Change is a scary word to most people… particularly lawyers. I am sure that we resist change for many reasons… fear of the unknown… fear of discomfort… fear of failure… and the list goes on.
My first career was in the fashion business… and change is the life-blood of the fashion business! Every new season brought new colors, new trends and new reasons for customers to buy. When I started out I produced fashion shows and the excitement of choreographing the show with new music and new stage sets that were influenced by the trends would fuel us. Later on when I was a buyer, the new season meant getting rid of merchandise that didn’t sell. We marked it down, cleaned house and had an opportunity to start again. This experience influenced the way I look at business and life in general. Change? I embrace it… I thrive on it! And what I have come to realize… is it’s a choice we have each and every day. We can choose to GO with it or we can RESIST it. The outcomes of those choices are often pretty simple to predict. What is for certain? What you resist… persists. It is your choice.
Imagine if you looked at your legal practice in the light of embracing change?
I have a client whose associate quit and there was a bit of a panic… how’s all of the work going to get done? Looking at it in a different light… it represented an opportunity to start again. So we started looking at contract lawyers… we found several of them. Now when my client pursues new business it can be done with the confidence that there is a TEAM of extremely qualified lawyers behind her. Her capacity has multiplied. Her payroll has not… she pays only when she has the work.
One of the areas that I work on with all my clients is helping them narrow their focus… find a niche. There are more women in the profession then ever before… 31.9% in fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Find an area where you can make a name for yourself. Sometimes that can represent a BIG change. Lawyers who are the most successful finding a niche are the ones who embrace it with excitement and dig in.
These lawyers could resist change and continue business as usual… but that is not who they are at the core. They are open-minded and willing to try new things. They know change isn’t easy and they do it anyway!