What are you, chicken?


What are you afraid of? C’mon, you know there are things you should be doing to grow your practice that you don’t do because of fear.

You don’t ask clients to help you, for example, because you’re afraid of appearing weak. You don’t approach prospective clients at a networking event because you’re afraid of rejection. You don’t delegate enough of your work because you’re afraid nobody can do the job as well as you.

You can overcome your fears if you want to. The first step is to imagine yourself doing the thing you fear.

See yourself clicking the button and sending your clients an email asking them to forward it to a friend, or to share your new post with their social media contacts.

See yourself in the physical act of doing the thing you fear and you will be on your way to overcoming that fear.

The second step is to imagine the results. See yourself getting new clients as a result of your email, and see the big smile on your face as you realize that you made that happen.


Now, the third step. Do the thing. Send the email, make the call, talk to the person.

Mark Twain said, “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.”

At first, your knees may tremble. You may need to hoist a pint or two. You may do it poorly. But you can do it, at least once, and if you can do it once you can do it again.

Eventually, your fear will either be completely gone or so diminished that you can do the thing at will.

Now, here’s the thing. The things we fear are often the very things we need to be doing. The things that allow us to grow quickly and reach our full potential. So don’t ignore your fears. Hear their message. Acknowledge their value. And then show them who’s boss.

How to get your clients to send you referrals


I’m afraid you won’t like what I’m about to say


Like anyone who puts his or her work out for the world to see, I have doubts about what people will think about it. I have fears that nobody will like it or that I will receive harsh criticism.

I have other fears, too, just like everyone does.

Most of these fears are fleeting. They don’t last long and they aren’t debilitating. Some are pretty silly when I think about them in the light of day. (Not so silly when they come in a dream, however.)

How do I manage fear?

What I don’t do is follow the advice that says, “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway,” detailed in a book by that name. Don’t get me wrong, I do it anyway, usually, I just don’t feel the fear.

Why feel the fear and infuse it with energy? Why give it more weight than it probably deserves?

So no, I don’t feel the fear. I look at it rationally and ask myself if there is anything I can learn from it or anything I must do about it. Usually, the answer is no.

I acknowledge the fear, and then I change the subject.

I think about something else that feels better when I think it. I think about a positive aspect of the subject at hand or I think about something completely unrelated.

Yes, you can distract yourself from negative thoughts and fears. That’s why God invented sports and movies, isn’t it?

So yeah, once I know that my fear doesn’t offer me anything I need, it’s not protecting me from harm,  I change the subject.

Usually that’s all I need to do. Sometimes, the fear is stubborn and I need to do more. If I’ve already decided to move forward, I put that fear in a mental lock box.

Actually, instead of a box, sometimes I put the fear in a mental balloon filled with helium and let the balloon float away. Images are powerful and I’ve found that when something is really bothering me, strong imagery helps me to regain control.

Sometimes fears return. I’ll do a quick double check, to see if they have anything worthwhile to tell me, and if not, back in the box or balloon they go.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have to get good at compartmentalizing things. If you’ve done your homework and you’re committed to doing something, put on blinders and do it. Don’t let your doubts or fears stop you.

Every so often, it’s good to take a look around you, just to make sure. But whatever you do. . . don’t open that box.

Afraid you won’t get more clients? Here’s the solution


What are you afraid of?


What are you afraid of? What do you know you should be doing but don’t because of fear?

Not because you don’t know how. Not because you don’t have the time or other resources. Simply because it scares the crap out of you.

It might the act of doing it. Public speaking may terrify you.

It might be possible outcomes. You’re afraid that if you start a blog, nobody will come.

It might be fear of failure or fear of success. Fear of rejection or fear of being ridiculed. Fear of losing your investment, or fear of being different.

We all have issues. The question is, what can we do about them?

We can make a decision. No, you can’t choose to not feel the fear. It’s there. Acknowledge it. Don’t fight it or try to reason with it. Let it go. It is what it is.

You can’t choose to not have the fear, but you can choose what you do about it.

You can allow your fears to stop you or you can choose to do the thing despite the fear.

Sometimes the best way to do that is in small increments. Baby steps. You may not be ready to do the keynote address at your bar meeting but perhaps you can introduce the speaker. If that’s too much, maybe you can introduce the guy who introduces the speaker.

Sometimes the best way to handle fear is to close your eyes and jump in.

A client owes you money. You have to call them to see if they’ve mailed the check they’ve promised. You don’t want to do it. It’s unpleasant. It makes you nervous. Stop thinking about it, grab the phone and start punching in numbers.

Some things may always scare us. Things that never get any easier. We feel the fear and do them because they must be done.

