Consulting vs. Contracting: A Costly (Lack of) Distinction

So what!? What’s the difference?

There are many folks who call themselves consultants. There are also many who call themselves contractors. Humorously — and I only know this because I fell into the same trap — there are many folks who call themselves one when they are really the other. Clients, especially those who aren’t used to working with consultants, often aren’t really thinking about the labels either. Legally, at least in the United States, you’re generally paid the same way (1099). But the two roles — namely the value delivered and the expectations — are very different from each other. Continue reading Consulting vs. Contracting: A Costly (Lack of) Distinction

There are only two kinds of consultants→

Alan Weis has this to say in The Case for Value Based Fees in “Stubborn” Professions:

There are only two kinds of consultants: Those who think the input side is important, who stress methodology and bill by the hour; and those who think results are important who stress outcomes and bill based upon value contribution. The former are lucky to make $250,000, the latter make seven figures. The former are known for their implementation, the latter are known as thought leaders.

The Time Management Matrix That Changed My Life

One of the biggest shifts in my productivity was finding a way to sort out what is important, not merely what is urgent. The funny thing is that once I started to get a handle on identifying the important items, I was able to spend more time on being pro-active, preventative projects, and the like (and not feel guilty about it either). This created a feedback loop which further reduces the urgent items that come up on any given day. I can’t completely eliminate urgent items, but I can do a far better job at reducing how often they occur in my work and life.

So how do you do this?  And what exactly do I mean by Important versus Urgent?

You start by putting your tasks into four quadrants: Continue reading The Time Management Matrix That Changed My Life

Why Marketing REALLY Matters

A business does marketing and sales for the money, but that’s not the sole reason to get good at it.  One of my favorite mentors, authors, and consultants is David Maister.  One day a while back I was reading through his archives and snipped this nugget from an article entitled “Doing It For The Money” (if you’ve been on my e-mail list for awhile you may have seen me mention this quote once before):

What getting good at marketing can do for the individual is to help him or her find the clients they could care about and be eager to help, and the types of work that would be truly stimulating.  The better you are at marketing, the more truly professional you can be, because you are not forced to take money from anyone and everyone just because you need the cash.

David’s original article is a bit long, but there are some other tidbits wrapped around this quote if you feel inclined to dig them up.  The link to the article is above.  I recommend reading two of his books, “The Trusted Advisor” and “Strategy and the Fat Smoker“, or spending a morning with your coffee in hand while perusing his articles and blog archive.

Howdy. Like the post you're reading? Join 213 others subscribers by signing up to get more stuff like this by email.

How to Find, Reconnect With, and Revive Your Professional Network

In early 2007, several months after moving on from my last venture, I found myself sitting on my butt a lot doing, well, not much of anything (I did get a lot of reading in).  I wasn’t getting out all that much to interact with other people and wanted to re-connect with folks. I did not have any system for tracking my various contacts.  I had no centralized addressbook.  And what information I did have seemed to be incomplete and usually out of date. Continue reading How to Find, Reconnect With, and Revive Your Professional Network

A blog about being a self-employed freelancer, consultant, or service provider. Edited by a consulting technologist.