Episode 54

Published on:

2nd May 2024

Becoming A Better Leader - The Path To Transforming Your Law Firm - Jonathan Breeden's Road to EAY Finalist | YPM Podcast

In this episode of Your Practice Mastered Podcast, we sit down with Jonathan Breeden, a friend of the pod and a 2023 EAY finalist, to discuss his journey of personal and professional growth. From overcoming staff turnover and enhancing leadership skills to profoundly impacting families through his law practice, Jonathan shares valuable insights for anyone looking to elevate their law firm. 

His story is a testament to resilience, leadership, and the power of making decisions. Tune in to get inspired by Jonathan's journey to the EAY finals and learn how to navigate challenges in both life and business.

Our channel offers expert advice on law firms, entrepreneurship, and success strategies. Hit "Like" and subscribe to stay updated with our latest content.

Let’s Chat About Growing Your Law Firm. 


Jonathan Breeden: [:

You can sit around and cry about it. And I cried a little bit. Or you can do something about it, right? You can make a decision to do something. So you get on Wizehire you start interviewing people, you train up the one of the associates that's here as best you can, you work seven days a week. You provide the service to the a hundred clients that were still here when all of those attorneys left, because I still had bills to pay.

I still had a family to feed. I still had rent. I had four offices I had to pay for. I still had this website that costs. A whole lot of money, but you had to do something. So, yeah, you spend 12 hours, you know, not sleeping. Maybe you cry. I cried. I'm not gonna lie, but I didn't the next day did something about it and just kept moving forward because you only lose if you quit.

ould be a terrible employee. [:

Richard James: You only lose if you quit.

of our four EAY finalists for:

But just know you're in for an exciting episode today as we get to explore EAY. Four different entrepreneurial attorney stories. If you're new around here, make sure you hit that subscribe or follow button depending on where you're listening or watching. And I'm just going to tell you in advance, you're going to get a lot of value.

r program? Yeah, so E. A. Y. [:

You know, we were a small company at that point. We wanted to give away a prize. I think I give away five grand. And I remember the people who won thought that everybody was going to equally split the five grand. And I was like, well, no, the winner gets it. Well, it was interesting. Even the winner thought that it was kind of equally spread out amongst all of them.

From that point forward, we changed it up a little bit. We started asking everybody what they wanted. And so the, each of the finalists, so what happens is, is everybody at the end of the year receives an application that we, customize for the year. And then they decide to apply and they apply for a couple of reasons.

One, because they just really believe me when I tell them it's good for them. If they go through their business and all the things they did in the year to examine what worked and what didn't work, two, because even if they didn't have a great year, they want to figure out what was broken or three, they had a.

of winning, and they wanted [:

It's gonna be in Virginia Beach, brand new Marriott Hotel on the ocean. And we're going to have a full mastermind day with them, with you, Michael MPS, myself, as well as likely Blaine and maybe some other guests so that we're going to be able to share what's going on in their business and spend an entire day together working in and on their businesses.

And so. That's the prize. Of course, they're all going to compete with one another on the Friday morning of the event in May. They each get a 25 minute slot and they're going to be able to present their positioning as to why they should be chosen as the EAY winner. And then the, Get or all of the members will then vote.

et one vote per firm on the, [:

It's a tremendous amount of learning. We hope there's some honor in it. There's a prize in it as well. and, it's been a very successful campaign we've had for nearly the last 10 years.

en: A Journey to EAY Finalist:


he pod as an EAY finalist for:

I will win this time. I was a:

The Power of Decision Making in Achieving Success


Jonathan Breeden: I'm doing a video presentation because, as much as I talk, I would not get half of the stuff in a limited period of time.

fferent things that we did in:

A lot of good stuff in it. And it'll be all stuff that y'all teach and it's all stuff y'all told me to do. And I get it, and I think that's the thing. If you take nothing else from this, you have to make a decision and you have to do stuff. Even if you make a mistake, you have to do stuff.

o the only way to move is to [:

Richard James: Jonathan, thank you for that. Thank you for being transparent and taking off the mask for a second. And

Unmasking the Attorney's Journey: Challenges and Triumphs


his industry for, well, since:

One of the smartest people in their family. They've been trained by their mentors, by school, by the association to always have the right answer or to always find an answer that's right. Maybe that's better and they don't want to be wrong. And the problem is, In business, most of the things that you're going to do at some point are going to be wrong.

. And so, that's hard for [:

MPS: Well, look, I know some of our members know Jonathan and his awesome personality, but not everybody knows you, Jonathan. And I know you've done this a time before, but what's maybe something that not everybody knows about you?

Jonathan Breeden: I would say that

Jonathan's Unique Path: From Politics to Law


I thought. And I think I've [:

Richard James: And that means that you had one heck of a Yeah. basketball season this year.


Jonathan Breeden: right. .

Richard James: Right, right,

Jonathan Breeden: right.

here, NC State finally, since:

Richard James: That's great. Good.

MPS: Yeah, I was really going for state, Jonathan and I was with a bunch of friends watching the game. They all said something very similar. You know what? If they lost, it's all good. They made it to the final four. And so that's good to hear. I'm glad you got a good outlook and they were close, but heck of a season for sure.

Embracing Leadership and Personal Growth


EAY finalists before back in:

d chance. You had a rock star:

through the application is a [:

ctually did not apply for the:

s tool or an assessment that [:

And as you said, you move from this place of being in hell, to this place of the level 3. Now I have to give you kudos, Jonathan, because, if you remember back to your EAY day that you had when you were a finalist before, I think that was one of the biggest challenges you brought up. And I believe the room lovingly said, Hey, you just need to figure out how to become a better leader.

and did. You ate the humble [:

Jonathan Breeden: That is a fair statement. And we were sitting there in San Diego and my wife was there, you were very clear that we had to be a better leader. And that meant I had to be a better person. I had to learn to manage people better and deal with my anxiety and my tendency to sort of blow up sometimes at small things. Mistakes are going to happen, this is fair. I do family law for those listening.

Winner's Day is in August of:

And I went back and the first thing I did was, is I found a counselor to start working with me again, and I did it through Better Health and you see Better Health, with all the commercials nationwide is extremely affordable. You do it on the phone. They place you with somebody who is licensed in your state.

you know, They're not making you talk to somebody in Michigan or any of that kind of stuff. And it's extremely affordable, I think it's like $300 a month. Insurance doesn't really cover it. But it's worth the $75 a session that you pay. And that was the first step towards becoming better, because I had to start to face the fact that I had this anxiety and the way I was, maybe reacting or treating people or supporting people was not going to lead to long term success for me.

ld get to, because I had all [:

That was one of the 1st things we did coming out of that Winner's Day in August of 22.

Richard James: that, you know, Somebody might be listening to this and go, that's what he did? To grow his law firm, he went and got help with his own head? My famous saying is, we all screw up our kids somehow and our parents screwed us up too. I promise you, I screwed up my kids. And counseling is something that helps us deal with all the stuff. And I was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where counseling was beer.

at seems to appear around my [:

Look in the mirror and go, I got to fix me. Let me go figure that out. So congratulations to you. It takes a lot of courage to do that and I know that's not the only thing that did it, but that was maybe the constraint that freed up everything else to happen. So good on you, congratulations.

Jonathan Breeden: And Well, we did some other things on the Mindset as well. I started listening to more Mindset Podcast and one of the ones that has helped me the most, I actually got from Bill Osman and when we used to do the, hot seat groups, when we would meet at the meetings and we would all get together, I forget what y'all called it. We don't do them anymore.

at is the number one Mindset [:

Richard James: Feeding your brain with good quality fuel. I love it. MPS, where do you want to go from here?

Navigating the Lows: Staff Turnover and Resilience


MPS: So Jonathan, as you look at your journey from the moment you owned a law firm, what would you say was the low point in that journey? If anything, what was that point for you?

n the bright side. In June of:

her low point was, in July of:

So you get on Wizehire, you [:

I still had a family to feed, I still had rent, I had four offices I had to pay for, I still had this website that costs a whole lot of money, but you had to do something. Yeah, you spend 12 hours not sleeping. Maybe you cry, I cried, I'm not gonna lie. But the next day did something about it and just kept moving forward. Because you only lose if you quit. And this is an infinite game we're playing and I'm definitely not going to go work for somebody else. I would be a terrible employee.

Richard James: You only lose if you quit. By the way, for everybody that's listening live, type in the chat, if you wouldn't mind. Just type the word quit in. if you've had like, staff just quit on you without notice, or you show up one day and it feels like everybody just left. All like they decided today was the day they all got together and they were gonna do it to you, and they left all at once.

that, go ahead and type it. [:

And that stuff is just hard, just really hard. Cause when everybody quits as Jonathan just said, guess what? The cases are still there, hopefully. And that means that we got to work those cases. And that means that, yeah, it's seven days a week. And so look, I feel for you, I've been there, I've got the t shirt.

gh counseling to get through [:

And so, it was when I was a bad leader. And I let out of fear and I let up intimidation and I let out of sarcasm and yelling and screaming and micromanagement, not in a good way. And now I try to lead out of humility and transparency and openness and in many cases, love, until I made that leap to becoming a better leader and be confident in me. I was waiting for that other shoe to drop. Do you feel that way a little bit too? Or are you past that now?

think wants to be here, that [:

Richard James: Correct.

Jonathan Breeden: Or any two individuals is not paralyzing and I'm now there. And we had to let somebody go last week and that's not fun. And I had to call Scott Brown, who's in this group and make sure that I absolutely had to do this and I did. And we let him go and it's okay. We've re established the cases, we interviewed two new attorneys yesterday, another attorney tomorrow.

me once he'd been here about [:

Richard James: The tail is officially wagging the dog.

Jonathan Breeden: Correct.

Richard James: All right. MPS, I know we're probably down to about the last minute and 20. I have a feeling, feeling we're going to go over to 20 mark. We're probably going to go closer to the 25 mark. I think there's a couple more questions you want to ask. Let me let you go there.

Like, Your breakthrough from:

Jonathan Breeden: Yes, I think so.

The Leap to Leadership: Hiring and Culture Building


me in here and she helped me [:

MPS: That's amazing. So what I'm curious about is look, this Partners Club agnostic, right? The actual leap of making the decision in the mental leap of making the decision to join a coaching program, walk me through what led you to that decision?

Choosing the Right Coaching Program: A Turning Point


MPS: Like, what made you take that leap? Yes, you're in Partners Club but generally speaking, when you were looking for that program, what made you take that leap?

the out of Columbus, Ohio in:

aches in January, February of:

on this very call in April of:

I thought, clearly he can speak to me because the people that he's saying are the best in his program are at that level. And so I ended up going with Richard James and that was a great decision because, I didn't know anything about client care representatives, about masterminding the client experience. I'd never heard of a CRM or offshoring employees or any of the stuff that I've done now, this led to this success.


r your EAY presentation live [:

Ahead: Growth, Goals, and EAY:


MPS: Could be business, could be personal, could be both.

ime, I'm the only finalist in:

e doing. So I'm excited just [:

MPS: Oh, that's great. That's great. Jonathan, thank you for all that you do. Congratulations again, on being an EAY finalist, excited to see you here in a couple of weeks in Charlotte. and Thanks for investing some time and pouring back into the community and sharing your story. And what led you to where you are now. We appreciate you.

Jonathan Breeden: All right. Thanks a lot, it's been fun.

found himself crying at one [:

I'm a man enough to say that I've cried myself. I cry at commercials anymore as I go older. But anyway, he's found himself crying at one point and now he's so excited about the future, not only because his business is liable to double yet again this year, but because of the number of children he's helping in his practice, because that's his mission.

And so that juxtaposition that just happened, even though all of his staff quit just a few years ago. And so. Congratulations to you, Jonathan and for those of you that are listening, I hope that you were able to get one or two solid writer downers and I hope that you got a win out of that. Thanks for being here.

Jonathan Breeden: Thank you.

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