:01:36] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, a lot of chickens. And, uh, I’ve got a family member down there who’s trying to invent something to feed and water chickens in a more automatic way. And he’s, you know, yeah. He’s a, he’s a wild man, wild man. But I sent my son down to New Orleans for the Christmas break and he fished with them almost every day and had an absolute blast.

[00:01:55] Steve Fretzin: What are you, are you fishing down there too? When I

[00:01:58] Paul Angelle: can. When you can. Okay. I enjoy freshwater fishing, like everything from what we call perch jerking or, or, you know, large mouth bass fishing. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, but I prefer, I like it when my friends that go offshore, which to me, it’s a whole, it’s too big of a thing.

[00:02:14] Paul Angelle: You know, I got to make a big arrangement to go offshore or saltwater fishing. But I love saltwater fish to eat.

[00:02:20] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Some good stuff. Love it. Redfish are really delicious. Yeah, we, we got up at 2 30 in the morning from, uh, uh, living, uh, with my cousins a few years ago. And we got up to 30. We drove out of four hours to go somewhere.

[00:02:33] Steve Fretzin: To a marina where we went off and fished and had it just the best day, but that’s not what this show is about. So I guess I should change subjects back to helping lawyers, right? Um, if that’s okay

[00:02:43] Paul Angelle: with me and you, although I know a lot of lawyers

[00:02:45] Steve Fretzin: who fish a lot. So

[00:02:46] Paul Angelle: yeah,

[00:02:48] Steve Fretzin: maybe I’ll come down there and do like a lawyer fishing outing or something.

[00:02:50] Steve Fretzin: That could be I’ve heard way worse. Okay. All right. Good. Good. Good. As we love to do on the show, we’re going to start off with the quote of the show. And, um, this is a fun one. You know, we, we, um, we get a lot of great quotes and this one is the famous Yogi Berra, a baseball manager. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.

[00:03:09] Steve Fretzin: Pretty, pretty clever. Uh, talk to me about welcome to the show, Paul. And, and, uh, tell us a little bit about that quote. Well, I really

[00:03:15] Paul Angelle: liked it because I know some businesses and my niche is obviously law firms, but I know so many businesses that do well. They, they, they grow and scale and figure things out, but.

[00:03:27] Paul Angelle: A lot of times it’s on accident or, or, or dumb luck or whatever it is. If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know how much progress you’re making and if you’re even

[00:03:38] Steve Fretzin: going in the

[00:03:38] Paul Angelle: right direction. So

[00:03:39] Steve Fretzin: that’s why I like that quote so much. And I think we both know that, and you in particular, that, you know, lawyers aren’t equipped in law school to, to, you know, write a business plan, to look at the numbers, to, you know, analyze their law firm, their law practice to make improvements.

[00:03:55] Steve Fretzin: And so. Um, that’s why you and I exist in this space because it’s not, you know, rocket science, but it is, it is an important part of, of, you know, the law firm is

[00:04:05] Paul Angelle: a business. And it’s, it’s kind of a unique business. I mean, to, you’re taught, you know, to spot issues and stuff in law school, but one of the things you’re taught is you, you’re the expert and a lot of effective attorneys really struggle with saying, I have no clue, or I don’t know what you’re talking about.

[00:04:25] Paul Angelle: It’s just not in our DNA and. So, there’s a fake it to make it mentality in the solo practitioner space, and I’ll take what you said a step further. I actually think it’s a conspiracy. I think that, um, big law probably donates more money to law schools, so law schools are financially motivated to encourage the students to go work for a large law firm.

[00:04:47] Paul Angelle: No one is encouraging you to go hang a shingle right out of law school. No one is even saying that’s a suggestion. Now. I’ll take off my tinfoil conspiracy theorist hat, I, I think there’s some, I think there’s some, some

validity

[00:05:00] Steve Fretzin: to that idea. You’ve given that a lot of thought. That’s a, that’s a concerning theory.

[00:05:05] Steve Fretzin: Paul, um, Paul Angell, you’re the owner of La Familia Business Planning. Give us a little bit of background because you’re, you’re, you’ve got, you’ve done, you’ve got more jobs than anyone I’ve ever met before. Maybe other than me. I’ve had a ton of jobs, but I think you’ve even, Gone past that and so people understand where you’re coming from and where you are today would be really helpful Well

[00:05:26] Paul Angelle: go way back.

