We are all comfortable around the tasks at which we excel. Good lawyers excel at solving complex, thorny problems, and their tools include careful reading and writing. These tools are developed with focused, concentrated time at a desk, alone, with constant practice.
By working hard at reading and writing better than much of the world, lawyers increase their chances of achieving good results in their transactions, litigations or regulatory pursuits. But because good results are frequently the result of quality time spent alone, it is tempting for lawyers to become overly fond of their desk-time. The problem is that, no matter how good a work product is produced, spending more time alone than necessary gets in the way of acquiring future work.
Pursuing business is never a solo activity, and most lawyers feel more at risk when seeking new work than when sitting in the comfort zone of their desks. To become comfortable when reaching for new work lawyers need to adjust their understanding of what qualifies as success.
Most attempts at getting business will fail if success is seen as an engagement letter. Each step in the process to such an engagement needs to feel like success. Deciding to invite someone to a conference, lunch or event can be a small success, and getting a positive response is surely a success. Attending or speaking at a conference is a success, and forming a new relationship is a success. Writing an article and spreading it to people who care is a success. Connecting potential clients with people who can help them in business is a success. What goes around often comes around, but little goes around when you are chained to your desk.
If your new vision of success results in overwhelming business, you can ask someone else to sit at a desk. People with undeveloped rainmaking attitudes often need work.