Does a good plumber automatically make a good gastroenterologist?
Huh. Thought so.
Neither does a good gastroenterologist make a good plumber.
So why do successful corporate executives think that they will thrive as independent consultants?
This week alone I’ve talked to, or exchanged emails with, about half-a-dozen such folks. Good people. Smart people. Talented people with a lot to offer. But they were wrong when they assumed their big-company success would translate into a thriving consulting business.
The skills you need to succeed in a company are not the same as the skills you need to attract a steady, consistent, predictable flow of great clients.
For example, in the corporate world, you can get by with speaking Corporababble. It’s the way the average ‘headcount’ speaks in that world.
But when you’re an independent consultant, you’re going to have a hard time attracting clients by being average.
You can talk about positioning and engagement. You can insultingly call people ‘the talent’ and ‘the headcount’ or a ‘full-time equivalent.’ You can talk about onboarding stakeholders.
But, consider this:
Have you ever shared a YouTube video where someone talked like that?
When someone babbles on about employee engagement?
Or about how change is inevitable. And about their robust process for change management engineered to ensure a high degree of end-user adoption by easing the transition to reduce resistance on the part of the headcount…
Does this inspire confidence in you? Does it inspire respect?
Does it inspire the feeling that “Wow. I’m now in the presence of someone who has truly mastered their craft!”
Huh. Thought so.
Which videos have you shared? You’ve shared videos from people who speak in plain language. People who speak like proles, not Party members. Like they’re sharing a beer after a long day, not conducting an earnings call after a bad quarter.
If you are a corporate refugee, take a good hard look at your marketing. At your website. At how you describe what you do.
If you sound like a prole, good. You’re on your way.
But if you sound like a Party member, it’s time for a deep scrub.
Add your 1am bar-brawl reactions to this blog in the comments section below. Make it colorful, but keep it clean.
PS – The entrepreneurial world also has it’s own sinful jargon. Like calling the people who respect you and follow your work “peeps” and “tweeps.” [Shudder] Never from me. Never.