Aaron Thomas by Aaron Thomas Law
We sat down with Lawyerist Lab member and family law attorney, Aaron Thomas, to discuss his experiences in the lab community.
Lawyer: Can you give me a brief description of your company, the location, its size and maybe the new project you are working on?
Aaron Thomas: So, I’m the owner of Aaron Thomas Law. We provide family law services in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding metropolitan area. Our areas of activity include divorce, child custody and child support, as well as enforcing or amending orders falling under these and prenups and postnups.
And I have a new project called Georgia Prenups.
Family law firm renamed from Divorce to Prenups
Lawyer: Tell us more about this new project. How did it start How did it get to where it is now?
Aaron Thomas: I’ve wanted to develop a niche marriage agreement for a number of years. I’ve tried a couple of different projects, but they all fizzled out. I joined Lab in January 2020 and was thinking about revising this idea in February and March.
It started as an idea that I initially talked about [Lab Head Coach] Stephanie and in the spring we started the implementation in earnest. I wanted to find out how to start without breaking the bank and in a way that would produce good results.
With Stephanie, I focused on bringing out the least viable product, getting it to market quickly, and spending money in the right places. We turned it around pretty quickly!
We announced the new project in mid-August via my newsletter and on social media. We just signed up our fourth customer, which exceeded my expectations.
Lawyer: It was cool to see your project grow from a hunch to four clients in a month. Congratulations!
Get help with big projects at a small law firm
When you came to Lab in January, was it the challenges that led you to seek help after that particular project?
Aaron Thomas: I’ve dealt with a couple of issues. For example, I didn’t get the performance from one of my employees and that caused a lot of support and frustration. I also worked seven days a week, got up on Saturdays and Sundays, and immediately sat down at my computer. Not sustainable.
I also didn’t delegate appropriately. I didn’t have the right cast. I probably didn’t trust my co-workers and they deserve my trust.
We had a lot of work. Winning customers wasn’t the problem. It was about getting the job done in a way that I didn’t have to work around the clock.
Lawyer: Common problems with our lab members – many of them come to Lab to fix exactly what you’re talking about.
And did you read our book or listen to the podcast before joining? How did you hear about us?
Aaron Thomas: I actually attended a lawyers conference three years ago and it’s been a super inspiring couple of days. After that, I continued to listen to the podcast.
And in January the timing was right. I had given other training and worked with other consultants. I always thought of attorney during these training sessions and reached back to join in.
Lawyer: And we’re so glad you did! How would you say that our team has been helping you with strategy and execution since January?
Aaron Thomas: In different ways. Head Coach Stephanie was the first person I spent a lot of time with, particularly through my Georgia Prenups project.
First, I had to let the idea bounce off other people to find out if it was a viable idea at all. In my first conversations with Stephanie and [Community Manager] Jennifer, I could ask – am I crazy? Can this actually work? Am I missing something big?
At first, the trainers kicked me in the buttocks to get me out of there and try the idea. Then I worked with all of the lab trainers to come up with a plan. It was helpful – I just couldn’t look at it from the same perspective the coaches and community could. I was able to talk to lab members about strategy, marketing and accountability.
What about staff and delegation?
Aaron Thomas: Lab advised me to sit down with the person I was having trouble with, be direct and talk about expectations, and then ask if those expectations were met. And we found out it didn’t fit well and we broke up.
After that, I was able to find someone who is not only a great employee, but can do the job, which has given me the flexibility to step back and do more of what I want to do, including spending more weekends with my wife and Daughter. Therefore the delegation problem was also dealt with.
Lawyer: Tell me how the various elements of the lab – community, courses, coaching – have helped you.
Aaron Thomas: The courses were a good starting point for finding my gaps. For example Facebook advertising. I think most lawyers don’t know anything about Facebook ads. Being able to sit down, watch videos, take notes, and at least learn the basics in my spare time was invaluable, even as I outsourced some of these projects.
One of the biggest advantages was the coaching. To be able to speak to individuals about my particular problems and get a bespoke plan instead of a one size fits all, and get encouragement and accountability – really wonderful. I often know what to do but have implementation issues so the help has been great.
And the community – I didn’t even get to the lab expecting such a supportive community. There Are Some Inspirational People In Lab, lawyers do some really amazing things.
Everyone gave us great support. I spoke to some other lawyers outside of Lab about this project and the questions I got from them were so different from the ones I got in Lab. They asked: are you sure you want to do this? Isn’t it a risk? Don’t you worry about liability? That idea, which had become my baby, puked a lot.
And the lab community and trainers couldn’t be more different. Everyone said – of course you can. What you do is amazing. And I heard, “Maybe I should do something like what you do.”
The lab was a great place to bring it all together. When I talk to people in the lab, they say, okay, what’s the best way to get there? Can’t you reach it Nobody rejects my idea of being unrealistic or too high or risky. It’s amazingly supportive.
Lawyer: We love to hear that. That is exactly what we want from the community. Thanks for saying that.
Finally, tell me where your company is going. I know you plan on expanding Georgia Prenups, but what’s next?
Aaron Thomas: The company is doing really well. And my new project is going well. The next year in Lab is going to find out where I’m going next. Do I take on a hands-off role in the daily company and concentrate on the new project? Am I more likely to retire to a management position? Do I bring additional staff?
But I feel like I have a base under me with this new project and I’m super excited.
To find out more about our lab community, schedule a time to chat with our community coach.
Lawyerist is home to the world’s largest online community of individual and small lawyers. As part of our Lawyerist Lab program, we partner with attorneys to build more successful practices by implementing ideas from our bestselling The Small Firm Roadmap and our weekly Lawyerist Podcast.
Last updated October 7, 2020.