It’s easy to get wrapped in your firm’s marketing or pricing strategies.
These are important subjects for any consultant.
But, there is one thing that comes before ANYTHING in your consulting business.
And that’s your health and wellness.
This year, for the first time ever, we sent out a brand new survey to our list of over 34,000 consultants.
The subject? Their physical and mental well-being.
We’re strong believers that health & wellness is the foundation for everything in life.
If you can get your well-being in order, life and business are much more enjoyable.
As we learned, health & wellness have massive implications for your consultancy’s success.
Read on to learn about one’s health impacts their firm. You’ll learn what elite consultants do differently to take care of themselves so they can build thriving practice — and enjoy life while doing so.
- Key Findings
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Social Life
- Consulting Work-Life Balance
- Consulting Demographics
Summary Of Our Key Findings on Health & Wellness For Consultants
1. 40% of consultants who take a quarterly vacation said they are “Very Content” with their lives — compared to only 11% who rarely take vacations
2. We observed no major differences between male and female consultants with regards to their health & wellness.
3. Fitness has a large role in one’s overall health. Consultants who consider themselves to be in good shape reported vastly higher levels of motivation and higher levels of contentment with their business and personal lives.
4. Carving out time for your personal life is critical for consultants. 44% of consultants who feel they have enough time for their personal lives are very content with their lives — compared to 17% of consultants who don’t feel they have enough personal time.
5. Consultants who meditate every day are much more likely to feel motivated every day (35%). Compared to consultants who rarely meditate: only 13% of them feel motivated every day.
6. 70% of Consultants who sleep the recommended 7-8 hours per day feel satisfied with the time they have for personal activities. Of consultants who only sleep 5-6 hours per week, only 44% of them are satisfied with the time they have for personal activities.
7. Consultants who rarely drink are much more frequently motivated and feel more content with their business and personal lives compared to those who drink a few times a week.
8. The majority of consultants who drink 0 cups of coffee sleep 7-8 hours a night — and the majority of consultants who drink 2-3 cups of coffee or more only sleep 5-6 hours a night.
9. A “very healthy” diet makes a big difference even compared to a “moderately healthy” diet. Consultants with a very healthy diet tend to be in much better shape, sleep more, feel depressed less frequently, and feel more motivated.
10. Consultants who rarely use social media feel much less lonely, with over 50% rating themselves as 2 out of 10 or lower on the loneliness scale. Consultants who use social media every day tend to rate themselves as feeling lonelier.
11. Higher-earning consultants ($150K-$3M+) tend to be in better shape, feel more content with their lives, and feel depressed less frequently — but were no more likely to feel more content with the success of their consulting businesses.
12. Twice as many consultants who see their friends and family feel very content with their lives compared to those who rarely see their friends and family. We observed that time spent with friends and family was positively correlated with higher levels of motivation, healthier eating, and a stronger peer support group.
For an in-depth look at the specific data, here’s what we found:
When your clients are paying you for your thinking, mental health is critical.
We predicted that when consultants take better care of their mental health, they run better consulting businesses.
Here’s what we asked our list of over 34,000 consultants — and how they responded:
How often do consultants feel motivated?
57% of consultants feel motivated most of the time.
23% of consultants feel motivated every single day.
19% of consultants occasionally feel motivated.
Given that consistent action is critical when running a consulting business, it’s important that you feel motivated.
How often do consultants feel depressed?
42% of consultants rarely feel depressed. 40% of consultants feel depressed occasionally.
8% of consultants never feel depressed. 7% of consultants feel depressed most of the time.
And 2% of consultants feel depressed every day.
How content are consultants with their lives?
Most consultants start their own consulting business to realize their full potential.
There’s no doubt that starting a consulting business is challenging — but a good challenge is a part of being fulfilled.
52% of consultants said they were somewhat content with their lives.
32% of consultants said they were very content with their lives.
14% said they were somewhat discontent, and 2% said they were very discontent.
How content are consultants with their businesses?
Being content with your life and being content with your business are two very separate things.
