Recently, I was reading a blog post by Lee Rosen about attracting rainmaker associates.
Essentially, Lee said it’s almost impossible to find, train, and keep these associates. And yet, when we hire, it’s what we look for, right? We want someone to bring in business so we don’t have to.
Problem is these rainmaker associates don’t exist in the natural world.
Sure, we hear about them in movies. We talk about them over lunch with our colleagues, but no one’s ever seen, much less hired one.
Now, I’m being a little facetious. Rainmaker associates do, in fact, exist. But they’re so exceedingly rare that they might as well be unicorns.
And you don’t want to build your firm on the foundation of trying to find, catch, and tame unicorns.
Searching for that which is so rare as to essentially not exist isn’t productive. It does nothing but cause stress and anxiety. We romanticize Don Quixote tilting at windmills, but we need to remember, the man was tilting at windmills.
So, no Unicorns; What Now?
Look, rainmakers of any sort aren’t normal. They’re freaks. That’s we mythologize them and try so hard to emulate them.
Maybe you’re a rainmaker. Maybe you’re a rainmaker because you opened a firm and circumstances forced you to become a rainmaker.
If this is you, awesome. You’re a freak. Accept that fact. Now, accept this additional fact: you’re not going to find/make another one of you. Statistically, it ain’t going to happen.
So, what should we base our firms on if we can’t base them on the mythical rainmaker associate?
This is my answer: base your firm on hiring normal attorneys.
If you structure your firm in such a way that it’s successful if you hire normal attorneys who don’t rainmake, then you’ll be okay when you find and hire, wait for it, normal attorneys.
Normal attorneys bring in normal amounts of revenue. Figure out what that conservative figure is and base everything on that: e.g., salaries, overhead, bonuses, etc.
By doing this, you don’t have to stress about finding and hiring Perfect. Instead, you know you, your family, and your employees will be okay by hiring Normal.
What if You Do Find a Unicorn?
But, what if, by some fluke of nature, you do find a rainmaker associate?
Rejoice. Again, I say, rejoice.
Enjoy the fruits as long as you can. Having built your structure conservatively, a rainmaker will help you realize what are essentially windfall profits. Take advantage of that as long as you can.
It won’t last.
Rainmakers have a way of knowing they’re rainmakers. At some point, they all figure out they’re making other people lots of money when they could be making themselves lots of money instead. Hence, the not lasting part.
Ultimately, treat unicorns/rainmaker associates as the ephemeral creatures they are.
Love them while they’re there, and don’t be surprised when they’re not.
And don’t build your law firm on them.
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