Episode Notes

The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited doubled-down on our Healthy Firm model. But what, exactly, is it? Join us for another stop on our podcast book tour. This week we’re diving into achieving and maintaining Healthy Profits.   

In this episode, Sara talks with Lawyerist Lab finance coach, accountant, and small business owner Bernadette L. Harris about making finances less scary, understanding healthy profits, and why owners need to prioritize paying themselves. 

She advises listeners on how to determine a business’s desired income, how to be intentional with financial data to understand the story that numbers can tell, and more.

If today's podcast resonates with you and you haven't read The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited yet, get the first chapter right now for free! Looking for help beyond the book? Check out our coaching community to see if it's right for you.

  • 7:17. Don't be scared of your finances
  • 11:37. Defining profitability
  • 19:03. Building a business that pays



Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts 


Sara Muender (00:35): 

Hi, I am Sarah Muender. 


Zack Glaser (00:36): 

And I’m Zack Glaser. And this is episode 457 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today, Sara talks with lab coach Bernadette Harris about the final leg of our book Tour Healthy Profits. 


Sara Muender (00:49): 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Posh Virtual Receptionists, Postali, & LawPay. We wouldn’t be able to do this show without their support. Stay tuned. We’ll tell you more about them later on. 


Zack Glaser (01:01): 

Sara, I think this is the first time that you and I have been on an intro together. They don’t let us just kind of go off on our own very much. 


Sara Muender (01:09): 

They don’t put two crazies in the room together very often. 


Zack Glaser (01:12): 

No, they try not to, I think. But this is good. I got to talk with you about what’s going on in lab in Lawyerist lab. So yeah. What are the hip kids in lab doing these days? 


Sara Muender (01:23): 

What are the hip kids the cool Labster doing these days? Well, we’ve got a lot going on. So when we are recording this, we’re about halfway through the year, which means that we’re in quarter three and we just had our quarter three planning retreat that we do once a quarter where we walk our Labster through doing a retrospective of the previous quarter, looking at their numbers, looking at how things went and how their projects and goals went and where they’re at in relation to their year goals. And so that happened, and I am knee deep in working on those priorities with the Labster that I coach. And it’s just really cool to see these things coming along for them, especially as we get closer to the end of the year because that’s always a fun time. 


Zack Glaser (02:15): 

So you have a set group of Labster that kind of get one-on-one with you specifically. It’s not round robin. You’re not kind of just showing up to meetings with Labster and saying, all right, who are you? What are we doing? Right, 


Sara Muender (02:30): 

Right. Yeah. So am I’m a full-time coach here and I have Labster assigned to me as my coaching clients, and it’s really cool to be able to get to know them and to help them overcome some of their questions and struggles along the way in on their journey, and to see them do some amazing things. And then I see them in our events. I see ’em in our virtual events, whether it’s a weekly workshop or a quarterly planning retreat. And then we have Lab Con coming up, which Oh yeah, I am so excited about because we have had such an influx of new Labster come into the program this year. And so for a lot of the folks that are registered, it’s going to be their first lab con, and I’m just really excited to hug some people in person and get some face-to-face time. 


Zack Glaser (03:20): 

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And Lab Con is, it’s a different conference. It’s not your regular show up and have people throw their ideas at you from the stage. I think we’ve usually referred to it as an unconference, which I think gets thrown, but this is a show up and get coached. It’s an extension of lab, really, right? 


Sara Muender (03:41): 

Yeah. I had someone this morning, one of my Labster in a coaching call ask me what to expect, and she admitted that she was, she’s an introvert, and she was feeling a little maybe anxious about what’s it going to be like and who’s going to be there and what are we going to be doing? And I just told her, look, I got you. Oh, I got you on this one. Because we actually design Lab Con to support people who are introverts because we have a lot of introvert attorneys in lab. I myself consider myself an outgoing introvert, and what’s great is that there’s little things that we do. I know last year we had these little cards on the table and one side said, focus time, and then the other side said, come talk to me. So you get plenty of opportunities to connect with other people in a really valuable and meaningful way. 



