Consulting isn’t eating what you kill

I was wrong. Consulting isn’t eating what you kill.

Ten years ago I penned a piece for my friend and mentor, Bill Frank, career coach master, which traveled the world via the Internet. I wrote: consulting would mean taking what you get, scraping by, eating what you killed. “Some days we eat pigeon. Some days we eat chicken. Some days it’s mac-n-cheese. Occasionally, we enjoy filet,” I opined.

But not long after I started my communications practice, I decided I’d rather starve than eat bad food or suffer bad accounts. I had a change of heart. It just took me nine years to set the record straight.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made mistakes and still, rarely, do. Client selection — like selecting a consultant — can be tricky. And there are a few dishonest suits who try and steal our ideas and time.

But there is no trick in bringing absolute integrity to work. There is no magic in being true to oneself. There is no illusion in being honest about one’s passion for a particular product or service. Or lack thereof.

There is only courage to say no to bad projects and difficult people who expect the world to embrace their inferior products and overlook their bad attitudes.

I have been lucky to remain true to my vision of doing great work for great people. In the end, the courage to be conscious about my choices has made our firm successful.

Today, our team of more than 14 professionals remains focused on helping great companies grow their influence the world over. All we ask in return is the favor of their candor when things might not be going so well, when they have questions or when they’re concerned about the voodoo we do.

Ironically, turning down work and firing bad clients hasn’t resulted in my family living under a viaduct. Quite the opposite, in fact. The pickier we are about who we represent, the more we thrive.

    Say no; make more.
    Suffer less; relish life.
    Limit our partners; grow our practice.

From humble basement beginnings, we’ve become one of Denver’s fastest growing integrated marketing communications firms. Still, a million dollars in annual revenues is not something I take lightly.

Everyday, I learn a lot about the business world. I’m constantly rediscovering my own values of treating people fairly, of working hard, of giving my best each and every day, and, finally, of letting go of my own exaggerated expectations. Because, at the end of the day, I really only control what I hunt and what I eat.

Let it be the filet of honesty and integrity.