The 2013 Finish Strong Legal Business Development Challenge

We’re down to 41 days left in 2013…  Just 25 days, excluding weekends, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
  Not much time to make a big shift…  Or is it?

The stereotypical lawyer’s answer:  it depends on what you do with that time.  And that’s why I’m inviting you to accept the 2013 Finish Strong Challenge.

Here’s how you play:

  • Choose one focus for the remainder of the year.  You could select networking, getting back in touch with former clients or other contacts, getting that article written or that blog set up and populated…  The focus depends on your own business development plan, but the key here is to choose only one focus for the challenge.
    Of course, you can choose to take on other business development activity during this time, but having a single focus point will make the challenge crystal clear.
  • Decide how many days you’re going to take action.  I’m a fan of consistency in business development activity, so I’d urge you to choose daily activity. (And I do mean daily, not daily on business days.)  Your challenge can be effective if you take action on selected days, but since this is a sprint to the end of the year, give serious thought to taking action as frequently as possible between now and the end of the year.  You may even find it’s a habit you’ll want to continue!  Whatever schedule you select, be sure to note it in your calendar or elsewhere so you remember which days you set up as Challenge Days.
  • Select your measurable activity.  Examples might include contacting one former client per Challenge Day by telephone, by note, or in person; commenting on  a blog relevant to your practice on each Challenge Day; or making a useful introduction to a member of your network on each of your three-times-a-week Challenge Days.
    Be sure that the activity you select fits in with your business development plan.  Sprinting through pointless activity won’t do you any good.
  • Set up a tracking system for your activity.  If you’re an iPhone user, look at apps such as Habit List; if you prefer low-tech, consider adopting Jerry Seinfeld’s “don’t break the chain” system.  The key here is to track your activity and your results, so you’ll be able to see the correlation.
  • Set up a tracking system for your results.  Be sure that you’re noting not just new business that you land (which, depending on your practice, may or may not happen in this short time) but also interim successes such as making useful new contacts or getting invited to speak to a group of ideal clients.
  • Design an accountability system for your Challenge Days.  Get a colleague or friend in on the action and check in daily by email or short (2-minute) phone calls.  If you’re a lone wolf, check out online systems like HassleMe.
  • Make your declaration.  Drop me an email, and I’ll cheer you on.  No guarantees, but I might even be able to share some extra tips with you.
  • Do what you committed to do, when you committed to doing it, the way you committed to doing it.  Obviously, this is the crux of the Challenge.
  • After January 1, evaluate your progress.  What did you learn?  What went well, and what didn’t?  What was effective?  How do you want to carry the challenge forward into 2014?

Will you accept the Challenge?  Take 10 minutes today to make your plans — after all, with so few days left, you don’t want to miss a single one!  (If you’re finding it difficult to get started with the Challenge, you may not have a business development plan that’s clear enough to show you what to do.  If that’s the case, send me an email requesting a complimentary consultation.  Trying to build a book of business without a carefully-designed plan will leave you wandering aimlessly, wasting time.)

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