The last couple of weeks of the year offers a fine time for several activities. Finishing the last work of the year and getting bills out is task critical, but not the only one on the list. Attending holiday gatherings and talking with clients and other contacts to express your appreciation and good wishes for the new year is likely at the top of the list. (If it isn’t, perhaps you should reconsider.) Recreation, relaxation, and re-energization may be on the list for many, which presents a good chance for starting 2009 ahead of the game.
/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/reflection.jpg 300 400 strategic /wp-content/uploads/2015/09/3179291.png strategic2008-12-18 00:32:552016-01-29 15:38:45Got resolutions?
I always recommend that, just as you close one day by checking on what went well or not and laying plans for the next day, you close the year in reflection and planning for the next year. I recently challenged a client who’d been working some comfortable but unsuccessful client development activities with the observation that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. After a moment’s silence, she chuckled wryly and said, “Well, I guess I’ve always been a little off….”
So, what’s gone well this year, and what must you change to reach your goals? Sometimes the changes are minor, like choosing to reach out to a different group of lawyers in your firm or your network in hopes of building a stronger professional community.
And sometimes, the changes demand real courage and unflinching honesty. When I started Life at the Bar in 2005, I faced a huge learning curve. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, so I decided to work harder… And harder… And then finally, exhausted, I looked squarely at the facts and admitted that I needed to change something if I really wanted different results. That’s when I began re-examining my business approach and asked for help. I worked with a marketing coach one-on-one for several months, and earlier this year I joined a marketing mastermind group led by a coach.
My results? As of today, I’m reaching 294% more lawyers with this newsletter than I reached when it launched on January 13, 2008, and I’m no longer exhausted. That change is terrific for my business, and (even more importantly) it means that I’m advancing my business purpose (of supporting lawyers in developing successful, satisfying, and sustainable practices, which in turn will help lawyers help their clients, which in turn has a huge impact on our society) more and faster than ever before. And I’m laying plans for even more next year with the support and suggestions of my coach and the members of my mastermind group.
That’s my story. What will your story be this year? What will it be this time next year? What’s working well, and what would you like to work better? Where do you need to change? What assistance do you need? Spend a few minutes mulling this over. Think big: what’s your ideal? What do you need to do to get there? And remember all aspects of your practice and life: your legal skills, your collegial relationships, your client service skills, your rainmaking activities and results, your career advancement, and so on. Today’s book review will help tremendously with client service, which has an impact on business development as well.
An assignment: schedule an hour or so to reflect on this year and to lay your plans for next year. The time will pay remarkable dividends.