20th Anniversary

MDS 20 Year Anniversary LogoThe Million Dollar Solution is celebrating it’s
20th Anniversary!


Come to Chicago to find the profits in your firm.

Celebrate our 20th anniversary as we jump back in time to revisit how MDS’s core values continue to help firms grow and tackle any societal or economical challenge that may come our way in the future. So far, through the 2008 crash and COVID-19 pandemic MDS has proven to guide you towards success.


20th ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE

Reflection and honest evaluation are hard work, and when you are an entrepreneur or business leader, it can feel very lonely. This is one of the many reasons why I value the community we’ve built here at the Million Dollar Solution: we’re all in this together. We are here to provide training and coaching to help you build the future that you want for yourself and your business. Whether your goal is to have a better work-life balance, build a better team or meet a financial goal, we have you covered.State-College-Pod-Pic2

The past two years have been uniquely challenging and isolating. Meeting with you all via Zoom has offered a wonderful connection when travel wasn’t viable. We are excited to invite you to join us for an in-person conference. This is an opportunity to help you devote your VALUABLE time to mastermind, plan, and achieve your goals. So, save the date and RSVP for a coaching experience!

During our time together, you will have the opportunity to brainstorm with other top-notch elder law professionals in a small and exclusive setting. This coaching session will give YOU an ample amount of individualized time with Julie, Jenna, and Kristin to make 2022 your best year yet!

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During our time together we will focus on:

  • How to get it all done
  • How to delegate
  • Balancing your family & caregiving
  • Meeting conative needs of others
  • How to put together and keep a rock-star team
  • How to make more money

Julie built her firm using the power of attending masterminding groups.  You are invited to join us at our masterminding group in Chicago!


The MDS Masterminding Team
Kristin, Jenna and Julie.

Kristin Jenna

 


CONFERENCE DETAILS

Chicago

Location:

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601, USA 

Date:

  • Friday, August 26th & Saturday, August 27th
    • 8:30am – 5:00pm Friday, August 26th
    • 8:30am – 12:00pm Saturday, August 27th

To find out availability, Contact Dom Loffredo at dloffredo@themilliondollarlawyer.com or call 800-785-9569


Let’s take a look back to the early years of 2000.

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“Navigating Your Way Through Financial Data”

By Cortney Steinbacher

     Navigating-Your-Way-Through-Financial-Data-1On April 20, 2022 I was driving to a Prometric Testing center in State College, PA to take my CPA exam. The testing center is near the main campus of Pennsylvania State University and about an hour from my childhood home. I have visited this testing center before and knew the general area, so I had started the drive without the GPS, confident in my knowledge of the State College area. About halfway through my drive, I paused to input the address only to realize that my phone was not working, and I was unable to pull up the navigation. I quickly called my mom who could give me general directions to the parking garage. I knew the ending location, and once I was close, I knew that I could navigate myself, but I just wasn’t positive on all of the turns leading to that point.

 

My story is revealing, because it isn’t dissimilar from the journey of those of you who lead and manage law firms. So many lawyers know where they want their firm to end up. You may have clear goals, but you need help getting step-by-step directions to the final destination. Maybe that goal is to build up to a million-dollar law firm. Maybe you have made your first million and want to continue to grow. Your goal could also be non-financial in nature. Perhaps you want to build a successful law firm that does not require you in the office every day. There are many routes that you can take to get your law firm to the goal that you have set for yourself. One of the biggest factors in these routes is financial success. Without financial freedom or meeting of financial metrics you will be unable to reach your goals.

 

 

When my GPS was not working, I called my mom not because she is the person most familiar with the State College area, but because her experiences with landmarks in giving directions would line up with ones I understood. If I had called a friend of mine, they might have given me street names or exit numbers which they may have felt were helpful, but would not have actually meant anything to me in the moment. My mom was able to tell me to take the exit with the Dunkin Donuts that we stop at on my way to her office. That is a landmark I know, so I was able to make that turn and find myself one step closer to my goal. Your financial data works the same way, there are many ways that you can receive data, however, you need to find a way to view data that is the most meaningful to you. If the data is valid, there is no wrong way to view and digest data. Make sure the data that you utilize is accurate, timely and actionable. This data could take the form of a weekly finance report that is sent to you with information of upcoming payments, income and a current income statement providing details of the financial health of the firm. Additionally, think of these reports of ever evolving documents that can develop as the needs and the active goals change.

