How much of yesterday did you spend on tasks that can help you grow your law firm? How much time did you spend treading water and keeping the lights on?
Don’t get all defensive on me, but you’re probably making excuses. Those excuses are keeping you from growing your law firm.
I can pretty much bank on it - because that’s the case with almost every lawyer I meet. It was the case with me, too.
Excuses slowed my law firm’s growth. I was set in my habits, which weren’t necessarily the right ones. I followed the same pattern of just showing up at the office, checking email, checking voicemail, and repeating this OCD-driven loop, like a hamster in a wheel.
In reality, it’s just a lazy way of thinking – the worst, most unproductive form of autopilot. It’s like driving to work. We find a certain route, and take it over and over. It becomes a habit.
But strange things can happen when we challenge those habits. For example, I’ve been driving from my home in San Francisco to Lake Tahoe for more than a decade. I’ve lived in different houses, but I’ve always driven the same way.
The other day, I went a different way because of traffic and a bridge closure. Guess what? I shaved 45 minutes off my travel time in each direction.
A decade of taking a slower road.
Now, taking my life back - by challenging a simple habit.
We need to do the same thing at the office because our bad habits are just excuses for not thinking about how to grow the law firm.
Excuse #1: “Everyone Else Is Doing It This Way.”
This is a wonderful excuse for staying mediocre. If you think everyone is doing it this way, how will you ever be exceptional or get a better result by doing the same thing?
If you have any belief that you can actually influence your own outcomes, then you must believe that you can do things differently.
Doing something because everyone else is doing it is a terrible reason. And it’s nothing but an excuse that’s keeping you from growing your law firm.
Excuse #2: “I Don’t Have the Time.”
This excuse is painfully common with lawyers because we’re always pressed for time. Between client demands, administrative tasks, and bad habits that waste hours every week, the notion that we could somehow add another task to our plate seems impossible.
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In reality, it’s just another excuse for sloppy thinking. The reason you don’t have the time is because you haven’t learned how to manage your day better.
Every attorney I’ve ever coached has been able to find hours they didn’t realize they had. Hours they can use to focus on growing their law firm or just taking free time for themselves.
Those hours didn’t appear out of thin air due to luck or a miracle. They were created as a direct result of being organized. It's entirely possible.
Excuse #3: “If I Try, I’ll Be Even More Overwhelmed.”
A lot of attorneys have a paralysis of taking action because they’re secretly afraid of success.
If you get really good at marketing your law practice, you’ll (*gasp*) have a lot of work. Because you’re already overwhelmed, a piece of you sabotages those efforts to grow before you even begin.
But that’s just another excuse. If you’re doing it right, you won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll have control.
Let’s say you really nailed the marketing and landed five new clients. How will you get the work done?
Your plate is already full with the clients you have, and there won’t be enough work to justify hiring a new associate. So it’s easier to plod along and do what’s in front of you.
The reason why that’s an excuse is that, as anyone who has truly grown a law practice knows, growth is not linear. If you learn how to grow your firm, and you put in the effort, you find solutions in which 1+1=3.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
You raise your prices, adapt your workflows, and change how you deliver legal services in a way that creates more free time.
If there wasn’t a smarter way to work, all lawyers would be making the same amount of money and have the same number of clients.
Of course, you know darn well that there’s an attorney out there who makes twice as much as you but isn’t working twice as hard.
Bill Gates has the same number of hours in the day as you. So does Warren Buffett. They’re billionaires many times over.
Ask yourself this question. Have you used any or all of the excuses above today? Be honest. Write them down.
Now it’s time to figure out how to stop making those excuses. If you need help, downloading this law practice growth ebook will help you get started.