Seth Godin wrote an interesting blog post for new entrepreneurs about the most important choice they will make which is what you do. The answer, according to Godin, is “What do you do.”
Here are some questions that Seth posed to get your thoughts flowing. Here are my answers even though I am not a new entrepreneur. Let me know yours.
- Who are you trying to please? I am trying to please business owners who are working to build their business.
- Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy? I am working to create a law firm that will make a difference to anyone who hires me.
- How will the world be different when you’ve succeeded? This is a really difficult question to answer. I know that I have succeeded when the people’s perception of lawyers had changed.
- Is it more important to add new customers or to increase your interactions with existing ones? It is more important to increase my contacts with my existing clients.
- Do you want a team? How big? (I know, that’s two questions). I am not that interested in have a large team. As per Seth Godin, small law firms are the new big. I am solo attorney by choice.
- Would you rather have an open-ended project that’s never done, or one where you hit natural end points? (How high is high enough?) I believe that my law practice is a never ending journey.
- Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it? I am pro-active when getting the word out about my firm.
- Which: to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue, but better? Innovation in the legal field is hard to come by, especially in litigation. My niche is helping start-ups succeed.
- If you take someone else’s investment, are you prepared to sell out to pay it back? Lawyers are not allowed to have shareholders or take investment from non-lawyers.
- Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force you to change and develop yourself? I am never finished personally growing. I work on honing my craft (the law) daily.
- Choose: teach and lead and challenge your customers, or do what they ask.. A great lawyer teaches and leads his clients but there is a balance.
- How long can you wait before it feels as though you’re succeeding? I am succeeding already, but I am always looking to help more people.
- Is perfect important? (Do you feel the need to fail privately, not in public?) Creating legal work, such as motion and contracts need to be as close to perfect as possible.
- Do you want your customers to know each other. Absolutely. Following my first consultation with a client, I always ask how I can help their business grow in non-legal ways.
- How close to failure, wipe out and humiliation are you willing to fly? (And while we’re on the topic, how open to criticism are you willing to be?) I have been at this for over 13 years, so failure is not an issue.
- What does busy look like? Busy looks like working inside my law practice by working on my cases.