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The Unbreakable Challenge for Law Firm Owners

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Business plans are a bit like fitness plans.

Ultimately, whether you succeed and achieve your goals depends on the training you do each day.

Growing a law firm is about making small regular improvements. And the results ultimately come down to how well you stick to your business plan.

But do you ever set a business plan, only to break it?

In this video, Lawyer, entrepreneur, Automio customer and Scale Upper Nicole Stanely shares her novel approach to business plans and growing her law firm to 7 figures – the Unbreakable Challenge.

It’s just So. Good.

Watch this video and you’ll see what I mean:

In this video you’ll learn:

  • The five steps Nicole is using to grow her firm to 7 figures
  • How the Unbreakable Challenge keeps her committed
  • How one small action each day will result in big results

This is a great approach for anyone who knows what they want to do with their law firm, but struggles to get around to actually doing it.

It’s about actually committing to those plans in your head.

Because until you do, you’re prioritising other things over your business.

And we both know that’s not what you want.

So watch the video, and let me know in the comments what your 5 actions are for growing your firm.

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I came into Scale Up about a year ago, and I’d actually had a really, really great financial year in a traditional legal practice in a big partnership. It was my best financial year ever, but I had just killed myself to get there.

So I was really burnt out at that stage, and I actually found Claudia because I applied for a job at Automio. A couple of months later, she wrote me an email and she said, “I don’t want to hire you, you’re way too good for this position that we’ve got right now. Why don’t you let me help you scale and grow in a different way, so that you don’t feel this type of burnout and you can go back to enjoying practice?”

So that’s what I did. I took her up on that and joined Scale Up.

At the time, I pitched it to the other partners at the larger firm I was at and they turned me down. So I left. I created a new, smaller, three partner firm, with a signature solution for gym owners.

I had a background in the health and fitness industry, so for about five or six years while lawyering, I also owned a gym – that’s why they’re my ideal clients. And yeah, that’s how I can reach them and speak to them, because I know that industry inside out as well.

So I have a general practice firm called Gurnell Harrison Stanley, and within that I run Don’t Sweat It, which is my signature solution. But across the entire firm, we have been implementing the Scale Up strategies of dialing down, and using tech and automation.

As a firm, we’re well on track for our first seven figure year. And of course, we’re a new firm with three established partners, but with COVID in the mix as well, we’re pretty happy that from a 1 April start year that we’re on track for a seven figure year.

I call my tactic Unbreakable. Basically, this is my way of how to channel and focus a 90 day plan.

What Unbreakable is is it’s 90 days, where you take your 90 day focus, and you break that down into five action items. And for those 90 days, you must do one of those five every single day.

You cannot miss a day, no matter what happens. In life, shit will happen and you have to find the way to always do one of those things. If you miss a day, then your 90 days resets. So if you get to day 55 and you don’t do one of your actions, then you reset. And it’s just five actions that you do on repeat.

I’ll give you an example. At the moment, my five actions are:

  • Tell five new clients about my signature solution
  • Give one client personal praise
  • Get one testimonial from a client
  • Publish one piece of content (usually an email)
  • Look into one process and find a way to improve it (I might not actually improve it that day, but I at least start the process of doing it)

Remember, I have to do one of these five actions every day.

For me, the Unbreakable challenge is really important. I’m quite manic, and I have lots of ideas, but I can get stuck in my own head by constantly planning and not executing. I’m not so much a perfectionist, I just love to plan, so this helps me to actually action stuff.

Doing the five things consistently, you’re just guaranteed to get some results from there. I think it might have been Claudia that said “lawyers, we have a tendency to be like ‘well, I tried that and it didn’t work’”, and I’ve certainly been like that in the past.

By doing those five things, one of those every day for the 90 days, you actually get a lot of good traction, you see the progress, and you see it out. So you do get results from doing it over and over again. You can’t go wrong in your business if you’re planning and executing like that, and it just gets easier and easier to execute the more you do it.

Another thing I’ll say about the 90 days is something I picked up from my gym background. When we had clients come in, and if it was a nutrition program, or they wanted to do a pull up, or whatever it was, we’d say to them, “here’s the 90 day plan.” And if someone couldn’t commit or see through 90 days, then we’d say they didn’t want it bad enough.

I took a look at myself and I was like well, I’m saying I want to do XYZ and achieve this, but then a week’s going by or a month’s going by and I’m not getting to it. So I think really the reality is, you don’t want it bad enough then. You’re not willing to do the work required to get that result.

So yeah, this 90 day Unbreakable challenge hones in my focus and also proves, I guess to myself and the firm, that this is how bad we want it. We’re willing to do an Unbreakable challenge and take that on.

It doesn’t actually take a lot of time. The actual thinking about stuff is what takes time. I could sit in my head for three hours and think about something that will take 10 minutes to execute. I hear lots of people say they don’t have the time, and I was the biggest exponent for that excuse. But executing does not take time, the planning takes all that time.

I do have to put aside a bit of time. I know that in the mornings, for example, is when I’m most creative. I have client meetings from 11:00 till 2:00, because that’s when I have high energy, but I’m a bit all over the place, so a client meeting structures me. And then in the afternoons, I like to do my technical work. But when I’m being creative in the morning I’m not so bogged down with work, and also it’s just good to get it out of the way.

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