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Growing a Law Firm and Embracing Sales with Marco Brown

### Unveiling the Ambitions of a Family Law Titan: A Conversation with Marco Brown

In this week’s episode of the Founding Partner Podcast, we delve into the intriguing world of family law with a legal powerhouse who’s reshaping the industry one case at a time. Meet Marco Brown, the man behind Utah’s premier family law firm, Brown Family Law. With a reputation that precedes him on LinkedIn and beyond, Marco has transformed his firm from a fledgling operation into a state-spanning juggernaut, poised to conquer new territories.

### From Humble Beginnings to Legal Luminary

Marco’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and hard work. Starting his firm in 2010 with nothing but ambition, he has since grown it into the most sought-after divorce law service in Utah. With a team that’s about to hit the 17-attorney mark and a total staff of 28, Brown Family Law is not just growing—it’s thriving. And Marco isn’t stopping there; plans for expansion into Arizona and other states are already underway.

### The Art of the Suit and the Craft of Law

Marco’s passion for his profession is matched only by his love for a well-tailored suit. A stint in Italy not only taught him the importance of a good suit but also the significance of standing out. In a profession where the suit is the uniform, Marco has embraced the sartorial elegance of Italian tailoring, reflecting his belief in the power of personal presentation.

### The Struggles of Starting Out

Building a firm from the ground up is no easy feat, and Marco candidly shares the challenges he faced in the early days. From working a side job for $8.50 an hour to lying to his wife about their financial stability, he’s been through the wringer. But a pivotal moment came when clients finally paid up, injecting $17,000 into the firm and giving Marco the push he needed to persevere.

### The Growth Mindset

Marco’s firm didn’t just grow—it exploded in size, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seizing the opportunity when others retracted, he doubled down on expansion and reaped the benefits. His first hires were crucial, setting the stage for the firm’s future success.

### Investing in Sales Training

One of the most significant turning points for Marco was the realization that lawyers are, in essence, salespeople. Investing $10,000 in a sales training program with his intake person proved to be a game-changer, resulting in a sales process that has paid off in spades. Now, every client-facing member of his team undergoes daily sales training.

### The 300 List: Envisioning Success

Marco is a firm believer in setting goals—300 of them, to be exact. Inspired by Steve Harvey’s advice, he crafted a list of 300 things he wanted from life, which has guided him to achieve some of his most ambitious dreams, including purchasing a villa in Italy.

### The Future Is Bright and Bold

With a vision to reach $75 million in revenue and expand into 12 states within the next decade, Marco is not just dreaming big—he’s planning big. His expansion strategy is centered around finding the right people to lead the charge in new markets, starting with Arizona as the proving ground.

### The Takeaway

Marco Brown’s story is a masterclass in ambition, strategy, and personal growth. His unapologetic approach to making money, investing in himself, and expanding his firm serves as an inspiration for any attorney looking to break the mold and achieve greatness.

If you’re inspired by Marco’s journey and want to learn more about the man who’s revolutionizing family law, tune in to this episode of the Founding Partner Podcast. Listen to Marco Brown’s insights, experiences, and plans for the future—it’s an episode you won’t want to miss!

[00:00:00] Marco Brown: you’re never really going to find your thing on the first try, right?

[00:00:03] Marco Brown: You’re almost always going to strike out. So it’s really important to learn like who you don’t want to be. So look at the attorneys in your office and then think. Oh, that guy’s a jerk. I don’t want to do this. Or, you know, that lady, not so nice. Like, I don’t want to do these things. I want to treat people better than that.

[00:00:18] Marco Brown: And then, you know, what type of law you don’t want to do, because usually you’re doing a whole bunch of different types and just take away those things that you really don’t like, and then you can move on in your second and third job and hopefully find like your thing, like that one thing that you’re going to be really excellent at.

[00:00:36] Marco Brown: So for me, that, that was the. Big takeaway from that job was I didn’t want to work for a big firm because I’m terrible at it. Like I don’t play well with others in that sense. And it was just boring as sin.

[00:00:51] ​[00:01:00]

[00:01:20] Jonathan Hawkins: Welcome to Founding Partner Podcast. I’m your host, Jonathan Hawkins. We’ve got a great guest this week. We’ve got Marco Brown. He’s a family lawyer out of Utah. If you’re on LinkedIn there’s no way you don’t know who Marco is. We’re going to talk about a lot about some of the stuff he posts there and a lot of other things.

[00:01:38] Jonathan Hawkins: So Marco, why don’t you introduce yourself, tell us about your firm, sort of the makeup of it, where it is. Yeah.

[00:01:46] Marco Brown: Sure. So my name is Marco Brown. I own Brown family law in Salt Lake City. We service we serve the entire state of Utah, but we’re in Salt Lake. So I started and we’ll [00:02:00] get into the history of it. So I won’t do too much, but starting 2010 with zero. And now we serve more people their divorce cases than anybody else in the state of Utah by a pretty wide margin at this point.

[00:02:12] Marco Brown: What do we have 17 attorneys right around in there or very soon to be 17. I think there are a couple that are, they’re getting barred here pretty quickly. So, right around that, I think 28 total for employees for the entire firm and we’re expanding past Utah. So we’ll expand into Arizona this year, hopefully in Q3 and then into other States relatively quickly after that.

[00:02:40] Jonathan Hawkins: I want to talk all about that stuff. Very interested in that. So when did you start the firm? 2010.

[00:02:45] Marco Brown: It was 2010.

[00:02:46] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay. So in 14 years, a lot of growth that’s impressive. What you’ve done before we get into all of that. I want to talk suits. You know, So, you know, historically, traditionally [00:03:00] lawyers suits, you know, that’s what we do.

[00:03:01] Jonathan Hawkins: But in recent years, not so much but you are embracing the suits and you post about it a lot and you know, I’ve got suits, but you know, your suits. So what got you into it?

[00:03:14] Marco Brown: So let’s just be clear. I know relatively little about the sartorial world, right? And but I do like suits. So I, when I was younger, I lived in Italy for a couple of years. So from 19 to 21, I’m Mormon and we serve religious missions. So I went over there for two years. And you know, that, that’s, you know, one of the suit capitals of the world.

[00:03:34] Marco Brown: So suits really start in England and then they make their way through, down through France and down into Italy. So those are the three main schools of suits, right? And I tend to think this is important to know as attorneys because suits are for better or worse, our uniforms. Now you don’t have to, if you’re an attorney that lives in Silicon Valley, you’re never probably going to wear a suit.

[00:03:54] Marco Brown: But you know, for those of us who are litigators for those of us who go into court, like suits are still our [00:04:00] uniform. So I think it’s important to kind of know these things. When I was there in 1920, I was wearing American suits and there were a whole bunch of Italians around in suits that look 10 times better than mine.

[00:04:11] Marco Brown: And I was always kind of intrigued by that, but I didn’t have any money to buy those suits. And then during COVID, I realized that all my suits sucked and I never had to wear any anyway during that period of time. But then we get to the end of COVID and I realized that all my suits were terrible.

[00:04:25] Marco Brown: And I thought, okay, why don’t I Actually get into this now. It’s something I’ve been interested in and I have the money to kind of play around with it. And I knew kind of where I wanted to go in Italy to get these suits because different Italian towns have different suit cultures. And I knew one in particular that I really adored.

