Updated: Mar 6, 2022
Hey what's up consultant friends and colleagues? I know I can use some momentum to get through the weeks and months ahead and I'm sure you can use that too so I hope this message is helpful to do that.
Say "yes" to more projects you can be great at and "no" to those you can't
The message is, “leave space to do your greatest work”. And I say that because many times as consultants, we feel that we have to book several clients and have many projects going so that we feel like we're really making an impact on the bottom line.
But I'd like us to think about that a little bit differently. I'd like us to leave space to do our greatest work. And that may mean saying “no” to more projects and saying “no”, especially to those projects where we'd probably do very average work.
That then leaves the space for us to say “yes”, maybe to less projects, but those ones that we can really get the best, greatest results in. Then, you know how it works, referrals are like our lifeline in this business and you do get referred when you deliver great results. People mention your name to people in their circle and, many times, to people in their circle who are going to be a good fit for you.
How personal brand building can help us do our greatest work as a consultants
The process of intentionally building and managing our personal brands is critical in helping us to leave space to do our greatest work, in at least three ways.
Clarity about our expertise, and what we bring to the table
First, it offers us clarity about our set of values, our process and our philosophy. This takes a lot of introspection, self-evaluation and external evaluation from clients and friends but clarity about who you are, what you do and who you serve best at any point of your career is absolutely essential to real progress. In fact, I'd argue it's critical in understanding what progress looks like for you.
Focus on what we do best
Secondly, defining our personal brand is an intentional process that helps us focus. Honing in on what we're best at; what we consistently deliver excellent results in and for whom we do that helps us to allocate our energy and our resources in the right places, avoiding wasted time and money.
Creating standards for what, how, when and where we communicate
And the third thing is standards. Our standards are our personal norms and they ought to be guided by our values. Standards give us a benchmark for how, when, what and where we communicate, how we do what we do and how we present ourselves when we do it. Standards like the way we dress, our logos and colour palettes help to set us apart from competitors in visual spaces. And of course, perhaps more importantly, our standards set the mark for what we choose to be aligned with or not aligned with. They give us a guideline to consistently deliver and showcase our values and personal philosophy. That also sets us apart from competitors.
Your personal brand framework is powerful for decision-making
So those three areas defined through a personal brand framework help us to know when to say “yes” or very importantly when to say “no”. That helps us to leave space to do your greatest work. And, you know, doing our greatest work is really the thing that impacts the bottom line.
Now I understand that sometimes it may feel like, “I'm not doing anything, I'm being lazy, I don't have enough going on”, but no, you leave that space and you stay in your preparation mode. You understand what your values are, you're clear, you're focused, you have your standards, and you can seek out the work that you can do best.
During that period, you can also share and educate in the areas where you can offer the best value to your audience, those people that you can work with and deliver the best results for.
You may say this sounds silly but you will attract the right work with this approach.
So yeah, that's the message. "Leave space to do your greatest work" because listen, we need to be doing great work. That's our work.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Email me with your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.