YOU are the most important asset to your law firm. I’m not just inflating your ego. I know it to be true…
Ben Glass, the founder of Great Legal Marketing (and founder of BenGlassLaw, where he still actively practices law) and I have together coached and influenced thousands of law firms over the last 12 years. We’ve observed the ups and downs of more solo and small law firms than just about anyone else. And we know one thing for sure…
The #1 decider in the success of a law practice is the mental acuity, determination, and toughness of the owner of the practice.
It’s almost formulaic…
When the leader increases his or her value, the practice increases in value.
If the leader slacks at work, the staff follows suit.
And a leader who shows respect, gets respect.
Basically, you get OUT of your practice what you put into your practice. I know it’s trite, but it’s true of so many parts of our lives. Your brain and your body are two excellent examples. Each can only yield results based on what you put into them.
But if it’s such a simple idea, why isn’t building a great law firm easier?
Now there’s a question with meat on its bones!
Frankly, it’s due to a principle best taught through Jeff Olson’s excellent book, The Slight Edge.
Basically, making the right choice is easy. But so is the wrong choice. Here’s a practical example: it’s easy to save an extra $100 per month in a college savings account; and, it’s easy to spend that $100 on a nice family night out. Both are very, very easy actions. The first requires a couple clicks of a computer mouse. The second requires you to eat tasty food. Simple, right?
You also immediately understand that the college savings account is more valuable in the long run. It also yields compounding results. The $100 you put in each month should accrue interest and gain value through investments. It becomes more than sum of the principle (barring terrible economic times, of course).
Here’s another example, straight from Olson’s book: it is just as easy to read 10 pages of a book each day as it is to not read those pages. The difference is that the person who made the choice to read will read one average-length book per month. That’s 12 books a year. 60 books over a five-year period. All because of a simple choice to read 10 pages each day. The flip side is that if you choose to NOT read, you lose out on all the mental benefits. You aren’t just staying in neutral. You are slowly descending away from the midline.
Easy choices, made daily, over time yield big results.
Put that on a poster for you office! (Actually, I’ll do that for you if you’re a member of Great Legal Marketing. Seriously! Or if you become a member. Just email me and ask for the “easy choices” poster. Happy to do provide some extra encouragement for you.)
Coming back around to my initial point, if you embark on a quest of making better small choices, your team will follow. Set the standard for how people should operate.
Invest in yourself.
Treat yourself as a leader should be treated.
Be a little selfish about your choices. If you shouldn’t be making copies or scheduling appointments, because it’s a bad (i.e. less valuable) use of your time, get someone else to do it for you. Small potatoes, I know, but they add up.
There is no more valuable resource to your law firm than YOU.
Maximize yourself, and the practice will follow.
Make the right choice, even if the wrong choice seems easier.
Then do that again and again and again…
You might be amazed at what that does.