 

If the data is valid, there is no wrong way to view and digest data. Make sure the data that you utilize is accurate, timely and actionable. This data could take the form of a weekly finance report that is sent to you with information of upcoming payments, income and a current income statement providing details of the financial health of the firm. Additionally, think of these reports of ever evolving documents that can develop as the needs and the active goals change.

 

 

I did not need the GPS until about halfway through my trip. Many of you have been running your firms for years and are very good at basic financial procedures. Maybe you have made your first million and can very successfully do that. Maybe what you cannot do, much like me that day, is bridge the gap between the middle part of your trip and the end goal.

 

If, for example, you always take the exit at Dunkin Donuts, what happens if they tear down the Dunkin? Well for me, I’ll never be able to drive to my testing center again because that is the landmark I look for every trip. For so many of you, there is not going to be a physical wrecking ball in your law firm, but a metaphorical one. COVID-19 happened to all of us not that long ago. How many of you had to pivot and take a different route? At Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak we have embraced some of the changes that COVID-19 forced us to implement like e-signatures on check request forms. We have not gone back to hand signing check requests because it is less efficient. For us, this necessary change worked. It made the law firm successful. For twenty years physically signing check requests was how it was done. It does not make it wrong, but it does mean that the needs of the business have changed, and we needed to change our procedures to match it.

Stampli

 

 

While many people focus on the output of data, the information that allows partners of law firms to make decisions, the input of information is just as important. Without good, clean data you might have your destination in mind, but you will never get there. You can’t make a good decision with bad data. You can’t reach your goals or even begin to define them with bad data. At Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, we utilize technology to help ensure good data is entered into our financial system. Stampli, a third-party payment processor, helps streamline the approval process with a good audit trial.

 

 

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Divvy, a credit card company, allows for real time tracking of credit card budgets and employee receipt upload. Electronic transfers from the trust accounts allow for funds to be moved 2-3 days faster than writing a check and save the firm employees time and the expense of cutting a check. All these new innovative finance procedures help produce good data so we can make good decisions and reach our goals. Finance is typically the last area of any growing business that people think about, however, without good procedures that produce informative data, meeting the financial goals of the law firm will be difficult.

 

Want to Improve Your Content? Consider Interview-Based Blogging 

Spotlight BrandingAll businesses need content marketing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solo operation or the managing partner of a national firm—engaging content attracts the clients you need for steady growth. The question is: when are you going to find time to create it consistently? 

 For most business owners, this is the million-dollar question. How do you find the time to compile a blog post when most of your day is spent in court, meeting with clients, or tackling your growing inbox? 

 Enter interview-based blogging. As its name suggests, content is created using the answers to a series of strategic questions about your practice or the topic you want to cover. Through simple dialogue that isn’t so different from the conversations you have every day, you can come up with enough content for the coming month, and maybe longer. 

 Here are some of the reasons why interview-based blogging works so well.

  1. You Can Identify and Communicate Your Expertise

Chances are that you can quote certain statutes in your sleep. You’re so familiar with the laws and regulations governing your practice area that you don’t always realize how valuable your knowledge is to others. When you translate it into written content, you can leverage it to attract clients and even become a thought leader in your field. 

  1. Your Voice Comes Through

 If you’ve ever outsourced your firm’s content writing, you’ve probably received articles that were well-written but sounded nothing like you. Your name is on it, but the style and tone totally miss the mark. If your peers read it, they’ll know right away that it was written by someone else. With interview blogging, the writer who creates your content won’t combine your notes with articles found on Google. Your unique perspective, knowledge, and voice are taken and optimized for their intended platform, whether that’s a blog, e-book, or social media post. 

  1. Content Production Is More Efficient

 We talk quicker than we type. Interview blogging leverages this faster output to create an entire month’s worth of content in no more than an hour. Although the subsequent writing and editing will take longer, your job is over in a matter of minutes. All you have to do afterward is review the finished copy. 

  1. You Can Focus Solely on Concepts

 You can probably brainstorm and develop concepts for content fairly quickly, but turning them into an article may demand more attention and time than you have to spare. By taking the writing off your plate, interview blogging lets you focus on what you’re already good at, which is communicating concepts. 

  1. The Content Is Relevant and Engaging

 Interview blogging is a two-way street. You may be supplying the answers, but the party interviewing you will be taking a client’s perspective and exploring topics that they’ll find relevant. Topics like pursuing child support or calculating a personal injury claim may be common knowledge to you, but critically important for someone seeking a lawyer in those fields. This “outsider perspective” can produce some of your most meaningful content. 

