Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Outlook, New Business

If you are reading this, then you've likely already devoured several other posts (or at least glanced at headlines of posts) focused on"Starting New in the New Year."  Most of these articles include a list of five or ten or twenty or more tips, tricks, strategies, or tools to help make 2013 the best yet.  Some of them are helpful, some of them are not. 
At first we were going to draft a similar post to kick-start the year in blogging.  But at the end of the day we realized it would be too forced and redundant.  The best specific strategies related to legal blogs would simply be things that we have already mentioned--nothing too novel need be included.  There is no aspect of life or business for which five simple steps or tricks will work for everyone or automatically change anything.  That is true for everything from losing weight to maintaining a legal blog consistently.  For as much as we'd like to guarantee x number of new clients by following x number of steps...nothing is that easy. 

However, that is not to say that we are not supporters of new goals and actions for the new cycle.  It is just that instead of focusing on specifics, we want to use this time of year to share a few basic affirmations about a better outlook for 2013 and your legal business. 

***If you do nothing different, you'll get nothing different.  Too many of us are not 100% satisfied with our business or operations, yet we do little to change anything.  We often fall for the trap that things will change on their own.  They likely won't.  In virtually all cases trying something new, anything new, is better than the status quo.  Commit to a spirit of trying something novel this year.

***Being efficient is better than being busy.  As attorneys we always have more things that we "could" do or "wish we could" do than time to do it.  There will never be time and physical energy to fit in all of our "to do's" in any day.  Selection matters.  Doing what  is most important is far more valuable than just filling time.  Yet, so many of us continue to think all tasks are of equal value--or least our actions suggest we believe that.  Instead, we should prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.  Do what matter most first.  Delegate properly.  And do not be afraid to cut out things that serve no purpose.

***Let go of complete control.  It's a trait that lawyers have in abundance: the need to control all aspects of their situation. That is most true for solos and attorneys in medium sized firms.  You've spent so much time building your practice that it can be very difficult to hand over any aspect, no matter how small, to another.  But the need to control and micromanage can act as a tight constriction on a business's ability to grow.  One person (or a small group of people) can only do so much.  Knowing when to let others in and giving them the space to work for you may be the best decision you make this year.

Here's to all of us having a terrific 2013.  Buckle up and hit the road.

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