Legal Business Development: Dare to Dream

by Paula Black
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At the end of April, I was on a panel at the ABA Annual Litigation Conference in Chicago with Laurel Bellows (the ABA President), Sofia Lingos, Damian Thomas, Paul Lehner and practice management expert Ann Guinn. We spoke to solo and small firm lawyers on the subject of creating a successful practice. I encouraged the audience to… Dare to dream. Redefine your practice in YOUR way. Something unique that will set you apart from the rest.

This week my friend Cordell Parvin had such a powerful blog post that I feel I must share it with every lawyer I know. Cordell writes…

I love this Oprah Winfrey quote:

‘I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.’

Take a minute. Think about 5 years from now, 10 years from now. Describe what would be your dream law practice. What kind of work are you doing? Who are your clients? I did that in 1978 at a point where I was just doing the work other lawyers handed me.

I realized that my future and happiness practicing law depended on me creating a compelling future-something that would energize me even during the most difficult times.

Many years ago in the early 90s I read Anthony Robbins book: Awaken the Giant Within. I got many ideas from the book that I have used personally and suggest you consider reading it.

If you only have time to read one chapter, read: The Magnificent Obsession-Creating a Compelling Future. In that chapter, Robbins describes many lawyers I know:

Many people (lawyers I know) in life know what (career and client development activities) they should do, but they never do it. The reason is that they’re lacking the drive that only a compelling future can provide.

Later Robbins says:

You’re not lazy! You just have impotent goals!’

Describe your compelling future. If, it is indeed, compelling, then you will have the motivation you need to go after it.

Well put Cordell. So often the dream is left out of the equation, when in fact it is the spark that will ignite your vision, your spirit and your enthusiasm. Just because there is no precedent for your dream doesn’t mean that it is invalid. Discover what you love and live it!

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Paula Black
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