If not now, when?

One month ago today I was confined to a hotel room with severe back pain. It was the aftermath of Legal Tech New York and I was supposed to be on a plane back to San Diego. Instead, the hotel doctor was giving me a Cortizone shot and ordering me not to move. I’m 41. I run. I do yoga. I drink spinach smoothies for breakfast. This should not have happened.

Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and a new active release therapist, I’m fully recovered and I went back to the gym for the first time this week. It’s hard. I feel slothy and out of shape. Because I am out of my routine, even the simplest activities seem to take a lot of effort. But I know the most important thing to do this first week back is be consistent. I don’t need to run a marathon, but I need 60 minutes a day doing something. When my alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and I want to roll over and go back to sleep, I say to myself, “If not now, when?”

This new mantra has a law firm application. Since the start of the year, I’ve been involved in a number of discussions about how to motivate attorneys to contribute to firm marketing and business development activities. The plans are in place. The heads are nodding. But the work isn’t getting done. For some reason the motivation isn’t there.

As partners, doesn’t the need to grow or at least maintain a thriving practice provide enough motivation to find ways to build business — both as an individual contributor and as an owner? It would seem that if the demand for legal services is down and more attorneys are competing for the same dollars that there would be a sense of urgency to raise your firm profile and create a more disciplined approach to growing business.

After all, if not now, when?

Posted on March 3, 2011 in Business Development

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