One of the options available in your business is to take your valuable expertise and step into the role of a consultant.
Being a consultant is essentially taking what you know and appropriately applying it to the client’s situation to give informed advice.
When I work with a client to build revenue in their business, or even to determine what business they want to start, I always turn the process at some point to leverage.
The idea of leverage is pretty simple: how do you make use of what and who you already know? In the context of skills and experience, what is it in that mix that you can utilize for your and your business’ best advantage?
One way to do that is to become a consultant.
You may already have built a lot of expertise in your career. Any job you have ever had has allowed you to learn and to apply what you know.
When you have developed a broad perspective, by multiple roles within an organization or by moving to different organizations, and also by extensive experience, either by years or by variety, you bring a unique perspective.
That background is a good foundation to the consultant role.
If you have an interest in teaching and giving advice, and either have or want to develop the confidence to do so, you may be able to work as an independent consultant.
If you are someone who has worked in the corporate setting for years, even if you are ready to retire from that environment, you may well have the capacity to take on this role. You can build an entire business around it.
Consulting back to your former corporate colleagues also has the added benefit of being well compensated. Like any business, as long as you add value, you can continue to grow your business in that role.
Being a consultant requires a high level of people skills. Relationships are part of the consulting process, both in terms of obtaining and delivering necessary information and advice. One of the challenges in consulting is that you have no direct authority, yet you want people to listen to your advice and act. Something is demanded of you in those relationships: to know yourself and be authentic.
That place of authenticity is the perfect place to come from to enact another aspect of a consultant’s role: to influence. When people know that you are real, that you are being present to them and their situation, your power to influence greatly expands.
Like any good teacher, part of your role as a consultant is to build your client’s capacity to make assessments and answer their questions on their own. You’re teaching them how to eventually become independent of your advice.
Consulting is a way to be helpful, to show others a way through their challenges. It is a way to use what you know to make things easier for others.
Peter Block, the guru of consulting, once wrote: "Consulting at its best is an act of love".
What an amazing way to be in your work. Will it be your way?