Over the many years that I mentored, taught and coached young lawyers, I wondered why it was so difficult to change and why young lawyers got discouraged so quickly when their client development efforts do not produce immediate results.

Over many years scientists have been studying how our brain affects our ability to make changes. Knowing that none of you have any time to study this, I thought I might give you a short lesson.

Do you remember when you were learning to drive. I bet you put a death grip on the wheel, paid way more attention to what you were doing, and if you were on a two lane road driving with your dad, he was scared to death you were going to plow down a row of mail boxes. Now, when you get into a car you do not even think about technique. You just do it.

What happened?

When you are learning something for the first time you are using your short term memory part of your brain. It requires significantly more energy and is able to hold fewer ideas. Also, just trying to change what we are doing sends out a strong message that something isn’t right and brings on anxiety and stress.

Ok, so now you may understand why change is difficult and why you may easily get discouraged. What can you do about it?

Learn client development in bite sized pieces and implement what you are learning until it becomes part of your habits. Your goal should be to get client development from your short term memory to the hard wired part of your brain.

How can you accomplish this?

  • Start with what you want to accomplish long term and why it is important to you.
  • Set a time period. Let’s say five years from now and an end result goal on where you want to be then.
  • Create a 2021 Business Plan that is based at least in part to what you want to accomplish this year to get you on the right course for your five year goal.
  • Create quarterly or monthly action plans and measure how you are doing towards your one year plan goals
  • Create a weekly action plan and share it with your husband or wife, your friend, your mentor or someone who will hold you accountable.
  • Grade yourself each week on how you did on the actions in weekly plan and create an action plan for the following week
  • Plan what actions you want to take each day

That approach, my friend, will break down your efforts into bite sized pieces. What do you want to learn next? What actions do you want to take next?