A number of years ago, when I was returning home from vacation, I wrote a Letter from the Editor for you about “The E-Myth Revisited” book and what its wisdom contained for Collaborative Divorce practice. In this past year and a half, we have begun focusing more of our attention on marketing our work so that more people can know about it and enjoy the attributes that it brings. As we have done that, I return once again to “The E-Myth Revisited,” but with a different emphasis. In this book, Michael Gerber meets, talks and works with a lady who loved to make pies, but she ran into some roadblocks that nearly took her down, a phenomenon that he says most small businesses encounter and from which most never recover. Michael Gerber says we cannot be the technician, entrepreneur and the manager all at the same time, and if we continue to try, like most small businesses, we will fail completely, return to the infancy stage or stay stuck adolescent stage, which is the stage our movement may have been stuck in for a while. He says, only by going through the hard work of learning the business development part of growing their business will small businesses ever reach the mature stage where their business can reach long-term sustainability. We have already begun moving in this direction at the Collaborative Divorce Texas level. Now, to continue moving to that next level, our individual members and practice groups need to:
1. Get People for That
There are many things that we cannot do as well as others. Like the entrepreneur who is still baking the pies, cleaning the shop, keeping the books and managing the shop’s social media, many of us are still handling our own social media, websites, and wearing ourselves out personally trying to spread the word about Collaborative Practice. What can those technicians and managers roles in Michael Gerber’s book do for us that we have not and cannot do for ourselves? They can help us develop marketing plans and effectively implement them for Collaborative Divorce. This work is what they do. So let’s get them started doing it. We can bring our vision as a thread and theme throughout our business, but we will never get the traction and leverage we need to grow our Collaborative Divorce businesses and this movement unless we are willing to admit that we cannot do everything and let go of the reins to the “technicians” and “managers”—i.e. hiring outside people to do our business development--websites and social media, as we have already done for CDT and now need to do for our practice groups and for our individual practices. Collaborative Divorce Texas has begun that process of having “People for That” for you—the following paragraph tells you how to utilize what has already been set up for you as a member of CDT.
2. Utilize the Benefits of Membership in Collaborative Divorce Texas
Collaborative Divorce Texas has a new website and has developed marketing tools which you can use today on your own website, on your Facebook page and other social media. This is a bird’s nest sitting on the ground—if you will simply give your permission to CDT, CDT’s technicians will put automatic links back and forth from your Facebook to the CDT Facebook, which means that if you do nothing else but this, your footprint and the Collaborative footprint will be enlarged across the web, which we believe will translate into more Collaborative business for all of us. By your membership dues, you have already paid for this service—please take advantage of it—don’t let another day go by without doing that. Marketing and Business Development Technicians and Managers are out there to help you facilitate this so you can return to the entrepreneurial part of your business—the reason you started doing this in the first place! If you need assistance with this, please contact Tim Crouch.
3. Use the Leverage of Practice Groups for Marketing Collaborative Divorce
Originally, we organized practice groups with people who were in our geographical areas or with whom we had similar philosophies, or just because “they” (whoever “they” is) said we should be in a practice group. In several of our metropolitan areas, practice groups no longer even exist—members and leaders could no longer see the value of their existence because their purpose was not clear. The vehicle known as a practice group today should first and foremost be to market collaborative divorce. If you look online under “Collaborative Divorce” in a major metropolitan area, and you don’t find a local practice group, which should be a directory of Collaborative Divorce Professionals for potential clients to consider—we have a serious problem.
Your practice groups must have a website and promote Collaborative Divorce as the preferred method for Divorce in Texas, which will result in links going to and from your own business website and the practice groups’ website, which will enhance your business and the local practice groups’ presence on the web, which translates into more collaborative work for everyone. Again, please hire people to help you with this. I know of several practice groups who have assigned the development of their websites to individual members of their group, and that is where it is been sitting for a long time—not because that person wouldn’t do a great job, but because that person is running a professional practice—not a marketing business. Please don’t let one more day go by where cases are lost to litigation because these families do not even know we are out there helping them to restructure their families in a peaceful and civilized way.
Obviously, we cannot turn this “cruise ship” around overnight, but the results in the past five months since the website was launched and our social media campaign began are favorable. As Curtis Harrison, our immediate Past President, said at our Collaborative Divorce Texas Board meeting on August 1, “We are now seeing the arrow going in the right direction.”
Please answer this call to action, figuratively and literally. It begins when you complete your new CDT profile and when you receive the call from Tim Crouch or another representative from The Crouch Group to allow CDT to link your website to the CDT website and CDT back to your website. Many of you have already responded “Yes” to that call. Our goal is for our members to have more Collaborative Divorce cases than they can handle and for more families to be helped by the good work that we do. Please help us keep that arrow “going in the right direction.”