A few weeks ago, my “bonus” son Caleb was quite upset. He had just played a game of basketball and was upset that he spent more of his time, on the bench. Before going any further, let me explain the story. You see, Caleb has been playing organized basketball for a month. Previously, he has never played with a team. He has spent some time outside, dribbling the ball going off his own knowledge and what he has learned from TV and other inexperienced players. Now he is with a team of players that has been playing the game for a few years. His coach allows him some playing time, but the object of the game is the win, and because my son is inexperienced, he does not have the necessary skill set to win…yet. I tried to explain this to him. I told him that it was okay to be on the bench. Its where you learn and can still win. Read on.
Let’s think about the bench for a moment. The definition of it is “a seat”. In the game of basketball, you will see players who may not have enough experience in the game, on the bench. Some of those players may be injured and so, they are on the bench. Now, let’s use this same scenario for you in your business. You have the right skill set for your core business. You are an attorney, so you know law. You know how to write briefs, and how to interpret the law. You know how to research applications of the law and for some even how to litigate. This is what you need to know in order to grow your law practice. Now, let me free your mind up so that you can continue to grow your practice.
Its time to put yourself on the bench. There are some tasks in which you are inexperienced. Its okay. I know that you are smart. You passed the bar. But, let’s face it, did you really go to law school to learn how to prepare a profit and loss statement? People on the bench lack the inexperience to “win the game”. And in the business world, winning the game is posting profits. Or perhaps you are not in the business to make profit, to provide for your family, to leave a legacy? If that’s you, then continue your same path of trying to do everything yourself, regarding of your inexperience.
But for those of you who are in the business of making a profit, let’s continue.
Do you have time to analysis a profit and loss statement?
Do you know what the cash flow statement is really saying about your business?
What about that IOLTA account? Do you know the best way to reconcile it?
What the ratio of billable vs unbillable time? Are you charging enough for your services?
If you cannot for certain, answer these questions WITH documentation then it’s time to…
This is not a bad thing, right. On the bench, you can watch your teammates perform. You can learn what to do, when to do it, and why sitting on the bench. On the bench, you are allowing the experienced players win the game for the team that you also represent. On the bench you can rest. On the bench you can encourage. On the bench, you can still win.