In My Solo Practice, I Only Focus on What I Can Control

By Joleena Louis - August 31, 2016
In My Solo Practice, I Only Focus on What I Can Control

In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, Joleena shares how focusing on the things she can control solves problems and saves energy.

In a previous article, I discussed how I focus on controlling what I can and try not to worry about the rest. This is the foundation of how I manage stress in both my business and personal life.

It was my dad who taught me to make the distinction between what I can and cannot control. I come from a Christian background so I was always taught that whenever I had an issue, to pray about it and let it go.

But my father always told me that God helps those who help themselves. So whenever I came to him for advice he helped me figure out what I could do vs. what I had to leave up to God.

Now, whenever I feel myself stressing out about something, I make the distinction in my head. I break down the problem and literally make a checklist of what I can control and what I cannot.

For the things I can control I make a plan to accomplish it. For example, if I know I need to bring in some more clients next month, I write a list of things I can do to ramp up my marketing efforts. Maybe I need to run another facebook ad. Or maybe I’ll go to lunch with two more referral sources this week.

For the things I cannot control I make the decision not to worry about it. If there is nothing I can do about it, why waste the brainpower thinking about it?

There are many things solos can’t control

You can’t control when you’ll get a new client, but you can create and adhere to a consistent marketing strategy to keep new clients coming in.

You can’t force someone to send you referrals, but you can keep in contact and build a genuine relationship to stay at top of mind when they have a referral to give.

You can’t control the outcome of a case, but you can ensure that you are well versed in the caselaw, know the facts of the case, and manage your client’s expectations.

You can’t control mistakes you made in the past, but you can control how you handle the same situation in the future.

You can’t control other people’s actions. You can’t force your client to comply with an order or make your adversary stop being a jerk. You can only control how you react to them.

Often when you are stressed or worried you freeze up and take no action whatsoever. But focusing on what you can control will give you direction when you need it most. You’re focused on what you can do to correct the problem, instead of fixating on the problem and hoping it will resolve itself.

And even if there is nothing you can do, you know there is no need to waste your energy worrying about it; you have other things in your life where that time worrying can be better spent.

About Joleena Louis

Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a firm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial firm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ Financial District location. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew... explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law firm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur. Follow Joleena on Twitter.

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