Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC,
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
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My consulting career is going pretty well, with a full book of business and a growing staff. It does occupy a lot of time and there are times when I feel like I am giving up on other experiences. Does consulting preclude other activities?
Consulting can be time consuming, but doesn't have to overwhelm other aspects of your professional life. In its traditional form, consulting involves building relationships, developing professional skills and technology, and applying them through time spent solving problems. As a professional who brings together experience, skills and perspective, it doesn't have to all be time intensive one-on-one consultation with a client.
There are a range of opportunities to use your expertise in other ways:
- Writing - Take on a column, blog, book, white paper, etc. to bring new perspective to your practice, build your visibility and create some lasting value from your expertise.
- Speaking - At any level, speak to trade associations, business or consulting conferences, or to community groups about topics related to your area of expertise.
- Research - Conduct some data collection, surveys, analysis or other approach to generating new information about your area of expertise or interest.
- Volunteering - Give back to your community by offering your management and consulting skills to local nonprofit organizations.
- Productizing - Turn your expertise into tangible products such as book or DVD "how to" guides.
- Starting Another Business - There is no reason why you can't extend your work into nonconsulting businesses related to your area of expertise, as long as you manage conflicts of interest.
- Partnering With Other People - Find individuals with whom you have not worked before and who you respect to develop new partnerships with, getting out of your comfort zone and perhaps discovering a new way of practicing your consulting.
Any of these approaches are ways to freshen your consulting business and develop some new approaches outside of the traditional day to day advice business. © 2008 Institute of Management Consultants USA