Going Consulting? How to be much more successful

If you are going consulting it’s important to understand your “smarts” and what makes you special because this is what your consulting clients will be buying. 

Your fingerprint of intelligence is what makes you special. Like your other fingerprint, it is something that is unique to you, yet many people don’t think about it.

Everyone has a different fingerprint of intelligence

There are nine types of “smarts”:

  1. Linguistic (“word smart”)
  2. Musical (“music smart”)
  3. Logical-mathematical (“number/reasoning smart”)
  4. Spatial (“picture/strategic smart”)
  5. Bodily-kinesthetic (“body smart”)
  6. Interpersonal (“people smart”)
  7. Intrapersonal (“self smart”)
  8. Naturalist (“nature smart”)
  9. Spiritual/Existential (“purpose smart”).

Example of Bruce Holland

Bruce’s Intelligences are from strongest to weakest are: 

  1. Strategic smart
  2. Purpose smart
  3. Self smart
  4. People smart
  5. Word smart
  6. Reasoning smart
  7. Nature smart
  8. Music smart
  9. Body smart.

The fingerprint you will need for success depends on your field of consulting. For example Bruce Holland’s consulting has been mostly in Strategy and leadership development.

For strategy the most important intelligences are:

  1. Strategic smarts is important, first, to be able to see how the organisations fits into its environment, second, how the parts could fit together better to make the whole stronger, third, to see what’s missing from the whole, and fourth, to see what’s important so they can focus their resources at this point.
  1. People smarts is important because everyone is different. It’s important to understand the client and what drives them and what makes them special, even if they don’t know this themselves. If you treat them all the same (or the way you like to be treated) you will get lukewarm results. If you treat them how they want to be treated you’ll get magic. 
  1. Self smart is important because if you don’t understand yourself on the inside there is no way you can be strong on the outside. If you don’t know who you are, there is no way anyone else can know who you are, and you’ll lack authenticity.
  1. Purpose smart has been important to me from the start. I have always had a very clear understanding about my purpose (To Liberate Human Energy at Work) and this has strengthened me whenever I worried whether I was brave enough to approach someone who seemed important and it also carried me through down times that inevitably happen.

For leadership development the fingerprint required is a bit different. People smart is probably the most important followed by self smart and purpose smart. People smart is vital to understand the person, their needs, what drives them, what is holding them back, how to communicate in words that they will understand, otherwise, you will struggle to add value to them. Again, self smart is vital for your authenticity. Purpose smart is important because unless you believe strongly why you were put on Earth you will probably not believe strongly enough that other person also has a purpose, especially if they have no idea about it themselves. For leadership development strategy smart is less important.

Recommended process

I recommend you ask at least 6 people who you trust and who know you well to rank your “Smarts” from 1 to 9.  Then think very carefully about the smarts that are most important for your area of consulting. Make sure there is a close match or find some way to overcome any deficits.

The early years of consulting can be a jungle with many risks before the rewards.

GoConsult.nz has mentors and ready-made products to help maximise the rewards of consulting and minimise the risks of transition.

Bruce Holland