You don’t have to run a consulting firm, you know. You could return to a corporate role or enter an entirely different profession like law, accounting or dairy farming.
If you’re going to lead a consulting practice, consulting should make you happy. Just sayin’.
Most consultants I encounter seem to enjoy the profession. After all, it’s easy enough to leave if you don’t like it.
With a couple of small tweaks, running your consulting firm could provide daily doses of good cheer and could enable an (even more) fulfilling life.
I’m not saying every day will be unicorns, rainbows and cheese that magically lowers your cholesterol; but, an overall preponderance of smiles is a reasonable daily goal. Let’s go for that.
10 Rules to be Happier as a Consulting Firm Leader
1. Create Long-Term Congruence
Align your consulting firm with your broader, long-term, personal goals.
2. Calibrate the Work to Your Preferences
Consider how work-related factors affect your happiness (e.g., amount of interaction, types of tasks, level of stability vs. growth, financial needs), then tune your workday to maximize those factors.
3. Embrace Growth
Instead of bemoaning the parts of the job you don’t like, embrace them as an opportunity to stretch yourself and grow.
4. Start and End Happy
Consulting is more likely to support your good cheer if you’re already in high spirits.
Create habits that help you start and end each day, week, quarter and year happy, like keeping a gratitude journal or reflecting on your progress.
5. Put Basic Engines in Place
Reduce the stress of attracting clients and producing outputs.
When you invest in your delivery and business development engines, the payback is a more lucrative practice and a boost to your daily joy.
6. Share the Burden
Create a cadre of cheerleaders who will give you an energy jolt if your juice is low.
Also tap into an outside advisor, mentor or coach who can guide you and give you perspective on difficult or discouraging situations based on experience.
7. Choose Great Clients and Colleagues
Why work hand in hand with people who are rude, surly, unappreciative, or don’t like ice cream?
It’s your firm. You get to accept or decline prospective clients and colleagues.
8. Give What You Want to Receive
You get an endorphin kick when you’re the beneficiary of upbeat, kind, generous behavior.
Model those traits for the people you work with throughout your workday, and you’ll enjoy more in return. *
9. Stay Right-Side Up
If your focus is primarily on yourself, your firm and your solutions, you’ll eventually find your practice unfulfilling and a grind.
Be more enthralled by the problem you solve and the people you serve than by your solution or your consulting firm. That way you’ll constantly making your clients’ lives better and yourself happier.
10. What Else?
What makes you happy and/or what rule should we add to the list?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.