Monday, November 3, 2014

Baby Steps

I flipped the TV on last Saturday morning with a cup of coffee as the kids started stirring and they heard me laughing as I watched Bill Murray in the classic, “What About Bob”.

Like a song that has different meanings at different times in life, this movie struck me with its simplicity and rather poignant message.  Particularly when you apply it to business.  In a three part harmony or play it makes for some actionable advice as you think of 2015 and how you are going to grow your practice.

Think of what your craziest goal is and what a year to end all other years in your career would look like.  Feel that anxiety and doubt creep in.  How will I ever get from here to there? I have always generated this much business.  How will I ever get than many new clients, grow my practice, find time for that certification, stick to a workout plan, unplug for a vacation with my family.. Sounds great, wont ever happen.

Bbbbb baby step your way to a seminar…Bbbb baby step your way to a networking event, Bbbb baby step your way away from your laptop and phone to a weekend getaway.

The anxiety is simply too much!  I’m doing the steps, working the system..I need I need!

Time to take a vacation from your problems.  What if all of the reasons why you couldn’t do something didn’t exist? Chances are, they really don’t. The fear, uncertainty, and doubt is but a terror barrier that you have put up that prevents you from doing what you can do.  Forget them, take a vacation from them.  If they are real, they will always be there.  Close the place up, have a neighbor watch them, pay a few months in advance for lawn service and get away from them.

The top rainmaker that I know gets out of town for a weekend a year to a hotel 50 miles away.  Leaves his phone and laptop behind.  Hikes, reads, reflects.  He comes back with hand written goals for his next year and throws out what didn’t work that year.  He gets away from the noise and comes back with a plan.

Death therapy

In the last part of the film, Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss)  reaches his breaking point with Bob (Bill Murray).  Bob has been taking Dr. Leo’s advice so literally that it creates a breakthrough, but not until Bob looks inward at what all of this has meant.  He is chained to a tree with bags of dynamite and comes up with the metaphor.  The clock is ticking, he is chained, about to die. Rather than panic he realizes that all that he has been must die to REALLY live.

To control your destiny in a law firm, the service partner must die to give way to a rainmaker.  Just like the associate or law student had to die to become a partner.  All of the things that have held you back to this point have to go to give life to what you can be.  Even the best practices need pruning.

With fall leaves and cool weather upon us, use that metaphor for what you need to start planning for when the cool thaws and you have baby stepped your way into next year.

For more information on client development best practices contact please call Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or