Over and over again, I hear from lawyers about issues with billing.
They’re procrastinating about filling out their timesheets.
They’re forgetting to bill for time, so it never gets charged to the client.
They’re putting off the reviews of their time worksheets, so they can’t get the bills printed.
They’re delaying the sending of the bills for months.
There are a range of issues that cause a great deal of time to go unbilled. The time simply evaporates.
Why aren’t lawyers billing for 100% of the value they deliver to clients?
Why are they letting their work go uncompensated even when they see themselves doing the same crazy thing month after month?
Why are they working for free?
You’re not going to like the answer.
You aren’t going to be happy with me when I tell you.
You might be annoyed with me—sorry.
You’d like to think this is a time management issue.
You’d like to think this is about a broken system.
You’d like to think that your billing system or your bookkeeper is failing you.
Unfortunately, I can’t agree with you on those theories.
Unfortunately, I’m sure this is about something entirely different.
Unfortunately, you’re likely to resist what I’m about to say and keep doing what you’re doing—not getting paid for the value you deliver.
Why aren’t you getting paid?
You’re not getting paid because of you.
It’s not because of your client.
It’s not because of your billing system.
It’s not because you’re a lazy, procrastinating, unmotivated piece of crap (you aren’t).
It’s because you don’t believe in the value of your work.
It’s because you don’t, deep down, think what you do matters.
You’re uncomfortable with being paid for what you do.
You’re uncomfortable charging money for your time and expertise.
That’s the root of the problem.
Fundamentally, we’re dealing with a low self-concept. You don’t sufficiently value what you do for others. You don’t value yourself.
Deep down, you know I’m right. Deep down, you know exactly what I mean.
I’m sorry to be the one pointing this out, but I’m not really the one. You already knew what was driving the problem. You’re way ahead of me on thinking this through.
So, more importantly, what do you do about it?
How do you get your bills out on time? How do you make sure you get paid for everything you do?
You’ve got to believe in you. That, my friend, is a psychological issue, and it’s beyond my capabilities to solve that problem. However, I can point you to help.
I can suggest, like you do to clients all day long, that you go work on your concept of yourself. I can suggest that you find the best therapist in your area and spend some time talking about your mother or whatever matters in your life.
I can promise you that seeing a therapist will help you bill your clients.
How do I know? Because, like all the other stuff I write about, I’ve done it. I’ve talked to a therapist, and it works.
Shockingly, those slightly wacky psychologists learned something in their years of education. They learned stuff that actually helps other people. They’re worth their fees, and most of them don’t hesitate to bill their clients. In fact, many of them stare you in the face and put their hand out to take your check at the end of the session. Seeing that will be a good lesson for you.
The solution to this billing problem is within you. Go find it, and your revenues will increase. It’s a problem worth solving.