In our study, only a minority of consultants were very content with their business.
43% of consultants said that they were somewhat content with their business.
32% of consultants said they were somewhat discontent with their business.
Only 17% of consultants said they were very content with their business.
And 8% said they were very discontent with their business.
How often do consultants meditate?
You’ve probably heard about the endless benefits of meditation. Well, we wanted to see how many consultants meditate — and how it affected their business.
There was a mixture of responses for the frequency of meditation.
The most frequent answer? 26% of consultants rarely meditate.
23% of consultants meditate occasionally. 21% never meditate.
17% of consultants meditate a few times a week, and 13% of consultants meditate every day.
Even as a knowledge worker, taking care of your physical health is essential.
We wanted to see if — and how — consultants were taking care of their physical well-being.
How many hours of sleep do consultants get each night?
50% of consultants sleep the recommended 7-8 hours a night.
But 45% of consultants sleep 5-6 hours.
3% of consultants sleep 4 hours or less every night. And 2% of consultant sleep 9 or more hours a night.
The difference between consultants who got 7-8 hours versus the ones who slept 5-6 hours was very apparent.
Do consultants consider themselves to be in good shape?
I’ve written many times how important going to the gym and staying active are for me in my business.
Staying in good shape will help you feel more energized, focused, and motivated.
44% of consultants consider themselves to be in somewhat good shape.
35% of consultants consider themselves to be in good shape. And 20% of consultants don’t consider them to be in good shape.
How often do consultants drink alcohol?
Consulting is a relationship business. This means that consultants spend a lot of time networking, attending conferences — and this often involve alcohol.
25% of consultants drink occasionally. 24% of consultants drink a few times a week. And 23% of consultants drink rarely.
On the extreme ends of the spectrum, 21% of consultants never drink. And 7% of consultants drink every day.
How often do consultants exercise?
Exercise is a powerful mood booster. It’s a big part of staying healthy.
Do consulting business owners find the time to exercise?
39% of consultants exercise a few times a week.
25% of consultants exercise occasionally.
19% of consultants exercise every day.
13% of consultants rarely exercise — and 3% of consultants never exercise.
How healthy are consultant’s diets?
When you eat good, you feel good. Are consultants healthy eaters?
Most consultants we polled (67%) said that their diet was moderately healthy.
23% of consultants said that their diet was very healthy. 9% said their diet was moderately unhealthy.
And 1% of consultants said their diet was very unhealthy.
How many consultants are vegetarian?
The vast majority of consultants we polled (90%) are not vegetarians. 10% of consultants do follow a vegetarian diet.
How much coffee do consultants drink each day?
Coffee is a must for many people — especially consultants.
Out of the consultants we polled, 35% drink 2-3 cups a day.
27% of consultants don’t drink any coffee.
25% drink 1 cup a day. 10% drink 4-5 cups a day, and 2% drink a whopping 6+ cups per day.
Consulting Social Life
Being an independent consultant or working at a boutique firm can be a lonely endeavor.
We wanted to know how consultants took care of their social life.
Do consultants have a peer support group?
When you’re running a solo or small consulting firm, we think it’s important to have a peer support group. A lack of a “team” can be tough for many new consultants.
That said, 66% of consultants don’t have a peer support group. About 33% of consultants do have a peer support group.
Where do consultants work?
56% of consultants work alone at home in a home office.
14% of consultants work with others remotely. 13% of consultants work with a team in an office.
12% of consultants work solo in their own office outside of their homes. And 5% of consultants work at a coworking space.
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being not lonely, 10 being extremely lonely), how lonely do consultants feel?
We were curious to see how lonely consultants feel given that the majority of our audience are independent consultants.
Here’s how the numbers broke down — with 10 being extremely lonely, and 1 being not lonely at all.
- 10: 1%
- 9: 3%
- 8: 9%
- 7: 12%
- 6: 9%
- 5: 9%
- 4: 9%
- 3: 15%
- 2: 15%
- 1: 17%
How often do you use social media?
Most consultants are active on social media.
