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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of May 24, 2016

Prepare, Don't Despair

Donald Trump's recent fly-by-the-seat-of-one's-pants moment is a great example of why no one should try this tactic. An April 2016 Associated Press article, "Trump's Abortion Flub Shows Risks of ‘Winging It' on Policy," discusses how Trump does not prepare for policy questions the way the other presidential candidates do—and how this lack of preparation has led to trouble for Trump. When asked about abortion and whether women should be punished for it, Trump said that there should be some type of punishment, but then he reversed himself. His lack of preparation, or apparent lack of preparation, in other instances has also caused people to think less of him as a candidate.

Running for president is an important reason to stress self-preparation, but running a law practice is just as important a reason.

Businesses fail because the owners fail to focus their energy on the business. Lawyers tend to be technicians who want to do what they love doing, whether it's negotiating, drafting a contract, litigating, or some other task. Generally, they don't want to run a business. But as famed UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail."

Most law practices only begin to realize that they are in danger of failing after the money ceases to come in the door in the needed amounts. However, cash flow cessation is usually the last symptom of a downward spiral that started long before.

Like the presidential candidate who must anticipate policy questions from the media, lawyers need to think about what lies ahead in the business side of the practice so that they are able to anticipate potential trouble and respond to it before they run into problems.

Clearly, "winging it" is not a good choice. If you want to be a viable contender for any contest in which you find yourself, then you should make sure that you are prepared.



Prepare, Don't Despair

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