about this episode

“Today I will do what other's won't, so tomorrow I will do what others can't.” - Jerry Rice

episode transcribed

Todd Burnham 0:00
Hi, this is Todd Burnham. I am a licensed practicing attorney. But just because you're listening to me doesn't mean that I represent you. This is for informational purposes only if you're good with that, then let's roll.

Chris Braden 0:23
What do you do when you move to a new state during a recession with no contacts, no job, no money, little experience and a family to support you lean on what you know, you continue to learn grind every day and you keep getting better join Todd Burnham as he outlines how he started, Burnham Law in his basement grew to seven offices relying only on his experiences and inspirations from being a college athlete. His unique style of motivation and raw sense of humor are a welcome change from the business advice you're used to hearing. Whether you're a new or seasoned attorney, trying to grow your practice or an entrepreneur in any service industry, Todd's story is sure to inspire you to take action and follow your instincts. This is Deep Bench with Todd Burnham. Hey, Todd, how's it going, buddy?

Todd Burnham 1:13
Doing great, man. Let's do this.

Chris Braden 1:14
So being an attorney and Burnham Law, you're in a service industry. And to be honest with you, I think when you look at law firms are from the outside looking in, and they don't really think of it that way. But that's totally exactly what it is.

Todd Burnham 1:27
Well, yeah, I mean, think of it like, and when I'm talking about service we're talking about for Burnham Law, at least we're talking about family law, personal injury, civil litigation, familial defense, all things related to the family.

Chris Braden 1:39

Todd Burnham 1:40
That's why so it's not some random, I'm going to go start a go-kart company. No, it's, this is what we're doing. Think of it as a NFL wide receiver, NFL quarterback, their job isn't service, their job is to catch the ball and throw the ball. So what I'm talking about is the not necessarily service, as it relates immediately to what our ultimate product is,


is providing a service is to own the level that you are trying to achieve, attain and remain.

Chris Braden 2:10

Todd Burnham 2:11
So for me, if you ask anybody, especially my wife, I can tell you, five car dealers, two major flooring companies, multiple marketing companies, every one of these people has failed me and their service that they provided to me. And it pisses me off beyond all belief. When I speak with someone who doesn't get it.

Chris Braden 2:36

Todd Burnham 2:36
Like, Dude, you're in a service industry, you're in a service business.

Chris Braden 2:41

Todd Burnham 2:41
I paid you. You said X, you gave me z minus two. And so you got to own it, man, like first on it. Right? And it's like, I'll give you an example. You're passionate about this. I am. And so like, when I talk about service, you know, we're talking about just essentially basic communication skills.

Chris Braden 2:58

Todd Burnham 2:58
So I have a guy that I've used regularly for mortgages guy named Marcelo Romano.

Chris Braden 3:04
Yeah. He's really good at it too.

Todd Burnham 3:06
He's just a good person that I trust, okay. And he's with like, I don't know, what is fairway mortgage or something like that?

Chris Braden 3:14
And see that's that's the point. You're not worried about the company, you trust him?

Todd Burnham 3:19
I trust him.

Chris Braden 3:21
All over, I go with him. Yes, that makes sense.

Todd Burnham 3:24
Always. Because I know that he's going to the other day, I keep going on about Cello forever. But so in January, my wife and I want to refinance, you want to do some things to the house, and I called Cello and he goes, Yeah, that's what we're gonna do. And you know, we'll, we'll clean up this, you know, you want to take care of your credit. So got to do with XY and Z. I'm like everybody else, man. I'm just trying to like, how do I get my credit score up and competing.

Chris Braden 3:47

Todd Burnham 3:48
These banks, and I talked to this other guy who was referral, and he was, just felt a little dirty. Really? Yeah, mortgage industry.

Chris Braden 3:58
Like you're cheating on Cello?

