Hanging with the big dogs

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“Who you know is more important than what you know”. It’s a law. The Law of Association.

We tend to be like the people with whom we associate most. If your personal and professional contacts consist primarily of smart, successful, and well-connected people, you are probably smart, successful, and well-connected.

We tend to share many of the same habits, attitudes, and opinions of the people in our inner circle. We read the same types of books, talk about the same subjects, and know many of the same types of people.

Your life would be different if your contacts consisted primarily of lazy people with bad habits and a poor work ethic.

Your task is clear. To continually upgrade your associations.

On a scale of 1 to 100, we are all 50s. There are people we look up to–the 80s, 90s, and 100s, and there are people who look up to us. To upgrade your associations, you’ll want to seek out and associate with the 80s and above.

It’s not easy to meet the top people in any field, let alone convince them to invite you into their world.

But you can do it.

Start by eliminating the bad influences in your life. They’re holding you back.

If you now associate with 20s and 30s, people with bad habits, bad attitudes, and poor motivation, stop spending time with them. If it’s difficult to remove them completely from your life, perhaps because they are family or co-workers, spend less time with them.

Then, start filling the void with people who are a little higher up the scale from you.

You’re a 50, right? So find and meet some 60s. People who have more experience, better skills, or more success than you.

Get to know them. Bring value to them. Eventually, you’ll become like them.

Then, as a 60, seek out some 70s.

Work your way up the scale, in increments. Eventually, you’ll be associating with 90s and 100s.

Maybe then I’ll take your call.

How to get referrals from lawyers and other professionals

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Laziness is contagious. Here’s why that’s good news

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In their never-ending quest to master the subject, French researchers recently determined that laziness is contagious.

If your co-workers tend to take things slow and easy, you’re likely to pick up on their body language, pace, and other cues, and slow down.

It’s like yawning. When someone else does it, you’re likely to do it, too. Humans are apparently wired to mirror the behavior of those around us.

Anyway, why is this good news? It’s good news because if laziness is contagious, the inverse must also be true. Hang around people who work hard and get things done and you’ll be more likely to do the same.

I used to work with a guy who filled his days with non-stop meetings and phone calls. I spent a day with him once and his pace was exhausting. Just when I thought it was time to wind down our day, off he went making more calls.

I’d never be able to keep up with his pace but if we worked together every day, I’m sure I would get more done than I usually do. Just as laziness is contagious, so is industriousness.

In the study, the researchers asked participants to perform certain tasks in front of other participants. They also tested for traits like risk-taking and patience. They found that most of the participants adjusted their behavior to coincide with what they saw other participants do.

Clearly, our environment plays a significant role in our performance.

This is consistent with the “Law of Association,” which says we become like the people with whom we associate most. We adopt many of their habits, opinions, and behaviors. Our achievements and income tend to parallel theirs.

Think about the five people you associate with most and you’ll probably see that this is so.

The lesson is that if you want to achieve more, you should spend more time with high achievers. If you want to increase your income, insinuate yourself into the lives of people who earn more.

Spend more time with people who have what you want and less time with people who don’t.

Learn how to get more referrals from someone who knows how to get more referrals

 

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Is that the best you can do?

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Does it ever seem like there’s an invisible ceiling over your head that limits your ability to earn more income? Do you ever wonder if you’ve hit a plateau in your career?

Wonder no more, my friend. If you believe you’ve reached your peak, you have, because your beliefs determine your reality.

Your limitations are all in your head. They’ve probably been there a long time. Parental messages probably had something to do with it, and a whole bunch of other things. But what’s important isn’t how you developed your current beliefs but how you can change them.

Because if you don’t change your beliefs about yourself and about what’s possible, those beliefs are going to continue to hold you back.

How do you do it? How do you change your deep-seated, long-held beliefs?

Hypnosis? Therapy? Visiting a sweat lodge? Can you read your way to a new self-image? Take courses? Hire a coach?

To some extent, all of the above have some value because doing them, even thinking about doing them, signals your self-conscious mind that you want to change.

But I have another option for you: get some new friends.

Yep, one of the best things you can do to change your life is to spend time with different people. People who have done what you want to do and people who have what you want to have.

