In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Paul Porvaznik discuss:
- Thinking about business development (even when things are going well).
- Taking action on taking control of your career.
- Meeting with the right people and asking the right questions.
- Start developing your book of business now.
- Having your own clients is one of the best ways to create job security, regardless of where you’re practicing.
- Keep a blog or write articles. It will show your expertise and help you to grow your business.
- Not everyone is going to be a good fit for you. If you have a vast connection of networking partners, you can be a great referral partner for them.
- Business development won’t be natural on day one. It takes practice to continually improve and become more efficient at this craft.
“People who have a book of business have autonomy.” — Paul Porvaznik
Connect with Paul Porvaznik:
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Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
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Paul Porvasnikn [00:00]
I noticed that people that had a book of business had autonomy. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of being told what to do. I kind of like autonomy. I like freedom of movement. I don’t want to say call my own shots. But the people that had a book of business were able to, I’ll say, call their own shots, so to speak.
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 [00:45]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. How’s it going? Steve Fretzin, the host and you’re gonna get some good tips today. That’s the goal. We are going to help you be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Listen, it is a show that is all about helping you to learn best practices on business development, marketing, strategy, time management, living a better life, wellness, health, it’s all a big circle of life. And we’ve got to we’ve got to figure out how to how to do things more efficiently than ever before. So my hope is that when you’re listening to this show, whether it’s this episode or past episodes, you’re getting a couple of takeaways, something that’s going to help just give you something to think about or something to actually take action on, which is the best the best things you can get out of any book or podcast or whatever. So that’s really what it’s all about. And today’s no different. I’m going to introduce Paul in a minute. I do want to thank our sponsors legalese marketing, who is helping me on the marketing stuff and you know, newsletters, social media, they’re awesome at law, Maddox and helping me with automations. And making my life easier. And of course, money Penny if you’re looking for virtual reception, looking for a little live action on your website to you know, try to drive conversions, money, pennies, the game, go for it, give them a call more about both of those sponsors later. Paul, welcome to the show. And I just before we get into your background and everything, um, you submitted a quote, which is very simple and straightforward, nothing changes, if nothing changes, which I think people figure, you know, configured out pretty quickly yet, it doesn’t mean they can’t help themselves to do nothing. Why did you submit that quote, and thanks for being here?
Paul Porvasnikn [02:26]
Yeah, thanks. Well, thank you, Steve. It’s a it’s an honor, you know, I really enjoy your podcast, I feel a little bit like the eighth grade talent show band backing up the Rolling Stones, man, some of your guests are very, very impressive, very polished. So I’m kind of like, trying to let go of that I got to, you know, measure up or whatever Ubu, my friend Ubu will try. Yeah, then nothing changes. If nothing changes, you know, at some point, I’d say in my mid 20s, I went on this kind of a mad quest to find the answer, or the secret to life. And I acquired this library of self help books through the years, it’s something I’ve always really kind of enjoyed and vibed on for whatever reason, and there’s nothing changes, if nothing changes, it’s just something I’ve heard, you know, multiple times through the years, either reading it in our book, or hearing someone talking about it. And it’s always resonated with me, because it just, for me, it just hits me in the face with, if I want my circumstances to change, I am going to have to take different action. And by nature, I’m a very, I’d say play it safe person, I’m kind of addicted to my comfort zone, addicted to convenience, change resistance. And so to get out of that inertia, that out of that comfort zone, I through trial and error, and through a lot of painful experiences, through the years realize, I have to do something different if I want change, and so nothing changes, nothing changes is a great quote. Another quote I was thinking about was, if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get, you know, same idea, you know, if I am, if I keep doing the same thing that I’ve done the last 10,000 times the 10,000 in first time, it’s probably going to be similar. And that
Steve Fretzin [04:28]
goes along with that definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. So there’s all right, so but I think that I think the general idea is that we have to a recognize when something isn’t working, and we have to either do it ourselves or get help or advice to make changes that are going to impact us in a positive way. And most people don’t want to do that. They don’t want to put themselves out there. They don’t want to ask for help because it shows weakness, or I’m not exactly you know, it was all the rage Since but I think that’s self improvement is very difficult to do
Paul Porvasnikn [05:04]
without help. Right? It’s a it’s a very, I’d say, an ego deflating process because it, you know, it’s, for me at least it’s like, I want to believe that I’ve got everything handled. I don’t need any help I, I’m a lone wolf. I’m a lone ranger, I can handle this. And yeah, it was, you know, through through a lot of, you know, trial and error over the years, I realized, yes, I I do need help. I do need to take, you know, the the willingness or the motivation to try something new. And, you know, you were, we were talking before the show about some podcasts we like, and I’m one of the ones you mentioned, the Joe Rogan, I don’t know if I’m allowed to mention podcasts on the show. But Sure. One of his guest is this guy named David Goggins.
