(September 9, 2020, 1:58 PM EDT) — COVID-19 is the largest global disruption in modern history. And what history tells us is that we are never going back to the way things were before, at least not completely.
Navigating disruption can be incredibly challenging. But it can also be exciting. It is not all bad. It forces us to become more innovative and creative. It forces us to make changes and do things differently that we would not likely have done on our own. Being ahead of the curve and creating new products and services helps us cope with our new reality.
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Check your ego at the door before reading this post. (Disclaimer) My clients do NOT fall into this trap.
Why is it that you try to be all things? Why not focus on your strengths? Be the best lawyer you can be and then surround yourself with a team of professionals that will help you reach your goals faster then if you try to do it all on your own?
In the 15 and more years I have been coaching lawyers, I run into this all the time during a consultation. You are building your own website. You are taking on tasks that can easily and more efficiently be delegated to another professional at a fraction of the cost to you, while freeing up more of your time for billables and getting more clients.
Frankly I am still surprised at how many people fall into this trap. It’s simple math really. Take your hourly rate and minus what you would pay a paralegal, or assistant, or IT professional. Guess what? That’s money (profits) you are leaving on the table. And if your not stealing time away from billable work to complete these tasks, you’re stealing it away from business development, growth and profitability.
How about for one day you be the lawyer, that’s it. Just be the lawyer.
We are in unprecedented times. We are surrounded with negative. It’s become increasingly challenging to stay positive. Yet geting and remaining positive is perhaps the most important thing we can do for ourselves, our clients, our friends, our family, and our communities.
Here are some thoughts on how to focus on being happy.
- Spend time (virtually or in-person) with people that make you happy.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Cook (or order in), your favorite food.
- Watch your favorite movies.
- Walk a little longer with your dog.
- Be grateful for everyone and everything in your life right now.
- Help someone else.
- Spend more time in nature.
- Tend to your garden.
- Bake your best goodies for your friends and neighbors.
- Get those old photo albums out, (or go through your phone), and spend some time reliving your favorite memories.
- Avoid the news, or at least keep it to a minimum, (10 minutes per day) just to stay informed.
- Make the decision that today you are going to be happy.
Happiness is a decision. Will you make the decision to be happy today? I did.
Last week in talking with one of my clients I learned of an extraordinary story about three young entrepreneurs emerging in this Covid-19 pandemic.
With time on their hands (being out of school), and spending hours playing on FaceTime during this Covid-19 pandemic, Leila Fumano (9) and Libby Fumano (5) of Vancouver, and their cousin Emma Newman (8) of Newfoundland came up with the idea to start a business called The Wave.
With two headquarters -one located in the beautiful Conception Bay South; Newfoundland, the other in picturesque Vancouver, British Columbia, while separated by distance, they consider that they are connected by two oceans coming together to create “The Wave”
While in early stages, they make original artwork, clothing and housewares.
I was absolutely blow away and amazed at the creativity of these three young entrepreneurs. It just goes to show you that we as adults can still learn from children. They came up with their logo, mission statement and are currently recruiting other young and aspiring entrepreneurs to join the wave. Stay tuned for their launch, which by all accounts will not disappoint.
What we are going through collectively and on a global scale likens itself to wartime, I’ve heard. Most of us have not experienced anything like it. It’ surreal. It’s like we are all in a Hollywood horror movie. So much has changed in such a short period of time.
Yesterday, my first day out after self-quarantine, a beautiful sunny day, I was walking along the seawall here in Vancouver. And other than people keeping a greater distance from each other than normal, you wouldn’t really know this is happening.
It’s times like these that we must come together. We must help each other. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. And if you are able to give help, don’t hesitate to offer it.
We will get through this. But it’s how we get through this that will show our true character, both as individuals, and as businesses. Let me give you one example. Disney closed it’s theme parks earlier this month but will continue to pay it’s employees. That’s good corporate responsibility (for lack of a better word). Other companies (to remain nameless), have laid off their employees without pay.
Another example comes from the airline industry. When this crisis started to appear serious some airlines made it very easy for customers to change their flights, and even waived the fees. While other airlines did not and charged an arm and a leg for their customers to get home.
Our true character will become obvious through this crisis, if it wasn’t before. Like always we have choices, as individuals and businesses.
I’ve seen more good than bad and it inspires me to do more.
Whatever I can do to help you either on a personal level or for your business, please reach out.
This seven part podcast series is aimed at Managing Partners and smaller law firm owners. Topics include: Growth strategies, from solo to firm, managing growth, becoming more profitable, leadership, and succession planning.