I now know how Voldermort feels.
When I talk about what I do, people are excited. They see how they could really use someone like me to help them fix their business processes and make some progress on their big projects they can’t seem to get around to. But then, I hand them my business card, and they see my title (Operational Consultant) and their face melts into a puddle of horror and my card bursts into flames in the palm of their hand. They drop it on the floor, scarred both physically and emotionally, and stomp out the flames before running away, screaming.
Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration.
BUT – a look of skepticism comes across their face. And in that moment, I know that everything I just told them, everything they just felt, is tainted.
It’s this scary word – CONSULTANT. It must never be uttered in small business circles, for all who are Consultants will be exiled.
I’ve started asking people about this word. What does it mean to them? Why do they get a bad feeling when they see it? It all comes down to one thing:
CONSULTANTS ARE OUT TO TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE YOU WITH NOTHING.
This situation would be a critical blow to a small business, where every dollar is hard-earned and every decision carries risk. I get it. Traditional Consultants (think Don Cheadle in House of Lies) do tend to focus on billable hours and ripping sick decks.
Well look out everyone, there is a new breed of Consultants, and WE DON’T SUCK!
I am a Consultant. I help you fix your problems, and then I skedaddle. That doesn’t mean that I’m not committed to your success, that I don’t care about your organization, it just means that I work for myself and know that you don’t need me full time. I do project-based work, and I do it on my terms, and I do it for a fair price. I’m proud to be a Consultant, and I know a lot of entrepreneurs share these philosophies.
So please, don’t fear me. I’m not a corporate giant knocking at your door like the big bad wolf, I’m a talented, one-woman shop with lots to offer. And yes, I’m a Consultant, and it may take a while for you to be able to say that you hired a Consultant without a chill in your bones. But you’ll be happy when I leave and your organization has achieved a goal, fixed a process or launched a product, and you won’t have paid a full-time salary for it!