4 Sneaky Myths That are Messing with Your Consulting Success Mojo (and How to Debunk Them)

4 - mindset mastery Jan 08, 2017

I know one thing for sure about you. You have great value to offer your current and future clients. You can sense it, right? You can feel it…your track record tells you it’s true. You see so many other people out there making tons of money consulting and you think to yourself, “Why not me?” (Even if you already have earned money consulting.) I know that you see your potential and you have the mojo to go after it. Yet something is getting in your way.

Mojo is such a great word when it comes to pursuing big dreams like building a thriving consulting practice. It’s not just about courage. It’s that magic power and “it” factor that is so crucial when going into the unknown world of both starting a consulting practice and then taking success to a whole new level.

But you experience what I call the 3 “S’s” That Steal Mojo. You feel stupid because you don’t know how to get your value out to the world. And scattered with all the things you that you are know and know what you can be doing. And then you feel stuck. Put the three s’s together and what do you get? That sssssss sound of a tire that has a nail stuck in it and is leaking air, thus keeping the car from moving. It’s just like your success isn’t moving at the pace that it should, or you expect it to.

Consultants with great potential do not have a second to waste on anything that steals mojo and capacity. Much more than mere profits are at stake! Your work/life balance and the lifestyle you want to lead are one the line AND so is the difference you want to make for your clients.

In my experience, I’ve found that 4 major myths are to blame for your leaking and stolen mojo. I'm going to debunk these myths for you and how to replace them with solutions that actually work. Together we are going to remove the metaphorical nails in your tires, patch up the holes and get you on your way driving down the road to the success you envision.

MYTH #1: IT SHOULD BE EASY

What most consultants don’t realize is that their expertise in their given field that they can offer as value to potential clients is absolutely not the same as the skills that are required to run a thriving consulting practice.

Just because you know a lot about corporate marketing, organization development, information technology, operations and so on does not translate to knowing a lot about building a website, content marketing, consulting sales, proposal writing, setting fees, writing a book and all of the other aspects of running a business.

No one starts out a new job as an expert. When you become an entrepreneur, you have a whole new job, regardless of how many years of experience you have in your chosen field. It’s not painless…but it could be easier with taking the time up front to learn and then master business development and all that comes with owning your own consulting practice.

I can recall times when the mere administrative part of the process kept me stuck and feeling stupid. I'm NOT a website guru, bookkeeping expert, or genius when it came to social media marketing. I had to learn quickly OR delegate it. Too many consultants – both novice and veteran – invest too much valuable time in these areas and lose focus on what is most important.

  • Myth Busting Solution: Let go of easy. That is a myth that will not serve. Instead cultivate a beginner’s mind. Once you accept how much you don’t know and invest in getting it, you will actually sidestep the feelings of being stupid, scattered and then stuck.
MYTH #2: EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO BE DOING IT BETTER

Working in isolation can be a huge challenge. For this reason, connecting with other consultants who are seeking the some type of success that you are can be a lifesaver. However, group participation for many can be a double-edged sword, especially when it appears that others are doing so much better.

It’s painful to feel like the only one who can’t seem to get clear on the value proposition or not able to land those big contracts. It is the grass is always greener, but 10X worse.

The truth is – some consultants are doing better than you are. It’s also true some are not, but just sound like they are. The myth is that your success is and can be defined in relation to how others are doing. The myth is that for some reason it matters. Perhaps it is our inherent competitive or pleasing natures. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it’s a major thief of your mojo.

  • Myth Busting Solution: Let go of competing with others. Cheer for their successes. Support them in their failures. But for you define success in your own terms. Be clear about your intentions for your business and why you have them, so that when you sit back at the end of the day you will have far more meaningful and relevant metrics that will demonstrate to YOU your progress.
MYTH #3: I CAN’T RELEASE IT UNTIL IT IS PERFECT

Perfection is the enemy of success because “perfect” is an illusion. There is a huge difference between taking the time to be strategic and doing things in the best way possible and ensuring that is perfect.

For example, when you are putting a website together, it is critical to have a clear strategy behind the entire process. Each page needs to have a purpose and a call to action in order to create conversions. The information that people search for and what they find on your site has to be congruent in order for them even stay poking around on your site. Those are important details to pay attention to. But if there is a picture of you and your hair is bit off and the font is a just not the right size and the image is not as compelling as you like, you might be suffering from Perfection Paralysis.

You do want to do your best in removing typos and grammar errors. You want to put your best thinking into your articles, blog posts and books. But you can’t wait until it is all out there because it is only when it is out there, you will be able to fully understand your clients needs anyways.

You should hold fast to the notion that it’s about success, not perfection. Do the best you can, fix areas that need it when uncovered, focus on your good work, and have fun. If you spend your time in Perfection Paralysis, you will miss a lot of opportunities because you weren’t paying attention.

  • Myth Busting Solution: Let go of perfection and take up the Testing and Piloting. Throw what you have out there and see what sticks…and as importantly what doesn’t. Consider every investment that you make to be market research and a learning lab for you to enhance your skills.

Which brings me to the fourth and final myth…

MYTH #4: I CAN’T SPEND MONEY UNTIL [FILL IN THE BLANK]

Running your own practice demands you make investments. It’s a truism for any business that one must expend costs to advance the business. What you used to get for free in the company you used to work for, you must pay for yourself or hire someone else to do it. And that is where the money rub comes in. It’s in these moments that I hear comments such as, “As soon as I land x amount of business, I’ll invest in a mentor, website, etc.”

At the core of this myth is a perception that you and your business are expenses to be managed, which has huge psychic ramifications.

You get exactly what you pay for.

If you are not an expert in digital marketing and web development and you try to do your website yourself, you will get the results of an amateur web developer. If you try to learn how to price for your services and land the deals from a book, you will only get so far. From a client credibility standpoint, you show up in a client system that you are trying to convince to hire you because of how your expertise will add value. Yet you do not do the same for yourself.

Consider building your skills as a consultant. If you’ve never tried to create your own intellectual property (i.e. a product that is the manifestation of your “smarts’), then how can your results from this incredibly important marketing tool be any good? We both invested in professional mentors and coaches when we started to decrease the learning curve and increase our perspicacity.

This myth of scarcity has to be replaced with a mindset that screams to you and all of your future clients that YOU ARE NOT AN EXPENSE TO BE MANAGED, YOU ARE AN INVESTMENT THAT WILL GENERATE A RETURN!

  • Myth Busting Solution: When you consider parting with your hard-earned resources to a mentor or vendor, you must consider not how much it will cost, but what type of return you can expect. Don’t just hire the cheapest; hire the ones with a proven track record. You’d never hire the cheapest oncologist if you or a family member needed cancer surgery.

Seek out support from those who have complementary skills that can enhance your capacity because that is exactly the value that you bring to your current and future clients.

Walk your talk so the next time your client is objecting to your proposal with the most common phrase, “But your fees are so high!” you will be ready with your response. Say it with me, “I am NOT an expense to be managed. I am an investment that generates a return!!”

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