I’ve recently had another incident that drove me to the point of basically outing the other person and demanding both pay and respect. One of the main problems I had was that this person who treated me improperly is another consultant, someone in my industry who should know better.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to me. Years ago when I got my first big contract it was through another guy who was a consultant. I got paid well, but later found out that he got almost as much an hour as I did. I learned that tidbit when at an informal meeting onsite and the people were talking about how much they bid to get my services. They knew I wouldn’t be getting it all, but I also knew the guy had told me he was getting only a certain percentage of my contract, which basically told me he’d lied to me.

I also had an adventure where a consultant, acting in an interim administrative capacity, had asked me to come in and give a proposal to a project the hospital he was working at had open. He told me many things that were above and beyond the normal scope of what I’d usually do that I told him my price would be fair but slightly higher than the norm. I even told him what I’d be charging and told him that I could bring in another consultant to help me out if the hospital needed it done quicker. What happened? I sent the proposal and never heard from the guy again. I called a number of times and sent email a number of times as well. I called someone else who also had an administrative position who’d sat in on the early process, and he told me the guy was there but that he was really busy. Please, is that the way for a consultant to treat another consultant?

One would think that someone who deals with the same types of issues would treat you a little bit better than that, but it doesn’t seem to hold true. It’s funny how quickly a consultant stops being a consultant when they’re making money or representing someone else. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, and I’ve never done it to anyone else. Whenever I’ve been in an interim position and had to take sales calls I’ve told them exactly how it was at the facility I was working at, making sure they knew I was a consultant as well. I also never have ignored calls from these people while I’m onsite if I’ve asked them to provide something; after all, we all know what it’s like never knowing what an issue might be with a proposal we’ve given someone and never heard anything back on.

Is a part of it jealousy, or is it worry that you’ll make them look bad? I remember the early days of being a consultant where I called other consultants and almost none of them would talk to me, saying I was competing against them even if I wasn’t in their industry. I also know that some consultants think they’re supposed to know everything and thus when someone else comes along that not only can offer information they don’t know but suddenly can improve things more than the consultant who’s already there that sometimes the consultant thinks more about their own image than about helping their client.

Where does that mentality come from? Is it a mentality you have sometimes? Is it a mentality that can be broken? Or is it a mentality that needs to remain, kind of a self preservation that some consultants must have to maintain their business edge?

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