Point A on the map can be where you are now in anything in your life or business… maybe it’s the number of Facebook fans you currently have, your current average revenue per month, or your weight this morning.
Point B is a little tougher to identify.
Determining the RIGHT goal for the period you’re working with is so important. In discussing goals with Members it’s clear that goal setting is one of the hardest responsibilities an attorney has. For example, the fact that someone may “need” to lose 75 pounds doesn’t mean that setting a goal to lose all of the weight by Sunday makes sense, just because there is a beach party that day.
When Sunday arrives and that person has lost 3 pounds, the truth is they feel like a failure, and will likely abandon their big goal. They’ve actually set the stage to fail in their goal because it wasn’t realistic.
It’s no less true when looking at your law firm revenue. When an attorney is currently grossing $300K per year and tells me that this year’s goal is to break a million, it prompts a long talk. Growth takes some intention. Looking at the revenue per person on your payroll now, how much more work can the current staff do? Most law firms we work with have evidence of a strong, experienced, competent group of attorneys and staff when they function at an average of $150K–$220K per person on the payroll. If your office is at that level and you doubled the gross—who’s going to do the work? How many more people would you need to hire? How long will it take through training and hands-on experience before they’re operating at the same pace as the longer term employees? And, do you even have enough space to hire more people?
Once you identify where you are now, and where you want to be in a particular timeframe, it is simply a matter of determining how you will get there. Identifying what you need for the trip, looking at your resources and mapping the course. This includes setting short-term goals as milestones for reaching your long-term goal… or time and intentional pit stops along the route to point B on the map.
Measuring your progress along the way and re-charting your course, if necessary, is an absolutely critical element in goal setting. You can’t possibly get to Point B without a map and looking at where you are each step of the way in relation to where you want to go, just as you can’t possibly lose 15 pounds without a scale.
Start with your vision, match that up to your desires and reality… write it down and then get started. See how things are going, make adjustments and achieve whatever you set your sights on!
Director, Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92123