As a consultant the day will come when you get kicked in the pants by a real consulting challenge. Not literally, of course, (at least I haven’t had that experience)…but something will happen and it will shake you up.
I hope you can prove me wrong. But over the years speaking with hundreds of consultants and being one myself, chances are pretty good you too will be challenged by a big event.
It may be that you made a horrible mistake on a client project and your client has let you loose. Maybe you promised something that you can’t deliver.
On the other side it may have nothing to do with you directly. Your client may wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you happen to take their pounding. Their expectations may become unrealistic. Or simply it’s a case of wrong place, wrong time.
I’m not going to get into each of these issues in this post. My goal is to let you know that chances are ‘it will happen.’ And when that kick comes, be ready for it. Not in the sense that you can plan for every imaginable situation (that’s a real challenge) but be ready to get right back up after you take that fall.
Think of Jack in the television program LOST. When something bad happens, he counts to 1-2-3-4-5 and then it’s time to move on.
Don’t fall into the trap that so many do. Don’t allow your momentum to be halted. When you get knocked down, for whatever reason, deal with it, give yourself a bit of time to think it through but then get back up and push forward.
Life’s too short to dwell on mistakes, what could have or should have been. Like all things in life a consulting challenge is a test. For every 10 people that get back up and go on to glory, 1000 or more run for the hills. Be prepared and you’ll find yourself turning every challenge into something great.