Are Lawyers Really Like Difficult Teenagers? You Decide…

One of the most wonderful experiences in life is raising children. They’re curious, interested and excited about the day ahead. Watching a child learn and apply what was learned is sometimes more exciting for the parent than for the child. We hope in our heart-of-hearts that they never stop learning and improving.  I now have a teenager, so does anyone know an emotional support group I could join? I’m only sort of joking.  Here I am, a well-established author and business coach for attorneys and my son thinks I’m a total moron. Somehow, he knows everything and I’m the simpleton who doesn’t know anything. Being the ultimate optimist, I keep telling my wife that he’ll come around in his own time, not ours. 

While lawyers are certainly not hormone ridden teenagers, sometimes I feel the same way when we talk. They can be stuck in their ways, closed-minded to quality advice, acting like know-it-alls. By the way, if you’re reading this article, you’ve already passed the test. You’re not one of these lawyers. This is really why I really love the clients that engage me. Smart, open-minded and hungry to learn and improve. You may have heard me say, I’m only as good as the clients who represent me. Moving on, here are three ways to keep your head in the right place to take advice and execute upon it.

 

#1. Remove your “head-trash” by doing positive things.  I first heard this term from my coach back in 2003 and it really resonated with me. We must release all of the bad feelings and attitudes in order to truly unleash our best selves. A great way to do that is to focus on doing positive things every day. It’s difficult to feel down and negative when you’re accomplishing tasks and achieving goals (even small ones). This might include cleaning that garage you’ve been avoiding, using that smoker on the back patio that’s gathering dust or simply making some business development calls that are aging. For example, right now, it’s a Saturday and I’m in my office writing this article. As soon as it’s completed, I’m taking that crazy teenager fishing (no arguments from him with that idea). One other tip is to know that you can control only what you can control. We must try to let go of worry and stress that isn’t ours to carry. 

 

#2. Hang out with truly positive people that you enjoy. I have an old friend that I meet up with from time to time. While he’s an important person in my life for a variety of reasons, he’s what’s known as an “Eeeyore.” This is someone who has nothing but negative thoughts to share. These people drain away positive energy from us and bring everyone down. You may work with someone like this, we all have. The best thing to do is limit your time with these folks (even clients) to ensure that you maintain your positivity and good spirits. Seek out the best people you know and schedule time with them. This may be one or two of your law firm partners that you haven’t seen or spoken with in a while. No time better than today to email them and get a visit scheduled in your calendars. 

 

#3. Be open to new things every day. Yes, this means new people, new places, new ideas. Don’t be the closed-minded teenager. An easy way to allow this openness is to say “yes” to new things, even once a week. 

  • Should we try this new restaurant? YES! 
  • How about attending a workshop on LinkedIn? YES! 
  • Why don’t we read, “Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science?” YES!

Sorry for the shameless plug, but you get the drift. Always protect your time but look for opportunities to grow, learn and gain new experiences in life. Take a moment to consider the most successful people you know. They are probably positive, engaged in life and always on the move. Mirror these traits and you will find more happiness, success and fulfillment in your personal and business life. 

If you have or are around teenagers, give yourself a break. Like with some lawyers, we may need to be patient for them to come around. It’s important that when they do, we are here for them with open arms.

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