Steve Fretzin [05:52]
He’s a monster.
Paul Porvasnikn [05:54]
He’s crazy, man. It’s like drinking water from the fire hydrant. But one of his quotes really resonated with me, you know, it was, I’m paraphrasing, but it was, every time I choose comfort, I become uncomfortable in my mind. And man did that hit me, you know, between the eyes as well, because as someone who’s always played it safe, you know, stay down the middle of the fairway, follow the template, follow the the cookie cutter model, follow the paradigm. You know, every time I do that, there’s part of me it kind of just eats away at my soul. And so I really resonate with I don’t agree with everything David says, But, but that is another quote that kind of, I think dovetails with what we’ve been talking about, you know, so far, and it
Steve Fretzin [06:45]
might also relate to, you know, one that my life, which is everything in moderation, right? I mean, we can exactly we, you know, we could go in and try to run, you know, 100 plus mile, you know, marathons in us in a shot. That’s just not for everybody. Right, right. There are certain things that we can focus our energies on, that are productive in our lives, and for our families, and for our health, and for our businesses, and running, you know, 100 100, you know, that’s just not for everybody. So we’ve got to, we got to kind of pick our battles. And as much as we may want to do a lot of things. It’s also important in this was my last show, you know, important to say no important to throw things away, that maybe aren’t productive, or aren’t in our best interest, even though they might sound exciting at the time.
Paul Porvasnikn [07:28]
Exactly. And you know, and I did listen to I can’t remember the person’s name, but the person who had on last week, he was he was talking about, you know, the scarcity mindset, the scarcity mentality, which I certainly have had in my business development journey over the past, I’ll say 10 or 11 years, and you know, I’ve been practicing 26 years, but I’ve really only thought about business development, probably for only 10 or 11 years. And do I regret it? Probably. But, you know, you, you get there when you get there, right. And it’s
Steve Fretzin [08:03]
better late than never situation, you know, at least you’re not, you know, 60 years old. And you know, you’ve got another 15 years left. I mean, I’m talking to 60 year olds, not frequently. And so, you know, they’re coming to me, and they’re saying, Look, you know, I’ve always had hours, I’ve always been fed things, you know, things have slowed down in my particular area. And, you know, we’re having conversations and they’re, they’re, you know, jumping into my program or not, but either way, you know, they got to do something because, you know, you can’t go another 15 years without developing business if things aren’t coming your way. So better to do it in your 30s and 40s. And even in your maybe early 50s, if you can, but not everybody figures it out in some people figure it out on their own, some people get help. I don’t really care. As long as you get off your focus and do it. And nothing changes, nothing changes right back to the beginning, that you can expect that nothing’s going to change if you don’t do something different. Real quick, everybody. I want you to meet Paul or VAs Nick. He is a friend of mine for many years. How long have we known each other? It’s got to be good. I
Paul Porvasnikn [09:03]
think it’s been it’s been eight or nine years.
Steve Fretzin [09:06]
I think it’s been longer than that.
Paul Porvasnikn [09:07]
Has it been longer than that? Yeah,
Steve Fretzin [09:09]
maybe not. 15 Maybe I’m exaggerating? Yeah, I think maybe since like, maybe 2010 Yeah.
