Consulting Practice Development - Dynamic Innovations Squad
Personal and Firm-Wide Performance Improvement for Management Consulting Firms - Dynamic Innovations Squad
Practice Development Services for Management Consulting Firms - Tom 'Bald Dog' Varjan
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Ten Deadly Firm Management (Mal)Practices.

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Dynamic Duo Mentor Programme for Solo Consultants to Overcome Plateaus and Scale New Heights

So there you go, running your own one-person, consulting gig.


  • Do you have clients or are you still "figuring things out"?

  • Do you have the "great" clients or a just bunch of complaining and late-paying leeches?

  • Are you a wage slave for a competitive (-ly low) hourly rate?

  • Do you feel overworked, overstressed but underpaid?

  • Are you too busy pounding the pavement for new business?

All in all, have you had enough of letting low-profile clients to consume your life away project by project, meeting by meeting?

The sad fact is that many consultants are actually service slaves, busy performing task after task, creating deliverable after deliverable, and are so entangled in activities that they totally overlook the value they offer to their clients.

And what is the result? Stress, burnout and financial underperformance. Yes, the professional service business model - neck and neck with local government and health care - is the lowest-performing form of business.

Why does it happen?

Three major facts are often missed when talking about consulting services:

  1. Consulting is a one-to-one relationship business

  2. Consulting is a constant and never-ending marketing process

  3. Consulting is about bringing value to the client's life and getting paid for that value

There are two truths associated to these facts

Many consultants have very poor communication (basis of any trust-based relationship) skills. They can't clearly communicate the value of their services and can't create "gravity" towards their services even if their lives depended on it.

Many consultants consider marketing as an unethical, dishonest and deceiving process, whereas in reality the problem lies in them. The blunt and naked truth is that they are breathtakingly lazy, lousy, ignorant and impotent marketers and they find easier to blame the discipline and the process than changing themselves about their attitudes.

Many consultants struggle to charge for the value they bring to their clients' tables. They feel more comfortable to charge for the time or activities they do to perform manual labour, e.g. two hours of report writing, developing a 34-page training manual, etc.

If your business is not thriving and growing, you just failed to create the right niche full of the right clients. Can you imagine a business like this:

  • A small client base (ideal clients only) with deep relationships

  • Increasing personal income while decreasing direct work

  • More client referrals

  • Better quality of life - More time off with loved ones and friends

  • A better sense of "I'm in charge of my life"

Every now and then we all hit potholes in our businesses, and that's when instant access to a second opinion or "Just In Time" advice can make a huge difference. But people often dismiss the value of this objective input because they very slowly slide into their "potholes" without realising where they have just landed. All they notice is that they work longer hours on undesirable projects at fees that barely cover their expenses for jerk clients.

The beauty of being a consultant is that we always thrive towards working less and getting paid more for the distinctive value we provide to our clients. Also, we can learn more and more from our assignments, which becomes extra value for our clients.

If you are still trading your time or methodologies for money, this programme could make a big difference in your beliefs, self-worth and life.

This loose, yet fairly intimate one-to-one assistance is for individual professionals, who feel they have reached plateaus in certain aspects of their businesses, and want to get off that plateau and resume scaling new heights; or want to reach certain goals quicker, easier and with more certainty.

The programme runs in six-month intervals, providing both strategic assistance and tactical guidance for participants. During our time together - depending the option you choose - you have unlimited access to me, and we work both on strategic issues, like fee-setting, media exposure, positioning and packaging your services, etc., and tactical issues, like interviewing buyers, critiquing proposals, fine-tuning marketing materials, jettisoning clients, etc.).

We decide whether or not the programme is right for you, and more importantly we have chemistry to work together. I am a former military guy, which means I have a certain no bullshit attitude and - in your best interest - I shall push you pretty hard. If you fall, I help you up and keep pushing you.

So, you may ask, what is the method to my madness?

Read the words of Orson Welles, as Harry Lime, in "The Third Man": "In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed, and produced Michelangelo, da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produced the cuckoo clock."

Most people who start their own businesses to produce the Renaissance of their industries. Later, as a result of no support, no courage and/or no passion, they get simply busy and end up producing the equivalent of the cuckoo clock.

Look back on your life and think hard. Have you ever achieved something you are truly proud of that was cheap, easy, traditional, convenient and comfortable? I doubt it.

