Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Brickman.
Matthew, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was 21 years old, I was married with my first child and began my career as a licensed cosmetologist. At 23 years old I had my son and began traveling and teaching hair color for an international hair color company. At 29, I got divorced. It was an amicable divorce that we did ourselves until about 1 year later. Today’s amicable divorce turned into tomorrow’s bloodbath and we ended up in court. Eventually, we were ordered to mediation and in was in my own mediation where I was inspired to become a mediator. Soon after mediation, my ex-wife gave me our children and she moved away. I could no longer travel and teach and so I began my journey as a mediator. I attended Kaplan University online and obtained an Associate’s degree in paralegal studies. I then got certified as a county mediator and began mediating part time in the courthouse as I continued my studies at Kaplan. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in legal studies and then attended Concord Law School. I obtained my family certification, then my dependency certification, then my appellate certification and then train the trainer certification. I wrote my own curriculum for the family mediation training for Florida and was going to open my own training courses statewide, but became too busy to teach because I was mediating just under 300 mediations a year. I wrote the first interactive E-Book published on iTunes for mediation called You’re Not The Only One and have been mediating ever since. I travel all over the State of Florida mediating as well as conducting out of state and even out of country mediations using my iChatMediation Virtual Platform built for me by Cisco Communications. To date, I have worked with over 500 lawyers and conduct pro se mediations as well.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
At times it seems to have been a smooth ride, but there were definitely bumps in the road. Some of the struggles were in the beginning as I was trying to just get started. The legal community is a small tight community and trying to break in as a new mediator was almost impossible. Many times I joked that I needed an agent. In order to get certified as a mediator, one has to go through a mentorship program with an existing mediator. No one would allow me to attend so I could get my mentorship requirements. Eventually, I had the director of the mediation department at the courthouse 40 miles away say I could attend with her. I made the trips and eventually obtained my mentorship requirements.
Other struggles were found in advertising and building the practice. It took a lot of time and money to build. As far as advertising, my first mediation website was found on page 22 of the Google search results and had 0 hits per month for the first year. I then hired a company to build me a website and do my advertising and over time my budget increased from $400/mo. and now is at $1300/mo. and my visibility online increased greatly. In 2016 I had just over 441,000 hits to my website and I dominate most of Google’s search results on the first page for a mediator in Palm Beach and Martin County search results. After only 3 months of advertising now in Miami, I am moving up the search result quite rapidly and at the top of page 2 on most search inquiries in the Broward and Dade search results. Again, I must emphasize that this was over an 11-year period and took time.
As far as building, I worked a 2nd job for the first two years as I built my practice as I could not make a living on 5 mediations per month. It has taken 11 years to build this successful practice and in 2016 I conducted an average of 22 mediations per month. It takes time, money, patience and persistence but is well worth it!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
iMediate Inc. was birthed out of my own divorce and custody battle. Between 2003 and 2015, I was in and out of court 43 times with my ex. I was inspired to become a mediator and have a passion for impacting generations with peace. I was created and placed on this planet to mediate. This is not a job, but why I live and breathe. I have conducted all types of mediator through the years. I have done HOA disputes, personal injury, auto accident claims, small business mergers, consumer complaints, neighbor disputes, parent/teenage conflicts, divorces, paternity suits, and just about anything ranging from small claims suits for $100 to multimillion dollar divorces. I am most known for family mediations, divorce and paternity suits. I have the most knowledge in family disputes as I have lived through it first-hand myself which has given me an edge when it comes to creative problem solving. As a company I am most proud of the generations I have impacted and the money I have saved parties from spending going to trial. In 2016, I conducted 273 mediations. Of those mediations, 170 couples chose to receive peace and settle their case in mediation. The average case will cost an individual $10k to go to trial, so I collectively helped these 170 couples save $3,600,000 in legal fees. As a mediator, what sets me apart is that I do not charge for travel and I draft the agreements in mediation which saves time and money. I have also been told that I bring a sense of calm authority to mediation and I am an extremely creative problem solver.
What were you like growing up?
I was the 2nd of 4 children. My father was a preacher and my mother was a stay at home mom. I have lived in Arizona, Texas, Florida and North Dakota. I was never really into playing or even watching sports except for volleyball. I loved computers, poetry, creative writing and storytelling and of course I loved the girls. I am an extravert and very outgoing. I charge and recharge around other people. I don’t mind being alone and doing activities by myself, but I’d prefer the company of others, so long as it’s good company. I have always loved theater and performing. I have always loved teaching and helping others to learn and grow.
- If represented by an attorney: $250/hr ($125 per hour per party) with 3 hour minimum for a half day mediation.
- If represented by an attorney: $250/hr ($125 per hour per party) with 6 hour minimum for an all day mediation.
- If pro se: $300/hr ($150 per hour per party) with 3 hour minimum for a half day mediation.
- If pro se: $300/hr ($150 per hour per party) with 6 hour minimum for an all day mediation.
- I do not charge for travel.
- Address: Mailing Address:
2915 Tuscany Court, Suite 105
Palm Beach Gardens, Fl, 33410
- Website: iMediateInc.com
- Phone: 561-262-9121 / 877-822-1479
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ichatmediation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ichatmediation
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ichatmediation-palm-beach-gardens
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/user/iChatMediation