John Berry is the CEO of Berry Law Firm, a nationwide practice that helps veterans in all 50 states. Under John’s leadership, Berry Law Firm has become one of the top five fastest growing law firms in the Midwest and has made the Inc. 5000 and Law Firm 500 lists for three consecutive years. John’s primary practice areas include state and federal criminal defense, civil litigation, and veterans’ disability appeals.
In addition to his victories in the courtroom, John has also completed Airborne School and Ranger School and led soldiers in deployments to Iraq and Bosnia. He finished his distinguished military career after serving over 20 years in the active U.S. Army and the National Guard.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- John Berry talks about how his background in sports has influenced his career path
- John’s advice on discovering your passion and integrating it into your business
- The setbacks that John has overcome throughout his life
- What John attributes to the success of his firm
- What is the “warrior ethos?”
- The gutsiest decisions that John has ever made as a trial attorney and business owner
- Dealing with the accountability and responsibility that come with running a successful business
- John shares the daily rituals that keep him balanced and motivated
- The most valuable lessons that John has learned from his mentors
In this episode…
No matter what industry you are breaking into, there are always going to be setbacks. John Berry, the CEO of Berry Law Firm, believes that a willingness to take on whatever obstacles are thrown your way—what he calls a “warrior ethos”—is the key to overcoming failure and finding success.
John knows that failure is a part of life, but instead of worrying about what could go wrong, he worries about missing out on the opportunities that are presented to him. This is the gutsy mindset that has led to his acclaimed success in both the military and the courtroom.
Join Luis Scott in this episode of The Guts and Glory Show as he interviews John Berry, the CEO of Berry Law Firm, about his distinguished practice and the services that it provides to veterans. John also shares his insights into discovering your passion, the importance of perspective when dealing with setbacks, and the best pieces of advice he’s received from his mentors. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- John Berry on LinkedIn
- Berry Law Firm
- Berry Law Firm’s phone number: 1 (888) 883-2483
- Those Gallant Men: On Trial in Vietnam by John Stevens Berry
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Luis Scott on LinkedIn
- 8 Figure Firm
- Bader Scott Injury Lawyers
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.
After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million in revenues to $30 million per year in revenues in just two years, Luis and Seth started the 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.
Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.
Luis Scott 0:00
I’m Luis Scott Managing Partner Bader Scott Injury Lawyers one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. And I’m also the co-founder of 8 Figure Firm Consulting. I’ve successfully built multiple companies by focusing on leadership, operations and culture. Using these principles, my companies have generated close to $100 million in revenue. But before any of this success, I started my legal career as a receptionist, and I worked my way up to becoming managing partner. And each episode of this podcast, I sit down with leaders and entrepreneurs who have had the guts to step out on their own, and the courage to face adversity. They share with us their tips for achievement, the challenges they have faced and the glory of success. I welcome you to The Guts and Glory Show.
Luis Scott here host of the Guts and Glory Show I feature top leaders who share the obstacles and challenges of leadership, the guts it takes to succeed and the glory of success. Today, you will hear another inspiring interview from attorney and entrepreneur John Berry, a very law firm who has built one of the most successful companies in the legal industry. Before we get started, this episode has been brought to you by 8 Figure Firm Consulting. We know the biggest struggle to scaling and growing a law Firm is transitioning from a law practice to a law business. At 8 Figure Firm we help firms make the transition, showing them how to scale to seven and eight figures. We can help you develop your business so it works for you instead of you working for it. Turn your law firm into a law business by going to www.8figurefirm.com. Now, we have the pleasure of having John Berry CEO of Berry law firm based out of Lincoln, Nebraska with a nationwide practice helping veterans all across America in all 50 states. And they are known as America’s veterans law firm. Under his leadership Berry Law firm has made the Inc 5000 in law firm 500 for three consecutive years, and it’s been listed as one of the five fastest growing law firms in the Midwest. Not only has he led successful teams in the courtroom, resulting in several jury trial victories, but he’s also successfully completed airborne school and Ranger School and has led soldiers and deployments to Iraq and Bosnia. John has a distinguished career in the military and in the legal space, and we’re so glad to have him John. Welcome to the Guts and Glory Show.
John Berry 2:19
Thanks so much for having me, Luis. It’s an honor to be here.
Luis Scott 2:23
So how are things in Nebraska?
John Berry 2:25
They’re great. You know, COVID hasn’t hit us that hard. We’re a little bit upset about the football season being canceled. But you know, kids are in school. It’s interesting. My my, my kids are in districts, different school districts and my daughter only goes twice a week to school. My son goes full time it’s it’s it’s interesting times but it’s been it’s it’s good. I really I can’t complain. The world is different. But you know, we’re warriors we Yeah, you know, we adapt and we overcome.
