An attorney friend (we'll call him Jack) recently attended a networking event where he was new and the guest of another (non-attorney) member. Before the meeting concluded, an attorney member came over to directly admonish Jack to never return to the group. This was based on
A: The principle of some networking groups where a member may secure his or her industry as "exclusive," and prevent others in the same industry from joining the membership.
B: Scarcity mentality.
You may well know the concepts of Scarcity and Abundance mindsets. Stephen Covey, in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, distinguished the two saying:
I chose a pie with Pi on it because the number represented by the Greek letter "Pi" is a constant. Similarly, if you view your opportunities through a scarcity lens, then your potential success is limited or...somewhat like a constant.
If instead you follow Covey's advice, there is greater capacity for success. Whether you prefer to think of sweet pies or pizza pies, the example holds: there are myriad ways to distinguish yourself, to compliment others, to work together, and to expand the "pie."
The attorney above, who turned away my friend "Jack" (in fairly public fashion), lost potential future referrals. You see, the scared attorney works in a related, yet different field from Jack's. Covey's Abundance point relates to the concept of sharing - that we may get further by working together than separately. For example, by sharing with others your expertise, interests, description of your ideal targets -- you establish a means by which they can work on your behalf. (Yes, there may be concern for quality and the need to know that your recommendation of another attorney is built on the trustworthiness of their work and ethics. Therefore, it would be wise to get to know more people and potential resources in an effort to identify and attract more high-level, high-quality allies.)
The linchpin of Covey's Abundance concept is that "deep inner sense of personal worth." If you discover that you are struggling with a sense of security in your work, you may be consciously or subconsciously grappling with personal worth. I encourage you to make time to compile the many reasons you enjoy your work, why you set out on the particular work you do, and ask yourself: WHY you do what you do, WHY you are good at it, WHY you are different from others. Then ask the Why question again and again, until you have a foundational definition of why you do what you do - and one from which you can make any future business decision.
Once you take this step, you will be emboldened by your sense of worth, your business decisions will be easier,* and the universe of possible options, allies, and ideas will unfold. Ironically, it is the constant principle of Pi that enables us to measure any circle, no matter how great. So, use the constant of your own "why" to expand your Abundance Mentality.
* Easier -- because when you distinguish yourself and operate with a clear definition of "why," decisions will be easier such as: whether budget exists or should be devoted to a particular endeavor, whether you should spend more or less time on a new issue, industry, or market. This is derived from Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why, and I employ his approach in some of my presentations and consulting with firms and individuals. To learn more, please contact us today to arrange a review of your marketing and business development objectives, or to schedule training.