The Top 10 Myths of Starting a Consulting Business

Consulting | Freelance  |Marketing  | Strategic Planning

by Mary Ellen Bates The Reluctant Entrepreneur |April 29, 2019

Facepalm statue in Paris, France

I’ve seen a lot of myths about consulting, all of them as hoary and false as the idea that if you build a better mousetrap, people will beat a path to your door. Following are the infopreneur myths I’ve found to be most prevalent… and wrong.

#1. Consulting is what people do when they’re between jobs
In my experience, you can’t both start a business and look for a job; either you are focused on finding what your clients need most and how you can meet those needs, or you’re focused on finding who will hire you for your skills.

#2. The services I provided as an employee will be valued by consulting clients
Broadly speaking, employees are paid to maintain processes, while consultants are paid for outcomes. While you may do the same type of work as a consultant as you did as an employee, the focus – and what your client is paying you for – is very different. Read more…

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How to Figure Out How Much Influence You Have at Work [HBR]

by Maxim Sytch | February 18, 2019

Informal leadership | Mentoring | Career advice |Success |Relationships |Impact

A banker in Southeast Asia wanted to allow employees of a car rental agency to buy used cars from the employer. But not a single business unit was able to put together that product. Different units were stopped either by the existing product portfolio, the underlying risk, or regulatory guidelines. One of the banker’s colleagues, however, was able to facilitate valuable introductions across the company. That led to the solution being co-designed and jointly offered by two business units.

Credit the success of this new financial product to the banker’s informal power. Informal power — which is unrelated to your formal title — can enable you to mobilize resources, drive change, and create value for the organization as well as yourself. And in the modern workplace, informal power is increasingly pivotal and can secure your place within your organization. Read more…

The Most Valuable And Timeless Skills You Need to Thrive in The 21st Century

Career advice | Emotional Intelligence | Workplace |Employment

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The evolution of skills is accelerating, fast.

We live in a world of constant change, where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, you have consistently upgrade and reinvent yourself.

“Skill is the unified force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation.”

John Ruskin could not have defined skill any better.

When you strive to consistently improve your skills, you enjoy more success in life and at work.

Don’t give up on lifelong learning. Ever.

Research shows that it pays beyond the skills you acquire.

More than ever before, a challenged, stimulated brain may well be the key to a vibrant later life.

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success,” says Scott Adams

Start spending time preparing for the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

Begin to plant seeds every day that will yield the best and most fulfilling life now and in the future.

These valuable skills can radically improve your life. They may not seem earth shattering at first glance, but you’ll be surprised at just how much they can affect your life and career now and for the rest of your productive life.

Read more…

Your Workplace Isn’t Your Family (and That’s O.K.!)

Workplace | Career Advice | Employment |Relationships

It’s fine to have warm, supportive relationships with your co-workers. But remember the context.

Welcome to the Smarter Living newsletter. The editor, Tim Herrera, emails readers with tips and advice for living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

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“We’re like family here.”

It’s a line that seems enshrined in the collective unconsciousness of American workers. We spend more than 2,000 hours per year with our co-workers, so it seems only natural that we should think of them as family. We celebrate birthdays together, honor anniversaries, hang out at happy hours … these people are like a second family. Right?

Not necessarily, says Alison Green, who runs the career advice blog Ask a Manager and whose latest book, which has the same title, published earlier this year. Read more…

12 Things Mentally Strong People Do That Nobody Else Does

Emotional Intelligence | Success | Career Advice

John Rampton
Entrepreneur VIP
Entrepreneur and Connector
August 14, 2018
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

 

You’ve no doubt heard a million times that you should exercise. But how many people have suggested that you become more mentally fit?

I’m not just talking about doing a crossword puzzle to combat dementia — I’m talking about becoming mentally strong. When you do, you’ll be better equipped to regulate your thoughts, manage your emotions and boost your productivity.

Here are 12 things mentally strong people do.

1. They practice gratitude.

Instead of focusing on their burdens or what they don’t have, mentally strong people take stock of all the great things they do have. There are several ways to practice gratitude, but the simplest way to start is just by thinking of three things you’re grateful for each day. You can also start a gratitude journal to jot down all the good things you experienced throughout the day or adopt gratitude rituals, such as saying grace before a meal. Read more…

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How to Gain Power at Work When You Have None |WSJ

Workplace  | Career advice

Networking across your company, cultivating charisma and developing expertise in an emerging area are keys to success—and can be learned

By Sue Shellenbarger

March 6, 2018

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Illustration: Robert Neubecker

Many young employees are frustrated when their first jobs land them in powerless positions at the bottom of the organization chart after years of leadership roles in school, leading some to jump ship far sooner than employers would like.

How do you gain power when you have none?

More employers are opening new paths to leadership by encouraging employees to develop spheres of influence that have nothing to do with the org chart.

Such informal power is increasingly important—and valued—in today’s flatter organizations, where more jobs confer responsibility for teammates’ performance without the authority to give orders or dish out rewards or punishment, says corporate trainer Dana Brownlee, of Atlanta. Read more…

 

5 Secrets to Mastering Conflict

Communication | Office politics | Conflict Management

by Travis Bradberry | April 29, 2015

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Between the two of us, we’ve spent 50 years studying what makes people successful at work. A persistent finding in both of our research is that your ability to handle moments of conflict has a massive impact on your success.

How you handle conflict determines the amount of trust, respect, and connection you have with your colleagues.

Conflict typically boils down to crucial conversations—moments when the stakes are high, emotions run strong and op­­­­­­­inions differ. And you cannot master crucial conversations without a high degree of emotional intelligence (EQ).

With a mastery of conflict being so critical to your success, it’s no wonder that, among the million-plus people that TalentSmart has tested, more than 90% of top performers have high EQs.

So how can you use emotional intelligence to master crucial conversations? There are five common mistakes you must avoid, and five alternative strategies you can follow that will take you down the right path.

Mistake #1: Being Brutally Honest

Read more…