Objections and misconsceptions of a consulting relationship

There is a pattern in many of the emails I get about working with me as a consultant. I've put this page together for your benefit, so you can understand where I'm coming from.

Part time can actually be more productive than full time

First off, I just want to get the obvious out of the way. I'm not saying it's always better to work with a consultant. There are many situations in which a full time employee makes more sense.

Many employers seem to think that more time equals more stuff done. For any kind of demanding working (mental or physical), it is simply not true.

Past the warmup period, the most productive hours are the first 3-4. Then productivity drops.

It's commonly known by now that our most productive time tends to be the first hours of the day. For some people, it's the last hours of the day--even at night. Sometimes, taking a break mid-day can allow you to work "double time" and into the evening, but this will usually affect your productivity the next day.

If you're like me, chances are that you have your most productive time right after you get past the "warmup" period.

A full time employee, working 8+ hours a day, is not going to deliver the highest quality work during all of those eight hours. Even with a 30-60m lunch break.

We all like to believe we have found "gems" of productivity. Yet studies show over and over again that people lose focus frequently. We can't even stay focused during a 60 minute presentation. Heck, our mind wanders every few seconds -- if you've ever meditated, you know this.

I only work with those who value my time

So I've made a resolution. Just as I value my client's money and time, so too I expect them to value mine. I only work with clients who respect and value my time.

I often respond to inquiries by noting that I bill by (1) time or (2) the value I deliver. Let me make it clear that, when I bill my time, I bill my most productive time.

Put other ways...

If you're a client reading this, by now I hope you realize the absurdity of this statement: "We want leaders who work sixty hours a week at peak productivity".

But I can hear you say:

Well, not all work is going to be highly demanding work. There will be lots of odds and ends and mindless repetitive tasks.

Then I suggest hiring an assistant at a lower rate, or automating these repetitive tasks. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

What about after-work events, or culture building?

Those have nothing to do with productivity. At the end of the day, what keeps me motivated is doing good work to run a successful business. And to be completely transparent, I don't buy into all this BS around playing games at work, having late dinners, and so on.

The bottom line is that your business is not your life. It's not your life, and it's not my life. I value people (family, friends, clients), and experiencing the world. I enjoy doing my business because consulting is all about people. Getting to know each other is part of a consulting relationship.

What about all these daily meetings?

The best meetings are few and far between.

"We want someone to take ownership and think critically, not a hired gun"

Since I think of myself as an investment for a client, my goal is to deliver tremendous value to them. A happy client is priceless.

A great client wants to work with me again and again. And refers me to other clients.

As such, I am invested in the success of your business. After all, I am building a sustainable business of my own. Why would I take your money, do the job, and disappear? That just doesn't make sense to me!

And of course, another way to add to that is by offering equity.