Julie  Anderson is back and she’s bringing lots of wisdom to us around setting goals, the importance of delegation, and the importance of building a bridge of trust with clients. This is part two of two episodes featuring Julie. If you missed the first one, listen to episode 4.

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Meg Garavaglia: In terms of goals that you’ve set for yourself, because your firm has grown significantly since, you know, I’ve known you, and what strategies do you use to achieve your goals or, you know, surpass them and When you have challenges or setbacks, how do you address that as well?

Julie Anderson: So I am, as you know, I think you have to be as an entrepreneur, very goal motivated, goal oriented.

So writing them down, good old fashioned paper, even having a vision board can be, I find can be helpful as a, as a visual person. Then tracking them. So, you know, if it’s a revenue goal, which obviously we, we have those, I look at that pretty much every day. We also just have goals related to growing areas of our practice, including our.

What we call care navigation. So that’s something that we track and we, you know, in terms of staff, we would have meetings to just make sure everyone is really on board with the, the vision and the, the motivation behind the goal. Um, I do have new business coaches certainly utilize outside individuals to support those goals, which is very, very helpful.

And really, though, it comes down, I think, to just kind of self accountability, knowing what it is that you want to do and what that means. And whether, again, it’s a revenue goal or a. Goal relating to, um, growing an area of the practice or implementing a new service and then tracking it and just making it happen, which lots of different balls in the air at any one time.

Sometimes I I’m challenged by having somewhat, I don’t want to say competing goals, but lots of different things going on at once, but I think that’s kind of what keeps it interesting from, from the day to day.

Meg Garavaglia: And how do you track those goals? Do I remember correctly that you utilize Clio? Or did at one time,

Julie Anderson: we actually utilize my case for our practice management system.
So that’s definitely where we’re pulling reports for different practice areas. Although we also sometimes still use good old fashioned spreadsheets out of Excel.

Meg Garavaglia: As do we, and we pull them from QuickBooks and, you know, other things that we’re setting out to track. In terms of staffing, you’ve grown quite a bit since we’ve set out.

What would you say is some insight or advice that you might give to somebody who’s struggling with, turnover or being, why don’t we start with being overwhelmed with administrative duties?

Julie Anderson: So this is still something that I am learning every day, but you do have to delegate. There are just some things that don’t require you.

Probably the biggest challenge I found to that is having the proper person to delegate to and also being very clear about what it is that you Need to delegate and how you would prefer it to be handled, although we can’t micromanage. So that’s again still a work in progress for me, but sure delegation is huge, but then.

The companion to that is having the right person to delegate to

Meg Garavaglia: excellent. And how do you get better at delegation? Is there anything that any kind of resource you’ve found or. What are your thoughts?

Julie Anderson: So what I typically do is break down all of the tasks, and if you have kind of good systems in place, um, written procedures, that shouldn’t be terribly difficult, but break down the tasks, and then just realize what requires you and what doesn’t require you, and the things that don’t require you.

Get rid of them, find someone else who can do them. So just breaking down into smaller pieces, what the project actually requires, as to me, has been

Meg Garavaglia: very helpful. Excellent. That’s great. Actually, great advice. And we also have a resource to provide to clients that may help as well. You know, it’s a delegation worksheet.

So, one other thing that I was going to ask you. Is you are really involved in your community in terms of organizations and, you know, your service work that you do. So how has that helped your firm grow? And, you know, what would you tell somebody who is struggling to grow revenue about, you know, that, that practice?

Julie Anderson: So I think that. That was an outcropping for me of not being initially as comfortable just doing maybe what people would think of as traditional networking. So if you’re someone who doesn’t necessarily, want to per se network, getting involved in something, an organization, a program that is serving your community is going to put you in contact with like minded people.

And also.

And you’re going to get to know those people a lot better than you would if you just had a, you know, a marketing meeting with them or a lunch, you know, a networking lunch. And it’s going to make sure that the people that are in your circle that are really, again, like minded. So, I participated in a.

