Building a successful law practice doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Here’s how to grow your firm without sacrificing your personal life.
Launching and scaling any type of law firm comes with no shortage of sacrifices, and it’s no surprise that many of these concessions start at home. As eager and motivated new law firm owners, we re-prioritize our family, friends, and unrelated personal interests – all in the name of capturing opportunity and building our own personal empires.
While the eternal hustle can serve as a source of personal accomplishment, several new statistics point to the fact that many are struggling to find a balance between ourselves as CEOs and people. Entrepreneurs are twice as likely as the general population to report suffering from depression and on top of that practicing law is considered one of the top 10 most stressful careers. This stress has led lawyers to higher levels of depression and other unhealthy lifestyle choices.
A balanced approach is necessary if you hope to be successful in both your professional and personal life. Here are 5 different tips you can use to help to grow your law firm without sacrificing your sanity and personal life.
1. Create a Routine
Prioritizing your decisions can be exhausting and add up to hours of lost time, thus damaging your already frantic work-life balance. Should you be working on that new case that just came, or should you be networking and focusing on marketing and getting new clients? Create a simple daily routine that carves out time for both your personal and work priorities. For example, you can schedule non-work events like 15 minutes for an exercise or stretching routine each morning, and following that schedule an hour to dig into your inbox. By scheduling everything and stick to it, you won’t feel like you are missing out or neglecting aspects of your life or your practice.
2. Keep your Business Mobile
One of the best things you can do to improve your work-life balance is to focus on making your practice more mobile. By keeping a paperless office and utilizing tools like phone answering services or a virtual office, you can work from almost anywhere. This will be extremely helpful when it comes time for you to go on your next vacation, or if you need to leave work for some important family event. By focusing on mobility you will be able to take time off from work and keep your practice running smoothly without putting your work on hold.
3. Join a Mastermind Group
While great friends and family will be eager to support you throughout your work’s highs and lows, unloading your entrepreneurial stressors on them can leave you feeling isolated or even burdensome. Joining a mastermind group made of up of like-minded peers will give you a safe place where you can express your work stressors with others that are in the same boat as you, or with ones who might even have answers to your biggest questions. Essential you will build meaningful relationships with fellow lawyers who can relate to what you’re dealing with. You will be surprised often you might rely on these bonds to work through upcoming challenges and swap resources around growing and managing a law firm.
4. Taking “Me” Time
At least once a month try blocking off a day that is all yours. No work, no friends, no family- just you. Think of it as a reset button.
Maybe it’s spending the day in bed watching Netflix. Or a day at the beach. Or a day at a museum. Whatever it is, it’s your time to unwind and recharge.
We hear from other lawyers that after these days they are far less stressed and more energized. On top of that, it makes rough weeks better knowing they have that day to look forward to.
5. Be Honest With Yourself
Work-life balance isn’t a lesson you learn once. It’s a daily practice that requires checking in on a regular basis. You need to know the signs of burnout and be alert to them. About 70% of American workers feel disengaged, which is a major symptom of burnout, and there’s little reason so suspect lawyers are different. Choose to be honest with yourself about how you’re holding up, and acknowledge that there’s no universal formula for happiness. Define what balance means to you, and hold yourself to that. You, your practice and those close to you will all thank you for it.