Formula for Success, Part VII – Sylvia Starts her Practice

To review, the Formula for Success is:

1. Clearly state your goal.
2. Have an end date for your goal.
3. Get accountability partners.
4. Take action daily.
5. On the projected date of completion, close down.


Now that we have spent some time analyzing the formula, let’s look at a case example. This is an example of a young attorney starting her own law practice. But it applies to anyone starting with any kind of goal.

Application of the Formula – Sylvia Starts her Practice

1. Written Goal: Sylvia is starting a practice this year. She sits down to write out her goal. She says,

In the first year of my practice, I will earn at least $60,000, gross. I will practice solely in the areas of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other tort cases. At the end of this year, I will assess how I like these areas of law to determine my focus for year two. Within the first two months of this year, I will find an office for rent – no more than $700 per month. Within the first six months of this year, I will have my website up and running.

2. Urgency and Milestones: Sylvia acknowledges that to meet her financial goal for the year, she will need to make $5000 a month. She will check on her financial goals monthly. She has set a deadline for having an office by the end of the first two months. She decides to work out of her home in the meantime and share a friend’s conference room for client meetings. She decides to have the text for her website drafted by the end of the first two months.

3. Partners:  Sylvia tells her husband, John, and her sister, Lois, of her plan and shows them her written goal.  She asks them to support her in her plan.  She makes an agreement with Lois to talk every week and check in on Sylvia’s goals for the week and how she did on the previous week’s goals.  Sylvia decides to find at least 5 other attorneys who are starting out on their own and develop a relationship with them. She plans to go to bar association meetings to network and learn everything she can about running a business and about personal injury. Through this method, she figures she can find attorneys with thriving practices and can develop mentoring relationships. Sylvia makes a list of the people she knows who support her and also those who she considers to be overly negative. She makes a concerted effort to stay away from the downers and stay around the people who make her feel better. She tells others what she is doing and asks them for advice and support.

4. Action: Sylvia writes down her monthly and weekly goals. She keeps her weekly goals on her desk and every day she asks herself what she needs to do to make that goal by the end of the week. She takes action toward her goal every day.

5. Close Down: At the end of every week or month, she has a meeting with herself or with one of her accountability partners to report on her progress, and they celebrate her success no matter how large or small. She also asks herself what she can learn when she does not reach her goals. Based on what she learns, she then sets her goals for the next week or month period.

Sylvia will regroup and start over at the end of the first year as well. How do you set your business goals? Let us know!

Success Woman

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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