Nobody messes with mom


Promise your mother you’ll do it and you’ll do it. Because nobody messes with mom. 

Accountability is a proven method for getting things done you might otherwise not do. When someone else is watching and will call you out when you don’t do what you said you would do, you are much more likely to do it.

In school, you may have had a study partner you met in the library who kept you accountable. You showed up because you didn’t want to explain why you didn’t.

In law school, you might have been in a study group where you agreed to brief certain cases and present a summary to the other members. You did it because they were counting on you.

Today, it might be your spouse, your law partner, or a business coach. Someone you know who is watching and will call you out if you don’t do what you committed to do.

Try it sometime. If you are pursing a goal and having trouble sticking with your plan, having someone hold you accountable might be just the thing that gets you to stick with it. 

But there’s something else you can do. You can hold yourself accountable to yourself. 

Start your day with a written list of tasks you intend to do. At the end of the day, write down what you did and didn’t do. 

That’s it. The simple act of writing down what you did and comparing it to what you said you would do keeps you self-aware and accountable. You can’t cheat because you know the truth. 

You’ll either follow your plan or change it. Changing it is okay because it’s your plan. So when you change it, you’ll know, and either be okay with that or feel guilty and change it back. 

Unfortunately, there is another possibility. You might quit. 

You’ll quit because accountability is a bitch. That’s why it’s so effective.

And, if holding yourself accountable isn’t working, there’s only one thing left to do. 

Yep, call your mom. She won’t let you get away with anything. 


You’ve got a friend


You can’t seem to keep up your blog or newsletter. Your marketing efforts have fallen by the wayside. You stopped writing your book months ago. The only exercise you get these days is jumping to conclusions. . .

You could hire someone to coach you and check in with you, to hold you accountable and keep you on track. Or you could call a friend and ask for help.

Cue music:

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand. . .

Find a friend who is similarly situated and become workout partners.

Share your goals with someone—another lawyer, a business contact, writer, or anyone else who wants and needs someone to hold them accountable. Set up a time to check in with each other, once or twice a week, find out what each of you did that week, and what each of you is committed to doing in the coming week.

It’s motivating to talk with someone who is on the same or a similar journey. You can encourage each other, provide suggestions, and celebrate each other’s victories.

Sometimes, all you need is to hear someone else say ‘well done’.

And, knowing you have someone to report to, can do wonders for lighting a fire under you. You don’t want to disappoint them or embarrass yourself, so you get to work when you otherwise might say, “I’ll start next month”.

If you don’t have anyone to partner up with, search online (social media, blog comments, YouTube, Flakebook groups). Search for “accountability partner,” “workout partner,” or “work with me, write with me, study with me”.

Or, if you want to work with another lawyer, post a comment under this post.

Try out each other for a week and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work for both of you, don’t fret. There are plenty of other fish in the accountability ocean.

And, if you want to pay someone to hold you accountable. . . let me know.


Let me help you achieve your goal


Think of a goal you would love to accomplish. Something important, perhaps something you have wanted for a long time.

It could be a monetary goal, a weight-loss goal, or anything else that would make a significant difference in your life.

You’ll know it’s a good choice because when you think about the goal, you get excited. You feel a little tug in your gut that makes you say, “This is it; I’m doing this!”

Make sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based.

It might be a huge stretch but it should be realistic, possible for you to do by the deadline you set.

Got it? Good. Would you like me to help you achieve your goal?

Before you answer, let me tell you the rules.

If you want me to help you, you’ll need to send me an email and describe the goal and the deadline. I’ll hold onto your email and wait to see whether or not you hit the goal.

I’m going to hold you accountable to your goal.

When the deadline date arrives, send me another email and tell me if you hit the goal. (If you don’t email, I will assume you didn’t make it).

If you hit the goal, I will congratulate you. Get excited for you. Do a happy dance for you.

A good time will be had by all.

If you don’t achieve the goal, however, I will tell my entire email list that you didn’t make it.

I’ll tell them your name and city, your goal, the deadline, and your results.

That’s what I mean by holding you accountable.

You’ll either make it and wear a smile all day long, or you won’t and you will suffer the embarrassment of having lawyers all over the world know it.

Yeah, the pressure will be on.

But that’s the point. The pressure will help you to do what you’ve always been able to do but didn’t. It will prevent you from giving up. You’ll do whatever it takes to reach your goal. No excuses, no backtracking. You’ll reach the goal because you must.

In your email to me, make sure you acknowledge your understanding of the rules. Give me permission to hold you accountable and, if you don’t make it, to reveal to my list your full name, city, and your results. If you want me to report your results if you do hit the goal, so that we can all celebrate with you, please state that as well.

Here’s what I predict.

I predict that most people who read this won’t respond. They won’t take the chance. They’ll either keep their goal to themselves or they won’t even bother setting a goal.

I also predict that the few who do respond and ask me to hold them accountable will succeed. They will achieve their goal and be very glad they took the risk.

If you’re not prepared to accept my offer, consider asking someone else to hold you accountable. Accountability is strong medicine. It can make you do things you long for, dream about, but otherwise never accomplish.

If your goal is to get more referrals, this will help


If the IRS was in charge of your marketing


In school, we had deadlines for finishing papers and projects and being ready for exams. If it weren’t for those deadlines, many of us would never have done the work.

Today, we have more deadlines. Statutes of limitations, court dates, appointments, CLE compliance due dates, bills to pay, tax returns to file, and many more. We also have deadlines tied to our promises to other people, e.g., when the work will be done or the papers will be delivered.

Sometimes we miss a deadline and suffer the consequences, but for the most part, the system works. It works not just because we are aware of the penalties for missing deadlines but because there is a specific date reminding us that something is due.

What about all of the other things we want to do, or need to do, that don’t have a deadline? Too often, we don’t get these done. They may relate to our most important goals but because there is no deadline, no due date, they get pushed aside.

Countless studies, which I am too lazy to look up, have shown that scheduling these “open” tasks dramatically increases the odds that we will do them.

Let’s say you set a goal to increase your income this year. Part of your plan is to bring in more clients by adding one blog post or article to your site each week. The weeks are flying by, however, and you haven’t written the first article, or you wrote one or two but aren’t keeping up.

Because there is no deadline, you’re not doing the work.

It’s not that you can’t do it. If you knew that you had to get the work done by a certain date or the IRS would seize your bank accounts, you would get the work done.

So, give yourself a deadline.

Decide when you will write those articles and schedule time on your calendar specifically for that purpose. Make an appointment with yourself and tell your staff not to schedule you for anything during that time.

When Thursday at 4PM rolls around and you see on your calendar that you have an appointment to write your weekly post, you’ll be more likely to write it.

Tell yourself that you can either write it or sit at your desk and stare at the wall for 60 minutes. Your “client” (you) has paid for that time. So no Facebook or reading or anything else.

You can also impose penalties for missing your deadlines. You might authorize your accountant to automatically send $1,000 to a politician you detest if you fail to send the accountant a copy of your completed post by the due date.

You can also reward yourself for making your deadlines. For each post your write, for example, you get to watch another episode of your favorite TV show.

But while penalties and rewards can help, just having a deadline will often be enough.

Try it. Choose something you need to do and put it on your calendar. Give yourself a deadline for getting it done. I’m betting you’ll do it, but just in case, I’ll tell the IRS to keep an eye on you.


How to start your writing project (finally)


I want to help you start your writing project. You know, the one you’ve thinking about for months but haven’t been able to start.

A report, a book, a seminar, some blog posts. Something you can use in your marketing.

Whatever it is, if you’ve been procrastinating on getting started, today is the day you start.

And guess what? Starting is the most important part.

The first thing you need to do is to think about why you’re doing this. What do you hope to accomplish?

Whatever your objective, imagine it already being done.

If you want to write a few blog posts so you can attract new clients online, imagine getting an email or phone call from a prospective client who finds you through your posts. Imagine him telling you they like your site and were impressed by your post. Imagine him asking for an appointment.


As you imagine this happy outcome, you may feel an emotional tug and the urge to start writing. Often, this is all you need to get your pen moving. If not, go for a walk or for a drive and think about this some more. Bring a recorder, in case you get inspired.

Now what?

Now you need a working title. It doesn’t have to be brilliant. You’ll make it better later. Write something simple to describe what your article, post, or paper is about.

“My [article/post/book] is about __________________.”

What if you don’t know what to write about? Try this: think about the questions prospective clients typically ask you about their case or matter. The ones you get over and over again. Choose one of those questions. That question, and your answer, is what your article is about.

Got it? Good.

Now I want you to write down three ideas or points you think you might include in your article or post. This can be a short sentence, a phrase, or a single word.

Do this quickly. Write down the first three things that come to mind.

Why just three things? Because three is easy. If you want to write down more than three, that’s fine.

You’re making progress. You have a working title and three points you want to write about. You’ve started. You may feel like continuing and getting the thing written. If you do, just start typing or dictating or scribbling. Before you know it, you’ll have your first draft.

If you’re still having trouble getting started, choose a date when you’ll have this done and mark it on your calendar. Don’t give yourself too much time. In fact, choose a date that gives you less time than you think you’ll need. Like tomorrow. Or the the first of next week.

Seriously. You can write an article in 30 minutes, a short report or ebook in a weekend.

Finally, if you’re still having trouble getting started, or you’ve started but can’t seem to finish, here’s what I suggest.

Call up a lawyer friend and tell him what you’re writing. Tell him when it will be finished, the actual date, and that you’ll send him a copy. And then ask him to hold you accountable. Tell him you’ve been procrastinating on this and that if you don’t get it done on the specified date, you want him to call you on it.

Accountability is very powerful. It will help you get your writing project started. And finished.

The 30-Day Referral Blitz has lots of ideas for topics and titles. Check it out here.