Luis Scott 2:52
Absolutely. Now I heard that some of this the seasons are going to start in January. I guess you’re a University of Nebraska fan. Are they going to start in January also? Or is that a possibility?
John Berry 3:04
i for i for January, I’ve heard spring, you know, I didn’t go to Nebraska. I went to William and Mary. And it’s interesting because the years that I would have gone in Nebraska that my friends that played in high school, they have the 9495 and 97 championship rings. I went to learn Mary and I did get a play with some people who are NFL coaches. Now, Sean McDermott, who is now the bills coach, and Mike Tomlin the Steelers coach, so I got it was one double A I wasn’t big enough or fast enough to play for Nebraska. But I William and Mary was a great academic experience. And ultimately, it led to my
Luis Scott 3:34
career in the military. You know, the thing is that sports in general really help you learn so many things about teamwork and really running a business. So it’s it’s interesting, because I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, and almost all of them have a background in sports. So I mean, I don’t know if you found that to be the case.
John Berry 3:51
Oh, absolutely. You know, I think the two things that were important in my development, I was very young. Number one, I had a paper out since I was 10 years old, and I you know, I did that Id tasseled corn, but I always played sports and growing up, you know, until I remember until sixth grade. It was always the kids whose parents were the coach who got all the playing time who are the stars. Yep. And then in sixth grade I started playing tackle football now is just taking kids heads off, right and all of a sudden I went from being the kid on the bench to the kid that they actually I’m not kidding. They lined us up after the first three weeks of practice and the coaches picked it was like you know, the playground where you pick your team and I was the second overall pick the number one pick for the White Team. The blue team got the first pick and that guy ended up being a really good friend of mine. But it was the first time where I really accelerated in sports and you know that was just because I was I was talking I had a paper since I was four years old. I knew what it was like to get up early early morning and deliver papers in the snow and and I also just you know I like the physical contact and I just I all of a sudden it felt like Finally I was good at something you know it was great I sports you get knocked down, you get back up but it is about putting in the effort. I will tell you one thing that I learned in college where I did not have a great football career, you know, I worked so hard to get strong. But I can tell you that, you know, there’s something about size is more important than strength and college football and quickness, which is natural is more important than speed. And it seemed like no matter how hard I worked, if there were guys with better natural ability, they could outwork me. Now fortunately, it’s not true in the business world. You know, and if you find in the business world, if you find someone who’s smarter than you, you hire them, and you let them know. And in sports, sometimes you reach your peak. And you can’t get past that. I think in business, when you figure out what your unique ability is, you’re going to peak out in other areas, that’s where you hire other people. Yeah, there’s
Luis Scott 5:42
definitely a way to kind of like, find people who can help you continue to elevate, we’re in sports, nobody’s going to help you, you’re like kind of on your island on your own. So that’s definitely a difference. Now, I will tell you about the college football season, I was kind of hoping that every every conference would cancel except the SEC, because I’m a Georgia fan. And I said, if the SEC plays, then that means the SEC championship is the national champions. So like, there was my chance, because you know, we’re cursed in Georgia, we always lose in the end. So like, that was my opportunity to win it all. So you know, it is what it is, but it’s not happening. It looks like there’s gonna be plenty of people playing so, but you’ve had some developments in your personal life. Just recently, you got married in June, how’s how’s married life? Man?
John Berry 6:25
It’s, it’s great. You know, I think the first time around, you know, I really thought that I was I was about 27, the first time I got married, I really thought that, you know, I was going to slow down, I’d want to go to the Home Depot, you know, and go to bed bath, and all this stuff and just do those home projects and life would slow down. And somehow, you know, I wouldn’t be as as hungry, maybe, but you are who you are. And I you know, and so the first marriage, I think that, you know, that was kind of what my first wife expected. But that’s not I tried to be that person. But that’s not me. And my second wife, she’s a, she’s a trial lawyer. She’s really aggressive. She loves to travel. And I kind of realized, like, I’m always going to be young, and I need to be around, I need to have that attitude. I can’t be the old guy who’s painting his house, I got to be the guy who’s out there, you know, hustling every day, I got to be out there winning something. And that’s what I love about practice of law, you get a chance to win every day. And now I’m married to someone who actually is in the same field. She’s a phenomenal lawyer. You know, as a wife, her goal was to be an Olympic ski racer, and ended up instead being college soccer player and then became a lawyer. But being with someone who’s highly competitive, highly driven, you know, it’s great to be in that type of relationship, because you can push each other to be better, but you also understand the stakes and what it costs to be at the best, you know, to be at your best to be at the top of your game, it’s not easy. And if you’re not with somebody who does that, they’re not going to they’re not gonna understand there’s gonna be a lot of resentment. So I’m happy that around someone that, that I feel like I can share my life with because it’s, we’re the same person in terms of we want to win, we work hard, and and we want to have great lives. And you know, we don’t want to slow down. You know, in many ways, I suppose it’s because I’m immature, right? I just, I have a level of maturity where I want to slow life down. And so it’s great. I, you know, yeah, the marriage has been a great experience. And you know, it. I didn’t get it right the first time. But this time I got it right.