It’s not annoying gross networking events where you’re just forced to talk to people you don’t want to talk to. But also at the same time, there’s a lot of time and space to just be able to get work done and focus and do the things that you have been meaning to do or that you’re learning about at Lab Con and you’ve committed like, oh, I’m going to put together this marketing strategy today, or I’m going to put together my accountability chart, or I’m going to work on hiring this next person. So it’s just incredible and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever been to for sure. 


Zack Glaser (05:08): 

Well, and one of the people that is going to be at Lab Con this year is your guest today, Bernadette Harris. She’s one of our coaches and she does specifically a lot of the financial stuff. So let’s dive right into your conversation with her. 


Bernadette Harris (05:24): 

Hey, again, this is Bernadette l Harris. I am the finance coach here at Lawyerist, and my role with Lawyerist is helping our members understand and get comfortable with their numbers. So today we’re going to talk a little bit more about this. How do we want to say 


Sara Muender (05:43): 

We’re going to talk about money? 


Bernadette Harris (05:45): 

It’s sexy, but it’s not, right? 


Sara Muender (05:47): 

It is. I want it to be sexy for people. By the way, welcome back to the show. I’m so happy to be here with you. I’ve never had the privilege of interviewing you, the Lawyerist podcast, but I’ve heard so many of your episodes before. And I will say this, Bernadette, and I’ve never said this to you either, but I’m a coach here in the lab program, and I personally coach a lot of small firm owners who are really uncomfortable with their finances. They’re uncomfortable with looking at their finances, thinking about them, tracking them, understanding them, and creating goals in a strategy. So honestly, this is what I was going to tell you that I haven’t told you yet, is I can’t even tell you how many times you come up in conversation in my coaching calls every day because I’m like, oh, you know what? Just go talk to Bernadette. Let me get you her scheduling. Go schedule a call with Bernadette. She’s going to ease all your concerns and she’s going to make you feel a lot better at the end of the day. So I’m just so glad that you’re here. I don’t know what I would do without you. 


Bernadette Harris (06:46): 

I love being a part of Lawyerist to be able to do that because there are so many people who are really awesome at what it is that they do, and the whole finance part of running a business is the scariest part. So to be able to take away some of that fear and this trepidation that comes along with your finances and to give people the relief to know that sometimes they think they’re doing a bad job and they’re really doing a good job. So it’s always nice to be able to do those things. 


Sara Muender (07:17): 

Exactly. And I’m curious your thoughts, I have some ideas on this, but I’m curious your thoughts as the finance expert when you say that people are scared of their finances, they’re scared of the conversation about money and all that, why do you think that is? Do you have an idea as to why it’s so scary? 


Bernadette Harris (07:36): 

Yeah, I think that there are multiple reasons, and sometimes in the coaching session I can get to the root of those reasons. So sometimes it is based on the way that they were reared. So some people just have an unhealthy relationship with numbers or an unhealthy relationship with money. So it could be that they grew up and they didn’t have a lot of it, and so now they’re afraid that they’re going to be in a situation where they may go back to where they were when they were younger. Or I’ve even had conversations with people where money was not an issue or I was talking to someone recently and they were saying that her parents split up and she was young and her father was rich, and when they split up, she and her mother struggled. And so her relationship with money was around being like a jerk. If you had a lot of money, then that made you a jerk. And so I think that those are usually some of the reasons why people have a hard time with money. I don’t know if you’ve ever encountered that in any of your coaching sessions. Right? 