Paul Porvasnikn [09:16]
There’s another quote The days are long, but the years are short time. I know I went to one of your books. I think maybe it was your first book you had like a book launch was around the suburbs,
Steve Fretzin [09:29]
or was that in the South? It was it was downtown. It was okay. Okay, so that was for the networking handbook. That was probably around six years ago.
Paul Porvasnikn [09:36]
Six so we met before then Yeah, didn’t before that. Okay. I do remember going to that and that was great. That was
Steve Fretzin [09:42]
that was a big party man. That was my best books and you want to hear something funny? The first book I did sales Free selling I did it at a restaurant out in the in the suburbs in Skokie. And of course, you know, this is this is my you know what happens to me. It was the biggest rainstorm like we’ve had in Chicago, like 30 years. And of course, literally the highway was flooded. People couldn’t turn around. That’s how bad the rain was. The roads were the highway was flooded. So I ended up I was expecting, I don’t know, close to 100 people. And I ended up with about 50, which I was still thrilled with. But I was like, oh my god, go figure like it’s cats and dogs outside for hours before this. Yeah, that’s so unfortunate when things like that happened, but good for you for going through with it. Yeah.
Paul Porvasnikn [10:31]
But what I was saying about your last guest, when he talked about that scarcity mentality of like, I’ve got to jump on everything that comes my way. I gotta take every case that comes in the door. And I, I have certainly been guilty of that. And I like to think that, you know, the lessons learned over the years is I’m more discerning about what I take on because I, I definitely relate to that mindset of, I better get while the getting’s good. This is the only time this is ever going to come down my way, I’ve got to jump on this immediately. And you just end up spreading yourself too thin. So I really resonate, that really resonated with me from your last guest last week. So
Steve Fretzin [11:14]
now well, I appreciate that. And again, you know, that the, you know, the goal is to continue to bring on guests, and again, I don’t care how famous they are, or if they’re, if they’re, you know, looking to become, you know, whatever, just anyone that’s got some value to add to my audience, and you certainly have it in spades. I mean, that’s why I invited you to come on the show. It’s not because you have nothing to say. We’ve already gone through a number of quotes that I think people can go on. Yeah, that resonates with me, or that’s something and I want to continue that that in, in some detail. But you’re you’re a partner at Bielski and Chapman, here in Chicago, and talk a little bit about your background. We know 26 years, we know you know the last member have been involved in business development, but give a little background on on maybe, you know, your, your your premises as an attorney, and then also with regards to business development. Yeah.
Paul Porvasnikn [12:05]
So in college, I wanted to write for Rolling Stone. I wanted to be the next Kurt Loder, he was just a great rock journalist through the years and he later became a host of MTV. And so I was writing record reviews, concert reviews for a newspaper called The Muse in Boston, it was sort of like the Boston Phoenix or the Chicago Reader. And that’s kind of what I wanted to do. And I interned at a PR firm in New York and didn’t have any intention of going to law school, quite frankly, until my senior year of college. La law was all the rage. So I was like, currency. Thanks. Sounds cool.
