Consulting is a tough profession. You quite often find yourself surrounded by not that friendly faces that treat you as a parasite. You will most likely have to work long hours (12-15 a day), travel a lot, argue with bunch of strangers that have been in the same business for 20-30 years and spend majority of your time living in hotels, airports and offices. Still, no matter what, you have to deliver what you have promised. Here I will try to show you how you can achieve it without harming yourself in the process and gaining unnecessary weight or suffering a heart attack before your 40th birthday.
The short answer is that you have to be a badass consultant 🙂 !
What does it mean? For me entails following certain rules that I hope you will find useful:
- Customer’s business comes first. I have always treated the customer’s business as my own. In this way my interest was align with the interest of the customer’s business. This means that if you were a badass consultant you would walk away from potential projects that don’t benefit the customer’s business. Another implication is that no matter who hires you, you work for the business. A badass consultant would not work for the CEO if the end result of the project would harm the business.
- Always deliver value. You can spend your life on things that don’t matter, create another presentation that will be buried under a pile of other useless charts, presentations and reports or you can change the business of your customer, influence the life of hundreds, thousands of people. A badass consultant choses the latter one. He delivers true value that can be monetized and helps companies survive and thrive in the future.
- Cut the bullshit. A badass consultant can’t stand bullshit in any form. He is polite but he will call your bluff with data, facts and examples even if you are CEO of the company. A badass consultant also does not pack the truth in a mixture of lies and distortion. He will tell you straightforward what the situation is and whether there is a way out.
- Over-deliver. You can be very strict about your contract and delivery only the things that the customer has requested or you can go beyond and above and over-deliver. In this case over-delivering means doing much more than the contract says, giving the customer much higher value than he expects. In this way you win the customer for life.
- Have fun. Life is pretty short, especially if you deduct all the time you spend at school or sleeping. That is why try to have fun with the project. A badass consultant is never bored. He picks project and industries that he can enjoy and makes the best out of it. He enters new firms and befriends new people quite easily.
- Constantly learn. A badass consultant is never done with learning. He learns at every possible occasion. For him every project, every customer is an opportunity to grow his toolbox and get experience. A badass consultant is especially good at learning by doing and does not shy away from any opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge.
- Be efficient. Efficiency is vice of a badass consultant. He does everything as efficiently as possible, constantly improving his art and skills. He takes shortcuts whenever and however is possible. He is always looking for faster, cheaper way to deliver his work. I am extreme in this manner and I even optimize what I wear so that it does not cost me much in terms of time and effort to match clothing.
- Be smart lazy. A badass consultant is lazy but he does it in a smart way. He knows that certain work has to be done and he looks for ways to deliver it with as little effort as possible. He will automate his work, create templates, delegate work, use ready-made solution (with some modifications) because he is lazy and enjoys immensely his morning coffee. His laziness is the engine for innovation and inventions
- Get rich in the process. Money are not the end goal. Yet, they give you….freedom to choose, freedom to say no when you feel like doing it. That’s why a badass consultant gets paid well for delivering better results than expected on deadlines. So, charge a lot your customers and they will start appreciating you even more.
That’s in short the rules by which I try to live by. Hope you find it useful 🙂
We are done with theory now we can move to some examples. Stay tuned and hope you will enjoy my short posts.