Sometimes the world of consulting is seen like the world of insurance salespeople, and that’s not meant to denigrate them. When someone asks you what you do for a living and you say “consultant”, they look at you like they believe your job is to go into businesses and tell them everything they already know. Either that or they see you as someone who will make bold promises that can’t be kept. Dilbert hasn’t been kind to consultants over the years, yet we all know the comic is fairly accurate much of the time.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with my wife about consulting. I told her how over this past year I’ve spoken to maybe seven or eight different people who wanted to get into consulting, including a couple who do some of the things I do in trying to make a living. I also said that when I first got into the business how I found it difficult to find people who would talk to me about consulting, even if I didn’t do what they did, because they kept seeing me as competition instead of as a comrade. She said what’s the point of being a consultant if you won’t even talk to people who ask questions no matter what they are.

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.

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.

As unemployment got close to 8% some years ago, I had a feeling that we were going to start seeing more and more people deciding to try to go the independent route and become consultants of some type. After all, many people were losing their jobs to companies outside of the country, and many others were being downsized because companies were starting to lose money by not being able to make enough sales. Of course there were other reasons as well.