Steve Fretzin [12:45]
Great suits and hair. That can be Yeah,
Paul Porvasnikn [12:47]
Corbin Bernsen. Susan a. Jimmy Smith’s. Yeah, great. What a great show. That was. Yeah. And I just was like, you know, I liked writing. I liked research. You know, the, the writing for Rolling Stone seemed more of like a hobby, not maybe a vocation. So I thought, yeah, law school. That sounds pretty cool. And that was pretty much it. And so came here for law school, went to DePaul graduated 1996. And, you know, in 96, the law market was really bad. And I don’t really remember what the economic forces were. At the time, I think it was just kind of everyone in their dog went to law school in the early 90s. So there was just a glut of attorneys in, you know, only a finite amount of positions. And so I didn’t get a job. You know, I, I clerked at a law firm for three years all through law school. And I’m not going to say they promised me a job. But the thinking was, I’m going to stick at this place. And then, for various reasons, they weren’t able to offer me a position. And so I found myself for the first two years in practice 96 to 98. I became a contract attorney before I don’t even know if contract attorney existed back then that I was working for five or six different solo practitioners, writing briefs, doing court appearances, drafting pleadings, and I really enjoyed it because I got to set my own hours, I was kind of a business owner. Of course, I had no experience with running a business, but I kind of it was it was by necessity, you know, I felt like, you know, necessity is the mother of invention or whatever i i was in this position of being a contract attorney for multiple different solo practitioners in Chicago and really enjoyed it. But I eventually did latch on as an associate a couple firms. And then in 2003, I went to a insurance defense firm, but I was the commercial litigator. And so me and the commercial litigator partner, we were kind of like a team and I stated that firm for almost 13 years, and was a really, really good place. They had institutional clients, one client in particular was a, you know, a global company that that cup that client alone kept the firm does, and an army of associates busy for decades. So there was they paid lip service to, oh, you got to get business, you got to develop a book. But there really wasn’t any incentive to do that. Because like I said, they had a couple institutional clients that literally kept you busy, you know, 24/7. And so there was really no time or no, you know, motivation, at least the way I experienced to go get business in 2008, I believe the economy crashed. And that’s when business dried up. And that was my first you know, come to Jesus, as they say moment where it was like, Oh, my God, I have no book of business, I have no prospects, I don’t know where to start, I don’t know what to do. And I am completely dependent on Person X, person y person Z to feed me work. And if something happens to Person X, Y, or Z, or if something happens, you know, God forbid, that client leaves us or pulls it to business. You know, I’m Sol, and that was a, that was a very harsh reality. And so that that was kind of what planted the seed in my mind that I need to figure out a way to, to make myself indispensable or to somehow make myself marketable if if the s hits the fan, as they say, because I really had no plan. And it was it was kind of scary, quite frankly.
Steve Fretzin [16:53]
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s not an unusual type of mindset or situation for a lawyer to be in. And now’s a great example, like their lawyers, many of the lawyers I talked to have never been busier, have never had more business. So they’re not thinking about business development, because things are so good. And they’re realizing that, you know, look, you know, there’s a lot going on in the world between COVID and Russia and all the different in the, the inflation rate resignation, like things are happening. And it’s, it’s, it’s not that you have to flip a switch and do 100% business development. But I think most lawyers get that having your own clients is one of the ways probably the best way to have job security, to know that you’re going to be financially independent and be valuable. Whether you’re portable, whether you stick around at the firm you’re with or go on your own, you got that protection.
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Steve Fretzin [18:36]
So you had that moment of coming to Jesus moment. And then you started realizing you needed to get that book belt. And then what was like the next thing you did or what was the kind of the next year to look like as it relates to taking action on it? Because I’m assuming that’s what you did?
Paul Porvasnikn [18:50]
Yeah, so so the other the other I guess, force at work or the force that I was observing, or the phenomenon, I don’t know what the right word is. But I noticed that people that had a book of business had autonomy. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of being told what to do. I kind of like autonomy, I like freedom of movement. I don’t want to say call my own shots. But the people that had a book of business, were able to, I’ll say call their own shots, so to speak, and maybe given more leeway. And I saw people that were completely beholden to, you know, a partner to feed them work. They kind of just had this undercurrent of stress and anxiety and certainly I certainly had that for many years. So yeah, I didn’t really know what to do, quite frankly, a friend of mine is a life coach. I didn’t even know what a life coach was. But he was a life coach slash social worker slash psychologist and he is he was someone I knew for years and he told me that one thing that he did to get business was to write articles and he had a blog on what he would do. write about things that interested him about psychology, self help books, you know, things that I was into, and I would, I would read his blog and his articles. And he’d say, yeah, people call me all the time, you know, they read my articles. And, you