My name is Mitch Mitchell and I’m on the board of the Professional Consultants Association. One of the things we regularly talk about are the programs we’re going to put on. More specifically, we talk about the topics and speakers we think will bring value to the group meetings.
One of the biggest things learned over the years is that all of us have our own interpretation of what we think is valuable for us to learn. I’m big on marketing and learning things that help us as consultant’s survive. I go that route because I know that’s my every day struggle; how to continually get new business and how I can save my time by outsourcing, or hiring others, to do small things so I can concentrate on my business.
Some of the other consultants take a more worldly view of things. For instance, many don’t understand all the nuances of social media or how to use the equipment they should be using, or even if they should be using any of this equipment at all. They want to talk to people in the know on local happenings that they feel could give them an opportunity to get more work, or even new technologies or processes in the world that they think could be invaluable to them at some later point.
The overriding thing we all agree on is that consultant’s need to continually learn and progress. Everyone might not need to learn how to use Twitter but everyone needs to have an understanding of why social media works for some people. Everyone doesn’t have to have the latest smartphone but everyone has to have some kind of idea of how people are communicating in different ways such as through things like Skype, Google+ hangouts, and blogging. We all need to know what types of things we can have others do for us such as hiring accountants or people to cut our grass that takes a lot of stress from our minds.
And of course we need to stay on top of what’s going on in our own industries. Giving someone antiquated advice doesn’t work all that well if one wants to continue to be relevant, yet sometimes the basics are exactly what’s needed by a client.
What do you see are things that consultants need to learn for their business?