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How You Can Become Donald Trump (Without the Funky Hair Weave)

By John Fisher, ProtectingPatientRights.com and UltimateInjuryLaw.com.

It’s easy to brush off Donald Trump as a loud, obnoxious blow-hard. The Donald’s off-the-cuff comments about women and foreigners are tough to stomach, but if you look past his sexist and xenophobic diatribes, there might be a thing we can learn from this loud-mouth.

Why you should want to be The Donald

Let’s begin by examining The Donald’s average day.  Trump isn’t surfing the web at work or checking email or text messages. The Donald’s workday is carefully orchestrated to eliminate distractions and every minute of his day is planned.

Trump has an army of executive assistants who answer his phones and respond to emails and make sure his time is limited to work on his priorities—not someone else’s. The Donald limits his time to speaking only with power-brokers to build his real estate empire and he delegates everything else.

If The Donald has 5 executive assistants, shouldn’t you have at least one? You’re not Trump and maybe you don’t want his high-flying lifestyle, but you still want to find a way to squeeze more time into your workday and get more work done, right?

The Power of Elimination: Just Say “NO”

Trump manages his day by saying “NO” to almost everything. Everyone is competing for your time and trying to force their way into your workday. The demands for your time could be a fundraiser or coaching a mock trial team, but keep in mind: The Donald would say “NO” to everything that doesn’t advance his priorities, and so should you.

“Just think for a moment
of all of the stuff that you’re doing
that you don’t need to be doing.”
Rory Vaden, Procrastinate on Purpose

Every time you say “yes” to something, you are simultaneously saying “no” to something else. It’s damn hard to say “no” because you want to be well-liked, but you’ll be more respected by your peers when you say “no”.

Eliminating Distractions with Your Rules of Communication

Write a list of the things that you can eliminate from your schedule. Let’s start with the basics—if you want to be productive, you have to eliminate the ultimate time-vampires. There should be no:

    • Web-surfing
    • Email
    • Texts
    • Unscheduled phone calls

You create Rules of Communication with your clients and make sure your staff is following your system for client communication. There will be no unscheduled phone calls and you won’t respond to emails or text messages from your clients when they violate your rules. If you don’t enforce your rules, you can’t expect your clients to follow them.

“Sometimes what you don’t do
is just as important as what you do.”
Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Ask your clients to sign your Rules of Communication at your first meeting and remind them of your communication rules with email auto-responders. Whenever a client sends you an email, the auto-responder sends a gentle reminder, “Our Rules of Communication are attached as a friendly reminder.”

Putting Your Law Firm on Autopilot with Automation

With your Rules of Communication, you’ve eliminated the busy work of answering phone calls and responding to emails. You’re focused on working on your priorities, instead of someone else’s. But you still need to communicate with your clients and let them know that you’re working on their case. This is where you automate everything you can.

When a new client contacts you, you have an automated sequence of emails that explain the process that for evaluating their case. The introductory email contains a video explaining the three-step process consisting of your process for (a) getting the medical records, (b) reviewing the medical records with an expert, and (c) making a decision to accept or reject.

“Automation is to your time
what compounding interest is to your money.”
Rory Vaden, Procrastinate on Purpose

Your email explains the time that it takes to complete each aspect of the case evaluation. You’re giving your clients instant feedback as soon as they send their first email or call your office. And even after the initial contact, you can automate the client communication as your case evaluation progresses.

Automating your law practice with a customer relationship management (CRM) software is a game-changer. Infusionsoft is a system that combines email marketing, customer relationship management and e-commerce all in one place. I use Infusionsoft for just about every aspect of my law firm, including:

    • New client inquiries (our “365 day nurture campaign”)
    • Status updates to current clients for potential and active files
    • Book sales
    • Email newsletters
    • My wife’s judicial campaign

After you decline a new case, you can automate the follow up with a sequence of emails relevant to the initial inquiry. If a new client calls about a delay in diagnosing cancer, you send a series of emails through your CRM about cancer screening and prevention. With an automated system, you’re staying top of mind with clients long after you declined their case, and who do you think they’re going to call with their next case?                                                     

Become a Master Delegator

You have to get over the idea that you have to do everything. Your paralegal or secretary should be responding to your email and mail and you should never answer the phone unless your client has a scheduled appointment.

