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November 9, 2012   Executive Team Blog

Pick your 2%

By Matthew T. McClintock, J.D.

I came across this post today and had to pass it along. It reminded me that while it’s all too easy to get buried in the everyday obligations of building and managing a practice, it’s essential to remember to look up once in a while and dedicate some time to creative thinking and innovating. I for one easily succumb to the urgent commitments of everyday operations and spend too little time creating and testing ideas to move our community forward in powerful ways. While it’s a little early for New Year’s resolutions, that shift in my thinking and behavior is top of my mind.

I think that many professionals in practice focus too much on the daily commitments of meeting with referral sources, sitting down with clients, putting out fires for the staff, implementing planning strategies for clients, and staying up to date on the law. By doing so, those professionals neglect the essence of what their practice is – a small business trying to grow and thrive in a tough economy.

Unlike Brad Feld, most of us don’t have the luxury of unplugging and reengineering our lives so profoundly as to step way out of our everyday commitments to get a new 30,000-foot perspective on our lives. And radical adjustments, however necessary, can be terrifying.
But if you’re not taking some time each week to step outside of the routine of your practice to look at it objectively and brainstorm your growth, you’re selling your business, your employees, and your clients short. Take a look at your client flow over the last 3 months. How does it compare to the previous 3 months? How about the first quarter of the year? How does this year compare to last year? What are you striving for next year? And most importantly, what are you doing to intentionally move the needle in your practice? Are you being intentional, or are you going with the flow of the everyday?

If you’re one of those rare professionals who are diligent and disciplined to look at your practice through the lens of a business innovator, that’s excellent. I submit that you’re in the minority. Many more of us easily slip back into the day to day commitments we’ve made only to look up once in a while, scratch our heads in oblivious confusion, and wonder why nothing meaningful changes.
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