You deserve congratulations for your accomplishments so far. Your consulting firm, whether big or small, thriving or struggling, is a manifestation of your intention and commitment to create value for others. Could you achieve more?
Much, much more?
Common wisdom and common sense point you toward a simple maxim: build on your success.
That sensible guidance will lead you and your consulting firm to better outcomes.
Stop. Put ‘er in park and drop your creamsicles, because “build on your success” is also extraordinarily misleading and will rob your consulting firm of its greatest feats.
That’s because success isn’t a game of accumulation, as in, “Whoever collects the most chocolate chips, wins.”
Success is a game of renewal and replacement.
The “winner” parlays her chocolate chips, through a series of persistent trades, missteps, sidesteps, backpedaling, and leaps forward into a chocolate factory. (And, along the way, drags many others into the glory of cacao-rich success.)
We’re talking about transformation.
Businesses with physical requirements—professional basketball, for instance, may be out of reach. However, you’re in consulting, and consulting is a mental game. There is nothing stopping your consulting firm from learning and then helping clients in an entirely new area.
Your inner critic may be protesting right now. “We can’t just transform. My consulting firm offers leadership development. We can’t suddenly become Salesforce.com consultants.”
You are, of course, quite right. Because of one word: “Suddenly.” Take that word out of your mental pushback and your objection evaporates.
“But I’m already <fill in your age> year’s old,” you self-righteously counter, “and we employ <fill in your FTEs> people.”
Change is hard, scary and intimidating. The amount of time required to learn new skills may alarm you. So what?
If you really wanted to, you could become a physician, architect, or chocolatier now, no matter what your age. (A few of you already are!) Grandma Moses, whose 25-year painting career produced works valued at well over $1 million, started painting when she was 76 years old.
Yes, the bigger your consulting firm, the harder, and slower it is to alter course. Again, so what?
Ray Kroc changed the nature and fortunes of his firm when he was 60 and had already franchised 200 McDonalds. At that point, he wasn’t making any money. So, in his seventh decade, Kroc pivoted McDonalds to real-estate and the business took off.
To make room for your next great success, your first step may prove to be the most difficult of your entire journey:
Consultants are intellectual (and emotional) hoarders. Individuals and consulting firms clamp onto their past with beartrap intensity. After all, you are where you are because of where you’ve been.
You never need to forget what you’ve learned; however, you may have to surrender your notion that what you’ve learned is right or true.
Grant your consulting firm the opportunity to vault to a higher plane of eminence and fortune by easing your iron grip on… well, quite a lot, actually.
10 Achievements You Can Make Room for by Letting Go
Below are nine amazing and worthwhile achievements. And each requires you to let go of something you value dearly.
Click the plus sign on each achievement, to see what you’ll need to release.
What else do you believe people need to let go of in order to succeed?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.