For lawyers, our strength lies in not just knowing the ins and out of our areas of expertise, but also knowing what we don’t know. What can be more powerful than when we open ourselves to opportunities to learn and grow.
We all come out of law school thinking we will work hard and that will pave the way to all the success ahead. Few years into the practice, we realize that all that grit and smarts are not enough – we also need to learn to build our book of business. Yes, we are lawyers, but we also have to learn to market ourselves (‘cringes’).
Many of my friends have told me that I seem very comfortable at networking events. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting and connecting with new people, but till date my best days are when I get to sit at my desk, put my head down, and work. But if I want to be able to show up for my clients, my family and myself day after day, month after month and year after year, then that’s just not enough. There are systems and practices that drive innovation and consistent growth in other industries, but are just unheard of in the legal industry.
I was fortune to be a part of the Pilot Cohort of the Build Your Book led by Aaron Baer and Dhawal Tank. If you are on LinkedIn, you know Aaron. Aaron is challenging the status quo in the legal industry and is the thought leader we all needed during the pandemic. Dhawal has sales and marketing down to a science. He understands limitations of lawyers and the hang-ups we have (hint: not all of us like to post on LinkedIn everyday!), and he knows the way around them.
Over the past seven weeks, I have been waking up at 6 AM every Sunday to meet our cohort members in different time zones (Sundays are usually my days to sleep in as my husband takes over toddler duties). During this time, I have learnt there are small steps I can take every day that will help drive the growth of my practice, that there are principles of productivity and efficiency that I can adapt to deliver better value to my clients, that I can be intentional about building a practice rather than letting external forces guide my work. Most importantly, while doing all this, I shouldn’t lose sight of what’s important for me and my family.
Adapting good systems and practices takes time and work on the front end, but in the long run it delivers value to your clients and enriches your own professional and personal life.
As a new solopreneur, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to help me create a foundation for my practice. The pilot program is coming to an end this week, but the work does not stop here. Thank you, Dhawal and Aaron for demystifying the idea of Business Development and making it accessible to attorneys across the globe! I am proud to be a graduate of the Build Your Book Academy.