As an independent business consultant do you sometimes feel like Rodney Dangerfield, the comedian who made a career out of self-deprecating comments about how he never got any respect? Rodney’s shtick resonates with me much of the time due to the lack of respect I feel this industry gets.
I say this because, if I go looking for independent business consultant on the US Government’s Department of Labor site and there is no SIC code (Standard Industrial Classification Code) for Business Consultant. If I’m searching for support services to help me grow my practice, not much luck.
If I look for things like Human Resources or Coaching, however, I find support and services galore. If I’m in just my speaker mode, there is a wealth of resources, training, materials, etc. As a trainer I have no end to the people seeking to support or sell to me. But, when it comes to the number and quality of resources out there for guys and gals like myself (i.e., self-employed consultants providing value to the small to medium sized business world) the pickings are slim. Heck, there aren’t even many providers selling services or materials to this market, and nothing screams lack of respect more than not
even being seen as a viable target market.
Yes, I like most others I know in my profession, are members of professional organizations, but these are ancillary, indirect organizations built for other professions like speakers, trainers, HR professionals or coaches. While these may be roles an Independent Business Consultant plays in part, the profession spans all of them so any of these organizations only address a single aspect of my practice.
It’s not like I’m alone in what I do as a profession. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are over 300,000 “independent” business consultants out there in just the US alone. It is the 5th fastest growing market segment in the country and is predicted to grow as much as 60% by the year 2014. Given these kind of stats one would assume the “independent business consultant” market would be treated very much like any other industry; but I’m just not feeling the love.
I guess I can’t complain too much, however, because I think I’m just as much to blame as anything else. The very title of our profession just might provide us with the best hint at why this problem exists. As ”independent” business consultants, we’re just that…independent. By our very nature we work alone or in very small partnerships at best. It’s this relative isolation that I would argue has created a general lack of cohesion, or sense of community. And if the profession itself doesn’t have any cohesion, how can
the rest of the world see it clearly, or treat it accordingly?
So what are we to do to change things, bring about some cohesion in our industry and start getting a little respect if you will? Well, there I don’t have a solution and so I’m going to ask you my readers to help.
I’ve created a short survey where you can share your thoughts on what can be done to create a more cohesive market, bring more dedicated support to our family and garner more credibility as a real industry, Basically, what can we do to start getting more respect.
I guess the good news is that this problem exists among a group of professional that get paid to solve problems. We may just be suffering from the old “doctor heal thyself” adage, but that can change by refocusing, organizing our thoughts and pooling our resources.
To complete this short survey simply visits the URL below. I’ll let it run for a couple of weeks and then I’ll share the findings with everyone.
Who knows what we’ll find among ourselves, but at a minimum perhaps this in and of itself will be a good exercise in decreasing the isolation.
Independent Business Consultant Survey:
Because I live in Vegas, I get a chance to dine at various establishments and attend a plethora of shows… and being a Vegas resident for 7 years, I am an expert on dining and entertainment in Sin City. I’m just sayin’… if you’re interested, read on.
I’ll make this a short story… stuffy, overpriced and mediocre. Old school money type dinner… reminded me of some old country club what wouldn’t allow Tiger to dine there because he didn’t fit their profile. Obviously, I’m being facitious, yet the vibe in there was very stiff. No thanks. I love a great steak dinner, yet i enjoy feeling comfortable and there are many other places, such as Charlie Palmers in the Four Seasons, or Ruth Chris. Rating 3 of 10. Expensive and disappointing.
Here’s Prime’s description: Savor every rich detail. Award-winning, four-star celebrity chef and restaurateur, Jean-Georges Vongerichten invites you to realize steakhouse dining at its finest with prime steak, seafood and lamb accompanied by fabulous sauces, sides and meticulously selected wines. Ensconce yourself in the establishment’s handsome chocolate brown and delicate Tiffany blue décor – the elaborate design of Michael DeSantis. To further enhance your experience, prominent pieces of artwork are on display including three commissioned paintings by Carlo Maria Mariani, George Deem and Michael Gregory, as well as a water-themed canvas screen created by Joseph Raffael. A garden patio provides the perfect setting for lingering with your favorite cocktail in one hand and a fine cigar in the other.
Wow…you and make anything sound good with some solid descriptors and name dropping. i say drop on over to Charlie Palmers.Share...
I’ve lived in Vegas for close to seven years now and last night, we attended the Penn & Teller Show, which is a combination of comedy, magic and philosophy. Penn, of course, is the ringleader with his big presence and big voice and he skillfully works the audience and narrates each bit with a blend of drama and education.
I must say, the show exceeded my expectations. On a 0-10 scale, I give it a solid 9. What was interesting to me is how they did a bit (magic trick or act) and then often times educated the audience on how it was done, while playfully poking fun at the Chris Angels’ and John Edwards’ of the world. Classic stuff. In addition, Penn is an extremely intelligent guy who is on the “left-side” politically, and speaks his mind and uses jokes and illusion to communicate his views on the world. Here’s a video of one of their bits below.
Jennifer and I attended the show, along with the kids, who are 13 and 11 and they thought the show was “awesome.” So, if you’re coming to Vegas and you’re looking for a very cool, intelligent show for the entire family, consider Penn & Teller at the Rio Hotel & Casino. I would think any child over 10 would dig the show. After the show, both Penn & Teller signed autographs and took pictures, which is not typical in Vegas, so that was very cool. I had met Teller a few times; once on a Southwest Airlines flight, and the other at one of my speaking events, so it was fun to finally see the show and connect with him. Jennifer, who is a Vegas headline Singer, is an acquaintance of Penn, so she was able to connect with him as well; and he is 6’6″… which I didn’t know. Great night in Vegas.