What better time than December to review your work and satisfaction level with your accomplishments. Having a year’s canvas with which to gauge your abilities and success enables you to determine whether you are profitable and enjoy what you are doing and with whom.

Look at your year’s hours, break them down by matter, type of work and client. Where did you spend your time? What work were you doing and for whom? Did you enjoy this work? What other work would you rather be doing?

As your clients’ trusted advisor, you want to consistently meet and hit your mark and add value, like a trusting blinking light.

You will not win trust with a scattershot hunter attitude, where your actions indicate your tendency to shoot from the hip, close your eyes and hope that at least one of your efforts will stick. Nor will you be effective as a sniper, where your efforts are so focused and blinded to meeting the exact answer that you cannot pull the trigger because it is never good enough.

When communicating, consider adapting the personal mantra: pause, acknowledge, and then act responsibly. Even pausing seconds will help re-focus your intentions.

It gets down to training yourself to control your natural tendency to be impulsive. You don’t want to get into the habit of overreacting to every situation, whether shooting from the hip, having loose lips or, even worse, causing others to anticipate your tendencies to do so. Before you open your mouth, or write and tap with your fingers, pause to anchor yourself.

It is fair to say that there is no better satisfaction for a professional service provider than being contacted through a referral source. Sometimes the most unlikely contact can deliver a lucrative and once in a lifetime mandate. Referrals are particularly effective when there is potential for reciprocation. To increase your appropriate rate of return, build a healthy network, and treat and value each relationship as a potential referral source. A key to your success is to stay attentive to these efforts.

There is no better way to develop deeper relations with your connections than to be active within their world. Instead of launching many of your networking activities from the comforts of your office, phone and computer, look for ways to build strong and lasting relationships with your clients face-to-face on their turf. When you literally move your efforts to your prospect’s side of the equation, you will gain a new focus on your accomplishments.

Consider hanging out in your target group’s industry associations to gain key access to those stakeholders with whom you want to network and develop business.

To communicate effectively, it is OK for you to stay quiet. In fact, to succeed as a trusted advisor, I challenge you to balance your urge to always hear your voice and speak your mind with the ability to choose and embrace the right moment to be silent. Consider letting others speak first, learning about and following the situation by simply asking directive questions, and then speaking to the situation, if necessary. You will demonstrate your abilities more positively through this form of controlled communication.

Business development is no longer the special domain of a few skilled partners, an anointed rite of passage or a time-stamped phase. For you, it signifies the business of law and the foundation of your practice. Without business you will not be successful.

There is no better tool than a business plan to effectively leverage your business development initiatives and firm’s core values.

Your business plan acts as your profitability blueprint that provides you and your firm with clarity as it relates to your professional intentions and your methodology for achieving these goals.

​Many of us challenge ourselves and devote our time to organized events where our contributions are as wide ranging as volunteering, donating to a fundraising drive or running a 5K race. But how many of us challenge ourselves and dedicate the same time commitments to focusing on our own needs by volunteering, contributing or racing to improve our professional best and attain new limits of success?

Too frequently, you let your own personal campaigns limp to the finish line. Between professional and personal commitments and extra-curricular activities and interests you simply run out of bandwidth and focus when it comes to tackling those matters that can assist you to achieve better and more satisfying results.

If you want to be more effective with your time, you are the target of this post. How often do you think about time and how it relates to you and what you need to do? If you are like most people, this is a typical occurrence. Talking about time, or the lack thereof, may be a major preoccupation of yours, where you find yourself almost victimized to watch time and bemoan the fact that it flies by.

Fixating on the passing of time is a waste of your time.