Strength in numbers (of consultants)
I became part of a great project (which I hope to be able to talk about soon) that has to do with young people. And in the research around who these young people are, I discovered something very interesting - majority of young people do not imagine themselves working for someones else and they aspire to be their own boss.
Naturally, having taken this path 2 years ago myself, I was delighted! But then a question started nagging at me at the back of my head - what happens if everyone becomes a freelancer and/or a consultant? Will there be enough room for everyone.
Luckily, I had an opportunity to discuss this with a few of my friends and colleagues and I think everyone should be safe. Here's what I figured out:
Everyone specialises in something different. While there may be dozens of trainers on the market, everyone of us specialises in a certain topic or area. For example, I may be a great coach, but I prefer not to work with Executives. Therefore, if a client of mine asks for Executive coaching, I will contact someone who has a proven track record.
Together we can offer a holistic learning experience. Because of what we bring to the table, in partnership with each other, we can put together a range of solutions that will still feel like a whole. For example, while I focus on presentation skills, my colleagues can weave in some emotional intelligence and influencing skills. Although it is delivered by different people, it is still all part of the same 'universe' or programme.
We need to reach out to each other not distance ourselves. Of course, it would be great to know everything and do everything yourself, often times this is simply not realistic. So, we need to let go of our ego and reach out to those who are better than us. Not to mention what a great learning opportunity that would be for ourselves.
Adaptability is king. Speaking of letting go of our ego, it is worth mentioning how important being flexible and adaptable is. We may encounter things that we never thought possible before.
Welcome differences. We won't always work with people we like or who are similar to us. But this is a great opportunity to learn from a different personality, different perspective. There was a saying that sailors don't become great at calm seas. We need to put ourselves in the middle of storms to learn. (BTW, this is a personal resolution I am committing to myself this year and so far it is going great!)
Look for opportunities to help not profit. While we all work for money and it's not a bad thing, I think we need to look for ways to help people around us, not how to make a profit. Again, I am not saying money is bad - after all, how can we survive without them (hint-hint, Maslow's pyramid!)? But if profit is the only driver for a consultant, then I do not want to work with them.
We are stronger together! I think it would be great to have a repository of knowledge and skills that all consultants and freelancers can access and use at will. This way it will be easier to find the people you need quickly and efficiently. Anyone up for putting something like this with me? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time!