Due to the economics and hierarchy of a standard boutique consulting firm, the partners’ biggest responsibility is bringing new business and money in. This is also the case if you're a soloist - you might have started as a freelancer, but now rely on collaborators and subcontractors to do the work.
As your career advances, your focus gradually shifts from delivery to growth. But one question remains: How to do more business development when we're always short on time?
Many consultants try to solve this challenge with brute force. They hustle. Put in 80-hour workweeks to ensure business development gets done no matter what.
But motivation and hustle are not enough, and throwing quantity at the problem is not the answer. What it does is lead you to a burnout.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers burnout a medical diagnosis. It happens when chronic, enhanced workplace stress isn’t properly managed. The results of burnout are exhaustion, negative feelings towards work, and reduced professional efficiency.
You don’t need to lose your health to grow your consulting business. If I and many other consultants can do it, why can't you? Winning at work and sleeping more than six hours a night are not mutually exclusive.
Learning to offload tasks, prioritize, and manage your time are all part of the equation. But when it comes to business development, what you need is above all consistency.
That's where habits come in.
The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it. You just do it.
Habits beats motivation, every time. This happens because once you’ve developed a strong habit, it provides all the benefits of the behavior with none of the mental drains. It feels effortless.
Consultants that rely on willpower will only do business development when the pipeline is dangerously dry, or after a motivational speech. Rainmakers know this is not sustainable. To thrive, you need to build the capacity to sell consistently and in all weathers.
The good news is that this is not a new problem. It has been solved time and time again - there is a science behind adopting new habits. All you might need is some technical guidance and accountability.
When consultants understand the huge compounding value of becoming someone who can consistently generate opportunities, investing in yourself becomes a no-brainer choice.