Make a new year’s decision.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

If you haven’t already done so, I invite you to make a decision (not a resolution) about how you will engage in and with business development activity going forward. Your consistent commitment makes the difference between a decision and a garden-variety resolution (which, statistically speaking, has a 25% chance of being broken within the first week and only a 46% chance of being maintained for more than six months).














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It’s the season of celebration: Christmas almost here, Hanukkah just ending, and other special days about. Whatever you celebrate, and even if you aren’t celebrating anything, I wish you a magical season.

(Wishing for a biz dev read? Here’s one of my most popular articles in 2014.)

Year in review: what worked?

In just two weeks, 2014 will be over and done. You can still accomplish a lot if you choose, even with the intervening holidays, but there’s one must-do task to set yourself up for a strong 2015: your year in review.

Just about every successful person I know or know of considers the year-end review a critical piece of preparing for the upcoming year. There’s no single way to conduct this review, though you can get a flavor of the process through Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review and his suggestions  on how you can perform the same process.

When it comes to marketing and business development, you can streamline the process by asking three simple questions. 

  1. What should I stop doing? What marketing initiatives flopped? What did you dislike doing? Which activities delivered results that weren’t proportional to the time (and perhaps money) investment required? These are activities you should stop doing.Just a word to the wise here: be sure that you’ve given an activity enough consistent effort to judge it fairly. If you just started working within an organization in October and you’ve only attended one meeting, you probably don’t have sufficient data to make a determination.
  2. What should I start doing? This is where you’ll revisit your business development plan. Which activities fit your marketing identity and are well calculated to reach your ideal client? Most likely, you should start implementing some subset of those activities.
  3. What should I continue doing? In other words, what worked well? Consider results in terms of building your brand, raising your profile in the marketplace, building valuable relationships, and landing new business.


Year’s end is an ideal time to ask yourself these questions, and the process need not be fancy. Grab a pad (whether i- or yellow) and make a few notes. Be sure you have your calendar and your business development plan at hand to jog your memory and measure your outcomes. And while you’re at it, schedule a midyear review now for late June or early July 2015.

News you can use

Without further ado, some articles and ideas you can use this week:

1. If you work in a firm and struggle to get around to business development activity thanks to the pile of billable work on your desk, read this quote and then internalize it:

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” Earl Nightingale

2. If you think that doing good work on time (you know, just like most of your competitors) is enough to create value, try this exercise to uncover reasons for clients to choose you.

3. Especially pertinent for the holiday season, when socializing is at its peak: 5 Steps to Building Great Business Relationships .

4. As you’re working on your business development plan for 2015, consider the interrelationship between goals, strategy, and tactics . Get them mixed up, and you’ll waste a lot of time.

Finally, are you committed to growing your book of business but not sure where to start? I’ve set aside a few consultation times for next week. Schedule a time for us to get acquainted and explore whether I might be able to help you.

Don’t miss this no-fee webinar!

Do you ever wonder why the plan that a colleague used to land business just doesn’t seem to work for you?

Are you tired of facing a choice between doing billable work (so you have receivables today) and doing business development work (so you have receivables tomorrow)?

Have you ever had the feeling that there’s a secret that you could use to build a successful practice, if only you knew what it was? And a fear that other lawyers know that secret, but you don’t?

Do you ever worry that your marketing or business development activity comes across as pushy or obnoxious—or, worse yet, desperate?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be that way.

Over the last few weeks I’ve shared the 9 Ways You’re Losing Business—And What to Do About It. Last week, I shared a “big picture” schematic that shows you exactly how to determine you most effective marketing activity. Join me next week for a complimentary webinar, when I’ll show you exactly how to….

Build a Rock Solid Book of BusinessThat Brings You More Impact, Influence, and Income 

I’ll show you how to:

  • Develop marketing that’s an ideal fit for you, your practice, and your clients so you never again feel inauthentic or pushy when marketing your practice
  • Become credibly visible in your market, so you become known to your potential clients and referral sources
  • Create a consistent experience for your clients so that they know exactly what to expect during the course of the engagement
  • Build relationships that leads to business (directly or by referral)
  • Create value for your clients above and beyond the basic expectations for an engagement
  • Identify the word that no client wants to hear and replace it with the word that will connect with them

Use this link to register to attend the webinar or to receive an invitation to an encore broadcast.

I’ll look forward to “seeing” you at next week’s webinar!