[00:05:27] Paul Angelle: My father had a cajun restaurant for 30 years shut down about 10 years ago. I grew up working there, louisiana We didn’t have things like labor laws. So I was a full time working full time in a restaurant In 1983, I mean, I don’t know how old I look but that’s pretty young But they uh, but I ever since the first day that I worked I worked from a place of ownership.

[00:05:52] Paul Angelle: So then my father left a really nice job at a banking institution to go open a Cajun restaurant and knew nothing about the business, but everything was, you know, you can tell the people who have ownership, they walk through the entrance and they see a piece of garbage on the ground, the owner picks that up.

[00:06:08] Paul Angelle: Wonders why all the employees don’t stop to pick it up. Uh, but the employees that do stop to pick it up, that’s my, like a red flag for ownership. So I started my working experience. Through the lens of ownership. As I moved up in the restaurant, I became a really, really, really good waiter, like I was waiting tables and I was making way too much money to really implement that political science degree.

[00:06:34] Paul Angelle: Anything that I talked to, any job that I could find in my field would pay me less than half of what I was making, but I’d have to work. From 8 to 5 every single day and then they were to take taxes out of my income. I just didn’t like it. The only thing I could find that made any sense was sales. And it was a nice transition into sales from waiting tables because the people who are good at bartending or waiting tables are good at upselling your drink or making sure you get an appetizer or recommending the most expensive thing on the, you know,

[00:07:07] Steve Fretzin: yeah, that type of.

[00:07:08] Steve Fretzin: Oh, you got to try the fish today. Phenomenal, right? It’s been sitting there for 3 days.

[00:07:13] Paul Angelle: Well, that translated, I got into water treatment sales. I really excelled at that. Then I was recruited to do credit card processing sales to further date myself. I was selling credit card acceptance machines because, hey, American Express does a four year window and their expiration date is going to be zero, zero, and there’s going to be a problem with all the banks with this

[00:07:38] Steve Fretzin: zero, zero day.

[00:07:40] Steve Fretzin: I remember that whole zero, zero situation did really well, but learned,

[00:07:43] Paul Angelle: learned about B2B, uh, briefly got back into the restaurant management job, more of a corporate setting. Uh, moved to bigger market, New Orleans, then got a sales job in telecommunication. That job was like my third job in four years. I figured I needed more education.

[00:07:59] Paul Angelle: So I went to nighttime law school. Unbeknownst to me, I was going to really kill it at this sales job. I was an entry level salesman. I became major accounts and I became a branch manager. And I was a regional director. And then I was this, this, they called it a dealer manager, but right before they promoted me to it, it was called the vice president.

[00:08:16] Paul Angelle: We emerged with another company changed all the names. I thought it sounded way better, but I just grew the, I grew that space that I was in charge of, which was the channel partners, which was opened up a whole other opportunity. But meanwhile, I’m going to law school at night, and it takes 4 years if you go at night.

[00:08:34] Paul Angelle: So, 4 years later, I’ve got a law degree. I didn’t take the bar exam right away, like, right after May, I was going to wait because it was just so much going on at work. Well. The second one was going to be like in February, the next, you know, if you don’t succeed, whether it’s a February. Yeah. Well, in September, we had this hurricane Katrina.

[00:08:55] Paul Angelle: Ripped through the whole market and wiped out all my competitors by dumb luck. It wasn’t because we were better. It’s just, we were the one that didn’t get destroyed. I, my job got to be, I started making, I was making every month in commissions. What my sister who went to law school with me was making in a year.

[00:09:12] Paul Angelle: I had no motivation whatsoever to take the bar exam, no interest at all. Then when that job went away, I took a couple other sales jobs and I was back to where I was. Before so I started

[00:09:23] Steve Fretzin: back on back on

[00:09:24] Paul Angelle: earth. Yeah. So I started a publishing company. Obviously, I was a sports photographer in college and after college, uh, that took off.

[00:09:31] Paul Angelle: I sold that business. I, I got involved in residential solar panel. I was doing anything I could to justify the fact that I had a law degree. I wasn’t working in a law

[00:09:40] Steve Fretzin: firm. I’m going to stop you for a second. We’re 30 minutes talking about your jobs. Because you’ve had so many jobs, man. Oh, well, how did you, how did you get into what you’re into now?

[00:09:53] Steve Fretzin: Let’s let’s skip ahead because this is this year. You’ve got an insane background. Well,

[00:09:57] Paul Angelle: when I sold the solar company, I put my tail between my legs and went to work for my best friend who had a law firm and it was producing a lot of revenue, but not profitable. Okay. And she’s, and I was thinking I was gonna go work there and study and take the bar exam 10 years later.

[00:10:12] Paul Angelle: And that was what I was going to do. Well, once I got there, they were having things, problems that were unique to sales. In their organization, they had a crappy comp plan for the lawyers. They paid them 10 grand a year, a month, and they said anything they brought over 20 would be split 50 50. Terrible comp plan, but it was monthly, so they were having these 50, 000 months followed by two zero months.

[00:10:36] Paul Angelle: So they were getting the 50 percent of that 30, 000 plus 10, 000 each month. They were literally losing money on their timekeepers. So I switched their comp plan to a quarterly comp plan and started putting KPIs, like number of initial appointments, number of, you know, focusing on the activities instead of the revenue, this blew the law.

[00:10:53] Paul Angelle: It was husband and wife lawyer blew their mind. Instantly the revenue stabilized. Instantly. We started growing, our marketing became more intentional. We grew to more and more offices. That firm was at about 800 grand with no profit. When I joined, I left five years later in the middle of COVID they were at just under 4 million and the owners had to be almost 1.

[00:11:14] Paul Angelle: 5 billion, which That set me up. I had this, you know, by that time I had set the system up so well, I realized being a COO of a law firm is not a full time job. I wrote a book. I, I taught myself to fly a drone all at work. Like I, I had, it was, I put everything in motion. It was a part time job at that point.

[00:11:33] Paul Angelle: I got, the day I put my resume on Indeed or whatever, I got reached out by a coaching company that said they coached law firm and you would coach up to 30 law firms. It was like, Okay, this is a part time job, but I don’t know if it’s 1 30th of a job, but I’m intrigued. So I went through, it was a really good program, really extensive training.

[00:11:54] Paul Angelle: And I really, really found my niche. I mean, I really felt like I was making an impact on what I learned, like what we talked about at the opening. I learned that lawyers just don’t know how to run businesses and they, they struggle admitting that they, that they don’t know how to run businesses because that’s how they were taught.

[00:12:11] Paul Angelle: I put an emphasis on planning. Businesses in general, but law firms specifically, they can’t grow fast in almost every case. Everyone I was talking to there, they were stuck. They were either brand new or they just hit a plateau and they couldn’t grow anymore.

[00:12:25] Steve Fretzin: Um, And is that, is that due, is that due to some degree that they don’t either have a business plan or they don’t have a business plan that is a system that KPIs, the performance indicators, and understand like.

[00:12:41] Steve Fretzin: What’s coming in, what’s going out, what, you know, how, you know, what the bill will allow or burn rate is all that kind of stuff that again, they’re just not, they’re, they’re not set up with that.

[00:12:50] Paul Angelle: It’s not so much lack of a plan, it’s lack of a clear plan. They probably have a plan. I mean, there’s a process in place.

[00:12:56] Paul Angelle: Wow.

[00:12:56] Steve Fretzin: Don’t don’t be so sure. You know, there’s just there’s again, there’s successful law firms where they’re good at what they do. They, there’s a need for their service and they just run with it and they’ve got the, you know, the software in place and they’re doing well and there’s no based on experience

[00:13:13] Paul Angelle: and that they were taught a certain way and they’re just replicating it.

[00:13:16] Paul Angelle: But in those situations, you really rarely see rapid growth or scalable increases. It’s maybe a 4 or 3, 4, 5

[00:13:25] Steve Fretzin: percent a year. But in many cases, if they get that, they don’t go backwards, they go forwards, 5 10 percent growth, for example, a year, they could be absolutely thrilled. And for some, that’s going to be all they want, and for others, they’re stuck there because they don’t know how to advance to the next place.

[00:13:42] Steve Fretzin: Right,

[00:13:43] Paul Angelle: they don’t know where they’re going.

