who was that masked man?

May 24th, 2001

Independent consulting makes for a nomadic life. An adventure here, a campaign there, never a place to hang your hat. While alliances are made, they are usually transient. In the door, assess, recommend, resolve, ride into the sunset.

In a game where it’s all about relationships, the real long-term winning relationships are built in fits and starts, usually in project-oriented chunks. Clients, resources, allies, vendors.

In a heirarchical organization, it is practical and often necessary to make alliances with those around you, to mentor and groom candidates to succeed you so you can grow. As an independent, this is somewhat difficult. You have no staff or colleagues of your own to mould. Alliances with other consultants are useful but seldom take on a heirarchical form – other independent consultants are also in the business to be Batman – nobody wants to be Robin.

I’ve been involved for some time with a networking group (that’s human relationship building, not hubs and routers) that affords me the opportunity to meet other independent consultants. I find it very useful to meet and converse with other folks in the business. It fills some of the voids that set us apart from our “employed” counterparts, and occasionally results in business leads.

There should be similar groups and organizations where you are. Look ’em up. Get involved – just attending meetings and shooting the shit can go a long way. It’s good for you, good for your business.

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