In Uncertain Times, Think Like Mac

I’m a political junkie. While I confess I am growing tired of the current presidential race (can’t someone figure out how to move us out of the perpetual election campaign that now begins the day after the president is inaugurated), I find a lot of good life lessons by watching politicians.

Take John McCain, for example. Six months ago, this guy was political dead meat. This past Saturday, he moved a step closer to the Republican nomination by winning in South Carolina, a state which has chosen the Republican candidate in every race since 1980.

It certainly helps him that the facts on the ground in Iraq look a little better than they did before the “surge”. But what strikes me most about a politician like Mac is that even in the face of utter adversity, he is unwilling to give up. (Maybe every challenge in his life pales in comparison to the challenges of surviving as a P.O.W. in Viet Nam.)

It takes a lot of narcissism to believe that you are competent to be the leader of the free world. I’m sure that McCain is no different in this regard from any of the other candidates. But McCain also demonstrates a tremendous determination to go on.

My takeaway is that persistence will get you far in life. Despite all the odds, McCain believes he can win and he continues to act like it.

This kind of thinking is far removed from the ordinary mindset of a typical lawyer. Lawyers predict problems. Lawyers counsel client on risks and how to avoid risks.

If you want to build a law practice, however, you need to think like a politician. You need to meet a lot of potential clients and referral sources even though the odds are small that they will have a present need for your services. Over time, it is this determination that will get you the work that you want and deserve.

Sure the news in the papers is bleak. Yes it does seem like we are headed for a recession. But in the long run, your clients will need legal services, in good times and in bad. So stop wallowing in the bad news. Go out for lunch. Send a few e-mail messages. Think like Mac. Just do me a favor and don’t vote for him! I’m ready for a Democrat.

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