So how did I get here?
In 1993, before I got out of law school, I was actually forced to file for bankruptcy protection myself. I had a wife and child and a mountain of debt including a ton of student loans. I had nowhere to turn so I did what most people do and I looked in the Yellow Pages. I ended up picking one of the lawyers from the Yellow Pages and he got me through my case OK, but there was a pretty big gap in getting the information I needed to understand the process as well as what to do after my case was over to avoid falling back into the same old trap.
It was at that point, that I decided to go out and start my own firm. I am very much an
entrepreneur at heart, so I opened my office in 1994, and within 12 months, became the top filing consumer bankruptcy firm in the Eastern District of MO. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of trial and error in the first 12 months and there were many things that I did right, but there were many things that I did wrong as well.
I learned as I went, I lost money, I made some really bad choices and it hurt and it was
really making me question whether I had made the right decision to go into practice for myself. I just felt like I was working so hard and I wasn't making that much money. I finally had enough and I had to do something about it.
The BIGGEST difference between a successful bankruptcy lawyer
and an average bankruptcy lawyer is that the successful lawyer
I immediately developed systems, scripts, reports, and learned the ins and outs of
thinking outside the lawyer box to really learn the marketing side of a bankruptcy practice. Since then, I have averaged signing 40 to 50 clients per week for almost 13 years and the development of the systems to handle that kind of volume was huge toward me building a 3 million dollar per year bankruptcy practice. It means nothing to sign a bunch of clients if you don't get their cases filed.
And if you do get them filed, you need more systems in place to make sure they are
confirmed or discharged in a quick fashion. It is vital to the success of the firm to have a
systematic way to get cases to the finish line.
I still remember the day when our revenue went from averaging $18,000 per month to over $75,000 per month. I almost fell out of my chair. But it proved to me that the systems we developed worked and they worked well. In the last couple months, my revenue has averaged over $250,000 per month. And once I had this system working, and I made tweaks here and there, it's just made a huge difference in my quality of life.
In 1996, I took the system and opened an office in Detroit. Now, because I didn't have to go through the trial and error process again, the Detroit office was almost instantly signing 40 to 50 clients per week. Within 18 months, my revenue was averaging over $200,000 per month.
Just 4 years later, I sold that office for over $800,000. That same year, I opened an office in Kansas City and took the same system and implemented it there. In a very short amount of time, I was getting good results out of a smaller market and my revenue averaged well over $100,000 per month.