In the previous post, I talked about Earl Nightingale’s audio series Lead the Field and the profound influence it’s had on my approach to business. Over the years, I’ve mined many nuggets of truth that can be applied, both professionally and personally. Today, let me share just one of them.
The Diamonds You Seek Are in Your Own Backyard
Earl recounts a story made famous by Russell H. Conwell, about a Persian man named Al Hafed. Al Hafed was a well-off farmer, but he decided he wanted to find a diamond mine to become extremely wealthy. He sold his farm and exhausted his resources searching for one of these fabled mines, only to die penniless and empty-handed. Meanwhile, the man to whom he’d sold his land soon noticed a shiny stone lying in a stream running through the garden. He thought it was unusual, so he kept as a prized possession. Then a priest came for a visit, and he recognized the stone for what it was. A huge uncut diamond. It turned out Al Hafed’s old farm sat atop one of the largest diamond mines ever discovered. In his misguided quest for diamonds, Al Hafed had neglected to look in his own backyard.
I take a few important lessons from this story. First, many people work very hard in pursuit of their dream, but that isn’t enough to achieve it. Next, people too often abandon their strengths while chasing a dream. Instead, don’t sacrifice your assets to the dream. Realize you already have a valuable core that needs protecting: build upon it. And third, effort alone isn’t enough. Be informed and educated about what that dream requires for success. If, before he ran off hunting for diamonds, Al Hafed had learned more about how diamonds develop, studied the types of land that are likely to contain mines, and so forth, he might have realized that his own property was ideal.
I’ve found that far too many attorneys are thinking like Al Hafed. They aren’t recognizing value in what they have. They aren’t building on their strengths. They aren’t asking those with expertise for advice. And they aren’t taking the time to learn how to grow their business; they just chase after business leads, hoping something will take.
But I’m hoping that you and I can work together–to recognize the treasures already hidden in your firm, to learn how to develop these into revenue, and to mine new opportunities along the way. To get started, check out my newest e-book, Discover the Acres of Diamonds in Your Law Firm.