The Importance of Core Values

By August 9, 2019October 13th, 2020Approach, focus, Marketing

Too many lawyers suffer because they haven’t defined who they most want to do business with.

The little-understood secret to a happier practice is systematically focusing your marketing on attracting your most ideal client.

And step #1 for systematically doing that is…

Define your ideal client. Which for many reasons is hard to do for most lawyers.

So let me tell you how to make it easier.

Don’t start by trying to figure out what your ideal client looks like. Instead, figure this out…

What do you stand for?

What are your core values? The things you most aspire to, or most disdain?

These are your most important beliefs about how things should be and how people should behave.

Once you have those listed out, you’ll better understand who your ideal clients are because…

Your ideal clients will share your core values.

Now you know why this exercise is so valuable.

So get started listing those values right now.

And, if you want a concrete example of this might look like, let me share my list.

(You don’t need to have a list of 10 items by the way, so do NOT focus on the number. Focus, instead, on the way the values are described)

My Core Values

  1. Integrity – I prefer people who have an exceptional commitment to excellence and honesty. For example, people who play the “infinite game,” as described by Simon Sinek.
  2. Deeper Truths – I strive to find the deeper truths that often go overlooked and under-appreciated. I believe that the greatest success and happiness comes when you can get way below the superficial and harness the power that comes from deeper truths.
  3. Authenticity – I work best with people who are sincere and down-to-earth. I prefer not to deal with arrogant people, especially ones who lack any vestige of self-awareness.
  4. Transparency – I’m not perfect and my journey has been filled with mistakes. I’d rather openly discuss my mistakes to help others avoid getting trapped by “perfectionism.”
  5. Brutal Honesty – I’d rather tell a harsh truth that helps lawyers avoid serious problems, even if it offends well-intentioned folks who dispense bad advice. (And believe me I’ve offended a bunch of well-intentioned people).
  6. Context – Everything that we need to understand is interconnected to some extent. So we need to always maintain perspective to make sensible decisions in this complicated world.
  7. Realistic – Just because something’s a good idea doesn’t mean people will adopt it. Human nature trumps everything. (i.e. practical psychology is usually more important than technology). I always consider human factors when giving any kind of advice.
  8. Open Minded – Taking advice from dogmatic people is dangerous. I’ve noticed that many advice-dispensers out there relish being dogmatic, which usually causes unnecessary problems for people who take their advice.
  9. Mentoring – I want to introduce you to folks with massive integrity who’ve helped me, or whom I believe are better guides/coaches for you than me in certain areas. I imagine you want that too.
  10. Community – We can all mentor each other if we share similar values and have a convenient place to regularly commune. My goal has been to create that communal place and draw in the kind of people who share the values I’ve described above.

So those are my 10 core values.

Now, go define the values that you hold most dear.

And then focus your marketing efforts on attracting clients who share those values.

Those will be your best clients, for sure.

Oh, and since you might be thinking this, let me say…

Yes it will take more time to figure out how to attract those kind of clients.

But the effort will be well worth it!


P.S. If you want to create massive leverage in your practice, download my Lawyers’ Guide to Working Smarter. When you start to leverage technology (and some other key elements) you’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable and lucrative your practice will become.