With more and more people losing their jobs in this economy, more people are considering consulting as their next step. I just finished reading The Millionaire Messenger by Brendan Burchard and wanted to share what I learned from it.
Essentially, the book teaches you how to find what you’re passionate about helping people with, and how to start consulting or coaching in that field. Burchard provides some great questions to get your gears turning.
The section I really enjoyed was “The Messenger Mindset.” Just because you like talking about management, accounting or marketing doesn’t mean you’ll be a great consultant in the field. Burchard’s Mindsets are as follows (with my own adaptation thrown in):
1. My life experience, message and voice are valuable. I know that early on, I thought, “I’m not an expert. Who would pay me for marketing consulting?” And sure, there were people who know loads more than me. But that didn’t stop me from working to become an expert in marketing. I (and you) have to believe that what I have to share with people is unique and valuable; otherwise, I won’t succeed as a consultant.
2. If I don’t know it or have it, I will go learn it or create it. I love this Mindset! I’m notorious for saying, “I never say no.” (In a good way, that is.) If it’s a project Egg doesn’t have experience in, we learn it or hire someone who knows how to do it. Being open to new areas lets you expand into new fields. You might even discover something you love to do above all else.
3. I will not let my small business make me small-minded. Many newbie small business owners start out thinking they’ll get rich with their small business. Then they don’t, and they become disappointed. There’s nothing wrong (and everything right) with setting your sights high. Just keep realistic expectations and have a backup plan. But don’t let being small keep you from bidding on big projects!
4. Student first, teacher second, servant always. Never, ever stop learning. It’s what makes you an expert. Burchard says you should read at least a book a month on your topic of expertise, and interview 10 people in your topic each year to stay on top of things. Read magazines and blogs. The teaching part should come naturally if you’re a consultant. And as for being a servant, keep in mind your goal: to help others by using your knowledge.
If you’re considering consulting as a career, check out The Millionaire Messenger and let me know what you think!