All talk and no Action

We all procrastinate. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be human.

We have good days and bad.

Finding the zone is key.

However, in my experience law firms are (particularly) long on talk but short on action. And sometimes, just to surprise everyone, they take a quixotic line of attack, which leaves you exasperated, wondering why you have spent the last 6 months meticulously planning your business development objectives.

I firmly believe that law firms (and indeed professional practice generally) would be far better off picking a general direction and executing like hell around it.

Strategy ~ We want to grow our private client team.

Objectives ~ Staying much, much closer to the client.

Execution ~ speak to an old client everyday, email all our old clients our newsletter, email every client to remind them who does what, take an old client to lunch once a week, speak to our best clients once a week even if it is just to say hello etc etc.

In reality the only thing that is stopping you executing around your objectives is your mindset. Don’t make excuses. Please not that old chestnut of having too much work… Surely after 5, 10 or 20 years of practice you would have worked out how to manage your time in such a way that you don’t leave business development to chance: “When I have a spare moment”. Like never you mean.

Surely you must question the fact that the sine qua non of your practice is managing your time for maximum financial advantage but bizarrely you can’t set aside time to work on your business and not in it ~ the true sign of an entrepreneurial mindset.

Check lists are great (a) if you plan things the night before and (b) you don’t just move 90% of what you haven’t achieved to the next day. After a while your head will start playing mind games.

Your body clock is the best system. Attack things when you are at your best. Client contact, which is quite difficult for some lawyers, would be first on my list. I knew that if I left things until later in the day, there would always be tomorrow. Perhaps it is summed up best by the expression:

“Do what you fear most and you control fear.”

Next time you find yourself in a meeting, and someone comes up with a red hot idea, call the meeting to a halt. Shout “ACTION” and see what happens. But in all seriousness, don’t come up with list after list of things to do but just one great thing. And then do it, do it some more until you can honestly say that you have pushed the edges on the envelope as far as you can. Call this the power of one.

If you need inspiration for your new mindset then go read Poke the Box by Seth Godin. His manifesto states (see page 3):

“Starting a project, making a ruckus, taking what feels like a risk. Not just “I’m starting to think about it,” or “We’re going to meet on this,” or even “I filled a patent application ….”

No starting.

Going beyond the point of return.

Leaping.

Committing.

Making something happen.”

And that’s just it: make something happen, not just talk about.

~ Julian Summerhayes ~

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