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How A Fictional Story Of Henry Ford Will Help You Stop Giving Business Away


Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.

“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.

The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.

Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.

There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…

1. The Sharing Economy has its own Wikipedia entry. But it has nothing to do with giving away business.

You learned how to share in kindergarten. Preschool if you were a precocious tyke. And yet, perhaps it’s dawning on you just how truly wrongheaded some of those early lessons were. Velcro shoes, for instance, obviate the need for any sort of lace configuration.

So you’re an adult with adult mortgage payments and adult car payments and adult allergy medicine payments. You probably need all the money you can get to support your allergy medicine habit. So why should you, adult allergy sufferer, give away an easy score? You shouldn’t. Sharing like that is for the birds.

We are in a brand-new era of strategic sharing that promises to unlock the highest potential of the human being: making money. The new sharing economy is predicated on matching dormant capital with smart entrepreneurs. You could be the smart entrepreneur.

But what of dormant capital…

2. There are too many lawyers out there. Grab one.

If you’re reading this, you’re an attorney. And if you’re an attorney, you’re probably aware of the recent… unpleasantness in the legal job market. Thousands of attorneys are being minted every year and literally dozens of them are finding jobs. In a jobs climate like this one, an attorney with business is unwise to simply give that business away. Someone has come to you with a legal problem. Through grace, good luck, gumption, or good old-fashioned grit, you have landed a client. Know that you don’t have to go it alone. There are thousands of lawyers out there waiting to help you. They dreamed of careers in litigation, municipal bonds, real estate, and maritime law. You don’t know the first thing about animal husbandry? Super! There’s an attorney out there who grew up on a farm, loaded up on animal law courses, and would love to help your client set up their free-range emu egg operation.

But I suppose that kind of subject-specific expertise would be difficult to marshal in the real world. Which brings me to the third and most important reason…

3. There are companies who collect experts like Imelda Marcos collected shoes. Use them!

It’s understandable that you wouldn’t just hire that farm kid from the last paragraph right off the street. He smells like a barn. And besides, what do you say to a kid like that?

“I’d love for you to help me on this one small emu egg deal and then I’d like you to vamoose, capisce?”

No, no, no. This won’t do. But luckily it doesn’t have to. Let’s circle back to the original premise. Someone is begging for you to take their money. Except, you don’t have the requisite expertise to assist them. Luckily for you, a company like B3 Legal has that requisite expertise in spades. You cultivate the client and a certified genius from B3 Legal comes in and gets his hands dirty with the complex legal work.

If you don’t believe me–and trust me, I don’t blame you after that ill-conceived Henry Ford analogy that began this post–perhaps you would trust one of those certified geniuses. I emailed John Enteman, an attorney with a degree from Harvard Law and nearly four decades of experience and who also has offered up his expertise as part of B3 Legal’s team, to ask why someone would go through a company like B3 Legal rather than, say, referring their business elsewhere. His answer was unsurprising. “B3 Legal clients remain in control of the advice and work provided for their clients without introducing any third-party, independent attorney.”

It doesn’t take an expert to understand that companies like B3 Legal allow attorneys to keep more of the business that they find. When someone comes to you for legal advice, you don’t deserve a finder’s fee. You deserve their business. Contact them at info@b3legal.com.

Giving away business puts me in mind of what Henry Ford once said about airplanes: “Wretched sky raptors will never make any goldarned sense to me.” (ed. note: Henry Ford almost certainly never said this.)

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