How many times have you heard…“Don’t get too excited… You don’t want to be disappointed.” I bet, a lot!

When is it time to get excited about a new case or new project? When the client says they’re moving forward or when they sign the engagement letter or when you receive the check? In my book… all of the above!

The other day I was coaching a client and he shared with me that his client said they would be moving forward on the project. My client said cautiously that he always waits to see the check before he believes it. I said, why not choose to believe your client is telling the truth and will be moving forward? Be happy about it and let your enthusiasm feed more business development efforts. Enjoy each step of the process because it will fuel the next step, and the next step! Success shouldn’t only be measured by receiving a check. It’s about playing the game and enjoying it along the way. Don’t we cheer for the baseball player that gets to first base and then again when he reaches second?

Let’s face it, no one ever died of disappointment. Yes, the deal may hit a bump in the road, there may be delays or the check may not be issued, but chances are it will.

The benefit of celebrating the fact that the client said they are moving forward is renewed enthusiasm for the business development progress. Just imagine what your practice could be if you really enjoyed business development?

I see it sort of like this…

If you can’t enjoy a date until you know if you’re going to get married… there would be a lot of miserable people on this planet! Enjoy the date, and look forward to what may happen next.

Send me an email today if you’d like to discuss the business development process further!

Perfection is the affliction that most lawyers have. I see it as the good news and the bad news. It can make you great lawyers, but it can also stop your progress in business development. When you are building a book of business it matters more that you are REAL and you make progress, than that you are perfect. I know lawyers find this VERY hard to embrace. I’m not talking about accepting mediocrity… a diamond with a few flaws not visible with the naked eye is acceptable… because the diamond is none the less beautiful. Seth Godin says it so brilliantly…

Effortless. When John Coltrane plays the melody early in the track Harmonique, you can hear some of the notes crack. Of course, Coltrane was completely capable of playing these notes correctly. And yet he didn’t. It’s this effort and humanity that touches us about his solo, not just the melody.

Sometimes, ‘never let them see you sweat,’ is truly bad advice. The work of an individual who cares often exposes the grit and determination and effort that it takes to be present.

Perfecting your talk, refining your essay and polishing your service until all elements of you disappear might be obvious tactics, but they remove the thing we were looking for: you.

Yes… YOU! Let YOU come shining through to make it REAL.

If you are a regular reader you are well aware that I have been writing and working with clients for the past two and a half months on business development planning for 2012. Part of the process is to look back onto 2011 and examine what went well and what could be improved upon. There is a common denominator in the "improve upon" category.

What I hear over and over again is the fact that many business development initiatives seem to get "stalled". Why? Because they needed more work… the article was not perfect yet… the blog post was not substantive enough… and so on, and so on. It is a lawyer’s trait… perfectionism.

It is a very uncomfortable thought that you would put your name on something that isn’t perfect. But I ask you… "Whose job is it to judge if something is perfect?" Of course it seems that it is YOURS. When was the last time you saw a PERFECT anything? Not recently, I’d bet! Everything can be improved in some way… big or small. So, I challenge you to find a point that your business development initiatives are "perfect enough." And let go! Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress! 

Learn from your initiatives and make them better the next time. Because as we know… business development initiatives need to be repeated to yield results. So, you will have plenty of opportunities to improve as you progress. But you need to do something in order to PROGRESS! So, as they say… let go and just do it!