How to Earn $100,000 to $200,000 For Each Consulting Project

Steve Shu Interview

Interview Transcript (Draft)

Mike Zipursky:  Hey everyone.  Welcoming you back for another consulting interview session.  I’m Michael Zipursky from Consulting Success and today on the show we have Steve Shu with us.

Steve is a management consultant who has worked and consulted for Vodafone Allianz, Nortel, Lucent and Wolters Kluwer, to name a few.  He’s also taught courses in the business school at Irvine University.  Steve, a big welcome to you.

Steve Shu:  Thank you very much for having me, Michael.

Mike Zipursky:  Let’s start by having you tell us what it is you’re doing for clients these days.

Steve Shu:  Great.  Typically, what I do is I help incubate technology-oriented startup initiatives within other companies.  This typically includes things like new business units, innovation areas, new product development, and I also do some pure startups but it’s typically kind of startup initiatives within larger companies.

Mike Zipursky:  Can you give us a bit of a – like if we were to take that idea and break it down a little bit so people can get a bit of a better picture into exactly what it is you’re doing.  Could we just play off maybe a recent project example or one that you’re comfortable sharing what you did?

Steve Shu:  Sure.  One of the clients that I worked for recently was involved with starting up, they wanted to start up a new business unit.  They wanted to move into an adjacent market space leveraging their current software products.  I got involved early on with helping them kind of define the business and also secure the funding from, you know, at the CEO level to invest and develop the business unit, so started off with the funding and the strategy for the business then we went into things like the planning and the incubation and acquisition of new clients and staffing the organization.  That’s a somewhat long process.  The funding efforts can take a few months to a half year and then we go through kind of incubation phases of getting those businesses started. Continue Reading

Alan Weiss Consulting Interview: Part 4

This is the final part of our 4-part interview with Alan Weiss. If you missed the previous parts you can find them here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Enjoy the interview….

Mike: Alan, you’re constantly writing new books, working with clients and doing training.  How do you manage your time and stay productive?  What’s your secret?

Alan: I work about 20 hours a week.  My secret is I keep a physical organizer where I record what I want to accomplish in a day or a week or a month or I can look at the whole year at a glance.

The problem is people who just keep electronic organizers can’t look at a juxta-position.

They can’t look at things as they relate to each other.  I mean, they’re fine for a lot of things and I use technology every minute but you need a physical organizer and you need to work backwards from your goals.

That’s why I can write five books a year because I’ve got it plotted out how I’m going to write each chapter and when.

I work about 20 hours a week.  My secret is I keep a physical organizer where I record what I want to accomplish in a day or a week or a month or I can look at the whole year at a glance.

And just like my vacations are untouchable, so are these sessions I do with books or clients or anything else.

Mike: You mentioned you work 20 hours a week.  What are you doing the rest of the time?

Alan: Well, I’m at the pool, I’m walking the dogs, I’m smoking a cigar, I’m driving exotic cars, we’re taking brief trips, I’m reading, I’m writing for entertainment or for relaxation, lots of things.  I do have a lot of hobbies.

Mike: Have you been living that lifestyle for a long time?

Alan: From about ten years ago.  When I first started consulting before technology I was travelling 85% of the time because I had to go to all these clients.  But my last project with Hewlett Packard, I remember I never showed up once for $50,000. Technology is a great way to expand what you do without actually having to get out of the house.

That’s why I can write five books a year because I’ve got it plotted out how I’m going to write each chapter and when.

Most consultants don’t streamline their own methodology enough.  They’re in love with their methodology, but it needs to be streamlined.  You need to delegate work to the clients and then you need to use some contractors if you have to.

Mike: What do you see as the biggest mistake or danger holding back most consultants and how do you think that they can deal with it to become more successful?

Alan: They need a loving support network.  There are not enough people around many consultants to tell them – when they’re wrong to help them, and when they’re right to help them understand that they did something well. You need a support network.

Number two, you need the self esteem and self belief and self confidence that you’re in this to help others.  If you really believe you’re in this to help others you won’t hold back.  Number three, you can’t be guilty.  Guilt masks talent.  So stop worrying about what other people think.  Just worry about what it is you accomplish.  And the fact is that too many consultants feel that it’s proper to be humble.  Show me a great leader.  Show me a great visionary.  Show me people who really move the world.  They hadn’t been humble folks with rare, rare exception.

Mike: Looking back over your career — the ups and downs that everyone faces over time — if you could narrow it down to one single factor in your success what that might be?

Alan: The single biggest factor in my success is intellectual fire power.  I can talk to anyone about anything.  I’ve got a very wide range in vocabulary.  I’ve got a very strongly developed sense of humor.  Words are the tools of our trade.  I can command a room, and if you can do that, you’ll win more often than not.

Mike: What was your strategy for building that skill set?

Alan: Read more.  Write more.  Engage and debate with other people.  Don’t back away.  And if you find something you don’t know – a word you don’t know, or a phrase you don’t know, a historical event you don’t know – look it up.  And I don’t mean on Wikipedia.

Mike: Alan, thanks so much for doing this interview. Much appreciated.

Alan: You’re welcome Michael. Thank you.

Alan Weiss Consulting Interview: Part 1

I recently had a chance to interview Alan Weiss and we’ll be sharing the full interview with you on the blog. Here’s part 1, enjoy…

Mike: We are here with Alan Weiss, author of over 40 books on consulting, many of them bestsellers, including “Million Dollar Consulting”.  Alan, welcome to the Consulting Success Consulting Interviews.

Alan: Thanks Michael, good to be here.

Mike: Alan, you’re probably the world’s most recognized name in the consulting field.  I want to go back to the early years.  What were you doing before you got into consulting?

Alan: I started my career out of undergraduate school at Prudential Insurance.  I was there for four years and I was recruited away to a training firm in Princeton New Jersey.  That’s how I got into the general profession.

When the owner fired me, I said that no moron will ever have control over my destiny again.

Mike: Was it a tough decision to go out on your own and become a consultant?

Alan: No.  It was inevitable because I was recruited to become president of a consulting firm in Providence Rhode Island.  I served as president for two years and the owner fired me.  When the owner fired me, I said that no moron will ever have control over my destiny again.  I told my wife I want to go out on my own.  She said, “Okay but you better get serious”, and I did.  That was 1985.

Mike: Why did she say that you better get serious?

Alan: She knew that I tended to be lazy.  I’m lazy today.  The ideology I’ve developed is because I don’t like to work very much.  She said to me, “You’re not going to sit by the phone and expect to get business”.

I told my wife I want to go out on my own.  She said, “Okay but you better get serious”, and I did.

I said to her, “You know I better go get an office?”  She said, “Why?”  I said, “Well, I need an office.  I want my own.”  And she said, “Why?”  Her point was that people aren’t going to come to me.  They do today, but they wouldn’t then.  I go to them, so why do I need an office?  She said, “If you need one you can get one then.”  That decision over the course of 20, 25 years saved about $400,000 which was exactly the amount it cost for me to send two kids to private school up through college. Continue Reading

Consulting Sales Secrets: Interview with James Yuille

James Yuille has contributed some very popular posts on Consulting Fees and a series on Consulting Sales.

I asked James if we could dig deeper into the sales methodology he’s used so successfully as a consultant and with businesses of all kinds.

James agreed and today I’m happy to share with you my interview with James.

In this interview with James you’ll learn:

  • The 3 most important questions you need to ask before you can make any sales.
  • The process James has used successfully to land new clients.
  • How he doubled and quadrupled the revenue of his clients’ business.
  • What consultants really need to consider when setting their fees.
  • The best way to discover what you’re really good at.
  • How to target and approach the right people to increase your chance of closing the sale.
  • And much more.

This is a pretty wild discussion with a couple of guys that dig marketing, sales and psychology.

Here’s the interview:


Download: Consulting Sales Secrets Interview (Right-Click and Save)

Hope you enjoy the interview and let us know in the comments below or by sending us an email.

Blogger & Consultant Chris Garrett


Chris Garrett is a professional blogger, online marketing consultant, writer, and speaker. He co-authored ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income and is the creator of Authority Blogger, a course on blogging for business and professionals. Chris travels extensively, was born in Calgary Canada, and now lives in the UK with his family.

1. What is the best part of your job?

The fact that it is not a job in the traditional sense. I have freedom to choose – my hours, who I work with (or not), and so on, and I get more rewards the more I put in.

2. What does “work-life balance” mean to you and in your eyes do you have one?

It is something I have to continually keep an eye on. Lately I have done some restructuring to give the family more time. That said, I don’t have to miss any of my daughters school events, can drop work for family emergencies etc, and right now I am typing this on a “business trip” but my wife and daughter are right with me in the room. We just arrived in Melbourne via Dubai, as a family.

3. If you had to choose one thing that’s been the most effective in helping
to grow your business, what would that be? (a kind of marketing, a book,
networking, social media, etc) And how did that help you?

My network. Networking is the source of my opportunities and my support when things haven’t gone the way I expected.

4. Career wise how did things change after you co-authored the PRO Blogger
Book?

Some people take you more seriously when you have a book in print, but I had a couple of books before Problogger came out, and at the same time there were some family issues that meant I couldn’t take full advantages of the doors that opened up. It has been great for me though, no doubt. I’m very grateful to Darren for having me on board.

5. What’s the biggest mistake you see other consultants/marketers/bloggers
making and how can they fix it?

There are so many! I guess thinking they are the center of the universe is a biggie. Continue Reading

Stupid Management Consulting Interview Questions

The Business Insider just put up a collection (here) of management consulting interview questions that are considered by some as just plain stupid.

The 15 questions range from “Estimate the number of gallons of gasoline the typical gas station pumps in a given weekday” to “Estimate how much time it would take a single average size dump truck to move an average size mountain from one location to another one located 1 mile away.”

While not all the questions are quite so wild, there’s actually some very good ones, this is a fun read. Be sure to take a look and let me know what you think? Here’s the where you can see all the questions.