How This Lawyer Gained The Confidence To Defy The Industry Norm, Turning Competitors Into Loyal Clients
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Entrepreneurs by nature can be competitive, which can serve them well as business owners. But it also creates a way of thinking about their industry or profession that doesn’t serve them at all: They look at their world with a scarcity mindset.
A scarcity mindset sees the pie as having limited pieces, and if you can’t figure out how to get a piece before the other guy does, you’re going to go without. This is not a comforting thought. In fact, it can drain the very confidence in business that’s essential for an entrepreneur to thrive.
Instead, what if there were a way to turn that thinking around to collaborate with others in your industry so both you and the others benefit?
An entrepreneur’s game-changing “light bulb” moment.
A practicing lawyer for 20 years, Strategic Coach client Alex Gertsburg is the CEO of Gertsburg Law Firm, which he founded in 2013, and Cover My Six, the newest iteration of one of his existing services.
Alex had been practicing law as in-house counsel to a large corporation for over a decade when he had a revelatory thought: He could do what he was doing currently but for more than one client or company.
He would do this by leveraging his knowledge with other lawyers who would work with him to replicate what he did to a much bigger client base, a radical plan in a profession that is not built on collaboration.
This fresh, bold way of thinking was a mindset shift that provided unimagined benefits to his collaborators and to Alex, including a long-held dream come true.
No confidence without courage.
Alex explains, “I realized that I wasn’t leveraging the base of knowledge I’d created over the years—the checklists and templates and processes I’d developed—nearly as much as I could.
“I had the confidence in business that I could lead people and that I could create successful processes. I also knew that other lawyers would find a lot of value in what I’d created up to that point.
“I will admit that changing my business like this was scary—the fear of competitors, employees leaving, and losing clients all generated their own type of fear. I’ve learned, though, that I actually derive a lot of energy from the fear that comes from trying something new and different. Understanding myself and being conscious of learning from my experiences, which includes all the failures, was a huge hurdle accomplished.”
Taking the learning that comes from failures.
Reputation is important to Alex, and the thought of losing his good reputation is a stress factor. He realized that losing an employee or a client is the biggest hit for him. They’re reputational hits that can be far-reaching within and outside the business. They’re investment hits, and they’re highly emotional hits.
“I was taking it personally every time, but when I stepped back, I realized that this has always been my automatic response. And it was never coupled with the positive reaction, which is learning the lesson; it was simply failing.
“But with learning, we grow and we get better. I think failures are not only an integral part of being an entrepreneur—almost entrepreneurial DNA because we’re risk takers—they’re essential to becoming a better entrepreneur.”
Discover how you, like Alex Gertsburg, can build a Self-Managing Company that manages itself to growth. Download Dan Sullivan’s book, The Self-Managing Company, and get started now!
Step back and take a deep breath.
To even begin to take advantage of all the valuable learning in a negative situation, Alex advises stopping, taking a deep breath, and being fully mindful about what is happening.
“I’m basically figuring out, with my team’s help, what happened between A and B, and how to minimize the chance of that happening again,” he explains. “Looking at my old fallback, which was to see the doom and gloom and failure of it, I also think it’s important to find the bright side of it.
“I guarantee that there’s always a silver lining in there somewhere.”
The decision that changed everything.
Before Alex made his decision to join The Strategic Coach Program, he’d really done his lawyerly “due diligence” and was drawn by the idea of successful goal setting, the benefit of entrepreneur coaches, and the unique community of like-minded entrepreneurs.
What keeps him coming back every quarter?
Alex says, “The results I’m seeing and the fact that my personal confidence in my business stays steady pretty much until I come back again are huge. I still have dips, but with Coach tools, I’m learning to bounce back a lot faster. I walk into Coach with difficult, complex scenarios with my clients or my business, and with their simplified way of thinking, I walk out with answers.
“The biggest thing, though, is that Coach is one of the things in my life that is most singularly responsible for the mindset shift I’ve had as an entrepreneur. It’s changed the way I approach everything.”
The big vacation breakthrough.
When Alex started Coach, he was a “solopreneur.”
“I was doing everything myself, and I wasn’t organizing my time well at all. It was a whole lot of ‘fire fighting.’ There was always a long list of things that weren’t getting done, and I thought I was the only one I could trust to do them—which meant I never took a day off. It was mentally and physically exhausting,” Alex recalls.
He recounts that two concepts he learned at Strategic Coach got him to a place where he was able to live and work in Argentina for an entire month, without his business imploding:
- The Entrepreneurial Time System. Alex organizes and schedules his time into three types of days, each focused on one key aspect of entrepreneurial life: rejuvenation, revenue-production, and preparation.
- The Self-Managing Company. This concept showed Alex how to achieve his long-time goal to live and work in Argentina for a full month by developing a company that manages itself without him and still thrives.
“Having full confidence in my business moving forward in the hands of my team meant all the difference in the world to the quality of my time away. And, the business didn’t just survive without me there for the month of December; we finished the year with 50 percent growth over the prior year,” Alex shares.
Dan Sullivan weighs in on the mindset shift.
“This has been a phenomenal breakthrough for Alex,” says Dan. “I don’t care what business or industry you’re in: if you shift the game so you’re actually seeing your competitors as potential collaborators, and also as customers or clients, it opens up tremendous opportunities for everyone.”
Dan knows this thinking goes against every belief you’ve likely had instilled in you as an entrepreneur, but when you’ve made your competition your allies by sharing your wisdom, your name is the first that comes up with others in the industry. You’ve stopped being their competitor; you’ve become a collaborator who’s seen as a thought leader and top resource.
In Alex’s case, he’s using all the ups and downs of his career as raw material for creating new breakthroughs and solutions that he can share with other lawyers to move them forward and create, as he himself has, a bigger and better future for themselves.
Pure game changer.