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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #68: May, 2009

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  1. If consultants—anywhere—are more successful than you in your areas of expertise, find out what the distinctions are and replicate those that you can control. You many not be able to equal a larger staff, but you can certainly publish where they do or add additional services that are not labor intensive.
  2. I have never seen a consulting "credential" that any legitimate buyer ever cared about, which is why SAC does not suggest or encourage "SAC" after your name, but rather offers board approvals which are standing testimonials from delighted clients. Under "credential," I'm including MBA and PhD, unless they are intrinsically tied to your specialty, and certainly all professional association designations. (I hold CSP, CMC, CPAE, PhD—and that would look idiotic on a business card.)
  3. Stop worrying about what you have to produce or deliver in a week or a month. Instead, focus on what you need to do TODAY to make that happen. In that way, you have a tangible, short-term focus on achievable goals. You don't write a book "due on September 1" to the publisher. You write five pages between 2 and 3 today.
  4. You can spend more time worrying about backing-up your data than you can recreating it. Get an automatic system and an external driver, or a web-based central storage area. Then get on with your life. You're not flying an airplane requiring four, redundant backups. If your house and office blow up, you've got other things to worry about than your calendar for July.
  5. You need to be fit, mentally and physically, to do well today. There is substantial potential for stress and duress. Take time out to enjoy yourself, workout with an expert (if you don't know how to do so yourself), and laugh a lot. Stress is an effect. You have to remove the cause.
  6. Here's a rough rule-of-thumb: If you're spending more than one hour a day, cumulatively, on social media, then you're probably wasting a lot of time. Imagine what five hours spend on writing a book, self-development, finding speaking opportunities, or calling leads would do? For every person claiming (and I'm skeptical) they're finding business in social media, there are a hundred thousand who aren't.
  7. If you want to try your hand in a city outside of your country where your expertise may be well received, try the following:
    • A current client with overseas operations
    • A local consultant there who would collaborate (perhaps within SAC)
    • A local management consulting or speaking association
    • A trade association that would sponsor you
  8. With current cutbacks in newspapers, weekly business publications are probably better bets for publishing for you than business sections of traditional dailies, which have eviscerated business coverage.
  9. Offer a free day or two to high quality, high potential prior clients who are having legitimate troubles in tough times. Whether or not they accept, you'll have made a great future investment.
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