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Building a Seven Figure Firm

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If you want a 7 figure firm, you need a team of A Players.

In this week’s video Automio’s Chief Operating Officer Zac Bingham will run you through Automio’s three-part 7 figure team strategy and show you how it can work for your firm.

When we implemented this strategy at Automio, it allowed him to do his job, me to do mine, and the business to boom.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • Why a law firm owner should be out of the day-to-day running of their business.
  • How Zac helped me to fire myself.
  • How other people can do your job better than you can (and why that’s OK).
  • How setting goals helps your firm to run without you.
  • How to tailor your hiring process to get the best team you can.

This approach will be a game-changer for both you and your law firm.

It’ll mean you get to focus on the best parts of your job, and none of the other shit.

It also means you’ll be giving attention to the parts of your firm that need it most, supercharging your growth.

Watch the video, and email me with the shit routine jobs you’d like to get off your plate. I’ll work with you on a strategy so you can fire yourself, set goals and hire the right team to allow your firm to grow like never before.

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I’m Zac Bingham. I’m the COO of Automio. I’ve been with Automio since the very early days. I worked as a lawyer in large international corporate law firms before I joined Automio as a salesperson. I spent about 18 months in that role before transitioning to be COO.

Now, in the operational role, I tend to hover in the background. You’ll see me pop up every now and again, but basically my job is to sit in the background and make sure everything runs smoothly and that you guys get the best value from Automio and everything we have to offer.

The reason I’m mentioning my role is because I want to talk to you about how it came about. We invented the COO position at about the same time as we hit seven figures. Looking back on it, the timing is completely coincidental. But of course, now we understand why we needed to create that role; basically what we’d done is we’d broken the business.

At that point, Claudia had started Automio. She was the CEO, she was doing all the things and she was in the day-to-day of the business really heavily. She got to the point where really what she needed to be doing was leading the strategy, and other things that she was good at, focusing on growing the business. But, she was stuck doing all of that day-to-day sort of stuff.

We made the change so Claudia is now mostly out of the running of the day-to-day business and focusing more on the product side of it. What we’ve seen is the more we’ve taken Claudia out of the day-to-day running of the business and given her the space to innovate and focus on growth in the key areas, the faster the business has grown.

So, why do you need to do this? Why do you, as the leader of your business, need to remove yourself from the day-to-day running of it? Well, as we know, you can hustle as hard as you like and you can work as many hours as you like. Doing that, you’re probably earning a few hundred-thousand dollars, and that’s great. But if you want to go to that next level, that seven figure level and beyond, you really need to get your mindset, your goals, and your team in the right place.

So I’ve got a basic diagram that can help you with all this, I call it The Seven Figure Firm Triangle.

The first point of the triangle, and what I’m encouraging you to do, is to fire yourself. Obviously that’s quite an emotive way of putting it, but what I really mean by that is that you need to have the mindset that actually you can step away from doing a lot of what you do in the day-to-day of your business. You may be really good at a lot of these tasks, but are they your strengths? Is it what gets the most value for your business?

In the case of Automio, I do all the things that Claudia doesn’t want to do, and all of the things that are outside of her real zone of genius. Claudia is amazing to do that for, because she’s so self-aware of those things, and she’s so open and honest about what she’s good at and what she’s not. I would encourage all of you to be the same.

Something that lawyers aren’t always good at, and I can say this because I was one, we’re not great at always accepting that other people can do parts of our jobs as well as we can. That’s really important for you to do if you’re going to achieve the goal of firing yourself. Somebody will be able to do the work just as well as you can.

You need to trust that other people will be able to kick ass in your business as employees. Of course, that comes down to having the right hiring processes and getting the right people in place, and at Automio, we have a number of trainings that can help you with that. But really, at the end of the day, once you’ve got the structures in place, you need to get yourself away. You need to fire yourself from doing the things that aren’t playing to your particular strengths and that you don’t enjoy.

For most of us, making that mindset switch to delegate some of what we’ve perceived to this point as being the most important tasks, it’s actually one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make. It’s something that Claudia taught me how to do, and I now teach the rest of our team how to do as well. Delegation is such an important thing, and that’s basically what this is.

The second really important principle with the Seven Figure Firm Triangle is that you need to know what your goals are.

Why do we need to know what our goals are? Well, how do we know where we’re going if we don’t know what our goals are? How do we communicate that to the rest of our team if they don’t know what they are? How do we keep the ship steering in the right direction if we don’t have these North Star principles guiding us?

It’s so important that you work on your 90-day plans and your 12-month plans. At Automio, we have quarterly plans, we have a yearly plan and we have a three-year plan. Those things change all the time, but we’re always working towards the general principles, and it’s so important.

The third and final element to this triangle, that you really need to get in place to be able to fire yourself and create the structure for your seven figure firm, is to get the right team in place.

I mentioned having the right hiring processes before. We have quite an unusual hiring process and we have a bit of fun with it. Some of you may have seen our job ads – we always have a couple of hooks in there. For instance, people have to reply directly to me with a particular word in the subject heading. It helps us identify the people who have good attention to detail.

We require videos rather than cover letters. Videos are great because a lot of people don’t want to do them, and if people don’t want to do them, well then, it’s an easy way to vet them out. That works for us because we do a lot of video work – they’re not going to be very successful with us if they don’t like being on video.

We also do something that I’d never heard of until I started working with Claudia, which is we do group interviews. So, when we do the first shortlist of people, we get them in a room together. It’s not so much about seeing who is more dominant or who performs better in a group, but it’s just about seeing the different interactions, the willingness for people to do something that’s slightly different.

We had one case recently where we had one candidate we thought was going to be brilliant. They wouldn’t do a group interview, which was a red flag straight away. They didn’t want to do something that was making them feel a bit uncomfortable. At Automio, we do everything different, so that was a good way to vet that person out.

Hiring the team, getting your right team in place, does take time. You won’t get it right a hundred percent of the time, but it is just so important. You’ve got to find that person, or people, that you can really trust to form your team of superstars.

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