When I was a young lawyer, I made time on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6:00 to 9:00 to write articles for client development. I also worked on client development while I was on airplanes. I did very little client development, or other non-billable activities when I was in the office during the week and when I went home to be with my family.
Jason Cornell is a lawyer I am coaching who has a family and a substantial workload in bankruptcy. In our first coaching session Jason asked me what I thought would give him the greatest return for his investment. I told him Blogging and creating guides for his potential clients. He did both and has gotten great results. Check out Jason’s Blog. His first guide is titled: “Ten Things EveryCommercial Landlord Should Know About a Tenant in Bankruptcy. ” Commercial landlord clients have found the guide very helpful.
When I spoke with him recently he told me that when the coaching program started he was concerned that the program and his client development efforts would interfere with his family life. To his surprise it has not worked out that way, but it has made it necessary to make choices. I asked Jason to share with me how he is doing it. He did and gave me permission to share his thoughts with you.
“Below are some thoughts on balancing out work, personal life and business development.
“In order to make my “hours bonus” this year, the majority of my time in the office is pre-occupied with billable hours. However, about twice a week, I cut my billable hour time short so that I can focus on writing an article or researching topics for an article. Later in the week, I make-up the lost time by working on billable work from home on Sunday evening.
“About three to four nights per week, once the kids are asleep, I research and write on my laptop. Sometimes I do this in the family room while the TV is on. Jen does not seem to mind … when I am on the laptop, she gets free rein over the remote control. It is actually a win-win. She gets to watch what she wants and control the remote and I write instead of watching television. Other nights, when Jen wants to read, I convince her to read on the sofa in my study while I work on the computer at my desk. This has turned out to be good quality time.
“I have had to give up a lot of my pleasure reading. However, finding an article that relates to a subject I am writing on can be just as interesting. My exercising is limited to running with my kids while they ride their bikes and jumping on the trampoline with the kids when I get home from work. Both wear me out, however, they provide me with more than enough exercise.”
Figuring out the best time to work on client development is important. It will be different for each of you. I like how Jason has included his wife in his efforts. I have always felt a great connection when Nancy and I are sitting in a room, each working on something and talking every so often.