Todd Burnham 4:00
Well, a little bit kinda. But it was just like, there wasn't much. There wasn't any passion. It was, this is what I can do for you. I see these rates and, and in an email, apparently, he wrote to me says, I'm gonna pull your credit, like around in the beginning of February. Cello knows me. And he's like, Hey, Todd, I want to play your credit. Todd, are you sure you want me to pull your credit, like, he knows me. And he knows that I'm doing X, Y, and Z to make my situation better, so I can get a better credit score. And so I'm lining everything up with Cello. And this guy emailed me and said, Hey, I just pulled your credit. You know, excuse me. I got a report from somebody else, that someone pulled my credit, like Experian, or he didn't tell me. And then I called him and I'm like, Hey, guys, what is this company? He goes, Oh, yeah, we pulled your credit. And I'm like, I can't say it on here. Because one of the things I'm trying to get better at is swearing. Yeah, so I want you doing good. I'm trying right I see that you know, I'm not I haven't thrown any F bombs on this new podcast.

Chris Braden 5:00
You haven't thrown any highlighters either.

Todd Burnham 5:02
That's true. Unlike if growth man, right, so, so I call the guy and he says, Well, yeah, you in this email in six weeks ago or so I wrote to you and said, I plan on doing that blah, blah, blah. And I said, You know what, man, I don't want to do business with someone that this is so lazy about it.

Chris Braden 5:18

Todd Burnham 5:18
And it took me like five days for this guy to finally own it and say, You know what I should have called you.

Chris Braden 5:24
That's all you wanted from the beginning.

Todd Burnham 5:26
Oh, or just someone to own it, you know what I could have done this better. So for me service is at the crux of what we are doing. And with service, you're not just providing the service, you're providing a comfortable experience that is informed and that you are alleviating stress and anxiety, not creating more. You're not doing me a favor by calling me back. I'm paying you to call me back at a reasonable time. And don't tell me I get back to you in 24 hours. I love those lawyers that do that, you're going to wait 24 hours, good. I'm going to call you back in two. That's my competition. So when I see a service, as the the crux of everything, I am the guy you want to listen to about service, because most people, most companies disappoint me in their level and attention to detail in the service that they provide.

Except Cello, so

Chris Braden 6:19
Well, and that has something to do with the trust you have for him already.

Todd Burnham 6:23
He is to me my authority because I trust him. And that's what I you know, you how do you establish yourself as someone that's an authority that someone people can trust, you lay your your life out on the line, and you're absolutely genuine and authentic and telling your story.

Chris Braden 6:39

Todd Burnham 6:39
In a podcast. That's what I'm doing here is just being honest. And so it's the level of service that you are entitled to when you come here is going to the intention is it to be is to be the best provider of service that you're going to experience. And I'll tell you what the result of that kind of attention to this sense of urgency.

Chris Braden 7:03

Todd Burnham 7:03
Now, some people in the past and Stephanie might say that it's a level of impatience, I say it's a sense of urgency. And so when you have that sense of urgency, you are then going to, you're going to experience positive things such as now because we have a history of representing people with that kind of level of urgency and a sense of urgency and a commitment to the little things, Chris, like calling someone back the same day, even if they call at 4. Now many people just say, Oh, just wait till tomorrow.

Chris Braden 7:35

Todd Burnham 7:35
Exactly. And so if you instill that it's a culture and people buy into it, then you're at a level that not many people are at, and then you get referrals. And then you're continually doing the good work, because you're already becoming an expert. And you have all the marketing and all the people that you have, you built a team. And then they're honing the stuff that really matters, which affects people's experience. And now vast majority of our clients are all repeat customers, or clients, or they're referrals from other attorneys or former clients. And so because that culture that we talked about, and the level and a commitment to service, it then allows us to give back to the community, which I think is equally important when you're if you're going to provide a service and your people are going to pay you and they're going to trust you, then you also have to reflect that in the things that you commit to also right you don't just sit back. I mean, we have done Cello, Marcelo, he, I always like support his little league team, until I started mine, my lacrosse team, but we're committed to giving back to the community we give to we commit with that partnership with Boulder. Yeah, with three and our domestic. You. Yep. Did I say Boulder?

Chris Braden 8:48
You did, but it's in Boulder.

Todd Burnham 8:50
It's in Boulder.

Chris Braden 8:51
It's literally, I could get my wife to do it for me.

Todd Burnham 8:53
Yeah, you're a pretty good player. So if you're doing that you're giving back to the community in a way that is meaningful. And it's not something that you promote. It's just an obligation. Like, if you're always going to take in this karmic kind of thing that we have going, that is who you are then so you can be the best at something. But if you're not giving back and spreading it around and taking care of the things that you're committed to like Stephanie was talking about child advocacy.


Those are the kind of things that you do and we're not also putting on our website, all these pro bono hours that we do sometimes you just want to be cool, man.


And so if you're in that's I tell people like I just want to be cool. I don't want to, we're not going to go post things about how much these are the amount of hours that we did pro bono, but

Chris Braden 9:36

Todd Burnham 9:37
When there are people that call here and they are in a situation where they don't have the money, but the children are in trouble, right or they're being abused in some form or fashion. There are many times in many situations that we help without telling people about because it's at our core, it's the service piece and giving back, they work hand in hand.

Chris Braden 9:58
Those are the most authentic gifts thing too when you don't publicize it, you're doing it because that's what you do.

Todd Burnham 10:05
That's what you do. That's who you are.

Chris Braden 10:06

Todd Burnham 10:07
And and nobody at this firm is ever going to make you feel like we're doing you a favor by calling you back. And that is the most maddening thing to me all these car dealers, that floor company, these marketing companies that. Oh, I know it's Saturday, it's still three o'clock, man.

Chris Braden 10:21

Todd Burnham 10:22
Don't tell me that like, I'm glad you caught me, shut up. Answer your phone, or you're done. I don't care, my obligation to this firm and the people that are relying on me as now like marketing and public relations and consults and all these things. I have to think about what's what's in the best interest of the firm, which means how do I support them the best, which means that I have to be really good at what I do. And if you're not going to help me get to that point, and you're not going to provide a service to me that is going to be helping my people become better and better and better. Then just step off.

Chris Braden 10:56
So there's last thing on service because we've talked about culture, we've talked about building a team and we all know Birnam law is growing, how pivotal is it for you, for people that come on board? Let's say you're hiring a new attorney, how important is that piece of service to them being able to be a part of the Burnham Law team?

Todd Burnham 11:17
Well, it talks about passion, right? I mean, it's really what we're talking about. And it's just follow through. And so like, a level of service is going to be directly related to the talent that that person has. And the attitude if you have this entitled attitude, because you think that you're you know that you're the best thing since sliced bread. And you might be but you suck in dealing with people that need your help, and you're useless. Go start your own firm or be a consultant, go do something else that doesn't require some form of compassion for the people what they're going through.

Chris Braden 11:47

Todd Burnham 11:47
It amazes me. And that's the heart that I was talking about was Stephanie. There's a level of intention here with the people at this firm that they care about their jobs, and the level of service that they're providing to the people, because they want to become great and exceptional. It's very pretty, it's pretty much simple. The more I think about this thing, it's pretty, like we're just building a team and you have to be a good teammate.

Chris Braden 12:11
We did a whole podcast on something that's basic that you should have already have.

Todd Burnham 12:14
I think so. I think so. You know, so but it's out there service. It's important. It's kind of everything that we're doing. So yes, talk about it. That's

Chris Braden 12:23
Remember that time when I didn't call you back?

Todd Burnham 12:25

Chris Braden 12:25
C'mon I've never done that!

Todd Burnham 12:25
It's a , I had to talk to my therapist about it. No. And here's the thing too, it's like, people are gonna make mistakes. People are gonna make errors and it's if you own it, right, and you say, hey, this happened. This is what I learned from it. And, hey, I'm gonna do my best to do it again. Right, but it's not gonna be it won't happen again. Because Shit happens.

Chris Braden 12:49
Yeah. Hey, thanks for not outing me.

Todd Burnham 12:51
Yeah, you're right.

Chris Braden 12:51
I appreciate that. Good stuff, Todd.

Todd Burnham 12:54
Right on. Hey, thanks for listening. Make sure you subscribe, and until next time, keep getting better.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai