The business in your mind, is different than the business in your hands. Let's talk about that honestly right now.
Typically somewhere around $100K, this blockage, this Wall that you want to get over shows up. Even though you've been walking down this same path for a long time, there is this Wall stopping you from getting where you want to be. What you think you're growing into and what you actually have in front of you are not the same.
THE LANGUAGE YOU USE MATTERS
You are currently at Situation A and you're trying to get to Situation B. This is The Wall we talk about in Coveted Consultant. When you're in Situation A you'll call yourselves an independent, a consultant, a freelancer, a coach. In Situation B, we call ourselves a firm, an agency, a studio, a business, a company; we use those words. And on their face, those descriptions may look to be the same.
FINDING PROJECTS IS DIFFERENT THAN EXECUTING A STRATEGY
Situation A involves custom projects. You're forced to customize the arrangement for every single client you work with. But when you are in situation B, you have your core offer: the thing you specialize in. You've turned that specialty into a service, and the vast majority of your clients receive this core offering.
When you're in Situation A, the client controls the arrangement. The client asks you for something and your job is to make it. Your client asks you to do something, your job is to do it. The client is driving the instructions, rhythm, and pace. When you're in Situation B, you control the project because you're the expert. You're telling the client what they need, when they need it, and which results they should expect. You accept responsibility for those things. You control the project.
When you're in Situation A the projects are just that: projects. One and done. You work on something, you do it, and then you've got to go find the next project. It's a constant grind of trying to find the next project. When you have transitioned into Situation B, things become retainer-focused. You're trying to figure out how to keep serving your clients for as long as you possibly can. Your thinking focuses on how to get more retainers, versus how to get more projects.
When you're in Situation A you're scrambling from project to project, from issue to issue, from fire to fire. There's always an another thing to do, thing to handle, constant sense of scramble. When you have shifted to Situation B, things become systemized. There's a way you do things, a strategy behind how you do them, and you do things that are in the best interest of you and your client. You do those things systematically and repeatedly.
VOLATILE VS STABLE
When you're in Situation A, things are fundamentally volatile, including your finances; there are times of both feast and famine. It's the nature of the business. You deal with that volatility because that's just the way it all works. When you've made the switch to Situation B, then you start thinking more about how to create peace and how to stabilize that volatility -not just for you, but for your clients also, so that everybody has a good experience in every single project.
There is a difference in how these two types of businesses operate. The decision you have to make is how you'd like to function. To be clear, you can be profitable in either way of functioning; there is no judgment about that. What we find is that things are just better on the Situation B side of the equation. Having the core offer simplifies things; having control simplifies things; having retainers simplifies things; having systems simplifies things; and the peace certainly simplifies things. Here at Coveted Consultant, we definitely have a situation B bias indeed, but you've got to decide which side you want to play on, because there is absolutely different thinking depending on which side you want to be.