Can you remember the last time someone reminded you that “practice makes perfect”? Consider the word in the context of lawyers and law firms: the practice of law. Lawyers sell their expertise, which they acquire through study and practice. But what lawyers often forget is that how they practice law often has nothing to do with their expertise. In other words, while they may be effective, they are not necessarily efficient. Efficiency requires a different focus than effectiveness, and yet it yields exponential effectiveness benefits by decreasing the likelihood of major error while helping to keep your business and your firm running more effectively. Clients love this! Continue Reading
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke: How many lawyers does it take for a firm to adopt a new knowledge-management technology? Answer: Isn’t that like filing? Why are you wasting my time with this?!
We all know that lawyers are skeptical – that’s what they’re paid for – and as a consequence they seem to stand in the way of change, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you show your partners that other firms are leveraging technology to future proof their practices they are more likely to visualize the benefits. Seeing other firms using the new technology successfully also spurs lawyers’ competitive nature, which leads to greater willingness to try something new. No one wants to be left behind! Continue Reading
A choice to start your own business or build your business is a choice to take on a lot of challenges. It’s a BHAG – a big, hairy, audacious goal. And that can be, well, a little overwhelming. What I’ve discovered helps my clients is to refine their vision, to identify what it is they need to do, and to focus on why they’re doing it.
Refining your vision is the basis for developing a strategy. When you refine your vision you understand that you don’t need to do everything, thankfully! Instead, you think about the most desirable outcome, letting go of what doesn’t serve that vision. Think about who you want to know as a result of your endeavors and who you want to know you.
Identifying what it is that you what to achieve and why you’re doing it will help you set clear goals and milestones. Think about what will be the most fulfilling work for you; consider Simon Sinek’s insight that a paycheck is just a side effect.
And then you can go ahead and start planning your strategy – what you’ll need to do and what resources you need. Obviously, we all benefit from setting milestones, especially with a BHAG. But fear not: you can successfully tackle any BHAG with an SDA- a single daily action. A single daily action is just what it sounds like, it’s the chipping away at a BHAG a little bit at a time, on an (almost) daily basis. Adopting an SDA approach is more than bite-sizing the tasks that make achieving BHAGs possible. Achieving most BHAGs require that tasks occur on a daily, weekly, and quarterly basis. It’s like nurturing a delicate flower: you don’t water it all at once, instead the flower flourishes because you’ve watered, fertilized, and rotated it on a regular basis.
Back to growing your business: what actions do you need to take on a daily or weekly basis? Making phone calls, having lunch with prospective clients and referral sources? What about monthly or quarterly actions? Are you writing articles, client alerts, or blog posts? Are you presenting at conferences? What else are you doing to build your reputation as an expert in your field? Remember, you can do it with an SDA mindset and plan!