Entrepreneurship is like running a marathon, it’s fast-paced, exhilarating, tiring, and also stressful. Most marathon runners have to be reminded to pace themselves or they will never make it across the finish line. This is a great mindset to have as a solo attorney or when operating a small law firm.
Below are seven tips to keep you positive and focused as you push yourself in your never-ending marathon.
At the starting of a marathon, it’s normal to get carried away with adrenaline but you have to push yourself into pacing yourself. In everything, you do you have to remember to take a moment to do nothing and just breathe! Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. If you’re constantly running your firm at one pace you will quickly become winded. This will ultimately affect your law firm and your personal life. So try taking a quick break during the workday to just breathe.
Change Your Environment
Ever wonder why runners never stay on just one course or run in different weather conditions? It’s because they need to be prepared for anything their environment might present them with. Adopting this mentality will benefit your law firm in multiple ways. First, it will teach you to always stay on your toes in case of an emergency or if something unforeseen appears. But it also teaches you the importance of changing your space for more motivation. Nothing is more boring or uninspiring than sitting in the same space every day. Especially in times of the pandemic where there is little movement in your office, it’s important to keep yourself inspired and motivated. By simply changing your environment you are giving yourself a chance to develop a new mindset about whatever you are working on.
Establish A Core Dependent Network
Some runners enjoy the solidarity of the sport while others join networks where they can get the extra nudge that they need. This is so important for runners but it’s crucial for solo lawyers and small law firms! For the solo attorney networking is key. From networking, you can foster relationships with your colleagues gain referrals, and even find mentors that will guide you down the path that will be most successful. Networking doesn’t always have to be stuffy and overly professional, a lot of time you will gain a referral from a simple conversation at the bar or even in the lunchroom of your shared office. No matter where the connection is made establishing a dependable core network will not only push you in your career but will also help you maintain your focus.
Acquire Additional Help
Additional help should never be turned away, in fact, sometimes it’s necessary to remain focused. Runners look at help as buying new shoes for comfortability or purchasing accessories that will keep them track of the various data during their sessions. Just how they have to invest in their progress so do you. Purchasing equipment that can analyze your SEO, outsourcing a live receptionist, or even hiring an assistant to help with your administrative tasks will keep you focused on the core basis of your law firm. Trying to run this race by yourself is very stressful, so when you feel like your financially sound to expand, don’t hesitate. Even looking towards local colleges for an unpaid intern will greatly up your firm’s performance and reduce your level of stress.
Establish A Rewards System
There’s nothing more fulfilling than reaching your goals and receiving a nice little award. Whether it’s a metal from your marathon or a case that you’ve won, rewarding yourself is always a treat. We see the positive outcomes of a rewards system throughout our society and that shouldn’t stop with your firm. Once you’ve achieved your set goal do something nice for yourself before starting the next goal. Some runners treat themselves to a trip or a nice meal after finishing a race…who’s to say you can’t either!
Implement A Self-Care Plan
Self-care is essential in staying stress-free. We previously mentioned adopting a rewards system into your life but please do not confuse that with self-care. Self-care should be a lifestyle and not just a one-time reward. Marathon runners will soak their bodies at night in preparation for the next day and/or will pair it with a good stretching session, these tasks are apart of their lifestyle. They wouldn’t be able to run comfortably without it. Find something in your life that will give you joy and intergrade it into your lifestyle. Whether it’s going to hot yoga, weekly mani/ pedis, weekly massages, or even a biweekly night out with your friends. Remembering to have a healthy work-life balance will decrease your stress tremendously and ultimately keep you focused when in the office.
Function In The Now/Close Future
A marathon runner might have their next 2-3 marathons planned out but trust me they are only training for the one that’s right in front of them. Something that causes a lot of unnecessary stress is looking too far into the future. While it is important to have long-term goals you shouldn’t dwell too much on them. Focus on your present goals, because it’s those short-term goals that lay the foundation for your long-term ones.
Don’t believe the narrative that entrepreneurs MUST work 24/7 to be successful. Yes, there is a lot of late hours, the workweek is a bit unstructured and there’s a lot of hard work involved in it. But understand that there is beauty in starting and running your law firm and you have to nurture it. Nurturing your business ultimately starts with keeping yourself mentally and physically prepared, this can not be done if you lack focus and are overstressed.