Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood?

Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood 05 02 2016Let’s start with a quick definition: your brand neighborhood is ANY person, product or service that you’d love to “live” on your professional street. One you’d happily hang with all day long if only you could.

So if you’re an executive coach, maybe Marshall Goldsmith is your gold standard.

Or you’re a strategy consultant and you’re busily checking out Jim Collins or McKinsey, Bain and BCG. Continue reading

Naming Your Company (And Your Services And Products)

Naming Your Company (And Services And Products) 04 25 2016When I co-founded my first company, we agonized over our first big decision: our name.

After a couple of interminable sessions covering the walls of a Chicago conference room with color-coded sticky notes, we finally emerged with an idea that eventually turned into our name: Qwest Consultants.

This was in 1994—well before Philip Anschutz coined the term for the now defunct Qwest Communications. (I’ll never forget the letter from their trademark attorneys, but that’s another story). Continue reading

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready 04 18 2016At some point, pretty much every independent consultant or subject matter expert starts mulling over whether they should write a book.

They often spend the most energy on their title and theme—and it’s not unusual to spend months or even years procrastinating under the guise of seeking EXACTLY the right angle.

Meanwhile, they’re not taking the handful of steps that will smooth the way for the book that’s been simmering for years. Continue reading

How Introverts Can Thrive In Consulting (And As Soloists)

How Introverts Can Succeed In Consulting (And As Soloists) 04 11 2016There is a stereotype of the rainmaking senior consultant as a slick-talking, extrovert. He or she is instantly able to command the room by the sheer force of their presence.

They easily talk the CEO into seeing things their way and close million dollar deals on a handshake. They build and maintain a voluminous network over years of conversations, industry parties and meetings that make introverts cringe. Continue reading

Going Rogue

Going Rogue 07 06 2015

I’m taking a short respite this week, so please enjoy this post from last July you may have missed…

You know there’s something bigger you’re ready to do.

Grow your practice, expand your platform, finally write that book.

But what got you to where you are right now won’t get you there.

You’re ready to go rogue. Continue reading

Turning Up Your Velocity

Turning Up Your Velocity 03 28 2016You’re doing some—or maybe even MANY—of the right things to grow your consultancy or advisory business.

And yet your progress feels ever so s-l-o-w. Sluggish compared to what you know, deep in your bones, is possible.

If you could just turn up your velocity—crank it up a notch or two—you’d be unstoppable.

The trick is to find the right lever. Continue reading

Selling By Not Selling

Selling By Not Selling 03 21 2016It was early in the life of my first start-up.

Nothing would smooth our glide path faster than the right handful of new clients.

The first was a “gimmee”—a prior client who’d just accepted a new job (neatly rendering my two-year non-compete invalid).

The second and third were no slam-dunks, but were great-fit referrals where we could easily demonstrate our value. Continue reading

How To See Your Story

How To See Your Story 03 14 2016One of the great challenges when you’re selling yourself is “seeing” your story so you can share it.

Crossing the gulf from just another fill-in-the-blank to utterly compelling means discovering the threads that tie together the intricate (and sometimes seemingly unrelated) events of your life.

And weaving them into THE story that dovetails perfectly into what you’re doing right now. Continue reading

How To Fatten Up Your Client Pipeline

How To Fatten Up Your Client Pipeline 02 29 2016There is one place where fat is pretty much always better: your pipeline of great-fit potential clients.

They’re reading your email missives or subscribing to your blog. They’re following you on Twitter, connecting with you on LinkedIn—maybe they’re even watching your YouTube channel.

These are the folks who—eventually—will hire you, refer you or buy from you on-line.

Fat is good. Continue reading

Building Digital Trust


Building Digital Trust 02 22 2016Building relationships is all about trust.

But when your first contact is digital, it’s magnified 10x.

We’re all looking—consciously or not—for clues that tell us whether we can believe what we’re seeing, hearing and watching.

If your Spidey sense tells you something is off, you bail, never to return. Continue reading