If you spend any time with me, including reading my books or this blog, you’ll hear the mantra repeated over and over: Your law firm is first and foremost a business, and you need to run it as such. That makes you more than just an attorney—you’re also taking on the role of an entrepreneur. We’ve talked before about the importance of identifying your law firm’s weak spots, but have you ever personally evaluated your own entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses? Let’s talk about why you should.
Evaluating yourself means being brutally honest with yourself about what you’re good at and where you could use improvement. It may feel a little unnerving at first, but don’t let it rattle your confidence because you’re not alone. In fact, Luis Loft mentions at least five weaknesses that most entrepreneurs generally have to overcome. The idea here is not to assess your value as a person, or even as a business person; it’s only to show you what areas may require a little more attention.
That said, let’s look at a couple of exercises to help you identify your strong points and weak points as an entrepreneur.
Take a Personal Inventory
Bplans.com suggests a helpful two-list method for identifying strengths and weaknesses in the context of starting a business—but I think it works just as well for people who are already in business. They recommend starting by listing all the skills you might need in order to succeed, then creating a second list of your personal strengths and weaknesses in that context. This method may be incomplete because while it requires you to be honest, it doesn’t actually address any blind spots you might have about yourself. But it’s certainly a good place to start.
Talk to Friends and Colleagues Who Know You
Caution: Don’t turn this exercise into a hunt for pats on the back or ego-stroking. Instead, try to find a few people you trust to tell you the hard truth—preferably people who have some business success of their own. Ask them to help you identify areas where you’re doing things right, and where you’re doing them wrong.
Take a Personality/Instinct Test
One excellent way to get a more objective view of your strengths and weaknesses is to take one of several personality tests. Myers-Briggs and DISC are two of the most common, but one of my favorites is the Kolbe Index because it focuses on measuring and revealing your instinctive responses rather than just labeling your personality type. This information is extremely valuable because when you know which of your instincts are less than helpful, you can anticipate and create workarounds.
If you’d like a more personalized approach to strengthening your entrepreneurial skills to build your law firm, we are here to help. Give us a call at (888) 207-2869.