How to kill your chances of success


the worst time to take a vacationThere’s a natural rhythm to building a law practice. You start out from a dead stop, try a lot of things to see what works, and you keep doing what’s working. Eventually, you have some momentum. Things start happening a bit more often. They last a bit longer. They get a little easier.

Before you know it, you’re on a roll.

The same pattern occurs throughout your career, and if you’re smart, you’ll capitalize on your momentum, pouring gasoline on the sparks and fanning the flames until you have a raging inferno of success.

Leveraging your positive results and momentum to build things bigger is not only a smart move, it is essential. How many times have you seen people you know get off to a good start in a project but fail to finish big? How many times have you seen this happen to you?

Momentum is one of the hardest things to achieve and one of the easiest things to lose. The good news is that once you have some momentum, things do get easier. But that doesn’t mean you can stop.

It’s like pushing a car from a dead stop–very difficult at first, but once it’s rolling, it doesn’t take much to keep it moving. If you stop pushing, however, the car will eventually come to a dead stop.

I read a thoughtful article this morning that makes this point in the context of taking vacations. In “The Absolute WORST Day to Take a Vacation (It’s Not What You Think!)” the author says that the worst day to take time off is just after you’ve achieved a goal. When things are starting to happen for you, you shouldn’t take a break, you should double your efforts.

It’s not that you don’t deserve a reward for your hard work. But your reward, says the author, should be your results:

For an entrepreneur (or anyone who is in charge of their own income),vacations don’t come when projects are complete. On the contrary – they should come when the projects are still in progress, but you’re tired, and need to recharge to carry the ball the rest of the way.

Give some thought to this as you plan out the coming year. I know it’s difficult to find time on your calendar for family trips, especially when you must coordinate school and work schedules. At least be aware of the rhythm of your practice and do your best to start projects after a vacation, not before.