Lawyers avoid outsourcing like the plague.  I hear the same reasons over and over again.  Guess what? 

They are lies.

You know how you tell a little white lie to avoid hurting someone feelings?  ‘Yes, that color looks great on you.’No, the crust doesn’t taste burned; it’s smoky’.

Well, lawyers tell themselves these lies to avoid disappointment, embarrassment or looking like they don’t know what they are doing. (That’s a big sin) 

The problem is that these lies are keeping you overworked, super tired, resentful, and worst of all, broke.  You can’t scale your law practice if you never have the time or energy to think about it.

Let’s talk about the 3 lies and bust some myths. (Do you remember that science show, Mythbusters?  I loved watching that with my son.)

The 3 Lies

If I don’t do it myself, it won’t be done right

Ego, much?  Yes, we are trained in law school to never, ever make a mistake.  That leads to the soul-crushing belief that you can’t trust anyone else and must sacrifice your life to doing everything in your law practice.

Truth is, when you hire an expert, whether you hire a virtual assistant or professional, you are hiring someone with more experience than you in performing that task. Not only do they know how to do it, it’s very likely their method will be the more efficient, up-to-date way to accomplish the task.  You will learn something when you delegate.

It takes so long to explain it’s faster to do it myself

Fake news. Have you ever head about context switching? It’s your brain on multi-tasking.  It takes your brain up to 20 minutes to shift back to your original task. So, when you say, ‘this will only take 5 minutes’, it usually takes longer AND you lose 20 minutes shifting back. 

Delegating actually gives you time back and helps organize your practice because you have to write down the instructions for the freelancer.  I call that your Project Legend, the story of the project. It’s a fun way of creating your operations manual without the drama.

I can’t afford it

Crap! You can afford to outsource.  In fact, you are already spending that money that you could be investing in virtual help.  Let me break it down for you.

When you decide to spend two hours of your expensive, highly educated time on Canva creating a graphic, you have just wasted about $500 (assuming you bill at the national average of $250/hr). It seems virtuous to do it yourself, I know.  But how often do you discover that your creation is unusable?  Now, you’ve wasted the time, money and have nothing to show for it.

Or, how about this. You’ve had a long, grueling day and you stop by to pick up a bottle of wine because you deserve it. That $15-20 could have been spent on getting a video logo for your firm, something that would make you more memorable to clients.

I bet if I evaluated your practice like I do for my Round clients, we’d find plenty of opportunities for you to delegate projects. It’s simply a matter of what you prioritize. You spend your money intentionally and wisely when you delegate.

Outsourcing is worth your time

Sure, you’re busy and there is always something new to learn. But learning to outsource is well worth your time. In fact, risk-taking and delegation are cited as two skills that the most successful entrepreneurs possess.  Don’t you want that to be you?

When you delegate (outsourcing is asking someone to help you achieve a goal; delegating is telling them how to help you), you gain so much both professionally and personally. 

You develop your emotional intelligence skills when you delegate.You get better at sharing your perspective, listening and asking questions.  The same social awareness skills that enable you to determine who is the best person to do your project allow you to determine what your client needs from you. You get better at interacting with clients as a lawyer.

And when that happens, when clients feel like you know and care about them, referrals happen and your practice grows.

When was the last time you outsourced something? It’s time to try again.


DLE
DLE

Dina Lynch Eisenberg, JD, is the CEO of OutsourceEasier.com, an outsourcing training/consulting firm for successful lawyers and entrepreneurs based in Oakland, CA.

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