Kevin: I’m sitting here, with my friend David Schnurman. David is from New York City.
David: Brooklyn, yes part of New York. But yes.
Kevin: Okay, I was born in Queens.
David: I like to represent Brooklyn. I like to represent Brooklyn. You know how it is in the outer boroughs, where you don’t get the love. We sometimes want to make sure people know.
Kevin: So you cheer for the Yankees then though?
Kevin: Yeah see so you’re-
David: I’m not a sports guy. I’m not gonna lie. I can follow a bandwagon.
Kevin: So, let me ask you a couple of questions. It’s kinda crazy that Clio in the right mind would ask us to come here and speak.
David: I gave them a pitch, and they said yes. And I said, “Oh my God, I gotta figure out what I’m gonna speak about.” I got three months, and then finally I was able to actually use that to come up with something that I’m really passionate about.
Kevin: Let me ask you about that for a second, and also what do you do for a living? You have a company. How long ago did you found it?
David: So, similar to you, I think we’re now … I’m on 11 years. This last year was ten. It keeps changing, right, each year. So we are the largest provider of online continuing legal education. We have over 3 million courses that have been completed on our site. We have an app that we launched last year that has, I think, 40,000 completions on it since we’ve launched it. And we just … we have 1,400 hours of courses on our site today. It’s like overwhelming the amount of great faculty, and it’s all really how-to courses.
Kevin: And where did you get a harebrained idea to start something like that?
David: My daddy.
Kevin: Who was the lawyer?
David: My dad, yeah. So he had … 25 years before I started Lawline, he started a TV show called Lawline. And his goal-
Kevin: That I didn’t know before.
David: Yeah. He would … before Facebook Live, he was on public access. He was the first Facebook Live out there. Only if he was younger, he could’ve competed. And then in 1999, when CLE became mandatory in New York, he had the harebrained idea to try to turn Lawline into a CLE company. It actually was right when the dot-com crashed. It never really worked out, but I knew there was a great idea there. So in 2006, I said, “Let me give this Lawline thing a try.” I was in law school, and we were lucky to be at the right time at the right place.
Kevin: Now I knew that-
David: Oh you didn’t know all that?
Kevin: Not in the name-
David: And now you have my dad, so-
Kevin: I met your dad last night, which was great. Just chatting with him. Man, I wish I had-
David: He’s gonna be here all week.
Kevin: We switched to WiFi from cellular, and the WiFi is worse than the cellular coverage. But anyway-
David: So I was just saying, my dad is a prop in my speech.
Kevin: And what did you talk about?
David: Yeah. So, to me, it came from a conversation that I had with my dad a couple of years … a couple months before I wanted to speak. The really … the past 25 years of my life, I’ve been trying to code success. And ultimately what I realized is that I face all these walls that I can’t break through. So the talk, what I call is the fast forward mindset, it’s about how I and you … how we can break through our walls, and it’s two simple straightforward things. It’s how to be more fearless, and more focused. And so I break down, in a very simple way, at the moment you face a wall, how to be more fearless like a lion, or more focused like a mountain climber.
Kevin: So you can be manic too. Look at the rest of us.
David: You saw that. I was like, “Oh, if Kevin sees this.” We were both very manic, so things-
Kevin: Well you look around here, and these people that start these companies. I mean somebody had to go home and tell their husband, “I think I got this idea.” “Really? And what are you gonna do?” “I think I’m gonna quit my job, but maybe not for a little while. But it’s gonna be okay, I really believe it’s going to work.” I mean you have to have those crazy conversations. And then when you get into it, you start going a mile a minute. I mean you, you know … if your team doesn’t totally believe it, you’re just scaring the hell out of them.
David: Well, so I went through two stages. One, where you have that … so the first, I’d say five years of my business, was that passion manic stage. Thank you. Everyone followed along, and it was great.
The second stage though was like, okay, we gotta go from a founder to a CEO, and that’s where I put all of my energy into planning and focus. And so I felt like … to be honest, I was like taming my inner beast. And you know that feeling? Where it’s like … and now I’m sort of releasing it again because we have the systems and processes in place.
Kevin: Yeah, and it’s important to do that.
Kevin: Because for me, you know, having a COO now, we have a good working relationship. Today I mean he’s up on top of a mountain in Whistler. Yesterday we’re going back and forth, and I’m on an airplane. We’re having conversations on Slack, you know? Drafting things, and exchanging things. But to have that level of trust, be able to sit here this morning and say, “Hey, you know there’s a large firm in New York that’s gonna want this or that. You guys on it.” And he’ll make sure it’s dealt with even though he’s couple days out of the office. He knows it’s more important for me to be out, creating a little bit of havoc here.
David: Not causing havoc there.
Kevin: Right. Creating the energy out here, and bringing that energy back to the office. So it’s gonna be critically important that you continue to do all that-
David: People are like, “Go, do your thing.”
Kevin: You have to do it.
David: And I can tell you … like the two things, the two takeaways, that I could share with you … cause I don’t know what parts you saw … that really had an impact in me, what I wanted to share with everybody, was number one, most people don’t recognize how good they are. They focus on the things they don’t have, versus what they do have. But number two, and this is where it really had the impact on me, most people once they’ve achieved some form of success, they get too comfortable in their good life to achieve their greatness. Cause they … all these walls that fill up. Well, I don’t want to lose what I have. I don’t wanna, you know, take a risk and all that. I’m just comfortable, I’m good. And so what I realized … I just turned 40, just like you. And what I realized though, when I’m 50 or 60, I don’t want to look back today and realize that the last 20 years, I was just comfortable and good. So the fast forward mindset is for me, and for you, for us, is a simple formula. If you buy my book for $19.99 … Nah I’m just kidding. There’s no book yet. But it’s a simple formula that I’ve put for myself, on how to be more fearless when you need to be. But most importantly for me, and I think for you too, how to be focused. And you’ve ran 55 marathons or a lot. Let’s just say you’ve run a lot. The number one thing that I realized when you run a marathon, is the training plan. What does the training plan have? It has dates, it has clear mileages and KPI’s. So too often we have an idea, and we just run and do it without-
Kevin: I was very impressed. You have a thing on the screen and it’s all on the computer with notes and everything.
David: I did that, yeah.
Kevin: And I’m thinking, mine were always on napkins that I was like eating someplace and I had to go back and go, “What week was that, that I ran so many miles?” And just sketching it out, but making sure that I always had my eight weeks of training, very solid leading to a marathon.
David: Right? Eight weeks? That’s it. Well, you’re more-
Kevin: Well I’ve raced from before. But you’d have eight weeks where you had to get into the mold of doing it.
The other thing that I think is really important is … cause you’re giving a message to lawyers, basically on the same lines that I am, in different ways. But anything is possible. And somebody has to do those things.
So all these lawyers here, there are 1,200 lawyers from 20 countries. Each one of them can make a dent in their communities, and if you would just leave stupid behind and realize you can accomplish anything you want … I think it’s really important that that keep being driven home to lawyers, one at a time. Cause every lawyer in Manhattan could decide to do something a little bit different than they’re doing, and make a big difference in their lives.
David: An easy way to think about that is, what is three things, and I wonder what yours is, that you wish you were more fearless about. Right? Cause I bet you … those are three things … whether it’s helping out in the community, whether it’s taking a risk. We all have those three things. Mine, let’s see if I can remember them. One is being a pilot, I wish I was … well, that’s more focused, but it was … I would love to put on a conference like this. This to me … I would love to do a documentary. I would love to do things that I’ve always wanted to do, that I feel like, you know what? I’m good. I don’t much rather do it.
Kevin: So let’s do a conference next year.
David: Let’s do it. We can do this. There’s more-
Kevin: We used to have people, and we didn’t do it.
David: Let’s do it. If anybody is watching and wants to work with us to put together a conference like this … I mean we could do East Coast or West Coast-
Kevin: It’s 1,200 people.
David: We’ll start with 20 people. 20 people want to show up at our next conference.
Kevin: I’ve got five kids. You’ve got how many kids?
David: I’ve got three kids.
Kevin: You got your dad.
David: We can have both of our companies come, right? So we have at least 40, 50 people there. We’re fine.
Kevin: When you say the conference, that’s one. Every year I sit here, and I say we’re not gonna do something as large as, but we have our client publishers all the time that want to get together. I was in Chicago-
David: Our faculty always want to get together.
Kevin: They were in Chicago, and they were just saying, “Can you introduce us to each other so we can hang out?” And then the next question, they said, “Well why aren’t you coming to Chicago and doing meet up sessions? Or just small conferences so we can share ideas for half a day?” It could be small.
David: This is it. Everyone saw this. We really … we’re calling for help. Call, email David at…
Kevin: We’ll have you do it.
David: We got two manic people. We need somebody with detail and organization.
Kevin: I’m wacky, but I’m not gonna call for help on a conference right now.
David: I’m too revved up.
Kevin: But one thing we should do is … one thing we did talk awhile about was giving people the opportunity to have CLE or some arrangement with LexBlog client publishers. We have 15,000 lawyer publishers. Figure out some way so that Lawline-
David: I agree.
Kevin: So that Lawline could be available to them. So we may have dropped the ball on that, I don’t know, but let’s reconnect on that.
David: Well it’s not live yet, so I guess we did drop the ball.
Kevin: Yeah, so let’s get back. I was told, that Lawline was actually the originator of Facebook Live.
David: Yeah I was telling him about the TV show.
Kevin: We’ll do a relationship where LexBlog members get deals on Lawline CLE.
David: Honestly I would love to. I think there’s a real opportunity. But anyway, I don’t want to bore anybody else, but.