Luis Scott 8:16
Well, you know, the thing is, you said something that’s that I’ve heard before, and I really believe this, you can’t really change who you are at your core, you know, we spend a lot of time, I don’t know, if you’re an avid reader, I’m an avid reader, and I’m always looking for ways to improve as an individual. I’m always listening to tapes, I’m always listening to YouTube, you know, all these things to improve, but at my core, I am who I am. And if you don’t find alignment in your relationships, especially your marriage relationship, it’s really hard to flourish as a professional. And I think that that’s a you know, that’s a lesson within itself. And so it’s a great point that that you have now you have been been back at work for a little while, tell us a little bit about you and your your practice in your business. Tell us a little bit about what you do and so forth.
John Berry 9:04
So we it’s it’s like two businesses. We have a trial firm in the Midwest where we handle personal injury cases. And we also criminal defense and litigation. We love to be in the courtroom. And for us that that feeds our competitive side. But we also represent veterans nationwide. We are America’s Veterans Disability firm. And we go out and and we take care of our nation’s heroes, those people who earn those disability benefits that are not receiving them. We love to fight for them. But it’s a different type of fight. It’s more of an administrative fight and that you don’t get to go into the courtroom. You know, there’s an upheld there are appellate courts, but there’s not trial courts, per se for veterans law. So we do both. And we find that it works hand in hand because a lot of our veteran clients who are injured in car accidents, or have traumatic brain injuries were injured in service, we can help them and when they get into trouble, we can help them and ultimately, you know, we follow Dan Sullivan’s credo every day. We look at numbers say Who do I want to be hero to? And for us, it’s our nation’s heroes, our veterans, we want to fight for them because they fought for us. And that’s who I hire to my heroes.
Luis Scott 10:09
Yeah, I believe that. Now what gave you that passion to like, develop that kind of business? Because I, you know, a lot of my listeners are entrepreneurs. And many times they don’t, they don’t know what their passion is. I’ve talked to somebody just recently, and they said, You know, I know the nine to five is not for me. And but I don’t know what my passion is, I don’t know how I’m going to start a business like, what am I going to do? Like, where did that passion for you come from? And how did it develop?
John Berry 10:34
So I think the way to do it, Luis is to think back to the time in your life when you were happiest. I agree, you don’t change. So when are you happiest? And yet, law law school is a miserable experience. And it’s a waste of money, right about time you got lost, we have a degree but you don’t know how to practice law. Spend the first five years really struggling, you know, working the 80 hour days or weeks to try to just figure it out and do a great job for your clients. Right. But then as you mature you, you fall into a groove and you get good, but then it’s like, wait a minute, what am I What am I doing all this for? You know, what is it that I really believe in? For me, it’s a few things. Number one, I you know, when I was an infantry officer, I took a raise my hand, took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. United States, we do that every day with our clients. So that’s part of it. But the the big part for me is this is that I was happiest when I was a new Second Lieutenant just out of Fort Benning. I went down to Fort Hood, I showed up. And there was my platoon. And these guys, most of these guys were Desert Storm veterans. And I would show up for PT at 530. They have been there since five. And I mean, they pushed me they expected nothing less than Excellent. So they pushed each other. If we had a soldier of the quarter board, they would come on the weekends, make sure their soldiers were prepared. I mean, it felt like when I was in high school on a championship team, I’m like, Man, that’s what I want. That’s where I want to feel every day when I go into work. I get that feeling in the courtroom. I love I love the courtroom, because I get a win in the courtroom, I get a fight in the courtroom. But as you know, lawyers don’t get to spend every day in the courtroom. And and and sometimes you lose. So how can I get that feeling? You get that feeling from your team? And so for me, it was about building that team. And I thought, okay, who do we want to be heroes to it’s veterans, and who’s going to get us there, other veterans. And so I think the best leaders, the best mentors, the best team members I had, they’re all veterans are all in the military when I when I was in the military. And so, you know, I went back and I hired him. And now we have members from every branch on our team. And I know there are people that do things a lot better than me, I have some amazing strengths and some horrible weaknesses. And I try to hire for the weaknesses. And in the military, we get it in the military, it’s about getting results. When I was I had up to company commands in a battalion command and when your commander, you are charged with protecting the lives of America’s sons and daughters in combat, there’s no heavier burden. And think about this Luis, you guys employ what probably 150 people and those people and their children are depending on you. And so people say, oh, there’s COVID and there’s all these other reasons. But guess what, Luis, it’s on, it’s on you to take care of people and and it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, you’re out there to win because your team depends on you. And so while on the battlefield, we think about protecting the nation sons and daughters, who are really our warriors are steely eyed killers, you’ve got to do the same for your team, those warriors and steely eyed killers at Baylor Scott and and you know, and obviously, we’ve had a lot of conversations about that. But for me, it’s a heavy responsibility, it’s a heavy burden. But you know, I, I’m committed to my team to give them the best possible lives, the best possible opportunities. And if I don’t do that, then I’m failing.
