It’s tomorrow. I can smell it already. I can feel it in the air particles I feel around my skin as I walked down the sidewalk last night. I can’t wait for this new year to begin. I feel deep envy for my Aukland people. 🙂
I’ve spent 18 days counting down to 2018. In all this time, while serendipity inspired some topics [as expected] in the weeks building the topics list for the 18 pieces [manifesting intentionality], I’m thinking deeply about my 30 month anniversary of E~B Strategy on January 8. I’m thinking about how one core part of my work has evolved in this short time.
I’ve talked with a number of people in recent months about my Path Consulting work: missions, methods, framework, paradigms, values and integrity, honesty and self-awareness, intentionality, listening to hear, wrapping intuition around connections, fostering rich humanity, and some more gory items like costing, billing, overhead, deliverables, parameters, value for money, timelines, KPIs, rules of engagement, endpoints, outcomes and the value of time.
I keep up. I’ve read what other consultants are into lately. I monitor some local ones who have pulled it together, including new and exciting people like Emilie Clark who has leapt out of radio and into female empowerment coach. I’ve read field trainers, some who’ve got it together because the focus is on clients and their outcomes not billable hours, some who sound like carnival hawkers, some sounding like those teaching us how to buy real estate with no money down, some encouraging us to find ways to extend engagements with clients to keep them paying longer. Sigh.
As much as the Path Consulting frame in the past has been about outcomes, I’ve turned around the entire billing model so that outcomes are also at the centre, and the engagement revolves around that endpoint instead of the hours.
I’ve moved the 6-month billing span to 4 months with free subsequent months. Literally, the only reason I’ve seen from people opposed to outcome billing is that they fear not getting paid for ALL the hours they put in. That’s it. Our time is valuable, sure. But clients aren’t marks, with long-term cashflow value. They’re real, human people who have goals and need help along the Path to level up. They can’t always portage their canoe by themselves.
Consultants are supposed to work towards meaningful outcomes, deliverables that provide value for the people who are investing their cash money into their Path. If we can’t mutually pin down viable, credible, deliverable outcomes, then we don’t know what we’re doing. And that’s on us.
Altering the billing model to support outcomes being at the centre removes the brutal, luring conflict of interest consultants are sometimes tempted by: milking clients in perpetuity. Ethics matter, so does integrity.
Path Consulting isn’t medical treatment or mental health therapy. It isn’t coffee with siblings, cousins or friends. It’s not a decades-long mentorship relationship. It’s not cultivating secret confidantes.
It’s optimizing work-life-vocation-volunteering balance. It’s about helping people become more whole, more contented. And while the process lasts a lifetime, clients shouldn’t be on the hook to us financially for the rest of their lives. That’s what multi-level marketing schemes are for. No thank you.
So 2018 is the year to put outcomes first, in all ways, including/especially the financial aspect of the engagement.
That’s where the value is. That’s where the humanity lies. That’s how we map the integrity.
And that’s how we build futures.