• Gerard Petersen

What do the most successful law firm Partners do?

As a Partner, do you consider yourself to be a Business-of-One? An autonomous business unit? The best do.

As a Partner, your only viable product is you - your skills, your relationships. This is your currency.

You may, at any one time, form part of a broader partnership with collective strategic business goals, operating in a collaborative, collegiate environment but, at the end of the day, you are still a Business of One responsible for dictating your own career strategy and trajectory.

It is not your firm’s responsibility to look after your career, nor will they. It is up to you and the harsh commercial reality is that for most Partners, you are expendable and replaceable in a firm’s eyes, particularly in today's changing market.

It is only the value that you and your practice - your Business of One - consistently create which dictates your value to any firm and allows you to be in control of your own career.

And being a Business of One is a mindset, an attitude. It means constantly thinking and acting like a true business owner - finding your niche, curating and promoting your (personal) brand, identifying & attracting new clients, developing new revenue streams, leveraging your time & business, collecting your fees, being profitable, leading, managing & growing a team, etc, etc. Building your business.

It’s not easy, nor is running any business.

Those Partners/Principals/Owners of traditional law firms, boutique firms or NewLaw firms who have this mindset and act accordingly reap the rewards they personally seek be that financial, industry acclaim, a sense of ownership, autonomy & control, flexibility, career satisfaction or whatever else it may be.

The truth is that those who don’t have this mindset are really only working for those who do and that’s perfectly fine, but understand the difference and craft your career accordingly.

Are you building your Business of One or helping someone build theirs?

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