By Ally Kennedy, Founder of Amiga
One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is, "How do you do it all?" I run a successful law firm, created an app, and run Amiga Lawyers, all while raising my 1 year old son.
So...how do I "Do It All"?
My answer is simple: I don't.
When my son was born, I found myself completely overwhelmed with trying to "do it all." I was running a caseload, stepping into my role as the CEO of my law firm, running home and firm finances, had no staff, and had a 3 month old. I could not do it all. I was afraid to let go of the reigns of anything. I was so scared that if I spent money on help, it would cripple me financially. Also, I didn't want to spend money on things that I could "do myself."
Here are a few tips to "doing it all" without actually doing it:
1. Observe your daily tasks
For at least one day observe everything that you do, such as: calling insurance about an insurance issue, researching a summer camp for your child, buying a birthday present for a friend, returning phone calls, scanning documents, writing briefs, filing papers, planning a date night, and more.
2. Determine Which Tasks Can Be Delegated
This is the part that trips us up. For some reason we want to tell every reason why each task SHOULDN'T be delegated. For the purposes of this exercise try not to make any judgments. Just look at the tasks neutrally to see if it is possible to be delegated.
(Hint: Everything I listed above can be delegated.)
3. Think Creatively About Support
For some reason I thought that staff meant only an in-office, 40 an hour a week person. It required me to have a paradigm shift in order to have my needs met.
These are a few examples:
- Phone Answering Service- I used a phone answering service when the phones were too overwhelming for me. The cost was much cheaper than having someone in-office and they helped schedule consultations and pass along client questions. Those two tasks overwhelmed me so the phone answering service changed my life.
- Virtual Bookkeeping Service- Unless you have the required training, a bookkeeper is incredibly necessary. The number one task that lawyers say they are overwhelmed by is keeping track of the finances and doing taxes. I use bench.co and the monthly investment (of $129 a month) seemed so scary at the time but it changed EVERYTHING for the better.
- Virtual Assistant- My life is possible because of my virtual assistant. I started out with many variations of a virtual assistant- 5 hours a week, then 3 virtual assistants 5 hours a week each, and then I streamlined into one full time virtual assistant. She handles all of my personal tasks, has helped to completely streamline my law firm, does legal assistant work, and does a ton for Amiga. For more information about my experience with Virtual Assistants, click here.
- In-Office Assistant- I had different arrangements, such as someone part time, per-project, etc, until I was ready for full time staff. Now I have a team of 5 full time staff in the office.
4. Take a Small Steps Forward
Letting go of the reigns of your firm and your life can feel very scary and requires a leap of faith; actually no leaps are required. You just need to take small steps forward.
There may feel like a million reasons not to do it, or maybe two main reasons: money and time. Start small. You don't have to hire everyone at once. One small change can make a huge difference. Stretch your budget to cover one investment that will help you "do it all." Once you get comfortable with that, take on the next investment.
You've got this! What advice do you have? What concerns do you have? Leave your comments below!
About your Ally in Life, Business and Law:
Alexandra "Ally" Kennedy is a national award-winning attorney and the founder of AMIGA Lawyers and Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law.. After becoming a mother, and in a matter of 3 months, Ally transformed her practice from earning in pesos to earning 6-figures and she is passionate about teaching attorneys how they can do the same. Ally empowers lawyers to be the CEOs of their law firms with her weekly blog, webinars, and conferences where she teaches step-by-step how to do the work they love while running a profitable legal business. Ally lives outside of Seattle with her partner and their 5 children.