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- Michael Zipursky Consultant, Author, & CEO of ConsultingSuccess.com

Day in the Life of a Successful Consultant

Day-In-Consulting-Life

I’ve been asked by several consultants in my coaching program how I get so much done?

I start the day with a clear plan. I have everything that needs to get accomplished during the day written down and I prioritize to start with the most important.

How I run two growing companies and manage to maintain freedom and a great lifestyle.

So before I share with you my thoughts on that, here’s what yesterday looked like for me, and it’s quite a typical day.

  • I’m up and at the gym just after 6am for a short morning workout.
  • Come back, breakfast, shower, refresh, and some morning reading.
  • We processed several thousand dollars in payments from clients.
  • Just before 8am I started to write two articles for ConsultingSuccess.com
  • Had a coaching call with a client in my coaching program.
  • Two sales calls. One new client signed up and the other will decide tomorrow.
  • Around noon I have a quick lunch.
  • For the next 1.5 hrs I was on a group coaching call with my clients.
  • Around 2pm I went for a swim.
  • At 3:15 I went for my one hour massage.
  • I called back a prospective client who joined my coaching program and processed their payment for several thousand dollars.
  • Throughout the day our businesses are making sales.
  • Around 6pm I sent a few more emails and wound the day down.
  • Had dinner and then read until 8pm.
  • Decided to watch a movie based on the true story of power, politics and crime in the Philippines.
  • Read in bed for 30-40mins before going to sleep.

Continue Reading

The Best Investment a Consultant Can Make

Best-Investment-Build-Your-Business

Where is the best place to invest your money to achieve the greatest return?

A regular savings account will offer you a paltry return.

You’re lucky if you can get a 2% return with a high-interest savings account. Most accounts will over 1.2-1.8%.

You can try to hold off investing in your business for as long as you can, just remember that the longer you do that, the longer it will take you to see BIG results.

With the current rate of inflation at 2%, your money, sitting in such a position is losing value rather than gaining value.

Next you might choose a conservative fund or some bonds and ‘rake in’ a 4% return. Nothing to get excited about.

Getting into the equity markets with stocks is where you’ll find the highest opportunity for a return. Most investors are jumping for joy to achieve a return greater than 12% consistently. Most aim for 10% and historical averages produce slightly less than that.

A Great Investing Lie

Here’s where things get interesting.

Let’s say you have $5000 to invest and you achieve a spectacular 12% return every year for 5 years. At the end of the fifth year, you’ll have turned the $5000 into $8,811.71

On average that means you’ll make $762.34 each year from your $5000 investment over the 5 years.

Does that sound exciting?

If you are looking to grow your consulting income and create more wealth for yourself and your family would you choose this investment strategy as your main one?

If you said, yes to either of these questions, you’re likely leaving a GREAT deal of money on the table. Continue Reading

On Growth and Stagnation

Growth-Or-Stagnation

If you want to be great, stop focusing on your weaknesses.

Each and every one of us has strengths and weaknesses.

Focusing on your strengths establishes a confident mindset filled with possibilities and opportunities.

Focusing on your weaknesses turns something weak into something average.

Focusing on your strengths turns something strong into something exceptional.

Our minds can only think one thought at a time.

Focusing on your weaknesses establishes a weak mindset filled with doubt and negativity.

Focusing on your strengths establishes a confident mindset filled with possibilities and opportunities. Continue Reading

Freedom and Lifestyle of Consulting

Lifestyle-Consulting

I took half of August off this summer and it was one of our company’s best months ever. That’s a great feeling.

During that time I had a good friend in town visiting from Europe. We went to a cabin in the forest for 3 days. Then camping in the mountains near Whistler with my wife, and a few days later we took a boat up the coast to spend four days at a beautiful suite we rented right on the ocean.

Another important factor is how you structure the way you work and how you set expectations for the project with your client.

Lifestyle of Consulting

The reason I’m telling you this is not to boast. It’s the lifestyle consulting can provide you with.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always like this. I put in many long days and still do sometimes when we’re gearing up for a big launch or new client program. Yet I’m able to work when I want, with whomever I want, and most of the work can be done from anywhere.

Earlier in the year I spent two weeks in Japan. And while I had two days I got up at 4am for client calls (because of the time change) the rest of the days were spent as they would be at my office.

Once you’re hired by your client, in the majority of cases you can do the work from anywhere, anytime, as long as the results and value produced are exceptional and that it’s all completed on time.

Freedom and lifestyle is one of the many reasons consultants get into this business. Yet, a great deal of them struggle to earn a significant income and they end up working far more hours than they would have at a 9-5 JOB.
Continue Reading

Inside the Diagram to Success

Chasing-Success

One of my coaching clients earned $823,000 last year. He has no employees or contractors working for him.

Another did $1.2M before we started working together and in one year grew the business to over $2.3M.

You’ll notice that people Chasing Success spend the majority of their time talking about their ideas.

Not all of my clients have revenues at that level. Many are doing $8k to $25k a month.

I’m honored to work with such dedicated professionals (here) to help them grow their businesses and achieve greater lifestyle and freedom.

One thing that I’ve noticed about the most successful consultants, regardless of their industry or country, is their approach and the way they take action.

It’s not so much about the marketing tactic they choose, it’s how they think about business and the mindset and habits they have. Continue Reading

7 Best Questions to Ask Consulting Clients

In my last video I shared 3 Questions NOT to Ask Consulting Clients.

In this video I share 7 of the Best Questions to Ask Consulting Clients.

Here are the 7 questions. Watch the video to find out why these questions are so powerful and how to use them:

“What is your number one priority for this business unit during this fiscal year?”

“What do you believe needs to be strengthened in order to support achieving this?”

“What options have you looked at to achieve this…?”

“Is there anything that you or your employees are doing that may be getting in the way of achieving this result?”

“What is unique about your business compared to your competitors?”

“What was the main reason that you wanted to meet with me?”

“Who will be making the final decisions on this project and who will be in charge of implementation?”

What questions have you found effective to ask clients? Share them in the comments below.

How to Gain Insight Into What Ideal Consulting Clients Really Want

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I was sitting at the edge of a long dock that extends from the suite I was staying at all the way to the ocean.

(I took the above photo when I walked back up the ramp to my suite…)

It was then I had the idea to launch a new service for consulting firm owners.

I learned many years ago that the worst thing I could do was jump right into the project. Instead I needed to find out whether the idea I had for this new service is what the market really wanted.

If you’re not reaching out to your ideal clients to learn what they really care about, you’re missing a great opportunity.

Did they care, or was simply something I thought was a good idea?

To answer that question I decided I’d send out a survey. I’ll share the results and what happened with you in just a minute.

This story is relevant to you even if you don’t have a list that you can send a survey to right away.

  • You can setup phone calls with past or current buyers.
  • Have phone calls with prospective buyers.
  • Run paid traffic to a survey.

When creating the survey it’s important that the questions you ask are the ones that will prove if your idea is worth pursuing or not.

I asked questions to find out what the biggest challenges this market was having and had them rank them in order of greatest importance.

Then I asked information that would give me a better picture of each response so that I could put their answers into context and segment them. This is important because not everyone’s response will carry the same weight – you have potential buyers and ideal buyers. Continue Reading

5 Types of Bad Consulting Clients and What To Do About Them

5-Bad-Clients-Consulting

We’ve all had bad consulting clients. It’s part of being in business. What’s most important is that you know how to identify the situation as quickly as possible, and resolve it.

Here are 5 types of bad clients consultants encounter:

1) The Line Crosser Client:

You know the one. The client that believes since they are paying you that they own all your time. They call you at all hours of the day and night and send you a barrage of emails and expect a response as soon as they’ve hit ‘send’.

Solution: Set clear boundaries from the outset. Let the client know what they can expect of you and what you expect from them to make the project a success. Establish a relationship as a trusted advisor, not servant at their beck and call. If you’ve failed to do this from the get go, let your client know that everything as agreed is moving forward with their project and that they don’t need to worry. And let them know that you have other clients and a business to run as well. Clarify the expectations.

One meeting they are thrilled with the work you’re doing and everything is going great in their business. The next time you walk into their office they act like the walls are falling down.

2) The Spellchecker Client:

These types of clients are such a nuisance. They are typically small minded and don’t see the bigger picture. They spend all of their time looking for the negative in every situation. They often mean well, their issue is that they are simply focusing on the wrong things.

Solution: If a client makes a comment, thank them for it, and let them know that you’re glad that 99% is where it needs to be and that both of you should stay focused on the most critical areas of the project. Because at the end of the day, a better result will be seen when everyone is focusing on the areas where the greatest value can be created. Not on small edge cases that don’t impact the project in any significant way.

3) The Mood Swing Client:

These kinds of clients are often uncomfortable to be around. You never know what they are going to say or do. One meeting they are thrilled with the work you’re doing and everything is going great in their business. The next time you walk into their office they act like the walls are falling down. These are the same type of clients that will say one thing and then do another. They make it hard to complete a project successfully, not for your lack of skill, rather because of their lack of focus and consistency. Continue Reading

Why This Consultant’s Workout Failed…

Consultants-In-The-Gym

I’m in the gym by 6am most days.

Not too long ago I saw one of my neighbors come in a few minutes after me.

I said “good morning!”

He looked surprised that I was there so early.

Don’t get caught up thinking a fancy plan with several pages is what you need.

At that time in the morning I’m focused on my workout. ‘Chatting’ isn’t on my list of priorities so I went back to my workout.

At about 6:30 I said “see you later” on my way to leave.

The following day I saw my neighbor again at the gym. And again he came in a few minutes after me.

This time as I was getting to leave around 6:30 (yes – my workouts are usually about 30 minutes long) and said “see you later” to my neighbor. He looked up and said “You’re done already? That’s quick.”

I responded, “Yeah, gotta keep it moving” and then got going.

My neighbor continued to come for a few more days and then he stopped showing up.

He’s around, there’s nothing wrong with his health. He simply ‘gave up’ on his routine.

This event reminded me of how consultants approach marketing…

Some show up, plan a big ‘workout’, do it for a short period of time and then give up.

You need to learn exactly what to do to get from where you are now to where you want to get to.

They fool themselves into believing that having some elaborate plan will help them be successful. Continue Reading

How Great Leaders Excel

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Have you ever felt that your lack of knowledge in a specific area is holding you back from attaining success?

I’m going to share with you a fascinating story on this point in just a moment.

Start learning everything you can about the area you want to improve in. Talk with people that have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

Have you ever had an opportunity, a project you really wanted to take on but didn’t, for fear that you weren’t knowledgeable enough?

Well then, let me introduce you to Joe Jimenez. Joe is the CEO of Novartis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

I read about his story in a great book “Future Thinkers” published by McGraw Hill and authored by Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove.

Mr. Jimenez faced a huge challenge when he took a leadership role at the giant pharma company – he wasn’t a scientist.

Now, just imagine that. Here is a man with no science background tasked with leading the strategy of a global $220 Billion science based company.

To become successful in his position, here’s what Joe Jimenez did:

He clearly understood it was critical that he learn as much as possible about the science part of their business, from medicines and molecules to mechanisms. Continue Reading