know, here we go. Another, quote, perception is reality. People see, oh, this guy is writing all the time, he must, he must know what he’s talking about. And, you know, and I’m laughing, because it’s, you know, it’s somewhat true, you know, people, at least for me, if I see someone writing about a lot of topics, you know, I’m gonna, you know, I’ll be more inclined to maybe refer them business or recommend them. But my friend was, was saying that he, he was getting clients by writing these blog posts. And that’s something that I have through my journalism background, I, I knew I could do that, or I suspected I, but I was also kind of a had some technophobia some technological fears. And so I was like, Oh, my God, I don’t know how to do any of this blogging stuff. This is like back in, you know, 2010 2011 ish. And, you know, I may be a late adopter, I’ll say, technology things. And so the thought of like, starting a blog and writing articles, it just seems so overwhelming. And so I had to really break it down into component parts. And so he, he hooked me up with someone who showed me how to like, you know, reserve the domain name, start a website. And so I just started writing articles, you know, sometimes three and four times a week, I was like a new toy, it was like a shiny object. And I just wrote about things that interested me and in the cases I had, or areas that the law that interested me. And lo and behold, people started coming to me, they started, hey, I read your article on such and such. And the next thing I knew they’d be in my conference room, you know, writing out a retainer check. And it was just like, it was intoxicating. It really was, you know, but the the downside to all that is that, as I mentioned earlier, I started, I had no ability to discern what was a viable client and what was not. And so I found myself, taking meetings with people that would hold me hostage for three and four hours. And then at the end, they say, well, thanks for your time, I’ll get back to you. First, I never hear from them. So it was it was a challenge to you know, and I’ve heard people say, I think I even heard you talk about one time. You don’t give free consulting and, you know, people that have, you know, charged people hour long consultation, and I, I see how that makes sense. I’ve never gone to that, you know, length to do it. But if
Steve Fretzin [22:46]
we found myself in the Paula for doing it, if we’re doing a show of quotes, which I think might be the title of the show. Yeah, the one that the mantra that I that I teach my clients every single day, is prescription before diagnosis is malpractice. And, you know, that’s, that really is what it’s about, there are many lawyers who are doing a tremendous amount of free consulting, a tremendous amount of telling, selling, convincing talking, when in reality, that’s not how it needs to go. So when you meet with someone, a, it’s how do you qualify them, to bring them in to take any of your time. In fact, I got an email introduction today from someone and it just didn’t look relevant to me at all. So I kind of rejected it in a very nice way and said, Look, I’m really busy, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to meet you. But I appreciate the introduction, let’s keep in touch, you know, on LinkedIn or something, because I just, I just am so busy, and I can’t meet with everybody, nor do I want to meet with everybody. Because we’ve got to be protective of our time. And then when you do meet with the right people, it’s always you know, to learn about them and get that information about their problems and about their needs and their urgency and their financial situation, or whatever it is, and we want to take in and qualify so that we don’t end up being hijacked in a meeting where it ends up being a free consult free consultation, it ends up being a big, you know, then you ended up chasing after him because you spent time with them. Now you want to try to get them back. And they basically have everything they need to not talk with you anymore. All right, they’ve gotten enough information out of you that they no longer need you or they’ll kill you, you know, heaven forbid, they, they take it to the to the your competitor down the street and sure, yeah, and I think somewhere along the line, you know, everyone’s got these anecdotal examples of like, Yes, I
Paul Porvasnikn [24:32]
I was so altruistic I gave of my time and, and I really just gave some free advice to this person. And it all came back to me like a karmic, you know, it all come back to you. If you give out free goodies. It’s going to it’s gonna come back to you tenfold and, and I love stories like that. I do, Steve. I think it’s great. You know, how cool is that? You know, but in my experience, it hasn’t Why worked out that way? You know, I, I don’t see the return and maybe unselfish maybe I’m looking at it too much of a transaction all if I give a I should get me back. But when I give you the three,
Steve Fretzin [25:13]
yeah, yeah, as I’m just gonna say like I talk about in my book, The networking handbook that no one has networked and given more connections than I have. And it was a huge, huge time suck. And all is so there’s a bunch of books out there networking books that talk about, you know, this is a Karma building exercise he talks about, if you give and you give, and you give and you give, you’re gonna get back so much business, you’re not going to know what to do with it. And I get it in for you know what, one out of a million people, that’s absolutely going to happen. But for the other 90 999,000 plus people, that’s not really how life works. And that’s not really how a billable lawyer can manage their time, and be efficient. So what I try to teach in networking, is yes, be a giver. But do it with intelligence, do it with qualification, do it in a way that’s productive, and where you understand the ability for reciprocation, as a part of the process, not just giving selflessly for years, hoping that and pray that something’s going to come back your way, because who the hell has time for that?