“You are always paying someone to complete a task.
You are either paying someone else at their rate of pay,
or you are paying yourself at yours.”
Rory Vaden, Procrastinate on Purpose

What are the things in your office that only you can do? Write the list and delegate everything else! For starters, you should delegate:

    • Drafting discovery responses and demands
    • Responding to mail and email
    • Answering phone calls from opposing counsel
    • Speaking with clients about the status of their case

You know you can do the work faster and better than anyone, but that’s the type of thinking that will get you in trouble. Perfection is the enemy—good enough is better. Just think of all the free time you’ve got once you’ve eliminated, automated and delegated your work.

Building for Tomorrow (and Multiplying Your Time)

Don’t get caught up putting out the emergencies that pop up. You must ALWAYS be thinking long-term by creating policies and systems that will give you more free time tomorrow.

“Anything you create a process for today
saves you time tomorrow.”
Rory Vaden, Procrastinate on Purpose

What can you do right now that will create more free time tomorrow? Here’s some food for thought:

    • An Office Manual setting forth your policies,
    • A Position Contract spelling out what is expected of each employee,
    • An organizational chart assigning individual roles, and
    • Creating forms for your pleadings, discovery responses and release authorizations

But aren’t you just creating more work for yourself with this policy stuff? Just think about how much time you spend every day answering the same questions. With policies, your staff has answers for almost every issue and your office operates on auto-pilot while you’re on vacation or in trial.

Your Biggest Impact Activities

What can you do right now that will have the biggest impact on your law practice? It’s not returning phone calls or responding to emails. The highest and best use of your time is business development, i.e., getting more of the “A” cases. Everything falls into place when you’ve got an inventory of “A” cases.

Take this one step further: what activities do you do that are the highest and best use of your time for business development? Everyone’s different, but yours might be:

    • Creating a content creation strategy for your website,
    • Nurturing relationships with your referral partners through newsletters (print and email), books and speaking events, and
    • Updating referral partners about the status of a referral
    • Once you’ve defined the activities that are the highest and best use of your time, you know what to focus on, and what you have to eliminate or delegate. Life gets a whole lot easier when you define those activities that are the highest and best use of your time.

Take this one step further: block out time in your day (as you would a scheduled appointment) that is limited to working on your highest and best use of your time. Give yourself permission to block out 3 hours in the morning to focus on the work that is the highest and best use of your time and don’t allow a single interruption.

This is not really time management—it’s self-management. It’s so hard disciplining ourselves to do the things we know we should do. But when you become intentional and protective about your time, you become a lot more like the over-bearing politician with the funky hair weave…and just maybe on the road to building a better law firm.


ABOUT JOHN FISHER

John Fisher a personal injury lawyer practicing in Kingston, NY — see www.protectingpatientrights.com and www.UltimateInjuryLaw.com. John’s practice is limited to the representation of victims of catastrophic and substantial personal injuries, including the victims of cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy, birth injuries, delay in cancer diagnosis, heart attack and stroke misdiagnosis, legal malpractice, suicide prevention, undiagnosed infections, medication errors and nursing home neglect and abuse.

He is author of “The Power of a System: How to Build the Injury Law Practice of your Dreams,” available for purchase at his website,www.ultimateinjurylaw.com. Ben Glass, Esq., the nation’s leading authority on law office marketing and development calls the book, “amazing”. This 334-page hardcover book is chock full of the technical, managerial and entrepreneurial “how to” secrets to building a multi-million injury law practice. When you buy the book at www.ultimateinjurylaw.com, it will be sent to you via Federal Express (at no extra charge) and you will receive a FREE three-month subscription to my monthly newsletter for lawyers, Lawyer Alert. If you’d like to get a FREE chapter of my book about internet marketing for lawyers, go to www.ultimateinjurylaw.com, and you can request an instant electronic copy of Chapter 22 (“How to Turn your Website into a Client Magnet”).

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