Attorney at Law Regional Edition — Inaugural
Success Begins in Your Mind
A strong, positive attitude is one of the most important traits an attorney can have. Most people who fail in the field of law fail because they don’t know how to keep their attitudes positive on a daily basis. They start their careers with excitement. They learn and practice the basics, applying these strategies and start making lots of money.
Then, they go into a slump. Many times it’s because they just get bored with doing the same thing over and over. They tire of saying the same things to win clients and in counseling clients. They win fewer clients because of their attitudes. Then, they stay in that downward cycle because they start to fear rejection.
If you recognize yourself in that description, please realize that once a sour attitude has begun, you will stay in that slump until you go back to the fundamentals. You need to re-build your excitement about the value of the service you offer. And, you need to overcome the fear of failure and rejection with new potential clients. The primary key to achieving success islearning how to handle failure.
Handling failure does not come naturally to most people. It is an acquired skill. The basic emotions involved will be to sulk when they don’t earn new business. If allowed to continue, those attorneys will avoid any situations in the future that have the potential to create the pain of rejection again. It’s a normal and natural state of affairs.
In order to get out of a negative cycle, it’s imperative to learn some strategies to overcome the fear of failure and rejection from clients.
I am going to present five mottos that have helped me move forward not just in business but in all areas of my life when my attitude was keeping me from gaining new business. Memorize them and recall them when you’re rejected or have failed to achieve what you wanted.
I never see failure as failure, but only as a learning experience. Every client contact that doesn’t result in more business is a learning experience. Every challenge is a learning experience. Learn from failure.
Thomas Edison, who conducted more than a thousand experiments on filaments before he produced a practical light bulb, was once asked, “How did you keep going after you failed more than a thousand times?” Edison replied, “I did not fail a thousand times; I learned a thousand ways that didn’t work.” Like Edison, try to look at failure and rejection in a different light — as a learning experience.
I never see failure as failure, but only as the negative feedback I need to change course in my direction. Outside a restaurant with a lively bar, I once saw a gentleman who’d had too much to drink to try to unlock his car with the wrong key. No matter how many times he tried, the wrong key still didn’t work. After I’d talked to him into taking a taxi home, it occurred to me that sometimes we all keep trying to make the wrong key unlock the door, keep using techniques that don’t work in our business-building endeavors, keep putting the wrong solution to the problem long after we’ve tried it and failed.
Growing professionals dedicate themselves to trying different tactics when the ones they’ve been using lose their power. They’re constantly on the lookout for new ways of approaching potential clients; new ways of gaining, growing and expanding their businesses. They’re always open to taking a different tack.
I never see failure as failure, but only as the opportunity to develop my sense of humor. Have you ever had a traumatic experience involving a client contact? Three weeks later, you finally tell someone about it and suddenly that same event is hilarious. The longer you wait to laugh, the more that failure will hold you back. Make a determined effort to laugh sooner, and learn the trick of telling a good story on yourself.
I never see failure as failure, but only as an opportunity to practice my techniques and perfect my performance. Every time you present your serviceto others and they don’t agree to do business with you, at least they give you a chance to practice. Realize the importance of this. Practice allows you the opportunity to perfect what you do and say with clients; appreciate having the opportunity to become better.
I never see failure as failure, but only as the game I must play to win. Business is a game. Life is a game. Both have their rules; luck plays a small part; but the winners learn the rules and play by them.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that a single rule dominates nearly every situation: Those who risk failure by working with more people earn more money; those who risk less failure earn less.
If you risk failure, sometimes you will fail. But every time you fail, you’re that much closer to success. Success demands its percentage of failure.
Here is a philosophy to live by: I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed, and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep trying.
Work with this creed and the five attitudes toward rejection. What counts isn’t how many potential clients go with another firm, how many things don’t work out, how many people go back on their word. What counts is how many times you pick yourself up, learn from each encounter, and keep trying to make things come together. There are challenges, obstacles, and troubles in business, but they are all temporary if you take control of your thoughts and develop the right attitude. I believe that winners are winners because they’ve learned to fuel their success drives by overcoming failure.