Lawyers don’t build successful practices by coincidence or accident. Discover which habits have helped them along the way.
There is no guidebook, secret recipe, or shortcut that will instantly make your law firm successful or allow you to dominate your local legal market. It takes a large amount of hard work, time, and dedication to see your practice thrive. Essentially, if you can create a series of habits that emphasize these characteristics, then sooner or later your practice will take off and will be successful.
Studies have shown that approximately 40% of the actions that we perform each day are considered habits, not decision making. And the more you perform these habits consistently, the stronger and more motivating they become. Eventually, we don’t even realize that they are habits, instead, they are just things we do without thinking. So you can see why creating strong and healthy habits that move the needle forward is so essential towards building a successful law firm.
Here are six different habits that most, if not all, successful lawyers and law firm owners share.
Set a Morning Routine
One of the most important parts of any lawyer’s day is the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the workday. A productive morning will likely lead to a productive day, whereas an unproductive morning can lead to the opposite. Getting up early, eating breakfast, maybe try working out, and having those few minutes to yourself makes all the difference in having a successful day. You should feel a difference right away!
Keep your Eyes on the Big Picture
So many people mistake work for the sake of work as an achievement and end up wondering why they’re not making progress. The problem is that it’s so easy to get distracted by the minor stuff, rather than the major tasks that actually make a difference on your firm’s bottom line. Strictly monitoring your tasks and workload is a simple way to counteract this. Make a list of all the things that you work on throughout the day and then go over that list and decide whether each one is a major or minor task.
For example, a minor task would be replying to emails or posting on social media, whereas a major task would include focusing on vision and strategy, working on client work, or planning your networking strategy for next month. Then note how much time you’re spending on both major and minor tasks, that way you will have a better understanding of how much more time you should be spending on the major tasks versus the minor ones.
Don’t Fear Being Uncomfortable, Embrace it
With every profession, there is a certain level of uncertainty, and for everyone, especially solo lawyers, success is not a guarantee. One major aspect that sets successful lawyers apart is their willingness to take a risk and embrace different and better ways of doing things.
All solo lawyers take on a certain level of risk by deciding to go solo in the first place, but in order to find even greater success, you have to continue this mindset. Always be researching new ideas and strategies and push yourself and your firm to be better.
Write your Ideas, Goals, and Plans Down on Paper
It’s so great to keep an ongoing handwritten list or your ideas, goals, and plans. These will help you to stay on track and remind yourself of where you want to be and what you should and shouldn’t focus your time on. Writing something by hand also takes a lot more time and effort, so making the effort to acknowledge and put those ideas down on paper should help to keep them at the forefront of your mind and decision making.
Set Time Aside for Family and Relaxation
Regardless of how long you have been doing it, running a law firm, no matter the size is always chaotic. Over the years, you will learn that prioritizing quality time with family makes an incredible difference in your own productivity.
It would be easy for an attorney to work all the time because there is always something that needs to be done, whether you’re handling client matters or business development. However, spending too much time alone and working too many hours is not only unhealthy but also counterproductive.
Maintaining your Self-discipline
Here’s a fact, you can not and will not build a successful law firm without self-discipline. Those that don’t grow or succeed probably didn’t make it because of a lack of willingness to do the hard work.
Success requires you to go so far out of our comfort zone, to do things that terrify and challenge you. And to do that, we have to be ridiculously disciplined. So the question is, how disciplined are you being in pursuit of your dreams and your business? Are you really dedicating enough time to focusing on the things you need to do? Are you willing to take time to learn new skills and grow as a professional? Manage your self-discipline and the results will start appearing fast!