While you’re at it, spend less time with, or completely disassociate from, people who don’t.

The so-called “law of association” says that we become like the people we associate with most. If you hang out with people of one political persuasion, for example, the odds are you are on the same side. If they work hard, you probably do, too. If they exercise and eat well, you are more likely to do the same.

If your friends and business associates read a lot, you’re more likely to do that, and more likely to read what they’re reading. If they invest their money wisely, you are more likely to think twice before buying into the latest fad.

When we associate with people, we tend to adopt their way of looking at the world. We learn their “language”. We adopt their habits. We share many of the same beliefs. Those beliefs influence our attitude towards what we do and don’t do, and those activities determine our results.

And let’s not forget that the people we know can introduce us to other people like themselves, and open doors to new opportunities. If you want new opportunities, you need to know some new people.

Think about the people you spend the most time with right now. Your closest friends. Your colleagues. Your professional contacts. The odds are that your income and lifestyle are on a par with theirs. If you’re happy about that, great. If not, if you want to achieve more, you should probably find some new friends.

Here’s how to find and meet new professionals who can send you referrals

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Do more of what works

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Let’s talk about your practice. And get you more clients like your favorite client.

So who is your favorite client? Don’t give this a lot of thought. What’s the first name that comes to mind?

Got it? Okay, now why are they your favorite, or one of your favorites?

Is it their personality? Is it because they pay you lots of money? Is it because they don’t question you or complain?

Maybe all of the above. Maybe something else.

Whatever it is, write it down. In fact, you should probably write down all of this because once we’re done here, you’ll want to do this for your next favorite client. Maybe your top ten.

Now, think about where you met your favorite client or how they found you. What did you do that precipitated their becoming a client?

Were they a referral? Answer your ad? Did you meet them networking? Did they find you online?

Whatever it was that brought you together, you should probably continue doing it. If your ad in a certain journal brought them to your door, no doubt you’d like other clients like him to find you the same way.

If they found you online, what did they search for? What page did they land on? What did they do after that, and what finally convinced them to take the next step and contact you?

Next, it’s time to do a deep dive into your favorite client’s world. Find out what they do and who they know.

The Law of Association says that we tend to be like the people with whom we associate most. Your client’s friends and colleagues, therefore, are likely to have similar attributes, needs, and the ability to pay, and your favorite client can refer them to you.

Find out what your favorite client reads, who he listens to, and where he spends his time. Study him. Become on expert on him. This is valuable intel. Use it in your marketing so you can do more of what’s working, and get more clients like your favorite client.

How to create a profile of your ideal client

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Marketing like a drug user

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Why do people get started taking drugs? Peer pressure is a big reason. They see their friends doing it and they don’t want to be uncool. They don’t want their friends pointing and laughing at them, or worse, ignoring them.

When your friends take drugs, supply them to you, and show you what to do, drug use becomes normal for a lot of people.

If you hang around nine drug users, there’s a good chance you’ll become the tenth.

I’ve never taken drugs. One reason, I’m sure, is that my friends didn’t take drugs, at least as far as I knew. If I went to a party and someone was sniffing or popping or lighting up, I left.

I didn’t associate with people who took drugs and never got started. I think I was afraid I might like it and I didn’t want to take that chance.

Anyway, the point of my sermon is that the people we spend the most time with influence us. We may not realize how powerful this influence is until one day, we realize we’re just like them.

It’s called the Law of Association. If most of your friends are big sports fans, for example, you probably are, too. If your friends are workaholics, there’s a good chance you work more than most.

Who are your best friends? Think about the five people with whom you spend the most time. What is their life like? Are they married? Have kids? Where do they live? How much do they earn?

If your five best friends earn an average of $150,000 a year, the odds are that you earn close to that. If they earn $500,000 a year, congratulations to you.

If you want to increase your income, one way to do that is to begin associating with people who earn more than you do. You’ll adopt their habits and their way of thinking. You’ll read what they read, talk about the things they talk about, and eventually, you’ll do what they do. In time, you’ll be like them.

Think about the lawyers you are close with. If they are “too busy” for marketing, or only give it lip service, the odds are that marketing isn’t a priority for you. If you want that to change, start spending time with lawyers who have a marketing “habit” and let them show you what to do.

Marketing, income, or drug use, it’s all the same. If you want to change your life, change your friends.

Do you know The Attorney Marketing Formula?

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How do I become an expert in my field?

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“How do I become an expert in my field?” Good news. In the eyes of most prospective clients, you already are.

You have the license, the big leather chair, and you wear a suit and tie. With most consumers, it doesn’t take more than that. With many business clients, it doesn’t take a lot more.

But what about other lawyers? Do they see you as an expert? If they do, you probably get lots of referrals from them, and not just any referrals but big cases and valuable clients. You may also be sought after for interviews and speaking engagements that further enhance your reputation.

Being an expert has it’s privileges, yes? So, how do you develop an expert reputation?

Winning big cases and having prestigious clients, that’s how. But. . . how do you get the big cases and prestigious clients if you don’t have the reputation?

It is a “Catch 22”. But fortunately, in marketing, perception is everything. You are an expert if people perceive you to be one and there are things you can do to enhance that perception.

One of the best things you can do to be seen as an expert is to associate with experts. Identify people who are already acknowledged as successful in your field or market and associate with them. Go to the events they go to and meet them. Get your picture taken with them. Introduce them to other people you know at the event (even if you just met them that day).

Mention their name on your blog. Congratulate them on their recent victory. Link to their website. Quote them in your writing and speaking.

Contact them and ask to interview them for your blog, article, or newsletter. Suggest their name as a guest speaker at other events you attend. Send them some business.

You start where you are. Eventually, you’re having lunch with acknowledged experts, being seen with them, learning from them, and being introduced by them to other experts, on your way to being seen as an expert in your own right.

We are judged by the company we keep. If you associate with successful people, others will assume that you have their seal of approval and accept you into their circles. Then, someone hires you or give you a referral and you’re on your way.

I love it when a plan comes together, don’t you?

Your clients and contacts can help you quickly get a lot of business. Here’s how.

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Has the “Law of Association” Been Repealed?

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W. Clement Stone said, “Be careful the environment you choose, for it will shape you; be careful the friends you choose, for you will become like them.”

Our parents, teachers, and spiritual leaders always cautioned us about our associations. If my parents didn’t approve of someone I was hanging around with, they didn’t hesitate to let me know.

Some say we become like the (5) people we associate with most. We are influenced by them. We adopt their habits, behaviors, and opinions.

It’s called “The Law of Association,” but perhaps the word “tendency” would be more accurate than “law”.

If you spend most of your time around people who smoke or drink or have poor eating habits, does that mean you will adopt those habits? You might. But then through your example, you might be the one who influences them to clean up their act.

If your friends are all negative people who complain all the time and see the dark side of everything, it doesn’t mean you will become a negative person. Environment is important but it’s not everything.

But while the people we associate with may not change us, the right ones can expose us to better ideas and better opportunities.

If you associate with successful professionals and business executives, for example, you can gain insights into how they think. You can study what they do. You can model their behavior and their language. By watching them and by seeking their advice, you can learn how to avoid mistakes and improve your outcomes.

Successful people can also open doors for you. They can introduce you to prospective clients and referrals sources, help promote your practice, or point you towards profitable investments.

Who you know, and who you spend time with, does make a difference.

As I mentioned in a previous post, you do have a choice. You can choose to associate with positive people who inspire you and help you grow, and you can disassociate from people who don’t.

But you may have some work to do, first.

People tend to seek out people who are like themselves. We prefer to be around people with similar habits, viewpoints, income levels, and hobbies. Birds of a feather do flock together. And therein lies the challenge.

If you want to associate with successful people who can provide you with better ideas and better opportunities, you have to earn the right to do so.

Why should they associate with YOU? What are you bringing to the table? What better ideas and better opportunities will you be able to share?

There’s another law at work here: The “Law of Attraction”. Like attracts like. Birds of a feather flock together because they are birds of a feather.

If you want to be around successful people, you have to attract them and to do that, you have to become them. You don’t necessarily have to have achieved what they have achieved, but you must have similar philosophies.

That’s why personal development is essential to success. That’s why Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your business.”

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