Be More Like Donald Trump!
One of the first business books I ever read was supposedly written by Donald Trump. I don’t even remember the title.
I feel like I should explain myself a little. This was in about 2011 or so . I knew almost nothing about this Trump guy but had started my journey to learn more about being a business owner. At the time my law practice was struggling.
I am not a television watcher, so I had not seen Donald Trump on television. It was way before he became president. It was way before he was exposed for sexual harassment, assaults, and the like. It was way before he incited a riot on Capitol Hill.
At the time I read the book, I had absolutely no idea (nor did anyone) that he would go on to become the laughing stock of our planet and do so much to discredit the role of “Mr. President.”
At the time, one business book looked pretty much like any other, so I bought it and read it.
I do, however, remember two things that stood out for me about that book.
Donald Trump was horrendous about the way he spoke of his employees; He said, “don’t trust anyone! NOT ever! Watch their every move like a hawk!”
“Ew,” I said to myself. There is no way I will be paranoid about the people I work with every day!
The other big thing I remember is that Trump (supposedly, if he actually wrote the book) said, PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BUSINESS -- ALL THE DETAILS. Trump said that if you have a business, you MUST pay attention to every little thing. For him, it was finding chipped paint in a lobby on one of his properties or a dying plant that needed to sprucing up, and, of course, he said he paid detailed attention to every one of his expenses and had a clear idea of his revenue at all times!
As you read this, you may be thinking what I was thinking when I read that book.
Who has got time to micromanage all the details of my law practice?! Not me! I am way too busy for that crap. I have got clients to look after, court cases to prepare for, and cases to resolve!
So, although it kind of makes me want to throw up in my mouth, I have to admit that Trump was right about something. It is CRITICAL to pay attention. It is critical to pay attention to your business, your staff, your numbers, and your costs!
By 2016, I had significant revenues, but I NEVER seemed to have enough money in the bank! Despite my law practice’s great revenues, I was still struggling to pay for all the costs associated with my law practice.
That is when it REALLY landed for me. I needed to pay more attention to my law practice’s expenditures, and I had to pay better attention to my staff.
When I started paying attention, WHOA did I discover some IMPORTANT information:
I found that some of my staff, and more than one of them (yes, people I cared about and was connected to) were padding their hours . . . and I mean padding them A LOT. I mean, I was paying regular overtime for one employee who was often not working . . . and in case you are wondering, these people do NOT still work for me.
I discovered that an employee of mine was using my law practice’s credit card to do their own personal shopping on Amazon! (It was pretty heartbreaking actually and yet, I take responsibility because, for a long time, they could count on ME NOT PAYING ATTENTION)
I discovered tons and tons of unnecessary costs on old software licenses we were not using, backing up a costly and outdated server, and being charged unfair fees by our IT Support. The list went on and on.
When I started paying attention, my staff costs (by far my most significant expense) went down significantly, as did my other expenditures, thus leaving more money in my jeans.
So, contrary to Trump, I do still trust my staff, and I do still trust my associates; however, they know I am paying attention to all the moving parts of my law practice. It has been life-changing and profit-changing!
This has been a MASSIVE learning for me.
Ask this yourself today:
Are you paying attention to your numbers?
Do you have a weekly accounting of your revenue, your expenditures, your staff’s time? Do you regularly check the credit card statements to find out what money is being spent on?
Do you have a firm scorecard setting out all of these things?
When I started paying attention, it changed our firm’s entire culture, and in a good way.
In this Episode: