The way the world works

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It’s called “the tipping point”. Whether you’re opening a new law practice or building an existing one, starting a project or promoting a cause, it is the point where you have built up sufficient momentum to trigger accelerated growth.

You start at zero. Just you and an idea. Everything seems difficult. You see little or no results. When you reach the tipping point, things change. Your results start to get bigger and come faster. Before you grew by addition; now you grow by multiplication.

This is what you’re working for. This is where you get big, fast and people think you just got lucky.

Unfortunately, many people give up or go in another direction before they reach the tipping point. They couldn’t see the harvest that awaited them so they stopped sowing.

You have to trust that your efforts will pay off. You have to keep sowing until they do.

Keep sowing until you see some momentum, the point at which things get a little easier, and then keep sowing and building on that momentum.

That’s the way the world works. That’s how you get from where you are to where you want to go.

Build momentum in your practice with referrals

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Do everything in full-screen mode

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On the radio this morning I heard a promo for an upcoming program. I wasn’t listening closely and don’t know what it’s about but the guy featured in the promo said something that caught my attention. He said, “Do everything in full-screen mode.”

I like the image. I like the idea of being so totally focused on what you’re doing that you can’t see anything else.

“Full screen,” says, “don’t multi-task,” do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.

It says, “pay attention to the details,” because they’re important. And make sure you have the proper tools and allocate sufficient time so you can do that.

When you’re working, work. When you’re playing or relaxing, praying or spending time with loved ones, do those things with everything you’ve got.

Do everything in full-screen mode and live a more productive and prosperous life.

Focus on getting more referrals

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Training yourself to think outside the box

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We all live in a box. The box is our comfort zone. It includes the things we do and only the things we do. The things we don’t do are all outside the box.

You can be successful inside your box but your success will be limited. You will only be able to go so far. If you want to go farther, get bigger, and achieve at a higher level, you have to step outside of your box.

You start by thinking outside of it.

Everything starts with a thought. An idea. And you can train yourself to have more ideas by asking yourself questions.

For example, “What if I did X?” or “What if I stopped doing Y?” “How could I do ABC better? Faster? More often?” “What would I have to do to get [whatever]?”

Of course, most of your ideas won’t pan out. Many will be absurd. But if one in 100 ideas causes you to try something different, or think about something in a different way, it might open a gateway to a brighter, richer future.

I’d argue that the crazier the questions you ask, the more likely those questions will lead to something. Or cause you to think something that leads to something.

Oh, you want examples? Okay, a few:

“If I could replace all my clients with new ones, what would they be like?”

“If I had a million-dollar advertising budget, how would I allocate it?”

“What’s one thing I could do that could triple my referrals?”

“How could I cut my workday to five hours and simultaneously increase my income?”

“What are ten ways to get one new client each month?”

“What would I have to do to implement a ‘client of the month’ program?”

“What (else) could I send or give new clients to get them interested in X?”

“What would happen if I quit Facebook?”

One for the road: “How much additional increase could I earn if I spend five minutes each week asking myself outside-the-box type questions?”

Want more clients? Read this and do everything in it

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Turning off your issue-spotting machine

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One reason many people say they don’t like lawyers is that we appear to be negative people. We’re the ones who tell everyone why things won’t work.

Hey, we’re just doing our job.

Lawyers are said to be bad in business because we’re risk-adverse. We see what can go wrong and we don’t like to take chances. We stay safe but we also miss a lot of opportunities.

How many of us fail to realize our potential?

Robert Schuller asked, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” It’s one of my favorite questions.

Turn off your issue-spotting machine temporarily and think about this for a few minutes. If failure was impossible, what would you be, do, or have?

Think about what you want and how you feel about it. How bad do you want it?

If it’s something that makes your heart sing, don’t give up on it just because the evidence against you seems overwhelming.

Dr. Robert Anthony said, “Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.”

Client referrals made simple

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Find out what people want and show them how to get it

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Legendary investor Bernard Baruch said the secret to getting rich is to “Find out what people want and show them how to get it”.

Ah, you thought you were supposed to “help them” get it. No, you’re busy. You can’t help everyone do everything (unless they hire you). You have a practice to run.

Show them what to do. Showing is easier than helping and nearly as valuable.

Give them direction and feedback. Point to resources. Refer them to experts. Show them what to do. When push comes to shove, they don’t really expect you to drive them to their destination. They will appreciate you for giving them a map.

On the other hand, don’t just “tell them what to do”. Anyone can do that. Anyone can post a list of recommended resources on their website. No, show them.

Talk to them and make sure you understand exactly what they want and why. Then, provide suggestions and recommendations specific to their needs so they can get what they want as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Explain why you recommend A instead of B. Give examples so they understand your rationale. Make sure they are ready to move forward before you turn them loose but let them know they can come back to you if they run into a snag.

Showing is less than helping but more than telling. Find out what people want and show them how to get it.

This is me, showing you how to get more referrals

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What were you doing one year ago?

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Author and artist Karen Lamb said, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

So true.

A year goes by in about ten minutes. A year ago we were making big plans and setting big goals and here we are, one year later, having done nothing about them.

News flash: we’re not going to live forever. We need to get on with things before it’s too late and we shuffle off to the big after-party in the sky.

How can we do that? How can we accomplish more of our goals?

One way is to have fewer goals. Sure, make a long “someday” list but in the short term, pick a few things that matter most.

How about this: pick one thing you’d like to be, do, or have one year from now. Something exciting. Something you could start today and make happen in the next twelve months or less.

Make it something good. Something that makes you all tingly inside when you think about it.

Got something? Good. That feeling will help you to get started and keep going when you get distracted by other things.

But it may not be enough.

You’ve been down this path before. You had exciting plans last year and, well, here you are.

Why should this year be different?

Okay, here’s what you need to do. Instead of relying merely on your desire for gain, as exciting as it is, a fear of losing what you want is more powerful.

You imagine having it. You want it. It’s yours. And then it’s not.

Imagine it’s one year from now and you don’t have it. You’re not even close. You haven’t even started.

How does it feel to realize that you let another year go by and did nothing?

Disappointed? Sad? Angry?

Get in touch with THAT feeling. It will help you to make this year different.

Transform your practice by getting more referrals

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Don’t follow your passion

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More than a few smart having been saying lately, “Don’t follow your passion”. The main reason they give is that just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you can make a living at it. There has to be a market for it.

If you love building Star Wars Battle Cruisers out of Legos, you probably have a hobby, not a business.

But some people build fortunes following their passion so telling everyone not to pursue theirs does them a disservice.

How about this: “Don’t follow your passion as a career unless there is a market for it”. Or, “Find a way to leverage your passion so you can make a living at it.”

Few among us love every aspect of our chosen careers. You may love standing in front of judges or juries and flapping your gums but hate marketing. If you asked me, I’d tell you to find a way to do more of the former because your passion for doing that will likely mean you don’t have to do much marketing.

And, if you aren’t passionate about any aspect of your career, if you do it because you’re good at it and it’s paying the bills but you would rather be doing something else, I’d tell you to keep looking for a way to do that something else.

Because if you can make a living doing what you love, not only will you be happier, you’ll likely accomplish more than you ever thought possible simply because you’re doing more.

In speaking about productivity, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits said: “…if you’re passionate about your work, you won’t procrastinate — you’ll love doing it, and want to do more. . . Make your life’s work something you’re passionate about, not something you dread doing, and your task list will almost seem like a list of rewards.”

Go find your list of rewards.

This can help you figure things out

 

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Living life on your terms

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Take a gander at your todo list, reminders, and calendar and ask yourself this question: how many of these items fall into the category of “have to do” and how many are “want to do”?

Yes, I know, some things fall into both categories. And some things you have to do because they allow you to do things you want to do. Or something like that.

The point is, I think we should all be working towards doing more of what we want to do.

Come on, as long as the things that have to be done are getting done, by us or someone else, why shouldn’t we be able to do more of what makes us happy?

The question is, how can we do it?

One way is to get money out of the way. Accumulate a ginormous pile of cash so you no longer have to work. If not cash, passive income will do the trick. When money is out of the way, you can do more of what you want to do.

Sound good? Okay, put that on your list of goals. Actually, you might want to make that your number one goal because if you accomplish this, when you accomplish this, most of your other goals will also be taken care of.

Don’t scoff. You know people who have done this. I’ve done it. It can be done. You can do it. You should do it.

Now, while you’re working on this, what else can you do to get more “want to” into your life?

I think you begin by being more aware of what you’re putting on your lists. If you routinely ask yourself, “Is this something I want to do?” before you write it down, you might start gravitating towards a list comprised of more things you want to do.

You might also get frustrated as you realize how much of what you do falls into the “have to” category. But frustration isn’t a bad thing. It might be all the motivation you need to get going on your plan to get money out of the way.

Referred clients are more likely to make referrals

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Paying full retail

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I don’t mind paying full price for things that provide value in my life. Things I appreciate and enjoy. Things I need. Even if they cost more than they “should” or more than I want to pay.

There’s nothing wrong with saving a few bucks but there’s also nothing wrong with buying the best or hiring the best and paying full price.

I deserve it. You do, too. It’s good to remember that.

We also deserve to be paid full price by our clients.

If a client doesn’t appreciate what we do for them, if they insist on getting an unreasonable deal, they don’t deserve us and shouldn’t have us.

Remember that the next time you feel a little guilty for saying no.

There’s a cosmic justice at work in the world. You get what you pay for and if you try to cheat the system, the world finds out and makes you pay.

You want to be successful? You must pay the price. No discounts. No shortcuts. Put in the time, put in the effort, do what needs to be done.

“At the counter of success, everyone pays full retail,” goes the old saw.

That’s the way it is. That’s the way it must be.

Step by step: how to get more referrals

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Sprinting towards success

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Building a successful career is a marathon. It takes place over time, not overnight.

And, as professionals, we’re comfortable with that because we don’t like making mistakes. We don’t like it when things get messy.

So we take our time. We plan, we put one foot in front of another, and we stroll towards the finish line.

Ironically, it is the pedantic nature of that slow and steady process that often creates the mess we’re trying to avoid.

When you go slowly, carefully, planning to avoid mistakes instead of planning to make something happen, it’s easy to get stuck in the mud.

Slow is painful. You feel the sting of rejection. You get discouraged by poor or nonexistent results. It’s harder to try again. Or try the next thing on your list.

Speaking of lists, if you have a dozen things you want to do to build your practice over the next year, instead of doing one each month as you might ordinarily be inclined to do, my advice is to do them all this month.

This way, you’re bound to find something that works and you’ll be encouraged to move forward.

If you do it slowly, one a month, and the first five or six things don’t work or you hate them, you may feel like quitting.

Your career is a marathon but it’s made up of a series of sprints. Run, as fast you can. Like your future depends on it. Because it does.

This will help you create your list 

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