About LinkedIn endorsements

Originally posted in The National Law Journal on October 15, 2012

You may have noticed that LinkedIn has created a new feature called “Endorsements.” Much as Netflix prompts you to rate movies and Amazon books, LinkedIn is prompting you to endorse your peers. Because a lot of people have been asking me, “What the heck are endorsements?” I thought I would take a moment to explain what they are, how they work and why you might want to pay attention.

Let me start with some background. A few months ago, LinkedIn rolled out a new feature, called “Skill and Expertise,” that allowed users to tag their profile with a list of skills. This section remains active— just go to http://linkedin.com/skills to search for specializations like intellectual property litigation, Read more

Are you ready to scale that peak in 2012?

Originally posted in the National Law Journal on January 12, 2012

Last month, my father-in-law invited me to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with him next spring. The problem is, starting my own business and entering my third decade have left me out of shape and about 20 pounds overweight. I decided I needed to educate myself about how to get in shape and lose weight — two things I never had to worry about when I was younger.

At first I thought I could just go run on a treadmill for an hour each day, but a friend who specializes in helping people train for triathlons said that wouldn’t work.

“Your body gets used to the machines,” she explained.

“So what do I do?”

“You need interval training.”

The idea is simple — you need to keep your body guessing. Once your body knows what to expect, the exercise becomes much easier. Easy is nice, but the problem is that your body stops getting stronger. Interval training — alternating intensive and moderate exercise — is designed to get around this. We build muscles by breaking them down so the body can rebuild them, but the same exercises eventually become less and less productive. The best workout programs require frequent change. Our minds work in a similar way. New challenges help us grow.

So what does this have to do with lawyers? During the past year I have advised hundreds of lawyers on bringing in more business, and the vast majority of them start out stuck. They bring in a certain level of business, but it doesn’t vary much from year to year. They want to break out.

It may seem obvious, but to accomplish things you never have before, you need to do things you have never done before.

Here is how I respond to some of the most frequent complaints I hear from lawyers who are feeling stuck: Read more