[00:04:44] Marco Brown: And I thought, all right, let’s do that. So I did I got into it and I started learning about it. And then I, you know, I had the city that I wanted and I found people there and started having suits made. And it’s glorious.

[00:04:57] Jonathan Hawkins: It’s cool. Well, you know, a [00:05:00] custom suit looks so much better than. Yeah, off the rack that most young attorneys get, you know, that are, they’re too big for them and they’re just sort of hanging off their shoulders. And it definitely, you know, definitely a way better look and I guess you went Italian because you spent some time there versus, you know, do you know the difference between sort of London Italian?

[00:05:21] Jonathan Hawkins: I really don’t.

[00:05:22] Marco Brown: Yeah. So you’ll have some pretty marked differences and especially, so I went for a style in a city called Napoli, right? Naples. So Naples is a very distinctive suit look because Naples is just hotter than Hades in the summer. So in London, you have a look. Because London’s cold and rainy and now Napoli is not.

[00:05:42] Marco Brown: It’s hot and there’s not a ton of rain. So you can do different things with suits. Like in Napoli, you wear much lighter fabrics than you would in London. And London, you know, tweed and flannel and these things are very popular in Napoli, if you wore them, you would lose [00:06:00] like a pound, an hour of sweat.

[00:06:02] Marco Brown: There’s just no way you can do it. So that means the structures of the suits are very different. The looks of the fabrics are very different. The way they kind of drape off of you is different. The shoulders are very different. Because in English shoulders they’re usually very structured. There’s a lot of padding in there.

[00:06:18] Marco Brown: And in Nopton suiting, there’s almost no padding in there. Right. Which is great for a guy like me because I got big shoulders. So, you know, English suits may make me look like a freak, essentially like a huge shoulders. Like they’re way too big, but Nopton suits make my shoulders look great.

[00:06:35] Marco Brown: And yeah, so. There are these kind of marked differences between the two in those senses. And then also the Italian school is much more personalizable. The English school is really understated. You don’t really want to notice the suit so much as you do the man who’s wearing the suit. In Italy, they’re like, yeah, screw that.

[00:06:55] Marco Brown: Like you’re going to notice my suit. So you can do all sorts of cool things with your suits [00:07:00] and personalize them in kind of any way you want. And I love that. I just, I’m more of that style. So. When you get to know the different schools, then you can choose which one you really want. So French school is more kind of high fashion, and if you’re really into that very intricate very precise.

[00:07:20] Marco Brown: If you’re into that sort of thing, then, you know, go with the French. If you like kind of a normal understated sort of suit that, that looks perfectly good, but there’s not a ton about it, then you go with the English school. You want it personalizable. You want you know, lighter fabrics, so on and so forth.

[00:07:35] Marco Brown: You go for the Italian school.

[00:07:36] Jonathan Hawkins: I like it. That’s really cool. You’re right. It’s the suit. It is our uniform. She might as well look good if you’re going to do it. All right, so let’s get back. You mentioned you grew up in Alaska. I know you’ve, I know you’ve talked about this in some other podcasts. I don’t want to belabor the point, but, you know, give us a quick background.

[00:07:52] Jonathan Hawkins: I mean, my understanding, it was like rugged Alaska from there to nice Italian suits. You [00:08:00] know, it’s a big contrast. So what was it like growing up and then how did you end up in Utah?

[00:08:04] Marco Brown: Yeah. It’s a big contrast. So yeah this is a great, this is a story I tell quite a lot because obviously it’s my story, but it really resonates with like first generation. People who go to college and then go to, you know, go on to law school and these sorts of things. Because I come from a little tiny village of 85 people in the middle of nowhere, Alaska.

[00:08:25] Marco Brown: No one ever comes out of that village and does anything at all. I was fortunate to have parents that were really well educated and very ethical people. And then my grandmother was very educated. So we had a different, you know, A little bit different trajectory, but yeah, it was, my dad ran a salmon hatchery out there and my mom worked as an air traffic controller and it was just wide open spaces, like literally wide open spaces, tons of wildlife around.

[00:08:49] Marco Brown: I mean, there were bears, caribou, wolves, foxes, all of it. And. I was just outside all the time with all of that. Like you just went and explored because there weren’t a [00:09:00] ton of kids around and there were no video games, you know, there were no cell phones, it was nothing like that. So I spent a humongous amount of time outside in my own head, you know, just talking through stuff, figuring out how to get from A to B and you know what to do.

[00:09:14] Marco Brown: And as I look back on it, I always thought when I was a kid, I always thought that I was deprived because I didn’t have a lot of other kids around. I didn’t have a lot of things that the city had. But now as I look at it at 47, I just think, wow, I’m so eternally grateful for that experience. And I wish my kids could have that experience, but you know, we got a different one, but they’re always connected.

[00:09:37] Marco Brown: And I was never connected. And that, I think really helped my brain develop and made me into the person that I am and allowed me to think differently enough about things and be rugged enough and individualistic enough that I could lead a law firm.

[00:09:56] Jonathan Hawkins: So have you read that book Comfort Crisis?

[00:09:58] Marco Brown: I think I have. Yeah. I [00:10:00] think it was a few years ago, but I think I did.

[00:10:02] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah it’s a cool book and it’s, you know, the big arc of the story is this guy goes to the Alaskan outback, I mean, in the middle of nowhere to hunt caribou and he talks about, you know, the benefits and why humans need to be out there.

[00:10:14] Jonathan Hawkins: It’s really cool book. Okay. So you at some point you got out of Alaska, went to college and then eventually law school.

[00:10:22] Marco Brown: Yeah. So that’s the next arc. So I did zero to 13 in cold Bay, which is the village we’ve been talking about with 85 people. And then I went to Anchorage for high school. So Anchorage back then was probably 200, 000 people. Where’s the city? And then a college came and then it was time to leave and to become social, right?

[00:10:43] Marco Brown: Because I had never done that kind of thing. So that’s how I got down to the lower 48. That’s how I got down to Utah was I went to BYU, Brigham Young University. And my parents really wanted me to go there. I had no intention of going there. So they sent me there one summer and I just absolutely fell in love with the place.

[00:10:59] Marco Brown: [00:11:00] Utah is a beautiful state, you know, the mountains and the campus at BYU is right on the Rocky mountains. Like it’s just absolutely stunningly gorgeous. So that was how I got down here to Utah.

[00:11:12] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I love it out there. I have not, I’ve spent some time, but not enough. I mean, it’s nice. So I guess you, you do a lot of skiing.

[00:11:21] Marco Brown: No not even a little bit. No, that I, that never took with me. No, but we live right. Like literally I’m looking at the Wasatch mountains. I am three minutes from Little Cottonwood Canyon, and I can just go hike whenever I want, hiking is my thing.

[00:11:36] Jonathan Hawkins: Nice. Man, it is beautiful out there. All right. So you end up going to law school. We’ll sort of skip through that a little bit, but and then you started practicing law and I think I may have this wrong, but I think you started in insurance defense. Is that right?

[00:11:47] Marco Brown: I did start an insurance defense, yes.

[00:11:50] Jonathan Hawkins: All right. So.

