If you really want to make money and a difference as a consultant or coach, you can't get there by being nice.
Nice on the surface appears more ethical and in alignment with one's integrity. A "nice" consultant or coach delivers what a client asks for. Doesn't get too aggressive with their marketing. And certainly doesn't push a client to pay them what they are worth.
But in reality - nice isn't nice. Being nice keeps feathers from being ruffled and maintains a surface experience of pleasantness while hiding or minimizing the real issues that are begging for transformation and the real reason why consultants and coaches exist.
Our profession isn't a new one. It's an old one. The office of an executive advisor was created thousands of years ago, at the same time the office of the king was established. In ancient stories, myths and spiritual traditions, the King always had a Prophet, Mentor, Magician, Guide or Jester that spoke truth to power. And helped the King...
You can look at building a consulting and coaching practice in one of two ways. You can think of yourself as a freelancer who simply is always on the lookout for the next job. Or you can think of yourself as a brand that attracts right fit clients for years to come. If you want a practice that consistently generates exceptional results then you, like all great companies, need to invest in building a strong brand.
Many people think a brand is nothing more than a logo. Or a trademark. Or that pithy tagline. The reality is that branding is all of those things and so much more. A brand in general is the promise you make to your future clients that you consistently deliver on. Your brand promise contains both the tangible and intangible value you create as well as the emotional connection they will experience when working with you.
There are five reasons why it is worth investing your time, money and vulnerability into brand...
There is a difference between a paying client and a strategic partner.
A paying client is someone who will sign on the dotted line and hire you to deliver your coaching or consulting services.
A strategic partner is all together different. A strategic partner is peer who value all that you bring to the table and leverage your strengths to their fullest extent.
Knowing the difference will dramatically change your impact, earning potential and long-term satisfaction.
If we just wanted a paycheck, we'd stay employees. But we chose the path of consulting and coaching business ownership in part because of the control over our time and in part because we wanted to add significance to our success.
Here's a few reasons to be on the lookout for as to why a client might hire you and pay you well while having zero intention of allowing you to influence them:
As a business mentor, I obviously get asked all the time, "How do you start your own business?"
But the question I WISH I was asked all the time is, "How do you start the RIGHT business?"
Now that's a question! Sure, you need to know the smart and strategic steps to transition from corporate leadership to business ownership. But why settle for just a successful business when you can have a business that also delivers significance, purpose and meaning to your own life and the world?
Related: The Five Steps to a Business Launch
It takes literally the same amount of money, time and effort to build an off-purpose business as an on-purpose one. So, don't limit what is possible for you.
Use my questions to help you start the RIGHT business, for the RIGHT reasons...in the RIGHT way.
Below are 20 smart questions that you should ask yourself to ensure that you have a business that you and your future clients will love.
One of the biggest mistakes that purpose-driven consultants and coaches make is pursuing a subcontracting business model.
Subcontracting is what you do instead of doing the hard work to confront your fears about marketing and settling for a business that is based on:
If you have no interest in being an executive advisor, speaking truth to power or becoming a thought leader or perceived expert in your industry - this model can work....
One of the most agonizing (and least talked about) experiences that keeps really smart people from building the consulting and coaching businesses of their dreams is the fear of not having what it takes.
The fear might be not having what it takes to do the marketing and attract clients or even if they landed clients they wouldn't have the goods to back up whatever promises they made in their marketing.
This all-too-common fear is called Imposter Syndrome.
The term was coined in 1978 by two clinical psychologists, “referring to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud.’”
Imposter syndrome simply put is the worry that you have been "faking it" all of this time and you worry now with your own business you will be found out to be a fraud.
The impact of unacknowledged imposter syndrome fears is tremendous. This fear is the primary culprit behind...
"Money is congealed energy, and releasing it releases life's possibilities."
- Joseph Campbell
Most consultants and coaches experience fears around money. They worry that they won't find enough clients to pay them what they are worth.
Money fears are totally normal and should be expected. After all, profits are a part of business. The presence of money fears can be good if they act as alerts to be strategic about investments and with marketing and sales.
On the other hand, unacknowledged money fears and myths can sabotage your success. They show up passive aggressively and lead to decisions that ultimately will tank your results.
Here's some of the most common money fears and how to get over them.
On the surface, it makes sense that until your business is making money you might hold off on investing in it.
But the truth is - your...
Ever hold off on launching your website because you are just not crazy about the font size or accent colors that your graphic designer has selected for you?
Have you paused on hitting publish on a blog post because you just need one more person to reassure you it is good?
Have you ever avoided a networking event because you haven't gotten your business cards printed yet or had time to craft a killer "what I do" statement?
If so, my friend, you might be struggling with perfectionism - the killer of entrepreneurial dreams and potential.
It is NOT:
“Oh it’s going to be all right
This is love…this is life
When times get tough and still worth the fight
This is love, this is life
The road here is paved with the brokenhearted
We have gotta finish what we started
Oh we gotta hold on tight
This is love…this is life!”
- “This is Love, This is Life” Bon Jovi
Failure. That dreaded word. We all experience it probably more often than we wish. That missed promotion or lost job. The divorce…maybe even for the second time. For many of us, when we experience failure we feel like we have a scarlet “F” on our chests and hang our heads in shame and hope to God that no one asks us any questions that will force us to reveal how badly we have messed up.
When we fail it reveals something about the worldview that we build our lives on. There are two options:
In the contractual worldview, you choose what you want out of...
“If your success is not on your own terms,
if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart,
it is not success at all.”
- Anna Quindlen
I really don’t know when I lost my passion for my role as an internal consultant at Walt Disney World. When I landed the job, it was the realization of a lifelong dream. Once hired, I threw myself into my client work, which was always interesting, always complex. I want to attribute my loss of passion to the sheer exhaustion of parenting two children under the age of three while holding a highly visible and responsible corporate position. But I know the truth.
The source of my discontent took root when my Dad died of lung cancer way too young. When we was in end stages, I flew back and forth from Orlando (where I lived) to Chicago (where he lived) on a weekly basis. To pass the time during many hours on planes, I would listen to music. That Tim McGraw song “Live As If You’re Dying” was big at the...
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