Once you have your legal marketing system off the ground, you may be a little taken aback by the reaction in your community. Your competition may react badly to your success, which isn’t a problem (or, at least, it’s not your problem). But what about your business contacts and peers—the ones working long nights and putting off vacations because they’re still taking every client who comes in the door?
Here are just a few ways your peers—and even friends—may react to your outside-the-box legal marketing campaign:
- Disbelief. How many people have told you that becoming a successful attorney means being “married to the job?” To think that you are going to be able to do less work and have more success than those who have come before you is pretty unbelievable—and some might say too good to be true.
- Jealousy. Misery loves company. If you and a friend both had the same goals, but the friend seemed to be achieving them faster and more easily than you, how would you feel? Now imagine that the two of you met every week, tired and frustrated, commiserating on how tough your work is. You would be equals, although equally miserable. By achieving more than your friend, you’re making him feel inferior—and he’ll probably start to resent you.
- Negativity. This is perhaps the most dangerous form of criticism because it makes you doubt yourself even when you are doing well. There will always be other attorneys who are breaking their backs to be half as successful as you are. Their only consolation will be that they are convinced you are doing it “wrong.” You must not be happy, must not be good at your job, or should be ashamed of your success. Don’t listen.
The way you achieve success is not by following the pack that came before you, but by firmly protecting what is important to you. If you spend time on Sundays with your family, do not pick up your phone all day. If you have optimized your firm’s marketing, your automated service will catch that customer, and you will still have your “me time.” Everybody wins.
It can be hard to imagine having it all, but it’s all about prioritizing. As soon as you tailor your actions to guard your free time, you will be able to have a home life and a work life.