business man with his head buried in the sand


One of the things that helped me come back to the world of the living was to decide what actions I could take to fight the obvious screwed up thinking of many American voters.  I started with a subject that I have written about previously which was Why Do People Choose to Do Things that Injure Themselves?  Why would someone not take a life saving drug? Why do people vote for something directly opposed to their self interest?

The drug analogy came from an article that I read and also from my Ophthalmologist who has me on eye drops that slows and maybe even stops Glaucoma if taken every day. Malcom Gladwell wrote about this saying that, as I recall 35% of the people who need this drug, don’t use it every day. It is clear, if you use the drops you won’t get Glaucoma, if you don’t use the drops you will get Glaucoma because it has already been determined that you have the beginning signs of the disease.  Blindness is the result. Isn’t that a heck of an analogy to our present situation!

Now we come to why people vote against what would be best for them.  The basic answer I believe, is that they do not take the time to be informed about the facts of their decision.  I was appalled at the latest news that the internet is  allowing “false” news to be broadcast.  Unfortunately, both CNN and Fox News were guilty of this.  Most people now rely on the internet for their news.  They expect the entity publishing the news to have fact checked it.  If that were true, how did we get a report that Clintons had a child porno ring at their home? At least this was a news story that people might question.  More insidious was the half fact/half truth stories that came out. They sounded real, and lots of Americans bought them.

Also the news media needs to be held accountable for making an obviously unsuitable candidate seem suitable by giving his campaign so much coverage.  He didn’t even have to buy ads, because he was getting so much coverage.  Also none of the media (except a few) did any fact checking before publishing what they found to be “news”.  This was all done in the name of GREED for selling their product.

Bottom line however, as an example, is still why would people vote for closing down immigration and deporting millions and other stupid ideas?  Americans all came here first as immigrants.  Everyone single American, except the indigenous peoples, can trace their ancestry back to another country.  Also, from this kind of legislation comes all sorts of bad laws that will affect our society.  China, Japan and India will not be sending their best people for those high level jobs because of the new laws.  We will all suffer a “brain drain”.  Immigrants who have lived here since they were babies, live in constant fear.  Families who have been here for sometimes 30 years, working, paying taxes and contributing to our society, will be separated and sent back to a country they escaped from and found a better life.  Again, don’t be stupid, these people will find a way to come back to their US families, wall or no wall. If Americans were more informed about our present immigration laws, they would know that it is arduous to obtain a green card and certainly, if a immigrant commits a crime they are sent back to their country already! You can fact check this or take my word as a former immigration attorney….I insist you fact check!

So my job now is to stand up as soon as I see our beautiful Constitution being threatened and to hopefully find a way to harass the internet to be a strong proponent for the truth. I will keep you posted as I find out the most effective ways to do this.


WHY ATTORNEYS DON’T ASK FOR HELP: Or ask for the wrong help

One of the hardest things attorneys find to do is ask for the right help.

Why is that:

  • Many attorneys have big egos and don’t want to admit they need help. They are afraid they will look weak and not competent.
  • Many attorneys don’t want to admit that they actually had lots of help just graduating from Law School, passing the Bar and finding work.  They actually feel they did it all on their own when in fact, family, teachers and others provided much needed help along the way.
  • They don’t believe there is good, effective help available to them.
  • They don’t know where to look or find the appropriate help.
  • Many would rather self medicate than admit they need help.  Oh, boy does this cause more problems!
  • Many attorneys can’t identify what kind of help they need.  Or exactly what the problems may be.
  • Some attorneys will ask another attorney/friend for help but get the wrong advice and give up.
  • Attorneys are skeptics.  They have been taught to doubt the validity of many things, including help.
  • Some attorneys are in deep denial and don’t admit they need help
  • And most important, many attorneys don’t want to go through the changes they need to resolve their problems. They would rather stay in denial.


The starting place is to admit it. Then take some ACTION STEPS to first:

  • Grind the problem down to its elements. Is it money? Is it time? Is it burnout? etc.
  • Once you have flushed out the elements, develop a plan to attack the gap between the problem you see it  today and the vision of what it will look like when it is solved.
  • Get some professional help such as a coach to help identify the gap, help you with the steps and hold you to the commitment to overcome the problem.



In 8 years of coaching I have found that some attorneys, especially solos, actually give away money! You may not even know you have been doing this, but usually because of circumstances somewhere in your background, its happening. The biggest underlying cause I have found is that some attorneys don’t feel their work is worth very much. If this is you, let me try to dissuade you.

See if any of the following is applicable to your practice:

Attorneys make money based on their time and expertise.  You have expertise and time……and you are an attorney, but are you giving money away?