[00:11:52] Marco Brown: And I’m

[00:11:52] Jonathan Hawkins: I started to that

[00:11:53] Marco Brown: literally the worst job I ever had in my entire life.

[00:11:56] Jonathan Hawkins: So what was good about it and what was bad about it? [00:12:00] Or was there anything

[00:12:01] Marco Brown: Yeah, there were some good things, there were some good things and the negative. So, good things, and I tell this to every, Law student I can talk to your first job at a law school is really, you should learn two things. You should learn how not to act as an attorney and what not to do as an attorney, like what field you should not be in because you’re never really going to find your thing on the first try, right?

[00:12:24] Marco Brown: You’re almost always going to strike out. So it’s really important to learn like who you don’t want to be. So look at the attorneys in your office and then think. Oh, that guy’s a jerk. I don’t want to do this. Or, you know, that lady, not so nice. Like, I don’t want to do these things. I want to treat people better than that.

[00:12:40] Marco Brown: And then, you know, what type of law you don’t want to do, because usually you’re doing a whole bunch of different types and just take away those things that you really don’t like, and then you can move on in your second and third job and hopefully find like your thing, like that one thing that you’re going to be really excellent at.

[00:12:57] Marco Brown: So for me, that, that was the. [00:13:00] Big takeaway from that job was I didn’t want to work for a big firm because I’m terrible at it. Like I don’t play well with others in that sense. And it was just boring as sin. And I had some attorneys around me and I couldn’t stand the way they acted. They weren’t unethical, but they just didn’t really like what they did.

[00:13:22] Marco Brown: So, that really came across in the way they talked to me, the way they talked to the paralegals, the way they talked to their clients and so forth. And you know, all of those kind of negative examples, like they were incredibly useful for me because I got out and I thought, okay, this is, you know, I don’t want to do these things and I want to do kind of the opposite of those things if I ever have my own firm.

[00:13:45] Marco Brown: And that has been incredibly valuable over, over time. So that was the good thing. The bad thing? Everything else. So insurance litigation is really, it’s not litigation. Like you [00:14:00] just sit around and stare at a computer screen. You never go to court. The other person makes all the money and you make none of the money. You have to deal with insurance companies who regularly chop off 15 percent of your bill simply because like at random, like they just like mark stuff off at random and then you have to try to justify it.

[00:14:17] Marco Brown: And then you have to make up that time. Like everything about it was just. Absolutely horrendous, I thought.

[00:14:23] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I feel you. You know, the good thing, you know, the thing you talked about, there’s a lot of wisdom there. I tell a lot of people, usually it’s they’re like, how do I find my niche and that sort of thing. It’s usually by subtraction. It’s usually you’re not gonna end up there first.

[00:14:36] Jonathan Hawkins: And that’s the other thing I see a lot of. I’m sure you have to. I went through it myself. You get into your first job and then you’re like, this sucks. And then you, the first thought is I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore. And so people are always trying to get out of the law where really maybe the answer, maybe that is the answer, but maybe the answer is, well, you’re just in the wrong area and look for the thing that that you can enjoy for a long time.

[00:14:59] Jonathan Hawkins: So [00:15:00] how did you find you do family law now? How did you sort of end up there from the insurance defense?

[00:15:07] Marco Brown: Yeah, so I leave insurance defense after 18 months. That is as long as I could take. So I leave, my wife wants to get a doctorate at the University of Utah. We went to BYU, a rival school, so it’s like Ohio State and you want to go to Michigan. Like, it still doesn’t work. Like, I hate that school, but you know, whatever.

[00:15:24] Marco Brown: My wife got a doctorate there from there. It’s all right. So we moved back here to Utah, and This is 2010, so it’s in the middle of the Great Recession. Nobody’s hiring, and I have figured out that I am unemployable anyway because I’m, you know, I just don’t work for other people. Like, I, it just doesn’t function for me.

[00:15:45] Marco Brown: So, I realized the only way I was going to make anything of myself as a lawyer was to start my own firm, so I did. And I just took everything that came in the door. I had a friend of mine who needed to get divorced. She came in, and And I needed money. [00:16:00] So I said, cool, let’s do this. So I stayed up the night before until like 2 o’clock in the morning, learning everything I could about divorce in Utah.

[00:16:07] Marco Brown: Took her money and then figured it out. I got her a really good result. And I thought, oh, I actually that. That worked out pretty well. And then other people started coming in for divorce and I I liked how I felt when I did it, helping them in a really difficult time in their life.

[00:16:25] Marco Brown: And I figured out I was good at it and I kept getting better at it and I figured I was really good at it. And then, you know, two, three years later, I won I won the best divorce attorney in Utah’s voted on by my peers in the bar association, which was, I’m still the youngest person ever to win that.

[00:16:44] Marco Brown: And I thought. Okay, this is all I’m ever going to do for the rest of my life. I guess this is my thing.

[00:16:51] Jonathan Hawkins: Nice. So I’ve heard you talk about the early days of starting your firm and how it was a huge struggle. You know, I think other people go [00:17:00] through that. So the first thing I want to talk about that and how you got through it, but before we do, so your wife was in grad school when you started this, were you at that time, the sole breadwinner

[00:17:10] Marco Brown: So she brought in a stipend of about 1, 500 a month. But other than that, yes, it was me.

[00:17:17] Jonathan Hawkins: so the pressure was on, right? I mean, you had to make it happen. Tell us about those early days.

[00:17:24] Marco Brown: So yeah, pressure was on. I actually went back to the job I had during college. And not like the good job I had during college, like the crappy job I had during college. I made 8. 50 an hour. As an attorney, so I’d work nights and weekends just to make ends meet, to be able to pay for food for my family and cover the rent and that type of thing.

[00:17:46] Marco Brown: So between the two of us, like, we were able to eke out an existence and then we had one son at that point. So we’re able to kind of make it work, but I didn’t see him very often. You know, I work probably 80, [00:18:00] 90 hours a week, somewhere around there. And that was the first. First, I’d say seven months until some, until about month six or month seven people paid.

[00:18:11] Marco Brown: So I hadn’t been paid anything in the law firm for six or seven months. And I was actually going to go get a firm job because I, at that point I’m like, I just can’t do this. I’m not cut out for this. Like people aren’t paying me, I don’t know how to do this. So I was going to go do the thing I hated the most.

[00:18:28] Marco Brown: And then thankfully, completely divine intervention is what I believe here. Everybody pays. They paid 17, 000 in like a week. And I hadn’t been doing anything different. They all just decided to pay at the same time. And that was, at that point, I’m like, Oh, okay, now I can do this. And I figured some things out, but yeah, there was.

[00:18:48] Marco Brown: Those six or seven months at the very beginning were incredibly stressful and difficult. I lie. I completely lied to my wife for six or seven months. Like just [00:19:00] telling her what she wanted to hear, that everything was okay. Right. And that, that is, I do not suggest that to people, but. That is the path I chose to inoculate my wife from from what was actually going on.

[00:19:11] Marco Brown: But it was horrendous, man. I look back on those times and I gained weight during that period of time. I didn’t sleep well during that period of time. I mean, I’m glad I went through it, but I really don’t want my colleagues to go through things like that because there are only a certain amount of people in the world that can take that kind of stress and come out on the other end unscathed.

