Always On

A few days ago, I called a colleague at a mid-sized energy firm who’s known for a particular niche. As we chatted, I remarked how it was odd that we’d never run into each other at industry conferences to which she responded that she rarely does facetime these days. Doesn’t need to. My guess is that between her reputation and business that filters in from other firm clients, she does pretty well for herself. Contrast that with my own solo practice, where I need to show up at these events or fall off the radar.

Blogging is like solo practice in that way as well. As great as a blog may have been at its inception, unless you put out good content, day in and day out and day in and day out, your audience will move right along to the dozens of other choices. As it should be.

And so, between my practice and my blog, I feel as if I never stop hustling. I get plenty of referrals for my practice (only took me 15 years to reach that point!), but unless I constantly get myself out there – through speaking or articles or blogs (social media doesn’t help much) – I don’t show up on anyone’s radar. In contrast to working at a firm where you can rest on your laurels every once in a while, solos never stop hunting.

Lawyers starting out ask me if solo practice ever gets any easier, if you reach a point where clients just pour through the door or where, like my energy colleague, you can go on auto-pilot. The truth is no. Even if you do stumble upon a formula that works for a while, we practice in a world that’s always in flux and if you don’t keep moving, you’ll be overtaken. You’ve got to be always on, all the time.