2020 Mindset: Will This Year Be Your Breakout Year?

growth mindset
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2020, here we are at the beginning of another year and decade? Does this milestone stir excitement and thoughts of new possibilities of ways to grow your business or a “meh” shrug, it’s just another year reaction?

If you work in a law firm in which you receive a predictable, regular paycheck, are handed client work to occupy your days (and often nights), the time of year may not even resonate with you. I understand. For many years, I worked closely with plenty of private practice lawyers who were not touched to the realities or responsibilities of truly being a business owner (which you are if you work as a private practicing lawyer) or have never developed their rainmaking skills.


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Up to this point in your legal career, how have you prospered? Did you and your attorneys attract enough new clients to make 2019 a banner year?

I pose these questions to urge you to pause and assess your growth goals (or lack thereof). And, the $50 question: what are you prepared to do differently in 2020?

No matter how successful you are or wish to be … there’s always a new level.


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And, new into the year and decade, I want to remind you that your next level starts with mindset. To make the changes we need to make, we must work on our internal mindset first, and clear out the limiting beliefs that are blocking us from success.

When you address the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, you can begin to generate more revenue than you ever thought was possible in your business.

That’s how you cultivate a mindset that’s receptive to generating and receiving success.

Defining Mindset

You’ve heard the word, but what is mindset, exactly?


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Research shows that mindset is the way we think about our ability. The proverbial glass half full or half empty. It’s not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ that matters.

Most individuals whom have achieved success and even greatness, have worked extremely hard to arrive there. They believed that they could achieve and persisted until they did.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset informs that we are born with a certain level of ability that is ingrained and unchangeable. Examples: “This is just how I am.” “I’ve never been good at….” “I’m a really bad….”

A growth mindset, on the other hand, informs that we can develop our ability through hard work, effort and accessing available resources. Examples: “I may not know but I will find out.” “I’ve got this.” “I’ll figure it out.”

Two very different ways of thinking that will result in two very different outcomes.

These perceptions remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or cannot, you are right.”

We all have people in our lives who are Debbie or David Doubters, the glass half-empty thinkers. Quantum physics teaches us that what we think about, we bring about. The choice lies within all of us of how we think about our lives and future prosperity.

Neuroscientists find that individuals with these two mindsets actually think and respond to information differently. Specifically, they respond to information about performance differently.

Fun fact

The brain of individuals with a fixed mindset is most active when they are given information about how well they have performed or done. The brain of individuals with a growth mindset is most active when they are told what they can do to improve.

The one approach focuses on performance while the growth mindset focuses on learning … judgement versus growth.

Change = Growth

To learn or perhaps reverse years of a fixed mindset, one must recognize that a growth mindset is not just productive, but is also supported by science. In other words, to learn, evolve and develop, professionally and personally, committing to developing a growth mindset is pivotal.

  1. You can learn how to develop and improve your abilities through adopting a growth mindset. This will help you to take control of your life, which is immensely empowering. Research shows that people who feel in control tend to perform better. It’s a virtuous cycle.
  2. Be aware of your fixed mindset voice. When you hear that inner critic, self-doubting voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, reply with a growth mindset approach and tell it that you can learn.

Mindset in Your Practice

How does mindset impact growing a prosperous business or finding career fulfillment?

Mindsets are not just important for learning new skills. They can affect the way that we think about everything.

According to Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, those who believe their talents can be developed (through consistent work, sound strategies and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). Discoveries such as this point to how those with a growth mindset worry less about looking smart and instead invest their energy into learning.

The truth is that 80% of most lawyers do not take the requisite steps to build a successful business. Many will focus on looking backward and bemoan on all the things they did not do and how far behind they are.

Many lawyers will simply do just enough to get by and move forward with their practice stuck in neutral, indefinitely. They wonder why their client lists do not grow, why their compensation doesn’t increase and why they feel burned out in the practice of law. Believe me, we understand and have counseled many of these lawyers to great success, when they take proactive steps to think differently about their role and responsibilities. There are predictable steps we teach to move lawyers out of this rut.

Then, there is the other 20% of lawyers who step up, stand out and stay laser focused, crush their goals and develop a renewed sense of purpose.

Determining Where You Belong

To which group will you belong? The top 20% or the bottom 80%? What you do in these next few weeks may make all the difference.

Cultivating a growth mindset could be the single most important thing you ever do to achieve success. Consider where you are in this discussion and whether there are thought patterns that you can address to fast track you to a more joyous, rewarding life and career. If we can support you along this journey, let’s connect.

Kimberly Rice

Kimberly Rice is President and Chief Strategist of award-winning KLA Marketing Associates (www.klamarketing.com), a business development advisory firm focusing on legal services. As a legal marketing expert, Kimberly and her team help law firms and lawyers develop practical business development and marketing strategies which lead directly to new clients and increased revenues. She may be reached at 609.458.0415 or at [email protected].

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