Paul Porvasnikn [26:21]
Exactly. And so, you know, and that was, I think, you know, when we first met several years ago, I remember, I think you, you had kind of a story about how you would spend an entire evening at a networking event, you’d walk out of there with like, multiple business cards of people you’re never going to see or talk to again, and man did that resonate with me, because that was my experience, you know, going to network after work, or going to this place or that place. And, you know, nine o’clock, 10 o’clock at night, I’m coming home with like, you know, a wallet full of business cards, and I’m just like, I don’t know, there’s no synergy between me and any of these people. What am I doing, so I had to really be more focused. So I don’t know. So that’s my experience with the networking is having to Yeah, be more discerning, you know, just like with, you know, when I started blogging, and people would come to me, they would call me and my natural, I guess, mindset is, yes, I want to help this person, I want to be useful. I want to be of service. So I would let them come in. And I did get some great clients out of it. But I also got a lot of people that like you said, we’re a time suck. And so that’s been a that’s been a an ongoing challenge and ongoing lesson for me in business development is to be, you know, more discriminating better about, you know, who am I going to devote my time to, you know, is this person really a good fit? And if not, I can, you know, I have, I have a pretty vast referral network of people I can, you know, send them to, if I’m not the right fit,
Steve Fretzin [27:56]
we’ve got time for one more quote, and I’m gonna give it and then we can discuss it and then move on to Game Changing books. And because this, the time has just flown, I mean, that’s the beauty of talking with a friend, Paul, right. We
Paul Porvasnikn [28:08]
know, time does fly, I knew that. I played
Steve Fretzin [28:11]
twice, and it’s 30 minutes. But a lot of what we’re talking about, you know, if nothing changes, nothing changes. And all these different quotes that we’ve brought up during the show, the one that is so critical to success, is a Vince Lombardi quote. And again, if you’ve heard me say this before, everybody, I apologize, but it’s so true. And I can’t get through to my teenager on this, but he’ll come around, he will come around. And his perfect practice makes perfect. And I work with my clients on this all the time. Because what you’ve did, and what I did, is we were practicing networking in the traditional sense of being a giver, meeting with people attending events. And we go and we do what we thought we needed to do. And we did the wrong thing over and over and over again, hoping for good results. But in fact, what we should have done and what I eventually did, and you eventually did was we recognize that what we were doing wasn’t working, we realized where the mistakes were being made. And we made better decisions and change our approach or change the way we’re addressing it to make to get better results. And the faster we can figure it out, and the faster we can do that, the more success we’re going to get more quickly. So talk to me about that quote and how that resonates with you. Yeah, the Lombardi
Paul Porvasnikn [29:29]
quote, I always heard his winning isn’t everything. That’s the only thing I think, but I like that one. I think I have heard you say that. Yeah, I just, you know, for me, it’s like, again, the lightbulb moment didn’t happen until I was in my early 40s. You know, and I, I think man i if someone would have liked like you or someone that I knew back then would have said, Man, you got to start developing your book deal in my late 20s or early 30s. I mean, I think I had enough credit ability in my early 30s, that I could have started this journey, but I, you know, I was, again, I play it safe. I like my comfort zone. I was the brief writer guy for for a decade. And that’s all I wanted to be. I just wanted to be that brief writer guy. So for me to get out of that mentality into, you know, a rainmaker business development mindset was hard. And yes, the perfect practice is like, Yeah, I had to take stock of what was working and what wasn’t working. And, you know, I’m someone that has to learn the hard way, you know,
Steve Fretzin [30:34]
yeah, yeah, me too. Me too. In most cases. I agree. My teenagers the worst, he’s the worst offender. Like, yeah, he needs to literally almost die for him to change something.