[00:13:45] Steve Fretzin: Or how

to

[00:13:45] Paul Angelle: get there, but when I’m talking about a plan, I’m talking about like this organic, but intentional personal plan, and it’s fact based data driven

[00:13:53] Steve Fretzin: hypotheses.

[00:13:54] Paul Angelle: I don’t know if I said that right. And if you have academics, anyway, everyone agrees that you need to set goal.

[00:14:01] Paul Angelle: Whether they said them or not is a different conversation, but everybody agrees that you need to have goals, but the serious goal setters, the people that are, you know, what I call gold diggers. They know that the goals need to be consistent with whatever their why it and circling back to, you know, what prevents law firms from growing, uh, the biggest opportunity to make the most impact to grow, or at least get to the next level.

[00:14:24] Paul Angelle: It’s almost always a lack of this comprehensive, personal, intelligent blueprint, but it’s a blueprint that’s based on ownership goal and goals. The goals need to be consistent with their why, um, and I’ve seen fantastic business plans on that. You know, from a bar, then they’re, they’re perfect. They work. Uh, but creating a plan.

[00:14:45] Paul Angelle: It doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s 1 of those things. It’s simple. It’s just not easy.

[00:14:48] Steve Fretzin: Um, but I’ve been, I mean, I’m, I’m taking all this in. I’m, I’ve just written some notes down. It says, like, figure out, like, where you want to go. What’s your why? Why are you doing what you do? Establish goals around that and in the growth that you’d like to see, then write, get a stepping in and writing a plan around that.

[00:15:05] Steve Fretzin: Is that sort of the, and then getting into the details and the weeds around, around. Um, At that point, yeah, for example,

[00:15:11] Paul Angelle: let’s say you want you and maybe this is driven by a spouse wants to spend 36, 000 this year on a new kitchen. Wow, you know, this is something that really Bruce up the house or whatever.

[00:15:24] Paul Angelle: And I’m saying this goal because I’ve heard it. Well, 36, 000 if you want to pay for that this year, that’s 3, 000 a month. So, if everything’s the same this year as last year, but you want to take the growth of your firm, the personal motivating driver is a new kitchen. Well, we know that that’s going to cost 3, 000 a month.

[00:15:42] Paul Angelle: So we take 3, 000 a month, add it to your net. If you were netting, say, 10, 000 a month last year, and you were able to take 10, 000 a month, and I’m oversimplifying it, out

[00:15:52] Steve Fretzin: of a million dollars. Yeah, no, you’re

[00:15:53] Paul Angelle: keeping it simple. I appreciate that. Now we need 13, 000. Well, 13, 000 is going to require 1. 3 million.

[00:15:59] Paul Angelle: So we build a plan for 1. 3 million. That, but the plan is based on that extra 3, 000 a month. It’s not based on this high end, top end number that doesn’t motivate. What motivates you, you don’t want to go home and tell your partner, Hey, you know that kitchen? We’re going to stick with the Formica and the plastic cabinets for another year.

[00:16:20] Paul Angelle: You don’t want to have that conversation. So guess what? You don’t have backwaters and you succeed. The plan is personal. It’s driving the business. You know exactly where to go. The rest is just math. If we need 1. 3 million, what’s our average case value? How many sales does that take? How many leads do you need to get that many sales?

[00:16:36] Paul Angelle: And you can go on down the line with the mixture of your practice area or average case values per offering

[00:16:43] Steve Fretzin: a business

[00:16:44] Paul Angelle: plan put together like that. But based on the goals is a thousand times more likely to

[00:16:50] Steve Fretzin: succeed. Well, not only that, Paul, but think about this. When you understand where the business is coming from and maybe where the gaps are in that growth, why are you stuck at 10 versus 13 or 20 or whatever the number is?

[00:17:03] Steve Fretzin: And that’s what I love to do is I love to meet with lawyers to identify the gaps that they’re not cross marketing or they’re not upselling. They’re not getting introductions from their clients. They’re not networking effectively. They’re not getting in front of enough decision makers, closing up business, whatever the gap is, that may be.

[00:17:18] Steve Fretzin: Identified via and through the numbers to some degree, um, that show them, you know, this is, this is kind of where you are and here’s why you’re not getting the revenue that you should be getting.

[00:17:29] Paul Angelle: Well, and that’s, and that’s half of it. You build the plan, you can create the plan, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want.

