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He Makes $100M/Year, and Will Transform Your Consulting Firm

Can a 25 year-old help you build a more successful consulting firm?

In the case of Jimmy Donaldson, the answer is Yes.

Donaldson doesn’t know much (or, perhaps, anything) about consulting.

However, anyone who started at zero and now brings in well over $100M/year has learned a thing or two that could apply to your consulting firm.

Jimmy Donaldson, better known as “Mr. Beast,” may not be a familiar name to you, but he’s one of the most successful YouTubers on the planet. (He also sells a line of chocolate, so obviously he’s thinking in the right direction.)

Fortunately, he shares his thoughts about his path to social media royalty in numerous interviews.

I gleaned a wealth of insights from various interviews with Donaldson—including valuable takeaways from colossal failures such as his ill-fated venture into hamburger restaurants.

Below, I’ve highlighted a handful of my favorite lessons from Mr. Beast that could significantly benefit your consulting firm. (No crazy videos, don’t-try-this-at-home stunts or million-dollar giveaways required.)

7 Lessons for Successful Consulting (from Mr. Beast)

Study Your Market Relentlessly

Donaldson meticulously examined every aspect of a YouTube posting.

All his study focused on one variable: impact on the market; i.e., what drove more viewership.

Gift your consulting firm the same, unrelenting dedication to market insight. Rather than intuiting your prospects wants or letting your experience guide you, test your way to deep understanding.

Hand Off Everything

Donaldson plowed so many hours of study into exactly how to edit a video to maximize viewership, that he thought he was the only one who could (and should) edit his videos.

Along the way to $100M/year, he realized others could replicate his special talents.

Whatever your own rare, amazing talent is, there are others who can perform just as well as you. Perhaps even better. When you relinquish your sole ownership of every aspect of your consulting firm, you unleash enormous opportunity for yourself and your consulting firm to grow.

Invest in Growth

Donaldson is almost legendary in the YouTube world for how much money he doesn’t have. During most of his journey, he has funneled virtually every dollar of revenue from each video into creating the next one.

Each dollar (or euro or peso) of gross margin can either fund the growth of your consulting firm or the owners’ lifestyle. Both routes are legitimate choices, but it’s a zero-sum decision.

If you want to maximize your firm’s growth, you will need to invest in growth and forego some lifestyle rewards for the short term. You can survive on Toblerone rather than Teuscher for a few years.

Hang Out with the Right People

Donaldson credits his relatively rapid rise as a YouTuber to the squad of friends/advisors he assembled early on.*

He points to self-proclaimed gurus who offer advice based on very little actual experience or research. Instead of listening to them, he partnered only with people willing to invest the necessary effort required to truly know what works, what doesn’t work and why. 

Even though you’re smart and capable, your consulting firm will grow faster if you collaborate with people who are relentlessly devoted to the same goals as you.

Set Your Sights on the Long Term

Although Donaldson is only 25, he’s been uber-focused on producing YouTube videos for 13 years.

Overnight sensations never really appear overnight.

Create a vision for your consulting firm that stretches at least three years into the future. Five, ten or even fifty years is even better. Then invest with that time frame in mind.

Go Big

Donaldson has claimed, “It’s easier to get five million views on one video than 50,000 views on 100 videos.”

Similarly, it’s easier for your consulting firm to win a single, $500K project than to win fifty, $10K projects. Refine your target market to prospects who can afford projects large enough to be worth your while. Also, ensure you are proposing and pricing for big wins.

Obsess Over Improvement

Donaldson understands that not every video is going to be a winner. However, he learns from every success and every failure how he can improve his next post.

Don’t let perfectionism get in the way of delivering a good enough output to your clients.

At the same time, never rest on your laurels. Output your consulting firm considers outstanding today will be considered mediocre tomorrow by you, your competitors and your clients. Constantly learn and improve your offering.

Are there any lessons you’ve learned from successful people outside of consulting? Please share below.

  1. Brian Kelly
    March 6, 2024 at 8:14 am Reply

    In ‘The Founder’, the film about McDonalds restaurants, there are two great sets of lessons that I have incorporated into my consulting work.
    First, the brothers’ focus on operational excellence is inspiring. They achieve amazing results, in terms of customer experience, by constantly refining the rather mundane operations steps.
    Second, Ray Kroc brought a clean business model that energized an army of franchisees to drive fabulous business growth. The power of a (fairly simple and explainable) business model that incentivizes everyone in the system is unstoppable. When I see complexity in my clients I simplify and watch the motivation soar.

    • David A. Fields
      March 6, 2024 at 8:46 am Reply

      Those are two excellent lessons from successful outsiders, Brian. I love the focus on a simple business model and operational excellence. Plenty for us to learn there!

      Thanks for contributing to the article, Brian!

  2. Dr. Shay
    March 6, 2024 at 1:23 pm Reply

    These are some great points!! I have started focusing on high-dollar contracts and noticed that it gives me more time to build more robust offerings!

    • David A. Fields
      March 6, 2024 at 3:38 pm Reply

      Exactly right, Shantana. Also, congratulations on winning higher-fee contracts! Your experience mirrors that of most other firms–when you focus on larger sales, you can afford to develop more valuable outcomes.

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Shantana!

  3. Trow Trowbridge
    March 7, 2024 at 9:26 am Reply

    David, again your insights are amazing and the value you bring to us is truly mind-opening. It will take a while to digest/organize these nuggets. I commend for all, Daniel Priestley’s long form podcast guest appearances. He makes growth sound so predictable. Not simple. I love his quote that “business is a team sport”. Check it out. Easy to find on YT. Most recent appearance was on Diary of a CEO podcast.

    • David A. Fields
      March 7, 2024 at 11:19 am Reply

      Excellent suggestion, Trow. There is plenty of wisdom out there in the world, ripe for the plucking. Of course, the key is choosing a lesson or two then implementing them in your own practice. More than anything, that willingness to learn from others then execute based on the learning sets apart high-growth from low-growth consulting firms.

      I appreciate your kind words, Trow, and your joining the conversation!

  4. David Natalizia
    March 7, 2024 at 6:58 pm Reply

    Great insights! Fascinating how he is so willing to share his approaches – very instructive.

    • David A. Fields
      March 8, 2024 at 6:28 am Reply

      You’re right, David, that Donaldson appears to be generous across the board. He is generous with his knowledge, generous with his earnings and generous with his platform. He has used his virtually unparalleled social reach to create a charitable enterprise that amounts to crowd-funded acts of kindness around the world. Cool stuff.

      I’m glad you shared your reaction, David!

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