Several lawyers I coach prefer not to write or speak to industry groups. Instead they want to focus on building relationships. Michael Gillman, a real estate partner with Looper Reed & McGraw’s Dallas office, is one of those lawyers.

While Michael does not write or speak to industry groups, he has a passion for hunting and fishing and enjoys taking clients, prospective clients, referral sources and friends fishing and hunting with him. Having a passion for hunting and fishing brought Michael his largest client.

Twelve years ago Michael and his wife, Lisa, were walking through the neighborhood and came across a stray dog. Michael looked at the collar and found it belonged to James A, and it included his address. Michael knew James A was an active developer in Dallas.

Michael and Lisa took the dog to the address and found no one was home, so they took the dog home with them. On Monday Michael called Jim’s office and found out he was out of town because his father had passed away and he would be gone for three days.

During the three days, Michael also noticed an Arkansas hunting license on the collar. When Michael returned the dog, he told Jim that he also loves hunting. Later, Michael and Jim went duck hunting together. During the three-hour return trip, Jim mentioned a $390 million project he was developing and asked if Michael would like to do the legal work. That was 12 years ago. Jim and Michael have been friends and have worked together ever since.

The point of Michael’s story is there are a variety of ways to get business. One size does not fit all. Michael’s passion for hunting and fishing and his likeability make it natural for him to build relationships with people who share his passion.