Leadership program through our local chamber of commerce every year. It has a service project and somehow our service project ended up being manual labor building a yeah, building a. nature trail for a local Head Start program. So for preschool children, yeah, it was wonderful. And so, you know, if you’re digging in the dirt with someone, getting your hands dirty, sweating and, you know, Right there in the sun, you’re going to really, I think, know someone better than if you just, again, have lunch with them, which isn’t to say that’s the only way to do it.

Sure. Again, you know, participating in, in service projects. I think for me, it was more comfortable. And if I look at our referral sources now from. Financial advisors, accountants, you know, insurance companies, just the variety of folks where our clients come from. Many, many of them are people that I met through.

The service organizations, those are our referral sources. And sometimes too, it’s people that they knew that are now sending us clients. So it’s a little, it’s just a little different approach that again, for some folks can be a little bit more comfortable and. Also, just, you know, even if that isn’t the result, and that certainly really wasn’t my goal, of course, and getting involved in those things, but it’s definitely been a really helpful, outcome.

And when I did initially start the firm, you know, a lot of the administrative pieces, those contacts came from being involved in the community. So the internet service, I knew someone who worked for that company, so I called them. You know, when we set up the retirement account for staff, that’s a financial advisor that I met through some of the service projects.

So, right.

Meg Garavaglia: I love that. And I have a lot of attorneys who are looking to grow their practices. So tips like that are just gold. And along those same lines, I noticed that you had written two books that You know, your potential clients can get from your website. So, how has that, was that an effective tool to kind of grow the firm and potentially get new clients?

It absolutely

Julie Anderson: is because it’s, again, a little bit different form of marketing that’s more informational and educational. And that’s something I’m definitely, more comfortable with than maybe some of the other more kind of direct marketing tactics, which. This is to say that they’re bad in any way.

It’s just not another. Yeah. So it’s just another approach and it, it just is again service to the community that if someone gets the book and they say, oh, my friend is dealing with this and they can hand it off to them as well. So it’s definitely been fruitful from. The standpoint of clients getting into the office, but I also like to think it’s helping other people that we don’t even really know about yet.

Meg Garavaglia: Excellent. How or have you ever done the traditional open house that. estate planning attorneys, you know, your practice has a large focus on elder care planning, but a lot of estate planning attorneys do those open houses. Have you tried that?

Julie Anderson: We have not. So it’s something that we’re like new location, but, our old location really wasn’t amenable to that, but it’s definitely something we’d like to do to showcase our new and different

Meg Garavaglia: office space now.

Excellent. I hope I’m in town, when you do one because I would love to come and see the new space eventually. How do you approach building relationships with your clients and developing trust with them? Thank you. I heard what you said in terms of giving them that comfortable atmosphere that really is tailored to needs of your typical or frequent demographic of your clients.

But what else do you do to build that bridge with them?

Julie Anderson: So it really starts from their first contact with the office. So, you know, it’s really something that everyone on staff understands, you know, what we’re doing, why we’re doing it in terms of assisting these families and, you know, recognizing that many, many times folks are not calling us.

They’re not calling us because things are going well, they’re calling us because they’re really struggling. They’re in crisis. They’ve kind of come to the end of the rope, if you will, and what they’re trying to do and helping their family members. So, you know, it’s a, it’s a listening ear. It’s again, the time to, to listen to them, to understand what their goals are, what their needs are.

And that’s probably the biggest thing is just making sure the client feels like we are. Listening to them and we are hearing what they’re saying and then that also ties into again the office space. So when they get here again, it is much different and more comfortable and we’ve already developed that rapport with them.

So we do send them information ahead of time. If it is someone who is struggling with an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, we’ll send them the book or some other materials. At the time they’re in the office and they come into this comfortable space, you know, they already know that we are listening to them and that we care about what they’re experiencing.

are going to try to help them. And that, you know, I think really sets the stage to be able to have those difficult conversations. We also share an appropriate amount of, of background. You know, my entry into this area of the law was because of my experience with my late grandmother and her nursing homestay and her husband, my grandfather was in a nursing home. One of my staff members had had a parent who was in a care facility. So, you know, really, everyone here has has lived it personally as well as professionally. And so I think that’s important for clients to know, because. We’re not just asking this, you know, because it’s relevant for their case.