Paul Porvasnikn [30:44]
Yeah, right. Well, it’s like, my mom, my mom’s got one of those electric stoves that turns orange, when it’s hot. And it’s like, you know, Hey, Paul, when that turns orange, you can’t touch it. Don’t touch it. I’m like that. I’m fine. And then I’m like,
Steve Fretzin [30:59]
Oh, just a color. Orange. It’s pretty.
Paul Porvasnikn [31:02]
You were right. Yeah. So I, you know, most of the things I’ve learned have been the hard way, I would say, and as far as you know, the practice, perfect practice, you know, this idea of perfecting your craft, you know, which I think is kind of a cliche, I hear that a lot. But I it resonates with me. And you know, for me, it’s like writing articles about things that I actually have experience. And because at first I was just writing about copyright law, it’s something that interests me, but I’ve never litigated copyright cases. So people are calling me thinking that I’ve litigated copyright cases, and I have to turn them kind of bashfully, turn them away, and say, Hey, man, I’ve never actually done this, but it’s just something I like writing about. So I’ve had to really narrow my focus in terms of, I love the idea of being a jack of all trades, a renaissance man or renaissance person. I love that idea. But I’ve really had to narrow my focus in terms of what I’m good at what I’m competent at, and, and to really focus and so the Lombardi quote that you gave that that’s kind of what it means to me is, well, if your lane
Steve Fretzin [32:16]
will pick a lane, I mean, it’s you it’s useful in just about every situation. Because if you’re if you’re practicing the law, right, it’s right in there practicing. But you’re not, but you’re not making improvements. So do you want to be you want 10 years of trial experience, you know, where you do the same things over and over? So it’s like, you know, do you have 10 years of trial experience? Or do you have 10 years of trial experience, but you’re doing the same thing year after year, not You’re not improving, the only way to become a better lawyer, as a practitioner is to make mistakes, have the judge yell at you learn something go at it, the next time better. And business developments the same way. It’s not something we just do naturally from day one. We have to learn improve, learn, improve, learn, improve. So I’ve got clients debriefing with me, I’ve got clients role playing with me, I’ve got clients, you know, doing all kinds of things to make sure that they’re continually getting better at this craft, and making it more efficient. And I think in all areas of life, whether it’s playing a guitar, making a recipe, practicing the law, in a courtroom, business development, it’s all about how do we make them? How do we identify mistakes and make improvements? That’s life. That’s life. You don’t want if you get punched in the face, you don’t want to say, Geez, I’m gonna go out and you know, be nasty to somebody get punched in the face tomorrow, it hurt. Let’s not have that happen again, right? To make those kinds of smart decisions. So if people want to get in touch with you, because they’re interested in your story, they’re interested in your writing there. They want to use you as a lawyer refer you I highly recommend policy as a litigator. How do they reach you,
Paul Porvasnikn [33:55]
sir? My work email address for bass Nick at DC hyphen, lawyers.com. My blog is that Paul plasmic.com, I’m on LinkedIn and I’m on Twitter. So yeah, it’s pretty easy to find me. We’d love to hear from people share my business development journey. You know, the one thing I will say I don’t want to get off to down the rabbit hole here, but I you know, COVID has been a huge challenge. And I’m sure I know you’ve talked about this in your podcast, but it’s, it’s almost given a guy like me license to kind of go retreat into the cocoon. And now that things are opening up, knock on wood a little bit. I’m finding myself with some mental resistance to getting out there. You know, yesterday, I had a 7:30am networking group, and every ounce of me wanted to just mail it in, you know, like I’ve done before, you know, choose the path of least resistance but I you know what I Just I sucked it up, I put on my suit and I came downtown. And I did it. And, and I felt good about. And it’s not because I’m such a great guy, but it’s because I’ve learned the hard way, how painful it is to choose comfort and convenience. Instead of, you know, show up, suit up and show up, like I said, So
Steve Fretzin [35:19]
listen, for some COVID has been the best thing that’s ever happened. I mean, obviously, it’s a tragedy in 1000 ways. But from a business perspective, it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened. For others, it’s been very difficult and mentally draining and all of that. Again, this is life, this is adversity, this is this is, you know, you know, the recession of 2008, the great resignation, the hits keep coming. So we just all need to be prepared to be resilient, and to be in a position to step up to the challenge, whatever that challenge might be, whether that’s, you know, I’ve got all these health challenges going out of my family right now that I’m dealing with. And, you know, you got to be resilient, you got to step up and and realize, you know, there’s things that are under your control, and there are things that are not, there’s another quote, you know, you can only control what you can control. Right. Right. But it’s it’s, but I appreciate you mentioning that I think there’s probably a number of lawyers listening to this, that can resonate with that, where that resonates with and in there, they’re probably going wow, I totally get that, Paul. Let’s wrap up, though, on Game Changing books. And we only have about 30 seconds left for this, but the smartest guy in the room. Tell us about that book and why you submit it as your game changing.