Sara Muender (08:48): 

Absolutely. That’s a big one. And then I think another one is just in thinking about how the brain works. So there’s a lot of factors in someone’s life. Law firm owners, really smart attorneys are human too, and they have had their trauma and they’ve had their experiences and made their own associations with finances. But from a perspective of how does the brain work also, we tend to make whatever it is we’re looking at means something about us as people, as a human. And sometimes that’s really hard and painful because my guess is they don’t want to look, and myself included, I’ve been there at times, this is something that I’ve had to really grow and coach myself on is like this, I’m going to log into the account right now, or I’m going to do some financial understanding my numbers, and I’m scared and I have this yucky feeling in my stomach, but whatever it is that I see, I’m not going to make it mean anything about me either way, whether things are worse than I expected or better than I expected. It’s just data, 


Bernadette Harris (09:49): 

Right? And we use that data just to make decision. And so I think that it is really important for people not to, like you said, make it about you because it’s not If you have a healthy profit, which we’re going to talk about, right, that’s great, but that doesn’t mean that you’re great or you’re not. And if you don’t have a profit, it doesn’t mean that you are great or you’re not. It just means some good stuff happened or maybe some bad stuff happened. So yeah, I agree. I think that sometimes we definitely have to coach them through the process of understanding that it is not about you, it’s just really about you addressing it and figuring out how to use that data. 


Sara Muender (10:35): 

Exactly. If you could take the U out of the picture and it’s just a completely neutral situation, then well, let’s look at the numbers and see what we need to do. We need to pivot that way or that way, or what levers do we need to pull? So now that we got that part out of the way, because I just feel like unless we address some of these underlying thoughts about the whole thing, we’re not going to get very far or we’re not going to get very far and then continue to get very far again and again and again. So we’re talking about healthy profits today because that’s the whole point of what we’re doing here in helping people build healthier law firms is honestly, we don’t care how much money you’re bringing in. We don’t care how much revenue you’re bringing in. If you are not profitable, then what are we doing right? 


Bernadette Harris (11:19): 

Why are we here? Why are we here? Why 


Sara Muender (11:21): 

Are we here? We want firm owners to be able to build a business that not only serves their clients, but serves their lives as well so that they can go be a cool human and enjoy their lives. So how would you define what profitable is? 


Bernadette Harris (11:37): 

Well, we can start with the accounting definition, so we can talk about jargon. So profits essentially means that you made more than you spent. That’s the short version of it. When we talk about healthy profits though, because you can make 10 and spend nine, and while that’s profitable, not really certain, that would be considered healthy. So when you’re talking about healthy profits, now you’re in a situation where you have compensated yourself because a lot of times law firm owners are not compensating themselves, or they’re not compensating themselves adequately. They’re not paying themselves. 


Sara Muender (12:18): 

You know who you are. 


Bernadette Harris (12:20): 

Yes, just keep looking straight ahead. No one knows that we’re talking about you, but they’re not giving themselves a reasonable salary. They’re not paying themselves a salary that they would make if they were working for someone else. So when you talk about healthy profits, your firm is in a position to be able to pay the owner a healthy salary, a market rate salary, and then there’s some money left over and there’s money left over so that you have a cushion, you have money to reinvest in the company. That’s what I would say is healthy profits, because having just a little over break even is probably not healthy profits. It’s profitable by definition, but not necessarily healthy. 


Sara Muender (13:03): 

Right. So you brought up arguably one of the most important points here, which is a lot of times law firm owners don’t pay themselves. They don’t pay themselves a reasonable amount. What I see a lot of is they just don’t pay themselves at all, or they just pay themselves randomly and they take draws when the business can afford it. So what’s your thought on that? What does an ideal situation look like from your expert financial perspective in terms of how firm owners on the most basic level, structure their financial strategy so that they can pay themselves in a healthy way and also be able to reinvest in the business and pay all the bills? 


Bernadette Harris (13:44): 

Right. And this is a delicate bank. It’s a dance, so you kind of have to dance with it. But I think it’s really important for firm owners to prioritize paying themselves. It has to be a priority. It has to be something that you do in your firm. Because what happens is when you are a firm owner and you are not paying yourself a reasonable salary, at some point you or someone that you love is going to resent your business 


Sara Muender (14:17): 

So sad, 


Bernadette Harris (14:18): 

You, you’re going to resent it because there’s going to be a day when you wake up and you’re like, shoot, I am working 60 hours a week and I have $12 in my checking account. 