So we really do care about them as a person and acknowledge how difficult it is what they’re going through.

Meg Garavaglia: Has to help and I know, you know, I’ve because I am the youngest of a big family. We’ve navigated that as well. And, you know, lost my parents more than a decade ago at this point, but having so many siblings to kind of work through.

How to approach these end of life decisions was a challenge as well. It was a lot of people dealing with a lot of emotion. So yeah, it’s not easy. If I can switch gears just a little bit. Can you share a little bit about how you manage to not stay chained to your desk? I think I had shared this in a previous conversation, but because.

You’re in your office so much. How do you manage to, you know, do you focus on getting steps. I have a lot of clients who say this is a challenge. It’s a challenge for me and my team as well. So, you know, working virtually getting comfortable with coffee and sometimes a blanket, you know, working at my computer.

How do you manage that?

Julie Anderson: So, it’s interesting. I actually found that more difficult, when I was working virtually in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, than in a traditional office space. So, I think you just have to be really intentional. We are very fortunate here in this unique office space that, You can take as I like to call them a sunshine break really easily.

Yeah. And go walk around, you know, for five minutes, 10 minutes, just anytime really, but just to kind of get out and stretch your legs, but I think you just have to. Decide you’re going to do it. I use timers a lot. So I use timers a lot on my watch my phone. So if you’ve been working on something for an hour, then go take a five minute walk, ten minute walk, whatever the case may be.

I actually don’t sit either. I stand. It occurred to me at the old office. I had a standing desk converter and I still had the chair and the only time I used the chair was to sit down to eat lunch. And I thought, well, that’s silly because Then I just have a random chair. So I actually got rid of the chair.

I just have a standing desk now in my office. So I have to fight the dog for the chair when I do want to sit down.

Meg Garavaglia: That’s a good motivation to remain standing. Yeah, that is good stuff. Well, is there anything that you would like to add about your practice or your journey, Julie? I know we’re coming up to the end of the time that I’ve asked of you today.

Um, so

Julie Anderson: I would just say it has been rewarding to have transitioned out of a general practice firm and into this specialized firm that is, you know, mine, my baby, if you will, so we can really tailor it to the client’s needs and what I want it to be. So if anyone’s considering that, I would say do it sooner rather than later.

Because it’s definitely it’s definitely worth it. It’s not to say it’s not challenging, but it is definitely worth the effort and yes Really Rewarding and wonderful thing to be able to do.

Meg Garavaglia: I love that and to find you your website Would you like to share it? Sure.

Julie Anderson: So there’s two websites. There’s www.trinityelderlaw. com and there’s also the four legged family members site, which is the www. fourleggedfamilymembers. com. That’s how we refer to pets here. They’re not pets,

Meg Garavaglia: they’re family members. And they are. Wow. Yeah. Even though I grew up in the country, they’re very much family members. My, I had a horse my brother brought inside one day because I was sick and missed my horse.My parents were away. So yeah, not too terribly far. It was just into like the laundry room, but yeah, yeah. But anyway, in terms of calling the firm, would you like to give that number as well, please.

Julie Anderson: Sure it’s 7 2 4 2 5 6 8 8 5 0.

Excellent. If you want to email it is info@trinityelderlaw.com.

That email will take you to the four-legged family members site as well. So just info@trinityellaw.com.

Meg Garavaglia: Excellent. Well, Julie Anderson, it has been such a pleasure learning more about your firm and your motivation to start your own firm that has grown exponentially, I believe, since I first met you.

So it’s been a joy. Thank you for your time. And I hope to speak with you again soon. Alrighty.

Julie Anderson: All right, Meg. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I certainly enjoyed our chat today.



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