Halloween Podcast Series Episode 12 – What If YOU Are the Monster Haunting Your Practice?

Halloween Podcast Series <span>Episode 12 &#8211; What If YOU Are the Monster Haunting Your Practice?<span>

Good evening, it’s Richard Jacobs with Speakeasy Authority Marketing and Jacobs & Whitehall. It’s day 12 of 13 of the monsters that are there to suck the life out of your practice. Today we are going to talk about the fearmonger and the narcissist. We had a narcissist under client monsters, but narcissists can rear their head amongst staff, family, and friends.

First, we’ll talk about the fearmonger. This is a staff member, another attorney, spouse, or someone who you work with whose head is on fire. They are constantly worried about everything. What’s going to happen if we do this? What’s going to happen if we don’t make payroll? What if we can’t pay the rent? What if the judge rules against my client? I’ve seen a group of attorneys do this, and it’s not nice but I call them headless chickens because they are constantly worried.

Some attorneys tell me they don’t even have time to breathe. That’s not good. If you are going to run a successful practice, be confident in court, research with peace of mind, file motions, and really go to bat for your client, you can’t be in a state of fear. That’s no good. If you are because of finances, you’ve got to pay attention to that and alleviate that as best you can. I can give you a few quick suggestions here.

During this COVID crisis, we called a bunch of our vendors and were surprised that there were some that were willing to working with us, and we’ve worked with some of our clients during the COVID crisis. It helps everyone out; it’s embarrassing to ask, but sometimes you have to do it. If you are in financial crisis right now, and if your staff, family, friends, spouse, or partners are in a state of fear, it’s infectious. You are not going to think rationally and you are not going to be able to make decisions properly.

You are going to do things that could be completely contrary to what the facts are and what reality is, and you will really put yourself in a bad situation and cut off your nose to spite your face. Examples of this are stopping all marketing and thinking that the world is going to end. I think a lot of us were beyond that in March, and in April, this was even more important advice. I was afraid too, but you’ve got to take charge and stand up and get going.

Things have been upside down and inside out this year. We are now in October; we are close to Halloween. It’s time to take control of that fear, if you have any. If you have a staff member, family member, friend—whoever it is—who is just full of fear, you are going to have to have a talk with them. If you can minimize your interaction with that person, fine.

If you can’t, then you are going to have to do something and let them know that you are sorry they have fear, but they’ve got to move forward. If you don’t, then you are not going to have a practice left. Even though this is Halloween, this is the quintessential monster that can really take you and derail you. It’s very important to pay attention to it.

Now, let’s talk about the narcissist. The narcissist could be you, a staff member, family member, friend, or spouse. The narcissist is always worried about how people see you, see the firm, see the website, etc. I’ve heard a lot of attorneys unfortunately fall victim to this. The narcissist says things like, “The last person we had do our website, it was embarrassing” and, “That social media post was embarrassing.” The honest truth is that most people don’t care; they don’t even notice.

At one point, I weighed over 300 pounds. I easily could have said, “I’m fat, no one wants to look at me. I am embarrassed of how I look. I am embarrassed of myself.” But I didn’t. Instead, I did something about it; I got healthier and worked out and all that. I’m not slim but I’m doing a lot better. If I’d just said, “I’m embarrassed” and went into my shell and didn’t do anything about it, where would that have gotten me? In truth, no one really cared what I weighed or how I looked. When I lost some weight and I did better, people said to me, “You are doing better, you look good. You lost some weight.” They were more inclined to say things.

When it comes to your website, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. The only reason you should be embarrassed by your website is if you haven’t worked on it at all and it looks like a website from 15 years ago; that may be embarrassing, but you can do something about it. What good is it to just sit there and say, “Oh, I‘m embarrassed, customers are not going to work with me, clients are not going to hire me.” You may be totally wrong on that. What clients want to know is are you capable, do you care about them, are you listening, can you help them. That’s what they want to know.

If you espouse those things, your website is not going to matter very much and neither are your posts on social media. A lot of times, no one even sees them, just to let you know. We do a lot of social media work and have accounts with thousands of likes, and sometimes we’ll put a post out there that will get no attention—none. And the attorney says, “Oh, I’m embarrassed,” while no one really cares or sees. The narcissists are all about looks. They are all about what other people think of them. You don’t know what other people think of you. I’m just being totally honest; you just don’t know. You’d be totally surprised.

If I asked all of you what you think of me, then I’d get good comments and I’d get bad ones. It’d be funny to show you my email inbox. There are days when I get an attorney who says, take me off your list, you are a scammer, and literally, five minutes later I’ll get an attorney who says, “Rich, I love your stuff. I’ve been on your list for a year and a half. Thank you so much. I implemented some of the stuff that you said.” It’s just hilarious. Thank God I see both of those things side by side because it tempers the bad stuff, but I get some serious hate mail.

If I said, “Oh my God, I’m doing bad things, I’m emailing too much, I shouldn’t be saying anything, I shouldn’t market, I shouldn’t do what I do,” then a lot of attorneys would miss out. I’m not being arrogant by saying that, but you know; you are on my list and you listen. You’ve got to put yourself out there. Yes, some people will take shots at you. There are trolls out there and there are people who will post bad reviews (I have some), but there are a lot who will post good reviews. There are a lot who will come to your aid.

If someone is not your client and is not going to become your client, then who cares what they think about you? If someone pays me, then I’ll care what they think about me, but if someone just makes snide comments and they aren’t even a client and will never be a client, then I don’t care. I’ll show them the same attitude. Narcissists are no good. They are narcissists for a reason. They are concerned about themselves, and in the end, they don’t care about you.

If you are a narcissist, that’s one thing; if you have a narcissist in your practice, that’s very bad. There is no way they are going to be rolling along with the rest of the team to move you forward. They care about themselves, and when the time comes, they are just going to drop you like a bad habit and run.

If you have this in your practice, get rid of it. If you have this in yourself, work on it, try to tamp it down, and try to put that ego aside. Just get to work, get clients, build that practice you want. That’s what we all need to do to move forward. Hope this helps.

Richard Jacobs

About Richard Jacobs

My name is Richard Jacobs, and I've discovered quite a bit about the plight of solo practitioners and small, 2-5 attorney firms like yours these past 12 years.

I've come to understand the unique challenges in marketing ethically and effectively that attorneys face because I have:

  • Helped over 180 attorneys author their own practice area book and become the 'implied expert' in their practice area
  • Helped hundreds of attorneys successfully navigate Google's search algorithm changes, growing their websites from 2 potential clients calling a month to 4+ calls per DAY for some clients.
  • Interviewed and promoted over 507 attorneys nationwide, in practice areas such as:
  • DUI / DWI
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Bankruptcy
  • Auto Accidents
  • Social Security Disability
  • Slip & Falls (Premises Liability)
  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning / Probate
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Expungements / Post Conviction Relief

Before you decide to invest in your marketing, it makes sense to first request your complimentary, custom, no obligation video website review.

Richard is the author of 6 books published on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com

Richard is available for speaking engagements on direct marketing for attorneys and has recently spoken at the following legal conferences:

  • PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association)
  • Las Vegas DUI Summit – Private event for DUI attorneys
  • New York Boutique Lawyers Association
  • Perry Marshall & Associates Marketing Academy (Marina Del Rey, CA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)