Change through PMA

Dear Doc

We have a professional business in the Central Business District that has been practicing for over 50 years, with clients throughout the Country and overseas. The Partners do most of the work and can be found working over 15 hours per day for six or seven days a week. As new partners, we also work hard, but how can we carry on earning the money and have a life with our families at the same time? Is that possible and if so how?


“50% of business success is attitude and 50% is the right strategy. Business people think how to grow a business. Self-employed people think how to get their next pay check.” CEO Business Advisory Services
The current culture of your firm has grown over the years by the approach of the baby boomers who have been running your firm for the last 30+ years. This has been to work hard (attitude) and accept the consequences of their decisions (strategy). Today we have Generation X and Y who want to have a life as well as success. To achieve this aim, they must not only change their work practices but also change the culture of the whole firm.

The question is: “Can this be achieved?” The answer is of course .  . . maybe. The reason is that it all depends on the attitude and strategy of the current partners, who are a mixture of Baby Boomers, Generation X & Generation Y.

Proponents of a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) seem to want you to believe that attitude is all that is required. This of course is nonsense, for whilst the positive mental attitude is very important, action is also needed and positive, directed strategic action at that.

To begin, you need to decide how much you want to earn and how much leisure you want. If the same money is wanted as well as extra leisure, then to achieve that there must be a Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound business plan. In addition to general business growth, a means for redistribution of the high quality and high standard of work will be required to be developed.

To commence this, it is advisable to analyse the billed work carried out. Is it necessary for partners to do all the work, or can others do some of it to the same high standard and quality? Also is all the work that is carried out by the partners, work that earns money and if not can the non-earning work be outsourced to others within the team?

Now it is clear that to establish the requirements of top and bottom-line growth as well as work redistribution, it is desirable to formulate a business plan that will evolve as the business develops. This plan will have to include a business activity and succession manual, which will help the enterprise focus to achieve its goal.

Finally, if all the partners are currently extremely busy, I would think that outsourcing your growth project to an experienced consultant would make it easier to achieve.