Business consultants are a certain breed. Driven, passionate, and used to success, they have learned a lot of life lessons along the way. Opterre, a firm that coaches consultants to success in their chosen industry, shares some of our best life lessons.
A FEW LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY
- Know what matters. As a business consultant, you may put in long days or rarely take a day off. Drive and motivation propel you over the crowd. Opterre understands that you thrive on hard work and achievement. However, none of us want work to be just that: work. Who we’re working for changes that dynamic and makes our work matter. Are you working for yourself? For your family? An acquaintance shared recently that his young daughter came into his home office and asked what he was doing. His response to her was, “Leaving you a legacy.” His daughter may not have understood what he meant, but his answer revealed that he understand his motivation. His sense of responsibility to his family made his work matter. Ask yourself what makes your work matter to you?
- Do more than you say you’re going to do. This applies to business and everything else in life. Underpromise and overdeliver is the hallmark of a successful business consulting career. However, with business consultants, you deliver pizza to the moon and back — all in under 20 minutes.
- Invest in yourself. As humans, we are wired to reach for that which seems just beyond our grasp. This is how we grow. If we don’t continue to reach, we stagnate. For the business consultant, stagnation spells doom for your practice. Attend business consulting conferences. Read up on Theodore Roosevelt. Learn how to play softball or cricket or your son’s newest magic trick. Cook a new recipe. Volunteer at a community outreach such as a food pantry. New experiences will teach you more about yourself and reveal areas for personal and professional growth.
- Invest in others. From the busboy who cleans your table at a five-star restaurant to the millionaire client whom you’ve spent months wooing, people and the relationships we form are our reasons for living. They are behind every product, every sale, and every reason for doing what we do. Take the time to invest in others. Time is never wasted when helping others succeed.
- What you do is more important than what you say. We are always being watched. This may be by your clients and colleagues in your business consulting company or by your children who mimic what you do. Even your pets watch you; they just don’t say anything. Do the right thing always. Give to others. Be kind and speak kindly. If you’re not helping others, then you’re wasting your time.
- Speak with honesty, clarity, encouragement, and hope. As a business consultant, you deliver bad news. You’ve probably had to fire people. You’ve made decisions that impacted others’ livelihoods. You’ve had conflicts you’ve had to manage and communication breakdowns and explosions. Be authentic in all encounters. People may not love you for it, but they will respect you for your integrity.