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A Leap of Brand

Posted on January 22nd, 2014 by Chrissie Lightfoot

This article was first published in BrandYorkshire, 22 January 2014, and is reproduced with kind permission.

In the ensuing months I will be posing questions, discussing issues and proffering solutions in relation to Business Development. To kick-off, let’s start with a topic which perplexes and, sometimes vexes, the majority of businesses; namely, branding.

In order to do this subject justice, I’ve decided to write the trilogy series ‘A Leap of Brand’, during which I will share my thoughts, ideas, successes and examples in relation to this fascinating and critical subject with reference to companies, ‘things’ and people across the globe.

We will be looking at company brand (‘Brand – Firm’), personal brand (‘Brand – Me’) and product brand (‘Brand – Product’).

You may be asking yourself, “why these three?” Well, many people have asked me in the past few years “Chrissie, how did you do it? How have you gone from a no-body into a ‘somebody’ who works with top companies all around the world?

How did you do it from a standing start with no money, no connections at the start of the worst recession the world has ever experienced? What’s your secret?”

“My secret?” I reply. “It’s ‘A Leap of Brand’. The secret lies in the brand trio, and the order in which you build the brand in this digital age.”

So here’s the trio and here is the order in which I built a viable, feasible and sustainable six-figure company and lifestyle these past few years:

1) Brand – Me
2) Brand – Product
3) Brand – Firm

Why did I do it this way and why does it work?

• “Brand – Me” and “Brand – Product” build the profile and reputation of “Brand – Firm” by volume and in stages giving depth and breadth to the power of THE BRAND stable.

• It’s highly cost effective and has the most impact this way, fast…

• “Brand – Me” and “Brand – Product” generate the income (provide the funding) for creating “Brand – Firm” and/or re-branding “Brand – Firm”. This is hugely important for companies with limited financial clout; reality for the majority of businesses that simply do not a have a Daddy Warbucks Branding War Chest.

• It’s because THIS is the ORDER your clients and prospects relate to your company. It’s what clients / customers / consumers want in this Digital Age. They buy due to emotion and justify the purchase with logic. It therefore seems logical that you focus building a brand starting with humanness (Brand – Me), share something of benefit / value with the customer (Brand – Product) whereby Brand – Firm is naturally borne from these two.

This is not pie in the sky theoretical waffle, or mumbo-jumbo. This brand trio order works. It works extremely well. It worked for me. It works for my customers. It will work for you too.

And now that various highly credible reports (Peppermint Technology) and research (Eulogy!) have provided proof of what my gut, logic and entrepreneurial spirit told me, no doubt there will be fewer naysayers and more of you willing to take A Leap of Brand.

I shall leave you with this thought. Every interaction you have with someone outside (and inside) your company is an instance of ‘relating’ – or, if you prefer, ‘branding in lights’.

Ask yourself these questions: is each interaction good, bad or indifferent; effective or ineffective; positive or negative; brand-building or brand-destroying?

These are important questions, because branding is not everything, but everything is branding.

Chrissie Lightfoot

The Entrepreneur Lawyer, CEO EntrepreneurLawyer Limited.

Author of The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How To Market, Brand & Sell YOU!

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Seconds out! Investment Heavyweights

Posted on December 20th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

21st January 2014 : David Parkin of TheBusinessDesk.com invites you to a no-holds barred contest between two investment heavyweights.

In the red corner: Dave Fishwick, Head of Macro and Equities Investment at M&G Investments, which manages £242bn of investments in the UK and Europe.

In the blue corner: Peter Heckingbottom, Investment Director and Deputy Managing Director of award-winning Leeds-based Pearson Jones, which manages client investments of £1.8bn. Pearson Jones’ specialist teams operate from four offices nationwide, providing individuals, businesses and trustees with expert bespoke advice that helps secure their financial futures.

Both have opposing views on how to maximise returns from your investments and TheBusinessDesk.com founder David Parkin will referee a debate between these two experts at an Investment Outlook seminar at the Leeds Club, Albion Place, Leeds, LS1 6JL.

Also giving his views on the global economy is a global equities strategist with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. Tuen Draaisma is Managing Director and Macro Strategist, Global Equities, with BlackRock, which manages $3.8 trillion of investments.

