Stop Networking and Start Connecting

When mentoring young professionals and students on planning their careers, I tell them what I wish someone would have told me early in my career. That is that two of the most important things you can learn that will enable your success in any field is communicating (especially public speaking) and developing strong business relationships. We’ll save communicating for another post but the topic of this post will be how to develop strong business relationships.

Most people take the standard “networking” approach to developing business relationships. They go to conferences, seminars, local chapter meetings, and networking functions regularly and hand out as many business cards as they can. The focus is solely on contact acquisition. If you’re primary activity in networking is handing your business card to every person you meet, you’re a networking jerk. Stop doing that!

Instead, you should focus on developing the relationships you already have.

Posted on 12.31.10

Consulting as a Digital Nomad

There have always been nomadic workers who work on the road. In the past decade, a new type of nomad has emerged, the Digital Nomad. As technology has enabled affordable, continuous connectivity anywhere, more and more information workers have moved toward a mobile lifestyle.

Dell provides technology to these workers and has created an online community for these Digital Nomads. Here is their definition of a Digital Nomad:

“In the Connected Era, Digital Nomads will Rule – Redefining productivity, placeshifting and timeshifting. Their devices won’t wait to connect – they will simply be connected. Always. Everywhere. Business as usual will become business unusual.”

Source: digitalnomads.com

How does the concept of a Digital Nomad apply to consulting?

Consulting as a Digital Nomad

Most consultants are also Digital Nomads. By nature a consultant is mobile, visiting client locations regularly. Since their clients have no reason to visit a consultant’s office, there is no need to have an office. A consultant’s office is wherever they are when they perform their craft. This is even more the case with solo consultants as they work alone and have no need for an office. Here are some considerations when preparing to apply the Digital Nomad approach to consulting:

Posted on 12.31.10

The Case for Solo Consulting

If you are a cubicle dweller, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. I’ve got the t-shirt. After 6 years with one Fortune 500 company and 7 years with another, I made the jump to solo consulting. There’s a whole story there but we’ll save that for another time. Let’s just say that going solo was the best move I’ve made in my career. The goal of this post is to lay out the case for you to go solo.

If you are one of the people described in the next section, I highly recommend that you consider this profession.

Who Should Be A Solo Consultant?

While you can go solo anytime in your career, this profession is ideal for someone who is already established in their career and already has a financial cushion and network of contacts. Once you have built up a resume and punched your ticket, going solo is the ticket to leading a better lifestyle while reaping the benefits of your years of hard work.

Posted on 12.31.10