[00:19:32] Marco Brown: And thankfully I’m one of those people, but man, there aren’t that, that many others.

[00:19:37] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, that’s tough. That is tough. I was talking to attorney the other day who early on, he took out a ton of credit card debt and didn’t tell his wife till later. Got out of it, but yeah.

[00:19:48] Marco Brown: man, we lie to our spouses so much. It’s not good. It’s not good.

[00:19:52] Jonathan Hawkins: but so you said that at the beginning they didn’t pay. So I guess you weren’t taking retainers or was it, you weren’t sending invoices or they just weren’t [00:20:00] paying?

[00:20:01] Marco Brown: Yeah, it was kind of a combination. I didn’t know, I didn’t know anything about business at all. I never had a job where I was entrepreneurial. I was not entrepreneur. Like that’s just wasn’t my skill set whatsoever. So I didn’t think like that. I didn’t know. I think I had one retainer in six months that I drew on, but the rest of it was just, you know, pay me this.

[00:20:22] Marco Brown: And then they just didn’t pay. And I did the work anyway, because I was scared out of my mind that if I didn’t do the work that they would pay me or they’d send me to the bar or something, you know, whatever. Whatever you can concoct in your mind to scare yourself that’s what I did. So I just didn’t get paid and I would kind of bug them, but they would just put me off.

[00:20:38] Marco Brown: And then, like I said, within a week, like 16, 17, 000 bucks, it was absolutely insane.

[00:20:45] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, that is a skill getting paid that they don’t teach you. And it’s some, it’s awkward saying, Hey, you owe me some money. You got to pay. It’s an awkward conversation to have, but you get used to it, I guess, eventually.

[00:20:56] Marco Brown: You absolutely do. Unless

[00:20:58] Jonathan Hawkins: start [00:21:00] out, go

[00:21:00] Marco Brown: Oh, unless you unless you never want to eat, you get used to asking people for money.

[00:21:06] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. Okay. So you start out, you’re making no money. You’re doing a lot of different things. You start making a little money. figure out within a couple of years, sort of divorce, family laws, where are you going to go? What, when did you start to actually say, this is it we’re growing, I’m hiring somebody.

[00:21:24] Jonathan Hawkins: And then what was your first hire? I’m curious about that.

[00:21:26] Marco Brown: Oh, yeah. So I will say this that the most important thing I did during this period of time Because this represents the first five years were really difficult But the best thing I did during that period of time was to figure out how to get paid actually. So I realized in month six or seven, I’m like and when everybody paid, I thought, Oh, okay, now I really do need to kind of figure this out a little bit.

[00:21:47] Marco Brown: And there were some other situations that came up that really, you know, gave me the impetus to create a system to get paid. And it wasn’t until then, it wasn’t until I made a commitment to get paid a hundred percent for the work I [00:22:00] did, and then figured out a system to make that happen, that we could actually grow.

[00:22:04] Marco Brown: So that happens in about 2015, then I start hiring people around 2016. I mean, I’d hired a couple people before then. The first hire was, you paralegal slash office manager slash person to answer the phones and do all that, you know, gopher stuff, that sort of thing. And then a contract attorney after that.

[00:22:29] Marco Brown: But 16 was really when I had the money and I was able to start hiring people on so I could step away from the 112 active case files that I had that kept it, kept me from sleeping quite a bit.

[00:22:46] Jonathan Hawkins: Wow. That’s a lot of cases. Oh my gosh.

[00:22:49] Marco Brown: is family law, right? Like in PI, you can have 300 cases and you’re okay, but in family law, you gotta 112. That is not a good place to be, man. Not a good

[00:22:59] Jonathan Hawkins: Those [00:23:00] are high maintenance clients, aren’t they? Yeah.

[00:23:02] Marco Brown: And I was not at the, I was not at the top end of the economic spectrum at this point. Let’s put it that way. So once you get higher up in the economic spectrum in family laws that essentially people pay more, then they actually back off and they’re not as needy on average.

[00:23:19] Marco Brown: But I was in like, The bottom of the spectrum is that there were needy, and there were 112 of them. And that was again, not a good place to be.

[00:23:27] Jonathan Hawkins: So, you know, a lot of lawyers, they get really scared for that first attorney hire because they see the big salary and they think of it as, you know, Oh my God, I’m taking on this huge commitment and it just, sometimes they’re just frozen in fear and they can’t do it. What allowed you or gave you the confidence to do it?

[00:23:47] Marco Brown: I was just, it was straight fear. It was just that I was up to my eyeballs in work. And if I didn’t hire somebody, I was going to commit malpractice and I’m not entirely sure I didn’t commit malpractice anyway, [00:24:00] during that period of time, but you know, I wanted to minimize the malpractice. So I hired somebody on, but it was sheer fear.

[00:24:06] Marco Brown: It was, there was nothing else.

[00:24:09] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, the other funny thing is lawyers are scared for that first hire and then they finally do it and then they see the benefits of the leverage and then they’re like, holy crap, why did I do this earlier?

[00:24:21] Marco Brown: As attorneys, we’re able to leverage two things. Essentially, we’re able to leverage technology and people and you know, I’m 47, I’m not inventing an app. So I got people. And that, like you said, that first hire is really like, Oh, Hey, that worked out. That was great. Like, why didn’t I do this three years ago?

[00:24:38] Marco Brown: Right. Every time I’ve ever talked to an attorney who, who hires somebody at first time, that second time, they’re like, why didn’t I do this three, four years ago? Right. So yeah, for everybody out there that’s really kind of reticent about it. A hundred percent, like almost a hundred percent of the time, that’s the reaction that attorneys have.

[00:24:57] ​[00:25:00]

[00:25:10] Jonathan Hawkins: so we’ve talked about your first hire and you have 17 or so attorneys now, 28 employees. So you’ve done a lot of growth. And, you know, take us through sort of, Maybe the evolution of that growth. I’m sure it sort of was slow and then boom. And then the other thing that personally I know from personal experience, but then talking to others, I’m of the opinion you have to decide to grow.

[00:25:32] Jonathan Hawkins: It’s not going to be an accident. It’s a decision you have to make and you got to have a mindset. So take us through the moment you decided we’re going to do it. And then how you did it.

[00:25:42] Marco Brown: Okay. So The moment really comes in the moment to decide on growth really comes in 2015. I call this the great shower incident of 2015. So I am again, zero to five years in the firm. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m doing really [00:26:00] well. In the lawyering part of the business part, it’s terrible. I’ve let myself get fat at this point.

[00:26:07] Marco Brown: My, my emotional life is not great. My spiritual life’s not great. Like thankfully my wife is still with me, even though I’m kind of a mess here, but I’m doing really good work for my clients. So I’m trying, but I love showers. And the problem with showers is this. During this period of time as I get in and then I’d start to think about cases and I’d get super stressed, right?

[00:26:27] Marco Brown: So I’m taking a shower and I’m cool for the first five minutes and then I start thinking about cases again And it happens and what happens is my heart starts to beat really fast and palpitate and then I start getting constriction in my chest, and I start getting what I know will be a stress headache, like a really bad stress headache.

