Unprofessional Professional: Part 2


I shared some thoughts on what makes an Unprofessional Professional in Part 1. I’ve since seen and thought about other qualities that make a professional, well, unprofessional.

Here’s one: Running away from something when it’s hard or when you’re scared.

The unprofessional let’s things slide and does their best to hide when the situation gets uncomfortable for them.

A prospective client asks you a question, you give them an answer. It turns out to be incorrect. Do you just leave it and hope that it goes away. Or do you let them know that you were mistaken, expose your error and offer them the correct response?

If you’re discussing making a deal with someone, you agree that they should call you back a specific time and then have second thoughts, what do you do? Do you let the phone ring when they try to call you and not answer it? Do you ignore their emails and tell yourself you’ll pretend that you never saw them? Or do you pick up the phone, because you agreed that you would at that specific time and tell them that you’re having second thoughts and explain why?

Both of these examples may seem inconsequential.

“It’s just a small mistake” you say.

“It won’t hurt anyone”…”it’s just a phone call” you tell yourself.

Well, that’s the attitude of an Unprofessional Professional.

The problem is that every time you let something “small” slide it adds up. It gathers and then one day starts to creep up on you.

Because when you don’t follow through and do what you said you would, people talk. Continue Reading

5 Insights Into the Role of a Consultant


A colleague and client, Andreas Dittrich in Germany attended an event where two professors and a typical client of his industry got to together to discuss the role of a consultant. Below I’ve adapted the key lessons Andreas shared with me in an email:

1. The three most important characteristics constituting a consultant’s brand are: first of all the value created for his client, followed by his visibility and reputation. Creating value is the central momentum from which everything else emanates.

You can strategically position your fees to remove or eliminate any doubt or hesitation a buyer may have in working with you.

2. Specialization is the essence of proper positioning. When asked why she (HR Manager) contracted a consultant the answer was a) the guy had good references b) he had stayed persistently “close to the ball” over a considerable period of time and – that above all – he was in a position deliver the “tailor-made suit” needed at that time.

3. How to find the right consultant? “Whenever we need a consultant for our business or a project, I call a colleague in the same industry and ask how he/she solved that problem and who supported them”. Referrals through a network are the most important source for consultancy contracts since they may minimize the risk of grabbing the wrong one, enhancing the chances of getting things done and solved. Continue Reading

How Much Time Do You Have Left?


Are you making the most of the time?

Make the most of your time. Decide what you want and give your all to it. Don’t waste time. Don’t over think things.

The average North American lives about 80 years.

Europeans and Canadians live longer than Americans generally. Asians, except for a few countries like Japan, Korea and Singapore, and Africans shorter yet.

If we use the N. American average of 80 years, that’s a total of 29,220 days on this earth.

That’s 701,280 hours.

But that’s total hours. If you’re up at 6am and sleeping by 11pm, you’re awake for 17 hours per day.

The hours you have left have now gone down to 496,740.

If you’re 40 years old, that number drops to 248,370 hours. And that’s more like the equivalent of 10,348 days (at 17 waking hours).

The clock is ticking my friend and you can’t stop it. Continue Reading

How to Do More of What You Love


In my coaching for consultants program one exercise I get my students to go through looks at passion and specialization.

That’s why it’s important that you’re passionate about, or at minimum enjoy, the work you’re doing and the specialization you’ve chosen.

One of the main reasons you likely became a consultant is to enjoy the freedom and lifestyle it provides. And to be your own boss and to have more fun.

Yet, I’ve found that many consultants aren’t doing what they should be.

They happen to be in an area of consulting that they don’t really enjoy. And that’s a problem.

You’re going to spend a lot of time writing, researching, speaking on and just being ‘in’ your area of focus if you want to become known as an expert in it.

That’s why it’s important that you’re passionate about, or at minimum enjoy, the work you’re doing and the specialization you’ve chosen.

Why Have a Specialization?

Put yourself in your client’s shoes. If they’re a food manufacturer and their biggest problem right now is sales…what type of consultant do you think would get their attention and interest more….a general sales consultant with a proven track record, or sales consultant that specializes in working with food companies and manufacturers who also has a solid track record?

When the client visits the first consultant’s website they see information and articles about sales. When they visit the second consultant’s website they see articles about sales in their specific industry.  Continue Reading

The REAL Truth About Productivity for Consultants


Interview Transcript (Draft)

Mike Zipursky:  Hi everyone.  It’s Michael Zipursky of Consulting Success.  In today’s consulting interview we have Karyn Greenstreet with us.

Karyn is the founder of Passion for Business where she works with small businesses to help them with business strategy and to grow their revenues.  She also teaches people how to create mastermind groups.  I’m looking forward to this interview, so Karyn, a big welcome.