59% of consultants use social media every day. 16% use it a few times a week.
12% occasionally use social media, 9% rarely use it, and 4% never use it.
How often do you meet friends and family outside of work to socialize?
Here at Consulting Success, we’re big on the idea of your inner circle. We put a big emphasis on spending time with good people.
49% of consultants occasionally meet with friends throughout the week.
31% of consultants meet with friends and family a few times a week.
13% claimed they rarely do, and 6% meet with friends and family every single day.
Only 1% of consultants never socialize with friends and family.
Consulting Work-Life Balance
According to our previous studies, flexibility and freedom is one of the major reasons why consultants strike out on their own in the first place.
We asked consultants about how they manage to balance their busy schedules.
How many hours do consultants actually work each week?
What type of hours do consultants work? Here’s what we learned:
- 80+ hours: 5%
- 70-79 hours: 4%
- 60-69 hours: 13%
- 50-59 hours: 20%
- 40-49 hours: 29%
- 30-39 hours: 17%
- 20-29 hours: 7%
- Less than 20 hours: 5%
Do consultants feel satisfied with the amount of personal time (not doing business stuff) they have each week?
For the most part, consultants are satisfied with the time they spend outside of work.
57% of consultants are satisfied with the time they have for their personal lives. 43% of them are not satisfied.
How often do you take a holiday?
Do consulting business owners have the time to take vacations? For the most part, yes.
28% of consultants take a vacation twice a year.
22% of consultants rarely take a vacation, and 21% take a vacation once a year.
20% of consultants take a vacation quarterly.
On the extreme ends of the spectrum, 5% of consultants take a vacation every month, and 4% never take a vacation.
How many books do you read each year?
Reading is one of the best ways to keep your skills sharp as a consultant. And reading more is one of the best ways to get ahead.
Most consultants (50%) read 1-10 books per year.
22% of consultants read 10-19 books per year.
10% of consultants read 20-39 books per year, and 8% read 30-40 books per year.
6% read 0 books, and 5% read a whopping 50+ books per year.
Like all of our previous studies, we like to get some general demographic information on the consultants taking the study.
Here’s a breakdown of those numbers.
How many years have you been a consultant?
Most of the consultants we polled (30%) have been consulting for 1-3 years
16% have been a consultant for 3-5 years, and 16% have also been consulting for 15+ years.
15% are brand new consultants having been consulting for less than 1 year.
13% have been a consultant for 5-10 years, and 10% have been in the game for 10-15 years.
What is the annual income of consultants?
Here’s the annual income of the consultant’s we polled:
- Less than $5000: 24%
- $5000-$25000: 16%
- $25000-$80000: 25%
- $80000-$150,000: 18%
- $150,000-$300,000: 11%
- $300,000-$1M: 4%
- $1M-$3M: 1%
- $3M+: 1%
What is the average age of consultants?
Consultants of all ages took our poll.
Most consultants we polled (30%) are between 40-50.
25% are between 50-60. 21% are 60+.
On the younger end of the spectrum, 18% are between 30-40, and 5% are between 20-30.
Consultant gender demographics
67% of consultants we polled are male, and 33% are female. There were no major differences between the sexes in relation to the other questions.
Where do consultants live?
The vast majority of the consultants we polled (60%) live in North America.
As for the rest of the continents:
- South America: 3%
- Eastern Europe: 3%
- Western Europe: 10%
- Africa: 10%
- Asia: 10%
- Australia/New Zealand: 4%
If all of this seems rather obvious to you, but you DON’T consistently feel motivated, energized, and content with your business (and life)…
Ask yourself: are you taking your health and wellness as seriously as you should?
Eat right, sleep well, and spend time with your loved ones.
Your business will be better off when you dial in the very basics.
Sometimes, the most advanced thing you can do is the basics — really, really well.
Your business, your clients, and you will benefit when you take care of your physical and mental well-being.
That wraps up our first Health & Wellness study.
You can take a look at our other consulting studies by clicking on the links below:
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this study, leave a reply in the comments and share your thoughts below!