Get out of your house! If you are not familiar with David Goggins, you may find him irritating or motivating or simply crazy. But, much like Tony Robbins, who I cannot stand because I have no idea what he does, Goggins is maniacal about self-improvement and setting crazy goals. He is worth looking at, but be warned that he will take over your youtube feed!
Anyway, professional services businesses like mine and possibly yours are based upon relationships with people who know what you do and trust that you will do a good job on their client’s case and will keep them at the top of your list for all developments and generally be a good professional. As we age or our practices morph in various ways, you will see people drop off of your list of referrers. The only way to remedy that is to add new people to your list. It is very hard to do that sitting in your house. It’s as simple as that. You have to get out and do things to meet new people. Whether you are joining new groups, taking people to lunch, coffee, or dinner or just being out, you have to keep your list building until it reaches a critical point where you have no more time for list building. The past two years have been a tremendous challenge for list building and I expect that most professionals have seen some shrinkage. Not in the Seinfeld sense of things. In fact, if anything, I feel more charged up to go out and meet people and do things having had a two year rest of sorts during pandemic.
I recently hosted a group of 8 lawyers for a dinner in Philadelphia. The general tenor of the group was extremely appreciative for my efforts in making the dinner happen. I expect that you would have a similar reaction from people if you brought them together. The other interesting reaction was that every one of the lawyers felt that they were far more productive at home. So, there is a tension there. We like being out and being social and seeing other professionals who are like us and with whom we can reconnect and build ties, but at the same time, it is easier and more efficient to be at home working. I play soccer as a goalie every Sunday and strangely have gotten several referrals from the group despite my beginner level goal-keeping. We are a “champagne pick up” as the saying goes as we are stocked with a bunch of lawyers, doctors, and white collar professionals. Nevertheless, we all get along well and as time passes, they need me and I need them for various professional duties. A lot of friendly interaction and professional referrals happen in person in these games, but zero happens when I do not make the games. I go because I like playing with the group and like playing keeper, but the referrals I get only occur when I go there. When I cannot play due to injuries, family obligations etc., I get no referrals. That is just the way it is. For whatever reason, over time, people come to real
ize that you are a decent person, willing to help the group and would be okay to deal with for advice. You cannot get to that point from your home office.
What would Goggins say? He would probably demand that we get up at 5am, do our three hour workout, have our second breakfast, and eat two dinners with two different groups of lawyers. That is the Goggins view of things. For the rest of us, it takes more time, effort, and persistence to get other people out of their home offices to do stuff, but people are itching to get out. As they say, coffee is for closers, so get out there and try it.