 For firm owners seeking a more efficient content marketing strategy, interview-based blogging can generate compelling articles that don’t cut corners on perspective or authenticity. All you need to do is connect with an agency that knows how to transform your knowledge into impactful content that can grow your client base. At Spotlight Branding, you’ll have a quarterly content interview with a dedicated copywriter who will interview you on a series of topics related to your firm in order to generate your personalized content. 

Want to learn more about content marketing? Click here to Claim a Free Gift!

Small Business Culture

 

The past two years have been full of learning and adapting to the great resignation. However, for the small businesses reading this there are a few upsides from what we have learned so far. First, in the world of remote work, opportunity has never been greater to pursue a new career and job regardless of where “home” is located. On top of that, culture has never been so important. In years past, people were more likely to put up with poor workplace culture as long as they were paid okay. That is no longer the case. Demand for higher wages and better work environments is on the rise because of one major reason: they have options. One upside that most small businesses have that big corporations don’t (typically) – a good workplace culture. Use this to your advantage!

 

Culture is defined by many things, but often trust, communication and engagement are almost always in the discussion when labeling. By being a small business, there are less steps to the ladder, making all of the above a quicker, practical and convenient process compared to Amazon’s 1.6 million employees. By taking time to establish clear lines of communication, bulletproof procedures and a solid onboarding process your culture and organizational value can be more appealing now than ever before. In the past two months alone, the number of job candidates that I have talked with (when interviewing) have started asking what the culture of the organization is like. I was never asked that question in my first YEAR or doing phone interviews.

If you are looking to improve the process within your firm, schedule a coaching call today with Julie Steinbacher or a call with me to learn more about how MDS can help you with her recruiting and talent management needs. Julie started her firm as a one-woman show in her garage and has grown it to over 45 employees across the state of Pennsylvania. She has experienced over 20 years’ worth of challenges to get where she is today, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience as you navigate the next “rung on the ladder” for your office..

Dom, Director of Operations

 

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MDS Referral

Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak uses Abby Connects service. Abby Connect does a phenomenal job as a Virtual Receptionist for the office.

Value of a CELA Certification | Julie Steinbacher

This week’s blog video features MDS President Julie Steinbacher showing the value of having a CELA certification!

Presidential Leadership – HR Edition  

There’s no doubt, when discussing presidential candidates (both past and current) I have heard time and time again how important it is for the leader of America to be a good communicator. When most people think of President Obama, they picture his warm and persuasive tone when addressing the crowd. With President Reagan, he carried an opportunistic or motivational flow throughout many speeches. What’s the point here? As leaders in our field or our offices it is of utmost importance that we communicate well.   

 

Organizations should hold themselves to a similar standard. If we want top prospects to join our company, then why do so many organizations leave out key details in the job posting? A study by Glassdoor.com found that money was the number 1 motivator for 67% of those looking for a job. The same study found that 71% want to see the salary in the job posting or in the first conversation with a recruiter. In addition, those I have personally talked with about the recruiting process all had one similar suggestion – benefit transparency. When you have a quality product, you advertise it to your clients. Why don’t we take this approach with our benefits? By listing some of your benefits in the job posting, you can appeal to a larger pool of quality candidates, and it only takes a few minutes to highlight!  

I encourage everyone to add these to their hiring process, but I also urge you to reconsider what benefits you do offer. Many organizations found themselves revisiting what benefits they offer in hopes of increasing the desirability of their offices amidst the “great resignation.” If that’s you, consider what employees rated as the top 10 financial wellness benefits in a recent survey by Betterment.com:

  • High quality 401k/retirement option 
  • 401k matching program 
  • Wellness stipend (home gym, equipment, etc…) 
  • FSA or HSA account with company match 
  • Employer sponsored emergency fund 
  • Childcare support 
  • Budgeting and savings tools 
  • Access to a live financial advisor 
  • Student loan assistance or repayment programs 
  • Employer sponsored 529 plan (college savings plan) 

 

If you are looking for HR recruiting and or onboarding services, email me at dloffredo@themilliondollarlawyer.com and get your free initial consultation started today. 

 

Dom Loffredo 

Director of Operations   

Julie Shore | Enhancing Your LinkedIn Profile

Julie Shore walks us through how to enhance our LinkedIn profile for better networking opportunities for your firm!

Make Their Day

I was on my way to the airport when I got a call from my cousin, Jackie.  At the sight of her name on my phone I tensed up.  “I hope Aunt Bebe is okay”, I thought.  I
answered the phone and could not even register what she way saying.  My Aunt Bebe – my person- had been admitted to an ICU in El Paso, Texas. Immediately, I called my husband and said, “I have to go to El Paso as soon as my conference is done.”  He agreed.  I spent a sleepless night thinking about my wonderful Aunt Bebe and carried the weight of that concern throughout the conference.  

The Dementia Focused Practice conference was great – for those of you who did not attend, you should listen to the recordings. There were fantastic presentations!  

On Sunday after the conference, I got up early to an email that my flight from Phoenix to El Paso was delayed.  I worked on my computer in my hotel and then went to the airport – very early but I felt better being there.

I again worked ….and my flight was again delayed. I finally made it to El Paso around 4:00 that day.  Jackie picked me up and treated me to my favorite local dish – Chilli Rellenos…A rare treat since the Pennsylvania Dutch of my area just do not know how to make them.  Then, I finally got to see Aunt Bebe.  As the nurse came in to explain the procedure, she was facing the morning – Aunt Bebe remained calm, prayerful, joking…she had such strength.  Levi, a grandchild of my Aunt Bebe came in and visited. We don’t often get to see one another, so it was wonderful to catch up.  Leaving that hospital room was hard… really hard….

Jackie took me to my hotel.  I chose to stay at a hotel by the airport because my flight was leaving at 6:30 am.  I checked in and was surprised to hear that the shuttle did not run that early.  The front desk person assured me that she would order me a taxi.  I was not sure if I could trust that.  I went to my room and took a shower – trying to calm myself. The concern for my aunt was combining with the realities of flight and drive home the next day. The weather forecast said it was expected to snow in PA tomorrow, and I had a 4-hour drive home from the airport.  

I awoke at 3:38 am – just could not sleep well so I got dressed.  I made a cup of coffee. The restorative nature of coffee is a much-needed staple for me each morning.  Since I was coming from the conference, I had two rolling suitcases.  I put my pocketbook on my back and tried a few times to pull the suitcases while holding my coffee.  I couldn’t get out the door.  I tried again.  I thought to myself, “Julie you are going to spill that coffee on yourself – just put it down.”  But I really wanted the coffee.  I tried again – no go.  So, I begrudgingly threw out my coffee.  I grabbed my suitcases and went downstairs. 

At the front desk, I was greeted by the nicest night clerk.  He was watching the luggage of another traveler waiting for an Uber to the airport.  He asked me if I wanted coffee…..Yes, he offered to make me a cup of coffee. It was miraculous. I sipped that coffee all the way to the airport, as I stood in the United line, and enjoyed the rest of it before heading through security.  

That coffee shifted my focus.  That night clerk at the Marriott truly made my day with this kind gesture.  In that moment, at the start of what I knew would be a long, hard day, that coffee was that important to me. It’s small acts of care that can make a huge difference. There is a special moment, when what you read and what you experience collide in a moment of clarity. This coffee was an example of great customer service. As I had been preparing for the conference, I had been reading two different books in which this was a central teaching – the importance of making the customers day.  

“Fish!” is a book about what goes into creating an atmosphere of positivity and motivation. In the book, the protagonist is stumped by a workplace slump in her financial office. She ends up finding inspiration at the most unlikely place; Pike Place Fish Market. There she learns an inspiring management philosophy. Secret number three stood out to me: make their day. Customers should feel good about the office environment, and the easiest way to do that is to engage them. Happy people are more likely to be receptive to your suggestions and services. I know that this approach will make my firm more connected and effective. 

A quote from “Love Works” by Joel Manby similarly stood out to me:  “Every time you walk past someone, you have an opportunity to make their day better or make their day worse.” This is one of his seven principles of effective leadership.  

Having had my day made by a simple cup of coffee, I was reminded how important this principle is for the way that I want to approach my work. People come to my office with the world on their shoulders, facing difficult decisions. By greeting them with kindness and compassion, regardless of their attitude or circumstance, my team can turn their day into a positive one.

I encourage you to engage in small acts of kindness every day. Compliment an employee, share one of these inspiring books with a friend, share a cup of coffee. It can be the tiniest way of showing care, but it can make a huge difference to that person. 

 

 

 

 

Digitally Magnifying Your Law Firm

This week’s blog features Julie Steinbacher explaining how to digitally magnify your firm by transitioning into an online environment!