Sara Muender (14:29): 

And the family’s like, what are we doing here? 


Bernadette Harris (14:32): 

What’s going on here? And a lot of the coaching sessions, I’m talking to firm owners, or I’m talking to business owners in coaching sessions in my firm, and I’m telling them how important it is to make sure that paying themselves is a priority because it is impacting more than just them. So let’s think about the firm owner who has children, and the kids see you working all the time, but they can’t go to summer camp because you say that you don’t have the money for them to go to summer camp. And so they’re seeing like, well, mom, dad is working all the time, but why? 


Sara Muender (15:16): 

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. 


Bernadette Harris (15:17): 

So you have to think about the impact that it’s going to have. And it could not necessarily be children, it could be a spouse. And so you are married, your spouse is maybe carrying all the bills until your firm is profitable on its feet or whatever. But at some point, your spouse is going to get tired of carrying the full load and you’re not home and you’re not contributing to home. So that is why paying yourself has to be a priority because the last thing that you want is resentment in the business, whether it’s coming from you or someone that loves you. 


Sara Muender (15:53): 

Yeah. Well, and I mean, you mentioned it, you could resent your own business. And I think that that’s what I see that happen a lot where people are like, I am just, I’m done. I’m tired. I’m just so tired. And it’s not rewarding to them because just a struggle. And we don’t want that because that’s not, that’s only going to make this situation worse. So we have, as business owners, we’ve really got to keep our mind so that we have the right attitude towards our business because that’s going to show up in everything we do, and our clients are going to feel it and our team members are going to feel it. So we, we’ve identified, I mean, this is important, right? Obviously we want to pay ourselves. Let’s take a quick break to hear from our sponsors, and then when we come back, let’s talk about more of the how. Yeah. So we got to do this. How do we do it? Yeah, 


Bernadette Harris (16:41): 

Let’s do that. 


Sara Muender (16:41): 

All right. We’ll be right back. 


Zack Glaser: 

The Lawyerist Podcast is brought to you by LawPay. Don’t be the last to discover why the legal industry is raving about LawPay Pro. Say goodbye to manually recording your working hours and chasing down late payments.  Accurately track time, reclaim billable hours, and get paid faster with all the billing and invoicing features you need in one easy-to-use tool.  Plus, plans start as low as $19/month per user.   Visit www.lawpay.com/lawyerist to learn more. 

And by Postali. At Lawyerist, we know marketing is an essential piece of a firm’s growth strategy. While marketing may be on your radar, the branding process is often glossed over. Our partners at Postali can develop your law firm brand. Postali is a full-service legal marketing agency working with attorneys nationwide. Their team will guide you through an exercise and then deliver a blueprint that powers your firm’s internal operations, visual identity, and marketing efforts. Branding is more than a logo and color palette. Taking the time to define your target audience, vision, and core values will ensure that you have a well-aligned internal team ready to help you set and achieve your growth goals. Visit postali.com/branding to get started.  

And by Posh Virtual Receptionists. As an attorney. Do you ever wish you could be in two places at once? You could take a call while you’re in court, capture a lead during a meeting or schedule an appointment with a client while you’re elbow deep in an important case. Well, that’s where Posh comes in. They’re a team of professional, US-Based, live virtual receptionists available 24/7/365. They answer and transfer your calls, so you never miss an opportunity and you can devote more time to building your law firm. And with the Posh app you’re in total control of when your receptionist steps in. You can save as much as 40% off your current service provider’s rates. Even better, Posh is extending a special offer to Lawyerist listeners, visit posh.com/lawyerist to learn more and start your free trial of Posh Live Virtual Receptionist services.? 