The breakfast event, which runs from 7.30am to 9am is aimed at business owners, directors and their professional partners. To register your interest email sophie.barriere@thebusinessdesk.com with your name, job title and company.

Additional Hot Events coming up in early 2014…

8th Jan : And EVERY Wednesday 1-2pm GMT  join @The_Legal_Hour  on twitter for #TheLegalHour

It is THE PLACE to be where lawyers, business people and consumers come to discuss legal issues, engage and share what’s happening in the legal world and business world.

15th Jan : Robert Moore of X-Press Legal are hosting a CPD event for law firms across North & West Yorkshire at Wetherby Racecourse on Wednesday 15th January 2014; three prominent guest speakers (including yours truly) will be providing insight into topical issues affecting Solicitors, Licensed Conveyancers and Legal Marketing Directors. Read more >

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Cracking Books for Crimbo

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

Recommended reading

The Future of Privacy – by Eduardo Ustaran, Partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, and named by Revolution magazine as one of the 40 most influential people in the growth of the digital sector in the UK.

An insightful read which educates the public and innovators about the importance of privacy and data protection. It throws up important questions and proffers solutions to our ‘human privacy’ and ‘commercial privacy’ conundrum, arguing that in order to get the balance right, policy makers, regulators and organisations must address the specific challenges presented by rapidly evolving technology, the increasing value of personal information and the globalisation of data-reliant activities. A mind tickling delight!

Managing Talent for Success – co-ordinated by consulting-editor Rebecca Normand-Hochman of Globe Law & Business, on behalf of The International Bar Association.

The ability to attract, develop and retain talent has become one of the biggest competitive issues for law firms. But although talent management is now recognised as a business issue of prime importance, law firms often lack the experience, vision and tools to do it.

This practical new handbook, , explores the various elements required to manage talent effectively. It illustrates how law firms can significantly increase the performance, engagement and retention of their lawyers by giving them the tools to develop and to support the development of others.

Solo – the latest James Bond spectacular! Absolutely 007 in every way!!! Prrrrrrrrrrrr. Enough said.

The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How to Market, Brand & Sell YOU!

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2013 Hot Lawyers & Sizzling Reports

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

2013 Top 10 Smokin’ Hot Lawyers &/or Entrepreneurs around the world…

Heads-up entrepreneurs looking for lawyers in different jurisdictions around the world, and lawyers who are in search of entrepreneurial people who ‘get it’, here’s a list of my 2013 Top 10 Smokin’ professionals!

These are fabulous people whom I’ve worked with/met and are simply wonderful for who they are, what they do, their professional brilliance, dynamism, genius, commitment to a cause, genuine humanness and nakedness! :-0

My Top 10

not in any particular order – they’re all no.1 in my book:

UK – Gary Assim, The Image Lawyer, Head of Retail and Intellectual Property, Shoosmiths LLP.

UK – Christian Lister, The SME Ambassador, Director of X-Press Legal, International Director The Genesis Initiative, Vice President of Europe International Small Business Council, Chairman IPSA.

Australia (Queensland) – Jeremy Kennedy, The WHS Lawyer, Partner and litigator at McCullough Robertson Lawyers.

USA (California) – Mitch Jackson, 2013 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY Award), Litigation specialist at Jackson & Wilson

USA (NJ | NY) – Anthony Verna, Partner, specialist in Trademark law and Copyright Law, at Kravitz & Verna PLLC.

Poland (Warsaw) – Nicholas Richardson, Managing Partner, Corporate and Commercial law, at Richardson & Wspólnicy; Vice-Chairman and Honorary Secretary at British Polish Chamber of Commerce.

France (Paris) – Laurent Julienne, Managing Partner, Corporate Law, at LERINS JOBARD CHEMLA AVOCATS.

Switzerland (Geneva) – Karen Monroe, Partner, International corporate law and securities law, Wilk Auslander LLP. President Foreign Lawyers Section, Geneva Bar Association.

Sweden (Stockholm) – Eric Bergenstrahle, Managing Partner, Head of Strategic Contracts, Advokatfirman Lindahl KB, law firm.

