Editor’s Note – Summer always has me reminiscing about vacations past – and one of my favorites was our family’s ten-day trip to London in the summer of 2008, where I returned with tons of marketing Lessons from London . But here’s the one that stands out most, and that’s worth thinking about whether you’ve just started a new firm or are embarking on something new. The advice – act as if you own the place.
One of the reasons that I love to travel with my daughters is because they have exude such enthusiasm for any new place and have unique ability to make themselves completely at home in the world no matter where they are. London was no different; being in a new country didn’t intimidate my daughters one bit. We visited the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens and the girls played on a disk swing for hours with other British children. One day while riding the bus around the City, they suggested on the spur of the moment that we exit at Trafalgar Square and hang out with the crowds watching the Summer Olympics streaming on the Jumbotron set up on the plaza. After we had our dose of London theatre at the musical Wicked, the girls noticed a group of people lined up at the stage door to get autographs, so they grabbed my camera and the play tickets and joined the crowd. When you follow the lead of others and act like you belong as my daughters do (and in fact, as most of us probably all did as kids), you get the same benefits as if you actually do, plus, you enjoy yourself more.
So the next time you head into court for your first argument, or meet a client for a first time, carry yourself as if you’ve done those things dozens of times before. Look at what others are doing and go with the flow. (That doesn’t mean to pretend to understand what’s going on; ask questions as needed – but do so in a way that suggests that those questions are simply part of your way of doing business). And like the more experienced lawyers around you, talk about your firm as a thriving business even if you only have two paying clients and describe your cases with the confidence of an experienced practitioner. Because when you act like you own the place, those around you will think you do too – and they’ll be more likely to hire you or send work your way.