Why you should incorporate your personal values into your law firm strategic planning

While we often discuss law firm strategic planning at this time of year, in preparation for the new year, you should take time to review your goals all year long.

At different phases of your law businesses, you might need to shift your priorities to focus on changing needs. For example, if you have lost clients recently, you will need to address business development more heavily than other areas. However, in my experience, one element should inform every business decision you make: Your values.

Planning with a purpose

Traditional advice for business, marketing and strategic plans focus heavily on numbers and projections. While you definitely need to consider your client base and whether your law business generates a stable income for you, numbers can’t tell the whole story.

You can build an entire practice around what sells, but what about what drives you on a more personal level? What excites you to begin work each day? Why did you start an independent law practice in the first place?

When you begin to answer these more personal – and even philosophical – questions, you should start to notice some patterns. Consider:

  • The type of work you like to do (and what you really dislike)
  • What motivates you outside of work (family, travel, personal experience, contributing to the community, etc.)
  • What unique qualities (not just services, but the “you factor”) you provide clients

When you better understand your personal motivators, you can build a business that supports them.

Finding strategy in your values

One writer highlighted the personal philosophies of wildly successful entrepreneurs, from mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk, observing:

“Since entrepreneurial ventures are by and large a creation of individuals, one of the most enduring characteristics that all successful entrepreneurs have is a strong personal philosophy.”

While your sights might not be set on space travel and you might not want to “move fast and break things” like Zuckerberg, you likely have a personal philosophy that helps you make decisions in both life and business. If you haven’t taken the time to put that philosophy into words, start there. You might surprise yourself with where it leads you.

That personal philosophy will help you focus on only the activities that lead you to that purpose. You will get nowhere fast by trying to emulate others, even if they are people you admire. Better to spend your time understanding your own values, drivers and unique qualities and then build a business (and life) strategy around those.

The next step

Framing business in terms of your personal values and desires might feel uncomfortable for many of you. We lawyers have followed a fairly prescribed path to get this far, but building your own law business can open up a world of opportunities outside the status quo.

If you would like to spend time exploring your authentic self and how that relates to the business of law, join us for the On Purpose Legal Workshop on January 17 in Denver, Colorado. On Purpose Legal co-founders Lauren Lester and Jessica Bednarz will lead Denver lawyers through several exercises designed to help you shift your mindset and align our business to your purpose.

To learn more about LawBank’s shared office spaces, coworking spaces and real estate solutions for all law firms, visit our website.