[00:17:36] Paul Angelle: I’ve made a bunch of business plans, and I happen to know that some of those business plans were put into a folder on someone’s desktop or in a drawer, and they weren’t ever looked at again. Right, and I don’t care how good it is. It’s useless because it’s you’re not living it. It needs to be a dynamic.

[00:17:51] Paul Angelle: It’s like, you could tell the people that really did something out of a book. It’s dog eared and highlighted and folded and wrinkly. That’s how your business plan should be. So what you need is either a really strong inner accountability. Personality or you need accountability partner share your goals in your business plan with your spouse or with their partner with with your team but it’s as long as someone’s holding you accountable to that goal.

[00:18:19] Paul Angelle: It’s like having a buddy to go to the gym with. You go to the gym way more consistently because you don’t want to be the one that didn’t go. Right. Um, you need an accountability partner and I’ve had a business plan take an hour. I’ve had a business plan take a hundred hours. Let’s say you were making a business plan and with me and it took 10 hours, I’d say we’d spend at least eight hours talking about your why angle.

[00:18:41] Paul Angelle: The rest is just math, but with that accountability, that coaching, when I look through it and then whatever numbers The numbers that aren’t lining up with the hypothesis, that tells

[00:18:52] Steve Fretzin: us what our

[00:18:54] Paul Angelle: most urgent issue is, that tells us where we need to be spending our time and what, you know, if we’re ranking the crises that exist in a law firm, 1 to 10, well, the answers in the accountability and the metrics, just like doing a variance on your budget.

[00:19:12] Paul Angelle: Hey, we thought we’d spend 1, 000 on office supplies. We spent 20, 000 in January on office supplies. I need to go investigate why we’re 20 times the monthly average in a single month, the first month of the year. Either our budget’s way off or something

[00:19:26] Steve Fretzin: happened. Well, yeah, you’ve got an office manager who’s, who’s, you know, got a lot of office supplies at her home or his home.

[00:19:33] Steve Fretzin: Um,

[00:19:33] Paul Angelle: It could happen. It could happen. It could be that you had to repurchase all the computers,

[00:19:39] Steve Fretzin: and you didn’t

[00:19:40] Paul Angelle: plan for that. So that’s why the plan needs the dog ears and the highlighters and the changes. It’s not a static set in stone thing, but it gives you the baseline for which to work on a daily, monthly, weekly, quarterly, annual basis.

[00:19:53] Paul Angelle: And businesses that grow, especially businesses that grow fast and in big numbers, they always have a plan.

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[00:21:54] Steve Fretzin: so let me ask you this outside of what we’re talking about, which is you got to have a plan and you know, the way you, you took me through a demo of the plan that you work with a lawyer, lawyers and law firms on. It’s really robust.

[00:22:08] Steve Fretzin: I mean, one of the best, you know, number XL driven plans I think I’ve ever seen. And it, it, it really does, you know, open up the eyes, uh, you know, that, but what’s, What’s one piece of advice or two pieces of advice. To law firm owners that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:22:25] Paul Angelle: Well, talked about it briefly, but scheduled time alone and with stakeholders.

[00:22:32] Paul Angelle: And when I say stakeholders, I mean, children, houses, partners, employees. Um, take some time to discuss your why and your goals. And then on the flip side, if you’ve got a team and you’re trying to improve that culture, because the business plan is going to really work a lot better. If you’ve got a. Do you know your employees goals?

[00:22:56] Paul Angelle: What are they? Because you obviously, as an owner, see this business as the means to get you what you want. If you want that kitchen, this law firm is existing and being productive and profitable so I can get a kitchen. And all the other things I spend my money on every single month. What does your team want?

[00:23:17] Paul Angelle: You know, somebody asked one of their lawyers, I want to get a Corvette. Okay, how much does that cost? He said, I don’t know. Yeah. Okay, well, then you don’t really want one. If your goal is to get a Corvette, come back and tell me what the monthly payment would be. What would the down payment be? How would it impact your insurance?

[00:23:30] Paul Angelle: Let’s get a dollar amount. And then the owner worked with that lawyer to make sure that the lawyer knew exactly what they needed to do, month by month, as far as the comp plan worked, to make sure they had an enough extra Net income to easily pay for this Corvette. It’s a goal. The guy had a Corvette in a year, that conversation would have never materialized and he would have never got that car.

