You work hard in your craft as a consultant.
Are you looking to increase your income too?
Not just earn 6 figures, but multiple 6 figures?
If you want to earn more income, you’ll definitely want to keep reading.
Again and again, I have friends in the business as independent consultants ask me, “Tanya, how do you do it?”
‘It’ being, how do I earn the income so I can:
- Take multiple vacations a year.
- Have a long weekend, every weekend.
- Go to numerous conferences, internationally.
My friends and colleagues in the business of consulting want to earn more money.
And like me, have benefits that independent businesses get to take advantage of.
What would you do if you increased your income?
Whatever it is you want to do with your income, first, you need to earn it.
If you are willing to invest in your business as an independent consultant, I am confident you will earn a multi 6 figure income a year.
I’m confident because the 6 steps I am sharing with you in this article are what I have done and continue to do.
“…we must begin with the end in mind”
– Stephen Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit #2
6 Steps to Earn Multiple 6 Figures
Step 1. Determine Your Personal Brand
A personal brand is essential today, regardless if you are an independent consultant, an employee, small business owner, leader in a large organisation, etc.
It enables you to determine your promise to your community and market, positioning yourself for your goals and future.
If you would like to learn more about personal branding, please check out my previous articles:
- 10 Questions to Reveal Your Authentic Personal Brand
- 4 Questions You Need to Ask to Stand Out as a Consultant
- 5 Reasons Why Consultants Should Take Personal Branding Seriously
- The 1 Mistake Consultants Make that Kills Their Business
“Your brand is your promise to your customers <clients>. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
Step 2. Brainstorm and Commit to Exciting and Motivating, Yet Big and Scary Goals
Another way to describe exciting and motivating, yet big and scary goals are as ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ (BHAGs).
When you are are braining-storming your goals keep in mind:
- your ‘why’ or reason for building your independent consulting business,
- your vision,
- mission, and
- your personal brand
Set each goal in a positive and pro-active tense.
Don’t forget to include ones for you personally.
Life isn’t all about work and business – why else are you doing it?
So dream big and be excited even about those that may scare you.
“Don’t settle for mediocrity, never let good enough be good enough.”
– Joel Osteen
Step 3. Set Milestone Goals That Support Your Exciting and Motivating, Yet Big and Scary Goals
Now that you have set your BHAGs, your next step is to set some goals by milestones years.
What do you want to accomplish in 10 years from now?
Then what will you need to accomplish in 5 years from now? 3 years? In the next year?
Try using the timeless S.M.A.R.T. approach.
Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky and Time-keyed.
Many of you may be ‘sick’ of hearing about it but let’s be honest, it’s still a great approach.
But if you want to switch it up, you can add to this method by adding an E.R. for SMARTER Goals; Exciting and Relevant.
When you are setting your goals for the next year, I would suggest coming up with 5 – 10 categories for your goals that align with your BHAGs and your current position.
Some categories you may want to include associate with your business, such as financial or intellectual.
But don’t forget those categories that may be personally important to you, such as, martial/ relational, parental or physical.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
– Carol Lewis
Step 4. Create a “Project Me! Success Plan” to Reach Your Goals For the Next Year
Next step is to dig in and make you and your business a priority.
And I can’t think of any better way to purposefully take steps to do so than apply project planning and execution principles to your ‘short-term’ plan of how you’re going to reach your 1-year goal(s).
We apply such principles to our work with our clients so why not use the same successful tools for ourselves.
I’m not suggesting that you need to race out and become a certified project manager professional (PMP).
Nor does this mean you need to be a guru in MS Project or some other tool.
However, I am suggesting you may find more success for yourself by becoming familiar with and practising essential planning and monitoring principles.
This way, you can productively organise your effort to meet your objectives.
There are lots of methodologies and tools to help you do so, find what will work for you.
“Best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. Second best time is today.”
– Chinese proverb
Step 5. Be Prepared to Adjust and Let Some Things ‘Go’
Unfortunately, we have reached the step where we need to include a healthy dose of reality.
When you set exciting and motivating goals that are big and scary, that you really want, some things have to be declared as ‘not as important’.
It’s not that you can’t have it all.
It’s more about what you can have, when.
So, you need to prioritize.
Which means there are going to be some things you need to delay.
In the past, I was big into strength lifting. I loved it so much and enjoyed it, I even competed.
Not only did I place well, I qualified to compete nationally.
Then reality came-a-knocking.
I wanted my business to prosper and to enable me to reach other important goals.
Be it to continue to compete in strength lifting, travel, mentor, volunteer, learn more, etc.
As a result, I stopped focusing on training to compete. I instead was content with just regular workouts that kept my bodily and mental health in check.
Instead, I focused and prioritised on the specific short-term goals I wanted to achieve, as per my Project Me! Success Plan.
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse”
– Ryan Blair
Step 6. Focus Continually on Building Authentic Peer and Client Relationships
Relationship building is an absolute cornerstone of an independent consultant’s business.
Yes, you can look for opportunities and bid on them.
However, a more efficient and productive way to secure opportunities is to do so before they ever go out to bid.
To do that, you need your relationships helping and advocating for you and you for them.
And those relationships include both:
- your past/ current clients who are your raving fans, and
- those you have worked with who also received value from you while you worked, side by side.
But it is not a one time or occasional ‘check in the box’ activity.
It takes work and investment on your part.
You need to manage your network and relationships, planning your actions as part of your Project Me! Success Plan, continually investing in your existing relationships and building new ones.
Like the first step, Determine Your Personal Brand, you can read more about relationship building in the following previous articles:
- 4 Networking Mistakes Consultants Make and How to Fix Them
- 20 Tips That Will Dramatically Improve Your Networking Experience
- 3 Tips That Will Help You Connect With Your Ideal Client
- 5 Lead Generating Mistakes Consultants Make and How to Fix Them
“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours”
The above 6 steps are what made the difference for my business, my family and me.
They help me break the ceiling to earn more money as a consultant than I ever did as an employed leader.
And they helped me as an independent business and making a lifestyle that is worth it, every day.
Regardless if you are just starting out or as a well-seasoned consultant, these 6 steps and following through and taking action are essential for you to
- earn a multi 6 figure income or more; and
- earn the lifestyle you desire.
Heare’s to being excited about working for your success!
Thanks for reading!
Founder and President
Stand & Deliver Inc.