Some lawyers don’t want to be wealthy. You read that correctly. They want to make enough money to be comfortable and they have no desire to grow their practice beyond that point.
That’s fine if the attorney really feels that way.
There is a disturbing trend in the United States today and I am seeing it more and more among lawyers. This trend is the disdain being expressed for wealthy people.
I’m not talking about an endorsement of redistribution of wealth and I’m not talking about forcing the rich to pay more in taxes. This is something much more sinister and debilitating. This is a mindset that will keep YOU from achieving financial success.
Why is this mindset dangerous?
Our subconscious minds control a good portion of our activity. If you actually HATE wealthy people you can rest assured you will never be like them. Your subconscious mind will reject everything about them – including money.
Every time you make a little more than your subconscious thinks is appropriate, your behavior will change to help you meet your lowered expectations. You will procrastinate. You’ll refuse to delegate. You’ll abandon your strategic plan in favor of the latest fad.
Sometimes your subconscious goes overboard. You shut down all productive business development activity when you hit the point your psyche has set for financial success. If you’ve ever had a month where you didn’t sign up a new client you understand what I mean.
What causes this?
There are three things that cause attorneys to behave this way:
In legal circles there are folks who do not view a law firm as a business. They view it as a semi-public service in which an attorney is allowed to make a comfortable living but he is looked down upon if he takes aggressive action to grow his practice and become a BIG LAW firm. In these circles, big is synonymous with bad. Like the Big Bad Wolf.
Once a sole practitioner decides to hire other lawyers and focus on business strategy he is viewed as a scourge by these ideologues. Those who sit in judgment forget that big firms often do good work. Big firms often charge fair fees. Big firms often zealously represent the client.
Being a good lawyer and getting rich are not mutually exclusive. You can grow a business – like a law firm – and be ethical.
It happens in all professions. People who are not comfortable in their own skin often criticize those who possess the qualities they lack. Lawyers who work long hours yet do not know how to translate that effort into significant income often hate those who can.
If you find yourself gritting your teeth the next time a lawyer with more money walks into the room, do a self examination. What does that person have that you do not? What have they done differently than you? How can you bridge the gap between where you are and where you’d like to be?
Success starts by looking in the mirror and liking what you see. If you don’t like yourself you will never be successful.
The disdain for wealth is often an excuse for lack of quality work or lack of effort. People who show disdain for the success of others are not performing the right activities or enough of the right activities to realize success for themselves.
If you don’t want to get off the couch and learn how to build a thriving law practice, that’s fine. But do not hate those who are putting in the effort and earning the rewards.
The bottom line: People who despise folks with money usually have none. There is no shame in being successful and making a great living.
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Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.