Yesterday I compared business development to a never-ending project for consultants - you will need to cultivate relationships and generate opportunities for as long as you lead the business. One of the easiest first steps to make it a habit is to pre-commit time to review what you did this week, and plan what you want to achieve in the next week.
With the right process, all you need is 15 minutes every week.
Think about a 15-minute period (at any time during your week) that you find the ideal for reflection. It doesn't need to be when your energy level is at its top, but when you are feeling calm and positive.
Some people like to do it on Friday afternoon, as they wind down the week. Others use Sunday mornings, to plan the week after they're fully rested. Or maybe you have a recurring meeting every Tuesday at 10:00 with your business partners and want to do this at 9:30, right before sharing it with them.
Once you pick a time, add this as a recurring meeting in your calendar. It's a meeting with yourself, and you're going to do this meeting every week, forever. Treat it just like a client engagement.
At first, you might see a never-ending project as a depressing idea. But once we create a simple system that works for you, most consultants I help actually find it quite freeing. The reason being: You will never have to hustle anymore.
Constantly shifting between client delivery and growth is tiring and stressful. You can't even bring yourself to celebrate the end of a successful project, since your mind is already worried about how and where you are winning the next one.
When you recognize that business development will always be part of your work and consistently allocate time and attention to it, you say goodbye to these bursts of activity.
Think of it like staying in shape - the better your habits, the easier it gets.