Have you done your marketing workout today?

Share

You don’t have to fall in love with marketing any more than you have to fall in love with exercising. You keep doing it because you love the results.

Do it long enough, however, and you might fall in love with the marketing itself.

At some point, your brain will associate the positive results you’re getting with the activities you’re doing. You’ll get a chemical rush in much the way you do when you exercise. Eventually, you’ll do the activities as much for the enjoyment of doing them as for the results.

When that happens, you won’t have to force yourself to do the activities, they will be a natural part of who you are and what you do. When you wake up in the morning, you won’t think about legal work necessarily, you’ll think about writing a blog post or calling someone to invite them to lunch.

How do you get to that point? You keep at it, a few minutes every day, no matter what else is going on in your life. You get your marketing workout done, no matter what.

You do the laps. You do the reps. And you keep doing it, over and over again, until the day comes when you realize that you can’t keep up with all the new business you’re bringing in.

Like exercise. One day you look in the mirror, and you don’t recognize yourself.

Like exercise, the hardest part is getting started. After that, the hardest part is to keep going, to get through the pain and the desire to quit, until it’s a part of your daily routine.

Here’s how to do that:

MAKE A COMMITMENT  

Schedule marketing time on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself and don’t miss your appointments. If someone wants to see you or talk to you during that time, they’ll have to wait until you finish your appointment.

START WITH EASY

If you’re completely out of shape, don’t start training for a marathon, start with a 15 minute walk. Keep a list of easy things you can do that are marketing related, things like writing down names of people you want to talk to or ideas for articles or blog posts or presentations.

GET A WORKOUT PARTNER

Like a trainer at the gym, find someone who will hold you accountable to getting in your workout, but also someone with whom you can share ideas and cheer each other on.

KEEP A JOURNAL 

Write about your tough days and your doubts, your victories and goals. Take notes about your execution. Write down ideas.

STUDY MARKETING 

Read, takes courses, and never stop learning. Associate with other professionals who value marketing and do it every day.

REWARD YOURSELF

Take pride in your progress. When you hit a milestone, treat yourself to a nice dinner or a weekend getaway, or buy yourself a new toy.

THINK LONG TERM

Don’t measure results in days or weeks, give yourself months or years. If you give yourself a year before you evaluate your progress, it won’t matter if you mess up today. You’ll shrug it off and get it right tomorrow.

Eventually, you’ll see a breakthrough and you will literally be a new person. Like many formerly out-of-shape people who start walking and eventually get into the best shape of their life, you’ll find yourself saying, “I’ll never go back”.

Marketing is easier when you have a formula and a plan 

Share

Solve problems by asking “why?”

Share

Toddlers are experts at asking “why?” Why do I have to go to bed? Why can’t I have ice cream? Why are you and daddy wrestling with your clothes off?

They ask why so they can better understand the world around them. When they get an answer they don’t like or don’t understand, they ask why again.

Adults also ask why. But unlike our little tykes, we often accept the first answer and fail to dig deeper.

If you realize that you’re not going to have enough money to pay all of your bills this month, for example, and you ask yourself why, you might look at your accounts receivable and solve your problem by sending out “late” notices to clients who owe you money.

That might be a good idea, and it might solve the immediate problem, but it doesn’t help you to get to the root problem.

So next month, you might again have a shortage of cash.

Asking “why” you have a problem helps you find the solution, but asking once may not be enough, as this post explains.

In Japanese, Kaizen roughly translates to “continuous improvement”. One of the discipline’s techniques for problem solving is to ask “why” 5 times. This helps you find the root problem.

Here’s how you might apply this to your money problem:

  1. Why don’t you have enough money to cover this month’s bills? Because I don’t have enough clients.
  2. Why don’t you have enough clients? Because I don’t do enough marketing.
  3. Why don’t you do enough marketing? Because I’m not good at it.
  4. Why aren’t you good at marketing? Because I haven’t found enough strategies that I am comfortable using.
  5. Why haven’t you found enough strategies? Because I haven’t spent enough time learning about the available options or how to use them.

The root of your money problem, and the solution thereto, is thus revealed.

If you stop asking “why” after your first answer (not enough clients), you may not discover a solution other than sending out late notices. If you stop after your answer to the third “why,” (you’re not good at marketing) you might conclude that things are hopeless for you in this department and give up.

Ask why 5 times and see where it takes you.

