Growing Your Law Firm: Excuses Versus Results

“Life is Change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.”

Karen Clark

In helping many lawyers expand their law firms to levels of success and profitability they never before thought possible, I’ve observed a simple yet important trend among all of them: Those who make excuses for their lack of growth never grow, while those who refuse to make excuses get results.

Now, don’t confuse making excuses for identifying reasons. There is always a reason for everything that does or does not happen in your firm. When you understand the reason why something isn’t working and you address the reason, you fix the problem. When you make an excuse, you are basically stating that the reason is out of your hands, that there’s nothing you can do about it and that you’re not going to try.

In other words, you’re conceding defeat.

That’s why people who make excuses don’t grow. Once you decide the obstacle is insurmountable, the reason becomes an excuse, and the excuse gives you permission not to try.

On the other hand, the attorneys I work with who refuse to allow reasons to turn into excuses invariably succeed in growing their law firms. They see results for one reason: They keep working on the issues until they are resolved. By refusing to make excuses, they take responsibility for their own success. The result, one hundred percent of the time, is growth.

What do you see as the obstacles currently stopping you from growing your law firm? The economy? A lack of staff? Responsibilities at home? Here’s a tip: It doesn’t matter whose “fault” it is, nor does it matter if it’s in your control. If you blame your company’s low profits on the economy, for example you’re making an excuse. The bad economy isn’t your fault, and yes, it’s out of your control. How you respond to a bad economy—or any other circumstance, for that matter—is entirely in your control. That’s the difference between making excuses and taking responsibility.

I started with the quote from Karen Clark to emphasize that change and growth are not synonymous. Change happens even if you don’t do anything to cause it because change is part of life. How you adapt to change defines whether or not you grow. That’s why growth is optional.

The growth of your law firm depends on you more than you realize. Every time you allow yourself to make an excuse, you’re choosing not to adapt to change, and therefore you’re choosing not to grow. When you refuse to make excuses, results become inevitable.

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