Are you guilty of this deadly mistake? Like many of your colleagues, do you assume that because you know how to do estate planning work, you automatically also know how to run a successful estate planning firm?
The truth is, running a successful law firm requires its own skill set, separate from and in addition to the skills needed to be an exceptional attorney. Skills they don’t teach you in law school.
Find Your Why
The first step in nailing down this skill set is figuring out your primary aim for your law firm. Your primary aim is at the very foundation of your firm – it’s why you do what you do.
You need to figure this out so that as your business grows, you stay in control of your life and your practice supports the lifestyle you intend to build. Without a clear picture of why you’re doing what you do, the very real risk is that things will get turned upside down. Instead of your practice supporting your lifestyle, your life will begin to serve your practice. Maybe that’s where you are now. It’s how many attorneys live, and it isn’t pleasant.
Picture Your Lifestyle
So, how do you figure out your primary aim? You think in detail about the lifestyle you want to have. Set aside some time to think carefully about your ideal life…what does your workweek and your workday look like? What about your family life? In what ways are you involved in your community?
These are just a few questions to get you started. The key is to examine what’s important to you at the core level, then build upward and outward.
Put it in Writing
Here’s an exercise to help you clarify your primary aim: visualize your perfect day and write it down. In detail. From the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. You can do this for a workday as well as for a non-workday. Writing it down solidifies it for you so that you know what your target is. Then, as you go about your life, you can compare your actual days to the perfect days you’ve committed to writing, and see how close you actually get.
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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