Luis Scott 13:47
You know, one of the things that you’re the theme that I’m hearing from everything that you’re saying is that at the core of your passion is really helping people is really helping your clients and helping your employees and helping your the people you’re around. It doesn’t sound like the passion is the work itself. It’s the result of helping people and I and I think that’s a great lesson. Because many times we’re trying to find our passion, and we think the passion is the work, you know, I want to have a passion for fitness or I want to have a passion for cooking, or I want to have a passion for sewing. And it’s not that it’s it’s what’s behind the cooking. You know, I don’t start a restaurant because I want to cook I start a restaurant because I want to serve a meal that makes people feel good. And I think that that’s an invaluable lesson. And, you know, I wonder like, what is what is the one thing that you had to overcome in your life that kind of gave you that that that feeling of wanting to help people like the the what we call the effect of your actions, like was there something that that drove you was there a negative experience that you may have suffered that that caused you to have you know, feel that way? Or is was there something like that in your life?
John Berry 14:55
I mean, yeah, several negative experiences several several setbacks. You know, I think back to a lot of our veterans and what they miss is the people, the camaraderie, the team, and, you know, we work with veterans with PTSD. And for a lot of them, you know, the best way to heal is to be around veterans, and to be with that team again. And it’s not necessarily about talking about the past, but looking toward the future with that team. And, and one of the things that really is tough for a lot of our veterans is they come back from deployments. And it’s great until you’re out of the service, and then that team, all you had is gone. And you’re alone, right? You’re alone, sometimes with some pretty bad memories. Now, for me, you know, I think of my setbacks, I was injured playing football in college. And that was my dream. You know, after my sophomore year, I didn’t, I didn’t play anymore. When I went through Ranger School, the first time I got injured, and I failed out. And you know, it was it was horrible to me six months to rehab my, my shoulder and to go and it’s not it, you know, it’s a difficult school. I mean, you’re deprived of food and sleep. When I went through the second time I lost 50 pounds, you know, so in 60 days, right. And I was and I wasn’t, I was in shape. Yeah. And so, you know, but the setbacks happen. You don’t always get there the first time. And so, yeah, whether it’s physical injuries or failures, I lost cases that I should have won. But you know, I’ve won cases that I should have lost. And I think that’s what being a leader is about. It’s about being with the people who trust you to get them to the finish line, regardless of the setbacks. And, you know, Luis, I, we all have setbacks, and some are worse than others. But that’s one of the things I like about helping veterans because you hear the the stories, right about these heroes just doing most incredible things. And you’re like, wow, I mean, here’s I, I had a friend Actually, he started a CrossFit gym in Columbus, Georgia, a veteran built five, actually got out right before COVID. So he did, he did okay. But you know, he had his big thing was to help veterans get back in shape. And this guy, sir, I mean, he had four Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, and people said he did his service. But no, he went back build across the gym, and he had guys who are amputees and had other serious disabilities, you know, and they’re working out, and he’s calling me at five in the morning, last time I was down there in Columbus. So we’re gonna work out with this. And I’m like, what’s your what’s your excuse for not being here? And then you see these heroes, you know, and say, What, wow, if these guys can show up and do it with these disabilities? You know, who am I to not do this?