So let’s begin by asking yourself these questions:

  1. How much am I worth an hour? — pleassssseeeee make it more than $150 an hour.
  2. How much of my time do I spend making less than my hourly rate?  doing what?
  3. Can I pay someone less than my hourly rate to do the cheaper time- consuming tasks? (now, don’t whine that you will just  have more time and less money….it doesn’t work that way).
  4. Am I consistently charging my hourly rate? or am I cutting it to get a client?  (the solution to that:   Up your hourly rate…..then you can lower it if need be.—this is all a psychological game anyway)
  5. Do I kid myself on the billing? This is when you really did five hours of work, but you feel you were slow, so you only charged the client for three hours.  That’s a big, huge NO NO.  Remember your product is expertise and time and you get to charge for both.
  6. Am I doing enough to get clients who have significant amounts of work and ability to pay? A $5,000 retainer is much nicer than 10- $500 jobs. You may have to target a completely different clientele.  Spend some of that time that you got from hiring someone else to do your grunt jobs and NETWORK. Decide exactly what kind of cases you want and learn to articulate your wishes in 35 words or less.   For example:

“ I’m the perfect lawyer for prosperous business clients with either significant problems or who want expert help in forming and growing their businesses while avoiding the legal pitfalls facing all entrepreneurs.”(see last week’s blog)

When you go to an event, commit to giving a spiel like that to at least 5 people. Hand them a card, smile and a Godiva chocolate.

Best of Luck and let me know if you can recognize yourself here.


Dear Readers: I first posted this titled: IS THERE AN ELEPHANT IN YOUR LAW OFFICE? Unfortunately,  today the thoughts are the same, just a new title.

You’ve probably heard about the dysfunctional family with the Elephant in the living room, and nobody talking about it or even recognizes that it is there. Well, the same thing can and does happen frequently in Law Offices, from the small to the large.

So what are the characteristics of these Law Office Elephants?
• Elephants are born from denial and fed by denial
• Elephants are big, heavy and move very slowly. They are very happy to stay in the office all the time and never go outside.
• Elephants start out as 1,000 lb babies and get bigger …and bigger.
• Elephants take up a lot of room and are constantly getting in the way.
• Elephants eat and poop and you have to fed them and clean up after them.
• Elephants can’t fit through your doors once they are full grown, so you usually have to take the door off the hinges or cut a huge hole in the wall to get them out.

How are Elephants created?
• Elephants are created by time wasters.
• Elephants are created by living in denial about issues in the office which cause resentment, foster chaos, and divert the focus of good lawyering.
• Elephants are created by lack of leadership.
• Elephants are created by lethargy.
• Elephants are sometimes created by drug or alcohol use.
• Elephants are created by lack of planning.

Time Wasters can come as spending inordinate amount of time on unimportant phone calls or projects which will not produce revenue. More subtle time wasters are being so hesitate to make a decision that one never gets made or when it does, it is useless.
How about the “doggie” cases in the office that do not produce anything but pain and frustration? Definitely a huge Time Waster.
Then there is the law office where one of the staff comes in late every morning and every one grumbles about it behind his/her back but no one ever speaks up. Or the drama queen or king of the office who has an emergency every twenty minutes. Or the Bank that totally screws up the accounts over and over again, but never gets dumped. Or the client who, although his case is worth big bucks, is such a hassle that it takes 24 hours of therapy to recover from a session with him.
Elephants don’t like someone to take a leadership role in the office and to begin to solve the problems and thus deny the elephant more food so it can get bigger. Elephants would prefer their handlers to snooze or zone out for most of the day.
When Elephants smell that someone in the law office is using drugs or alcohol, they raise their trunks up and thank the elephant Gods for providing a substantial increase in food. Especially, if there are timid people around who cannot bring themselves to recognize that something is very, very wrong in the work environment. In these cases a special Elephant Intervention might have to take place using professional help. More tragically, if lethargy and lack of leadership is already in place, the Elephant can get so big that it obliterates the office and everyone in it.
Elephants thrive best in an environment where there is no planning. When there are not clear goals and focus,    Elephants are happy.

Once a plan is in place to stop time wasters and to challenge problems and not ignore them, Elephants start to shrink to a size that will fit through the office doors and with a kick to the behind, wander back out to the jungle where they belong.
There are other times, however, when people in the office have to cut a huge hole in the wall and shove the Elephant out. Unfortunately, the Elephant may be accompanied by several staff members or clients. The results can be painful, but remember the hole in the wall can be easily rebuilt and after sweeping up the last of the Elephant pooh, the office will be large enough to accommodate all kinds of new work and profits.

So the next time you reach for a pen on your desk but instead find a big grey trunk under your hand, it’s time to act……