Do you work on your entrepreneurial mindset?
Are you taking care of your mental game just as much as your physical health & well-being?
At Consulting Success®, we believe that your mindset plays a major role in how well you do in business.
But we wanted to see if the stats backed it up.
This summer, we sent out a survey to our list of over 36K consultants and consulting business owners.
The questions focused on mindset: your collection of thoughts and beliefs that determine how you view the world.
As Ryan Gottfredson says about mindset and the psychology of success:
“Our mindsets are the mental lenses we use to view the world. They shape and drive our ability to think, learn, and behave in the most effective ways.
As such, they are foundational to our life success, work success, and leadership success. Thus, if we can improve our mindsets, we can improve our life, work, and leadership.”
We learned that mindset — among other patterns of thinking and their resulting behavior — had a profound effect on one’s level of success.
Read on to learn about how improving your mindset can improve your consulting business.
You’ll learn about the way elite consultants think so you can adopt their habits and achieve more success.
- Key Findings
- Mindset of Consultants
- Daily Habits of Consultants
- Consultant Characteristics
- Consultant Demographics
- Conclusion & Action Plan
Entrepreneurial Mindset Key Findings
1. Consultants who consciously work on their mindset make more money. 14.65% of consultants who consistently work on their mindset make $150K+. 8.23% of consultants who don’t consistently work on their mindset make $150K+. So, out of the consultants who make $150K+, 78% more of them consistently work on their mindset.
2. Consultants who frequently seek out critical feedback see massive advantages over those who don’t. Those who constantly seek out critical feedback are more likely to do daily outreach to ideal clients, take risks in order to be successful, spend more time on marketing, work with mentors and coaches, feel more content with their lives and businesses, feel less depressed, and report higher annual incomes for their business.
3. Consultants who work with mentors or coaches earn a higher annual income compared to those who don’t. Out of consultants earning $150K+, 70% work with a coach or mentor.
4. Consultants who are making $150K-$3M+ tend to feel more content with their lives and businesses. 40% of consultants earning an annual income in this range said they are “very content” with their life versus 27% of those in a lower income range. Of those making less than $150K per year, only 10% of them said they were “very content” with their business, whereas of those making 150K+, 24% said they were “very content” with their business.
5. Consultants who work on their mindset reach out to have conversations with ideal clients much more frequently. 65% of consultants who work on their mindset reach out to clients at least weekly. 28% of consultants who don’t work on their mindset reach out to clients weekly.
6. Consultants who have crystal-clear goals and aspirations are more likely to take risks in order to be successful. 49% of consultants who write down their goals take risks in order to be successful. Out of the consultants who are only somewhat clear on their goals and aspirations, only 30% of them take risks in order to be successful. Consultants who write down their goals and take more risks also earn a higher annual income.
7. Consultants try to look for the positive in any given situation. 85% of consultants tend to look for the positive in a situation.
8. Consultants who don’t consciously work on their mindset are less content with their lives. 41% of consultants who don’t work on their mindset were at least somewhat discontent with their lives.
9. Female consultants are much more likely to engage in healthy mindset habits like journaling, meditation, counseling, or therapy than male consultants. 32% of male consultants don’t do any of these. Only 17% of women don’t do any of these.
10. Consultants who exercise 3x times per week reported much higher levels of life satisfaction. 35% of consultants who exercise 3x+ per week said they were very content with their lives.
11. Feeling down and depressed is an issue for solo consultants and consulting business owners. The most frequently chosen answer for “Do you often feel down or depressed” was “Occasionally”, at 42%. 48% of consultants feel at least occasionally depressed.
12. Realizing one’s potential is the most important reason why people become consultants. 39% of consultants polled listed “Realize my potential” as the #1 reason they become a consultant — with the next two most popular answers being “Be my own boss” (19%) and “Flexible schedule” (14%).
Mindset of Consultants
How do consultants see the world?
What mental models do they use in their personal lives and business?
We predicted that working on your mindset would be correlated to your success and business — and your overall well-being.
Here’s what we found.
Do consultants consciously work on their mindset?
61% of consultants frequently and consciously work on their mindset.
26% of consultants will work on their mindset if a problem arises.
Only 13% of consultants don’t work on their mindset.
At least some of the time, most consultants are consciously working on their mindset.
Do consultants believe they can change who they are?
52% of consultants believe they can change every aspect of themselves.
47% of consultants believe they can change some things about themselves.
Only 1% of consultants don’t think they can change important parts of themselves.
Believing you can change who you are is known as the growth mindset.
If you want to start a consulting business, you’ll need to adopt and practice this mindset.
Do consultants look for the positive or negative in situations?
49% of consultants said that the majority of the time, they look for the positive in a situation.
37% tend to look for the positive in a situation.
12% tend to look for the negative in a situation.
Only 2% of consultants look for the negative in a situation most of the time.
A healthy amount of optimism is a must to succeed in this business.
Do consultants have clear goals and aspirations?
48% of consultants have somewhat clear goals.
45% of consultants have goals that are crystal clear and written down.
6% of consultants keep their goals vague and fuzzy.
Getting crystal clear on your goals is fundamental to actually achieving them.
In a study by the British Journal of Health Psychology found 91% of people who wrote down when and where they would exercise each week followed through.
Write down your desired consulting income, and how many clients you must reach out to every week to hit your goal.
How do consultants feel their value is determined?
34% of consultants believe that the majority of the time, their value is determined by how much they can help others be successful.
33% of consultants tend to believe their value is determined by how much they can help others be successful.
21% of consultants believe their value is determined by how successful they are.
And 12% of consultants believe that the majority of the time, their value is determined by how successful they are.
Focus on making others successful, and you’ll create more success for yourself — especially in marketing and sales.
Who’s success are consultants focused on: their success or others?
34% of consultants tend to focus on their own successes — and 29% of consultants tend to focus on other’s success.
On the extreme ends of the spectrum, 21% of consultants are majorly focused on other’s success, and 16% are majorly focused on their own success.
Do consultants try and be around other positive people?
83% of consultants consciously try and be around other successful, motivated, and positive-minded individuals — and 17% don’t consciously do this.
“Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.”
Do consultants journal, meditate, do counseling, or attend therapy?
48% of consultants journal, meditate, go to counseling or therapy occasionally.
25% of consultants do them consistently, and 26% of consultants don’t engage in any of these activities.
There are proven benefits to journaling, meditation, and attending counseling or therapy. Have you made a habit out of them?
Daily Habits of Consultants
What you do during your average day can tell you a lot about where you will end up in your life.
Authors like James Clear have written extensively about the importance of habits —and how they can help you achieve success.
So, what kind of habits do consultants have as it relates to your mindset?
Do consultants read or listen to podcasts every day?
77% of consultants spend some time every day to read or listen to podcasts, while 23% of them don’t.
Looking for new reading material? Check out The Elite Consulting Mind.
And check out the Consulting Success® Podcast if you want to learn the habits, mindsets, and strategies of high-6 and 7-figure consultants around the world.
Do consultants consistently reach out to have conversations with ideal clients?
Reaching out to ideal clients is one of the most important success habits to develop as a consultant.
So how many consultants do it daily?
43% of consultants reach out to ideal clients on a weekly basis.
37% of consultants do it whenever they have to.
8% of consultants don’t reach out to ideal clients — and wait for clients to come to them.
If you don’t know how to have a meaningful conversation with a potential client, check out our post: Best Questions To Ask Your Consulting Clients
How much time do consultants spend on marketing & sales?
38% of consultants spend 30 minutes to an hour on marketing and sales every day.
25% spend 1-2 hours per day on it.
11% spend 2-3 hours a day on it.
18% of consultants don’t spend any time on marketing and sales — and 8% spend a whopping 3+ hours doing it every day.
“Your consulting skills may be good enough right now to implement the business you acquire, but I’ll almost guarantee that your marketing skills aren’t good enough to continually acquire business.”
How healthy do consultants eat?
At least half of consultants report having a moderately healthy diet or higher.
However, over 1/4 of consultants have at least some unhealthy eating habits.
As we found in our health & wellness study for consultants, consultants with a very healthy diet tend to be in much better shape, enjoy better sleep, feel depressed less frequently, and feel more motivated.
Do consultants exercise 3x per week?
Exercise is key to improving your mindset and your physical well-being.
65% of consultants exercise at least 3x times per week, and 35% don’t.
Consultants who consider themselves to be in good shape report vastly higher levels of motivation and higher levels of contentment with their business and personal lives.
What are some of the characteristics of consultants?
More importantly, what characteristics can you practice to become more successful in your business?
How you act is related to your mindset.
Here are some of the characteristics of consultants and consulting business owners.
How often do consultants seek out critical feedback?
52% of consultants sometimes seek out critical feedback.
32% of consultants frequently seek out critical feedback, and 16% of consultants rarely seek it out.
