« Lawyer Rating System Endorsed by WSJ - Does This Make You Feel Better? | Main | "Tip of the Week" - Need Help Meeting Blogging Goals? Get a Blogging Buddy. »

December 28, 2007

7 Things I Learned in 2007 - Goals For You To Achieve in 2008

56235039_917421727f_t1 I've always been a journal writer which is why blogging has been incredibly easy for me.  And each year I write a reflection about the past year as well as write my goals for the following year in my personal journal.  As I started to write this year's reflections I realized so much of the business portion of my reflections has been positively impacted by entering the blogosphere through authoring this site.  When I started to reflect further I realized maybe my readers might benefit from what I've learned, too.  If not, skip the post. I won't be offended.

1.  The present and future of business marketing is on the internet.  There is simply no challenge to this statement that makes sense.  It needs to be the primary launch pad for any marketing campaign; everything else must be sensibly and organically grown from this platform.

2.  There is no 'competition' in any well-designed marketing plan.  If you are looking behind you to see who might be catching up or glancing sideways to see who may be passing you, you can't keep your natural and comfortable stride nor your eye on the adventure ahead.  Once you understand what marketing is all about, you can have 15 employment lawyers in a room marketing similar services as yours but your natural community will find you regardless of who else is there.

3.  If you are afraid to be who you really are, don't be on the internet. You cannot maintain falsity if you are using the internet.  It is exhausting to create a persona and it simply cannot be realistically sustained for any length of time.  And once you are outed, your reputation is damaged in perpetuity in digitized form.  You don't need everyone to be a client in order to be successful, just the clients who can relate to the lawyer or business person that you legitimately are. 

4. Be generous with your time, your information and your gratitude.  Nothing will garner you new friends, colleagues, reputation or business like being nice; giving without expectation of return, helping because it just feels right to you, not keeping a ledger of what you did for whom or vice versa.  A 50/50 proposition is no win at all.  I have learned this past year of blogging there is an extraordinary universe of very talented, intelligent, kind people who can't seem to do enough for one another and in turn others can't seem to do enough for them.  Everyone's success is your success and your success is everyone's.   And profits will naturally flow. And if you are uncertain about this try something:  Let the hand lead the heart, meaning go through the process even if you are not convinced of my words until you get to the experience that helps you see the truth of my statements. Trust me on this.

5. Pay serious, not casual, attention to the changes in the world.  In order to start a business you MUST be cognizant of the way the world is changing business and how we live and prosper in it.  Those who cling to the old ways, the old ideas will be sitting on the side lines in a few years wondering 'what happened' and longing for the 'old days.'

6. Change your idea of 'work community.'  So many potential solos want to work home but are concerned about lack of interaction with their peers.  It was a legitimate concern of mine but my overriding need to be working from my home to be with my son as well as my personal business plan for the next 5, 10, 15 years told me this decision was correct.  What I learned was the concept of my 'work community' also had to be redefined.  I now enjoy wonderful friendships as a result of connecting through the internet with colleagues, new business partners and more.  While we don't see one another every day, I am often on the telephone, e-mailing, meeting at conferences.  And we get to pick and choose our associations rather then being thrust into an office environment and forced relationships. Work interaction becomes events rather than daily, mandatory cubicle sharing whether I'm in the mood or not.  It requires an adjustment but it is better than I ever could have expected with some tweaking, of course.  Stay open to the changes.

7. Always trust your gut.  This has been my mantra my entire life.  Trust your gut when it comes to work choices, associations, marketing, life.  In order to live in a civilized society we've been taught to disregard our instincts in order to conform.  Studies show it is huge factor in being a victim of crime.  We rationalize away our fears instead of heeding them and then go headlong into dangerous situations we would have avoided if we just trusted our instincts. You need to listen to your instincts when going into business for yourself or risk the dangers, too, of wrong associations, wrong clients and more. Going solo gives you the opportunity to cultivate this natural instinct again.  Trust yourself to do what's right for you in 2008 and going forward.  Trust yourself and your mission first and foremost always. 

Happy New Year!


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 7 Things I Learned in 2007 - Goals For You To Achieve in 2008:


Larry Brown

Thank you for the seasoned advice. As a 2L non-traditional law student I need all the help and information I can get to prepare for my future as a solo practitioner.

Jonathan Kramer, Esq.

Dear Susan:

I was an RF engineer in my own government consultancy for 14 years before going to law school, so I can personally attest to what I believe is your most important statement:

"5. Pay serious, not casual, attention to the changes in the world...."

My "core business" has changed four times 23 years. The nature of the changes isn't important. What is important is that I saw the changes coming (and in two cases, caused the changes, myself) and prepared myself well in advance.

Fighting change is something you hope your competitors will do; embracing change is personally and professionally invigorating.

A rather delightful fact regarding embracing change is that I have new business avenues to pursue. I've capitalized on the fact that existing 600 government consulting clients have become 600 new opportunities for my law practice.

Finally, as someone who has had (and still has) a consulting practice for over two decades, I accept that I'm now unemployable. I just have too much fun heading in my own two firms. I like to say that if I had me as an employee, I'd have to fire me! I tell my employees to aspire to that goal.

Best New Years wishes,

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq.
Kramer Telecom Law Firm, P.C.
Kramer.Firm, Inc.
Los Angeles, California

Susan Cartier Liebel

Jonathan, I find when discussing the economy and changing business climate I am met with resistance because it's really scary for people to acknowledge they can't relax, can't get too comfortable, need to keep on their toes. Some just feel more comfortable with ignoring it...or calling it 'cyclic.' That's my favorite. And even if it is cyclic, they need to know how to operate in every wave of the cycle, up or down. So, I'm with you. Learn, understand, embrace the change instead of ignoring or fighting it. It IS both invigorating and exciting even if just a touch scary.

The comments to this entry are closed.