[00:23:54] Paul Angelle: If they see your firm as a way to meet their goals, that ownership spreads and that really improves your

[00:24:02] Steve Fretzin: culture. Yeah, that’s true. That’s such great advice. And, and, you know, doing things by yourself and keeping goals. Hey, I’m going to lose 20 pounds. I haven’t told anybody. And guess what? You know, I’m back eating ho hos and Twinkies in no time.

[00:24:14] Steve Fretzin: You know, so we, we, we need to engage like to say, you said the stakeholders, the people that are, that we’re surrounding ourselves to, you know, get that support, but also to, to get buy in right. And then I think when people are included, then that, that demonstrates this is it. This is not my, just my business.

[00:24:34] Steve Fretzin: This is our business.

[00:24:36] Paul Angelle: Yeah. Well, and you find out through performing an autopsy on former months when you’re looking back. You, you, you look at where you excelled and where you kind of came up a little short, wherever you see that tells you what needs to be fit. It makes it really. Painfully obvious, but if everybody else knows the same metrics that you’re using to judge this and you’re transparent about the process, you start finding efficiencies.

[00:25:01] Paul Angelle: Like you might have the right people on the bus and you may have successfully got the wrong people off,

[00:25:05] Steve Fretzin: but is everybody in the right seat? I’ve seen

[00:25:07] Paul Angelle: people move a paralegal to an operation manager position. I’ve seen lawyers stop practicing law and turn into a salesperson, strictly made more money and made the firm more profitable.

[00:25:19] Paul Angelle: You, if you, you hire everybody for their experience and education, but the reason they don’t work out is usually culture. The culture is a buy in, like you said,

[00:25:31] Steve Fretzin: it’s

[00:25:31] Paul Angelle: everybody sees that vision or that mission and the goals and value.

[00:25:36] Steve Fretzin: And I probably should ask you this earlier, Paul, that, you know, when you say that you had the opportunity to work with 30 law firms at the same time, you know, looking under the hood, what would you say are the, are the one or two Elements of their deficit or of their, um, you know, gap and being great and getting to, to where they really want to go.

[00:25:57] Steve Fretzin: What, what were you seeing that was shocking to you, but, but also repetitive. It was

[00:26:01] Paul Angelle: shocking, repetitive, and it had an easy fix for bookkeeping. Oh my goodness. I mean, this, it’s a law firm. You’re, you’re for bookkeeping, push your license at risk. And you ignorance is not bliss, you gotta know your numbers and bookkeeping starts that whole trend of do you know your numbers?

[00:26:22] Paul Angelle: What’s your, what’s your lead to sale ratio? What’s your show up conversion percentage? What, what, you know, how are the different sources of marketing performing? What’s your sales closing rate? You’ve got to know your numbers, and that starts with bookkeeping, because if the bookkeeping’s not right, it’s all a wild ass

[00:26:38] Steve Fretzin: guess, right?

[00:26:39] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been an advocate for myself and for others to not do their own bookkeeping for years. I mean, really, I never had interest. I want to be involved in the numbers. I want to have regular reports. I want to have my accountant review my bookkeeping to make sure. You know, just that it’s in check and that things are being labeled properly and split up properly and that I’m getting reports that are that are accurate and clean.

[00:27:03] Steve Fretzin: But I never wanted to do that. I’m not that’s not my skill set. That’s not the best use of my time. Well, even if it is,

[00:27:08] Paul Angelle: like you said, it’s not the highest, best use of your time, whether you’re in production or not. Yeah. Because usually when I would start coaching someone, their goal was to get out of production.

[00:27:17] Paul Angelle: And once we achieved that goal, they realized all the gaps in their administration of the business of the law firm. Yeah. And then their next goal was to get out of that. But if they’re in, if they’re doing bookkeeping, you can outsource some high quality bookkeepers. For way less than you can build, you’re going to give

[00:27:33] Steve Fretzin: a number, but I mean, I’m paying, I’m paying like for a solo small business like mine.

[00:27:37] Steve Fretzin: I think I’m paying like 650 a month. And to get that off my, and I’ve, it’s, yeah, and I’ve got, you know, all my, all my invoices, you know, through law Maddox and, and God bless my software, you know, law Maddox that helps me get automated contracts, everything on a CH, I’m not taking checks. And so it’s made my bookkeeper’s job easier, but I still love the, the monthly reports, the AR, the, you know, what am I, you know, what’s, what’s kind of, you know, coming in in 2024, 2025, et cetera.

[00:28:07] Steve Fretzin: Without me having to do it is just, I don’t, I, I, you know, sending out invoices and collecting money. All that stuff is not something I want to do. It’s not a good use of my time at all.

[00:28:18] Paul Angelle: Well, but that’s, but that’s an evolution. You see delegating is, is a, is a struggle for a lot of, you know, law firm owners because they, they feel like in their.

[00:28:29] Paul Angelle: In their orbit, they are the best person to do that job. And that might even be true,

[00:28:35] Steve Fretzin: but letting go, but letting you grow. And what’s your value? You know, your value. I know people whose value is 5, 000 an hour. I know people whose value is a thousand dollars an hour. And they’re sitting there doing, you know, 50 an hour work because they’re good at it and they don’t mind doing it.

[00:28:52] Steve Fretzin: Well, you know, then, then what are you giving up? I mean, that’s, that’s another gap, you know, that may not show up on the, on the P and L, but it sure shows up on. You know, how you’re investing your time to grow the business

[00:29:03] Paul Angelle: and all of that falls into that thing that I’ve always said, 80 percent of coaching is mindset with tips and tricks and strategies and spreadsheets, all that stuff.

[00:29:14] Paul Angelle: None of it’s going to work if you don’t have the mindset and working with me, anybody works with me that says, well, I’m not really interested in growing. I’m like, we’re not going to be

[00:29:23] Steve Fretzin: friends. That’s not, that’s not, it’s not going to be a positive engagement for anybody. And so like, I’m the same way. I don’t want to take anyone’s money, time, energy.

[00:29:31] Steve Fretzin: If I, and I ask everybody that works with me, I say, especially in my coaching and training program, are you a hundred percent committed to making this year your best year to learning this stuff and to taking action? Well, you know, I’m so busy with this. I’m so busy. I go, then we’re done. Because, you know, I can help you with time management, but if your mindset isn’t of, I want to be a rainmaker, I want to develop business, I want to grow significantly, double, triple, et cetera.

[00:29:56] Steve Fretzin: That’s not anything that’s of interest to me. I don’t want to take that money. I don’t want to be, it’s not that we can’t be friends. I don’t mind being friends with people. I’ll, I’ll help everybody that I can, but for my time and energy to spend with someone that isn’t. Highly committed. And I think for them to spend that kind of time, energy, money with you, same thing.

[00:30:14] Steve Fretzin: Like you’re just, you’re, you want results. I want results and I can do lots

[00:30:18] Paul Angelle: of things for you. I can’t grow for you . Right? Right. You have to experience the growth. I, I can, I know a lot of tools and tricks and I have a ton of experience and I’ve, and I’ve done some things, but you’ve gotta grow. Yeah. You’ve gotta, and, and growing sometimes is as simple as deciding to grow.

[00:30:36] Paul Angelle: Are letting go of all of the things you believe to be true or you think are true or story to tell yourself or, you know, maybe you need to spend some time with a therapist or just some time alone. 80 percent of growth coaching is mindset. Yeah, once you’re once you’re ready, it opens amazing. Fast things start falling

[00:30:59] Steve Fretzin: down and when I, when I meet with law firm owners that have done really well and scale their business, I say, who’d you work with, like, who, who helped you?

[00:31:06] Steve Fretzin: And they always have an answer. It’s, it’s rarely, well, I just figured it out on my own. I mean, I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but that’s, that’s just the, you know, that that’s generally what I’m seeing is that they’re building, they’re getting the skill in an area that they didn’t get in law school.

[00:31:20] Steve Fretzin: They didn’t get anywhere else. And when they have that skill and the things that associated company it. Then that’s, that’s when things start to scale and really start to change. And some of them become CEOs. Some of them become, um, they’re not doing, you know, the bill of hour anymore. Their time is valuable and growing the business as a business, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:31:38] Steve Fretzin: Or they got work life balance

[00:31:39] Paul Angelle: and they’re spending time with their family. Well, right,

[00:31:40] Steve Fretzin: right. So there you go. So everything comes back to, comes back to that. Hey, we’re running out of time, but I just want to bring up your game changing book for the, for the podcast today, the greatest salesman in the world, which sounds like you.

[00:31:52] Steve Fretzin: But tell me about that. Tell everybody about that book because most lawyers if the word sales is in it or salesman is in it They’re not gonna buy it. Why should they? It’s a strange book.

[00:32:02] Paul Angelle: It’s old. It’s it it’s written in scrolls I mean almost like it. Yeah,

[00:32:07] Steve Fretzin: biblical type

[00:32:07] Paul Angelle: way.

[00:32:08] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, let’s move these It’s what is it like the oldest profession probably, you know, someone had to sell something to make a buck at some point You know thousands of years ago

[00:32:16] Paul Angelle: Well, what they call, what they normally call the oldest profession was absolutely sales.

[00:32:20] Paul Angelle: Yeah. But that book, you know, and when I’ve talked to lawyers who are, you know, say I’m not good at sales, every person selling a vacuum cleaner door to door has read these basic sales books. And there’s, you know, there’s authors like Brian Tracy and, and Zig Ziglar, the closing the sale, the Ben Franklin clothes and the alternative choice and all these things are things that.

[00:32:43] Paul Angelle: Completely unfamiliar to most lawyers, I always recommend go read a basic, you know, entry level sales book, but once I started getting into those books, I read that greatest salesman in the world and my copy of that book, along with my copy of Think and Grow Rich, those two books, I’ve had to purchase other copies because I’ve destroyed them with all my notes and my dog bookmarks.

[00:33:04] Paul Angelle: Yeah.

[00:33:07] Steve Fretzin: And by the way, everybody, if you’re interested in a book that is anti sales and, uh, it’s, but it’s still helping you build business. Obviously it’s, it’s a sales free selling and that’s on Amazon. That’s my book. But, you know, it’s still, it’s still, we can call it business development and we can hide it and hide the word sales and whatever we want.

[00:33:24] Steve Fretzin: But ultimately it’s, it’s, it’s client development. It’s growing business and having a process. That you can get behind is going to be as critical as anything. Hey, uh, Paul, if people want to get in touch with you, they want to hear more about Lafamilia business planning. How, what’s the best way for them to reach you?

[00:33:40] Steve Fretzin: Well,

[00:33:41] Paul Angelle: my guys are building my website. It’s all okay. Naming everything is brand

[00:33:44] Steve Fretzin: new, but you have a LinkedIn. It’s going

[00:33:46] Paul Angelle: to be Lafamilia. net, but I’m definitely on, uh, Lafamilia on LinkedIn. I’m Paul Angel on LinkedIn. Uh, I wrote a book called stop, back up and grow a couple of years ago. And that. Books website is paulangel.

[00:34:01] Paul Angelle: com.

[00:34:02] Steve Fretzin: Okay. And we’ll be able to put that, we’ll put that in the show notes too, to make sure people can either grab a copy of it or get your. You know, get to, to that book site. And as we wrap up, I want to thank our sponsors, of course, Laumatics, Get Staffed Up and Green Cardigan Marketing, all phenomenal.

[00:34:18] Steve Fretzin: You know, I, I love that I’m working with all of the sponsors from the show because, you know, I can talk so highly about them because I have personal experience working with them and using their services, and I’m just, I’m so grateful that they’re a part of the show and a part of my world. Oh, thanks so much, man.

[00:34:33] Steve Fretzin: This was, this was so great. And, you know, hopefully this will be, you know, maybe one of your last jobs, uh, working for yourself, helping law firms. But, uh, really appreciate you. That’ll be the case if I don’t get bored. Well, there you go. Yes. Well, you got the horses, you got all the, you got the farm to deal with.

[00:34:47] Steve Fretzin: So, uh, but thanks again for being on the show and sharing your wisdom. Really, really eyeopening stuff. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you everybody for spending time with Paul and I today. Hopefully you got a bunch of great takeaways. I got my usual page of notes. Uh, that I take when I have an interview like this.

[00:35:02] Steve Fretzin: And again, helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled brain maker. Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again so soon.

[00:35:13] 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 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 Check out today’s show notes.