One Mistake Successful Lawyers Need to Avoid.

You’re used to going fast and getting a lot done.

Since you are used to success you accomplish something big – or achieve a significant milestone and your brain is immediately shifting to the next thing that needs to happen.

After all – there is no time to lose!

And that’s the mistake that comes with being really driven and successful.

You don’t give yourself the time and space to really appreciate what you’ve accomplished.

Maybe you got a great result for a client.

You had a breakthrough with your staff.

You made it home on time for dinner – or to your kids’ ball game or recital.

And almost before the thing is over your mind is racing ahead.

You need to know that the mistake of not celebrating and appreciating your accomplishments is not sustainable. Even for the most outwardly successful people.

When you look deeper you’ll see that the really successful people make appreciation and celebration a routine part of their operating system. It is the rule. Not the exception.

Here are just two of the reasons why taking time to appreciate and celebrate matters:

#1 Celebration helps mentally and physically.

When you celebrate you release endorphins and you get to feel really good – and positive without additional chemical assistance. It also gives you a mental boost because it reinforces the behaviors that caused you to achieve the goal.

When you don’t celebrate you can slip into a feeling that nothing matters and every day is the same. It gets harder to stay motivated – and you accelerate burnout.

#2 Celebration attracts more success.

When you share your accomplishments you will attract more of what you want in the world – because people like to associate with those who succeed.

Doesn’t this sound like it’s worth having?

Look back at the last month.

What’s one thing that is worth celebrating?

Look ahead at the coming month.

What’s one thing that will be worth a celebration when you achieve it?

Decide now how you will celebrate. It doesn’t have to be huge.

Give yourself the gift of celebration – you deserve it. And you need it.


Doug BrownOne Mistake Successful Lawyers Need to Avoid.
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Opportunity Cost is Crucial to your Practice. Learn Why!

Good focused time choices make you more money – without working longer hours.

You’ve probably heard that you can’t actually manage time.

So you know the key to making more money in less time is about the choices you make.

If you focus on the right things you’ll make more money and have a life.

Opportunity cost is the benefit you miss when you choose one alternative over another.

If your hourly rate is $300 per hour, and you spend an hour doing a task that you could have given to an administrative assistant, or virtual assistant, who charges $25 per hour then your opportunity cost is $275.

The decision to ‘save’ the $25 actually costs you 12-times what you saved. That’s opportunity cost.

When you decide to take a client at a lower rate, or who can’t pay you what you are worth – that’s opportunity cost.

If you decide to take a case as a ‘loss leader’ and the path to when revenue will come is not clear then you’re having opportunity cost.

Make the choice to invest in yourself and your practice.

Focus on activities that require your special expertise – things that will make you money or increase your capacity to make money.

How will you invest your time this week?


Click here to get my favorite 5 time-saving strategies

Doug BrownOpportunity Cost is Crucial to your Practice. Learn Why!
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Lawyers: Find More Qualified Clients

What would it be like to fill your law practice with qualified clients? You know, the ones who you like working with, who pay you what you are really worth – on time. The people who will tell their friends about you and send you more qualified clients. That’s today’s topic.


Doug BrownLawyers: Find More Qualified Clients
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Lawyers & cross-selling: How to get clients to retain you for additional matters

Your clients know you for solving one specialty* or type of problem – and they give work to other lawyers that you would love to get. Here’s how to make them aware of the other things you do so they bring that business to you.

*P.S.. Yes, I know we lawyers are generally not allowed to use the word “specialist” when marketing.


Doug BrownLawyers & cross-selling: How to get clients to retain you for additional matters
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Selling Legal Services Doesn’t Have to be a Soul-Sucking Experience

Selling has a bad rap in the legal community.

When I was a young lawyer it was made clear to me that “lawyers don’t sell”.

Selling was (and by some still is) viewed as unprofessional or unbecoming.

We were supposed to do “business development” and learn how to “make it rain”, but we were not supposed to sell. Or at least we couldn’t use the word.

Later in my corporate career, I got a crash course in what professional selling really is and how to do it well.

I learned that selling doesn’t have to be a soul-sucking experience beneath the likes of professional lawyers.

Selling isn’t about taking something from your prospective client.

Selling isn’t about putting something over on them and getting them to buy something they don’t need. In fact, when you think about it, doing that would be a violation of our ethical rules.

Done properly, selling is simply a process of becoming known to the people (or businesses) you were meant to serve. Not everyone in the world. Only those who you were meant to serve.

Isn’t it an act of service to share what you do with the people you were meant to serve? Don’t you think they’d want to know what you do and how you do it, and what makes you different?

Wouldn’t it be helpful to them to know all of that information so they know who they can trust when they or their friends need a lawyer? How is that a bad thing?

Once you take out the head trash around selling you will be free to learn and apply the formula that actually works to help you find more clients and close more deals.

It isn’t about spending gobs of money on advertising. It is about being focused and taking disciplined action in the right direction.

Selling in service to the people you were meant to serve feels good. Very good. Because you are doing the work you were meant to do. You are solving problems. You are adding value and changing lives. And you’re making the money you deserve at the same time.

Pass it on! If this would help a member of your team or a colleague please like and share it. It is time we changed the conversation around selling.


P.S. If you liked this post check out my #1 hack to get more done and make more money at the same time. Click here for your copy

Doug BrownSelling Legal Services Doesn’t Have to be a Soul-Sucking Experience
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The Hidden Cracks in Your Practice Foundation

Your law practice is like a house.

Your house is only as strong as the foundation that supports the core structure and systems.

Small cracks in the foundation become fissures and, left unattended, the house can become unstable or uninhabitable. And it certainly won’t increase in value or protect you from the storm.

The good news is that as with your house, you can be vigilant and inspect your foundation and business systems to guard against failures – and increase the value of your business.

And yes, I said business – not practice.

If you want to build lasting value and get more done in less time, then you need to think about your practice like the business that it is.

All healthy businesses are built on solid principles, practices, and systems that allow them to become successful and profitable.

There has never been a better time to check in on the foundation of your law business and adjust as needed.

The most basic systems – your foundation, include:

  1. Your strategic plan and how you set goals and objectives – like setting your GPS.
  2. Your core personal and business values, and the problems you solve for your clients.
  3. Your clients and community – how you attract and select the right clients.
  4. Your systems and processes to make your life easier and more profitable.
  5. How to protect and grow your most important assets – like your time and attention.

These are things you do to work on your business, just like you’d work on your house.

Be sure you are blocking time in your busy calendar to seek out the hidden cracks in your foundation in each of these areas. If you’re not seeing any, then you’re probably not looking hard enough. And you need to know they are there in order to protect and preserve your house.

The work you do now will pay huge dividends down the road.



Doug Brown, JD

Chief Learning Officer & Executive Coach

Summit Success International |

I help attorneys get more done in less time and never miss dinner again.

P.S… I know how hard it can be to make these things a priority when you’re really busy working in your business and you feel like you’re playing “Whack-A-Mole” all the time.  It’s even more daunting if you don’t have experience with these business disciplines. And when you’re in that situation you can do what you would do with your house – call in an expert. I hold a few spots each week to talk with attorneys like you about your foundation, and how to make it stronger. Click here to apply for your free consultation.


Doug BrownThe Hidden Cracks in Your Practice Foundation
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Why Practicing is no Fun

Doing more in less time requires practice, and practicing isn’t fun.

The reason practice is often not much fun is simple: it involves failure.

In order to achieve mastery in some areas, you have to become proficient in ALL of the subordinate skills in that domain.

The process is the same – whether you are trying to master your time, your golf game, or any other skill.

You can’t just concentrate on those bits that come easily or that you already do well, you also have to put in a fair amount of effort on the parts where you don’t perform well.

This means you are inevitably going to fail more than once, and probably quite a lot, on the way to achieving your goal. And most people don’t find failure to be particularly enjoyable.

So why go through all the effort of practicing?

The answer lies in the satisfaction you receive as you achieve your goals. When you are passionate about something. When it is really, really important you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Perhaps you are like many lawyers who are really passionate about simple things – like getting out of the office on time to do something important – like dinner with the family or being there for their kids’ events.

If you don’t want to leave this to chance then you’re going to have to practice mastering your time – because that’s a skill. It is the most important skill because it opens the door to everything else.

Practicing isn’t fun. And it is totally worth it.

What are you doing to practice your time mastery this week?


P.S… One of the most difficult things about practicing – especially when you’re trying to change established habits – is knowing where to start. If that sounds familiar. If you’ve tried of all the standard ‘tips’ and you’re still stuck then it’s time for a coach. If you’d like to see how that works – click here and let’s talk.

Doug BrownWhy Practicing is no Fun
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Why Lawyers Fail at Marketing

Lawyers fail at marketing because they are not doing it right.  And it’s not their fault.

Marketing isn’t part of the law school curriculum – except in ethics class where they make it very clear what not to do. Traditional CLEs don’t do much better. They are most often taught by other lawyers who may (or may not) have figured it out by trial and error, or by marketers trying to get you to hire them to fix it for you.

Marketing just isn’t that complicated. There is no reason why smart people like lawyers should struggle with marketing or sales for that matter.  Yes, I said “sales”, and it’s ok.  Marketing and sales are not the same thing.  Marketing is simply the process of becoming known so the right people are interested in learning more about hiring you.  Sales is the process of engaging with a potential client, assessing whether there is a proper fit, and agreeing on the scope of representation.

The most common mistake I see is lawyers focusing on themselves first, instead of the client first.  If you want to market effectively then you need to understand the people you are attempting to reach. There’s a lot you need to know about your potential clients, including who they are, the problems they need to be solved, where they gather, and how they find and make decisions – especially the decision to hire a lawyer.

How people make the decision to hire a lawyer.

“People buy on emotion and justify with logic” is a popular expression. It’s also backed up by hard science. Harvard researchers have found that 95% of purchase decisions take place unconsciously. These decisions show up as emotions. Then the conscious mind works on rational and logical reasons to support what the emotions want us to do. As a result, we have the illusion that we’re acting completely rationally – but we’re not.

This is why traditional, rational, logical lawyer marketing falls flat.  Sure, your clients won’t hire you if you don’t have the technical competence and qualifications to do the work. But that’s not enough. There must be a deeper emotional connection – a trigger – for them to pick you over other equally qualified attorneys. 

Your people need to feel a connection with you. They have to know, like and trust you. They must feel safe and comfortable to allow you to solve their big and scary legal problem. That’s the purpose of marketing – to bring them on a journey to your door – and then to hire you.

You don’t need to spend money or go to extraordinary lengths to foster this connection. You simply need to address some pretty simple human needs. Needs that seem to be lacking in many lawyers, according to recent surveys.  Things like:

  • Listening attentively to their questions (and the questions behind the questions)
  • Answering simply, clearly, and directly
  • Acknowledging the human part of your client – and their need for certainty.

Do a quick self-audit of your website and social media profiles – from the perspective of your clients.  Is the messaging about you and your greatness? Or is it about them, and addressing their needs?  Where are your opportunities to improve the emotional connection which is the thing that will cause your clients to buy?

Do you want help deciding how to make your marketing more authentic and effective? Reach out and let’s talk.



Doug BrownWhy Lawyers Fail at Marketing
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