“Professional” means only that you get paid to do whatever it is you do. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re good at it.

The 650th-ranked pro tennis player is a professional. If he’s drawn even one paycheck as a tennis player, he’s a professional, even though, after paying for his own travel, instruction and equipment, he may be starving.

The degree to which you can survive or thrive in any professional competition has to do with how good you are relative to competitors. As competition improves, our #650 either gets better or he gets defeated repeatedly until he can no longer afford to play tennis for a living.

In team sports, you either get better or you get replaced by a better player. The average NFL career lasts only 3.3 years. Every year, on average, 16 of 53 players on each team’s roster lose their jobs to someone faster, stronger, more skilled, more committed, less expensive.

All markets are Darwinian. Business development truly means survival of the fittest.

If you’re a solo, as competition improves, you get better or you lose until you can’t afford to continue. If you’re in a firm, you get better or you get replaced by a lawyer who brings in more business.

The difference between “successful” and “merely professional” is within your control.

Marketing, Selling and other business development skills are not that complex. (In fact, for 20 years we demonstrated that all you need are your “lawyering” skills.) Then, again, neither is hitting a tennis ball. But doing either at the professional level requires instruction, coaching and practice.

In any market, as demand declines, survival-driven competition intensifies. If your weekly plan doesn’t include business development practice time, it’s going to get very tough for you.

Oh, and “practice time” is separate from “game time.” Most lawyers only get 2-3 real business development opportunities (“games”) per month. So, even if it was OK to practice during a real game, it’s simply not enough time for you to be any good.

Mike O'Horo

RainmakerVT can help you develop the rainmaking skills you need to succeed amid real competition. This is not your grandfather's training. There's no program to follow, no big commitments, no nagging.

This is just-in-time training. That means you buy only the course you need right now to prepare for what you'll face in the next week or so.

Take a look at our course list, and then read what lawyers like you said about RainmakerVT in user-feedback interviews.

RainmakerVT's virtual world is the perfect place to learn, make mistakes and practice. Unlike the real world, our simulations are available anytime you are, and the only clients you lose as you make mistakes are virtual ones.