So you’re starting a business…Congratulations! Hard work, perseverance and focus will take you a long way. Learning from other entrepreneurs will also help you avoid some pitfalls. Here are three lessons I’ve learned along the way while consulting:

1.   Don’t get involved in office politics. It’s important to draw a line and draw it early. The lines between customer (client) and consultant can sometimes blur. This can become a problem if you let it. Ultimately, these are clients, not friends, and a professional, friendly and mature approach will be to your advantage in the long run.

2.   Keep learning. Consultants often have more than one client at a time and you need to learn things quickly. New industries, businesses, people. You also need to keep up to date in your profession. What’s changing? Are there new options or solutions you can bring to your client/customer?

3.   Be flexible. Project focus and direction can change on a dime and so can your clients’ management. You need to be ready to shift gears and adjust quickly to changes within the organizations that you work with.

Ultimately, much of our learning curve is done while we work with our clients and customers. The main thing is – don’t beat yourself up, learn from the mistake and apply the knowledge to your benefit. Embrace the challenge, focus your passion and have fun!

Cathy Yeomans, Imagine Public Relations, White Rock, BC, imaginepr@shaw.ca

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