While we do enjoy it, most of us see consulting as a route to financial wealth, and discretionary time. These are the goals of every person on the planet...and if they aren't - they should be.
Because once you have discretionary time you can do whatever you want to. Spend time on charity, with your family, running a non-profit or whatever you want to do.
I spend some of my discretionary time working on stuff for Water Aid in particular.
But if you do not have discretionary time, then you cannot. And your time is not yours to spend on anything.
Here are some other issues that should be driving your drive to more discretionary time. Do you realize what frequent travel does to your health? Or living in hotels, airports and taxis?
Leading a sedentary life is not a recipe for a long life. So when can you exercise? How much longer can you go living on cigarettes, junk food and adrenalin?
I have long been a proponent for a long term strategy to develop consulting cash flow. The goals of this strategy for me are to be able to do what I want, when I want, and with the financial ability to cater to all my families needs and aspirations.
Sounds like a good dream? Well I am converting it slowly but surely into reality.
The standard approach to consulting cash flow is to start generating income through selling your time, and then using this as a lever to get more people on billable work and continue to sell their time.
You maybe get some IP developed, you start to resell some software packages, and you tighten up the sales processes. Sounds easy, but its actually pretty hard.
It takes a lot of time, a lot of work, and a lot of hard knocks, and a lot of risk. In fact, there are already several thousand people in your market who have had the same standard, following the same trends.
So the odds are against your success.
Particularly if you are not able to transfer your extra-ordinary attributes to the people that you hire in some fashion. (But it is possible; I intend to be doing this in the New Year actually)
There is another way. My experience to date has convinced me that the lower risk route to wealth as a consultant, and increased discretionary time…is as an independent sole consultant!
This is explained more fully in email # 5 in the Street Smart Consulting series. But in summary if you stay in the model of selling hours in exchange for money then you are unlikely to be wealthy, and extremely likely to be worked to exhaustion.
But as you move away from billing for time or activity, you immediately start to become more profitable, and immediately start to have more discretionary time available to you.
Sounds great, but how can we do this?
Let’s start with what we know. You are a consultant. That means that in some way or other, you have built the trust in the marketplace to a point where companies will pay a fee to have access to your ability to deliver value.
So if you look back at the Consulting Cash Flow quadrant, we see immediately that all of the movements away from time or activity billing is based on giving clients other ways of accessing the value that you offer.
If this is going to be successful then you need to have a strong brand, created and reinforced through the techniques of Street Smart Marketing, and you need to have a resounding IP protection strategy.
Spend a day a week, or at least a few hours a week developing IP. Get it protected appropriately. Use trust to develop gravity pulling revenue towards you. And then leverage this to sell additional products, services and so on.
When you speak all of these should be available, in some fashion, at the back of the room. In particular – the time leveraging services. (For speaking events these often work very well)
- However, remember that none of this is going to be possible if your IP can easily and legally be stolen copied or mimicked.
- It is not going to be possible if your brand is not based on trust and is not able to draw revenue towards you.
- And it will not be possible if everything you offer isn’t extra-ordinary.
If they don’t then you need to scrap the project and start again. Why?
Obviously it isn’t extra-ordinary. And no matter how much IP you have in place, or how much your brand is supported by trust, you are not going to be able to leverage it as much as you should do.
In fact, it could even damage you…and not just in the business sense.