Preparation is everything. It makes things look easy and natural. In my world it’s being prepared for a trial, closing of a transaction, oral argument, or the first meeting with a new client. People know when you’re unprepared. When you’re prepared they likely think you just know your stuff and don’t think about the time you put in to perform at that high level. In your world there are equivalents where you can win or lose business based on your preparation or lack thereof.

My wife has a huge presentation today. She has been preparing for as long as she has known about it, which never feels like enough. I know her well enough to know she spent the time needed to have it go as well as she can. Like all of us, she always has a lot going on in her professional and personal worlds. Even with that she carved out time because she knows preparation is key. This gives her the best chance for success in achieving her objectives.

The more prepared you are for whatever you are dealing with today provides the opportunity for the best possible outcome. I am not naïve enough to think I’m the only person a potential client is speaking with. Even if they are not speaking to another law firm or attorney, the confidence I instill in them because of my preparation gives me a better opportunity to reach the outcome I’m seeking, which is to be retained to assist them with the legal work needed.

Plus, you never know who will put your name out there providing opportunities in the future. Your preparation and then good performance turns those people into your cheerleaders too, which always helps. Preparation is investing in yourself, and it can help make your future.