Leading through Adversity: A Conversation with Jonathan Dichter of DUI Heroes

4–5 minutes to read

When courts are shut down and the economy is in turmoil, many firms are put in precarious positions, unsure of where to turn or what to do to stay alive.

But instead of stagnating or retreating — heroes push boldly forward.

Jonathan Dichter of DUI Heroes in Snohomish County, Washington is doing just that.

Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill recently sat down with Jonathan to talk about how his criminal defense firm is treating their clients, their teammates, and their business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Check out the full conversation:

6:17 – Touching base with clients. “What we were able to do with all that is take the time we needed to invest in finishing out those rebrands and finishing out that software change. We have touched base with every single client personally. We’ve touched base with them via email or directly or over the phone. We said, ‘Hey, we’re still here. We’re monitoring your case. Here’s what’s happening with it. Do you have questions?’”

7:28 – Rebranding the firm. “From a managerial standpoint, it gives me the time to start building some of the organic marketing content that I’ve been meaning to get to — but then the rebrand happened, and then the software glitch happened, and then this happened, that happened, and then I had two surgeries in the last three weeks. I haven’t had a chance, but now it’s giving me the time to do that. I’m working with my website guys. We’re designing landing pages. I’m working with my Social Stack folks. We’re tweaking where things are. I’ve increased my advertising budget.”

9:04 – Coping with thyroid cancer. “Over the course of the last five weeks —amidst the COVID crisis — I’ve been dealing with headaches, an emergency room visit, an undiscovered mass on my thyroid. It turned out a six-centimeter tumor was on my thyroid. We couldn’t see it. We couldn’t feel it. They took out the left side; I had surgery three weeks ago. Pathology came back. Yes, malignant. It’s cancer. We have to get the rest. Had that surgery one week ago tomorrow. I’m six days post-op right now. My incision is still healing.”

10:45 – Writing a book. “I’ve kind of started the outlines of a new book. I had weight loss surgery about five years ago, and I wrote a book about that and a lot of people really enjoyed it. I’m thinking about writing a book about this along with the difficulties of running a business through this and COVID, right? Because this has never been seen. This has never happened before. There’s no playbook for this. There’s no blueprint. We’re making this up as we go, right? But those people who stay calm, stay focused, and invest in what works are going to come out ahead at the end of it I think.”

12:52 – Elevate your business. “Take 10, 15 minutes every morning, take half an hour every day, whatever it is, as business owner, as manager, as leader, and sit down with a notepad or an app or a checklist and think about the things that you’ve always wanted to do with your business, but you haven’t had a chance to do it yet. Those things that are like, ‘Boy, if I could do this, I’d be so much ahead of the next guy, and I just wish I had the time for it.’”

14:12 – Connecting with your network. “Connect with people, connect with your teammates, connect with yourself. Those are the three things. Connect with other people, your teammates, and yourself, and find the things that do you have the time and ability to do. And every time you connect with one of them or every time you check something off your list, that’s another step forward you took instead of staying stagnant. Because you’ve only got two options right now if you’re in my industry. Option number one: you can get out ahead of everybody else. Or option number two: you can be left behind, shuttered in a closed building. That’s all you got.”

15:18 – Keeping the integrity alive. “And more than that, keeping that integrity that you had, the optimism that you had, the idealism you had when you started the business. Because we all did, right? I know very few lawyers — even criminal defense lawyers — that’ll get into this business saying, ‘I’m going to be that really nasty lawyer everybody portrays on TV.’ Everybody came into this for really solid reasons, right? We all wanted to help people out with something. So try to get in touch with that and practice what you preach.”

19:41 – Sharing business blueprint. “I’ve shared my business blueprint with people just right out of the box. People say, ‘Well, why would you tell me how you did it?’ I say, ‘Well, two reasons. Number one, there’s more than enough business to go around. We’re all going to be successful. You can by all means have access to what I did. Number two, by the time you are as good as I am at what I’m doing, I’m going to be doing the next thing. So you’re always going to be a step behind the leader, but the leader can still lead by example.’”


If you’re viewing this challenging situation the same way Jonathan and Michael are, text Michael directly at 404–531–7691 to tell him how YOUR team is stepping up right now.


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