Raise your hand if you’re burned out, frustrated, tired, over it.

I’m guessing that’s pretty much everyone, right?

What I’ve been hearing from all of my lawyers is that they just have time for their clients, and that’s about it. They’re not really able to find the energy to build new business. I get it.

So you have two options (and both are valid).

Option One

Do nothing.

I mean it.

We live in a hustle culture that tells us that we constantly have to be **doing** or life is going to fall down around us. Will your practice suffer because you take a month off of networking and business development? Maybe a little bit. But will it totally fall apart? No. You’re still practicing, you’re still doing good work.

Skip the extra stuff.

If you truly feel burned out, the key here is to only do client work and truly, truly let go of the guilt associated with not doing any additional networking or business development. Because if you rest, but you still feel guilty, it’s not rest.

So do something else. Spend time with your family. Read a book. Get outside. Run a mile. Take some photos. Hug your dog. Do anything else that brings you joy.

Then, in a month, you’ll feel more refreshed to start working on building some business and relationships back again.

Option Two

Think like Shonda Rhimes and embrace the Year of Yes. Stop saying “no” to everything.

I’m not talking about putting yourself at risk of the virus and going to a superspreader event. But I’ve had people say no to things lately like podcast interviews or zoom calls that may have been a positive experience for them and resulted in some great opportunities.

The idea here is similar to what you see in an improv show – I want you to “yes, and” yourselves. Why is that? Because successful people don’t just shut down ideas. Not every idea is going to be successful, but instead of just saying no all the time, or finding reasons why something won’t work, you should either be finding solutions, adaptations, or alternatives. The word “no” is defeating. Sometimes, it’s a necessary statement to an idea or question. But ask yourself, are you saying “no” out of habit? Or because you truly don’t want to do the thing in front of you? I’m guilty of this myself, but what if the thing you need right now to refresh your network and business development is to say YES?

Not everything you participate in is going to be a winner – but what if you meet someone there who introduces you to your next best client? What if you say yes to being interviewed on a podcast that is heard by someone who thinks your ideas are really innovative? What if you host a roundtable that enables you to connect two clients together, adding value? You just never know.

So whether you take a real break from networking or you dive right in, make your choice with gusto.

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.