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54 posts from December 2005

December 31, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 31

OK, now that you’ve seen (counting last year’s) almost sixty resolutions, I expect you are a bit overwhelmed.  I’ve got just one more.  For our final resolution, I’m going to share this advice from Steve Harper:

Rather than do a wish list of all the things you want to change or achieve, why not start off with a moderate but attainable list of ONE thing you want bad enough to actually work your tail off to achieve it. Write it down, print it out, put it on the bottom of your mirror so you see it every morning, put a copy in your billfold, put one on your dashboard and on your desk at work. Surround yourself with the very public declaration that this is what you plan to achieve. I believe when you do this, you sort of create a public and private cheering team that will encourage you when things get hard (and they will). It's easy to let ourselves down but I haven't met one person that will allow their image to be that of a loser or a quitter when it comes to how others perceive them. It becomes a great motivator and benchmark to stay the course until the goal or resolution is achieved.

If you have more than one thing, write them down and throw it into a folder that you’ll review once each month.  Once you’ve achieved your ONE thing, pick another.

December 30, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 30

Take this test, and then pull out your calendar right now and schedule an innovation weekend.  Last year, I did it solo.  This year, my wife will join me as we take a few days  to think about how to innovate in our own personal life.  I’m looking forward to it.

Here is last year’s resolution:

I’ve written about this beforeIs you work area comfortable?  Is your assistant’s?  Read this study, then take a look here for some tips to make it better.

December 29, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 29

Stop Charging for Copies! 

For a customer’s perspective, check this out.

Here is last year’s resolution:

Find a way to Googlize Your Firm.

December 28, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 28

This one is a Steve Nipper two-fer.  Resolve to declutter your computer:

A few weeks ago I blogged over at Rethink(IP) about how I manage my RSS aggregator by putting RSS Feeds on Probation.  Michael Hyatt (Working Smart) takes a similar approch with the applications on his computer, blogging on how he has a Death Row folder where he moves programs/program shortcuts.  If they don't get used in the next thirty days...they get sent to the electric chair, er recycle bin.

Here is last year’s resolution (also via Nipper):

Keep track of the nice things people say about you, and of the people who are exceptionally happy with your work.  When you are having a hard time at the office (or want to use some testimonials in your marketing materials) you have a list handy for a quick pick-me-up. 

And in case you think it is a bit conceited to keep track of the people who love you, remember that you will build a far more successful business by marketing to your happiest customers than your unhappy ones.

Thanks to my friend, Steve Nipper, for the tip.

December 27, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 27

Here’s one of my personal resolutions for 2006:

Make a list of the twelve people you know who could really help you improve your life in 2006, and then write down the one thing each could do to help you the most.  Each month, resolve to take one of them to dinner to a nice restaurant and ask them to do that one thing. 

If you want to be ambitious, make a parallel list of the twelve people you don’t know who could help, and do the same thing!

Here is last year’s resolution:

I read a lot of non-legal books — mostly business books — to help me generate ideas on improving my legal practice and to get ideas for posts in this blog.  I usually buy the books I read, and fold down the corner of each page that has something I want to come back to.  However, what tends to happen is that I end up with a bunch of books on my bookshelf with beat-up pages that I’ve not looked at since I read them in the first place. 

This brings me to my resolution for the day (and a simple Knowledge Management tip):

Whenever you finish a book, copy each page you “marked” while reading it.  Put the copies in an idea file that you review regularly — or at least when you are stuck and need to think creatively.

December 26, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Days 24-26

Take a vacation with your family.  These resolutions are coming to you a bit late (though I’ve backdated them) because I took my own advice.  Here are some pictures from our trip up California’s Highway One, from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Elephant SealCalifornia Coast 1Pebble Beach 3Pebble Beach 1Pebble Beach 2

Oh, and here are the resolutions from last year:

December 24:

Identify the most successful businesses in your community and find out who is second and third in charge there.  Ask those people to lunch.  Learn everything you can about their business.  Don’t “sell” your practice or your services, but offer to help them in any way you can.  Follow up with a personal thank-you note after the lunch.

You will start to see business from these people and their businesses before next year is out! 

December 26:

Now that the holiday season is over, think about the one present you saw (on television, while shopping, under the tree) that made you say to yourself, “Boy, if I were a kid again …,” and go buy it for yourself.  Whenever you are having a tough day at the office, or really need to do some creative thinking, pull it out and play with it.  Here is the “present” I bought myself while shopping for my daughter’s Christmas presents — a Lego Ferrari F1 Racer.  I can’t wait to put it together.

December 24, 2005

links for 2005-12-24

December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays from the Homann Family!

2005 Christmas Picture

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 23

Start a Think Tank.  Invite five of the coolest and smartest people you know and let them each invite one additional person.  Set up a monthly brainstorming meeting where you each bring an issue or idea you want to discuss.  Charge a new person each month with the task of introducing a different creative thinking process to the group.  Each month, invite a “guest thinker” to join the group for that session.

Here is last year’s resolution:

Find employees who want to work second and third shifts and experiment with one or two days a month where the firm never closes.  Advertise these days, and find out how many people who've never had time to meet with a lawyer come calling!

December 22, 2005

Resolutions for Lawyers Redux - Day 22

Resolve to ask your employees the one thing they’d like to change about your business.  Then commit to trying it for a month, no matter what it is.  Thanks to Zane Safrit for this one.

Here is last year’s resolution:

Every week, pick one of your "standard" forms (like retainer agreement) and give it to a sixth grader.  Ask them if they understand it.  Then rewrite it from scratch.