Thursday, April 02, 2009

Marketing from the Trenches #5 - Stop Saying "Yes" to No-Money Activities

Have you ever bent to a request that started with, "Hey, I really need you to do this favor." Or, how much of your time is committed to no-money, community or professional activities you keep alive out of principle or guilt?

If you are going to be successful in building your own practice you have to make hard choices and shed activities that do not produce new opportunities. Period.

You have to honor yourself and say "No" if there is nothing in an activity that supports your practice development goals. The time for humbly offered pro-bono and giving for no reason at all comes later -- after your practice is mature and your future is secure.

Remember, you can do wonderful things, help a lot of people and be a hero even while you are looking after your own goals. Marketing your practice depends on your ability to focus any non-billable work time on activities and relationships that will further your professional objectives. Do this:
  • Take a hard look at your calendar and decline any activities that do not represent a step forward for your practice (or family).
  • Turn down any "favor" requests from your peers or superiors that do not add to your practice. Respect is hard to earn -- and is never earned unless you stand firm on your own standards.
  • Get involved with organizations and initiatives filled with people and relationships that might help your marketing effort.
  • Stop talking with "time-wasters" and build relationships with people that can move your practice forward. This is probably the toughest step to take and the most necessary.
Be strong and you can do this. Be focused and you will arrive in a wonderful place where friendship and self-promotion find a rewarding balance.

There is nothing wrong or shameful about wanting to be successful and working to make that happen. Your future is in your hands alone. Be wonderful, be a hero and take care of your future.

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