May 29, 2020 11:04
How to find your Purpose as a consultant?
Best tips to find your Why as an independent consultant
« He who has a Why to live can bear almost any How »
- Friedrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher
1. What generates tears of inspiration
Whether you're reading a book, watching a movie or listening to music, there's always a moment when you feel your emotions overwhelm you. There is something going on inside you that you can't control. Something beyond your control. You feel like you're running out of air, you take a deep breath, you sniff, a tear runs down your cheek. The emotional part of your brain has just outgrown its rational part. And it's good to feel alive from time to time.
But we are in a society where we are asked to be strong. Competition at work, unemployment, pandemics, global warming, all of these are obstacles we have to face. So we are often advised to keep what we feel inside hidden, to let nothing show through, and to grit our teeth in the face of adversity.
But it is the complete opposite that will allow you to connect with your inner self.
Yet the need to connect with your emotions will reveal who you really are. Learn to listen to yourself and understand what makes you vibrate.
Dare to cry.
Dare to express and put a word on your feelings.
What was the sentence in the film that moved you?
Which passage of this symphony made you vibrate?
What words in the book brought a tear to your eye?
Write down what you have just discovered. This is an important signal that points you in the right direction in your life as an independent consultant.
2. What You Love Bringing & Sharing With Others
When it comes to success, each freelancer comes with his own indicator.
We mention how X made $10 million by selling his company. We explain how Y has created 8 companies in the last 10 years. We tell how Z made 10,000 new followers on Youtube with just one video. Such poor statistics.
But do you really think Mahatma Gandhi was less successful than Steve Jobs? Do you intend to compare Martin Luther King and Elon Musk in terms of success?
Of course, not. Each one of them, in his own way, was successful. And all with a common denominator.
Because the true measure of success should only follow a single number.
The only way to evaluate your consulting success is in the proportion to the number of people you've impacted. Of the number of people you helped. Of the number of people, you changed for the better.
And you, what do you like to bring to others?
It's not just about helping. It's about helping with what you like to share.
And the more you do for others in this particular field, the more you connect to your true purpose as a consultant.
3. When Freelancers Lose Track Of Time
When you don't see time going by, it's certainly because you're doing something related to your consulting purpose.
French psychologist Paul Fraisse is known for his work on the perception of time. In particular, he has explained that temporal judgment is not based on the notion of speed, but relies on many other parameters, especially pleasure.
Time is a relative and subjective notion. An hour is never an hour.
What we like to do seems to last a second, while what we hate seems to last an eternity.
Which of your consulting activities make you lose track of time?
4. Independent Consultants Embrace Pain, Not Fun.
This part may seem counterintuitive and therefore deserves attention.
We all tend to go for what we find easy and enjoyable, and it’s totally normal. We don't like to suffer in vain (except for a few masochists of us).
But pain is what tells us most about our true motivations.
Let’s think about it. We don't go to the gym to be in better shape but because we can no longer stand the sight of our reflection in the mirror. We don't go to the Animal Protection Agency instead of a dog breeding farm because we want to pay less for our new pet. But because we can no longer bear to see animals abandoned and suffering in vain.
Start wondering what you find intolerable.
Which topic makes you really sick when you talk about it with your friends?
Which pictures make you angry when you see them on the news?
What keeps you awake at night?
Rather than following your passion, start following your engagement.
5. If You Were A Billionaire Consultant, What Would You Continue To Do?
During my interviews, I’m always asking: « Now imagine you win the lottery, the big jackpot, big enough to allow you not to wake up for your daily job tomorrow. What you would love to do the entire day? Or being said differently, how you would occupy your days if you wouldn’t need to work ? ». Of course, I used to get the same answers at the very beginning of the process: « I’ll travel permanently» « I’ll invest everything to be safe the rest of my life » (hum…hum…yes, of course). But after 5 minutes, the same thing occurs again and again. People start to pose, take a breath, and think deeper, starting speaking aloud « It’s true that I can’t travel the entire year, each day of my life. I’ll get tired of hotels, flights, beaches, and sunshine. Maybe I’ll… ».
Here, we have just put our finger on two fundamental concepts.
The first concept is that everything is assessed based on its direct opposite. How can I still be enjoying the sunshine when I don’t experience rain anymore? In which situation do I appreciate a glass of water the most: after a long and hot ride in the middle of the desert or at home, relaxed before the TV? You got the idea. You’re not finally looking for permanent happiness but you’re looking for challenges to overcome which give a purpose to your life, creating milestones for your personal growth.
The second concept is - since human beings are living in permanent connection with nature, humans, and other species - we must search our way both within and outside ourselves. When we finally acknowledge we have everything for ourselves, we all have a tendency to extend our inner circle of influence to change the lives of others.
In fact, fulfillment comes from having the feeling of participating in something that is greater than the individual and transcends us. Fulfillment lasts when happiness is temporary since the latter is linked to what we perform when the former is strongly related to the reasons why we do what we do. Our inner reason, or LIFE CONSULTING MISSION.
Your mission can be revealed to yourself through a simple good action, by a particular experience that affected you, by a unique shared moment with someone, or by a real pain and the desire to transform a tragedy into success.
In order to find your mission, the first step is to gather all the important memories you can about the experiences you faced so far. The key is to look for deeply charged emotional moments, even if they seem banal at first sight. Think about the situations, the people who influence you and the lessons you learned in these particular situations. And give great attention to the details. The more precise the situation is in your mind, the better the outcomes of the exercise will be.
The second step in the process is to share your memories with a partner that will be the interpret. Don’t try to be your own interpret, since the common thread or recurring themes we’re looking for need to be found by active listening. Avoid your best friend or your wife who is not really objective.
You’re going now to tell five to ten anecdotes to your partner, focusing on details and emotions you have experienced on these occasions. Your partner's role at this stage is to actively listen to you and take notes to identify the expressions that come up in your story. He’ll just ask open-ended questions to clarify things, especially when your emotional reaction is the strongest.
Once you have finished telling your memories, your partner will be able to interpret them and identify your recurring themes. They’ll be used to formulate your life mission. The thing that lasts after. This little taste of immortality.