The Dynamic Duo Mentor Programme is a loose relationship, and suitable for solo consultants who need loosely structured support. It means I am available to you - depending on the option you purchase - on a continual or unlimited basis. You have access to my advice, counsel, resources, but it is your responsibility to contact me whenever you need some help. It is like going to the library when you want to learn something new. You go whenever you choose to, but the library staff will not chase you to make you borrow more books.

We begin our work by assessing your business objectives, personal goals, talents and competencies. It is up to you when you contact me and how. If something comes up for you, you can suspend the programme and we resume when you are ready to continue.

This is a very powerful, personal learning experience for solo consultants who are ready to take the next step and have the courage to be challenged beyond their perceived limitations.

Admission is limited to ten participants per month. If there are no openings there is a "first come, first serve" waiting list.

In the advanced version of this programme we meet in person as well every month to assess progress against specific, pre-defined objectives. Email me if you are interested. It may just give you the turbo charge your business is waiting for.


Option #1: Basic (Reactive)Programme - Continual access. Up to five emails a week, received and returned during normal (Monday to Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm) business hours within 72 hours. Unlimited conventional mail review and response. Emails are not cumulative and cannot be dragged over to the following weeks. The "Reactive" indicates that if you have a question, you ask and I'll give you my take on the answer. The investment for six months of continual access is $3,000, and it's to be paid in full at commencement.

Option #2: Advanced (Proactive) Programme - Unlimited access. As many emails as necessary, with responses provided as needed and not subject to business hours within 24 hours. Skype/phone communication is also included if it effectively advances the case. If practical, we can also meet in person once a month to check our progress against our specific goals. The "Proactive" indicates that, above and beyond the "Reactive" option, I'm actively "on the prowl" for information pertinent to your situation, and whenever I come across something relevant, I bring it to your attention. The investment for six months of unlimited access is $6,000. It can be paid either in full at commencement or in two instalments. $3,250 at commencement and $3,250 30 days after the first payment.

Once fully paid, you can suspend the Basic or the Advanced Programmes, and then resume when you're ready to continue. This also depends on whether or not I have empty spots in the programme. I usually leave a safety net in my schedule, so this has never been a problem before.

Options #1 and #2 are fairly loose relationship, and suitable for solo professionals who need a loose structure of support. It means I am available to you - depending on the option you purchase - on a continual or unlimited basis. You have access to my advice, counsel, resources, but it is your responsibility to contact me whenever you need some help. It's like having a library card and going to the library when you want to learn something. You go whenever you choose to, but the library staff won't chase you and force you to use the available resources.

Option #3: Guided (Interactive) Programme - This is the same as Option #2 with one great difference: People who require a highly structured relationship with additional accountability for meeting their goals may qualify for this programme.

In the Guided Programme option we develop...

  • a detailed action plan with milestones

  • pre-scheduled times for contact to discuss what has been done and what has to be done. I shall also enforce your accountabilities

The investment for six months of Guided Programme is $7,500. It can be paid either in full at commencement or in two $4,100 instalments. $4,100 at commencement and $4,100 30 days after the first payment.

Over the years, clients have reported many benefits, including...

  • "Increased the quality of vital business decisions"

  • "Eliminated problematic clients that I was clinging to"

  • "Toughened up my policy to collect my fees"

  • "Improved my pricing self-esteem for charging for the value I deliver to clients"

  • "Stopped responding to competitive bidding opportunities"

  • "Learnt to spot and turn down labour-intense engagements"

  • "Shortened time to create new materials"

  • "Refuse to write proposals unless prospects pay a nominal good faith deposit"

  • "Accept only clients who fall into my Perfect Client Profile"

  • "Developed the boldness and self-esteem to march to the beat of my own drum"

  • "Stopped doing administrative and research work. Now I request these from clients"

  • "Internalised the fact that clients are not always right just because they pay me"

  • "I used to be a seller. Now I'm a buyer and I decide whom I accept as a client."

  • "Now I'm a real consultant not just another contract labourer. I'm being paid for what I know not for what I do"

  • "My fees are no longer tied to the number of hours I work"

  • And many more...

This Guided Programme option also gives you external enforcement beyond the "I'm doing my best limitation, so you become accountable for specific action steps by specific dates, and I will push you hard to stay on track.

This option is ideal for those who feel they have a lot more potential than they can utilise by themselves. Because there is a very high level of focus and targeting, unlike options #1 and #2, the Guided Programme cannot be interrupted during the six-month interval.

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As you grow your people, in return, so they grow your firm