The Fast Track to Your Perfect Law Practice


Your Weekly Nudge from In to On

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How do you get from one place to another?

You simply determine your destination, plan the best route, and then go. When you encounter an obstacle, you climb over it, crawl under it, or move around it. You keep going… and going… and going.

That’s how you get anywhere.

Others may choose a different destination. They might pick a better place. They might complete their journey faster. They might look good on the way.

But other people shouldn’t change our plans. We just keep going and going and going. It might take a year. It will probably take several. We’ll have 1,000 days to wonder whether we’re on the right path.

We’ll be filled with doubt and uncertainty. We’ll wonder whether we’re lost.

But we must remember our plan. If we stay the course, we’ll reach our destination.

It will happen.

Stay the Course and You’ll Get Fed

Right now, we’re in the middle of a city. Four great restaurants are nearby. Each is in a different direction.

One is five blocks to the north. One is four blocks to the south. One is three blocks to the east. One is two blocks to the west.

We can walk to whichever restaurant we choose in a matter of minutes.

The dilemma is simple. We pick a restaurant and start walking. In a few minutes, we’ll be eating.

Don’t Let Your Doubt Change Your Path

Finding a place to eat is also like building a law firm. You pick a destination and walk until you arrive.

But if you pick the destination to the north and walk two blocks, then change your mind and head east for a block, then change your mind and walk south for two blocks, and then change your mind again and then go west for a block, you’ll end up exactly where you started.

After all that course changing, you’re still hungry, and now you’re tired. You have no dinner and (more distressingly) no law firm.

To the Persistent Go the Spoils

Building a law firm isn’t exactly like walking to dinner, but the analogy still rings true.

Instead of walking, we develop and execute marketing strategies. Instead of walking, we implement technology, develop and maintain a management approach, and construct and follow a financial plan.

It’s easy to get distracted, upset, and emotional when we’re on the long walk of building a law firm. It’s easy to justify our waywardness, going north and then south, drifting east, and then backtracking west.

When the destination is far away, our vision gets foggy. We can’t smell the food. We can’t easily imagine the delicious taste of waiting soup. We can’t inhale the aroma of warm bread.

Building a law firm is a much bigger endeavor (more time consuming and complex) than walking to dinner.

So, don’t change course. Persist!

Fear, Uncertainty, and Other “Good” Reasons to Change Course

The law firm we’re creating feels far away. We struggle to see it, feel it, understand it, and appreciate it before we arrive. Imagining a law firm is much harder than imagining a restaurant meal.

The day-to-day gets in the way. We have a sense of what we want, but then we see something better. We know our destination, but we run into an immovable obstacle. We know what we should do, but something else comes along that seems better.

We have a choice to make when we pick one of the four restaurants. We have to pick one. Picking one gets us fed. That’s awesome.

It also means missing out on the wonderful meals we might have had at the other three places. But not choosing means we don’t eat.

We make a choice because we know if we walk long enough, we’ll get fed. Changing our course midway decreases our chances of eating.

Changing course is inefficient. Changing course creates more risk. On the other hand, changing course could mean we get something better, right? Yep, it sure might. That’s why this is so hard.

It’s that worry about missing out that causes me to change course. I want the best. I don’t want to miss out. I’ve got only one life to live.

But when I change course, I lose out on the thing I wanted in the first place just for a chance to get something that was never part of the plan. The plan was great when I started. Was I wrong when I created the plan? Or am I wrong now?

There are lots of ways to get something better. You can buy lottery tickets, you can switch careers, you can marry rich, and you can kill your siblings to hog the inheritance. Are those good options? Are those the choices you should make? Maybe so. That’s up to you, but it’s what you need to decide when you create the plan and choose your destination.

You Made the Plan Because You’re Ready for Your Destination

Let’s go back to the beginning…

How do you get from one place to another?

You simply determine your destination, plan the best route, and then go. When you encounter an obstacle, you climb over it, crawl under it, or move around it. You keep going… and going… and going.

The time to determine your destination is when you make the plan. Refinement is fine. Tweaking is fine. Climbing over that obstacle might not have been part of the plan, but it’s a necessary deviation. That’s fine. Every plan requires adjustment.

But the plan was good when you created it. It’s likely still a good plan.

It’s the difference between wandering for dinner and getting fed. Trust yourself. Trust your plan. Keep going.

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