The 1 question you need to answer when you start consulting
There’s a question you need to answer when you start consulting (or any business) that’s crucial to your success. Once you know the question, it’ll seem ridiculously obvious. But still, few ask it, and fewer still know how to answer it.
Before I show you what I mean, here’s an example of what you might be doing right now as you start consulting.
Keep in mind that starting a consulting business is, essentially, learning a new skill: the skill of building a successful business.
Imagine you’re learning to play guitar.
Like most newbies, you fixate on what guitar to buy, and probably start shopping around for a sweet Les Paul or Strat. Never mind that people who are expert players, though they might use nice gear, don’t make that their main focus.
Case in point: 8-time Grammy winner Jack White from the White Stripes routinely uses old, rickety guitars, or even no guitar at all.
Another example: Have you ever seen Willie Nelson’s guitar?
Seriously. Take a look at that thing (the guitar, not Willie).
Another example: If you’re a beginning tennis player, you could buy a $1,000 racquet, but Roger Federer could still kick your ass with my daughter’s $2 badminton racquet.
Here’s how this relates to starting a consulting business:
Two people start consulting: Which one is you?
Imagine 2 people, Josh and Allison, who both want to start consulting. They each make a list of tasks they’re going to work on to get their consulting business off the ground.
Josh lists things like:
- choose a business name
- file the paperwork for his LLC or s-corp
- get a logo designed
- design and print business cards
- write and design a brochure listing his services
Allison lists things like:
- identify a specific market niche
- research and identify 30 prospects in her niche
- reach out to 10 of those prospects
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Hold on–why is Allison contacting prospects?! She hasn’t even set up her business!”
- How will a logo/brochure/business cards/business entity help you?
- Who do you think is going to start getting paid faster?
The crucial question when you start consulting
You may have already figured out the crucial question, but here it is:
What’s the fastest path to the cash?
Not to be crass, but asking this question is crucial to your business.
No, life is not all about money.
But this question brings clarity to:
- where to focus,
- what you need to do, and
- what your very next task should be.
Create clarity, not complexity or distraction
It’s really easy to get bogged down in minutiae, especially when you’re starting something unfamiliar.
When we start a new skill or challenge, there are dozens of aspects we could be paying attention to, most of which are inconsequential to success. Experts are so much more effective because they relentlessly focus on the things that matter.
Are you going to fixate on your guitar, tennis racquet, logo, or brochure?
It’s not about the tools
It’s about developing your skill and technique on the things that move you DIRECTLY toward your goal.
The wrong things (which tools to use, creating a logo, or the moon’s alignment to Jupiter) get you off track from the shortest path.
And worse, you delude yourself into thinking you’re making progress.
“What’s the fastest path to the cash?” focuses your attention on the core actions that lead directly to your goal.
You already know the 1 crucial question, but…
Even if that 1 crucial question for your consulting business seems obvious, there are 2 catches:
- How do you answer that question?
- Why aren’t you doing the things you should?
I’ll answer that 1 crucial question for you: Essentially, the fastest path is going to involve identifying, contacting, and converting prospects.
Those are all huge topics, and I cover them in far more detail in other posts and in my premium course, Client Pipeline Mastery. For now, I won’t go into more detail on those topics.
But now that you know, at even a very high level, what the fastest path to cash is, we’ll need to answer the second question.
In my next post, I’ll go into detail on why you probably aren’t doing the things on the fastest path to cash, even if you know what you SHOULD be doing.
What’s your VERY NEXT task is on your fastest path to cash?
Tell me in the comments or email me directly.
I read every comment and email.