Think big. Really big.


Are you growing as fast as you’d like? Or do you want to get bigger results? Much bigger. So big, every day is exciting?

It’s up to you. 

If you want to earn a lot more this year than last year, you can but you have to change how you think and what you do. 

Because nothing will change unless you change. 

The first thing you need to change is your goal. It has to be bigger. So big, it sounds impossible. So big, it scares you. 

Because that’s the kind of goal that will excite you enough to get you to do the things you need to do to reach it. 

A goal to grow 20% this year might sound good, but you can do better. Change it to 200%. 

Impossible? How would you ever achieve that? You’re right. Forget it. You’ve got too much work to do to waste time daydreaming.

Or…. maybe…

If a goal makes your heart beat faster just thinking about it, it might be exactly what you need to do.

Because a goal like that forces you to make different decisions. Do things you haven’t been doing. In ways you might never have considered. 

You’ll make different plans. Instead of thinking about creating a new presentation, you might think about buying another lawyer’s practice, tripling your ad spend, or hiring a marketing firm. 

You might not do those things, but at least you’ll think about them, and that’s precisely the kind of thinking you need to get where you want to go.

Or, you can stick with your 20% goal, focus on getting your work done, putting our fires, and using the same marketing and business strategies you’ve been using.

It’s up to you.

It’s true, thinking bigger might lead to bigger mistakes. You might not come close to achieving your bigger goal. 


Set a goal to grow 200% and miss it by 50% and you will still double your income. Miss it by 75% and you’ll still be ahead of the original goal. 

Think big. Really big. So big that when you tell someone about what you’re doing this year, THEY get excited. 

The Attorney Marketing Formula will help you


Managing expectations


Years ago, each January, my wife and I attended an “expectation” party which took place at a friend’s home. Everyone found a seat and wrote a letter to their future self, to be read the following year. Instead of writing our goals, we wrote our expectations for the upcoming year, supposedly because expectations are more realistic than goals. They’re based on what we’ve been doing and thus, what we expect to happen—not just what we want.

The next January, we would gather again and read our letters, out loud if we wanted but usually to ourself. And then, write our expectations for the next year. 

Unfortunately, most years I usually didn’t achieve what I expected. Probably because I wrote what I wanted, not what I expected. You want big things to happen in your life. So naturally you set lofty goals (expectations), even if they are unrealistic.

Think big, we’re told. Aim for the sun, the moon, and the stars. If you fall short, you’ll accomplish more than you would if you hadn’t thought big. 

But that’s not the best advice because we usually set goals that are too high (and long term) and continually fail to reach them. We fall short and thus condition ourself to expect to be disappointed. And unhappy. And too often, that’s what happens.

Charlie Munger, said, “If you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be miserable all your life.” 

Better than setting big goals and continually failing to meet them is setting small goals and continually reaching them. When we do, we condition ourself to expect to succeed, which is a much better place to be.

If you expect to bring in 5 new clients each month but only bring in 2, you’re disappointed and frustrated. If that happens enough, you start to believe you can’t get more. 

Instead, lower your expectations. Stop trying to accomplish more than what’s realistic and failing. Choose a goal you are reasonably certain you can reach and succeed.

You’ll feel better about yourself and what you can do. You’ll be successful and feel successful, and that’s what will allow you to accomplish more.

Setting and reaching goals, albeit lower goals than you really want, is a recipe for success because you gain confidence in yourself and what you can do. From that platform, you can set incrementally higher goals and realistically expect to reach them.

Taking a gigantic leap sounds good, but you are more likely to get to the top by taking one step at a time.


The most important part of goal setting


Resolutions? Goals? Habits? Okay, but “why”?

Why have you set that goal? Why do you want to start (or finish) that project? Why do you plan to develop that habit? 

Why is the key. It is much more important than “how”. 

If you have a reason, the goal or habit is important to you. If it’s important, you’re more likely to do it, or at least try. If it’s not important, if you chose it because you think you should or because it’s the next logical step in your journey, you might not. 

You have to know why. If you don’t, your subconscious mind thinks, “why bother?” 

You want to double revenue this year? Why? What problem will that help you solve? What will it help you achieve? Why is doubling revenue important to you?

The best “why” is one that makes you emotional when you think about NOT getting it. 

Whatever you want to be, do, or have, write it down and read it daily until it manifests. 

In fact, if you’re taking notes, write this down: “What and why are more important than how and when.”

Your subconscious mind will lead you to how and when (and who might help). 

But only if you know why. 


