Monica A. Teasley, Esq.
Changes for Success
Happy New Year! Not only are we saying goodbye to the old year, but we are also saying goodbye to a decade that saw stunning positive changes in the United States: we weathered a terrible recession. Internet-based commerce mushroomed. Small businesses began to grow and thrive again.
As we enter the new decade, now is the time to review where we have been, where we are, and where we want to go. In short, it’s time to plan for 2020, 2025, and 2030! As Winston Churchill once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” So let’s get on with it!
As my readers know, I am not only the Entrepreneur’s Attorney, but I, too, am an entrepreneur. I am reviewing the past year and the past decade to determine how I can be more successful. I have now officially been in business as a solo attorney for 10 years, and my business and I have grown in many ways. I have had 4 office addresses (all within the same complex), each one allowing me to accommodate my growing client base. I now even have space to support a junior attorney who can assist with my case load. I also have a satellite office that allows me and my staff to meet with clients throughout the metro Atlanta area. More importantly, however, I have developed relationships with business owners, other attorneys, and clients who are happy to refer friends and business associates to me. Successful performance in both the Boardroom and in the Courtroom, as well as meaningful networking, have resulted in business growth. And I want even more success in the next decade. Although hard work is one of the keys to success, hard work with a plan will almost certainly be more efficient than hard work alone.
So, as we begin this decade, here are some hints for planning for the success of your next decade as an entrepreneur.
1. Determine tasks that detract from “the highest and best use of your entrepreneurial time.” If any of these tasks can be done with software, research the software, try it, and use it to make your life simple. In my case, I began to use a software program that allowed me to keep track of client documents, billable hours, and billing. Using that software allowed me to spend more time on client work, rather than on office management tasks.
2. Know your body’s “Circadian Rhythm” (are you an early riser or a night owl?). Try to create a schedule that allows you to accomplish the most work at hours that work best for you. If you are a night owl, work for some hours into the night, but make sure you get enough sleep in order to wake up early in the morning. Before 7 a.m. you can accomplish more because typically phones aren’t ringing; emergencies aren’t happening, and employees are not asking for direction. All that said, you have probably heard the adage, “Being your own boss allows you to pick which 23 hours of the day you want to work!” Remember: hard work and long hours will pay off!
3. Be strategic about your to-do list. Recognize that you cannot accomplish everything in a day, so plan your week. Also, recognize that you can’t accomplish everything in a week, plan your month. And then plan your quarter(s) and your year. Build in reasonable time to acknowledge that you may not be able to accomplish things in the timeline you originally created. Your plans may be interrupted, but with a rational plan you’ll be able to get back on track quickly – and you won’t feel as though you’ve failed if you don’t accomplish a task or project in a day or week.
4. Make goals that include getting and staying healthy – a healthy mind, body, and soul will go a long way to your success.
5. Remember to say “No” to (or quit) those non-mandatory things that no longer make you happy.
6. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to do your best and to be happy in your work, and success will come.
7. Limit your time on social media. Unless you are expecting a business document, make a habit of looking at your email only every hour or so. Each time you take your mind off a task, the average time to re-engage is about 10 minutes. That’s more than an hour wasted in an 8-hour day!
8. Eat healthy. Drink water. Take time for breakfast and for lunch. Eat light.
9. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
10. Remember why you started the journey. Life and success are meant to be enjoyed. Financial success means little if you aren’t healthy and happy.
I look forward to enjoying this year and engaging with you. Feel free to contact us for experienced|effective|efficient legal representation! Happy 2020!