When I left my mid-sized consulting firm two years ago to start my own practice, I knew it meant more time on administration and marketing. However, I did not count on the amount of time required to forge a new brand, especially when the nature of consulting is undergoing (another) big shift. I am a little overwhelmed with the new research, new marketing, new services, etc. Am I making too big a deal of this?
You feel what every small firm consultant who wants to pursue, or is being pushed into, a new market is experiencing. Some felt this a year ago; others will feel it over the coming year. This disruption can be paralyzing, given all that has to be done to maintain your skills, divine future markets, and compete with other consultants also expanding their services. It varies by industry whether managers see consultants as expenses they can't afford, replacements for staff they can't afford to hire, or essential sources of expertise they can't do without. Each circumstance has its own pressures on suggesting that we need to work harder to keep up.
What you can do is to not get overwhelmed with the amount of things you could do. If you don't remember it, read A.A. Milne's poem "The Old Sailor" to get some perspective on what happens when you are so engrossed with everything you could do and don't step back and do what you need to do. In your case, consider cutting out half of your to do list (or whatever amount is needed to leave you with a solid work week). What did you cut out that you really needed to do this week? Tip:
There is a saying, "If you want a job done, give it to a busy person." This is not to suggest that you are not busy, but there is something about a full, well-managed schedule that prevents the less important tasks from even getting on your to do list. Be ruthless with new tasks - only accept jobs from yourself that have a definitive ROI for your business.© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA