What do you want? If you “want to have your cake and eat it too”… as the saying goes this (true) story just might help you see that it’s possible.
When a client of mine left her prestigious firm she told me… “I want to spend time with my kids… but I still want to build my practice. Do you think I can do that?”
My answer: Absolutely… you can do it your way. We just have to figure out your priorities.
So my client and I figured out what her priorities were…
1. Flexibility. Flexibility was important to her, so she managed her client’s expectations where possible. She worked when the kids were at school and after they went to bed. But she was there to take them to school most mornings and to various activities in the afternoon.
2. Maintain her reputation for exceptional client service and legal work. This one was tough because she had to be real with herself. It required acknowledging what clients really wanted… not what she thought they should have. Some clients were not a good fit and she had to fire them.
3. Maintain at least 50% of what she was making at her firm. So we got to work. We set hourly targets. Billable: 20 hours a week. Business development: 10 hours. And personal hours… as much as she could get! In her previous position she was working 45-60 hours and personal time was scarce.
She tracked her hours everyday and we reviewed them monthly. We made her business development hours count! We looked for quality clients that could pay good rates and have repetitive matters. And an astonishing thing happened… she is working probably a 3rd of the time she was working before and her income has nearly doubled that of which she was making at the firm! And best of all her family is happy to have her around… what could get any better than that?
Let me tell you that YOU CAN have it your way! You have to FOCUS and you can’t have it ALL at the same time. What are your priorities? How can we make them mesh and build a life that is in harmony?