Getting Paid Commandment #1

Getting paid is the #1 problem attorneys encounter.

You’ve experienced it.

You take a retainer from a client, do good work for him, and once the retainer’s gone, he’s always behind on his bill.

You call him and he dodges you. When he does pick up, he says he’ll pay next week, so you keep doing work on his case.

He doesn’t pay next week. So, you start the whole dance over again.

All the while, you’re getting more upset and increasingly resentful toward your client.

But, you keep working because you think you have an ethical obligation to do so.

Maybe, eventually, he pays, but, more often than not, he doesn’t.

You’re out money and time, and you’re upset.

You promise yourself you’ll never let it happen again. “Next time will be different,” you say.

But, how make sure it’s different next time?

What steps do you need to take to keep from getting stiffed again, and again, and again?

There’s a CLE presentation I give titled “Your #1 Job as an Attorney: Get Paid,” and it goes over basic things you can do to answer the questions above.

The meat of that presentation is a series of commandments attorneys must follow to get paid 100% for the work they do.

Why do I call them “commandments” and not “rules”?

Because rules are fictions created by bureaucrats who don’t know how to make things happen.

Commandments are behaviors that work in the real world, and need to be followed to be successful.

People sort of follow rules sometimes, and they follow commandments a whole lot more.

So, what is the first commandment for getting paid?

Commandment #1: change your mind set about money and getting paid.

First things first, you have to change the way you think about getting paid.

We as attorneys must change our mind set about money because we’ve been taught garbage for years.

In law school, our law professors taught us that our first duty as attorneys was “to do good.”

When we become lawyers, our bar associations started inundating us with the message that our first job is to give away our services for free (i.e., pro bono).

Those teachings are garbage spoon fed to us by groups of bureaucrats who don’t need to find clients to help so they can feed their families. They don’t have to learn how to sell and close a client so they can pay a mortgage. They have no idea what happens in the real world, which gives them the privilege of teaching attorneys garbage without suffering the effects of their teachings.

I hereby give you permission to unload yourself of all you’ve been taught about getting paid.

Now, right now, your mindset needs to become: “My duty is to get paid 100% for the work I do.”

If you don’t make this mind set change, you’ll never get paid well for the great work you do.

Think about it this way: if you believe you’re only worthy of being paid 70% for the work you do, you’ll get paid somewhere south of 70% for the work you do.

But, if you change your belief and refuse to accept getting paid less than 100% for the work you do, and then set up a system to make that happen, it will happen.

Change your mind set. Get paid and transform your future and your family’s future.

That’s it for today, but don’t worry, there are more commandments to come.

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