Seth Godin posted a blog recently simply titled Effort. I urge you to read it and subscribe to his blog.

In the post he asked:

What does it mean to try your best?

Then he suggests:

The trick: don’t redefine trying. Redefine the circumstances.

Lawyers I coach frequently ask me:

How did you find time for all the non-billable career development and client development efforts you made?

I remind them I didn’t “find” it. I “made” time. My circumstances demanded it.

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For the majority of my career I practiced law in a small firm, as small as three lawyers when we started in 1983. My family depended on me to make time for client development. If I had started my career in a big firm, I’m not sure I would have made the same effort.

I enjoy coaching lawyers in smaller firms because they share that circumstance. They can’t rely on the efforts of other lawyers or the firm’s “institutional” clients.

If you are in a big firm, use your imagination. What if your family depended on your non-billable career and client development efforts?