[00:26:48] Marco Brown: It starts in the crown of my head and then comes, and it will envelop my face by three o’clock in the afternoon, because this has happened to me a lot of times. And I just think, ah man, it’s happening again. [00:27:00] And this one was different though, because I was, at this point, for whatever reason, I was shown my future, And I was about 60 to 65 years old and I was, it was at my own funeral and I was dead in a casket and I was being mourned by children I didn’t even have at that point.

[00:27:19] Marco Brown: They were there literally mourning my dead body. And this probably goes on for 10 seconds, you know, this seeing of my future. And then I’m out of it. And I remember sitting there. Thinking, Oh, that, that’s not good because this was not like this may happen. It’s like, you keep doing this will happen.

[00:27:39] Marco Brown: This is your life. And I thought, okay, I’m not going to have that happen. That’s not going to be me. So I had to change everything. And I knew that I had to grow because if I kept doing 112 case files like this, I would, you know, I was going to die. And that was the moment of okay, growth. And then I had to figure out kind of how to do that.

[00:27:57] Marco Brown: And I’m not the brightest guy in the earth. So that took [00:28:00] years to figure that out. So I think I had three, we had three attorneys when COVID hit. So that’s 2020. This is five years later. There’ve been three attorneys added. And then COVID hits and it just blows up, dude. Because we do not, Retreat into that good night.

[00:28:21] Marco Brown: We, I decided that like, we’re going to take advantage of this because everybody else is retreating and we’re just going to expand into it. So we start expanding heavily. We start spending more money. And then, you know, people didn’t like each other during COVID. So, There was an increase in divorces and we had been evidently well placed in the market.

[00:28:42] Marco Brown: So we just start getting large increases in clients. And then I just start adding attorneys, right? And like there are the hours there and I just start hiring attorneys kind of, as fast as I can. So from the initiation to COVID until now, you know, we’ve added what? [00:29:00] 14 attorneys. So that was really the emphasis for it.

[00:29:04] Jonathan Hawkins: Wow. So you’ve at least doubled probably between two and three times since COVID. So it’s like what, three years, four years.

[00:29:12] Marco Brown: Yeah. I think we’ve increased four times for X since COVID maybe something like that.

[00:29:19] Jonathan Hawkins: Wow. Impressive. I like that. All right. So we got a lot to cover. I want, there’s something I you talk a lot about, I’ve heard you talk about, it’s your your 300 list. So I’ve started to make mine. It, like you said, for, well explain what it is. I’ll tell you, I’ve started to make mine and it is hard to get 300.

[00:29:36] Marco Brown: It’s so hard.

[00:29:37] Jonathan Hawkins: you inspired me to do that. You inspired me to do that. So tell us what it is and how you came upon that.

[00:29:42] Marco Brown: Yeah, so this is Steve Harvey. I think I actually figured this one out. I came upon this watching Grant Cardone do an interview with Steve Harvey. And Steve Harvey’s a really interesting guy if you’ve never kind of sat down and listened to him. So comedian, actor, you know that, but [00:30:00] he also does inspirational videos.

[00:30:02] Marco Brown: And one of them was, You know, write your future and make it plain. And it comes off the Habakkuk two, two and in the old Testament. And so that’s what he did. He just started writing stuff down and he came up with this 300 list. And the idea of the 300 list is usually it’s really easy to have like 10 goals or 20 goals, but it’s incredibly difficult to sit down and think about 300 things you actually want in your life, right?

[00:30:26] Marco Brown: So once you get past like 40 or 50. kind of bigger things. Then you’re left with 250 other things you have to kind of figure out. And then you’re diving deep into your own brain, into your own psyche, into your own spirit to figure out what’s truly important to you, right? Like, what are the huge things and the primary things that you want in your own life?

[00:30:50] Marco Brown: And it’s it’s an exercise unlike any other exercise I’ve ever done. And I spend a lot of time in my own head. I’ve always been that kind of. Introspective thinker, [00:31:00] but like, this was my goodness. Like what’s incredibly important to me. And it all came out on the page, but it takes. hours, days and weeks to put those together.

[00:31:11] Marco Brown: But it has been one of the most rewarding exercises I’ve ever done in my entire life.

[00:31:18] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah,

[00:31:19] Marco Brown: Oh, and I’m sorry, I didn’t really, I didn’t really say what, so it’s whatever you want. I call it my 300 things I want from God, right? It’s literally whatever you want. So if you want a red Lamborghini, Or, you know, a red Puro Sangue from Ferrari. Like, write it down, right? Like, it’s anything and everything you want, you’re just, you’re getting it onto a page.

[00:31:38] Marco Brown: Okay,

[00:31:40] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah it’s hard. I mean, like you said, after about 50, maybe, I mean, 300 it’s hard. I haven’t gotten there yet. So you recently post, maybe this week at least I saw it this week that you accomplished one of the most, the biggest goals. I assume this was on your 300 list, but you know, first of all, [00:32:00] congrats on that goal, but tell us about that.

[00:32:02] Marco Brown: yeah, this is I think number five. I think I looked at it the other day. It’s number five on my 300 list. Actually, I can look at it right now. No. Yeah. It’s number five on my 300 list. So I, again, living in Italy, when I was there, I thought, Oh, it’d be great to kind of own a place over here. And you know, I go back a lot cause it’s my happy place.

[00:32:22] Marco Brown: But then a few years ago, my wife and I started talking and we really solidified that we wanted to buy a property over in Italy, in the hills south of a town called Bologna. So Bologna is about 50 miles north of Florence and it was my first city I ever lived in Italy. So it has a piece of my heart.

[00:32:38] Marco Brown: And I bought, you know, I just All right, that’d be great to do it. And then we made it a goal and it was deeply meaningful. And it saw me through a lot of rough times because we had this goal before COVID and COVID was rough on a lot of a lot of, you know, political levels and every other type of level.

[00:32:55] Marco Brown: So it, it kept us going through that and it’s really sustained me. And [00:33:00] last week I went over and finalized it. and paid cash for it. It was just an absolutely amazing experience. It’s 20 acres, about 35 miles south of the city in the foothills, in the Apennine foothills. Absolutely gorgeous. Like we, we couldn’t wish for a nicer place out there.

[00:33:22] Jonathan Hawkins: Wow. Well, congrats. So it sounds like you’re going to be spending a lot more time over there now.

[00:33:27] Marco Brown: We’ll be spending a sufficient amount of time over there. Yeah. But again, that was kind of the, one of the easier ones on the 300 list. But for that that exercise of the 300 list, I probably wouldn’t have had that goal that was crystallized in that way that sustained me and. Like forced me to become a different person than I was because the person I was when I made that goal was absolutely and completely incapable of actually realizing that goal.

[00:33:55] Marco Brown: So I need, I knew that to do this thing, I needed to become a different human than I was. [00:34:00] And that’s the power of goals, really. And that’s the power of having a 300 list. And it’s a power of, you know, having a vision and doing these things that almost no attorneys do. I talk with other attorneys, even very, you know, very respected and high level attorneys and almost none of them have a vision, a crystallized vision for their future or large goals that they’re trying to obtain.

[00:34:22] Marco Brown: They’re usually just trying to pay like electric bills and, you know, take vacations and stuff like that. How does that inspire you to become a better person? I don’t understand. Like, I think it’s impossible.