Luis Scott 17:27
Yeah, I mean, it sounds like injuries and setbacks is kind of what drives you to really help other people because I, you know, have you experienced that. And I and, and once again, you know, we’re talking to entrepreneurs, they’re listening to this show. And they’re trying to figure out how to get unstuck, how to get to the next level and get there. Now you run an incredibly successful law firm. And I don’t know if you know how successful it is. Many people don’t contextualize their success, because they’re just so busy working. But there’s 47,500 law firms in the country, 90 90% of them have less than 10 attorneys, and you have significantly more attorneys than that. What do you think has been the driving force of your success? And what would you tell someone who is like, I don’t want to get into that industry, because there’s too many I hear, because I hear this all the time. People say nobody wants to hear my podcast, nobody wants to see my videos, nobody wants to see my short films. Nobody wants to see me on Instagram. They’re like afraid because there’s so many people out there that they can’t get in and make a difference. But you’ve come in, and you’ve made a difference, despite the fact that 90% of the 47,500 law firms are less than 10 attorneys. What do you think was the differentiator in your business?
John Berry 18:35
I mean, I think it was choosing the people, right? I mean, I came in I like just like you said, I mean, my father was a famous lawyer. He defended the commander of the fifth Special Forces in Vietnam, wrote a book about it called those about those gallant men. I mean, he subpoenaed Nixon Nixon dismissed the case, my father tried a bunch of cases, you know, and so to fill those shoes, right, and he was a great lawyer, a great personality, but really never had to worry about running the business of the law firm. And then when I started to work for him, you know, then I noticed that that’s something we needed to take care of. And, you know, and I was trying to prove myself at the same time, like, yeah, you know, I’ll never be in quite frankly, I will never be as good of a lawyer as him. He was, you know, a legend. And I, I will, you know, no matter how hard I work, I’ll never be as good as him but I’m good at other things and, and where I’ve been successful and where I failed, has all been about the people Luis, I ever hired. My greatest investments. I mean, we’re talking 10 X, maybe hundred x investments have been a team and my biggest losses are making those poor decisions where I’ve hired people who were toxic. You know, it’s one of those things where people talk about, you know, you want to go back to Jim Collins and talk about the getting the right people on the bus on the right seats, right. But then there’s another bus you sometimes you know, when it all falls apart and they’re toxic, and they, you know, they’re they’re traitors, right. They’re they’re big screwing over other team members are toxic. They’re hurting people, they’re hurting, you know, they’re doing it. Those are the people you want to get on a different bus and you know, send it Yeah, are far away. And you need to do that don’t know that right away.
Luis Scott 20:13
Yeah. And you absolutely need to send them far away because they could create more damage in your business, and you could ever imagine, now, you said something about being legendary. And, and I kind of laugh, because so many people, they think that you have to be the best, you have to be like the top, you know, person in your field to be successful. And you said, Look, I’m not legendary, but I still became successful. And I think that that’s so encouraging, because people need to hear that story. They need to say, I don’t have to be the best to still be great. I don’t have to be like, number one, to still have a great lifestyle. One of the things that you said early on, you talked about being a warrior, and I know, in your offering, I call it an offering on your on your website, you talk about the warrior ethos, you know, what does that mean to you? And what does that mean? You know, as it relates to your business, like what is the warrior ethos? And how do you use that, to harness a business’s successful,
John Berry 21:08
you fight relentlessly. I the warrior ethos is about knowing that there will be failures. And already deciding that you’re going to get up from them, you don’t know what they’re going to be, you don’t know when you’re going to get hit in the face. You don’t know when you’re gonna get shot. But it doesn’t really matter. As long as you have made the decision you decide, decide kill off the other options, you’re going to do this one thing, and you’re gonna do it well, that that’s the warrior ethos. It’s one of our five core values. We actually had posters made they’re, they’re great. But But really, it is about just just fighting. You just have to be relentless in your fights, you can’t give up and and the warrior ethos is is about you, you are a warrior and let me tell you something warriors, warriors don’t fight alone. Warriors fighting is teams. And when you with a group of warriors, you know, everybody knows their job and does their job. And they have your six it’s not and we call they have your back in the military back? Yes. Right. They always have your back because you can depend on them. And if someone doesn’t have a warrior ethos, and they’re on your team, the whole team is going to suffer, right? They’re the weak link in the chain. And so we need that warrior ethos. There’s nothing worse than having somebody who’s going to quit on you. Well, the only thing Oh, man worse than having someone to quit on you is having that person who’s actively going to work against you.
Luis Scott 22:26
Right, right now, and people will, they’ll creep into your organization, and you definitely have to be on the lookout for those type of people. Now, you mentioned that a warrior has to have guts. And as you know, the guts and glory show is all about guts, and defining guts. What’s the gutsiest decision you’ve ever had to make?
