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Make the List [Day 4 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]


This is Day 4 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Carla Young took a bite out that self-sabotaging voice in your head and then kicked in the butt!  Today my super savvy friend, Nat Slavin, shares the one single action he took when the spectre of doubt threatened to stop him from changing his game. Get your notebooks out and have pens at the ready!

Make The List

by Nat Slavin (@NatSlavin)

Three years ago when I was ready to leave a 15-year publishing career I was terrified. I defined my professional worth not by the relationships I had formed in the legal industry, but because of the platform the publishing company afforded me. I doubted myself and thought that absent the platform doors would close and I couldn’t be “successful” ever again. And I was 36.

While I knew I had worked hard, I felt lucky to be in the right place at the right time and thought that I had one shot to find that place, and that shot had already been fired. In the simplest terms I was stuck. I was afraid to do anything; it was easier to do nothing than to take the next risk. And adding to my stuck place was that I had been fortunate: because we had sold the business I didn’t have to run out and find a new job.

And then one day I made The List.

I sat down at my desk with pen and paper and started writing down every name of every person who I thought cared enough about me to help me both personally and professionally. Without opening my address book I wrote down 357 names of people who had entered my life during the past decade and a half who I knew would take my call, and listen to my questions, and most importantly offer advice. These were the people whose life I had entered through both professional and personal circumstances. Friends from high school, relatives and of course folks in my professional network; in the simplest of terms, and I had never thought about the value of my personal network.

I was liberated. I didn’t realistically believe that all of these people would actually be able to offer me anything more than peace of mind. But if one percent, just 3 or 4, took a real interest in my professional development and served as a confidant or mentor, I would find my way. I would be able to, with confidence, enter the next stage of my life.

That list was a gift. So, I offer to all of you the tremendously liberating power of creating The List. Think of those whose lives you have been a part of, whose journey you have supported, and those whose respect you have earned. Make your own list, and know that if you got stuck, there will be names on The List, the members of your tribe, who will be there for you.

And know that as you strive to change your game, you are undoubtedly on someone else’s list. So, if today is not the day to write the list, you can start with two simple steps. Think of one person who has been a mentor or catalyst for change and send them a note and let them know they have had an impact in your life, and then ask them to reach out to someone who has touched their life.

Nat Slavin is founder and partner in the Wicker Park Group and former publisher of InsideCounsel. He was also editor and publisher of Business Without Borders and U.S. Business Litigation and the author of more than 100 articles on legal department management, business development, client service and
marketing strategies and frequently speaks on these topics. He served as the 2007 president of the International Board of Directors of Legal Marketing Association, is on the Board of Directors of the Poder Learning Center, and taught bi-lingual/bi-cultural English & History in Southern California.

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