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June 04, 2007

How Big Is Your Bowl?

John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing has a terrific post that is very applicable to all businesses and very appropriate for the solo practitioner, the lawyer who is running his or her own legal services business.

In this post we are asked to consider that maybe our business problems, such as not growing at the rate we would like, is comparable to a fish bowl.  The goldfish only grows in direct proportion to the bowl in which he lives. 

So, if you think your bowl is too small he suggests the following:

    If you want to grow, it's not enough to just do more of what you are currently doing:

  • you must grow your definition of what's possible
  • you must be confidently willing to charge much more than you do currently
  • you must clearly raise your sites on what makes an ideal client for your firm
  • you must be fearless in developing strategic partnerships with much larger organizations
  • you must re-evaluate how you go to work each day and what you make a priority
  • you must consider finding vendors that can help you get where you are going
  • you must make receiving a referral from every client the goal of customer service
  • you must enjoy swimming in open water, trusting that the other side of the tank will appear!

How does a solo practitioner expand his 'fish bowl?"  It require you venturing outside of your comfort zone.  But it doesn't necessarily mean doing things that are uncomfortable for you.  It means being creative.

One client of mine finally recognized the value of blogging.  He started his practice-area based blog and realized he liked blogging so much he created a hobby-based blog linking this blog to his practice-based blog.  He happens to be a runner.  So, when he took things he liked, writing and running, and married them together in this hobby-based blog, all of sudden he was bringing in new business from his hobby.  They were interested in him because he was a runner like themself and this created a commonality.  Committed runners are generally disciplined and can 'go the distance.'  (pun intended.)  These are qualities that translate for some clients to what they would like in their lawyer. All of a sudden he is in a larger bowl and uniting his professional and personal life in a very comfortable and appropriate way.

In addition, you must take the time to learn and then incorporate the best, easiest, and most cost-effective technologies which can be extremely liberating, removing the chains that shackle you to your desk or office or paper and which will immediately free up time to expand your bowl.

And, most importantly, is staying confident that if you maintain your integrity, are disciplined and cultivate the most important referrer of business, an existing, happy client, you will exponentially expand your bowl.

To read more on this subject click here.

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