Ever hear someone comment, “Attitude is everything”? It’s actually true in many situations. Your attitude impacts your success in sports, in your relationships, and especially in your profession. Attitude, however, is not the only thing. See, you can feel confident about your practice – even optimistic (those are attitudes). What I know to be more important is your mindset. Your business mindset encompasses much more.
Having the proper mindset requires that you focus on at least three areas, consistently.
The first area is structure.
Have you reviewed your internal processes lately? If you agree change is inevitable, then realize things changed last year. You’ll be more successful this year if time is allocated for re-examining how you and your staff structure the work day and week. You might discover that what worked in the past, might not be as productive today. Consider technology, personal habits and client preferences.
Step outside of “working in” your practice to “work on” your practice.
A few adjustments early on can have a substantial impact on productivity, communication and revenue. Each of those gains will definitely affect your attitude. It simply requires the proper business mindset to accept and commit to evolving your practice.
Note: My article was originally published in the Louisville Bar Association’s Bar Briefs (February edition, page 10).
The second area in developing a good business mindset involves the numbers.
You’ve got to know the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for your particular practice. Knowing them enables you to set goals for your practice. If you haven’t set specific business goals for 2017, now is the time to do it. It’ll determine how you spend your time during this new trip around the sun.
Start by analyzing last year’s metrics:
- Chart your monthly gross revenue and net profit.
- Chart your number of new inquiries versus the number of new clients, by month.
- Categorize each of the primary types of cases you took. Remember to be specific so you can identify patterns.
- Map out the location of each of your clients by zip code or county, so you can spot opportunities for geo-growth.
The proper business mindset will compel you to have your finger on the pulse of your practice. The KPI’s will lead you to make data-driven decisions, instead of ones based on anecdotes. Setting clear goals around your KPI’s will focus your efforts. Committing to be consistent, and honest, with yourself about your metrics is the key to developing your business mindset.
The third area to consider is your passion.
When January 1, 2017 arrived, did you still instinctively know why you were pursuing this profession? Are your mind and heart aligned on this point?
If the answer is yes, then congratulations. Let’s step on the gas and chased the dream. On the other hand, if the answer is no, then let’s spend time uncovering specific reasons. It may be that a series of relatively minor adjustments can get you back on track. Maybe it’s due to a lack of structure or poor KPI’s. Again, those can be fixed. If it’s something different, your mindset may help you focus on finding an opportunity to pursue a new passion. Whatever the answer, when you know you’re in the zone, your attitude can only improve.
It’s going to be an exciting year. It’ll be full of opportunities to continue doing those things you love. For most of us, we work to live. For others, they live to work. How you approach your work-life balance depends significantly on your attitude. How well you perform substantially depends on your business mindset.
I encouraged you to focus on three important areas: structure, key performance indicators and passion. If you need a little help, raise your hand. Make this your best year yet!