Case Study (Part 8): Do You Operate Your Business On Purpose…Or By Default?
October 18, 2012
Have you heard the put-down definition of a consultant?
It’s some one who calls himself an independent consultant until he lands the ideal job that pays a great salary for doing what he loves.
As unkind as this definition may be, there is an element of truth to it.
For many people, including service professionals, self-employment is their second choice as a way of earning a living doing the work they love. There first choice would be a well paying job. In the absence of such an opportunity, they choose self-employment…by default.
Once again, I know all about this. I left a salaried position as an associate lawyer (i.e. employee) because I wanted to serve clients the way I thought they wanted and deserved to be treated. At the time, I would have preferred to put my energy into looking after clients than into setting up my own law practice. But alas, the lawyer who paid my salary maintained the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ approach, which meant the highway to self-employment was the highest good for all concerned.
Although initially self-employment was not my first career choice, I have no regrets. I recognize that given my independence, I am and probably always was a terrible employee. But I digress.
Intuitively, I believe that Martha also chose self-employment by default.
As I commented yesterday, Martha’s marketing performance assessment indicated that her top business priority is serving clients. As a result, management-related issues like monitoring client and competitor behavior fell by the wayside.
It could be that this is the basis of Martha’s marketing problem…the obstacle that is preventing her from achieving the marketing results she wants and deserves.
It appears to me that Martha would rather serve clients than attract them. As a result, Martha is probably more comfortable working for existing clients, even for little or no compensation, than mucking around in marketing. Not surprisingly, her marketing muddle is made made even worse by the lack of reliable information upon which to base new marketing initiatives.
The good news is that I can discuss these issues with Martha in our coaching session this afternoon. Check back tomorrow to learn the outcome of our discussion.
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