Karyn Greenstreet:  Great.  Thank you, Michael.  Glad to be here.

Mike Zipursky:  Yeah.  Let’s go back.  You started your career as an instructional designer.  What does that even mean and what were you doing?

Karyn Greenstreet:  Well, I had parallel careers in my life.  I’ve always been self-employed either part-time or full-time, even when I was in college, to help pay for college expenses, and when I got out of college I started my own business and at the same time had a corporate career.  In my corporate career, I was an instructional designer and basically what that means is I designed classes for corporations.  I worked a lot in the software industry in over about a 20-year period, worked my way up to become International Director of Education for a software company.  That was a pretty good run and during that time I had to learn a lot also about consulting because part of what I was doing was asking a lot of consulting questions in order to know what kind of training program to design for someone, and then to realize whether training was even what they needed or not needed.  Maybe they needed a different solution.

Continue Reading

Productivity Tip for Consultants to Get More Done Now


You may have heard what I’m about to tell you before. But I know that few have actually implemented this technique in their lives and business.

When you create your plan for the week, make sure that you’re putting priority on the actual items that when completed will help you get closer to your goals.

I want to help you make this week one of your most productive weeks yet. So that you can look back at the end of the week and think, “Wow! I got so much done this week.”

We both know that’s a great feeling. The sense of accomplishment and progress that comes from getting things done.

So before I share with you this very powerful technique, let me first give you a word of advice.

Avoid These Items

Ticking off a bunch of ‘to-do’ items on your list is great. However, if those items aren’t actually going to help you move your business forward, you’ve really just wasted your time and energy.

When you create your plan for the week, make sure that you’re putting priority on the actual items that when completed will help you get closer to your goals.

What does a priority item look like? Continue Reading

The Power of Subtracting: How to Get More Done


Do you know the big secret about the FedEx logo?

It’s actually not much of a secret anymore. The logo has won over 40 design awards.

The idea of removing things to get better results may seem counter-intuitive to some.

Something was removed from the FedEx logo which gives it more meaning, symbolism and has made it a center of conversation for years.

If you don’t know about the arrow, look between the E and the X.

So why am I talking about the FedEx logo?

I was recently reading The Laws of Subtraction by Matthew E. May.

The cornerstone of the book is that by selectively removing things the results we produce become more powerful.

And that’s exactly the case with the FedEx logo. It had to be altered. Part of it removed in order to create that arrow.

The idea of removing things to get better results may seem counter-intuitive to some.

In this day and age, you don’t hear about subtraction. Everyone is talking about more, more, more!

More choices, more options and more value than ever before.

We buy new clothes, books, furniture, electronics, tools…you get the idea. Continue Reading

Action Not Smarts


The other day my friend asked me why one of his friends, we’ll call him Jay, is so successful.

It seems everything Jay touches turns to gold.

Every business he’s started becomes a money maker. From investments and real estate… to media and retail. In each case Jay has made a small fortune.

Whether success means landing more clients, growing your investments or increasing your income, the fastest way to get there is by taking action.

What my friend was asking however, wasn’t really why Jay was so often successful. Rather, why Jay, with little formal education and less ‘smarts’ than my friend could be such a success. My friend on the other hand has more education and sees himself as more a professional than Jay.

As I thought about my friend’s question and all of the successful people I know and have interviewed the answer became clear.  Continue Reading

Drop the “Summer” Excuse

No Excuse Summer Time

“The summer time must be slow in your business” is a common phrase.

Yet it’s one that does a great deal of harm to consultants.

Not because business is slow, but because people are led to believe that there is no point to market their services during this time of year…

For the vast majority of executives and business owners around the world, business doesn’t stop just because the weather warms up.

…And that any attempt to do so would be futile.

Unless you’re in school, work for a school board or are in the Government; business doesn’t stop in the summer. Continue Reading

Former Banker Lands 2 Clients and $60,228 in First Two Weeks as a Consultant


I got this email the other day…

Hello Michael,

I just wanted to say thank you for your website, your expertise and your [Consulting Success System] Course! I just launched my consulting company, specializing in sales consulting, and I just landed my second 12-month consulting contract today [worth  $60,288]. :-)

You guidance is great and the crazy part is, I haven’t even finished your [course] yet because I’ve been busy with work. (Which isn’t a bad thing. Lol.) I was able to implement some of your advice right away, and it already has shown a very nice ROI. THANK YOU!!

Matthew Feltner, Founder

I love getting emails from people that have put the strategies I teach to work in their business. And this one from Matthew made my day.

So I reached out to Matthew to find out more about his background and what he’s been doing.

After getting the Consulting Success System 2.0 not only did Matthew get 2 client projects worth over $60K, he did that in his first 2 weeks in the business. Continue Reading

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