Let’s look around… What business are these companies in?
Nike… Shoes and sports apparel?
Apple… Computers and accessories?
Sure those are their deliverables… but that is not the business they are in!
Revlon is in the "make me feel beautiful" business!
Nike is in the "I can win" business!
Apple is in the "You can’t imagine how much you are going to need this and LOVE this… not to mention that you will be COOL if you have it" business!
As lawyers what business do you think YOU are in? The practice of law? Absolutely NOT! There are probably as many answers to this question as there are lawyers… 1,084,504 (according to the ABA a few years ago) in this country.
Think about it….
- Are you in the business of putting families back together again?
- Are you in the business of helping business owners sleep at night?
- Are you in the business of people realizing their dreams?
- Are you in the business of making sure the little guy gets justice?
Do any of these resonate with you? Not a single one mentioned the law! Just as Revlon, Nike and Apple produce a deliverable so do you… legal documents, a trial, counsel, etc. But the business you are in is much deeper than your deliverable.
Why should you think about it? Because if you can get to the core of what business you are in you will have the insight to do it at a whole new level…
- You will be able to find your points of differentiation.
- You will be able to speak more directly to your target market.
And I believe you will be able to get back in-touch with why you actually decided to become a lawyer in the first place. And your life’s work will have more meaning and a higher degree of satisfaction. Hence, your business development activities take on a whole new meaning.
If the law is just a job to you… disregard everything you have read. But if it is not… give these questions some deep thought and focus on the business YOU are in! Have fun… and if you would like to comment or have questions I would love to hear from you.
Black Pearl: Were Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead in the same business as Elton John? Seth Godin has an interesting tidbit.