Sara Muender (19:03): 

Alright, Bernadette, so how do we do it? How do, on the most basic level create a system in which you said it’s a delicate dance, but how do we build a business that’s paying us that’s growing in the right direction financially? What does that look like? Let’s just start there. I have so many questions. 


Bernadette Harris (19:23): 

Yeah, I know. And this is a question that I answer a lot. So accountants and Lawyerist, we always start a question. The answer is, it depends, right? So it does depend, but just keeping it very simple and very basic, the first thing that you have to consider is the way your business is structured. So the way your business is structured will determine the how. So what I mean by that, if your business is a sole proprietorship, then you don’t get a salary per se. You just take owner’s draws. If your business is a partnership, same thing, you just take owner’s draws, but we’re talking about the how, and this is the way you’re taxed. If your business is taxed as an S corporation or a C corporation, now you have a salary and you’re an employee of that company and you will get paid via payroll the way that you pay your employees. 



So that deals with how in a technical sense. So now let’s talk about the numbers part, because this is the dance. This is the part where people kind of struggle in figuring it out. And I always tell people to work backwards, figure out what you need to be able to run your household to maintain the lifestyle that you’ve grown accustomed to. And maybe there are times in your business where you may cut back on certain things because you’re trying to grow or you’re want to hire or whatever, but figure out what that number is, and based on that number, then we kind of work backwards from there. 


Sara Muender (20:58): 

So figure out how much you want to make. 


Bernadette Harris (21:01): 

Yeah, figure it out. So let’s just say on a very basic level, and maybe you live somewhere that’s not that expensive, we’re going to use some low numbers. So let’s say on a basic level, you can live on 60,000, and maybe that is because again, you live somewhere that is inexpensive, or maybe that is your contribution to the household and your spouse is contributing to the rest. So $60,000 is your number. Now it’s a conversation of looking at your finances. And this is also that part that we’ve been running from looking at the finances. So can your business pay you $5,000 a month because that’s $60,000? Can your business pay you $5,000 a month? And if not, then we’re working up to 60,000. So now let’s say based on the money that is come in over the last six months and the money that’s gone out over the last six months, I think my business is comfortable paying me 4,000, not five. So you start at four, but the goal is always to get you to five. And so now, if you’re paying attention to your numbers, if you’re meeting with your accountant, if you’re logging into your QuickBooks and you’re looking at your numbers on a regular basis, you’ll start to pay attention to these things and say, Hey, I just brought on a new client and I think I can do X, Y, and Z from there. So that’s on a very, very basic level. 


Sara Muender (22:32): 

Well, and even just having this kind of basic level talk, what I know is happening is people are listening and they get this concept. It’s not like the crazy new concept or anything. I mean, maybe they heard something they didn’t know or realize before, but what’s happening is it’s opening up their brain to approach their financial strategy in maybe a different way. There’s lots of different ways to do it. We like to start with how much money do you want to make friend? And then, alright, well then how much money does the business need to generate then friend? And then what else are we looking at? So where do expenses come in and how do you know what’s a reasonable amount of expenses and what’s not? Another question I get all the time too is I don’t know how much I’m supposed to be spending compared to my revenue 


Bernadette Harris (23:25): 

And that, gosh, that depends also, but one of the things that you want to think about is sometimes it is not a matter of am I spending too much, but more am I spending wisely? So example, I had a coaching call with someone and they were spending a lot of money a month on advertising, and they did it for a year and their revenue didn’t increase. 


Sara Muender (23:54): 

Oh, ouch. I’m sure people have been there. 


Bernadette Harris (23:58): 

And so in that conversation it is, Hey, you’re spending four, five, $6,000 a month on advertising and the year that you did that, your income only increased by 5,000. And so that becomes a question of not necessarily a question of, am I spending too much, but am I spending this wisely? This marketing isn’t working because 


Sara Muender (24:25): 



Bernadette Harris (24:26): 

Yeah. And so sometimes the conversation is not about whether or not you’re spending too much for your revenue or you’re spending too much for your practice area or something like that. But it’s really about am I spending wisely? Sometimes we purchase softwares that we’re not using or we have systems, multiple systems that do the same thing and you’re paying for two systems and one system does what the other system does does. And so that may be an expense that you don’t even need to have. So maybe the initial conversation is around revisiting your expenses to make sure that what you’re spending money on is making sense. 