Paul Porvasnikn [36:30]
Yeah, and the problem was questions like, just pick one book is almost impossible. It’s like, tell me your favorite Rolling Stone song. You know, it’s almost impossible. But for some reason that Enron it was so it’s the book of the Enron scandal. And I don’t know, it’s not an industry that, you know, the energy industry, the oil and gas industry, I know absolutely nothing about it. But just it was just like reading like a Shakespearean play, like the hubris and the arrogance of these corporate executives, how they just rated the company and just while everyone else basically you know, like Nero was it Nero who played a fiddle, while Rome Bill burned or whatever, that, you know, vignette is, it just was, it was a really interesting book for some reason, I really, it was just a page turner about corporate greed, corporate hubris, arrogance of people, and you know how real world consequences happen from just a few people’s bad acts, you know, and another more recent book, bad blood, the story of Elizabeth Holmes and the Serrano’s Theranos, Toronto’s however you pronounce it, the blood testing, same thing, you know, just corporate DRI, corporate corruption
Steve Fretzin [37:52]
doesn’t really matter how many books are written about that and identified, it’s just it corporate greed is relentless. And even with like, the, the, the huge inflation and gas prices and everything, that’s not going to stop the big oil companies from from from making more money this year than last year. Like they’re, that’s they have to, they can’t make less like that’s, that’s considered like a failure for them making less money or taking less profit, and the way that people get paid, so it’s like, we’re, it’s almost like we’re learning nothing, you know, like, greed just trumps all
Paul Porvasnikn [38:25]
right? Yeah. But because those looks really really interested me and then, you know, there’s a ton of other books, you know, like, Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends Influence. That’s always kind of been a go to classic a classic. Yeah. But as that as far as business development, you know, if my plug for business development, autonomy, freedom of movement, people won’t mess with you as much people want to do. And if you make yourself indispensable, you make yourself more marketable. I mean, these are obvious things that you know, but
Steve Fretzin [39:01]
yeah, I mean, it’s it’s the it’s the soapbox I’ve been on for a long time and again, I I find that maybe it’s 10 to 20% of lawyers across the country this will resonate with and the others are just going to say yeah, I get it but but that’s not my thing or that’s not you know, that’s not my situation and then it is but everybody’s got everybody’s got to come you know, you know, you can lead them to the water but you know, getting them to drink is a different situation. So, the show of quotes Paul, that is what we had today. I want to thank you for being my friend for keeping in touch and we do need to grab a coffee or a drink in the city at some point soon.
Paul Porvasnikn [39:38]
Absolutely. Thank you for having me. Steve. Really enjoyed it. Yeah.
Steve Fretzin [39:42]
And hey everybody, thank you for spending some time with Paul today hopefully you felt like a fly in the wall listening to tool friends catch up and and share quotes and all the fun stuff around interesting business development tips and ideas. It’s all about being that lawyer someone who’s competent, organized and a skilled Rainmaker. Be safe be well, we’ll talk against So
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