How can I be a consultant?
When i first started offering freelance consulting services, i felt quite uneasy. Although being 21 years old, i had quite a long resume behind me including several management position in three different industries. My background, upbringing and life circumstances forced me to outperform my competition which led to me becoming in charge of employees, marchandise and quite a lot of money. With that said, i never felt like i can teach someone or consult others. It wasn’t about a lack of confidence, i had enough, even too much at times. It was about my desire to be of value to others and believing i have a long way ahead of building and shaping my value. How can i claim to be a consultant who can transform someone’s business? How can i guarantee any result for my clients? What makes me qualified for this job?
These questions bothered me. They bothered me because i miss understood what consulting means and what the right measurement for our value truly is.
Realizing that to some extent we are all consultants was a significant realization for me. Almost everyday we take up the role of a consultant for our family and friends, work colleague, classmates, sometimes even strangers. It’s tremendously easier to give advice to others than to apply it in our own life and that’s why so many of us are inclined to voluntarily offer our opinion and feedback. It’s especially easy for us to do so because we see reality from a third perspective, as outsiders. The problems might be blind to in our own life, are instantly spotted in someone else’s life, which enables us to offer our brilliant solution.
Consulting isn’t that different. Individuals and companies struggle for many reasons and often simply need another perspective. Often this perspective is well known to us and simply serves as a reminder or wake up call which shakes us from the routine that took over our life and distorted our vision. As the British composer John Tavener said, his consultant keeps reminding him that sudden death can happen at any moment.
And so I became a consultant. What do i consult about? that’s difficult to answer. I learned that my value is determined by what i can actually offer that the customer doesn’t have. the value is then measured by the amount the customer is willing to pay to enjoy my services. I also learned that this goes in both ways and that a higher price will often lead to a higher perceived value, but that’s for another article. Currently, i’m specializing in strategic planning, business development and fundraising with a focus on the field of radicalization. I do, however, work with other organizations from all over the world and try to thrive or sometimes merely survive.