19 questions that will change your consulting business (and your life)

19 questions that will change your consulting business (and your life)

You’re here because you want to start and grow a profitable consulting business that will change your life. Maybe you want to:

  • quit your crappy job
  • earn more money
  • have more freedom and flexibility
  • spend more time with your kids
  • work for yourself
  • create a more consistent flow of consulting work
  • have more financial security

Whatever the case, you’ve been struggling, and aren’t quite where you want to be. Below, I’ve listed 19 questions to ask yourself.

But, instead of just skimming the questions, then doing nothing, I’d like you do to something different–something that’s intended to make it more likely you’ll take action toward your goals.

So instead of just skimming through them, choose the 1, 2, or 3 questions that resonate the most with you.

Choose the questions that make you the most uncomfortable

Here they are:

  • Are you achieving your goals?
  • Have you been spending more time reading and thinking, and not enough time taking action?
  • Are you worried your consulting business isn’t viable?
  • Do you have enough clients to give you a full-time income?
  • Could you quit your job right now and live off your consulting income?
  • Are you struggling to reach prospects?
  • When you talk to prospects, do you have a hard time converting them to clients and getting consulting projects?
  • Are you taking steps–or do you even know what steps to take–to raise your rate and boost your income?
  • Do you have a system to provide a consistent flow of clients and consulting work?
  • Have you been procrastinating taking action to start or grow your consulting business?
  • Do you question whether you can succeed?
  • Are you unsure–or afraid–of how to approach prospects?
  • Are you concerned that you might be offering something that no one wants?
  • Are you afraid you might not be able to earn enough consulting to replace your day-job salary?
  • Do you know what you need to do–but have been putting off taking action?
  • Have you been stuck thinking that you need to learn more before you can start?
  • Are you worried you’ll make costly mistakes?
  • Have you been taking action but getting no results?
  • Are you afraid you can’t compete with larger, more established consulting companies?

If any of those questions strike a nerve with you, think about why that might be.

E-mail me or comment below which questions make you squirm

Now–and I mean right now–either e-mail me or comment below which questions make you squirm. If there’s another question that makes you squirm even more that I haven’t listed, put that in your e-mail or comment. (I read every single comment & e-mail).

Done? (Seriously, if you haven’t done it, just take 5 seconds to do it now).

OK, now that you’re back, the next step is to ask yourself:

  • Why did this question make me uncomfortable?
  • What am I afraid of?
  • What’s been holding me back?
  • What is it I need that could help me get past being stuck?

Go ahead and add your answer to your e-mail or comment. If you want, feel free to take the next day or 3 to mull over a couple of those questions.

I’ve got a couple announcements scheduled for next week about some things that will help you get past your roadblocks, so stay tuned.

And if you haven’t e-mailed or commented, please (pretty please) do it now (I really do read every single comment & e-mail).

7 Responses to 19 questions that will change your consulting business (and your life)

  1. Karrie says:

    Ok, I’m going to list my 3, since I’m new to the idea of starting my own consulting business, I’m just going to jump in….the 3 questions that make me squirm are: Spend more time reading and thinking, not taking action. Procrastinating taking action to start. Stuck thinking I need to learn more before I start. Now I better get started! Thanks…..I’m a professional at researching and developing great ideas and going no where with them.

    • Hey, Karrie, thanks for your comment!

      I know what you mean about being stuck researching & gathering info–that’s one of the (many) things I was stuck on before I started my consulting business. It can feel safe to research, but the thing that creates change is action.

  2. Dave says:

    Mine is the fear of competing with larger companies. Not so much fear, but unsure how I should disclose it’s just me. Already lost my first prospect when I didn’t realize my Gmail mobile always replied from my Gmail rather than company account. They seemed to want to work with a larger firm so it was probably just a bad match, but I’m wondering if there is a good way to specifically target orgs comfortable working with solos.

    I have some advice for Karrie that helped me a lot. I think Greg listed this as a time-waster, but for me it really helped to just pay that $200 or so and officially become a company. I started taking things way more seriously and people who see that LLC approach me more seriously as well.

    • Thanks for your comment, Dave!

      Yes, creating a business entity CAN be a time-waster if it means you’re only focusing on tasks that are simply set-up oriented. If you’re doing it–as you said–to establish credibility so you can start getting clients, then it makes perfect sense. Too often, it’s easy (and safe) to spend lots of time on busy-work tasks that don’t bring in clients and consulting work.

      Starting out, I’d suggest targeting smaller companies, since larger competitors generally don’t target them, and because it’s also easier to reach top decision makers.

  3. […] made you squirm Greg MiliatesJudging from all the e-mails I received from my last post (19 Questions that will change you consulting business–and your life), I struck a nerve. Before I list the questions that many of you cited as being squirm-worthy, I […]

  4. krista says:

    I presented a detailed category plan to a board of directors of an individual retail store of a $25M retail business (79 stores nationwide) whose primary purpose is to buy goods from artisans in 3rd world countries and sell them in a retail format in the US. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for their artisans. Well, the presentation went exceptionally well as they have asked me to become a member of their board. However, my goal was not to become a member of their board, but to create a consulting opportunity where I would provide analyses and recommendations for them to implement to improve sales.
    What should I do? How should I respond? I want to be paid, but I don’t want to come across as opportunistic. And I would be willing to accept a very low flat monthly rate from them that would cover everything I would do including dashboards, analyses, developing promotional strategies, provide recommendations and guidance on pricing, etc. Eventually, I would like to be able to present to their corporate board of directors to pitch my consulting services for all 79 stores. With that in mind – do I just become a board member and continue to offer my services with the hope that I could eventually pitch to corporate board a consulting offer or would accepting the board position virtually eliminate my chances of a consulting opportunity?
    Help????

    • Hey, Krista, thanks for your comment!

      If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t join the board of directors; I’d instead have them engage me as a consultant–that way, you have much more flexibility, and can pursue other options rather than being tied to that 1 organization.

      The next thing I’d do is NOT think of your consulting hours and an hourly rate they’ll pay you, but instead think of the value they’re getting from you. For example, your services might translate into a 5% growth in sales–which means that your value is $1.25M. Even if it takes you 1,000 hours to do the project, there’s no way they’ll pay you $1,250/hour. So, essentially, you quote a fixed fee for a defined project, and your fee is derived from the projected value the company could receive. Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into crafting that type of relationship and proposal, but that’s the very high-level view.

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