Learn the Dance
Managing a law practice successfully is like a dance. I have had many conversations with attorneys who will tell you it takes movement to manage a practice. You must be willing to change. It will require shifts, turns and steps in order for you discover the rhythm. And you must continue to shift, turn and step to stay in a flow.
Good attorneys who are not willing to change are often frustrated. They end up hustling to keep the clients coming, not to mention making sure the legal work gets done. They get buried in administrative tasks which eat up all of their time. Many report feeling like they are on a treadmill—constantly moving but not really getting anywhere. Even when they are able to keep up the pace, they hate it. There is little joy on the treadmill.
When you dig down to the root of the issue, it all relates to allowing the practice to run you instead of learning the dance.
Because I was once trapped on that life-sucking treadmill, I can usually see into the inner workings of a practice and determine where the discomfort is coming from.
Are you guilty of any of the following:
- Accepting clients/cases you know you shouldn’t
- Taking unplanned phone calls
- Performing tasks you could delegate
- Taking cases at a discounted rate
- Under billing for work performed
- Filling free time with busy work just so you have something to complain about
- Rationalizing how hard you work as if it is a badge of honor
If your answer is yes, there is no shame because many of us have found ourselves in that same place at one time or the other. Acknowledging your behavior is the first step toward understanding how you take away from your own success. The word for this behavior is underearning. Underearning is not underworking. In fact, underearners are often working harder and longer than the successful people in their field.
Until we acknowledge and realize how these sorts of behavior are affecting our families, desired lifestyle and quality of life, they will continue to rob us.
So, the question becomes, how many tiny shifts, turns and steps can you identify and make that will contribute to managing your law practice successfully? Find your rhythm. Be willing to learn new steps and enjoy the dance.