Why? Because I said so. Now go play with your toys. Mommy and Daddy are busy.

Avoid having to send out late notices with this

Share

I’m afraid you won’t like what I’m about to say

Share

Like anyone who puts his or her work out for the world to see, I have doubts about what people will think about it. I have fears that nobody will like it or that I will receive harsh criticism.

I have other fears, too, just like everyone does.

Most of these fears are fleeting. They don’t last long and they aren’t debilitating. Some are pretty silly when I think about them in the light of day. (Not so silly when they come in a dream, however.)

How do I manage fear?

What I don’t do is follow the advice that says, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway,” detailed in a book by that name. Don’t get me wrong, I do it anyway, usually, I just don’t feel the fear.

Why feel the fear and infuse it with energy? Why give it more weight than it probably deserves?

So no, I don’t feel the fear. I look at it rationally and ask myself if there is anything I can learn from it or anything I must do about it. Usually, the answer is no.

I acknowledge the fear, and then I change the subject.

I think about something else that feels better when I think it. I think about a positive aspect of the subject at hand or I think about something completely unrelated.

Yes, you can distract yourself from negative thoughts and fears. That’s why God invented sports and movies, isn’t it?

So yeah, once I know that my fear doesn’t offer me anything I need, it’s not protecting me from harm,  I change the subject.

Usually that’s all I need to do. Sometimes, the fear is stubborn and I need to do more. If I’ve already decided to move forward, I put that fear in a mental lock box.

Actually, instead of a box, sometimes I put the fear in a mental balloon filled with helium and let the balloon float away. Images are powerful and I’ve found that when something is really bothering me, strong imagery helps me to regain control.

Sometimes fears return. I’ll do a quick double check, to see if they have anything worthwhile to tell me, and if not, back in the box or balloon they go.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have to get good at compartmentalizing things. If you’ve done your homework and you’re committed to doing something, put on blinders and do it. Don’t let your doubts or fears stop you.

Every so often, it’s good to take a look around you, just to make sure. But whatever you do. . . don’t open that box.

Afraid you won’t get more clients? Here’s the solution

Share

Careful, don’t choke on that frog

Share

Brian Tracy’s best selling book, “Eat That Frog,” champions the well-known productivity principle of doing the most important task of your day first.

Tracy says we should swallow the frog whole. As nasty as that might be, if you do the biggest, most difficult and most important task first, you will make great progress towards your goals, even if the rest of the day you don’t accomplish that much.

So if you’ve got a trial coming up next week, prepare for it this morning. If you’ve got a lot of research to do on a file, do it first thing. This makes sense, of course, because if you wait until later in the day or put it off for a few days, you might not have enough time to do them. You might not start, let along finish, your most important tasks.

But you need to be flexible. At least I do. Apparently, some scientific types agree.

I’ve written about this before. I said that much as I would like to, I’m usually not ready to eat that frog first thing. If something takes a lot of time and energy, I usually need to sneak up on it, especially since I’m not a morning person.

I usually get other things out of the way first.

I sort through my blog reader and save articles to read later. I check email, delete most of them, respond to short messages, and star those that require more time. I write my blog post. And take care of other reasonably short tasks that need to get done.

Then I’ve got the rest of the day to work on my big project.

When I was practicing, if I had court in the morning, that’s what I focused on. When I got back to the office, appointments were next. Once those were taken care of, I dove into the files on my desk. I would usually go through them from top to bottom. Dictate, make notes, review.

In the afternoon, my staff would have letters for me to sign and more documents to review and bless. And then I had more appointments. Somewhere in between all that, I was on the phone.

Most days, I got the most important tasks done, or made progress on them, and I got a lot of other things done, too. My desk was usually clean before I left for the day.

And the only tool or “system” I used was a calendar.

In fact, when I was practicing, I can’t recall ever looking for a better system. I was busy doing work.

Besides, before computers, there weren’t a lot of options for getting organized and being more productive, other than trying out a new calendar or paper planner.

When we started using computers, they helped with a lot of basic functions but didn’t give us the multitude of options (and complexities) we have today.

I’m not pining for simpler days. I love and use technology all day, every day. And it does make me more productive. The point is we all have to find what works best for us.

Some depend on a complex workflow and a panoply of tools. Others use little more than a calendar and eat frogs when they get around to it.

The last time I wrote about this, I said as much. Do what works for you and don’t worry about finding the perfect system. Eat that frog first, or save it for later, maybe with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Other than my calendar, Evernote is still my most valuable productivity tool

Share

Apparently, I don’t know when to shut up

Share

I’d rather be sitting on the sofa all day, listening to the Eagles and thinking about the 70’s. But with so many music legends leaving us lately, I am reminded that I’m not getting any younger and I need to be grateful for every day I wake up and I’m still alive.

So instead, I’ll tell you about a conference call I did last night where I was interviewed about reaching a big milestone in my network marketing business.

As usual for these kinds of things, the host first asked about how I got started. And as usual with these kinds of things, before long I turned the call into a training.

My Spidey sense, and the fact that I’ve done a lot of these kind of calls before, told me a few things you might want to note for when you do an interview or presentation.

  • Although there were hundreds of people on the call, most were only half-listening. Trust me on this. Even though I am the most fascinating person I know and deliver many nuggets of gold, people get on these calls while they are doing other things, making dinner, putting the kids to bed, and probably also watching TV, and they don’t pay a lot of attention. On top of that. . .
  • Most people don’t care about me and my success. They may be inspired by my story, but only for a few seconds. They want to know how they can do what I did, and that’s what I told them, however. . .
  • Most people don’t take notes. Despite having been repeatedly told that a “short pencil is more valuable than a long memory” or however that goes, they don’t write anything down. Fascinating. On top of that. . .
  • Most people don’t want to hear about things like “hard work” and “long term”. They want shortcuts and immediate results, and they’re not going to have it any other way. That’s why some people are successful and others play the lottery. But. . .
  • Some people will take my advice and run with it. That’s cool. That makes it all worthwhile. Most won’t, some will, and that’s okay because I was only talking to the few. Finally. . .
  • Hells, bells I sure can talk up a storm. I had no idea how long I had been speaking until the host told me we were already over the scheduled time. Note to self: learn how to STFU.

Okay, well I hope that helps. Not so much? Not even the last point? C’mon, you’re a lawyer. You flap your lips for a living, just like me. And just like me, I’m guessing you have never been accused of not saying enough.

Yes or yes?

Now if we can just figure out a way to get paid by the word.

I take notes in Evernote, how about you?

Share

If I had a time machine. . .

Share

One of my favorite themes in science fiction is time travel. Last night, I re-watched an episode of Doctor Who where The Doctor and Amy visit Vincent Van Gogh. It seems that this is a favorite episode for many fans of the show, in particular because of the moving and brilliantly portrayed final scene.

No spoilers from me. It’s Season 5, Episode 10, Vincent and the Doctor (with Matt Smith as The Doctor). It’s on Netflix, but if you must, I think you can find the final scene on YouTube.

If I had access to a time machine, I wouldn’t visit the future. Now now, anyway. I’d be afraid of what I might see.

No, I would visit the past, including my childhood and days as a younger adult. No doubt I’d laugh at my younger world view, ideas, plans, and how I spent my time. I’m sure I would cringe at my feeble attempts at humor.

What would I tell my younger self? In truth, I wouldn’t talk to myself. That’s a time travel no no. Something about a paradox. Okay, revealing my inner nerd.

But I might leave myself a message.

What would I say? I would tell myself to think less and do more. To cherish every day of life and live it to the fullest.

I would tell myself that there will be many times when I will have a decision to make and I will choose to play it safe. Instead, I would counsel myself to take more risks. I would share Helen Keller’s observation that “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing.”

And then, before I came back to the present, I would leave myself one more note: “1984 Apple. 1997 Amazon. You’re welcome.”

Hey, don’t look down on me. Time machines are expensive!

Share

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Share

One of my favorite quotes is from the late Dr. Robert Schuller, who, in his books and in his sermons often asked, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

Asking yourself this question forces you to think about what you really want instead of what you think you’re supposed to do. It helps you to bypass your doubts and fears and speak the truth. It asks you to temporarily suspend your logical left brain and listen to your creative right side.

When I’ve mentioned this quote in the past, it has always been in the context of the big picture. Major career changes, for example.

If you asked me this question about my work right now, my answer would be completely illogical. It’s something creative, something I’ve never done before and, as far as I know, something I have no innate talent for. But if I knew I could not fail, it’s exactly what I would do.

Unfortunately, I know I could fail. So I’m not going to do it. Not now, anyway. I’ve got too much other stuff on my plate. They say, “trust your gut,” for a reason, and right now, my gut is telling me to wait.

Odd, isn’t it? My gut is telling me what to do if I knew I would not fail and also telling me to wait? I think God likes to mess with us.

Anyway, this morning, I was thinking about this question and I realized that we can also use it to make smaller decisions.

If you are scheduled to deliver a presentation, for example, and you’re not sure which topic to choose, asking the “cannot fail” question might guide you towards choosing the ideal, albeit not obvious (or logical) choice.

When I say ideal, I don’t just mean something you would prefer to do but are allowing other factors to stop you. I mean ideal in the sense that it might lead to superlative results.

One topic might get mild applause. Another topic, the one you would choose if you knew you could not fail, might attract someone in the audience who is so affected by your presentation that they invite you to deliver it again to a bigger and more influential group.

What if you’re wrong? Yes, that might happen. But what if you’re right?

How to get more referrals from other professionals: go here

Share

The most important thing you should do this week

Share

You’re at your desk with another cup of coffee. Your desk is (relatively) clean because you made it so before you left for the long new year’s weekend.

Now what?

What’s first? What documents do you need to draft? Who do you need to call? What files do you need to review?

Good news. You already decided most of that before you closed up shop last week. You planned out your week and you’re ready to hit the ground running.

I’m right, aren’t I? You are looking more organized this week than most weeks? You took the time to plan and you don’t need to do that this morning.

Dig in and get to work and go home at a decent hour.

It’s like this whenever you go on vacation, isn’t it? In the days leading up to leaving, you go into crunch mode, clean up your backlog, review open loops, write lists, and plan what you will do when you return.

Like a boss.

Now, you’re relaxed. Rested. Focused. And feeling pretty good about your week. In fact, you’re so well organized, you can see spaces on your calendar you could fill with marketing activity. You actually have time to write something or call someone and make some of that rain you’ve heard about.

Life is good.

So here’s the thing. If you’re able to do this before you go out of town or shut down for the holidays, why couldn’t you do it every week?

You could. And you should. Because life is supposed to be good every week.

So the most important thing you should do this week is prepare for next week. Before you go home on Friday, your desk should be (relatively) clean, you should be caught up on your backlog, and you should have lists of what you will do next week.

Two hours on Friday should do it. Put this on your calendar. Make it a “recurring appointment” with yourself.

Because life is supposed to be good every week.

Start or re-start your marketing with this

Share

My New Year’s wish for you

Share

As the wheel turns and we enter a new year, my wish for you is the habit of focusing on the positive in every situation.

I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe we get what we focus on, good or bad, and that our thoughts create our reality.

Think about what you want, not what you don’t want. Think about what you have, not what you lack.

If you think about problems you get more of them. If you think about making progress, finding solutions, and achieving success, you’re on your way towards a better future.

Don’t bury your head in the sand. When you notice something you don’t want, when something bad happens, acknowledge it, but don’t dwell on it. Instead, shift your thoughts towards the positive aspects of your situation.

Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t do. Count your blessings, tally up your accomplishments, and remind yourself of the resources at your disposal.

Think thoughts that feel good when you think them. Because we get what we think about.

Share

Sorry, I can’t finish your case, I have lawyer’s block

Share

You think you have writer’s block. You don’t. It’s an excuse for something else:

You don’t know what to write about. You don’t think you’re good enough. You don’t know enough about the subject.

The solution? Write anyway. Anything. Badly. Just get something on paper for now and fix it later.

Write quickly, without stopping to think. Get it all out of your head, no matter how cringe-worthy it might sound.

You can re-write it, as many times as you want. You can do more research. You can take a terrible page and make it better.

But you can’t edit a blank page.

There have many times in my career when I have had issues completing a writing project. I’ve had issues with starting, too. The solution has always been to do it anyway, promising myself that I didn’t have to show it anyone until I was happy with it.

When I gave myself permission to write badly and get a first draft done, I almost always found that I had more to say than I thought I did and I had actually done a pretty good job of saying it.

Writer’s block is no more a thing than lawyer’s block. You may not like your client or their case. You may not know the best tactics. You may think you’re in over your head. But you move forward anyway and you figure it out.

Get help if you need it. Confer with another attorney or hire an editor. But move forward, because you must, and because there’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Share