One year ago today, I fulfilled a dream I’ve had since my first consulting project: to start my own firm. At two separate companies, the head of a consulting firm tapped me to help them develop and execute internal strategy. I knew I could do it, I knew there was value, but would a professional services firm that was selling answers itself ever hire an outsider to help them?
Running any firm is like climbing a mountain: you think that the summit is just around the next corner, that you just need to find one more client, wrap up one more project, or write one new piece of thought leadership and you’ll get a chance to rest. Except that around every corner is another ridge, another goal to hit. But unlike climbing a mountain, I’ve never gotten tired or wanted to turn back. This is the first job I’ve ever had where not a day goes by that I want to quit.
In the past year, I was quoted in the Atlantic and profiled in the Detroit Jewish News. Readers took a special interest in what I learned about leadership from goat herding, and clients learned from thought leadership around finding a strategy, developing new practices, and clarifying their value proposition. Most importantly, I helped clients figure out a growth strategy, become more consultative, create new practices, develop their employees, and market their expertise.
After a century of being able to do business pretty much the same as always, professional firms are facing new challenges from technology, globalization, and competition that are forcing them to fundamentally rethink their strategies and business practices. I look forward to another year helping clients to navigate uncertainty, execute new strategies, and get their businesses in order, so they can spend their time doing what’s really important: focusing on their own clients. Around this corner is just another ridge, but I’m excited to keep climbing.