Using Mentoring To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions . . .

So, how are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?  If you’re like 80% of the people who make them, they’re probably kaput before the end of February, so welcome to the club!  But with a few small changes, your odds of success in making change happen can skyrocket.  I’ve been thinking a lot about mentoring lately, as I’m preparing to speak to the Legal Marketing Association’s national conference in a few weeks on how mentoring can accelerate the development of business development skills, and I’ll be part of a panel talking about mentoring with the Women’s Intellectual Property Lawyers Association in Menlo Park on March 27.

One of the best ways to improve your odds of reaching a goal, whether it’s to build your business or, the quintessential NYR, to lose weight, is to tell someone what you want to do, and ask that person to help hold you accountable for doing it.  And that’s where mentors come into the picture.  Although I’d like to take credit for this next suggestion, it actually came to me from my good friend and financial guru Jessica Lanning, of Lanning Financial.  I’ve known Jessica for years, and have been in awe of her financial wizardry since she helped me husband and me navigate some complex financing when we needed to do a real estate deal in a hurry back during the boom years.

Anyway, in addition to being brilliant and delivering excellent customer service, Jessica is a marketing whiz, and determined to learn from her, I took her to lunch a few years ago to pick her brain on what’s worked for her and get her suggestions.   There weren’t any big secrets, but just as with NYR, an important differentiator is how hard you’re willing to work at it, and how consistent you are in your activities.  To provide incentive to put in time every week, Jessica suggested that I find a few colleagues who were similarly interested in business development, and every Monday morning, get together with them briefly to share with one another what three things we were going to do that week to further our marketing efforts.  Then, at the end of the week, we’d reconvene for a quick glass of wine Friday afternoon and report on how we’d done in meeting our goals.  The mere act of committing out loud to what we were going to do, and knowing that we’d have to face co-workers  at the end of the week to talk about whether we’d done it, was strong incentive to make sure the tasks didn’t fall off the To Do list.  I came to think of those people as my “accountability mentors,” and found that they were invaluable to my progress.

How about you?  Can you think of people that are mentors to you, who are invested in seeing you succeed, that you could ask to hold you accountable for the steps you need to take to reach a goal that’s important to you?




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