John Berry 22:45
You know, I think some of some of those decisions have been have been trial strategy, you have to understand I do a lot of criminal defense. And a lot of times let’s say for instance, you’re representing a guy that has been charged with with sex assault right now is a long time in prison, probably lifetime Sex Offender Registry, felony conviction. I mean, for them, it’s like their whole world is crashing around them. And and when you go to trial, and you know, as a lawyer, that people are going to second guess every move you make, if you lose, you know, you may be sued for malpractice, they may claim ineffective assistance of counsel, you know, and somebody See, you have to make that decision. And the client comes to you and says, here’s my life. It’s in your hands. And I think some of the gutsiest decisions I made, were in trial strategy. And you know, sometimes they paid off, and sometimes they didn’t, when they pay off, you’re a hero. And when they don’t, you’re a bum. I think I’ve made a lot of gutsy decisions in business, but I don’t, it’s hard for me to view them that way, Luis, because the scary thing for me is not taking the big leaps. It’s the fear of what happens if I don’t, who else is hungry out there, while I’m sitting in my air conditioning, who’s out there, you know, in the desert in the jungle, fighting hungry, who’s going to come get me because I am too comfortable. So for me, I think I get more scared about the opportunities I don’t take, I don’t really worry about failure. Because you know, once you set something in motion, it’s gonna happen. And you’re going to get stronger, you’re going to learn how to deal with it. Even if you don’t know how to once you have the courage, you’ll develop the capability later, right. But once you have the courage to commit, then you develop the capability, you don’t start off with that capability. So I think that’s been huge. I mean, I’ve hired people that, you know, it was maybe frightening the amount of money I paid them the first time, you know, the first time you I remember the times I was scared the first time I paid someone a salary of over six figures. That was scary. I remember the first time my monthly overhead with no payroll, you know, was is over $100 and I was like, Oh my gosh, you know, this is a lot and I could lose everything and then, you know, it comes back to Yeah, but if you’re gonna lose everything, why not play big That’s right.
Luis Scott 25:01
You know, it’s funny because like, there’s a phrase that says new level new devil. And when we got our overhead and payroll to 100,000, we’re like, Ooh, that was tough. And then 200 and 300. And, you know, last month, over a million dollars, and it’s like, that is so scary just to think that that’s that much is on, you know, your responsibility. And that takes a lot of guts. It really does take a lot of guts to do that. You know, one of the things that that I heard just recently, I was working with someone consulting their firm. And they said, you know, Louise, I appreciate everything you’re telling me, all the consultations are giving me everything you’re telling me to help me. But you know, what I’ve realized is that I’m actually scared to succeed. I’m actually scared of the responsibility and the accountability, what would you tell somebody who’s in that position? They’re like, not doing what they need to do, because they’re actually scared of the responsibility and accountability? Like what would you tell them?
John Berry 25:55
I mean, you know, that’s one of the reasons why I stay in charge, because I know, I’m scared about what happens if I didn’t have the accountability and responsibility. If you take this weight off my shoulders, what’s going to happen? You know, is it going to be is it going to be that I am going to just relax it you know, my gonna just relax and crumble and and nothing? Or is it going to be partying all night with hookers and cocaine? I mean, what if I didn’t have this awesome responsibility? What would really have me that scares the hell out of me? And so for people that are afraid of the responsibility, I mean, I think, you know, it’s frightening. But once you have it, I mean it every day I wake up, people depend on me, I can’t quit. It makes me more responsible. It makes me feel more alive. I love having the responsibility. And once again, I mean, I have three commands in the army. And I love running command. I hate it being a staff officer. But, you know, I, I think it is scary to know that a bunch of people are depending on you. But that’s the beauty of it. The fear the liquid to this way, Louise, there’s no football on right now, as far as I know. But how many people right that are the avid fans that go to every cowboys game or every Georgia Bulldogs game, because they never get a chance to succeed or win in life in the courtroom. And with clients, we get a chance to win or lose every single day. And when we’re building a team, it’s the same way growing a business, right? I make some bad decisions, and we fail, I make some good decisions, we win. But you know what, it’s being in that game and having the responsibility. I mean, that is what gets me going. If you take that away, then I’m very scared about what’s gonna happen to me.
Luis Scott 27:33
I hear you. I mean, the thing is that at the end of the day, what’s on the other side of overcoming that fear is far greater than the resentment you’re gonna feel from not taking the leap. And so I always say, take the leap, it’s going to be a lot easier than you think. Because the regrets just going to be so bad. Now, one of the things that I get asked a lot is about daily rituals, especially when I’m, when I’m at a conference or talking to people like, what do you do on a daily basis? I’ve had that question a lot. And I think a lot of people wonder, what do successful people actually do every day? To be successful? Do you have kind of some daily rituals that you do to make yourself you know, balanced and successful on a daily basis?
