We’d all like to imagine ourselves as the perfect blend of super-attorney and star entrepreneur. But of course, none of us are, really. We’re all imperfect, and we all have certain innate strengths and weaknesses that differ from those of other people. (This, by the way, is why your own path to growth will be unique—you’re playing to a different set of strengths than we are.)
It is very likely you are either more geared to being a lawyer or being the business owner but not both.
So, how do you leverage both your strengths and your weaknesses to create and advantage?
Six Questions to Ask Yourself
It’s time to start making lists. We recommend asking yourself the following six questions, and list as many answers to each question as you can. Try to be objective, without judging yourself too harshly—but at the same time, be honest:
- What are your greatest strengths as an attorney?
- What are your greatest weaknesses as an attorney?
- What are your greatest strengths as a business person?
- What are your greatest weaknesses as a business person?
- What are your law firm’s greatest strengths collectively?
- What are your law firm’s greatest weaknesses collectively?
These lists may change a bit along the way as you learn more about yourself during the growth process—but the answers should give you a good starting point for moving forward.
What to Do Next
If you’re like most people, once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, you might instinctively start focusing on how to shore up your weaknesses. We actually find this practice to be counterintuitive. Your law firm will grow as you play to your strengths, not to your weaknesses. Instead, look for ways to bring your strong points front-and-center, then staff around your weaknesses to shore them up. In other words, go ahead and do what you do best, and hire others to help out in the areas where you’re weaker.
Let’s assume you’re a natural-born salesman and can convince almost anyone to hire you as a lawyer. But once the money starts rolling in, you can’t balance your checkbook worth a darn. Rather than waste valuable time figuring out how to handle the books, hire someone who is brilliant at bookkeeping (or outsource it) to take that task off your plate. Then use that extra time to close more clients. Can you see how this approach would create much more growth than if you tried to learn accounting?
In the same manner check every area of your law firm. Wherever you see a gap in ability find someone to plug that hole. Keep yourself focused on your strengths. This is how you will scale your business.
To Your Continued Success,
Luis Raul Scott, Jr.