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Are You Working Smart or Just Working Hard?

Some attorneys come to our program feeling trapped.

They feel like most of their daily activities don’t actually help grow their practice. They do a lot of ‘stuff’ but they don’t get the big results they expect.

We know there’s a big difference between working hard and working smart, which is why I want to dive into 80/20 rule with you. You’ve probably heard of this before, but let’s look at how it applies to your law practice.

The 80/20 rule - also known as the Pareto Principle - says that 20% of what you do will yield 80% of the results.

As lawyers we think, “Is it exactly 80% and 20%?”

No, not always. Sometimes it’s 70/30 or 90/10.

The point is a small percentage of things you focus your time, money, and energy on will yield a majority percentage of results for your practice. These results include financial gains, getting more ideal clients, creating free time, etc.

 

 

For example, if you look at your referral partners, you may notice that a disproportionate number of referrals come from a very small group.

Or, you may notice that a small portion of your clients yields the majority of your revenue.

When you break this down, you realize there are some big levers you can use if you focus on working smarter instead of working harder.

This is a tough concept for a lot of attorneys. We’re taught to put our heads down and do the legal work over everything else. Many of us believe that doing more is the way to build our future practice. On the contrary, we need to do less.

We need to do less hard work and more smart work to grow our practice into what we truly want.

So, what if you feel like you don’t have time to learn the magic 20% for your practice?

That’s where most attorneys are when they first come to our programs.

The 20% they’re missing is the space to think about their practice.

It’s important to understand that space to think is not the same as time to think. We’re talking about utilizing the right structures and frameworks for thinking about your practice.

Challenge The Linear Thinking

By nature, we’re linear thinkers. We believe if we want to double our practice, we need to work twice as many hours.

That’s not true, though. We instinctively know there are much smarter ways to grow than doubling our time, such as leveraging paralegals and associates, and hiring assistants.

If you expand this concept to your business model and build frameworks for thinking about it, you can make tremendous progress with very little change — just by focusing on the right things.

I want to challenge you to think through the areas in your practice that yield 80% of the results with only 20% of the effort.

Look at your clients, referral partners, and the way you manage your time.

The single best way to make progress in your law practice is to identify these lever points.

What are the biggest results you’ve seen in your practice over the last year?

What few actions did you take to make it happen?

If this is helpful to you, spend a quick 10 minutes with my Practice Growth team to talk about where you are now, where you want to go, and what few areas in your practice will yield the biggest results.

If we can help you, we’ll be happy to suggest what next step might make sense for you and your practice.

Raj Jha

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