Every once in awhile I like to pick a few names from the list of new subscribers to the free e-zine and send an e-mail asking how they found their way to us, what topics interest them, etc. Yesterday I recieved a reply to that e-mail from a woman I knew when we were like 10 years old. Actually she was my Sister’s friend so she replied "Are you Sloane’s Brother?"
What ensued was an e-mail exchange in which I basically summarized the most important things that have happened in my life over the past 25 years in just a few paragraphs. It was a pretty shocking experience to edit-out all the things that have occupied so much of my time & energy and realize that the things that are really important enough to put in a letter to an old friend, for the most part have nothing to do with my office or career.
If you’ve never done it before, I encourage you to try this as an exercise. Imagine if you were writing to an old friend who you haven’t seen or heard from in 25 years, and you only had a single page. What would you write about? What would be left-out? This old friend happens to have become a lawyer too, so I made brief mention of that, but mostly my letter to her was about family – marriages, children, important life achievements, my art, etc. What I left-out was very telling…clients who disappointed me, judges who ruled against me, staff, and every single detail about the technical aspects of what I’ve done for a living in my career. All were excluded.
So howabout you? What would you put into / leave out of such a letter? And how will that realization affect the decisions you make about how you manage your law firm business? At the risk of repeating myself: YOUR LAW FIRM IS THERE TO SERVE YOUR NEEDS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!