Showing posts with label Perspective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perspective. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stressed? Rushed? Trouble on the way! (aka Kayak Story #2)

OK, so I'm still driving around with 3 kayaks on the car, and I have to go in to Princeton for a lunch.  Yikes, I also had client calls, had to put a suit on (first time in weeks) and things got a little out of control. Have I mentioned I'm also slightly crazed when it comes to being late? Hate it. So I made it to Princeton just in time to meet my lunch date.

Parking in Princeton ain't easy. I've never been the person driving around waiting for a spot to open; I'm the one making sure I have enough cash for the parking garage. Are you starting to see what's coming? Yup. Turned in to my usual parking garage, realized I had the boats and got out of the car to make sure I made under the indicator for clearance. It sure looked like I did, and I was going to be late, and it was a business lunch- so I took a deep breath and drove on in.

Wrong.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Great Question: Are you going in the direction you choose?

"You've got brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can go in any direction you choose." \
- Dr. Seuss

For me, the beginning of the school year is still a time to assess, a time for a new "start". I'm like a bear who can't resist hibernation, it's in the blood.

When I was managing a business line, fall was the time to develop the year-end projection and create a plan and budget for the next year. While I always celebrate my freedom from the in-fighting over cost allocation and bonus pools- I do repeat that same planning process today.

 So- now's the time! Consider:
  1. Where will your business & your lifestyle be at the end of this year? Use the variables that relate to your goals- things like profitability, pipeline, the kind of work you're doing and clients you work with, staffing, length of your workday, number of weekends you work, and even how much fun you're having (scale of 1-5). Note- I like to start with the "how much fun am I having" question and work into the other variables by asking "why" or "why not".
  2. OK, now imagine it's year-end, three years from now- what's going on? What is different? What have you got more of? What do you have less of? Don't constrain yourself, think of possibilities, this is a wish list.
That's it- that's the great question. Figuring out what you want, what you choose, needs to be your first step. Planning comes later, along with the how-to's and any trade-offs you might have to make.

Take some time. Picture your life as a movie, really see it, what is a day like? The more real you make it, the better chance you have of experiencing it.

I dare you!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Moving From "Why" to Action

Just got off a coaching call, my client was feeling incredibly guilty about "not doing anything" since we talked. She'd made a number of marketing commitments for the week and hadn't followed through.

First, I should let you know that, as always- she had done a few things; she never actually "does nothing". But the main point is that she was stuck on "why didn't I do..." and that's what she wanted to talk about. (clients define their objectives for a coaching call- you do all the work) Did I want to talk about that? Hell no, and I overruled her. Respectfully.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Good Question: Are you open for business?

During the school year, my daughter and I walk to school nearly every day. Last year the town’s hardware store closed- couldn’t compete with Home Depot. The spot sold quickly, and rumors started to fly- what was going into the space? (not much news in Cranbury, NJ) We were put out of our misery when the paper ran an article about the new home/gift store that was coming to town.

Once we knew what was going in, we eagerly awaited the store’s opening. As we peered through the windows, we watched the renovation progress. One day a new sign replaced the hardware sign- the name of the store was displayed in elegant letters. On Cranbury Day, the new owners set up outside the empty store, greeting passers-by, handing out a brochure that previewed the merchandise and included coupons to use once the store opened the following month.

For the next month we watched as merchandise slowly showed up on the shelves. The parade of parents walking to school discussed the progress weekly- wondering how on earth the store was going to make the opening date. Friday before the grand opening, the display windows were still empty and the floor was still piled with boxes. We checked the announcement on the door, expecting to see a new date posted- maybe they’d open a week late.

When Monday rolled around, we were surprised to see the store open on time. The window displays were complete, the flower beds outside full of pansies, and the proprietors were busy greeting their new neighbors and customers. Patina Home was open and ready for business.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fire a Client, Get a Life

Old news...Sprint "fired" clients that called customer service 40-60 times a month. Whether or not you think Sprint has a good product or quality client service- this was a great move.

Two kinds of clients you should think about firing. One is the client that has unreasonable expectations, questions fees, pays late, refers other crappy business, etc. The second is the client who sucks every drop of energy right out of you. The client who leaves you exhausted, tired, even angry. If you avoid or dread interactions with a client- it's time to "fire" them. (this is true of family members too- just harder to implement and perhaps a more appropriate conversation for your therapist...)

Make a list of any clients you don't want to work with, think about what it would be like if you never heard from them again. Good,right? Now, while being fully in compliance with ethics- figure out how to make it happen. Set a goal- when will your practice be dud-free?

If you're marketing consistently and building pipeline, then the new capacity will be filled by clients you enjoy. If you aren't doing the marketing, and you're worried about replacing revenue- use the new capacity to get your marketing plan and system in place.

The people you work with have a huge impact on how much you like your work. Don't settle for a practice you don't fully enjoy. As always- life is short, struggle is optional.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Good Question: Who's your next client?

Given your target market and marketing efforts- who's most likely to show up as your next client? Why does she need an attorney? How did she find you? What does she know about you? Why did she choose you over someone else?

Think about it-- and start watching to see how accurate your prediction is. Don't have a clue? Time to review your marketing plans.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Woulda, coulda, shoulda, when & if, if only"...don't bother!

Tough week. Last Friday my gym buddy, Bob, collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Our context is the gym, so I didn't hear anything until I went back on Monday. Bob passed away, a stroke. The last conversation we had, he was laughing and bragging, because he'd just dropped another pants size.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Market You Must- finding your inner Phyllis

I've been offline, spending my time interviewing attorneys and co-authoring a book on marketing. The book truly belongs to Phyllis Sisenwine; she's been coaching attorneys for quite a while and her clients have long told her she should write a book.  She needed a partner to make it happen, someone who understands attorneys' marketing issues and can also manage a project. I sent her my Get A Life! program workbook, which led to the book-writing collaboration.

Listening to super successful attorneys talk about how they built their businesses has been an amazing education for me. The book is called Market You Must, it's a simple, straightforward collection of marketing tips and motivation. We're self-publishing and hope to have it in hand by September. The interviews have inspired me to use what I know to help myself.

Phyllis was a top salesperson before becoming a coach; I was a top business manager and consultant. She's always focused on action; she'd say I'm always preparing to act.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are you accepting what you expect? Stop it.

ABC news has this ongoing story about gas prices. They found an economist who posited that people aren't going to change their guzzling behavior until gas reaches $100/gallon. SUV's are more popular than ever and hybrid sales have slowed. They talked about the fact that people accept the rising prices because they expect them. It will take a BIG price tag to impact behavior.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Just remember, this shit is not linear...

So my own coach tells me, and I know it's true!

If you feel like you're putting a lot out there re marketing- but you aren't getting any new business- wait. At some point, things will start to open up and you'll have more to do than you feel possible.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why have problems at all?... Ta Duh!

Today we consider a "Duh" category with a simple question: why have problems at all? Just try it out sometime when you aren't pissed off at anything. Or maybe when you are. What does it mean if you see situations or events instead of problems? How does it feel different?

What I want for you is to be problem-free. It's a shift. Give it a go, it's worth it.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Many people answer this question with "NO"! I know I did. I used to walk around with the anthem "IQ" in my head; it stood for "I quit". I had several quite provocative IQ scenarios running, depending on what type of corporate nonsense was making me crazy at the time. My problem was that I couldn't follow through until I figured out what I did want to do- which turned out to be helping more attorneys answer "YES" to the question I've used as my title for this inaugeral blog entry.