Norway  (Oslo) - Knut Magnar Aanestad, Chief Knowledge Officer and Head of Information Technology at Schjodt Law Firm. Due to a number of successful strategic and operational initiatives in the past four years, including members of the Executive team reading The Naked Lawyer book and executing the ROAR sales model, Schjodt has achieved significant revenue increase; 2010 t/o £35m > 2013 t/o £60m. Knut has played an instrumental part in Schjødt winning Law Firm of The Year, Nordics 2012 (The Lawyer Mag),  international “Best Innovation Award 2013” and the Mergemarket / Financial Times law firm of the year 2013 (Norway award). Schjodt is now ranked no. 3 law firm in Norway.

2013 Top 5 Sizzling Reports

Entrepreneurs and lawyers (in particular) when considering your 2014 business strategy, plan and activity, I urge you take a peek at this lot and join the dots:

What Clients Really Want from a Legal Service Provider – by Peppermint Technology in association with Microsoft.

Up or Out: When Partners Have to Go – a report by ALM Legal Intelligence which reveals partners leave because of their ‘inability’ to find new clients.

Entrepreneurship UK 2013/14 Entering a Brave New World  - by Deloitte

Panel Games: How Client Orgs Pick Their legal Advisers  - by Oxford University Saiid Business School

Emerging Technologies and their Future Impact on the Legal Industry – by Fast Future Research Limited in conjunction with the International Legal Technology Association; due out January 2014.

Hot Books

Recommended reading. Read more >

The Future of Privacy

Managing Talent for Success

Solo

 

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The Naked Lawyer’s Cheeky Ride

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

The Naked Lawyer’s private pre TDF stage 1 cheeky ride! …

As a wee Yorkshire lady with a large passion, energy and enthusiasm for most things in business, leisure and life (including cycling), The Naked Lawyer is tickled pink (a natural blossoming of her customary brand orange and state of excitement) that the greatest sporting event in the world (IMHO) – Le Tour de France – is coming to our beloved God’s Own County, Yorkshire, England, in July next year. WooHoo!!!

Bloomin’ well done I say, *doffscrashhat* to Mr Yorkshire 2012 himself Gary Verity (CEO of Welcome to Yorkshire), Peter Dodd (Commercial Director), Dee Marshall (Head of Communications) and all the team at Welcome to Yorkshire HQ for landing such an unbelievable gig!

You can be sure you will find me on the business and networking scene and amongst the cycling enthusiasts in my hometown of Leeds during the run up to the roll-out of TDF Stage 1, Grande Depart, Saturday 5th July 2014 and at the finish in Harrogate.

I’m also planning to line the road with my cycling buddies and witness the pro cycling boys spin those wheels and sexy legs during TDF stage 2, York to Sheffield on Sunday 6thJuly, before they head south to Cambridge for stage 3 and finish in London the following day.

I hope to see you there in any of these locations around that time! Drop me a line asap and let me know if you intend to visit the UK / London / Yorkshire / Leeds / Harrogate / York / Sheffield from July 1st through to 7th in 2014. I’d love to meet up, if possible, especially those of you who have travelled from overseas for the occasion and we haven’t managed to meet whilst on my biz trips. Sooooooooooo excited :-)

Err, NOT for wimps …

Furthermore, as a cycling junkie who continually seeks out more hills and likes to ‘feel the burn’ by pushing everything (and I mean everything) to the limit, I’d welcome you to join The Naked Lawyer (my alter ego in her human form, aka moi) in cycling the Tour De France 2014 stage 1, Leeds to Harrogate, in late June 2014.

The date is ‘yet to be determined’ as I am happy to work out the preferred date and time that will suit the majority; although Tue 24th/Wed 25th/Thur 26thJune or Tue 1st July are a possibility so that my overseas friends and business associates who intend to be here for the Grande Depart here in Yorkshire can join in the fun and frolics!

Duly note though… The Naked Lawyer (in true naked style) intends to add her own spin to the route and dance up a few of the less well known lanes and hills with spectacular views which run alongside the main road and route.

This will definitely be a more pleasant, varied and tougher ride as it will take riders off the busy long main roads (boring in parts unless you’re tucked in on the wheel of one of the fast lads in a peloton enjoying the benefit of a free ride) which, albeit fabulous for the actual TDF occasion when the roads are closed to traffic, the aerial media shots will be spectacular and the mega fit cycling pro guys sporting tight lycra with bulging muscles and sporting tans with a hint of white bits (the girls should be so lucky) can whiz along unhindered by road vehicles and furniture, will be far far far safer and, arguably, in parts, more scenic.

