The Soft Stuff

Is business development part of the “soft” stuff in the practice of law?

Or is the hard stuff?

Attorneys often come to us asking us for quick tips/tricks/techniques to grow their book of business.

7 Ways to Make $7,000 in 7 Days!

A bit hyperbolic, but you get the point.

We usually stay away from such posts. There are millions of such posts on the Internet. Most of it doesn’t work. And it’s not the hard stuff.

What’s hard is:

  • knowing how to sound human to your clients
  • showing real interest
  • creating trust and respect
  • being creative with your strategy
  • connecting your “why” to your work
  • having the right beliefs to follow-up, experiment, try and try again…
  • having conviction in your value to ask for their business

Ironically, these things are considered “soft”.

Without them however, the “hard” stuff will give you no results.

Have you spent time on the soft stuff today? What do you struggle with the most?

Waiting for Permission

Have you been waiting for permission?

The permission to send that email to a prospective client. Or host an event. Or claim that your brand is about that new practice area that excites you.

Most people wait forever. They imagine stories in their head.

“What if they think I’m a pest?”

“What if no one shows up when I host this event?”

“What if people find out no one gave me permission?”

“What if no one responds to my post?”

Imagined stories about a nebulous group withdrawing attention/love/business.

Of course those stories are mostly false.

We keep waiting for someone else to ordain us with the credentials, degrees, awards, the platform for us to put our stake in the ground.

A better approach is to tell yourself a different story. A story that gives you permission now.

All of these count: Your interest, your value, your passion, your enthusiasm, your curiosity. All these are reason enough to send out that email. To host that event. To make that post. To follow-up.

Will you give yourself permission today?

A Modern Thanksgiving

Millions of people across America are celebrating Thanksgiving this week. You can too, no matter where are you in the world.

Not so much about celebrating the harvest before winter.

Rather, to celebrate three things:

First, to celebrate the people around us who support us in this hard-to-define work that has its fair share of challenges and complications.

Second, the chance to do something worthwhile with our lives. To solve problems for others, to connect people, ideas, resources, opportunities togethers. That’s what the authentic lawyer does everyday.

Let’s never forget that this is our real work and we’re making it happen everyday. It’s work that matters.

Finally, the commitment to growth. Not everyone wants to grow in this profession and transcend the broken cultural definition of an attorney. You are challenging that, and that makes all the difference.

On behalf of me and Aaron, thank you for doing this everyday.

What are you celebrating?


An aside: Registration for the January 2022 Authentic Business Builder is open. We’re running 3 cohorts for 8 weeks. The results so far have been incredible from the dozens of partners/senior associates/solo practitioners we’ve worked with. We are offering early bird pricing that saves you $500 if you get in by December 31st. You can learn more about the cohort & apply here.

Capacity vs. Flow

How do you perceive time?

Of course most of us look at time as a capacity problem. Fill the calendar, build a huge to-do list. Get it all done, tomorrow.

Then the day ends, we’re tired and exhausted and wonder what happened. We feel like we’re falling behind and wonder why we aren’t getting more done.

To make up for it, you decide to skip the morning breakfast or jog. You skip out on sleep.

This leads to burnout. It chronically leaves you dissatisfied with you work.

A better approach would be to look at time as a highway. You fill it with too many cars (tasks) at one time and you get a traffic jam. Pick up the next thing tomorrow, or next week instead of trying to do it simultaneously.

You have just the right amount of cars and you get flow on the roads. Flow is where the magic is. It’s when you feel a real sense of done. Flow is empowering.

How do you perceive time?

The Authentic Lawyer Manifesto

We are a different type of lawyer. We exist all over the world. We are at firms large and small. We are committed to building our practice on our terms.

We recognize that there are many parts of how things are done which are broken. But we are committed to changing it from the inside out.

Being authentic means bringing our full selves at work. It means giving ourselves the respect to ask ourselves what we want to create in our practice and in our lives.

It means embracing an abundance mindset. We hold in our minds a vision of what we want to create, and propel ourselves forward.

We believe that small droplets can carve mountains. We reject the dogma of the day that promises overnight success. We believe in creating small wins and successes everyday in the direction of our intentions.

But that is the joy of our work. We deal with others with honestly, fairly, and with integrity and ask others to do the same. We find opportunities for others and share generously. We are super-connectors.

We believe in sharing our stories. We believe in honing our edge and doing our best work.

We believe that (just like this manifesto), our career is a Work-in-Progress. But everyday, we get better incrementally and help others do the same.

What do you think belongs in this manifesto? Please share below in the comments!