Out of everything we tracked in this study, consultants who frequently seek out critical feedback tend to be the most successful.
Do consultants often take risks?
55% of consultants take a risk every now and then in order to be successful.
38% of consultants frequently take risks in order to be successful, and 7% of consultants rarely take risks.
If you’re ever wondering when or why you should take a risk, remember this:
“All profit is derived from risk.”
Do consultants work with mentors and coaches?
49% of consultants work with mentors or coaches to achieve their goals faster, and 51% don’t.
Frequently working with coaches and mentors correlated highly with consultants earning the most in their business.
Are consultants content with their business?
48% of consultants are somewhat content with their business.
26% of consultants are somewhat discontent with their business.
13% of consultants are very discontent with their business, and only 12% of consultants are very content with their business.
Are consultants content with their lives?
50% of consultants are somewhat content with their lives, and 29% of consultants are very content.
17% of consultants are somewhat discontent with their lives, and 4% are very discontent.
We also found that consultants who don’t consciously work on their mindset tend to feel less content with their lives.
How often do consultants feel depressed?
42% of consultants occasionally feel depressed.
42% of consultants rarely feel depressed, and 10% of consultants never feel depressed.
4% of consultants feel depressed most of the time, and 1% of consultants feel depressed every day.
If you’re looking for help with this, our Health & Wellness Study for consultants will provide you with some best practices and habits that might help.
We collect general demographic data on consultants with all of our studies.
Here’s a breakdown of those numbers.
Why do consultants start their own consulting business?
Why do people start a consulting business?
- 39% – Realize my potential
- 19% – Be my own boss
- 14% – Flexible schedule
- 11% – Other
- 8% – Was laid off from my job
- 7% – Unlimited income potential
How many years have consultants been in business?
Here’s how many years the consultants we polled have been in business for:
- 29% – Less than 1 year
- 22% – 1-3 years
- 17% – 15+ years
- 16% – 4-6 years
- 11% – 7-10 years
- 5% – 11-14 years
Consultant average annual income
49% of consultants we polled are making less than $25K — suggesting many are consulting on the side of their full-time job.
19% are making between $25K-$80K per year. 19% are also making $80K-$150K per year.
9% are making $150K-$300K.
2% are making $300K-$1M.
1% are making $1M-$3M — and a single consultant was making $3M+.
Age of consultants
The consultants we polled tended to be older:
- 30% – 50-59 years old
- 28% – 60+ years old
- 26% – 40-49 years old
- 13% – 30-39 years old
- 3% – 20-29 years old
Consultant gender demographics
67% of consultants polled are male, and 33% are female.
There was no significant difference between men and women when it comes to mindset — but female consultants tended to meditate, journal, or engage in therapy and/or counseling more.
Where consultants live
Consultants all around the world took our survey:
- 60% – North America
- 12% – Western Europe
- 9% – Africa
- 9% – Asia
- 5% – Australia/New Zealand
- 3% – South America
- 2% – Eastern Europe
Conclusion: Improve Your Entrepreneurial Mindset & Achieve More Success
Looking for practical, actionable tips you can use to improve your mindset?
Based on these results, here’s a checklist that you can follow to improve your entrepreneurial mindset:
- Take care of your physical health. By exercising 3x+ time per week, you’ll not only improve your physical health but your mental well-being and mindset as well.
- Commit to seeking out critical feedback. It might hurt in the short-term, but if you can get comfortable seeking out critical feedback, it will do wonders for you and your business.
- Read books about mindset. The more you learn about mindset, the more tools you’ll have at your disposal to improve yours.
- Invest in your education and courses that will help you achieve your goals. There are no shortcuts in this business — but the closest thing you’ll get is by learning from someone who’s been where you are and has gotten to where you want to be.
- Write down your goals — and make them explicit. How much do you want to earn in your business? How many clients do you have to work with to achieve that? How many clients must you reach out to each day? Get clear on those numbers — and look at them every day.
- Reach out to your ideal clients daily. More meaningful conversations with your ideal clients = higher income and more success.
- Join a group of like-minded consultants committed to your success. Surrounding yourself with positive-minded people who want you to win is one of the best things you can do for your mindset, your business, and your life.
Working on your mindset will do far more than help you in business — it will help you in all types of situations you’ll face in life.
Are you working on your mindset?
Did any of these findings surprise you?
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this study.
Leave a reply in the comments and share your thoughts below!
You can take a look at our other consulting studies by clicking on the links below: