I met this paralegal, who works with bankruptcy lawyers, at a networking event several years ago. As her practice grew, so did the challenges of keeping up with the massive amount of paperwork ("content") involved in filing claims, following up with the client, getting the right documents to the court, and on it went, in a never-ending stream of deadlines, requests, for information, tears, and angry shouts of frustration.
The attorneys were notorious for waiting until the last minute, then swearing on stacks of Bibles that they already sent her that stuff she needed. They had so many cases going they forgot what they had, or hadn't, done.
She heard from other BizGuests that I had developed ways of managing all this content stuff in an efficient way that cut the time it took to get all of it done, while reducing the load on her small team.
Although there are many paralegals in the city, she is known for her compassionate, always-accessible ways, helping clients deal with the pain and shame of filing bankruptcy and dealing with requests for what seemed like everything from shoe size to favorite fingernail polish or sports hero.
The thing was, her family and personal life were in the sewer. She got frantic calls at all times of the day...and night.
And, in fact, she was near a breakdown herself.
Before we started...
When I start working with a new BizGuest, the process is the same: go through "THE Top 10 Questions" and answer them in as much detail as possible (without taking 6 months to do it).
A key question we focused on was about WHO she wanted to work with, and WHY.
We talked about...
- What drove her to answer calls at all hours?
- Did she feel she HAD to keep doing that?
- What could she offload to someone else?
Sometimes it takes hitting bottom, or almost hitting bottom, to answer these questions honestly and without shame.
With a Ph.D. in the School of Hard Knocks (and a hard-as-steel head), I've learned that if you don't get clear on this, you likely to fail—or at least flail wildly.
As with most businesses with less than 5 employees, she decided to work with me as a co-sultant who provided insights, assignments, kicks-in-the butt, and cheerleading.
We started with her mission-critical documents: the materials she had to collect from the attorneys' clients before anything could happen.
She already had over 10 years of experience, so she knew exactly what was needed. We created a digital onboarding checklist** using Process Street.** This had a nice neat way to keep everyone on the same page.
This saved time, frustration, and teeth-gnashing since she didn't have to ride herd on everyone, and keep who had done what in memory.
It was also a clarifying document for those going through bankruptcy because they were on overwhelm too. The digital checklist kept everyone accountable and moving forward, especially when emotions were high, hearings were near, and deadlines were looming.
It took a while to get all the pieces together and she definitely appreciated my budget-minded approach to finding low cost and free tools to help her continue growing.
When you combine detailed checklists with the right tools and templates, it is amazing how quickly things get done.
We're still working out details and looking at what is next for this less-overwhelmed BizGuest.
She is now able to keep track of details on her phone and takes fewer irate calls from both attorneys and clients.
The next step is using the Repurposing...On Purpose™ system to build out her blog and social media presence.
**Yes, this is an affiliate link.