Meet The Man - How I Became A Business Consultant
Most of us had dreams or aspirations as a kid. Some want to be a Doctor when they grow up, while others hope to become a fire fighter, police officer, teacher, or serve in the military. All of these and many other occupations are certainly noble professions and important roles in our society. But how many of us actually grow up to become what we dreamt of as kids?
I had many dreams as a kid. Like many boys growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I wanted to have a long and successful career as a professional athlete, motorcycle patrolman, musician, or sports broadcaster. In fact, the answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” might change weekly.
In the end, I graduated high school and headed off to college to major in broadcasting and my career path was set… until it wasn’t.
Like many 18-year-old kids, I realized I simply wasn’t ready to make a firm decision on how to spend the next 40 years of my life and halfway through college I knew that broadcasting was NOT the career path I wanted to pursue.
While admittedly feeling a bit lost at that point, I decided to shift my focus to what I was good at and leveraging my strengths.
Since I had God-given leadership skills, was extremely detail oriented, and possessed a strong aptitude for business it made sense for me to pursue a career in business management. Over the next 14 years, I held several management positions that afforded me invaluable experience in administration, employee management, operations, and sales. As I embarked on that path, little did I know it was preparing me for something so much bigger… so much better.
After nearly 14 years in the corporate world, I made the decision to walk away from it and pursue my own path. I knew it would not be an easy transition because I was approaching my 35th birthday at the time, had a family to support, and had absolutely zero experience starting and running a business.
For some this would have been a difficult decision to make, but for me it was just the opposite. After years of experience in the business world, I knew I had compiled a wealth of knowledge and experience that I could use to help other people be successful and though the path I had taken to become a business consultant was a bit circuitous, it was necessary.
So what were the founding principles of my consulting business?
While this is different for everyone, there were really 3 core tenants for me:
- I wanted to help people. More specifically, I wanted to help entrepreneurs and small business owners pursue their dreams and achieve success.
- I wanted to start something from nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying an existing business, but I wanted to start at square one and build a successful business from the ground up.
- I wanted to be in complete control of my time and live life by my own clock. I wasn’t afraid of hard work or long hours because both should be expected when starting and running a business, but I wanted to have the freedom to control my schedule and be able to be present with my family when I needed to be. My faith, my family, and living a life with balance and purpose are important to me and those factors had to be central in my consulting business.
These were my founding principles when I started out nearly 15 years ago, and I have not strayed from them. In that time I have served hundreds and hundreds of business owners and learned many valuable lessons that have blessed me on my journey. I will share just a few:
- When you love what you do, going to work every day doesn’t feel like work.
- There is no substitute for hard work. I value it and so do the people I work with.
- If you do really good work, your clients will sing your praises and referrals will come.
- When you operate your business with honesty and integrity, you can sleep well at night.
- If you invest in relationships built on trust you will enjoy repeat business from a very loyal client base who appreciate your character, provide you with opportunities for repeat business, and refer you to their friends and family.
If you are thinking of starting your own entrepreneurial journey or searching for your purpose, I hope this window into my life and the path I’ve followed will inspire you to take action. If you’d like to talk it through with an experienced consultant, I’d love to talk with you and see if I can help. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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