Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
Although this might be self-serving, I didn’t write it or speak to it. If you’ve ever thought about getting a coach to help you grow and manage your business, I highly recommend you watch this TED Talk. Warning! There are some graphic images. And it gets a little emotional at the end. It’s inspiring, uplifting and real life proof of what coaching can do. Enjoy.
When it comes time for business development you seem to have a habit. That habit is not making time for some of the most important tasks. If you want to grow your practice or your firm, you have to make time. How much has that habit cost you over the years? I know times are tough and you are challenged with time. It could start with looking at your priorities and making adjustments to allow more time for business development.
You attend conferences and listen to webinars. You read books on marketing and business development. You even get a little excited on these webinars. But then you go right back to your old habits and create an excuse or excuses for not to jump into action. I challenge you right now to think of one action or strategy that you’re learned recently and run with it. Run with it all the way to the bank. Just one thing. That will start a chain reaction of results and motivate you to try more and different things. As I tell my clients, “Nike”-just do it! If you want help, call me. That is what I do; help my clients get into action. Do the work, and live the results.
I have a lot of clients who identify procrastination as one of the things they would like to improve on. It’s very common. What is also common is that most of my clients also suffer from perfectionism syndrome. So, are they related? A fear of being judged? A fear of being wrong? Or even a fear of judging yourself?
The next time you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself those questions.
Yesterday in coaching a group of associates, once again the issue of time came up. When and how do I make time for my business development is an age old question. In our brainstorming session, one tax associate came up with his own answer. He said “I don’t do anything unless it pops up in my outlook”. Well then, make the appointment with yourself using your outlook calendar. Sometimes it’s the simplest approach that works best. And it’s really about self-discipline.
Don’t fear making mistakes. I know, easy to say. When you make mistakes, you learn, or at least have the opportunity to learn and improve. Making a mistake on a document or argument could cost your client a lot of money. Making a mistake in marketing or business development only goes to support your learning. No one is going to die.
If you are still unconvinced, look at me. I am a living example of someone who has made all kinds of mistakes in business, and I am not only still here, my business is flourishing. In fact that’s part of the reason you pay me for my services. I’ve already made most of the mistakes you could make and in doing so can save you a lot of time and money.
So thank you mistakes. You’ve taught me a lot.
Raindance: The Business Development Guide Book for Lawyers is now available through Carswell. Click here to go to Carswell for more information and ordering.
If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
I just finished a work out with my fitness trainer. A great reminder of why I like coaching lawyers so much. I’ve been working out and running for over 20 years, and today was a great reminder that you can never learn too much.
In the beginning it might be more about learning. But then it quickly becomes about discipline and endurance. And then it’s all about accountability.
Are you ready to build your business development muscle?
On a call with a client yesterday and he is at the stage now where he must start to delegate more. He has become very successful at bringing in new clients and work. He finds himself at capacity. The first thing I recommended he do was to think about which files he could delegate to other lawyers. Now that he has created some momentum with his business development efforts, the worst thing he could do is stop. A lot of the smaller files are not supporting his goals. By dropping a couple of them and focusing on his business development, he is more likely to reach his goals sooner.
It’s time to put aside the ‘lawyer’ hat and put on the ‘business’ hat. At this stage you must become very strategic and selective of the work you take on. With growth come new challenges. And these are exactly the types of challenges you want.
Most if not all of my clients have a habit of procrastinating? Why is this so common with lawyers? What do you get from putting things off? How does this effect your productivity? Your peace of mind? Your stress level? And perhaps most importantly, your level of client service?
Habits are easy to get into and not as easy to break. But they can be broken. Ask yourself, ‘what potential upside comes from putting things off?’ Do you get a rush from doing things last minute? How does that serve you?
Moving forward try setting deadlines ahead of when you actually need them done. Some people intentionally set their watch ahead so they are not late for meetings or appointments. This tip follows that same logic. If you can ‘trick’ your mind into thinking something is due before it actually is, then you will be ahead of the game. Keep track of how this makes you feel? How does it effect your performance and peace of mind. When you start seeing positive results, you are more likely to keep this new habit and lessen your stress level.
In a client session last week, we talked about how to keep focused when doing tasks tat may not be your favorite. Procrastination and time management are two areas where if you keep your eye on the goal, or ‘reward’, you are much more likely to complete the task.
In the case of this client, he has a new-born daughter that he would like to spend more time with. Understanding that by getting those trivial yet important tasks done, and spending a little time getting and keeping organized will allow him to spend more time with his daughter. That is his reward. What is your? Positive motivators work a lot more effectively than negative ones.