I’ve been an independent consultant for almost 6 years and have learned some things. But most importantly I’ve found that being independent requires a level of introspection and self-reflection that few talk about.
So I'm writing a book - serialized free online - about the art and science of independent consulting. Shipping end of 2021.
What does it mean to be a "strategic independent"? How do you create a narrative arc for yourself that allows you to step out into the unknown of independent work?
The number one problem most independent consultants face is finding clients. The default mode of searching for "productized services" however is usually wrong. Instead we need to increase our presence across the networks we're surrounded by.
The soft skills of understanding a client's culture and understanding your point of contact's blind spots and broken mental models unlocks great potential for the consultant to create new mental models and help clients see in new ways.
Thinking on your feet & being able to spar with clients is a crucial consulting skill. This series takes inspiration from the book Impro by Keith Johnstone to examine consulting through the lens of improv theatre.
A crucial mistake many consultants make is to act like an employee. Instead consultants should seek to play games employees can't play. Notably time management and just-in-time work open up possibilities.
Being independent comes with the burden of managing your own identity and your own career. How do you create narrative structures and self-reflection to avoid going crazy.