I know, I know. You’re too busy to delegate. You worry about mistakes and liability. What you do is complicated. You don’t have the money to hire. You know if you do it yourself, it will be done right. This is what I’ve heard from lawyers – over and over again – and today I call quadruple bullsh*t. You ain’t that special. (Thank goodness.)
If you’re thinking any of these things, you’re strangling your firm, your finances, your future, and your family. This failure to delegate is a mindset roadblock. Nothing else. Until you change your mindset, you’ll be trapped in the too busy, no pipeline, overwhelm of doing it all yourself. Doing it all yourself is not necessary and it’s not heroic. I’ll prove it.
The Math of Lawyers Failing to Delegate is Horrifying
Let’s look at the math. Say your billable rate is in the $300 range and that it will cost $20 an hour to hire an assistant or outsource. This means that for every single hour you do something that can be delegated, you’re stealing $280 from your firm (because during that time you’re not evolving your mindset, billing, strategizing, developing relationships, or taking time to just be).
From my experience, attorneys often do work that could be delegated at least 15 hours a week, so the math is $280 x 15 = $4,200 each and every week. In a year, that’s $218,400. In 10 years, that’s $2,184,000 that you’re losing because you’re not delegating.
How would your life be different with an extra $2 million? If you had time to market more, that $2 million could be $5 million. If you had taken the time to develop your mindset, improve your business acumen, and fully think strategically, that $5 million could be…. If you’re starting to feel nauseous just thinking about it, you’re on the right path.
The Million Dollar Law Firm Solution
The first step of the solution is scanning. When my children were young, my brain was constantly scanning to make sure they were safe, their needs were met, and all that needed to be done was done. You’d benefit from flipping the switch to scanning mode to determine what you’re doing that someone else can do. Get into the head of a lawyer mom with 3 young children.
In your personal life, someone else can do the grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, errands, and kid transportation. Someone else can take books back to the library, drop off Aunt Millie’s birthday gift at the post office, and plan parties. In your professional life, with systems in place and proper training, someone else can do almost everything you do. Yes, Really.
Make it a game and see how many tasks you can push down to the lowest paid competent person. Are you researching software, dealing with vendors, answering the phone, compiling documents, drafting routine letters, drafting documents, billing, or responding to routine emails? Are you doing anything that someone else can do? I know you are.
If you do have a team, are you constantly having to answer the same questions over and over again? Do you have to make the same corrections over and over again? Can you take a big ol’ break and have all run smoothly without you?
The more space you create to just be, think strategically, and develop your business, the better. All owners of million dollar law firms take delegation and space to think and develop themselves seriously. Think like the owner of a million dollar law firm to become one. It all starts with delegation and a shift in mindset.
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