[00:34:34] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. So, okay. Let’s talk. So you bought the Villa, which huge goal you had to reach to get there. You had to set up your life to be able to get there. And the attaining of the actual villa is one thing. The other thing is you’re now going to spend a lot of time over there. So another piece of this is you got to design your firm and your life so you can, so it can run while you’re over there.

[00:34:54] Jonathan Hawkins: And, you know, so a lot of turns you’re out there saying, Oh, that sounds great. But how the, how am I going to be able to run my [00:35:00] firm from Italy? So I know you’ve thought through that and again, you’ve probably been working on that for years, but. What did you do to set up your firm and design it in a way that’s now you’re going to be able to do that from Italy.

[00:35:11] Marco Brown: Yeah, this is a really good question. So, years and years ago, I, actually the first person in 2015 that I ever kind of glommed onto to learn the business of law was a guy named Lee Rosen. And, Lee’s still around. I’ve, There are things that Lee taught me in the beginning that I still implement and I’m a I’m very grateful for and there’s a Lot of stuff that I’ve kind of passed what Lee has done in the advice so I take it from other sources, but in the beginning like this guy was absolutely indispensable and So grateful for him.

[00:35:43] Marco Brown: But one of the things he talked about is hey, look make your Law firm in such a way that you can be anywhere on earth and run the thing. And I always thought, Oh, that’s really interesting. This is 2015. So that was doable, but it was much more difficult than it was [00:36:00] now. So that I always set it up that way. Not to be able to like completely walk away from it, but just to be able to like go to Venice and for a week, right. And be able to do things from there. So that was the first. thing that that’s necessary is literally set up in such a way and have the tech in such a way that you can be the leader of the law firm from any point on earth.

[00:36:20] Marco Brown: So you have to do that. And that’s relatively simple nowadays with Slack and zoom and Google drive, you know, Dropbox, whatever it is like that’s probably 10, five or 10 programs. You can make that happen. That’s not that bad. But the much more difficult. And an interesting part of it is you need to be, you need to get the horses on the team in order to allow you to actually do this sort of stuff.

[00:36:46] Marco Brown: Otherwise, if you’re gone for two weeks, everything’s going to blow up. So then really at that point, it’s like, okay, how do I find people that align with my values and are going to work hard? And how do I [00:37:00] pay incentivize them and pay them in such a way that they will work even when I’m not physically present?

[00:37:05] Marco Brown: Right? So I need the types of people that will work when I’m not there. And I need an incentive structure that allows them to make money and for this thing to grow even if I’m not around. And what kind of training does that take? You know, what kind of talent acquisition does that take? That’s much, much more difficult, but exponentially more interesting as well.

[00:37:28] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. So let’s talk about some of the things you’ve done. I’ve heard you talk about sort of the sales training that you’ve gone through and that you, I think you have your team members go through. So talk about that. That’s a pretty cool system. You don’t hear many law firm leaders talk about that. So I want to hear more about that.

[00:37:45] Marco Brown: Nope. Lawyers don’t like to talk about this because lawyers want to think of themselves as better than salespeople. You’re not. You’re a salesperson. You just sell high level stuff. You sell ideas. You sell arguments. You sell, you know, [00:38:00] problem solving. You’re not selling a car. You’re selling these different things, but you’re a salesperson just the same.

[00:38:05] Marco Brown: So I realized this at one point. That this was a skillset that I did not have and that I would need to learn if I wanted to do the things that we’ve been talking about, which is make the money to buy a Villa and make the money, make enough money to actually go over there and so forth. So I went and I just searched for people to train me on sales.

[00:38:28] Marco Brown: And I happened upon a guy named Grant Cardone went, had bought his books, read his books. They were great. Especially one in, in particular, I’ve read 24 times and then I thought, okay, well, we should probably go to a training. So I had my, I went to the training, the sales training, and then my intake person went to the sales training with me.

[00:38:51] Marco Brown: And that’s where we really sat down and we had some scripts, right, that we ran on phones and then I kind of did while I was doing kind of followed while I was doing [00:39:00] consultations. But really like we solidified all of the scripts. All of everything we were going to talk about when we were in the sales training in Miami.

[00:39:11] Marco Brown: And it costs 10, 000 to take both of us there and do that. And it was the best 10, 000 I’ve ever spent on business in my entire life. Like bar none, the return on investment on those 10, 000 is exponentially large millions and millions of dollars. And at that point, like it was so successful for us.

[00:39:32] Marco Brown: That we decided to implement it with everybody who was client facing in the law firm. So if you were ever going to sit down with somebody and talk to them on the phone and try to get them to come in and consult with us or intake team, or if you were an attorney and you were ever going to do an initial consult with a client, then you had to do sales training every day.

[00:39:52] Marco Brown: And that’s what we do.

[00:39:54] Jonathan Hawkins: And is it. Sort of, do you have a role playing aspect of it? And then are you [00:40:00] constantly reminding, I mean, how do you keep it front, front of mind for these people and make sure they’re sharp?

[00:40:06] Marco Brown: So yeah, we practice every day. So there’s kind of a half and a half, there’s a little, there’s a video at the beginning of the training and then we role play specific situations and the role play is really the thing more than anything else. So we’ve gone through, I’ve gone through and I’ve written a book about the sales process in our, Law firm and how to deal with different objections and so forth and the script like It’s all in a book and then we just you know, we go through that we talk about Oh, hey, what do you do if somebody says I don’t have the money right now or that’s too much money You know, there are probably, you know, seven, eight different types of specific closes that you can use if somebody says, I don’t have the money right now.

[00:40:50] Marco Brown: And then we just, we role play those, but it is the role play. It’s a learned skill. Nobody’s really great at this stuff. And I was terrible [00:41:00] at it. And it’s literally a skill that you just have to sit down and go over again and again. I mean, think about it like this. When you’re a litigator, no one is great at trial.

[00:41:11] Marco Brown: Right? I don’t care who you are. I don’t care how adept you are, how smart you are, anything like that. No one’s good at trial at the beginning. You only get good at trial by one doing trials and two practicing, getting in front of a mirror, talking these things out, talking with your colleagues, you know, testing out ideas, so on and so forth.

[00:41:32] Marco Brown: That’s the only way you get better as a litigator and that’s the only way you get better as a salesperson is that type of active practice.

[00:41:40] Jonathan Hawkins: So true. It’s like riding a bike. You can read about it, you can watch it, you can think about it, but you got to get up there and fall a few times before you figure it

[00:41:47] Marco Brown: Yeah. Yeah. It’s like friendship too. Like, it’s weird. Nowadays they, they have all of these little modules to teach kids how to make friends like five year olds. Like, how do you make friends? You’re like, you can make friends by going and making friends. Like what the [00:42:00] hell? Like you just go and then you’re a jerk to some people and you think, Oh, well that didn’t work so well.

[00:42:04] Marco Brown: I probably won’t do that next time. Right. But that’s the only way you can do it. And that’s the only way you learn sales is the only way you learn how to be a really good attorney.

[00:42:13] Jonathan Hawkins: so another thing about you, you mentioned the 10, 000 you invested, I don’t know exactly when that was, but I bet you when you invested that, that was a big nut and a big check. And probably you had to, you know, Think about that. But another thing you talk about is investing in yourself. I’m a big believer in that as well.

