Consulting can be an odd business. Most consultants can actually do more than one thing to make money and do them pretty well. Most of us gear ourselves towards that one thing we were pretty good at when we worked for someone else and try to market that, while others decide that they had a dream that they wanted to work towards and go in that direction.
A guy named Ari Herzog worked in digital marketing and decided he wanted to be an independent consultant in that field. So he became a consultant and for 4 years worked hard in the business. He wasn’t bad but after some time decided that the grind was a bit much and decided to go back to a traditional job. Only, once he was there he realized that wasn’t what he wanted either, so after a couple of months he bailed.
He took some time to think things through and came to an interesting conclusion. He didn’t have the passion to be in digital marketing anymore. It wasn’t his passion, and he started to question whether it was ever his passion. What he came to was that his passion was actually in working with people and helping people via the political process. He liked seeing people everyday and pressing the flesh, something that doesn’t happen as often once you start working for yourself, and at the same time something that doesn’t happen as often in social media.
Here are 3 truths that at some point almost every consultant comes up against that needs some thought and reflection:
* Most people don’t work in something that they’re passionate about
* Most people have no idea what their passion is to even have an opportunity to work at it
* Sometimes passion isn’t the best reason for doing something.
That last one is tough to deal with mentally and yet it means something different than the topic we began with. There are some jobs that need to be done that people fill roles for because they can get paid very well at it.
Mike Rowe tells a story about a guy he met during his Dirty Jobs TV show whose career was doing some things with sheep that most of us would probably faint just thinking about it. At some point he asked the guy if he liked doing it and the guy said no. The guy then talked about all the things he really likes to do and how the money he makes from what he does helps him pay for all those other things. So, even though it was a dirty, nasty job, he was making great money, rich beyond measure where he lives, and understands the means to his ends.
However, he also doesn’t totally hate what he does. If that was the case then he could possibly make mistakes, and he can’t afford to do that because no matter the livestock, they’re valuable to the owner. Each consultant must think about that as they try to do whatever it is they do.
If you hate it you will never give it your best, and you won’t make money at it long term. You only get one life so you need to make the determination whether what you do is what you like doing, what you don’t mind doing because it funds other passions you have, or is dragging you down to a point where you get sick thinking about it.
What is it you want to do? Harder question than it seems.