Over the last few weeks I’ve been busy trying to understand what “I’m going to be a consultant” means in real life. I’m approaching it like I would any visioning/strategy project, combining a bit o’ strategic thinking with design tools and processes. The goal is to let why I’m doing this work and who I’m doing it for shape what work I’ll do and how I’ll do it.
At it’s core that means:
- Discovery – I don’t assume I know the answer, but rather ‘discover’ the best opportunities for success through strategic questions, research and analyses.
- Trust the Process – this approach is inherently ambiguous, so I have to trust that these tools and processes will help me create a business that both my future clients and I will love and value.
- User-Centeredness – a successful business won’t spring from what I want to do, but rather the needs and challenges faced by the people I want to work with. Discovering an authentic connection between the two is key to my long-term success.
- Iteration – my first ideas won’t be my greatest, nor will any ideas that are developed in a vacuum. Feedback loops, research, reflection and being willing to rework ideas are powerful parts of this process.
These ideas are grounded in Human-Centered Design (a method for creative problem solving and innovation), which I introduce in workshops and kick-off meetings like this:
Sharing: Weeks 1 & 2
To that end, I wanted to share my process with you all, to get feedback to better understand what is and isn’t resonating. At the end of the day, I want to help people and organizations, to empower them to be creative, strategic and be successful. I can’t do that without understanding their needs, fears, struggles, inspirations and motivations as I build my business.
Below are a few products of my initial brainstorming and analyses, they outline:
- Defining the process, including questions I need to answer, a schedule for the next few months and the specific tools I’ll use
- Four big ideas that outline where my passions and skills overlap
- A whiteboard from a ‘problem finding’ exercise that explores the problems my future clients have that I’d like to solve
All of these ideas are very high level and rough (not intended for marketing purposes). They are hypotheses ripe for testing. They are my first steps in discovering my business model, services, branding and clients.
Constructive feedback and questions are encouraged!