[Starting As a Consultant] Do You Have Commitment Issues?

I thought that I did. You see, when I started out (back in February 2000), I started out as a marketing consultant but I functioned more like a business problem solver (thanks to Alan Weiss). Marketing was too big to have a single focus. I wanted to experience consulting and figuring out how I could help before committing to what I’d do to help.You can do that too.If you’re just starting out, you don’t have to commit too soon. You can decide as you grow.Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits to having a niche focus, but doing so prematurely may not serve you as well. In your early days as a consultant, you’ll spend a lot of time understanding the problems and pains in the market place. You’ll spend time figuring out how you prefer to service them. You’ll get crystal clear about whom you don’t want to work with-this will be a natural progression.

Then, you’ll notice the patterns in the problems that you have solutions for. It won’t take long to see-you just need to be alert and notice them.This is where it pays to go against the grain a little because no matter how many times the gurus told me to choose a market [and stick to it] – I just couldn’t choose right away. I was like a kid in a candy store: I needed time to taste the market place; I needed time to find my flavor.When you find it, you know it because it tastes so good.You’ll go where you’re drawn. I started out in industries that I was very comfortable with or had some love for. I’ve worked with public schools, private schools, and universities. Why? Because I love education. I’m a student and a teacher-I connect well with them. I’ve worked for beauty salons and spas. Why? Because I love the world of service and beauty, and so that made it easy for me to speak their language. I’ve worked with builders and contractors. Why? Because my grandfather was a builder and I like the world of real estate, and so I was able to connect with them for those reasons.

You’ll have your reasons too. Will it be love at first sight? Who knows? Either way, you don’t have to marry the first market that you connect with-give it some time and you’ll find the right one.

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