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Overcoming the Temptation to “Take Any Client”

I recently wrote a blog post about how the choices we make today determine our success in the future. Today I read Seth Godin’s blog , Take What You Can Get? and he eloquently reinforced this message.

Godin talks about the temptation we face to take what you “can get” when your practice is struggling or the economy is slow.

We can all relate to this temptation:

  • You want to build your  practice and meet your monthly revenue quota; you receive a call from a prospective client who wants to “crush” their former spouse. They want you to represent them in high-conflict litigation. Do you take the case?
  • Your law firm’s value proposition is to solve problems for clients who have high asset/ complex family law cases. The only clients you have been attracting recently want the cheapest divorce possible and don’t care much about the depth of your expertise. Do you take these clients?

Without question, anyone who is in business will experience these temptations. What will separate you from the pack is how you choose to respond.

In Seth Godin’s blog post he suggests the following:

  1. Like bending a sapling a hundred years before the tree is fully grown and mature, the gigs you take early will almost certainly impact the way your career looks later on. If you want to build a law practice in the music industry, you’ll need to take on musicians as clients, even if the early ones can’t pay enough. If you want to do work for Fortune 500 companies, you’ll need to do work for Fortune 500 companies, sooner better than later.
  2. The definition of “can get” is essential. Maybe it seems like this gig or that gig is the best you can get because that’s all you’re exposing yourself to. Almost always, the best gig I could get is shorthand for the easiest gig I could get.

You can avoid the “can get” trap by knowing what success looks like for you and exposing yourself to the people, clients and cases that will move you toward your desired results.

I would like to hear about the temptations you face in your practice and your strategies or challenges for overcoming these temptations.

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