Get Busy, Get Paid! How to develop a financially successful mediation practice: a review

One mediator is known for his wacky ties. Another is a former judge known far and wide for being so obnoxious parties settle in order to get away from him. A third is known for her impatience.

All of these are mediators Dr. Randy Lowry describes to illustrate market differentiation in’s DVD, Get Busy, Get Paid: How to Develop a Financially Successful Mediation Practice. And while the ways these mediators are differentiated probably aren’t the ways you’d choose to differentiate yourself, they’re excellent examples of the distinctions markets see.

I had a chance to view this video last week and recommend it for a whole host of reasons. It covers important topics like target markets, market niches and market differentiation in a straightforward, thoughtful way. It challenges you to put the work into understanding what you have to offer. And Lowry sets the stage well for successful practice-building with his practice development pyramid. From the bottom of the pyramid up he describes the phases most mediators go through:

  • Phase 1: Become a trained mediator – the foundation for everything else on the pyramid
  • Phase 2: Practice through volunteering – building your skills and your credibility
  • Phase 3: Part-time practice – you’re getting paid, but not able to support yourself yet
  • Phase 4: Part-time practice – starting to get case momentum, realize it’s time to decide whether or not to commit to making mediation your day job
  • Phase 5: Full-time practice – able to make a reasonable living as a mediator
  • Phase 6: A premier practice – booked months out, people will wait to get on your schedule, you can be selective about the cases you will accept

I particularly appreciate that Lowry emphasizes the importance of good skill and professional credibility as critical for success, good marketing skill or not. At one point in the video he shares this quip from a judge in Atlanta: “You can give a sparrow a certificate saying he’s a peacock. But the peacock knows the difference.”

And I was thrilled to see Lowry describe the value of using interests (over positions) in selling, much as I do in my book. When I watched him describing this, I thought to myself, this man is a kindred spirit.

Randy Lowry has an engaging, humble and entertaining style that ensures the video stays watchable and interesting throughout. I met Randy at the Southeastern Mediators Summit last December and he has a demeanor on video that mirrors his natural warmth and easygoing professionalism off camera. He balances lecture with exercises, and peppers his talk with numerous memorable stories that drive the points home.

The Get Busy, Get Paid DVD and digital course manual is well worth the reasonable $49 US, particularly if you like to absorb information and then figure out how to apply it to your own circumstances. Just one small word of caution, though, if you own a Mac: I tried two different versions of the DVD in three different relatively new MacBooks and they wouldn’t play. Once I got my hands on my husband’s brand new Windows machine, a Dell XPS, I was able to view the video without any problem.

A special thanks to Jim Melamed, who kindly provided me with a copy of the DVD so I could review it here.


Tammy Lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski helps individuals, pairs, teams, and audiences navigate disagreement better, address friction, and build alignment. Her current work centers on creating the conditions for robust collaboration and sound decisions while fostering resilient personal and professional relationships. Her conflict resolution podcast and blog, Disagree Better, are available at… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


An Open Letter

From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack. In 1990, a California appellate court held that “absolute quasi-judicial immunity is properly extended to neutral third persons who are engaged in mediation,...

By Phyllis Pollack

Mediation And Moral Imperative

On October 21, 2008 I read a curious Reuters headline that stated “Taliban Seeking Mediator.” Immediately I puzzled over why the Taliban would want one of us...a peacemaker, a harmonizer,...

By Merri L. Hanson

Middle East Envoy and Chief Clinton Peace Advisor Gives 12-Steps for Effective Negotiations

The negotiator's equivalent of "don't make a federal case out of it" is "what do you think you're doing, brokering a negotiated peace in the Middle East?" Well (thanks --...

By Victoria Pynchon

Find a Mediator