Arrow pointing at the word strategyWe’re in the second half of our challenge. It’s important we take a moment to stop and make sure things are coming along. Anytime someone is doing a massive overhaul in any area of life, whether it is work or personal, it can be easy to implement some changes while others unintentionally fall by the wayside. It’s important to remember that if you make some of the changes we’ve been stressing then your law firm will receive some of the positive results. Last time I checked, making money was a good thing so let’s make sure we’re staying on track.

We’ve talked a lot about investing in your firm rather than spending on it. One of the best investments you can make is to periodically sit down and make sure administrative ideas you’ve decided to use are 1) actually in place and 2) being followed. Sitting down and making sure you’re on track with this 30 day improvement plan will take a little time but making sure everything is nailed down will yield you far more time than you invest in making sure things are progressing.

By now you should have completed the switchover of your email, calendar, and contact management that we discussed on day 6. You should also have completed the tying together of your information that we discussed on day 7. You should already have a blog up, as we discussed on day 8, and you should have mapped out your first series of posts; writing in a series helps to prevent attorneys from struggling for blog content. Also, you should have begun your search for an independent videographer and at least have inquiries out in order to find someone who is a good fit.

Whether or not you have chosen to follow these tips so far is entirely up to you. It’s also important to remember, however, that whether or not you succeed is equally up to you.

Contrary to popular belief, the world is not full of people who “can” or “can’t.” It’s full of people who “do” or “don’t.” It’s not that attorneys can’t take steps to run a more efficient and profitable law office, they simply don’t and most will continue to fail to do so. Rather than accepting responsibility and saying “I didn’t do what I needed to” most attorneys who fail will make excuses such as “my phone didn’t ring enough,” “I didn’t have the right staff,” “the economy was bad,” or whatever excuse they use. Most lawyers are of roughly equal intelligence and ability and are notorious for explaining away their own bad business habits with these “I didn’t have” type statements. The legal profession is largely based on explaining away behavior; criminal lawyers must explain away their client’s choices, family law attorneys must explain away their client’s behavior, etc. and members of the profession are quick to explain away their own failures as a business person. In the “new practice of law,” those who choose to make their firm successful and stop making the “this didn’t happen” and “I didn’t have the [right resources]” excuses are those who are going to be successful.

On day 1 we discussed an attorney I consulted with in 2013 who grew his revenue by more than 300 percent in three months. Prior to implementing some of the changes we’re discussing in this series he told me that the problem with his firm had been that his phone didn’t ring enough and that he hadn’t had good employees (the typical excuses I hear from lawyers). Avoiding these “I didn’t have” statements is how your firm is going to succeed.