Episode 36

Published on:

28th Dec 2023

Attorney Brian Glass's Journey from Disappointment to Triumph in Law and Entrepreneurship

In this episode of the Your Practice Mastered Podcast, hosts Richard James and MPS sit down with Attorney Brian Glass and discuss his remarkable journey from disappointment to triumph in both his legal career and entrepreneurial endeavors. Brian shares his experiences building a successful practice and investing in real estate to create multiple streams of income. 

Tune in to hear about the importance of reflecting on your accomplishments and establishing daily habits for success.

MPS: [:

Attorney Brian Glass: Oh, yeah. I've had down points. I'll try lawyers have down points, right? I remember being in a courtroom one time after a trial or judge looked at me and just you gotta have better prepared. You have to better prepare your clients. And I'm like, judge, I spent four hours with her yesterday.

What do you want me to do? So, that's a down point. I've had other, things go wrong in a courtroom where you can't get something into evidence. You just feel like you've been kicked in the teeth the way out the door. And then, the only thing to do after that happens to you is to as quickly as you can.

Get back into another courtroom and try again because it might be the wrong defense lawyer, the wrong judge, or, sometimes as a lawyer, like you were right. You are actually legally factually right and the judge is wrong and there, you don't have any control over that, at least at the, to trial court.

have to get back in and get [:


MPS: Hey law firm owners. Welcome to the Your Practice Mastered podcast. We're your hosts. I'm MPS

Richard James: Hey, and I'm Richard James and folks were excited today because not only are we going to get to talk to an attorney who has gone through the struggles and all of the things that happen when you're building a law firm, but we're also talking to somebody who works with attorneys kneecap to kneecap to help them understand how to gain some hope in their life and find better ways to market their firm.

And so his dad has been a lifelong friend of mine for lots of. Call it the last 15 years and I've gotten the pleasure of knowing Brian. And so, Brian glass, welcome to the call today.

Attorney Brian Glass: Thank you guys. I appreciate you having me on.

hich was super fun to do. So [:

So we like to start with what's something that maybe not everyone knows about you.

Richard James: Silence.

Attorney Brian Glass: band. And for 7, you can have a copy of one of our CDs that are still in my basement.

Richard James: Silence.

Attorney Brian Glass: have any hair and it's got to be a contributing factor.

Richard James: Yep. Maybe what you do, Brian, is you send us a picture of that, and I'll send, and I'll also send a picture of me with spiky hair, and we can show them both on the video version of this podcast. We're going to have editors drop them in there, alright? You send your picture, I'll send mine, because I promise you, I even had a mullet.

I don't know if you had a mullet, but I had a mullet,

torney Brian Glass: They are [:

Richard James: Joe Dirt, Joe dirt

MPS: you're on the rise.

Richard James: that's right, that's right.

MPS: Oh, I love it. That's fun. That's awesome. I appreciate you sharing that. I think that's certainly something that not everyone knows, but it's certainly something I, I didn't so that's pretty cool. So Why don't you tell us, because you have this cool story of one, being able to actually help law firm owners and two, being an attorney and an law firm owner yourself, kind of going through this, this journey.

So why don't you give us the broad strokes a little bit of your entrepreneurial journey as an attorney so far?

hat I graduated law school in:

and the firm that I did go and work for initially was a general practice firm billing by the hour. And I hated it. I, you know, I, because what happens for young lawyers, especially is you, in your mind, you're like, that shouldn't have taken five hours. So that shouldn't it. So you trim it back. and nobody ever really teaches you or taught me how to bill and how to do that correctly.

So anyway, I lasted there for like four months. and then I, ended up at a personal injury plaintiff's auto accident firm. where you are no longer tied dollars to hours, right? The whole idea of the personal injury practice is to design marketing and networks that attract high dollar easy, quote, easier cases, right?

a plaintiff's auto accident [:

Cause you didn't actually have to talk to any clients. And then I sort of developed my own book of business and, and my life actually got busier as I did that because I had clients that could actually talk to me on the phone and email me. So, so then I, then I learned how to build a team to triage and handle 85 or 90 percent of the client communications so that we can only focus on the top 10 or 15%.

Anyway, fast forward to:

hing kind of aligned to make [:

He runs our ERISA long term disability practice. There's two lawyers on that side. We're based in Northern Virginia. And then just this year, I formally joined him at great legal marketing, where we help solo and small law firm owners run better businesses.

Richard James: Wow. How about that? That's a, that's a journey and a half. How many kids total do you have now?

Attorney Brian Glass: I've got three, I got a 10 year old and eight year old and a five year old all boys.

Richard James: 10, 8 and 5 all boys.

Okay. So I had 2 boys so I can relate and mine were 10 and 8 when I moved them to Arizona. So I can relate a little bit. You've got that 3rd 1 in there. I think that's why Maria decided she didn't want to go. We talked about having a baby girl. We thought, oh, let's try again for a baby girl.

o. And then we thought about [:

And then we got turned to NPS and we said, what do you think? And he goes, yeah, guys, I don't think we're a three kid kind of family. You guys

Attorney Brian Glass: Three. The third is interesting, because I'll tell you having all boys, we also, we were trying for a girl, didn't happen. I knew it wasn't going to happen, but, you know, my wife had different plans and anytime that there's one of them removed from the house, the other two are best friends. So any kind of sports practice or one of them's out or, or music or Taekwondo or whatever, the two are best friends.

utside and there's no sports [:

So it's been an interesting. Month.

MPS: Yeah, I would imagine so, that's, I would imagine that balance at this time of year, it could be a little bit difficult without the extracurriculars going on as well.

Richard James: the way, Michael, I think I fell off there for a second. It must be the wonderful world of the Internet. I don't know if you caught that. I,

was silent, but I I,

MPS: I caught that you were silent. Yes.

Richard James: yeah

yeah, I was actually, I was actually talking, but you just couldn't hear me. so. Brian, as I, as I looked at your journey here, it seems like the journey that you had with the firm that you were working for is not all that dissimilar from the journey that you have now running the law firm in the area of the practice in the law firm that you have.

You developed your own team. You developed the inside of that pretty much the same niche, your book of business. And so that had to feel fairly familiar to you. You have great legal marketing. Now I talked to your dad. I never talked to you about this. And so this little insight that I got from him that you have. yeah

ms of income coming in as an [:

dove down this rabbit hole in:

business. I was building a solo practice alongside another solo practitioner in what we were calling a partnership. but it wasn't something that was going to outlast me. We didn't have great systems. We didn't have great processes. We had a great team. but we haven't built a business in the same way that we built it at Ben Glass law.

mes my annual expenses, that [:

bnb, at the beach, I think in:

So, you know, kind of an accidental real estate. Investor. I'm not particularly skilled at it. but I don't, what I've learned on that journey guys is that,

Richard James: Transcription

Attorney Brian Glass: many of these real estate investing influencers, their advice is do this so that you can quit your job. Right. But I don't, I don't want to learn and compete with them on that.

my shifting, my thought has [:

They give you the optionality when you don't want to practice anymore to not practice anymore rather than how can you build a big enough pile of money that you can, you know, drain it at three or 4 percent a year and it won't impact you.

Richard James: It's funny, I'm going through that same journey. I'm older than you. But I've been around your age. I, I had, I lost everything. I've shared that on this show before. And so, we had to start all over again and in that journey. And so. For me, it was very much, Oh my gosh, how do I shove away as much as possible to catch up to where I was and to get me to where I need to be so that I have this pile of money at the end 25, 33 times, whatever it is.

a contingency issue. It very [:

Like, I actually like what I'm doing. I, I, I, I'm gonna own a business in some way, shape, or form. So even if I wasn't doing this or I didn't own an actual business, I'd be in a charity and that charity runs like a business and i'd be using all the skills and tools and experiences I've learned through my life to build that charity the way that I know how to build it I know this is what i'll do the rest of my life If I was a carpenter i'd probably build stuff the rest of my life, right?

ave a real good quality plan [:

And, but I'm hearing that you have that entrepreneurial spirit. Do you think that was nature or nurture?

Attorney Brian Glass: That's, yeah, so this'll be a, you can ask, I know you're talking to Ben later today and he has a different answer than this. I think, Oh, that's a good question. I think it's developed. maybe I think that it's, it's honed. So I think, you know, I have never, going back to my early job history, I never liked working in jobs where I was making the same amount of money as the person next to me.

uch as I liked to the server [:

So now you have some levers to pull to make more money than the other people. So I think that part was, was probably nature. Now, Ben is going to tell you that he's been espousing this. You know, philosophy of Ben, and then we had all these conversations around the lunch table, the dinner table every night.

I'm here to tell you that did not start until I was back from college. It's like, there's two, there's really two generations in the And I, didn't, I don't remember getting that in middle school and high school. So you can ask him about that. He will absolutely disagree when you talk to him this afternoon.

that we listened to the same [:

So I think you have to hone and develop that. But yeah, I do think that people either start off with an entrepreneurial bent or they don't. And I'll tell you, you know, one of the things that we did in our practice in the law firm a couple of years ago that did not land with our people was we tried to do entrepreneurial style, personal development style goal setting with the team. And the feedback that we got was, I don't want to be evaluated on how well do I do my job. And also, did I run a marathon? Did I do the thing that I said I was going to do? And so, you know, as entrepreneurs, we, because that personal development stuff has been so good for us, we think it will be so good for everybody else, but there are people who are not naturally Inclined to that.

So yeah, as I talk my way through this answer, I do think that it starts with nature.

it gets developed over time. [:

At the core, there's just a little seed there. But I saw I'm curious and that was a very interesting take there on. I actually haven't heard that that you actually tried this with the team and it didn't necessarily go so well for them that they weren't naturally inclined like that. That's actually very interesting.

But along your journey here, I don't like to necessarily call it a failure, but has there ever been a down point for you and what's something that you guys took from it or you took from it personally?

ed at me and just said, you, [:

Like what, what do you want me to do? So that, that's a down, a down point. I've had other, you know, things go wrong in a courtroom where you can't get something into evidence. You just feel like you've been kicked in the teeth on the way out the door. And then, you know, the only thing to do after that happens to you is to as quickly as you can.

Get back into another courtroom and try again because it might be the wrong defense lawyer, the wrong judge, or, you know, sometimes as a lawyer, like you were right. Right. You are actually legally factually right and the judge is wrong and there, you don't have any control over that, at least at the, you know, to trial court.

So that happens, but the, remedy is you just have to get back in and get back up and do it again.

the law firm owners that are [:


Attorney Brian Glass: Sure. So, you know, you're never as good or as bad as you think they are, or they say you are. And it's from your failures or your successes. It's really hard to tell whether it's luck. Timing skill, you know, or, whether you just don't have the knowledge yet to be successful at whatever the thing is I've been starting to play around on social media and making videos that I'm putting on Instagram and TikTok I'll have things that'll take off on one platform.

And people just say mean things about me in the comments on others, But it's,

Richard James: the comments that just that solves that solution for me. I have no idea what people say.

e right platform or venue or [:


MPS: Yeah, that's

Richard James: you know, I had sorry, Michael, I don't want to cut you up. I just want to tell this quick story. I had a. I had a like you Brian, I've I've entered into diversified portfolio. One of them was a trucking company that. I invested in and it's now 99 percent sure that all of that cash is gone.

It's okay. We knew the risk factor and we didn't invest more than we could lose. But I was the young man who, who I partnered with for set per se to help me run this venture. I was in my kitchen yesterday. And you know, it was pretty clear bankruptcy is going to be required. And this young man is devastated.

just devastated. And I said, [:

it's your, there is another side, but it sucks. And just. Like let it suck for a minute. Okay. And if you need to crawl in the corner and suck your thumb and cry, or go in the shower and cry, and that's what you got to do, then do it because that's healthy, right? And then after that's over, whatever you give yourself a day or an hour a week, whatever it is, now we've got to pick ourselves up And go, okay.

What are we going to do next? I go. So you got to get through step one of step one. Got to find a place to live because you're probably going to get evicted. You got to get the bankruptcy filed because you got to get these debts away. But then you're going to come back to the house and we're going to sit down over coffee and we're going to start discussing what does next look like, right?

Because the [:

Would you, do you agree with that general statement?

Attorney Brian Glass: you're, yeah, a hundred percent right. And then it only takes one failure and you decide that that thing doesn't work, whether it's social media or Google ads or SEO, you know, I think we are. What you want to do is look for patterns and I think lawyers are early on decide that one or two events is a pattern, right?

