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A few years ago, there was a TV commercial featuring NBA star Blake Griffin. It immediately made me think of lawyers and their business development efforts. 

In this ad, the then-L.A. Clippers star said, "People can't measure the amount of heart you have, or how much you're willing to fight for something." He goes on to add something his college coach told him. "You have to fall in love with the process of becoming great."

If, like so many, you claim to want to become a rainmaker and escape the professional and financial vulnerability associated with depending on others for clients and work, what are you willing to do to get it? Do you even know what it takes to get what you say you want? 

The amount of time and effort required will vary depending on the amount and type of business you're trying to generate, your market position now, and a few other factors. 

Make it a priority

The one thing that's certain, though, is that you have to make it a priority instead of something you'll get to some day when you have extra time. We both know that "extra time" doesn't exist, and never will.

The other certainty is that it isn't going to happen immediately, and that it's a process, not an event. You need two things:

  1. Skills

  2. Experience

What you refer to as "business development" or "client development" is simply marketing and sales. These are not two of four interchangeable expressions; they're two separate skills. You weren't born with either one, so you'll have to learn them. You won't learn them from reading a book or attending a seminar.

Skill acquisition is a progressive process of

  • Gaining awareness and understanding

  • Application and practice

  • Feedback and coaching

No shortcuts

There are no shortcuts. Each day must include at least some learning, doing and reflection/feedback. Every day.

It's easy to fall in love with the end-game, i.e., being a productive rainmaker, and the associated rewards and respect. As Blake Griffin puts it, "The feeling of the crowd chanting your name is somewhat addictive." First, though, as Griffin has learned, you have to fall in love with the process of becoming great.

How bad do you really want it? Will you begin the process? Will you stick with it long enough to give yourself a chance to fall in love with it?  

If you're thinking "yes," take a concrete step to get started today.

Mike O’Horo


Law firm leaders: Did you know that the most effective way to teach business development skills is convenient and inexpensive? 

RainmakerVT is a suite of online video courses and interactive simulations based on the proven principles by which I’ve helped thousands of lawyers generate more than a billion dollars in incremental revenue. (Yes, that’s a “b.”)

Not only is online training convenient and inexpensive, but it’s much more effective. And lawyers love it.

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Let's chat about how you can painlessly prepare your firm’s lawyers for the market reality that will govern the rest of their careers.

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