Is your Consulting Business is Drifting, Developing, or Thriving?

consulting

Where do you want to be in your consulting business?

consulting

Drifting consultants are on the road to failure. Judging by solo-business failure rates, well over half are in drift.

It’s not for lack of effort. Many are working 70 hours per week to make ends meet. Some get off to the wrong start having acted on bad advice. You are cold calling and getting predictable results. You’ve become a pork belly because you’ve commoditized yourself — waving a coaching certificate as your top credential puts you under price pressure. “Jane has that coaching certificate, and she’s offering her services at $75 per hour. Can you beat that?” Ugh!

Others in drift were successful for a time. You got off to a great start, got some great wins, and helped many people, but you never grew or innovated. The world moved on, but you stayed in the same place. You’re no longer getting the unsolicited referrals and expansion business.

You try to lone-wolf your way out of the situation, but it never works. The same habits that put you there will not get you out of it. You reach a point of no return once drift becomes a hypnotic habit.

Developing means that you are surviving or doing even better than that. You’ve got good profit margins, a steady stream of unsolicited referrals and new customers, and raving testimonials. Your workweek is sustainable, you’ve got time for vacations, and you don’t feel much price pressure.

This situation is suitable for a while, but alone it will not create durable success. You will reach an eroding plateau that eventually leads to drift if you ride too long. 

The key to success is to jump while you’ve got momentum so that you can grow and innovate into thriving. Making the jump while the wind is in your sails shortens your path to success.

Too many people wait until the plateau erodes before they evolve, but it’s like jumping from a crumbling bridge.

Initially, I based my consulting business on helping nonprofits in conflict zones. After successful some years, business dried up because interest in places like Afghanistan declined. I had to jump from an eroding plateau and almost didn’t make it.

An earlier pivot or leap would have saved me time, energy, and frustration. Fortunately, I invested in mentors like Alan Weiss and David Newman and in peer groups who re-oriented me. Their support was like strapping on a rocket booster laser-guided to success.

You know you are thriving when you have consistent media coverage, significant discretionary time — it takes a lot of long-lasting success to get down to a 20-hour workweek — and when others seek you out for your thought leadership. You’ll also see substantial expansion business as your clients want to keep working with you and expand the ways you are helping them.

Where are you right now?

If you’ve been in business for over a year and have fewer than three of the first four indicators, there’s a good chance that you’re in drift. If you are developing, are you leaping to thriving, or are you on autopilot, riding an eroding plateau?

Here are some ways I can help your consulting business thrive:

The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain sustainable habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, strict accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results so that you reach your goals more quickly and consistently. Soar to new heights here.

The Founders Forum is a mastermind group for consultants, solo practitioners, and owners of boutique firms who want to shorten their path to a meaningful, joyful, and profitable business. You’ll accelerate the quality and speed of your thought leadership, develop a business development process that you are proud to execute (and avoids the awkward pushiness), and brand building that you are pleased to display (and avoids the slimy feeling of self-promoting).  

CEO Mastermind group is for Milwaukee-area small business leaders and consultants who want to accelerate their growth in 2022. We meet monthly for lunch, and you get unlimited access to me for coaching and advising. I’m limiting the group to 8. Four places are remaining.

The CEO Global Mastermind is for CEOs and senior leaders who want to surround themselves with people united in the common purpose of being the best they can be, learning from each other, avoiding drift and complacency, and soaring to new heights. We meet monthly via zoom, plus you get unlimited access to me.

Mastery programs include Expert Consulting Mastery, Innovative Thought Leadership, and leadership experiences at Antietam & Gettysburg, Normandy, West Point, and many others.

Bringing on the right consultant or trusted adviser can be expensive. Would you trust your future to the lowest bidder?

Ways to Invest in your Success

The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain sustainable habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, strict accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results so that you reach your goals more quickly and consistently. Soar to new heights here.

The Founders Forum is a mastermind group for consultants, solo practitioners, and owners of boutique firms who want to shorten their path to a meaningful, joyful, and profitable business. You’ll accelerate the quality and speed of your thought leadership, develop a business development process that you are proud to execute (and avoids the awkward pushiness), and brand building that you are pleased to display (and avoids the slimy feeling of self-promoting).  

CEO Mastermind group is for Milwaukee-area small business leaders and consultants who want to accelerate their growth in 2022. We meet monthly for lunch, and you get unlimited access to me for coaching and advising. I’m limiting the group to 8. Four places are remaining.

The CEO Global Mastermind is for CEOs and senior leaders who want to surround themselves with people united in the common purpose of being the best they can be, learning from each other, avoiding drift and complacency, and soaring to new heights. We meet monthly via zoom, plus you get unlimited access to me.

Mastery programs include Expert Consulting Mastery, Innovative Thought Leadership, and leadership experiences at Antietam & Gettysburg, Normandy, West Point, and many others.

Books

LEADERSHIP: THE WARRIOR’S ART.  Leaders anticipate and shape the future so that your team can succeed. To do so, you need imagination grounded in a  practical perspective. That’s what you get with this book, which is why it’s been in print for over 20 years. This 2nd edition addresses the post 9/11, post-pandemic world.

Zero-Sum Victory: What We’re Getting Wrong About War is a finalist for the INDIES national book award. I use the disasters in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq to give you the tools and mental models to avoid the traps and own goals that have created quagmires for the United States. You’ll gain ways to improve agency, bridge silos, pivot smartly, avoid breathing your own exhaust, and many other outcomes.