[00:42:30] Jonathan Hawkins: And, you know, You think about you have, let’s say you had 100, 000. There’s all these places you can invest. You can put in a savings account, you can put it in the S& P, you can do this, you can do that, but I’m with you. If you invest it in you and your skill development, the return on that is going to be exponential.

[00:42:47] Jonathan Hawkins: And so when you spent the 10, 000 was that a tough check to write? And I’m sure there were other times like Lee Rosen and others that you’ve hired along the way that. For those out there that say, I don’t have the money, I can’t do it. [00:43:00] What would you say to them?

[00:43:01] Marco Brown: Yeah. You don’t have the money and you can’t do it and you’re going to figure out a way to do it anyway. Right. Right. Cause here’s the thing, if somebody comes up to you and this resonates more with guys than it does with ladies, but if you’re a guy and you know, somebody comes up to you and says, Hey, you see this Lamborghini right here, it’s worth 300, 000.

[00:43:22] Marco Brown: Like I’ll give it to you for 20, 000. You were going to, you’re going to find a way and you don’t have 20, 000, you’re going to find a way to get those 20, 000 cause you’re going to buy that car. And you can just flip it, right? But you recognize that the value of the thing that you can’t afford is so high that you are going to find whatever money in whatever way possible to get that thing.

[00:43:45] Marco Brown: And people don’t, what they don’t realize is that they are They, their future selves is that Lamborghini, like your future self, when you have the skill set and the knowledge that you actually [00:44:00] want, you are exponentially more valuable than you are right now. And that’s what people don’t get about themselves is they don’t see that, right?

[00:44:08] Marco Brown: They don’t believe themselves to be that future person that’s incredibly valuable. But once you realize that you are, then you will do. Anything and everything to become that person, to spend the money to become that person. And it’s just, you have to have the, you have to have the realization that you can be that and the confidence to go find the money to become that.

[00:44:32] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, it’s interesting. I mean, every lawyer spent three years and a bunch of money going to law school. I mean, that was an investment in yourself and you believed it was going to pay off. But for some reason, after they get a job, they stop. It’s like,

[00:44:48] Marco Brown: exactly. I spent 160, I took out 160, 000 dollars. In loans to go to the University of Nebraska, the great school, I loved it and whatnot, ridiculously expensive for that school. Like I was just [00:45:00] stupid. But yeah, I know I had absolutely no problem doing that. Because I think it’s because socially we’re kind of told that’s an acceptable spend.

[00:45:10] Marco Brown: Right? Because it’s within a structure, and this is what smart people do, and this is what high class people do, and so on and so forth, and there’s kind of a realization of return and so forth, and it’s a little more kind of visible, but then, you’re right, once you get out, like, that ends. And you forgot, you know, I, I forgot for years that I spent fricking 160, 000 on myself when I had, there was no possible way I could ever repay that money at that point.

[00:45:35] Marco Brown: But then I stopped investing in myself. And that was a humongous mistake on my part. I wish I had, I wish I continued investing in myself to the tune of about 10 percent of my income. I wish I’d done that forever. And I’d be worth tens of millions of dollars more than I am right now. If I had. But everybody has that opportunity.

[00:45:53] Marco Brown: They just have to realize like, Oh, I did it once. And it, you know, it actually worked out. So why don’t I do it again? Probably at a smaller scale, I wouldn’t [00:46:00] say take out that kind of money, but on a smaller scale to become, you know, again, somebody that that you’re not right now, but to really up those skills.

[00:46:09] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. And another thing that attorneys seem to have problem with is sort of, you personality or showing their personality. They all want to get in line and just blend in with everybody else. Copy what everybody else is doing. You don’t have that problem. Which I like, so, you know, some of the things for the people who maybe don’t follow you, I see you on LinkedIn.

[00:46:27] Jonathan Hawkins: I don’t know if you’re on other platforms too, but that’s where I am. And, you know, one of the things you talk about is making money and you’re not shy about it. I don’t know if you catch flack for that or not, but, you know, Tell us about that. And you’re proud about it. So, you know, what’s your attitude?

[00:46:41] Marco Brown: Yeah. You’re darn right. I’m proud about it. So I had a grandmother who was the smartest woman I have ever met in my entire life, effortlessly intelligent. She was a great researcher. She was a she had a doctorate. She was a professor. And such a good woman, but she did not know how to [00:47:00] make money.

[00:47:00] Marco Brown: She died and left my parents very little money. She lived on very little money. She lived in kind of a double wide at the end of her life. She had moved back to rural Colorado where she was born after her, after she finished up being a professor and a researcher. And I always thought.

[00:47:18] Marco Brown: Like she was way smarter than that. And then, you know, I went through this period where I didn’t have any money for the first five, six years of the law firm. And I realized. the stress that was putting not only on me, but on my kid, my son at that point, and then my wife. And that wasn’t okay. Like I was supposed to provide for them.

[00:47:36] Marco Brown: And I wasn’t providing for them. And I wasn’t providing for my team either. They were getting paid garbage and they were getting paid garbage because I didn’t make money. And That to me became unacceptable after a while. And I realized that I was just allowing my clients to not pay me a hundred percent.

[00:47:53] Marco Brown: They were stealing from me, right? Cause I was doing the work and my team was doing the work and my family was going through this. They [00:48:00] decided that they didn’t want to pay me a hundred percent. And I said, you know, screw that man. Like they’re going to pay a hundred percent and I’m not going to worry about.

[00:48:08] Marco Brown: So that became really important to me. And the only way you can make a lot of money is by wanting to make a lot of money and You know, if you hate money, then you’re not going to make that much of it. So I just decided, okay, I’m really going to enjoy this. I’m going to like making money. I’m going to like providing for my family, providing for my team, creating economic opportunity where I can.

[00:48:31] Marco Brown: And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. So I but I’ve also embraced it. Like I, my favorite t shirt is this black t shirt. With a red pig on it that says capitalist pig, I’m like, I’m cool. I’m cool like that. Like I’m willing to go out and do those sorts of things because I’m mean in I’m Alaskan and that was the thing, you know, it goes back to my childhood when I was able to just go like, think my own thoughts and be my own person and and I love it.

[00:48:55] Marco Brown: So yeah, I live out loud, man. And I don’t think there’s any other way to do it. [00:49:00] And to your point, really. The vast majority of attorneys don’t. The vast majority of attorneys live a life in which they go to work to not make waves and then retire and not make waves and die. And you know what? To hell with that.

[00:49:17] Marco Brown: I don’t accept that in my life. So I don’t live that way.

[00:49:21] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, I like it. So we’ve talked about the struggles you went through, the challenges early on. You know, you’re, you’ve got a big firm now we’ll talk about where it’s going later, but more money, more problems probably. So what are the challenges now in running a big operation that you have? They’re different.

[00:49:40] Jonathan Hawkins: They’re always different than they were before, but they never go away. So what are some of the big challenges now?

[00:49:45] Marco Brown: no, they never go away. You’re absolutely right. In fact, you want problems. You want more problems because the solving of problems is how you make money, but you want the right types of problems. So you want to create the types of problems that you want. So for example, I, as just one [00:50:00] example, I send out a newsletter to every.