Dreams vs. goals


Recently, I talked about the preeminence of activity-based goals over results-oriented goals. I said I now focus on the activities I plan to do more than the results I hope to achieve. 

We can’t control our outcomes—how much, how soon, for example—and it can be frustrating and de-motivating setting those goals and continually missing them.  

But that doesn’t mean setting outcome-based goals is worthless. 

In fact, I think it’s a good idea to always have one or two “big” goals, to inspire us, help us focus our energy and prioritize our time. 

And that’s plenty.

These life-changing or next-level goals are more like our dream or vision. They may take years of work and dedication, and need to be big enough to excite us and keep us going when we feel like quitting or wonder why we’re doing what we’re doing. 

So, in the strictest sense of the word, they aren’t really goals at all. Not the kind we set each year or each quarter. 

Notably, this type of goal don’t have a deadline, or at least a firm one, or a lot of details about how you’ll achieve it. Which is good because we’re often too optimistic about the when and how. Which is why we often miss them.

Your dream goal should include what you want, and why, not when or how. 

Let your dreams be dreams. Their job is to get you out of bed in the morning, make you feel better when you’re having doubts, and give you an exciting picture of the future you desire. 

You can also create a goal for the next quarter, and a plan for achieving it, but your dream might be what drives you to do the work to get there.


Goals 2.0


I don’t set goals anymore. I found that I rarely hit them and it was discouraging. My goals were big and exciting, but not always believable. And clearly not achievable.

I lowered my goals to a level I believed was attainable. But they weren’t exciting. “Why bother?” 

So I gave up on setting goals. And I’m much happier. 

Instead of goals, I focus on a general direction, e.g., the growth of my business, but without a specific target, such as income or profit.

Writer Srinivas Rao says:

“When you set your sights on a target, you limit yourself to one possible future. You’re trying to control and predict something that is out of your control and unpredictable. Choosing a Direction Instead of a Destination opens you up to more than one future. And the future you end up with could be better than what you set your sights on. A direction expands what’s possible in your life. A destination limits it.”

But that’s not the end of the story. 

While I no longer set “results-oriented” goals—dollars, outcomes, etc.—I do set “activity goals”. Things I will do to help me move in the direction I want to go. 

What do those look like? 

How many calls or emails I will send, how many words or pages I will write, how many dollars I will invest, how much time I will spend on a project. 

Because these are completely within my control. And can help me achieve results even better than my expectations.


Maybe you don’t need more time


You have goals but can’t seem to find time to do the things you need to do to accomplish them.

You’re busy. And there aren’t enough hours in the day.

You could hire more people. Which might be the best solution. But if you don’t want to do that, what then?

You don’t need a longer day, three hands, or a second brain. What you need is to reallocate some of the time you currently spend.

That means cutting back on some things, or eliminating them, to make room for others.

Think about it, if you had an “extra” hour each day, you could do more things that are aligned with your goals, couldn’t you?

Well, this is how you find that hour.

First, make a list of things you need to do to accomplish your goals but aren’t doing enough of or doing at all.

Second, take inventory of how you currently spend your time. Include everything—client work, admin, family time, alone time, commuting, exercising–write down how you spend your day or week.

Third, choose a number—the amount of time you would like to reallocate from your current schedule towards working on your unfulfilled goals. An hour a day, two hours a week, whatever. (It’s just a number and you can change it later, but you need a place to start.)

Fourth, go through your list of how you currently spend your time and ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up or cut down?” Or, “What am I willing to delegate?”

This is where the proverbial rubber hits the proverbial road.

You might decide to cut down on watching sports, playing games, or scrolling through social media. Or limit yourself to 15 minutes a day instead of an hour.

You might decide to withdraw from the class you’re taking (or teaching), outsource some of the things you now do in-house, or eliminate some of your practice areas that take up more time than they’re worth.

This may be difficult. There may be things you don’t want to give up. That’s your call. But before you make that call, think about your goal and ask yourself, “How bad to do I want it?”

If it is a priority, you find a way to do it. You put on your big boy pants and do what needs to be done.

By the way, if you need money to finance your goals, you should do the same exercise.

How much do you need? How much do you currently spend on other things that you could eliminate or curtail? (Don’t borrow if you can find the money by cutting down on some of your current expenses).

Whether it’s time or money, it all comes down to math.


A better way to prioritize your day


If you’re like most people, you plan your day by first looking at your calendar. You note upcoming meetings, appearances, and appointments and see how much time you have between these to do everything else.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? The problems is, when you prioritize your time this way, you might not have enough time or energy to do other things you need to do.

I’m talking about highly leveraged tasks and projects that help you achieve your most important goals. The kinds of things that often require your complete focus but don’t get it because you’re too busy in meetings and taking care of what the day puts in front of you, and too tired afterwards.

So I want to suggest a slight change regarding how you prioritize your time. As you make your schedule, schedule your most valuable tasks first.

This is the philosophy behind “time blocking”. Scheduling blocks of time on your calendar for your most important tasks, to make sure you don’t use that time for anything else.

It’s a philosophy that says, “I’m going to schedule (and do) my most valuable tasks first, and if I have time left, I’ll schedule appointments and meetings.“

But you don’t have to time-block or work off a strict schedule to do this. You can accomplish the same thing by working from a list with your most important tasks at the top or flagged or tagged to show their priority.

Wouldn’t it be nice to show up at meetings knowing you’ve already completed your top priorities for the day?

The first step is to decide what is most important to you. What you want to be, do, or have.

The second step is to figure out what you need to do to be, do, or have that and put that on your calendar or list.

If your top priority is to bring in more clients and more income, work on that first. This will help.


Would you like some paper to go with that pen?


You have something you want but you’re not doing anything to get it.

You’re not ready. You’re busy with other things. You need to do more research.

Maybe someday. . .

Or maybe right now.

If you have a goal or a dream or something you want, don’t wait until everything is just right. Do something. Take the first step.

Even if it’s tiny.

I’ll tell you why.

Yes, clearly you can’t accomplish a goal without taking the first step, but why now? Why take action before you’re ready?

Because when you do, your brain sees that “this” is something you want and goes to work to help you get it.

It gives you ideas and methods and tells you things you need to know.

Your brain sees that you did something, believes you want something, and helps you take the next step to get it.

It works like Amazon does when you buy something. It might only be a pen, but the algorithm sees this and starts sending you ads for paper.

Your subconscious mind does the same thing, but is much more powerful because it knows everything about you, not just what you recently bought (or put in your cart).

What’s your goal? What do you want to do ‘someday’?

Ask your brain to help you get it by taking that first tiny step.


You have a goal? Good. Now forget about it


You have a goal for this year. Nice. I hope it puts a big smile on your face when you think about it.

Now, stop thinking about it.

The goal has served its purpose. It caused you to decide what you want and inspired you to start the journey towards achieving it.

But that goal won’t help you get it.

What will? Activity or process goals. Goals that reflect and measure what you will do to achieve your outcome goals.

Focus on “the work”. That’s what you should think about and track.

Focus on making the calls, writing the articles, sending the emails.

Focus on talking to your best clients and referral sources and reaching out to new people you’d like to work with.

Focus on improving your website, getting more traffic, and building your list.

Set goals for each activity and be specific.

What will you do today and tomorrow, next week and next month? How many? How often?

Your big goal may be to bring in a new case or client every week. Fine. How many clients or contacts will you call each day? How many words will you write each week? How much will you invest in ads? How many bloggers or podcasters will you contact? How many people will you invite to your presentation?

What will you do, and when will you do it? How much, how often?

Your process goals don’t need to be massive. You can make a lot of progress in 15 or 30 minutes a day. But you have to be consistent, so set daily and weekly process goals you know you can do—and do them.

Every day, every week.

You know what you want. You know what you will do to get it.

Get excited. And then get busy.

Just starting your marketing journey? Start with this


The first (and only) rule of prioritization


You’ve got a lot of options. Goals, plans, ideas, things to do. And you want to prioritize them so you know what to focus on.

But you can’t prioritize a list of options. You can only have one priority.

One project, one goal, one thing you decide is most important to you right now.

Everything else? Not your priority. Everything else has to wait.

Many people understand this conceptually, but don’t do it. They work on too many things in parallel and disperse their energy in too many directions. They usually take longer to finish things this way and are more likely to get poorer results.

Imagine if you worked on only one thing at a time and gave it all of your brain power and physical energy. “I’m doing THIS,” you say, you get to work on it and continue until you finish.

Think about how liberating and empowering this would be, and how good it would feel to focus on “Plan A” and not even think about “Plan B”.

Yes, you have other obligations, other things you need to do in the course of your day. You can’t spend all your time on your priority.

No. But you can commit to never letting a day go by without doing something related to your priority. And it if you have chosen the right priority, you will.

If building a successful law practice is your priority, you will work on marketing every day