Consulting Failures and How to Overcome Them

I live a few blocks from the ocean. Each weekend, when the sun is shining I run along the city's seawall.
In business, especially during the early days as a consultant, you will face challenges. What you go up against won't always be comfortable.
I go for about 10km each time. I don't consider myself a 'runner', as most of the runs I do at the gym every day are only 15 minutes - which at the pace I run gets a nice sweat going. However, there is something about getting out into the sunshine, music playing and running along the ocean - it's a great feeling. The other day while running I almost fell down. (There is a business lesson here that applies directly to consultants, so stay with me...) As I was running I started to get some pain in my knee. I get it from time to time, and it's one of the reasons I've never got "fully into running." I slowed my pace a bit hoping that it would ease. A couple minutes later the discomfort was still there... As I continued to run my knee felt as if it would give out on me. Now I had to make a choice. I could stop running and walk back.Β Take a break and try to stretch it out and see if that would help, or I could adjust my pace as needed and try to keep going. As all this was going through my mind I couldn't help but think how similar this situation was to what I see many business owners experience. My decision: I kept running. Varying my pace to adjust for how my knee felt. I wasn't comfortable the whole time. But knowing that I was committed to finishing what I started, allowed me to enjoy the run (even with the discomfort at times).
In fact, you should prepare for the uncomfortable.
Near the end of my 10kms I run over a bridge that connects downtown to the rest of the city. As I reached the highest point on the bridge and started running down the slight decline I noticed that the pain in my knee had disappeared. I picked up the pace and ended my run in good form. It felt great. In business, especially during the early days as a consultant, you will face challenges. What you go up against won't always be comfortable. In fact, you should prepare for the uncomfortable. One of the biggest factors that separates those that are successful in business and those that are not, is that willingness to keep going when times are tough. Business is not always easy. It's not always fun. It's not always profitable. These things can take time to achieve. As long as you commit to seeking the right resources, attaining the right knowledge and training, and take a flexible approach to continuously making improvements...and keep pushing forward during the challenging times - you will succeed. Seize the day!

Please Share This Article If You Enjoyed It:

  • Rom

    good article!

  • Thanks for sharing Michael. You’ve described my neighborhood nicely! I was also in a similar situation, but I acutally did fall down. I had trouble getting up and luckily two of my friends were with me, and they helped me up. I got up, and fell straight back down, because as I would later learn, I had broken my kneecap. My friends helped me get home. 7 months later I’m still in physio, but I recently did a 23km walk, and am determined to get back to doing most of the activities I used to do, and found others to replace running. There is a business message here too: surround yourself with supportive people, have focus, stay flexible & adaptable, and be open to new opportunities and ideas.

    • Bart – good for you! That’s inspiration to hear you’re up again and walking that 23km.

  • Another business message hidden in there….if you need help, see an expert. I’m not one…:-)..but I think your IT band runs down your leg from your butt past your knee and holds the ligament in place that supports the patella. If you always run at a fast pace you won’t build the stamina that your butt muscles need, hence it tires fast and the quads take over to keep you in balance, but cannot support the knee, so the ligament flicks over the knee with every step thus causing knee pain. The solution is to run slowly for several weeks to build stamina in your butt muscles.

    • Julian – I’m quite happy with my behind, thank you πŸ˜‰ Joking aside, AI agree, taking care of your health and body is critical.

  • Manoj Ahmedabad

    nice I also stared running 15 days back and experience the similar problem and I also want to start my own consultancy business. But not having driving force, zeal and favorable conditions to start.But with this article I will continue my running and try for business

    • Manoj – good for you and thanks for the comment. Keep at it!

  • Qaasim Aminu

    What an inspiring submission, particularly for young consultants, just starting when there in the global gloom

  • Muhammad Asif Rangooni

    Good article for motivation. Need balance in Work and health

  • Pragna

    Hey Micheal Thanks for that simple and right lesson man. Currently am undergoing through that. I’ve been trying to set-up my own consulting firm to support automobile business houses in my region. But, my family never lends me a helping hand in any parameter. But, are always there to critisize on my earlier failure. I was working in a Metro city an year back and at times, i had to pick a job which came my way in a rural place and have been working there (A Ford car Outlet – Sales Manager). recently, resigned and gone back to the same Metro in searching things where i dropped (my selling / negotiation / corporate / new business development skills etc.,.) But, believe me when i reached my own old metro, i really felt scared (its my knee paining in your story). But, what i did you know, i came back with a fear that “Will i be able to step again into the speed – everybodyz living and will i be able to adopt myselves to the speed of the current business in that metro.”
    Infact, i should have stayed back and faught with times as your lesson drives us towards the end (you reaching the bridge). Would like to listen / see your reply comment in boosting me up! Please, am 29 for now. Wanted to lay a Run-Way before my 30. So that, i can start running like you did till i can………

    • Pragna – thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed the article and sharing your story. We all need a little push sometimes. Ultimately it is up to us to make our lives what we want. If starting a consulting business is what you really want to do, then go after it. Don’t let others put you down. Surround yourself with a strong support network and learn all you can about the business from people that have experience. If you keep working at it, I have no doubt that you will make it a success.

  • Nick Devaney

    Since wanting to become a consultant. I have read lots of different articles and most have their inspiration. However reading this made me think of my current situation and how (unfortunate) it’s turning out too be. The one thing I can say and I hope it does, is I want to keep running and see through what I have started. With the current economic situation and being a new consultant. Gaining experience and the confidence to keep going is proving to be quite difficult. What I need is for someone to help me see where this is going wrong and help me correct it. As Pragna states No help from family and only seeing past failiures can be very demotivating.. You know what. Time to get back on track and deal with this!

    Thank you Michael I think that Running has just picked up pace πŸ™‚