Why Hourly Rates?

why hourly rates?

Many veteran consultants aim to secure retainers with their clients—and that is a valid goal. Or they’ve heard that “project fees” (charging a flat rate for projects) are the way to go. Retainers provide consistent income over time, whereas hourly rates clearly depend upon the number of hours you work. Similarly, charging project fees is another way of moving beyond time-for-dollars limitations, but this requires Continue reading “Why Hourly Rates?”

The Top 3 Reasons Why People Start Consulting Businesses

The Top 3 Reasons People Start a Consulting Business

If you browse through the consulting section at your local bookstore or search on Amazon, you’d think that #1 among the reasons people start consulting businesses is to “make millions.”

First off, I have absolutely nothing against making a good living. And, depending on your target clients, services, and appetite for business growth, consulting can be a financially rewarding career path. Plus, depending on your business savvy, it’s possible to build your business into an asset that can be sold one day.

But there are multiple good reasons people create a consulting business. I know and have worked with plenty of very successful consultants. Those I respect most have sustainable practices because they have a balance of motivations that keep them in this field. They seem to agree that consulting feeds the soul, the bank account, and the need for independence. Continue reading “The Top 3 Reasons Why People Start Consulting Businesses”

Don’t Make This HUGE Mistake When Starting Your Consulting Business!

The single biggest mistake that people make in starting their consulting business is thinking they’re ready just because they have strong technical skills or content knowledge.

They think that their years of experience in their field, their skills in some technical area, or their content knowledge is enough to start a successful consulting business.

Oh, Boy! Are they ever in for a rude surprise. In reality, it takes bringing together – harmonizing, actually – five sets of skills to have a successful consulting business. And new consultants typically have two of them at best.

The five skill sets are: Continue reading “Don’t Make This HUGE Mistake When Starting Your Consulting Business!”

Five Myths About Introverts and Extroverts

This post is a companion to our “Success Secrets for the Introverted Consultant” article.

Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton Business School has studied some popular notions and misconceptions about introverts and compared them with what the research literature says. And he identified five myths that don’t hold up to the scrutiny of research.

Myth 1: Extroverts get energy from social interaction, whereas introverts get energy from privately reflecting on their thoughts and feelings. Grant says that research has found that introverts and extroverts spend about the same amount of time with people and enjoy it just as much. Extroverts and introverts both “experience greater energy when they talk more.” And, introverts and extroverts “report the most energy when they’re talkative and assertive.”

So, what was the difference he found between introverts and extroverts? Sensitivity to stimulation. Introverts are more prone to be overstimulated while extroverts are charged up by stimulating activities. Bottom line though, introverts can be social. Continue reading “Five Myths About Introverts and Extroverts”

Success Secrets for the Introverted Consultant

Have you considered starting a consulting practice but wondered whether an introvert is cut out for this career? Who’s really an introvert, and can we build successful businesses? Let’s find out.

Who’s an introvert?

In the 1920s, the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung popularized the notions of introvert versus extrovert with the publication of Psychologische Typen (tr. “Psychological Types”). He described introversion as “inner-directed psychic energy” and launched a debate about what it means to be an introvert that the field of psychology – almost a century later – doesn’t seem to have settled yet. But here’s what we know. Continue reading “Success Secrets for the Introverted Consultant”

Are You Confident about Your Confidence?

confidence

Here are five ways you can boost your confidence as a consultant.

As you start a business, it can be tempting to set up shop, secure a client or two, then expect that things will continue to pop. I was guilty of this myself at times.

I thought that my busy first year would translate into a busy second one. So, I enjoyed the newfound flexibility that came with the occasional slower day. I planted flowers in the garden and met friends somewhat regularly for lunch… until I realized that I was being premature in my comfort. Continue reading “Are You Confident about Your Confidence?”

How’s Your Hustle?

how is your hustle

When you first thought that you might consult, did you assume that your years of experience in the trenches would propel your new career path forward? Most of us learn quickly that this field is filled with talented people. Yet the overarching trait that keeps consulting businesses at full capacity isn’t talent—it’s hustle.

You likely know professionals less skilled than you who have sustained themselves over time due to sheer will. They befriend the key connectors in town and have mastered the art of closing the deal. While it’s a difficult admission to make, these endurance activities are every bit as important as knowing the content of our respective fields.

Many new consultants view hustle solely through the lens of securing clients. Yet it is necessarily multi-faceted: Continue reading “How’s Your Hustle?”

Set Your Own Speed Limit

What if you got to set your own personal speed limit? That vehicular dream might not happen any time soon, but if you run your own consulting practice, you do have an opportunity to set your professional speed. By that, I mean that you can decide whether you are taking a Sunday drive or a lane on the Consulting Autobahn. And you can do so for an unlimited number of issues, from setting your hours to growing your business.

One of the most fabulous things about this career path is that you can set and reset each parameter depending on your life circumstances and goals at a given time. Continue reading “Set Your Own Speed Limit”

You Can Help Turn Consulting Taboo into Trendy

Consulting gets a bad rap. Sometimes you can feel the hidden eye rolls when you tell new acquaintances what you do for a living. Professional associations largely ignore us. There are heaps of consulting jokes (some of which are admittedly funny).

Yet most in this field are generous entrepreneurs who go above and beyond for their clients—and for each other. Yes, the competition for jobs can be stiff, and it’s understandable that we might want to keep some ideas close to the vest. But there are many reasons for us to collectively cultivate more flattering images of consultants. Continue reading “You Can Help Turn Consulting Taboo into Trendy”