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"I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion" Muhammad Ali

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
Good, man. We got like two episodes left and we're hitting the end of season one.

Chris Braden 1:18
Season One.

Todd Burnham 1:19
Yeah, right on man. What's what season two gonna be Chris?

Chris Braden 1:21
I don't know, man like Ozark season two. I don't know if you watch Ozark?

Todd Burnham 1:25
Of course.

Chris Braden 1:29
Season Three is coming out in two weeks. So I think season two was like really good. So

Todd Burnham 1:33
I know.

Chris Braden 1:34
I don't know. It's gonna be fun.

Todd Burnham 1:35
Cartels coming in? Right?

Chris Braden 1:36
Oh. Give me more than Ozark. Alright, so we've talked about grind. We've talked about mental toughness. I mean, we've had 18. prior episodes, we've talked a lot about things. And a lot of it is about grinding, pushing hard. And it's kind of been established that yeah, broad shoulders. You're a big boy.

Todd Burnham 1:56

Chris Braden 1:57
When do you know that you need to lean on somebody? So maybe it's your wife? Maybe it's one of the partners in the firm? Maybe it's Sarah, your assistant? When? When do you know that? You know what, I've kind of exhausted everything that I've been thinking about? Maybe I need, I need some fresh ideas.

Todd Burnham 2:14
This is a life that I didn't plan for sure. I don't have a roadmap for I'm actually doing this podcast to help people, you know, learn from my experiences. You know, I struggle with things a lot. I don't always sleep well. I internalize things regularly. I often feel let down and disappointed that people don't appreciate things. And these are all hidden, like my wife always say like, those are expectations. You know, you got to lower your expectations. And I'm like, that doesn't jive with me. How can I lower my expectations? When I'm giving all of myself to everyone every day? Why do I have to lower my expectations, and everyone else gets the benefit of me being at trying to do the best I could possibly can. And so the things that I that I see, in myself trying to get better, I constantly try to get better. And I have, I have my own bottlenecks in my life bottlenecks are really the things that I'm trying to improve on in my mind that I'm it's a constant. It's constant work. And we talked about my mom and and how Nancy was so important to everything about me. Yeah, and, and so I am very focused on family, there's a weight that hasn't lifted with my mom being for it, the way I look at it is stuck in upstate New York, she has health issues related to COPD, that she can't travel, she can't get out, she can't go on a plane. So, you know, I'm building something that I'm really proud of here with the help of a lot of people, I, I see Katy's family around me all the time, and I don't see mine.

Chris Braden 3:56

Todd Burnham 3:57
And that's hard. And so I I struggle a lot with that I struggle with my, just how I was raised and the importance of family that my mom instilled in me. And sometimes I feel like I've just failed that, you know, I, I tried to get there, you know, with the kids, like every three months. And I want my mom to experience these things. You know, like, I send all the things that that I'll you know, we're going to be in Entrepreneur Magazine, I think in June or July and they had a photoshoot for it. And I sent those things to her and that's exciting. And it's, it's kind of like, I need to do those things just to connect just to let her know that hey, man, this is all a result of you. But I I fail at it regularly. I feel bad about it. And then I start getting resentful about it. As you know, my background with being sober is resentment is you know, self centered fear. And I'm, I'm there regularly, and I have to get out of it regularly and you know, I'll say look at all the things that I do. And I want people that are close to me to appreciate this. And, and those things are very lonely and I, and I'll often feel that I'm not being met with what I'm giving out. I'm not receiving. And so I try to find this balance in my life of being better than that. I don't have to be appreciated, I don't have to, I can just be the guy that people come to, and I take care of things, right.

Chris Braden 5:31
You're the fixer.

Todd Burnham 5:32
I'm the fixer, and but the fixer, also, it's a lonely existence, if you're just doing it alone,

Chris Braden 5:38

Todd Burnham 5:38
And if I'm not being honest with my wife, or my family about how I feel, then it comes out in different ways. Of a sudden, I'll just be like, super frustrated now. Like, I'll shut down, I'll just go into a corner or go to my separate corner, and I'll retreat and you'll see me in three days when I get my shit together.

Chris Braden 5:55
You know, that's not always a bad thing.

Todd Burnham 5:58
Well, it's a bad thing. If, if I'm not communicating about it, so like, communication is something you know, we did a survey, and I think we had 90% Happiness rate here.

Chris Braden 6:08
Oh, wow.

Todd Burnham 6:08
Yeah, it was really, really powerful. And 80% It was a lot like it was a lot you do that three years ago? People get the hell out of here.

Chris Braden 6:16
Like the satisfactory straight line face?

Todd Burnham 6:18
Yeah, he's is this is this? What is it?

Chris Braden 6:22
Am I gonna answer this?

Todd Burnham 6:23
Is this anonymous?

Chris Braden 6:24
Yeah, exactly.

Todd Burnham 6:25
So I, I struggle with getting inside my head. And getting to those moments where I need people to step up for me sometimes, like someone's got to be coach's coach. Right?

Chris Braden 6:36

Todd Burnham 6:37
And I don't have many people in my life that play the dual role. And honestly, the one person that does that, that is oftentimes not the most, like my wife is not going to be the best doctor with bedside manner. But she's going to be the best doctor to diagnose, right? So...

Chris Braden 6:56
I get that.

Todd Burnham 6:56
And so like, it's kind of the same deal. Like, you know, as lawyers, you want to be people that fix problems. At the core of it, we are fixing a problem, you can get a W and move on with your life, which is being interrupted, right?

Chris Braden 7:09

Todd Burnham 7:10
But living in that world is really challenging. When you have 50 people and 50 problems, you're gonna have problems, everyone's gonna have something. And you have to prioritize them, because we talked about like, I worked for them. But at the same time, I also have to take care of myself. And so what it is dangerous for me is to think that that's all right. I don't I don't need those things. I don't need reassurance. That's okay. I can have people talking about me and that, oh, that's like, I did something like few months ago, someone called us and said, Oh, yeah, I just talked to this other law firm. And they said that you guys are the ones that advertise. And I literally went, I still have it on my phone, I went into the alleyway behind this office. And I did 50 videos of just kind of responding to that what I wanted to put on Facebook, or LinkedIn or something. I'm like, oh, yeah, we're told with, uh, we're people that you know, that markets a lot and public law and and I just defeated it. And I'm like, I just wasted three hours of my life. Because I gave a shit what someone thought of me. And that's the thing. It's so easy to say like, I don't care. You have to have thick skin. Don't worry about things like, but I do.

Chris Braden 8:25
Did any of those get published?

Todd Burnham 8:27
No. One did? Did we do it? I forgot. It's probably out there. Well, everyone will know now it took 50 takes to get to that one. Right. And and so

Chris Braden 8:38
She's smiling over there.

Todd Burnham 8:39

Chris Braden 8:40
Is that the one?

Todd Burnham 8:41
I don't remember it. But I'm like, oh, it's amazing how I always have like, the worst light in videos.

Chris Braden 8:47

Todd Burnham 8:48
That must be the lighting it can't be my face. You know?

Chris Braden 8:51
That's what I always say.

Todd Burnham 8:52
Yeah. So I just I struggle with things every day. And I'm human. And I'm trying to do something I've never done before. And I'm trying to add value to other people and doing it because I genuinely care. And it's, you know, it's so funny. I was raised by a social worker, like my mother, when people will come in and do something at her house. She is trying to fix their shit all the time. Well, how does that make you feel? You know, like she genuinely cares and connects with people.

Chris Braden 9:16
And she knows the questions to ask.

Todd Burnham 9:18
She knows everything and she's in she genuinely cares. And I genuinely have that with me too. I genuinely care about people, so long as they are people that are like minded, that share the same vision and goals and like a life's purpose. When you start with family law, it criminal and civil and personal injury practice. How many of these lawyers or law firms genuinely and authentically care about their clients? I genuinely want you to have a great experience because it adds value to my life. And when I don't have that, but I don't feel that way. And I don't I feel like man, it's just the last episode of mental health. toughness, you can only do so much with mental toughness and you still have a heart. And you're going to be disappointed. And I'm going to be sad. And it's going to be feeling very, very lonely in what I'm doing. And that's, I still struggle with that. I'm struggle everyday with it.

Chris Braden 10:15
So we talked about expectations, and

Todd Burnham 10:18
Even talking to my wife.

Chris Braden 10:19
So you're you said it in the last episode, I think are a couple that your wife is telling you. That's the best they can do.

Todd Burnham 10:26

Chris Braden 10:26
And you're like, oh, that's you have high expectations for yourself?

Todd Burnham 10:30

Chris Braden 10:31
Not everybody has set those expectations for themselves personally, how do you handle it when you realize that that might be the best they can do? Or that's the way they show appreciation?

Todd Burnham 10:46
That's a practice.

Chris Braden 10:47
Yeah, it's hard.

Todd Burnham 10:49
It's hard. And, and because, you know, it's a fine line between and trying to inspire people to get better trying to inspire clients to see that this is not their life, this is just a temporary situation, and it's going to improve.

Chris Braden 11:04

Todd Burnham 11:04
And then also appreciating myself, what people do bring to the table and what they do offer and not what they don't. So I don't want to lower my expectations. I just want to add appreciation.

Chris Braden 11:21

Todd Burnham 11:21
And if I can do that better than I think I'm a better human being, um, you know, we talked about Clara the other day about I'm just doing my best as a dad, and, and I fail miserably all the time. But then I have great moments that carry the load for those times when I don't,Like Clara, when I dropped her off at school. She in May, I'll drop them off every morning. And that's my time with them. Like I'm teaching them about the Beatles. I'm teaching them about Bruce Springsteen. I'm teaching them about, like, 70s music.

Chris Braden 11:55

Todd Burnham 11:56
You know, I'm not listening to Taylor Swift and all that. I'm like, girls that needs to be well rounded. We're going to talk today about the cure, you know, today's the clash, and she's always really cute. You know, they both are about Teddy turn the radio down to the point now that they when they're greeted when they're when they're dropped off. John Souter is the principal. You know, he's like, what, what are we learning about today? Music, what songs and

Chris Braden 12:18
Like, we just heard the Eagles.

Todd Burnham 12:19
Exactly. And today, it was frozen. And she's like, Dad, turn it down. Like let it go is just epic.

Chris Braden 12:23

Todd Burnham 12:24
And so I just go, Okay, can I girls love you. And then I wrote down the window, and I cranked it. And I said, everybody, I'm Clara's Dad, have a good day. You know?

Chris Braden 12:33
I've done that.

Todd Burnham 12:34
Yeah, it's awesome. And those are like those, that's just me naturally.

Chris Braden 12:38

Todd Burnham 12:38
And so and especially with a child's love, like, it's so much easier for me to recognize, when my kids are hurt, because they, they wear it on their sleeves, and I know them so well. And I don't see it. And I don't recognize these things as quickly with people that are close to me, because we're adults. So we're not going to show it as much. And

Chris Braden 12:59
We all wear a mask a little bit.

Todd Burnham 13:00
Yeah. And I'm just trying to not beat myself up in my process and progress of being the best human being that I can be. And I it comes with sadness, regret, I don't want to care what people think nobody wants to care necessarily. But I inherently do because it's a reflection on me and, and what my value is in the world. You know, you get a little heady about things as you're building something. And that's the stuff that keeps me up a little bit until I just say, Jesus, this is exhausting. You know.

Chris Braden 13:32

Todd Burnham 13:33
Like, just, you know, it's Bull Durham. Don't think meat, just throw.

Chris Braden 13:37

Todd Burnham 13:38
Just keep it simple, you know, so I'm, I'm a work in progress, often fail, and really, and hurt people that I love by being myself. That's not a work in progress. You know, life is a practice. Everything for me is a practice and I just try to keep getting better. And, and I talk about these things because they it's truthful, and I resonate with it, and I am human.

Chris Braden 14:05
Yeah, because you're a human being right. Unlike Bill Belichick who is a robot,

Todd Burnham 14:09
he has to be a robot. I mean, I don't know if I could. I don't know how you live like with everyone hating you like that, because you're great. Great. He's like, if I have those problems, I'll be okay. But we're not even close to Belichick. We're like one hit wonders here. And I want this to be and I want these things for people so badly. And I want them to see the life that they can have. And I want our people that are here to feel valued and loved and respected. And that's not always the case.

Chris Braden 14:43
But it looks like you're going the right way. 90% happiness, right? Yeah, that's pretty dang good.

Todd Burnham 14:48
Yeah, yeah, I'm really proud of that,

Chris Braden 14:51
like Disneyland.

Todd Burnham 14:52
And it's great because Stephanie now had the survey also. And she's now managing and I'm really just, I'm like looking at the big picture the 30,000 foot view And hers was like 65% Now it's like she's she's like she's the heavy you know now I'm like, Oh, that's so mean,Stephanie. You know, like,

Chris Braden 15:10
I can't believe

Todd Burnham 15:11
Yeah, yeah, no, this is this is a

Chris Braden 15:14
I don't see her being mean, but I can see you're being direct.

Todd Burnham 15:16
She's direct.

Chris Braden 15:17

Todd Burnham 15:17
She's direct. And she, she is it's funny with this Coronavirus stuff. She's like, it's not a big deal. And then I've got my brother in law, Aaron, who's like, Well, my dad was, you know, in charge of XY and Z and the county hospital. And this is we need to wash our hands, we need to have a plan. And and they're both right. You know?

Chris Braden 15:37
They are both right.

Todd Burnham 15:38
And how do you how do you validate both without devaluing one of them, you know?And that level of leadership that I'm trying to learn and get better at, is really my purpose and to be able to do that, and then be a coach to nine year olds, in a way that gives them a love for something that they have to practice and work towards. Like it all goes back to coaching for me. Like I'm just trying to be a good coach here. I'm trying to be a good coach in my life. I'm trying to be a good teammate with my wife. And I'm trying not to rely so much on appreciation, and just drive.

Chris Braden 16:14
Alright, well, that's good stuff, Todd.

Todd Burnham 16:16
Catch you later, man.

Hey, thanks for listening. Make sure you subscribe, and until next time, keep getting better.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai