One of the things that surprised me the most about my journey from working at the large law firm to starting my own firm was just how many blind spots I had to so many things that I needed to know in order to make my firm a success. I want to talk to you about the importance of being curious and open-minded. You know, when I think back a couple years ago, five, six years ago, when I was still working at the other firm, I thought, you know, I’ve been a lawyer in Chicago practicing construction law for a long time. You know, I know a lot, you know, I think I’ve got a pretty good understanding about the way firms operate and the way that they’re managed. And I thought that, you know, I would be able to take what I already knew, you know, after spending quite some time, you know, marinating in content about, you know, the way that smaller law firms are run and, and that sort of thing. I thought that I, I, I knew that I didn’t have all the answers, but I thought that I had more of ’em than I actually did. And, you know, what I found is that even though I learned so much in the run up to me making that transition, I think I’ve mentioned hundreds of hours of podcasts, I think I totally ventilated the issues. I think I’d spotted all the things I needed to deal with. I was surprised by how much I learned, you know, after I was out on my own. You know, and, you know, anybody can learn from their own mistakes, but, you know, it’s much better to learn from the mistakes of others. And what I didn’t know is how many really bright law firm owners are out there that were working and managing very different firms. You know, I, I’ve talked about how impressed I’ve been with the, the knowledge and the wisdom and the technical acumen and the foresighted ness about some of the owners of smaller law firms who I’ve met. I had no idea that there were so many people out there that was practicing in a very different kind of firm, the kind that I had no contact with. I was only vaguely aware of the fact that, you know, those sort of firms were out there. I didn’t really care much about what they were doing or how they did it, but I was, my mind was blown by how much I was able to learn, you know, by crowdsourcing knowledge with them. You know, anybody can learn from their own mistakes, but you want to learn from the mistakes of others, you know? And by getting to know, you know, like-minded lawyers, you know, joining groups of lawyers that run law firms and getting together in person, you know, doing regular zooms with them, joining mastermind groups, you know, finding coaches, people who have seen the mistakes made that I’m about to make, and then crowdsourcing the wisdom of their experience. It was absolutely essential. I mean, the number of things that I didn’t know, the number of blind spots that I had were some of, you know, my new friends were able to say, you know, Jeremy, as you are about to launch out into the part of your firm where you’re going to start hiring other lawyers and staff, let me tell you about what I did right when I did wrong. I have already made so many mistakes in the management of my law firm. I have already parted ways with two full-time lawyers that I hired and, and one office manager that I hired. You know, I’ve made mistakes in hiring. I’ve made mistakes of every kind, and I’m just beginning. But boy, I would’ve made so many more if I wasn’t curious and open-minded about other kinds of practice and other kinds of people, other kinds of law firm leaders, and all of the many people who are out there generously sharing their experiences through podcasts and groups and others. You know, it is going to be very important for you if you’re going to launch your own firm, to not learn from your own mistakes. If you learn from your own mistakes, you know, one of two things is going to be true. Either it’s going to be a much more painful and lengthy process, you know, of getting to success than you’d like, or you’re not going to get there. I mean, like I said, I have already made so many mistakes, and I did it even with the benefit of, you know, advice from people that attempted similar things, you know? And so be curious, be open-minded, figure out who it is that’s going to be able to help you through those blind spots. You know, there’s a really great book called Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. And you know, the thesis of the book is, is that you don’t want to figure out how to do something. That’s the long way. You know, what you want to figure out is who is out there that knows how to do that thing, you know, that you need to get done. So you know, you’re looking not for how you’re looking for who’s, you want to figure out who are the, who’s out there in your life that can help you crowdsource the wisdom and mistakes and experience of other people who have attempted to do this thing that you are already doing. You know, as a result of listening to these podcasts, I learned that there were some groups around some of the podcast, you know, leaders on Facebook, open groups that are free with thousands of people who are running their own law firms, where you raise your hand, you show you’re a lawyer, you join the Facebook group, and even if you just watch the feed and you never participate, and you watch people ask, Hey, who’s had experience with this practice management software? Or, you know, what advice would you give if you’re about to start a search engine optimization campaign? Or if you’re about to start buying ads on Google, even if you never actually post anything, if you just watched the conversation, you’re going to get so much smarter, you know? And I actually joined a, a mastermind group that is affiliated with two, you know, brilliant guys that have done a podcast, you know, that’s been very meaningful to me. And this mastermind group, you know, now is made up about maybe a hundred law firm owners. The monthly price that I pay is comparatively de minimis. And we’ve had, you know, these amazing in-person meetings, you know, quarterly. I don’t make it to all of them, you know, but I’ve been to meetings in, in St. Louis and, you know, in Arizona, you know, in other places where I, I spend a weekend with some of these people and we get in a room, you know, and we take, you know, 45 minutes for me to talk about, you know, the challenges and the issues that I’m facing. And then, you know, some really smart, well-intended people who own their own law firms spend the 45 minutes talking to me about their experience, overcoming the challenges that I’m, that I’m in. And then, you know, for the rest of the day, you know, I’m part of a discussion about their issues, and I try to lend whatever, you know, advice I can to help them through their, their problems. I never knew when I was working at the big law firm that there were these mastermind groups that exist, but they have helped me advance my thinking by late years. And one of my biggest blind spots was that, you know, some of the most cutting edge people now, the people that really get it, that really know the thing that I need to know, these are people that are running smaller law firms. There might be five or 10 lawyers, or 10 or 20 lawyers. Some of the more successful people in this mastermind group, I think are running firms with more like 40 or 50 lawyers. But even the ones that run a firm with just one or two lawyers, they have so much knowledge and wisdom to share. I was totally blind to it, and it was my loss. My life has become infinitely better as I’ve made friends with these people through these groups, you know, and many of them are just not the kind of people that I would’ve had any reason to come into contact with for the first 18 years of practice. So I heard somebody once say that we’re the sum of the five people who we hang around the most. And, you know, making a decision, if you’re going to launch your own law firm, what other law firm owners are you going to associate with is really important. And I would urge you to have a very open mind and to be curious to take in content from lots of places to figure out who are the who’s right? Not how are you going to get something done, but who out there knows how to get something done so you can crowdsource the benefit of their knowledge and experience? Make sure you’re hanging out with the right people. It was one of the best decisions that I ever made. Next up in the series, you know, I’m going to cover a little bit more than nitty gritty. We’re getting a little bit more tact with every video, even though what we’re talking about now is still pretty high level. And I’m going to talk about, okay, so you’ve decided to go, you’ve decided to start your own law firm. You know what to do next. You know, and if you can only remember one thing from this video, it’s that you, if you’re anything like me, five or six years ago, had thousands more blind spots, you know, than I knew I had the blind spots. You probably do too. And you need to think about how you’re going to get through those blind spots, right? And, and if that’s the action item that you want to take next, if there’s, you know, one thing you want to do now as part of a step-by-step process of bringing yourself closer to being able to launch and successfully run your own law firm is trying to figure out where are the blind spots and how are you going to get over them? I can’t say enough about podcasts as a medium for figuring out where those blind spots are. It’s no exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t have been able to launch my firm without listening to those many excellent podcasts that are out there that cover the legal space. You know? And it was through those podcasts that I was able to make so many wonderful friends to join these masterminds, you know, and to crowdsource their knowledge and experience. So you may wish to consider listening to some of those podcasts, but figuring out where those blind spots are and coming up with a plan for how you’re going to get through them is something important that you may want to consider doing. Now.