The Naked Lawyer has ridden this alternative (but pretty close to the real thing) route twice already during 2013. Truly. It’s awesome! It gets better each time, albeit I’m not managing to do it any quicker *harrumph* :-(  Looking forward to improving (hopefully) and doing it all over again with you during 2014!

Oh, btw, if you haven’t figured it out by now:

* This ride is NOT for the ‘occasional’ rider. You will need to be a seasoned amateur who rides regularly and is up to covering 130 miles+ in hilly terrain; not unlike how a job spec would read: “Cycling will be your prime pastime, leisure pursuit and passion. You will be a team-player, self-starter, fit, healthy, highly motivated and enthusiastic!”

* You WILL need a pass-out from your significant other for the entire day and eve. The ride itself will likely last 8-10hrs (subject to fitness, weather, incidents, punctures, number of fuel stops etc)… and I am proposing we will indulge in Scooby-snacks (it would be rude not to) at the end of the ride.

* This ride is NOT a naked ride. You WILL need to keep your cycling clothes on. Not only because we lawyers would advise it is unlawful for gentlemen to expose their beloved jewels and ladies their prime assets in public, but you will in fact need some padding in that region because you’re likely to be in the saddle for a long time (see above)!  Yes, the pro riders will no doubt ride TDF stage 1 in around 4 hours (clothed appropriately … shame), but for us amateurs we will need twice as long for various reasons, not least, we’re not pros (we have proper jobs), the route The Naked Lawyer will be taking you on is a bit more lumpy and we will need at least one fuel stop (maybe two).

* This ride IS for ladies and gentlemen who love a challenge, welcome a tough ride, adore hills, and seriously enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two to celebrate the achievement at the end of the experience.

If you’re interested in joining The Naked Lawyer on this ride then tweet any of these accounts:

@TheNakedLawyer
@EntrepreneurLaw
@FullonLiving

with the following message:

I want to ride the pre #TDF2014 stage1 #Yorkshire & experience #YorkshireNaked with #thenakedlawyer

You must Follow me on twitter and then I can DM you the details in due course.

If you’re not a twitter junkie, then simply email me direct with the message “TDF2014 pre stage1” in the Subject header.

Oh, and one final thing, if you’re a cycling geek and wish to be kept up to date about TDF stuff, particularly the Grande Depart Yorkshire 2014, here’s a few things of interest …

Hot hashtags:

#TDF

#TDF2014

#Tourmakers

#Yorkshire

#YorkshireNaked

#TheNakedLawyer

Hot tweeps to follow:

@LeTour

@LeTourYorkshire

@Welcome2Yorks

@PeterDodd02

@GaryVerity

@DeeMarshallsays

Roll on 2014. Come and roll-out with The Naked Lawyer for a cheeky ride! :-)

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A Lesson in Humility

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

Being the author of The Naked Lawyer – a humbling experience and a privilege

Because of the wide-spread global readership, influence, acceptance and success of The Naked Lawyer book, its concepts, the ROAR social media sales experience in practice and the ongoing success stories of its readers and advocates, I have been truly blessed to enjoy a constant stream of speaking and consultancy engagements throughout the world since the release of The Naked Lawyer eBook back in late 2010.

I am also greatly honoured and privileged to have been interviewed as a thought leader on various subjects; personal branding, marketing innovations, the future of law, the role of artificial intelligence, robotics, legal technology, social technology, social media, social networking and social brand in our lives, and subsequently asked to contribute to a number of reports and events throughout 2013 (and 2014, yet to be published and revealed), in particular Fast Future Research Limited’s (CEO Rohit Talwar’s) Legal Technology Future Horizon’s Project and Report “Emerging Technologies and their Future Impact on the Legal Industry” commissioned by  ILTA (the International Legal Technology Association); due out in January 2014.

During 2011 and 2012 I primarily worked with companies in Australasia and USA (as well as the UK and Europe), but this year has seen The Naked Lawyer extend her influence at events, conferences, private gatherings/functions and companies in numerous countries across Europe, and, make her mark in Scandinavia.

Business trips in 2013 to France (Paris), Switzerland (Geneva), Sweden (Stockholm) and Norway (Oslo) have been the highlight of 2013. The dancing was a lorra lorra fun! Ooh-la-la. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Iceland, Denmark or Finland, yet, despite book sales in each.  A shame I couldn’t visit at this time of year for it would have been opportune to pop to Lap Land, Finland and sit on Santa’s knee! Fingers and toes crossed for next year :-)

Throughout my business travels and in all of my business correspondence, dealings, exchanges and relationships I am continually amazed and humbled by those people who have touched my life and have taught me much.

Albeit The Naked Lawyer book and the ROAR model and lessons have influenced, guided and helped many readers and delegates around the world these past few years, culminating in the honour this year of the accolade “International Top 100 Executive and Legal Professional of the Year 2013” (published in the International Top 100 Business Magazine), I believe the people whom have reached out to me and vice versa, have given me far more than I have in return.

Humility has been my greatest lesson this year and I intend to carry it with me throughout 2014.

Therefore it is especially to you, my friend, confidante, colleague, acquaintance, follower, reader, teacher and listener, that I wish to convey a heartfelt thank-you at this precious time of year, not least for daring to engage me, but mostly for daring to get NAKED and be the NAKED YOU…

I look forward to engaging with you throughout 2014.

What else is in store for 2014?

Ah, well, you’ll have to wait and read the first of The Naked Lawyer’s newsletters in early January 2014 when all will be revealed!

However, you already know about The Naked Lawyer 2 book coming out, and it’s probably best I let you into a little secret now about The Naked Lawyer’s private pre Tour de France stage 1 cheeky ride

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Mischief & The Naked Lawyer 2

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

What mischief has The Naked Lawyer been up to in 2013?

It’s been a fabulously cheeky Naked Year! I began 2013 with Albert Einstein’s wisdom and guidance at the forefront of my mind: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

The Naked Lawyer eBook has been far more popular than I ever imagined or envisaged. A best-seller throughout 2011 and 2012 it has been enjoyed by a variety of readers in an abundance of locations, industries, markets and sectors across the globe within every continent (except Antarctica; a penguin is yet to be able to read even if it does boast a publishing empire).

Amazingly, there have been readers/buyers from Iceland too! It has been so well received that my publishers extended my original contract in 2013 so that they can continue to publish and sell more paperback copies. They have now cajoled me into writing the sequel, which will be out sometime next year…

The Naked Lawyer 2

The sequel to The Naked Lawyer, aptly entitled The Naked Lawyer 2, is in prep stage and will be available in 2014. It will follow on from The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How to Market, Brand and Sell YOU! with new insights, foresight, vision, the renown sexy cheeky tone and brand, with a real spin on things past, present and future in how to be a player in our human (biological), technological, digital world which is accelerating beyond all comprehension.

I can’t give away too much as to what will be included in The Naked Lawyer 2 book, or even the full title for that matter at this stage (for that would place me firmly on Santa’s naughty list, courtesy of my publisher) but I can reveal that with a cycling theme throughout you can be assured it will be racy read for your 2014 success ride!

So, in preparation for The Naked Lawyer 2, there’s still time for you to enjoy The Naked Lawyer: RIP to XXX – How to Market, Band and Sell YOU!

You may wish to begin with reading FREE volumes 1 and 2, and you never know, if you’re enjoying the toe curling experience you just might be tempted to go all the way and read volumes 3 through 12 too…

Another festive treat

If you’d like to read The Naked Lawyer eBook now (all 12 volumes), then here you go. It’s presently on offer at the hugely discounted jingle bells price of ONLY £20 (+vat if applicable) – usually £80 (+vat where applicable).

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Gift of Life

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

Gift of Life

If there is one thing I have come to appreciate and respect (particularly in the past 5 years), it is the true value in the wonderful and extraordinary gift of life.

Accordingly, I believe that our first step in realising this and achieving the life one aspires to live, The Naked Lawyer volume 2 (eBook) will help you along your way. I am giving it to you, for FREE…

The Naked Lawyer: wakey wakey rise and shine, Volume 2 (eBook), FREE until midnight GMT January 10th

You will find The Naked Lawyer: RIP – announcing the ROAR model, Volume 1 (eBook) here for FREE; it always has been. It always will be.

