Articles Posted in Obstacles

help
 I’M NUMB. HOW ABOUT YOU?

Sorry, I couldn’t even POST last week.  My nature is not be depressed or numb but that is what I still am.

I am in fear for our country, for our children and grandchildren and for ourselves.  I know I will find a way to fight aggressively against the prejudice and craziness but it will take some time.

                       One of the hardest things attorneys find to do is ask for the right help.                                                     helpWhy is that:

  • Many attorneys have big egos and don’t want to admit they need help. They are afraid they will look weak and not competent.
  • Many attorneys don’t want to admit that they actually had lots of help just graduating from Law School, passing the Bar and finding work.  They actually feel they did it all on their own when in fact, family, teachers and others provided much needed help along the way.

Marketing concept torn newspaper headlines reading marketing, strategy, branding, advertising etc

AS A SOLO YOU ARE DOING ALL THE TASKS SHOWN ABOVE. YOU ARE  NOT  MAKING ALL THE INCOME YOU WANT AND YOU ARE PUZZLED WHY YOUR MARKETING DOESN’T SEEM TO BE WORKING.

Read on.  This might just be the answer. 

You probably already know the elements of a good marketing plan.  Most of it is broken down in the illustration above.  Yes, you need to strategize your plan to access your target market. Wait, stop right there.

Last blog we asked if you were afraid to negotiate. Hopefully we convinced you that life would be easier as an attorney if you added negotiation to your skills.

Spiral StaircaseSo this week, let me give you a few ways of looking at negotiation that might be helpful.

  • Always negotiate from strength. That means you have to do your homework so you have identified what benefit the other party has for negotiating with you.  This doesn’t mean that you walk in and lay all your cards on the table.

So you have identified your challenge and made certain that the description is accurate.  Then you decided on some goals and tasks to start working on overcoming that challenge.  The last piece is to do those action tasks until you have the desired results.

110_F_84969617_pzIfPerwZQNIXIoZ0qspcfn9IpLkwpebSOUNDS ALL TOO SIMPLE?  Actually this third step is the hardest.  Usually you start out relieved to have finally pinpointed exactly what the problem is.  Then you have taken precious time to decided what steps you need to take. Now you can start worrying that these may not be the right actions and/or that you can really do them.

NOW THE HONEYMOON IS OVER.  The last step is to pull out all stops and devise a method to actually do the actions tasks and to stick with them, revising along the way until you are rewarded with the right results.

Key to Success
Last blog I promised you that I would add the second key this week and next week will give you the third key.  Are you on the edge of your seat?

Second key is to TAKE ACTION.  What are your action choices you ask?

  • Therapy/counseling

Cute lonely brown labrador puppy
Sorry, I missed yesterday.  I know you are all waiting with bated breath (that’s holding your breath in fear. I just looked it up) for my new blog.  So here goes:

I asked myself as I coach more and more attorneys, what holds back attorneys from working their goals.  You have to understand that as a collaboration, the client and I set goals that are derived from what he or she wants to accomplish.  That is the client’s decision in coaching.  So if he or she and I have an agreement that working those goals will make the client richer, happier, more successful, have more leisure time, or whatever else they want, why doesn’t the attorney work them?

What happens time after time, that many clients have some reason that the goals are not even started.  Not to instill guilt because that is not healthy, but I ask myself what the heck is going on?

Last week we talked about work/life balance and the draw that lawyering has on your time. This week let’s talk about expectations of other folks that may also put that work/life balance out of wack.

New Life Red ButtonHow many people go to law school because Mom or Dad thinks its a good idea?  Quite a few.  Mom and Dad would be proud to have a lawyer in their family to brag about, even if it is not the ideal job for the son or daughter.  Many times its the line of least resistance to just accept the support they would get from your family in going to law school instead of insisting on their own choices of career.

Think about how work/life balance can really get upset when the work part is something that you hate to do. Yet, we all know many attorneys who really don’t like their work life.  In my coaching, I find that sometimes it is not actually the lawyering part they hate but the area of the law that they are practicing.  This is fairly easy to fix.  The real problem comes when one day the attorney wakes up and says, I want to be an artist, plumber, surgeon or anything but an attorney.

After last week’s analysis, you have found you need more money. This is not just money to take a trip to Paris but a real need to up your income so you can lead a reasonable and comfortable life. It’s OK to want money to go to Paris but that’s not what we are talking about here.  This is a necessity task because you are not covering your basic needs.

Dollarphotoclub_651521901-300x1841. First question:   HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED?

You can answer this quickly by looking at the accounts that you did last week.  How much more a month are you running short? Say it is $1,000.  That means that you have to generate $250 a week more. If it is a much larger amount then you need to allow yourself to know that. No whining here.  This is an important life situation.

How many times have you heard that?  Bottom line is that you need income to live.  The manner of living is different for everyone but bottom line, it still takes money to fiance eating, housing, clothing, and other basic needs.

Dogue de bordeaux worried about its financial state
Let’s first find out if you presently are making enough money to fund a reasonable lifestyle.  Again, we get into questions as to what is a reasonable life style?  Studies have shown us that $75,000 a year presently can provide a suitable life style in today’s world that will provide security and less worry.  I’m not sure if that is for only one person or covers a family.  Kids in college and having a  retirement plan doesn’t seem likely to be available  with only $6,250 before taxes a month to spend. Do you buy the $75,000 idea? It doesn’t really matter for our analysis as we are going to be looking at you as an individual with certain needs.

So let’s go about this a old fashioned way.  Get out your friendly bank statements (personal and business) and take a look at your expenditures.  Look to the basics first.  How much is the mortgage? How much for food? Day care? etc.  Be brutal and honest about how much you spent on those items and more in the last 6 months.  Now add how much debt you have and what the monthly payments are. Are you saving any money each month? Then using this information come up with a monthly budget of what you need to sustain your present lifestyle.