Sara Muender (25:11): 

Is it working? Yeah. Yeah. It makes me think maybe it’s actually not an expense problem. Maybe it’s a marketing strategy problem. Either way, no matter what the issue is and where it lies, I mean the issue is somewhere and we can uncover where that’s at and we can adjust from there. But I think the key word here is are you being intentional with what you’re spending on 


Bernadette Harris (25:32): 

And you’re paying attention? So because I think that a lot of times firm owners are not recognizing how all of these parts are connected. Like you said, the marketing strategy is connected to your finances. And so we can’t just dump money into marketing and not pay attention to the outcomes. But if you’re dumping money into marketing, are you tracking what this marketing is doing and are you getting a return on your investment? And that is where the two kind of marry, right? You’re looking at your marketing strategy, you’re also looking at your finances and hey, if I’m doing all these things to market my business, is my income also increasing? Or at least do you have more people in your pipeline? So maybe it’s not an immediate increase, but is your phone ringing more? Are you getting more consultations? Are you doing more discovery calls? Or whatever the case may be. There has to be some correlation between those two. 


Sara Muender (26:34): 

Yeah, I feel like we could go down a whole rabbit hole in this conversation of different things we need, this is all the stuff that comes up in coaching calls every day. It’s like, okay, is this a financial strategy problem? Actually no, this is a marketing problem. And then you look at the marketing strategy. Well, you have a bunch of leads, so is it getting the leads problem? Is it a capturing leads problem or convert, or is it 


Bernadette Harris (26:52): 

A conversion problem? Right? Right. Exactly. And so 


Sara Muender (26:56): 

Who do I need to talk to here? Give them kick in the butt. 


Bernadette Harris (26:59): 

Yeah. But it also speaks to how all of these pieces are interconnected, but the numbers are the thing that tells the story. And a lot of times the numbers is the story that nobody wants to listen to, but the numbers are telling you something. And I, that’s in everyday life, if you go get blood work, your numbers are going to tell you what’s going on with your body right away. You don’t need to have an x-ray or M R I. You could just get blood work and it’ll tell you what’s going on. And the same thing happens with your financials. If you have the data, that data is going to tell you something. It’s just a matter of being able to understand the data and to be able to course correct, make the changes that need to happen. 


Sara Muender (27:44): 

I mean, we all want all know how we want our story to end in anything that we’re pursuing in life and in building a law firm, we have an idea of what we want it to be and where we want to get to. But like you just said, if we don’t pay attention to the story along the way, we can’t write the ending, but we can write the ending when we’re actually actively participating in that story writing process. That was such a beautiful analogy. Bernadette, thank you again. I feel like we could just go so long in talk about all the things. So we’re just going to have to keep having you on. If there was one thing that is the most important piece of advice that you give people in your coaching calls in lab, what would that be? 


Bernadette Harris (28:28): 

I think, again, it goes back to not being afraid of the numbers. And so we said it in the very beginning of this episode, whatever the outcome is is not a reflection of who you are as a person. It’s just an outcome as a result of something that happened. And so if we’re not afraid of looking at the numbers and accepting what the numbers are telling us, then we can use that data for our good, whatever that is. But we have to spend time with the numbers. And so you don’t have to love math, you don’t have to become an accountant to really look at your numbers and start paying attention to it is really about understanding what is your p and l telling you? What is your balance sheet telling you? What is your statement of cashflow telling you? And these are the conversations that I have with the members in lab because whether you’re doing your books yourself or you’re outsourcing it, which I hope you’re not doing your books yourself because it’s just not a good use of your time, 


