Becoming A Self-Made MBA (Part I)
How to Become a Self-Made MBA
Building A Legal Practice Designed To Last, Part I
In law school, we learn how to dissect a case, how to argue both on paper and in the courtroom, and how to overcome the fear of being called on in front of a large group of people. In the second and third years, we may even have some practical classes designed at building client relationships, the art of negotiating, or maybe even a class on law practice management. However, law school does not teach, nor are they designed to teach, the basics of running a law practice (i.e. a legal business) or being a great MBA.
As a result, if you graduate from law school without a business background, you need to become a self educated Master of Business (earn you own MBA).
Be intentional about how you spend your time. You MUST schedule time to work on your business instead of just in it.
Just as you constantly remain a student of the law, become and remain a student of business.
Here are 10 ways to become a self-made MBA and do just that:
- Read books about business, marketing and sales. A list of suggestions is below. Replace TV time by reading a book on business.
- Listen to audio books while you drive in the car. Don’t waste time either in the office or away from it. While getting the grunt work done is crucial, if that is all you are doing you are wasting time during your work. Many books on the list below are available in audio on YouTube.
- Attend as many business CLEs and seminars as possible. Both the Atticus Group and The Rainmaker Institute have fantastic seminars on operating a legal practice.
- Conduct a yearly firm marketing retreat. Whether you are a one man show or have a firm of 50 attorneys, take time away from the day-to-day grind of law to reflect on how you are running your practice. If you are going to have more than 5 people at the retreat you may want to consider having a facilitator, especially if it’s your firm marketing retreat.
- Have regular (weekly / bi-weekly) business and marketing meeting with your staff. Again, whether you have one person at the office or ten, take time on a regular basis to reflect on how you can improve your business and the services you offer. At these meetings discuss a book on the list below, talk about how you can improve your clients’ lives (i.e. customer service), or your marketing strategy.
- Find a business coach or mentor that can help you make important business decisions. Atticus has a great group of practice management coaches.
- Subscribe to blogs that focus on creating a great business. Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine is a great follow.
- Watch videos on business, leadership, sales and marketing. Ted Talks on YouTube on these subjects are a great free way to accomplish this goal. The Rainmaker Institute also has a great selection of seminars available on DVD.
- Join local organizations that focus on professional development such as Toastmasters, a young professionals group, the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary or Kiwanis
- Take notes on why other business work. Chick-Fil-A and Apple are two of my favorite businesses to take notes on specifically in the area of customer service.
Bonus: HAVE FUN! Business is a highly creative process geared toward providing a valuable and unique service to your client.
Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless – Jeffrey Gitomer
The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness – Jeffrey Gitomer
E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Business Don’t Work and What to do About It – Michael Gerber
How Good Attorneys Become Great Rainmakers: A Breakthrough Referral Marketing Process – Mark Powers and Shawn McNalis
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
Good to Great: Why Some Make the Leap . . . And Others Don’t – Jim Collins
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen R. Covey
The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World – Harvey Mackay
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time – Keith Ferrazzi
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Virtuous Leadership: an Agenda for Personal Excellence – Alexandre Havard
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Gary Chapman and Paul White
As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money that the Poor and Middle Class Do Not – Robert T. Kiosaki
People Over Profit: Break the System. Live with Purpose. Be More Successful – Dale Partridge
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