Consulting Best PracticesRisk Management

The Top 3 Mistakes Consultants Make

Before Sharlyn Lauby became a consultant, which was quite a while ago now, she spoke to many different consultants about their successes and failures. She learned that failures tend to fall into one of three categories. In a post at her blog, she reveals these sources of consulting woe.

Where Mistakes Happen

  1. The consultant
  2. The money
  3. The lifestyle

These categories sound pretty vague, but there is an underlying reasoning. For “the consultant,” there are a couple issues. Firstly, you need to be able to establish credibility for yourself and that consulting is your “real job.” Secondly, you need to remember to invest in yourself. This means constantly taking the time to keep networking, even when you are in the middle of a particularly lucrative gig, and also taking steps to further increase your skills or knowledge, such as attending a class. The big mistake here is to not be always looking forward to the actions that will sustain and augment your consulting career into the future.

The second mistake is more straightforward; consulting does not promise a steady salary, so if you do not budget your money properly, it will quickly come back to haunt you. Budgeting is crucial if you want to keep a roof over your head. The last mistake then is letting yourself get caught up in the inherent flexibility of consulting, as in letting work take over your life. Lauby goes on to say:

And the reality is, consulting can be a lonely occupation. You don’t spend every day all day with people. That’s not to say you won’t be busy. You will have clients who expect you to be on call 24/7/365. No kidding – I know a consultant who said his business partner was once called out of the shower to answer a question.

You can also consume a lot of time traveling. Some people love travel. Others hate it, especially if you have kids or family obligations that prevent you from spending time at home.

You can read the original post here:

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