But in true festive spirit I’m also giving away The Naked Lawyer: wakey wakey rise and shine, Volume 2 (eBook) for FREE!

This is a gift, a saving of £15 (the standard fee for Volume 2 ) but, once you have read and acted on it, you too may come to realise it just may be something which you cannot put a price on…

Why am I gifting this to you? …

Because The Naked Lawyer reckons it’s the prrrrrrrrrrfect thing to read over the holidays to help you begin awakening the real inner YOU to rise and shine throughout 2014. Furthermore, it will give you the courage to dare to grasp the life you really really really want.

It’s rich with the kind of stuff you usually ask yourself when you’re trying to figure out what your new year’s resolution(s) ought to comprise. It’s got BHAGS of juicy stuff in helping you figure out what you want, need or desire, for the rest of your life…

And so, this holiday season, when you finally manage at some stage during the festive frivolities to flop into a comfy chair in a peaceful corner, preferably padded, and grab some space to be alone to rest your weary toesies, tummy, eyes and mind (nothing less than an exhausted broken heap, pogged out from all the naughty crimbo over indulgences, fed up with all the arguing, forced smiles & pleasantries, noise, activity and mess… bah-humbug), in blissful recovery mode reflecting on what has passed in your 2013 and what you would like your 2014 to include, you’ll be thinking about the choices you have, the changes you could make and the element of control you have over all of this.

In this FREE Volume 2 (eBook) you will find pleasure in escaping the mayhem and be able to peacefully indulge yourself (positively). You will hear a number of home truths (like them or not), experience much guru wisdom, learn about big rocks and how to get your big rocks off, understand how to overcome being emotionally defunct, learn how to be master of your own mutiny, overcome delayed gratification and create your self-reliance reality checklist, form a ‘formidable ME strategy & Plan’ and a ‘ME Code of Conduct’, have the c-c-c-courage, a positively mind-blowing weird mindset and wicked attitude by making sure your attitude suuucks, whilst ensuring you have a PEE Poor Work Ethic, to make those ‘difficult’ choices, necessary changes and to finally take control.

Remember: “If you don’t design your own life’s plans chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!” (Jim Rohn).

This FREE Volume 2 (ebook) is rich in guiding you through the ROAR steps to achieve the kind of life you want for yourself. It’s bulging with lots of ROAR Tips and has a number of enjoyable After Dark Activities for you indulge in to ensure you begin to live the fulfilling life you dreamed about… and deserve…

So, during your festive holiday break, when you’re contemplating what you want the New Year to bring you in business, love or life, this volume will help you tap into your power to make IT happen and guide you in what you need to do, and how. It will help you create the foundation … It will help you be the real you… the authentic you… the truly NAKED you!

It’s time to get naked. Don’t hide YOU anymore, for when fear becomes your lighthouse it will frequently lead you to darkness. In a world of dread and fear, you have to be brave, be bold and dare to be different. Begin by grasping what you dread and facing your fear. Step out into the light. Take the first step by reading Volume 2…

For your FREE Volume 2 (ebook) all you have to do is GET NAKED with me and ROAR! (Reach Out And Relate)…

Simply email me NOW or anytime before midnight 10th January stating in the Subject line “ROAR 2014”and I will send you a FREE copy of The Naked Lawyer: wakey wakey rise and shine (eBook) Volume 2.

If you’d like to hear more about The Naked Lawyer and ROAR, check out this podcast from October this year, by trial lawyer of the year 2013, Mitch Jackson, USA.

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Jingle Jingle Jingle

Posted on December 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

It’s Christmas time. I hope you’re feeling jolly? If not then maybe my Chrissiemas message will help. Sorry it’s been so long since I sent a newsletter but I’ve been saving it all up for this one so that you can take your time in reading and digesting it over the holiday break. I also didn’t want to interrupt your productivity in Q3 and Q4 as biz seems to have picked up in line with the economy recently. It’s been a rather busy year for us all methinks?

Christmas – A time when we celebrate GIVING, GIFTING and the GIFT OF LIFE…

I received an email from a friend today who shared the World Giving Index and Map. It got me thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, charity, the ‘givers gain’ mentality, the essence of the ROAR model, and the theme of my holiday season message…

GIVING and GIFTING

One of my favourite Christmas songs of all time is “Do they know it’s Christmas” by Band Aid. For me, the most touching lyrics include “The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life” in “a world of dread and fear.”