Other times, perhaps most of the time, we beat the fear. Things that once scared the juice out of us are no longer an issue. We did it, and it wasn’t as bad as we thought. Or we did over and over again and eventually got used to it. The thing we used to avoid doing is now a part of our repertoire.

Mark Twain said, “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” So what are you afraid of? And what are you going to do about it?

Clients owe you money? I can help you Get the Check.


Do one thing every day that scares you


Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” I like that advice. It reminds us to get out of our comfort zones, try new things, or do old things in a new way.

That’s how we learn and grow. In fact, without change there can be no growth.

Attorneys do the same things every day. Same documents, same activities. Yes, different clients, and that does keep things interesting, but when today is pretty much a re-run of yesterday and tomorrow will undoubtedly be like today, we risk growing stale.

Yes, change is scary. Our fears are like signposts leading us into uncharted territory. We might get lost. We might get hurt. But we also might have an exciting adventure.

I realize that when you look up the word change in the dictionary you’re unlikely to see a photo of an attorney. Attorneys don’t like change. We avoid risk. We’re boring and we like it that way. So I don’t expect you, dear reader, to do something every day that scares you, but how about doing something every once in awhile?

Think about your marketing. Is there a prospective client you would love to approach but you’re nervous and don’t want to blow it? Great! That’s who you should contact next. Is there a negotiating or trial tactic you heard about at a seminar but have been afraid to try because it’s so different? Cross your fingers and take a chance.

Yes, I know, you might blow the case. That’s the risk. But there is also the possibility of reward. You might discover something that allows you to reach amazing new levels of success.

What else could you do that scares you? Or, if scares is too strong a word, what could you do that you don’t like?

If you don’t like networking, that might be exactly what you should do. Not forever, necessarily. I’m not suggesting you make yourself miserable. Try it once and see what happens. Maybe you’ll meet the client of your dreams. Maybe you’ll discover that networking really isn’t so bad and you’ll want to try it again. Or maybe you’ll confirm that networking isn’t your thing but you’ll be proud of yourself for trying something new.

Commit to doing something new (scary) before the end of this month. Start small. Try a new route to the courthouse, perhaps. Maybe you’ll save five minutes or find a better parking space. Or maybe you’ll be late for court and get yelled at. Embrace the risk and the excitement of trying new things.

If you don’t know what to do, ask someone else for a suggestion. Your spouse or partner probably know you better than you know yourself. In fact, I’m going to take my own advice. As soon as I’ve published this post, I’m going to ask my wife what she thinks scares me but could lead to my growth. I’ll admit, I’m nervous thinking about what she might say, because she will probably suggest something I’ve been avoiding for a long time.

Want to Make the Phone Ring? Click here to see how I do it.


My trick for getting things done that I don’t want to do


Yesterday, we talked about trusting your gut to choose your most important tasks for the day. But there are always other things we need to do. Small things, unpleasant things, things we may not be excited about, things we strongly dislike.

Want to know my secret for getting things done that I don’t want to do?

I just do them. I don’t think about why I don’t want to do them, or worry about what might happen. I just hold my nose and take the first step. If I have to make a call I don’t want to make, I just start dialing. Before I know it, the call is over.

If you find yourself procrastinating or avoiding something you need to do, just start doing it. Don’t think about it. Don’t write out a plan. Just start.

Okay, easy to say, not always easy to do. Sometimes, you don’t know where to start. Or it’s a big project. Or you need more information.

In that case, I find something I can do now and do that. Even if it’s just writing down an idea of how I might start or what I need to find out. There, I’ve started.

This works most of the time. But not always. I still procrastinate. I might have low energy, I might want to do something else instead, or I might be afraid. When this happens, I tell myself, “Do it anyway.”

  • I don’t have enough time: Do it anyway.
  • I don’t have enough information: Do it anyway.
  • I don’t know what to do: Do it anyway.
  • I don’t know how: Do it anyway.
  • I don’t want to: Do it anyway.

“Do it anyway” is a trigger phrase. I’ve conditioned myself that when I hear those words, I drop shields, get out of my own way, and do it. It’s like a hypnotic command. (No, don’t email me with some crazy idea and tell me to do it anyway. I’ve got to say it to myself.)

It’s close to Nike’s, “Just do it,” but I hear that as a command and I don’t follow orders very well. The word “anyway” acknowledges and validates my resistance. It says, “yes, there are reasons for not doing it but there are more reasons or better reasons for getting it done.”

Sure, it’s a trick. And no, it doesn’t always work. But it works enough of the time, and that’s good enough for me.

The next time you’ve got something on your list you don’t want to do, do it anyway.

Need a marketing plan? The Attorney Marketing Formula comes with a plan that really works.