[00:50:02] Marco Brown: Attorney in the state of Utah, that’s about 10, 000 a month. And that creates some issues. Like some people don’t want to receive the newsletter and you can just throw in the trash. I don’t know what the big deal is, but anyway, you know, so I get I catch flack for that sometimes. That’s just, you know, kind of one example of that but you’re, and you’re also creating the problem is there are a lot of referrals.

[00:50:24] Marco Brown: There are a lot of referrals that come in and off of that. And then how do we deal with the with the influx of people? We have to design our systems and so forth, but those are the types of problems that I want. Those are the types of problems that I want to curate and create so we can grow as a firm.

[00:50:39] Marco Brown: The problems that you don’t want are those kind of unintended problems that you haven’t thought through. And. Those you really do have to sit down and think about it. Like, huh how is this going to work? Like, what’s the downside here? And then you come up with your best solution and try to anticipate, but you’re never going to be able [00:51:00] to anticipate everything.

[00:51:00] Marco Brown: So you’re just going to have to like tweak the systems as you go along. Like one of the problems that, that we’re facing right now that I’ve never really had in the past is we have to talk with attorneys about getting their hours in, like there’s enough work, but. You know, people just, they come in for like half a day and then they leave.

[00:51:18] Marco Brown: When you have a smaller law firm, that was never a problem. Like we never had that problem, but here we do. So we have to think, okay, like what kind of system do we set up such that we can quality control the number of hours that are being billed in a day? And. You know how to motivate attorneys to get their work in and so on and so forth and that’s been a that’s been a major one that I never really anticipated.

[00:51:41] Marco Brown: But but yeah, you just have to adjust and figure it out.

[00:51:45] Jonathan Hawkins: And another challenge that you’re probably encountering and you’re gonna encounter more is when you have Offices in other states, lots of other states. You know, that’s a new challenge, which I’m sure you’re gonna be ready for, let’s talk about [00:52:00] your vision for your firm. You’re big in Utah.

[00:52:02] Jonathan Hawkins: You said you’re in Arizona or I don’t know how much in Arizona on the way, but you want to go other places. So what’s the vision for the firm?

[00:52:09] Marco Brown: Yeah, so the division for the firm is 75 million of revenue per year within 10 years. So, and I believe it’s, how many states does that represent? 12 states, I think. I think 12 different jurisdictions is kind of what we, kind of what we figure. So yeah, Arizona is the first one. And then we will expand from there.

[00:52:31] Marco Brown: We’ve done some market analyses. On different options, probably mostly in the South and the, in the East a bit. So stuff, you know, places like Nashville, Dallas we’ve contemplated Denver as well. Anyway, so. Sorry, I’m getting a little too into the weeds here, but you know, we’ve done these market analyses and looked at the places that we really want to be.

[00:52:58] Marco Brown: And then [00:53:00] Arizona is the test case. We’re going to go into Arizona, break some stuff, see what works and what doesn’t, because I’m not ready to do this at all. I have absolutely no idea how to do this. And there are very few firms in the United States, family law firms that ever do this. So I don’t really have a great blueprint.

[00:53:14] Marco Brown: So we’re just going to go in and. We’re going to do it and we’re going to break a whole bunch of stuff and then see what functions and what doesn’t and fix it, and then we’ll go on to the next one, but one to two will be hard, but two to three is going to be significantly easier than one to two.

[00:53:30] Marco Brown: And you know, that’s okay. The, I feel a lot of trepidation about it, but I feel a lot of trepidation about every meaningful thing in my entire life. So it’s really just time to start breaking stuff and see what functions.

[00:53:44] Jonathan Hawkins: I’m with you. If you’re not scared, you’re not going big enough. So you got it. You got to have some fear. So I don’t know, I don’t know how you plan to expand, but you know, to the extent anybody’s listening that may [00:54:00] want to reach out to help you seed some of these jurisdictions how can they get in touch with you?

[00:54:05] Marco Brown: Yeah, they can email them if they want. So it’s Marco at Brown family law. com and my. I’ve changed my mind on this a little bit in the sense that Arizona is the one that makes the most sense. So we’ll go there. My mom lives in Arizona. My dad died about six months ago, but my mom lives in Arizona.

[00:54:23] Marco Brown: So it all just makes a lot of sense and it’s very close to Utah. So it’s a good kind of test case. But I thought like, okay, we’re going to pick. Markets and then go into those markets very systematically regardless of kind of who’s there, but, you know, based on market conditions and that sort of thing, but then I’ve already thought it and I thought no, this is going to be based on who, who are the best people we can find to run the thing, and then we’ll go into those markets first, because you have to be able to trust the person that you hire.

[00:54:52] Marco Brown: Like that first hire is incredibly important. So we have to be able to trust that person. And if I can find somebody in Nashville that I [00:55:00] trust more than in, you know, West Palm beach, then, you know, we’ll go to, we’ll go to Nashville or we’ll go to Alabama or, you know, wherever it is like that, that the person is really the most important thing when you’re hiring.

[00:55:12] Marco Brown: And when it comes to talent, because we’re law firms and we got nothing to offer people, but for our talent. So that’s what we’re really searching for.

[00:55:24] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, that’s cool. So I’ve got one more question that the world really wants to know. Marco, what’s your middle name? Just kidding.

[00:55:34] Marco Brown: No I’ll tell

[00:55:35] Jonathan Hawkins: You could fill people, you could fill people in on why I asked the question,

[00:55:38] Marco Brown: oh, yeah. So I have a rule. I don’t like it when people give unsolicited advice to you and actually expect you to care about it. Like, I, I get on and on LinkedIn, I just talk about my own experience. Right. And if you choose to take that or not and use it, great.

[00:55:54] Marco Brown: If you choose to not use it, fine. That’s okay. I don’t sit there and tell people, this is how you, this [00:56:00] is your path and this is kind of what you should do. I am annoyed by people like that and people do that to me all the time. So I have a rule that I will just ask people, do you know my middle name? And no one knows my middle name because I never use it.

[00:56:15] Marco Brown: And that person says, no, I don’t know your middle name. And I say, then I don’t care what you think, because you don’t know me well enough to have any opinion about my life. If you don’t even know my middle name. So that, that’s where it comes from, but my middle name is Clayton and it’s a family name and it’s a beautiful name.

[00:56:30] Marco Brown: I really like it. My first son is, so it was my grandfather’s name, my dad’s name. My middle name and then my son’s middle name as well. So it’ll go down through the through the family, but it’s just not a name I ever use. Like I almost never use my last name either because I’m the white guy that’s named Marco.

[00:56:46] Marco Brown: Like there aren’t that many of them in the United States. So I barely ever use my last name. Brown either.

[00:56:53] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, I appreciate you coming on today. This has been real fun. I like what you’re doing. Keep doing, you know, I love reading your stuff on [00:57:00] LinkedIn. If you’re expanding to Georgia, Atlanta, let me know. I’ll help any way I can.

[00:57:06] Marco Brown: It’s a good market, man. It’s a good market.

[00:57:08] Jonathan Hawkins: it’s growing. It’s growing.

[00:57:09] Marco Brown: It’s huge.

[00:57:10] Jonathan Hawkins: So may see you here at some point. So, so again, thank you for coming on and I’ll see you on LinkedIn.

[00:57:17] Marco Brown: Awesome. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

[00:57:19] ​[00:58:00]