We all, at some stage during our lives, experience doubt, fear, dread, pain etc whether we feel it in our hearts or play it over in our minds. We are sometimes the guilty perpetrator of these, or the unfortunate receiver.

You may recall in a previous Christmas newsletter and message I shared the heart warming (and growth) story of the Grinch and discussed Grinch Lawyer Syndrome?

In all our wonderful humanness, we also periodically ask ourselves what is the meaning of life? Monty Python managed to make a fortune out of it!

Do you ever ask yourself ‘What do I really want out of my life? What do I want my life to be? What’s my life’s purpose? Am I really doing what I want? Where / what / who else is there to experience during this wonderful gift of life and extraordinary world? What choice do I have? How can I change things for the better? Do I dare to take control and make the required changes? How?’…

And so, I figured my Christmas message this year will comprise the greatest gift I could possibly give you… the answers to the above… ultimately…YOUR LIFE…

YOUR REAL LIFE. The kind of life you truly want(ed) to live but dared not contemplate possible and do something about, until now. The life you would have lived if you’d allowed yourself to be pure as a child again, and naked…

YOUR NAKED LIFE…

It’s actually not all that difficult to achieve. I am testament to this. The Naked Lawyer. Living the life and lifestyle I knowingly and willingly created. You simply have to muster the courage to begin by feeding your soul … and then jump.

In order to be truly charitable and live a fulfilling life, charity must begin with you, at home … It sits with the mantra ‘you must be true to yourself’ before you can possibly be true and giving to another.

I have come to realise this. And I am blessed to be in the very fortunate position to be able to give something of commercial value with both a personal benefit and professional value to you, for free…

GIFT OF LIFE

 

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Law Firm Meltdown

Posted on September 19th, 2013 by Chrissie Lightfoot

Guest blog post by Vannin Capital

1 in 3 Law Firms Face Financial Meltdown

A climate of financial instability is still the backdrop from which UK legal firms are operating, with the disturbing prediction that 1 in 3 could face bankruptcy this autumn. Based on research carried out by The Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), these are frightening statistics. You might think they apply only to small UK firms, squeezed by new government regulations in areas such as legal aid and personal injury practice, but it is a wider problem. Even firms with global offices face financial challenges. These could even be at greater risk. In a difficult global economic climate individual firms might be tempted to believe that there is little they can do to minimise the risks. That as it may be, but awareness of those risks and prudent steps that might be taken to militate against them are advisable.

Assessing the Risks

Although your firm may seem busy with cases, do not be lured into a false sense of security. A potential minefield might indeed be those partner profits, which superficially look healthy. If partners are too keen to draw down their profit share, then this might quickly lead to cash flow problems. Consider the average fixed overheads: on a monthly basis the biggest of these will be staff salaries. Problems arise when these are added to by daunting annual tax assessments and rent demands. The best planned budgets can fail to meet these, especially if clients are tardy in paying their bills. Remember you the firm will already have paid your lawyers their monthly salaries for the work done. More and more clients are questioning bills based on hours totalled. Where cases are done on a contingency fee basis, then that might exacerbate the problem . It could be years before the fee is paid. It is this mismatch between outgoings and income that is at the root of law firms facing insolvency.

Expansion can also put unnecessary strain on the legal budget. It could be expansion of premises. Equally, setting up offices overseas can be a huge financial drain, especially in the early years, as they struggle to become established. The simple economic equation is that the cash must be in the bank if the commitments are to be honoured. If it isn’t, then hoping it will be there in ten years’ time will not wash!

Averting and Avoiding the Risks

In the old days bank overdrafts and loans were always there to tide a firm over the difficult times. Gone are those days. Link this back to the problem of partners being too keen to draw down their profit share and you have the double whammy of the banks being less likely to lend. Partners need to heed this chicken and egg scenario carefully. Short term gain may need to be put on hold if long term viability is to be achieved. No partner wants to risk the future of their firm. Awareness of these risks might be the first stage in avoiding the shame of being that 1 in 3 firm that goes bust this autumn. Partners beware!

This post was provided by Vannin Capital. For advice on Legal Funding visit litigationfunding.com

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