Embracing Worry as a Boutique Consultant: A Mindset Shift

You can't insure yourself against all life's problems.

Every consultant feels a bit stressed out, sometimes.

Maybe you heard dark predictions for your target industry, or someone shared a story that hit a nerve and made you anxious. Or you go through a series of negative events and start doubting your abilities and questioning the future of your firm.

You may know people who in the last 20 months have tested positive for COVID-19, who suffered from it, or who have tragically lost their lives as a result. I personally have friends and family who did, and you just can't be impassive in the face of it. You feel like things could always get worse before they get better.

As of today, we are in a much better situation and seem to be slowly winning the war against the pandemic - it will eventually settle. However, there will always be another crisis or major change to come along and challenge the sense of safety and security in our world.

It might be business or personal related. It might affect your physical or mental health, or even both. It might be a financial issue.

You can't insure yourself against all life's problems. Unforeseen events will, by definition, catch you off-guard. Worrying about those is a natural (and even healthy) behavior for every human being - and in special for entrepreneurs and self-employed consultants.

With that said, the biggest question we can ask ourselves here is not "should I worry?", but "how should I worry?"

One key lesson I took from the most resilient consultants I worked with is that successful people worry, but they worry well.

We generally see worry as a negative thing because we sink into problems and turn them into the focus of our minds. But you can use it to pinpoint the things that really matter and need to be taken care of. As Tony Robbins says, “identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.”

If most of your headspace is filled with problems right now, you need to turn the switch on. Sustainable growth and a healthy mindset are the result of spending 5% of your time on the problem, and 95% of it on the solution. Not the opposite.

Our "consultant mind" is trained to search for problems. But just like every engagement you deliver for clients, diagnosis is only the first step. It might be the most difficult one, but problem-definition per se does not change your client's situation by itself - you need to explore and implement solutions.

So the next time you're under pressure, walk the talk and put this into practice to deal with your worries. Find the root of the problem. Look at how other people in a similar situation solved a similar problem. And dedicate the bulk of your energy to put this solution into practice.

Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. Then take action.

Thanks for reading. You can get more specialized and actionable growth insights for micro consultancies in our newsletter. Every Tuesday, you get one idea from Danilo, one quote from other experts, one number you need to hear, and one question for you to level up your consulting practice.

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