John Berry 28:12
I do I do. And I think the first thing is don’t consider yourself successful, I have many successes. Success every day, I’m hungry for another success. Every day I wake up for right, I’m hungry. But I want to go back to, to the topic we were just on. I mean, that, you know, in terms of you know, there are people that are scared to go for it. I think one of the advantages I have, especially as a veteran and knowing you know, you know, as a veteran in the military, you get to know a lot of great people. And some of those great people died very young defending our country, and I’m here and I’ve got a chance, and you think I’m worried about while I might go bankrupt, I might lose everything. Well, I mean, I, you know, I had the opportunity to serve alongside real heroes, right, and to honor their memory, I go out and try to kill it every day. Because I know, that’s what they would do if they were here. And they can’t be here, because they made sure that people like you and me have the opportunity to do it. So for me, it’s more like a duty to go out and do it and to push it every day. Because ultimately, you know, it’s up to the American business person, to make this country what it can be, to make, you know, to ensure that we continue to dominate in our fields and to make that you know, humanity better. It’s about improving, if we are doing it, who’s gonna do it. And so for me, it’s like, I feel this moral obligation to do it. But also I feel tremendous guilt when I’m not doing you know, looking in the mirror saying, what are you going to do today, Louise? What are you gonna do, John? So getting into the habits, almost every day I exercise, I’m 45 years old. I go, I go to the gym, six days a week, or run or do something I usually first thing in the morning. I wrote, I wrote an article about Admiral mcraven. This guy was the admiral that spoke at University of Texas, he said that most importantly do is make your better Right. Do you remember that speech?
Luis Scott 30:02
I’ve heard that before? Yeah,
John Berry 30:03
what a crock of shit. What a waste of time. Let me tell you something. I went to a military school my last two years in high school, we to make our beds every day to make a good military bed with hospital corners takes about three, four minutes. All right. Now add that over your entire lifetime. How much time did you waste making your bed, you know what you want to be a champion or warrior unless you’re going to work at the Ritz Carlton, hey, hey, somebody else to make your bed. You know, think about what you can do in the three to four minutes in three to four minutes. And I went back when I was a young man. And in four minutes, I could do 100 pushups, and 90 setups, right? Ah, in four minutes, you can read a few statutes, right? If you’re a lawyer, you can read a couple rules of evidence in those four minutes, you understand the first thing in the morning is when your mind is fresh. And usually when I wake up a little bit paranoid to those are the most productive minutes. Don’t waste that time doing a menial task, like making a bed. Now, if you like to make your bed, fine, do it. But I would say that’s what you know, if I mean, that’s like watching TV, it’s just it’s nothing. So yeah, you’re out what has the highest impact and do that first in the morning. That’s one thing. So for me, it’s exercise because once I’m exercising, my brain starts working. And then I you know, I probably good for about two, two good hours a day where I’m just on fire and get everything done. And I can’t waste that time making a bed, or pig, right, like cleaning or something like that, you know, and, and so for me, you know, it’s workout, have the protein shake. I used to do some journaling and stuff, I’ve kind of gotten away from that. But and then it’s and then is, you know, when I come home, I’m always every night before I go to bed, you know, me and my wife and I’ll say what we’re grateful for. So it’s about exercise, it’s about gratitude. Those are, those are the two routines, everything that happens happens in between, you know, some days, it’s really healthy. Some days, it’s you know, it’s you go into the restaurant, and you’re gonna sit down for a couple hours and have a seven course meal and But hey, as long as I get that exercise in the morning, and eat healthy in the morning, and and practice gratitude, I’m always recharged the next day. Man, you said so much there. I
Luis Scott 32:15
mean, you talked about perspective and then the duty to really do it. And and I think that, that that’s just a that’s challenging me by the way, I’m over here listening. I’m like, holy cow, I got to get to work as I’m not waking up with an emergency every morning. But I’m serious, like the perspective when you think about the sacrifice that other people have made when you think about all the things that that we get to do we we don’t have to go to work, we get to go to work, and we get to do it because of the sacrifice that other people have made. It really makes a difference in overcoming your fears. Because like, you know, I have two little boys. And I always say like, Are my boys going to be proud of me when I when they get older? Or are they going to say my dad never amounted to anything because he was too scared of success, or he was too scared of failure and man that that perspective is huge. You know, one of the things that are important are mentors, and I’m curious, you know, who was your mentor? And what what it would be like the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from them.
