|  Uncategorized   |  Welcome to the world of consultancy (& to Brighton)

Welcome to the world of consultancy (& to Brighton)

Met an old colleague this week (Adele) who is just about to take her first tentative steps into the world of consultancy and self-employment. The sense of trepidation and excitement took me back 4 years to when I started thinking about my own journey (it took me a few more months to take the plunge). What am I good at? What have I got to offer? How much should people pay for my time? Who do I want to work with?

All familiar conversations – and to be honest ones that still resonate every single time I start looking for new work. Working for yourself is exposing – it’s hard to de-personalise things if a potential client decides ‘to go in a different direction’ or you just know you’re not going to be a good fit.

My advice was: it can be pretty lonely so make time to keep in touch with people, most in this world are pretty helpful so look for advice and support, be confident – you’ve decades worth of a career to fall back on and don’t under-price yourself. You’ve also got to do the boring stuff like working out how you want to trade, business accounts, VAT registration and websites.

If you are in the world of supported housing or gambling support and treatment – you could do worse than look to Adele.

Of course she was introduced to the hospitable and welcoming world of traffic enforcement in Brighton. Having parked in a bay marked ‘pay by phone’ – she fell into the trap of thinking that the phone number actually was answered or if not you might be directed to alternative means of payment. Parking ticket issued with the words “well you need to pay through the App – everyone in Brighton knows that” …. the plaintive cry “but I’m not from Brighton so how would I know” was met only with “not my problem”. To be fair I don’t think I helped retrospectively saying “you needed to pay by the app”.

Followed this today with the most nerve wracking moment in any consultants life – hovering over the ‘send’ button. Should I just read it through one more time? Is it good enough? As I did submit a final draft of a review and recommendations document I’ve been working on with a client for the last few months. We been working on strategic and succession planning as a long serving CEO plans their retirement. Was great to work alongside them, get inside some services and spend time with their workers and people accessing support. If it wasn’t for these darn NDA’s I’d say more. But nevertheless I left inspired and humbled.

Looking forward now to the knockabout exchanges about the report – what they accept, what they disagree with (or at least want more information or context on) and what we might want to amplify before circulating the paper more widely.

Also means I need to think about different projects before the weather gets much better and I start to over-focus on my golf handicap…..

In other exciting news – managed to secure tickets for Paul Weller’s tour warm up gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Apollo in April. Just need Nick Cave to announce gigs at somewhere other than a soulless stadium and my music year will be complete (I’m already seeing The The, PJ Harvey, Nadine Shah and Big Thief amongst others).

Also just started reading James O’Brien’s ‘How they Broke Britain’….. don’t read it at bed-time is my advice. Difficult to get to sleep in a state of rage.

#consultancy #businessdevelopment #strategicplanning

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