Mitch Ackal is a Houston based lawyer I am coaching. He played baseball on the 1999 College World Series Rice team.

This week I am begin coaching a group of eight associates. I asked Mitch to share his thoughts on how to get the most from the coaching program. I am passing Mitch’s thoughts on to you because you can use his ideas, especially the importance of developing a business plan that will work for you.

My advice on getting the most out of Cordell’s program is to be patient and persistent. I am a 5th year litigation associate. When I first started the program,         I had an unrealistic expectation Cordell was going to give me a bag of pixy dust to sprinkle around town, and the next day I would be generating a million in business and praised by the partners as the second coming of Clarence Darrow. Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

My take on Cordell’s program is he wants us to develop the right habits that will eventually turn us into productive rainmakers. Those habits might not yield an immediate result, but they will lay the groundwork for the future.

I think the key to developing the correct habits is to prepare a good business plan that suits your strengths and weaknesses. The individual coaching sessions with Cordell; group meetings; quarterly meetings; and working as a team are some of the tools you will use to develop your plan of attack. And of course, once you develop your business plan, follow through with it.

I am currently in the 7th month of the program, and my challenge so far has been developing a comprehensive business plan that suits my personality, strengths, and weaknesses. Remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat. It may be your thing to write and speak. Some may love to blog. For others, developing relationships may be your strength. Or all of the above may work for you. The point is . . . find something you love doing and exploit it.

As a young lawyer, figuring out my plan has been the point of the program. In fact, during my last coaching call, I enthusiastically told Cordell I was almost done with my business plan. Getting to that point has been a fun struggle. For example, I had never given a speech before I started the program. I have since found two speaking opportunities and have determined it is something I really like to do. Therefore, writing and speaking a few times a year is now part of my plan.

Along the way, you will learn a lot from Cordell, but you will also learn a lot and get great ideas from your peers. One of the young lawyers in my firm’s program was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States when she was 9. She is keenly interested in the recent news coming out of Iran. She has contacted our firm’s public relations consultants, and the next time a big story breaks out of Iran, she is going give some interviews to local and national media outlets. The PR consultants told her the news media has been clamoring to find someone to give a few sound bites or quotes. She clearly fits the bill. A great idea and a great way to get her name out in Houston’s growing Iranian community.

Sorry for the long email. Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the program as much as our group has.