Legal Professionals: Who Are You Working For?
What will make you happy and fulfilled? Getting your training contract or pupillage? Making partner? Being head of Chambers? Sitting as a judge? Perhaps, leaving the profession either by retiring (early?) or seeking a new path? Or, is your career simply a route to the attainment of personal goals and ambitions that will offer true fulfilment?
In Chrissie Lightfoot’s must read autobiographical rain making/client relationship manual for anyone in the legal profession she candidly explains how through her career, initially outside the law and then within it, she has made conscious choices that ensure that she would be, in Jack Welch’s words, “master of her own destiny”.
It was this philosophy that led her to establish Entrepreneur Lawyer and decide to use her experiences to help those within the legal profession achieve their personal goals and ambitions by making themselves more valuable to their clients and firms. (“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” Jim Rohn). And, by being more valuable you acquire the earnings to enable you to achieve in life whatever matters most to you.
Understanding what it is that you want, what it is that will make you more fulfilled; being self actualised in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, will put you in the right direction to achieving your goals. It may be that your real motivation is to progress through the legal profession but for the majority of us success in our careers is the conduit to achieving our personal goals. Such goals are many and wide ranging; from the financial security for our family to having the financial freedom to allow us to work when and where we want. Or, it may be either from the acquisition of material possessions to giving (time and money) to the world’s poor and vulnerable.
Earning More May Not Be Enough To Achieve Your Goals
Chrissie’s book will provide you with the blue print and the skills to make yourself more valuable to your clients but how do you ensure that, when you are harvesting the fruits of your labour, you will have the financial freedom to achieve your personal goals? This is where a comprehensive Financial Plan fits in.
Financial Planning is simply having a strategy that will allow you to achieve your financial goals and ambitions. It:
- Ensures financial security for you and your family.
- Allows you to live the life you wish (realistically; we’re not alchemists).
- Ensures you never run out of money.
- Helps you make more astute financial decisions.
Financial Planning achieves this by:
- Helping you to define your goals and when they must be achieved by (SMART objectives).
- Comparing your income to your expenditure and your assets to your liabilities to determine whether your goals are achievable if you continue what you are doing.
- Providing steps that can be taken to make your goals achievable if they are not going to be, based on your current financial position. This may be a target income to achieve each year, better use of your savings and investments or adjustments that need to be made to your annual expenditure.
- Answering the ‘what if?’ questions you may have: ‘What if I lose my job?’ ‘What if I can’t work due to sickness or disability?’, ‘What if I die? Will my family be OK?’, ‘What if I retire early? Will I run out of money?’, ‘What if my children go to private school? Will I be able to afford it each year?’
Financial Planning therefore should be the first step everyone should take when making financial decisions.
Too many people have no plan for their money and make ad-hoc financial decisions without understanding the impact of their decisions on their future lifestyle. For example, if you have established a pension plan or set up an ISA do you know whether the amount you are contributing is enough? Is the risk you are taking in your portfolios too much or too little? Are you paying more in charges than is necessary? Is inflation the biggest threat to you living the life you wish?
If you have savings and investments you should regularly review them to make sure they are consistent with your personal goals so that you can achieve your hopes and avoid your fears. If you have no plan for your money or haven’t reviewed it regularly you should speak to a Financial Planning expert before you make costly mistakes.
If you would like to establish a Financial Plan to achieve your life goals click here.
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