And haven't had enough sample size of whatever the thing is to know whether something actually works or not. So I think, yeah, I, a hundred percent agree that we are way too easy to give up on the goal.

think that's well said. And [:

If you don't keep it going, that that's where things go sideways. So the ability to. In Rocky's words, right? Get knocked down and get back up again, right? So life's not all sunshine and rainbows. That said like I said, there are sunshine points too, though. So for you, Brian, what, has been some of the, exciting or the breakthrough or aha moments for you in your journey?

ow, I was fortunate enough in:

where you go, this is why we [:

And this is why we try these cases and bring cases and persist through, you know, the six people who tell you one story and you just have to find the one who, It's just like Florence Nightingale, this old, older a grandmotherly nurse that I never seen anything like in my life. I'll remember till the day I die.

dy's planning their goals for:

Right? And we, it's so easy to lose track of that in, the resetting the goalposts and aiming at, you know, 10%, 20% more. In the next year,

MPS: so [:

ten in concrete right now for:

But I don't know that I took enough time to joyfully celebrate the hard work that we did for sure. And I'll, I'll tell you like Michael and Delaney, everybody who's listening to this regularly knows he just got married to Delaney six or seven weeks ago now. And six or seven weeks, honestly, God feels like a lifetime ago.

rom their wedding and I have [:

That was there in that moment. And, and so, yeah, I think we should, if we don't take, if we don't purposely take time to look back at our highlight reel, I think we miss out on some real opportunities. So thank you for saying that, Brian. That's, that's a good nudge for me to do

n Glass: maybe that becomes a:

Richard James: that's right. I love it.

got a lot on this one, just [:

Attorney Brian Glass: Yeah man. When I'm, when I'm, it's funny, cause when you look back, you, as you get into these valleys and then you look back on him, you're like, Oh, I was in the valley cause I wasn't doing any of my habits. And, so I wish I could tell you that I had, you know, five things that I do every day that were, I don't, on days when I feel best, it's because I've done things like exercise. I got, I bought a hundred gallon Rubbermaid tank that I've converted into a cold plunge in my backyard. That makes me feel really good.

Richard James: Just for the record, nothing about that sounds good. I've heard

Attorney Brian Glass: You

have to try

s amazing. So you're telling [:

Attorney Brian Glass: The, so, there's a book called dopamine nation that talks about this and it talks about the pendulum of things that feel good and things that feel bad. And when you indulge in the things that make you feel good alcohol sugar, carbs, whatever your body. Swings back the pendulum and then you feel bad later.

Cold is the same way except that you feel bad for three minutes and it releases enough dopamine and endorphins to swing the pendulum back the other way. And the dopamine and endorphin rush that you get from cold exposure for three minutes lasts several hours. So,

Yes It's not fun to get in especially in the winter.

ds of that. Yeah, I don't, I [:

MPS: I love it. And I like that you made the point of saying, you're at your best when you do those things, right? It maybe it's. Stuff slips through the cracks. We go through periods where, you know, we do some things, don't do other things, but you're at your best when you do those things. And I think that's very well said.

And I think it's probably the most relatable to most people because people wax and wane and and I think everyone could agree on that.

Richard James: How

this for

this for relatable? I'd rather be found dead on the side of the road with a cheeseburger in my hand than running shoes on. Okay. That's the, that's the truth. Okay. But you're right. I feel better when I, when I get on that silly treadmill cause it's cold outside right now. I get on that silly treadmill and I go.

run for.

And then I go do some strength training, some stretching, and all of a sudden my, I feel better. My day starts right when I do that. Yeah, Amazing. Sorry, Michael. I interrupted you.

MPS: no, [:

d our big thing is for summer:

In a villa in the countryside in Italy. So putting in the systems, the processes and the people in of the businesses to allow us to take off work remotely there, but not be deeply embedded in either of the businesses



asy jumping off point to all [:


Richard James: Yeah, I'm good.

MPS: Awesome. I love that.

Richard James: You know,:

Attorney Brian Glass: I don't


Richard James: Yeah, so just

a lot of traffic in Italy in:

So just as an FYI warning, you. probably got to do This sooner than later. Yeah,

e here and listen and as you [:

So if this isn't your first time listening or watching If you got some value make sure you hit that subscribe or follow button depending on where you're listening or watching And then comment down below show brian some love a lot of great stuff today a lot of excellent stories But brian, thank you for taking the time to to be on here today

Attorney Brian Glass: Thank

you me It's a

you guys.

MPS: Absolutely. and Brian, why don't you, go ahead

and share Where


people learn about you What you got going on people

you got going on? Excellent.

Richard James: and share

Attorney Brian Glass: Sure So I'm most active in LinkedIn The Brian Glass And if you wanna grab the notes

Richard James: it for

Attorney Brian Glass: most recent great legal marketing summit, we're giving those away for free.

ers. Those are available for [:

MPS: Very valuable. Thank you for being willing to share that. And once again, thank you for taking the time today. It was a pleasure, Brian.

Attorney Brian Glass: Absolutely. Thank you guys.

th in:


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