Thursday, April 30, 2009

Entering the Ooma Vortex

Yesterday we bought a new office phone system. It's call Ooma. It's a box you buy at the store (we got it on sale for $199, typically it runs about $249) and then you can make and receive domestic phone calls for free, forever through your high-speed internet, which you're already paying for. Ooma is an additional device, not connected with your internet provider. One telephone number is included.

We also signed up for the Premier Services, which run $99 per year, or $8.25 per month through Ooma. These services include:
  • An instant second line (through the same box)
  • Three-way conferencing
  • Voice mail forwarding to our cell phones when we're out
  • A personal blacklist (ooohhhh!)
  • Custom ring patterns
  • Message screening
  • An additional phone number
Wishing there was more to report, I'll be signing off to make some calls.

The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink.
~ Fran Lebowitz

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just Chillin' at the Bus Stop

We feel a lot like this squirrel. We may not wear hats, but we do bring our own bags to the store. Save a tree.

I digress. Sometimes it feels as though the bus has already left, or it simply is not coming.

We've got our one client, and we're still out shaking the acorn trees for more.

In the meantime, we are going nuts over some new areas of law we may venture into. We'll keep you posted, we know you're hungry.

Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the
ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.
~ Josh Billings

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I Got Your Number

We made a switch here at Green Street and changed our telephone number to accurately reflect our location in Pasadena.

To do this, we bought a "626" telephone number from Skype ($35 per year?! Can't beat that with a stick!). Now we can answer the phone on our computers.

But wait, there's more!

Paul installed a VOIP box that will transfer the phone calls online to our cell phones, so we'll get the calls even if we're on the road. How sweet is that? Ahh, technology.

People who are funny and smart and return phone calls get much
better press than people who are just funny and smart.
~ Howard Simons

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Better Than a Used Car Salesman

For the past several weeks we've been trying to set up dates to do presentations at several local venues. There is one library which has been extremely accommodating and willing to work with us. I applaud them for being so helpful. We are really looking forward to that date.

However, other groups are treating us like used car salesmen. They don't return phone calls, don't understand why anyone would want to talk about the subject, and are very quizical as to what we are promoting, believing we're simply going to shower the room with our business cards.

Today was the straw that broke this blogger's back. The "gatekeeper" said she'd have to check with another venue where we plan to give a presentation and see how they said it went. I sputtered for words, and finally croaked out "okay, sounds good, look forward to hearing from you!"

I felt like pulling a Steve Martin line: "Excuuussssse Me!"

Dear readers, no one will deny that we are trying to grow our business, but we are also trying to provide a complimentary public service to those in our community. These presentations are always in the evening, or on a weekend (when we'd much rather be at the beach). We never talk for more than half an hour (we don't want to bore). Then we answer questions. We bring food. We dress up, we are friendly and personable. Did I mention good-looking? What is not to love???

In law school, professors and deans always said "as an attorney, you will be one of the most highly regraded people in your community." Yeah right!

Love what you do. Believe in your instincts.
And you'd better bet able to pick yourself up and brush yourself off every day.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wow. Just Wow.

Yesterday Paul and I had the privilege of meeting with Jay Foonberg, aka "the Godfather." His book, How to Start & Build a Law Practice is the Bible of hanging your own shingle.

I once checked his book out from the Career Services Department at our law school and intentionally did not return it for months (I rationalized it because they had seven more copies). Thankfully, I got my very own copy for Christmas this year! Jay's book is practical and addresses so many concerns that first-timers are worried about, such as:
  • How do I set my fees?
  • How do I get clients?
  • Can I really do this?
Mr. Foonberg lives in Beverly Hills. I figured since we're judgment proof, I'll call his office.

The phone rang twice, then suddenly I hear:

This is Jay Foonberg, how can I help you?

*Thunk* That was the sound of my jaw dropping on the floor.

Yesterday we took him to lunch in Beverly Hills. Let me tell you, he is the NICEST guy, had tons of advice, and wished us the best of luck. Mr. Foonberg spent two hours with us, answered all of our questions, and signed our book. We were so honored to spend time with him. Thanks Mr. Foonberg!

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.
~ Boris Pasternak

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pasadena v. Pasadena

We're on a kick to get involved in the Parks & Recreation departments of our city. These departments often hold classes on estate planning, elder law, veterans benefits, and the like. We'd be thrilled to offer a complimentary course in the evenings or on weekends to our local community.

So I'm all jazzed to start contacting people. I reach this super nice guy and he gives me the name of a really friendly woman and it's all cupcakes and marshmallows, I'm finally feeling as though I'm getting somewhere by the end of this week. I've even added these folks to our contact management system (CMS for the nerds out there).

Um, yeah. Until I figure out I've just left messages and had conversations with people in Pasadena, TX! One guy even described to me the location of one of the senior centers, giving me street names, etc. I just go along with it--figure I'm new to town and don't know all the streets, even though I've never heard of them.

So...I end the week red-faced. Thank God it's the weekend.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
~ Albert Einstein