John Berry 33:10
That’s tough, because I’ve had so many great mentors. I mean, obviously, I wouldn’t be where I am today without without the mentors. I mean, I think about, you know, my mother who was very entrepreneurial. I mean, we had, you know, I think by the time she was 26, it was me and all my siblings, there’s four of us, right and and she still went on to get her MBA. Right and, and so they they really taught me about, you know, I didn’t have a lot of supervision as a kid. My, my dad was a trial lawyer, he was always traveling trying cases. And they would, you know, I wrote when I was 10, I wanted to buy the Schwinn predator bike. I mean, I’m older, but this was this was it, this is what I want. And my parents, okay, get a job and buy it. And so I got a paper out and Id tassel court, I did it with a paper out back then there are paper boys that were disappearing and stuff and you know, getting abducted, and I, you know, I parents didn’t think twice about that. They go go do it. But yeah, my mom was very much about investing. And she bought me thinking, thinking Grow Rich when I was in high school. Yeah. And my parents were just very much like, yeah, there’s good actions will have consequences, good or bad. And you get to decide. And so I was very fortunate, I think, to, to grow up in that environment. My parents, I think were great mentors in in letting me just do what I wanted to do. And like I said, it had the effect that they wanted, you know, it’s like, Okay, I’m gonna get up at five and detasseling corn, and then when I get back at four in the afternoon, I’m gonna do the afternoon paper out so I can do that. I had days I remember where I went from wrestling practice, to swimming practice, you know, as a kid or training. I mean, it was always just like, no one ever said, John, you can’t do that. They’d be like, Okay, well, how the question is always, how are you going to do that? So that was I think those are important mentors. I think, you know, in the military, a lot of Great commanders, who would basically do the same thing and say, Okay, here’s your mission. In the army, we, when we give a mission statement, we always start with who, who, what, when, where, and, and why we never tell anybody how to do it. And doctrinally, that’s what the Russians did, which is why the Russians could never, you know, when the Cold War was going on, they said, We never know if the Americans are going to do because we’re not lockstep. We don’t tell people how to do something. And so a lot of the great commanders I had in the military would never tell me how to do something, they would say, here’s the task conditions and standards, go do it. Take your team and do it. And I think you know, so like I said, a lot of a lot of people there. And then I’ve hired a lot of business coaches, I think the most important thing I learned from when I was young, and my dad would hire coaches, for me for athletics, like, you know, can we get faster running coach strength coach, this isn’t the 90s and nobody was doing it. But it was invest in yourself. So the Warren Buffett advice really weren’t. I’m in Omaha today. So the best, you know, your best investment is always in yourself. And I truly believe that I continue to spend money on coaches. I mean, whether it’s a personal trainer, hey, I’m in great shape. I don’t need a trainer, right? But I want to know, what’s the next thing and as I age, right, am I doing the right thing. So I’m going to go to expert so I want to have a great trainer. I won’t have a great accountant. I won’t have a lawyer, but I want to have a great lawyer too. I want to have a good business coach. I want to have great peers. I want to know people like Louis Scott and Seth Bader and have them around me. So it’s it’s a 360 mentorship, because I also want my subordinates I want great subordinates who I love to develop to give me advice. And I want to hear from my peers. But I want to hear from coaches to the only person I can’t hear from as a boss because I don’t have one.
Luis Scott 36:50
I hear you. That’s awesome stuff. Man. What a What a treat has been to have you on. I mean, perspective is important for entrepreneurship, having a passion where you serve people, you know, having the courage to succeed having that warrior ethos. I mean, it’s been incredible. So, guys, we’ve been talking to John Berry, the owner of Berry Law Firm, America’s veterans law firm, John, where can people find you?
John Berry 37:15
They can find us at PTSD lawyers calm as in post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, lawyers calm for veterans who need to get a hold of us 1-888-883-2483 or just Google John Berry, not the country singer, you’ll probably find my marketing teams doing their job. But John Berry attorney, you’ll probably find my dad’s page in Wikipedia. What’s your pop up first, and he’s the hero trial lawyer. But you’ll get to me eventually. But John Berry,
Luis Scott 37:44
I can attest if you type in John Berry law, you will find him so be sure to look him up. All right, John, thanks so much for being on. It was awesome having you.
John Berry 37:53
Thanks. It’s been a pleasure.
You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show with Luis Scott. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to share. For more information on this episode, please see the show notes at www.GutsandGloryshow.com and join us next time as we talk to another leader in business that had the guts to overcome all odds for the glory of success.