Several coaches, including Bobby Knight and Bear Bryant once famously said:

 Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.

Over many years I found that is true of many lawyers. They are extremely bright. They want to be successful, but they do not have the will to prepare to be successful. It takes hard work to develop your skills, build your reputation in a given field and build relationships with clients. To do it you have to sacrifice now for the rewards in the future.

Long ago I coached  and mentored Jim, a senior associate in my old law firm. He was an extremely bright lawyer and had played college football.

During one of our sessions Jim told me he really wanted to become a sports lawyer. In particular, he wanted to focus on amateur sports including NCAA rule violations, Title IX and legal issues involving Olympic athletes. I thought that would be a great niche, especially since Jim had experience as a college football player.

I found all kinds of books and materials on sports law generally and amateur sports specifically. When the materials arrived, I was excited for Jim. In fact, I took a look at the materials, just to see what a sports lawyer needed to know. I told Jim he needed to develop a plan to learn sports law and later to write and speak on various sports law topics.

Jim never became a sports lawyer. He had the will to become one but not the will to do what was necessary to prepare to become one.

How about you? Do you have the will to prepare yourself for success?