Sara Muender (29:31): 



Bernadette Harris (29:31): 

But if you are outsourcing it, you want to still look at your numbers on a regular basis to see what’s going on. I love to be able to show people the story that their numbers are telling them. Because some of the stories that your numbers will tell you is it will tell you what’s your conversion cycle. Meaning once you’ve converted a client, how long does it take for that client to realize on your p and l, how long from the lead capture to them signing the agreement to them paying their retainer to you closing their case, how long does that take? That’s important data, right? Because that data will help you to figure out how many of these cases can you do a year, how many of ’em do you want to do in a year? It also lets you know if there are cycles or seasons to your business. There’s so many stories that your numbers can tell you, but the bottom line is really spending some time with the data and accepting the story that is telling. Yeah, 


Sara Muender (30:37): 

That’s right. Well, you said that people don’t need to love math or be an accountant to get this right, but what I will tell you is that they need to work with you, at least have one call with you. So when you come into lab, I’m talking to the listeners, you guys hear, when you come into our lab coaching program, you get to work with Bernadette and it’s amazing and it’s fantastic, and I’m so grateful that you bring that value too to my Labster that I coach and all of them in lab, and I know everyone’s thinking right now, okay, she says, I just need to spend the time, but when do I find the time to dig into this stuff and get on top of it? Which could be a whole nother episode. But again, remember that it’s all about being intentional and this law firm can be whatever you want it to be. And if you need coaching with the time aspect and managing all the things, that’s what we’re here for. 


Bernadette Harris (31:32): 

And I, I’ll close with this to say reviewing your numbers and reading the story, it doesn’t take that much time. 


Sara Muender (31:39): 

Not that much time at all. 


Bernadette Harris (31:40): 

It doesn’t really take that much time. And honestly, what I found is once I’ve coached a client on understanding their financials and making them see this is the story that is telling, they look forward to looking at their numbers because now they know what they’re looking at and they know what they’re looking for and all of that. So it’s not a matter of time, especially if you outsource the bookkeeping, then it is really about going in and taking a look at the reports. You could do it monthly, 


Sara Muender (32:10): 

Isn’t it insane? Yeah. 30 


Bernadette Harris (32:12): 



Sara Muender (32:12): 

How people go from just extreme anxiety about looking at the numbers. But when they do, then it’s an extreme high at looking at the numbers. You just feel like you could do anything at this point. It you’ve, it’s really 


Bernadette Harris (32:24): 

Empowering. It is so empowering, and they’re almost in disbelief. I can’t believe I’m looking forward to looking at PNLs. 


Sara Muender (32:33): 

No, that’s sexy. Alright, my friend. Well, thanks for coming on the Lawyerist podcast and just always value you so much. You’re, you’re an awesome person. 


Bernadette Harris (32:42): 

Thank you, Sarah. I’m so glad This is our first time actually doing the podcast together, so I’m glad we got a chance to do this. Always a pleasure to help our listeners as well as our lobsters. Just have a better relationship with their numbers. 


Sara Muender (32:56): 

Alright, well it won’t be the last. We’ll see you soon. 


Bernadette Harris (32:59): 




The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you. 

Your Hosts

Sara Muender

As a Lab Coach, Sara works with lawyers to build healthier law firms through workshops and 1:1 coaching. She makes sure lawyers have the guidance and tools to implement their ideas and grow their businesses.

Featured Guests

Bernadette Harris Headshot

Bernadette Harris

Bernadette Harris started her first business in 1998 and never looked back. With a background in accounting, business strategy, speaking and fraud forensics, Bernadette has helped countless businesses grow and become even more successful. Her ultimate goal is to see fewer businesses fail. She has written three bestselling books where she focuses on business strategy, preventing fraud, employees/vendors, and more. Her specialties include tax and forensic accounting, entrepreneurship, speaking, and fraud prevention.

Share Episode

Last updated August 2nd, 2023