• Shayne Leslie

Ten Consultant Secrets to Foster Future Growth

Listening to many business and community leaders who have participated in my Foster Future Growth series, it was interesting to hear some common blockages that prevent our peers and ourselves from investing our energy in fostering future growth. Some of these may ring true for you, too.

  • Time to do everything you need to do

  • Having the right identity and direction as an organisation

  • For CEOs, having an agile-thinking board of directors that let you get on with the job

…and I have to admit this one took me a little by surprise…

  • Backing yourself – belief in your own leadership.

If you are distracted by an unhelpful inner-voice, financial worries, or just spending a substantial portion of your time ineffectively finding new customers then you're caught in a trap. And you’re not alone.

If you have ever grown your own veggies in the backyard, you will know all about nurturing, patience and bounty. You will understand that a seed planted in the morning does not bear fruit that afternoon. A seed planted, and not nurtured will not bear fruit. Sometimes a seed nurtured, does not grow at all. And a healthy plant that does bear fruit can easily shrivel away with blight, so we need more than one seed growing at a time.

Fostering Future Growth in business is just like maintaining a veggie patch. You have to start planting today and learn to nurture your seeds. It isn’t so much about planting as many seeds as you can, but planting quality seeds.

That is what the Foster Future Growth series is about. Locating your quality seeds.

One of the reasons I wrote my free book was to help people like you gain confidence and back your decisions. Many of my clients and readers work in the community such as clubs, membership, community services. Many of my clients and readers feel like they are generally ignored by larger firms and associations and can’t afford expensive consultancy fees.

That’s why I am giving you 10 of my Consultant Secrets for you to Foster Future Growth.

All this information is located in my Foster Future Growth series which I urge you to download this week. It will be coming down next week some time as I rework the information into a book that will be available for purchase through Amazon. It is also a precursor to my next series, Get Control, which will be released in February.

Now, to get these secrets you'll have to download my FREE SUMMARY REPORT... all it will take is an email address here...

Here's the cheat list...

  • Consultant Secret 1: Use Evidence, Not Instinct

  • Consultant Secret 2: Fit Thinking

  • Consultant Secret 3: Staying Sharp Requires Work

  • Consultant Secret 4: Inspiration to Innovation

  • Consultant Secret 5: Your Customer List is Gold

  • Consultant Secret 6: Growing and Harvesting

  • Consultant Secret 7: Small Boosts and Large Hauls

  • Consultant Secret 8: Understanding Future Trends

  • Consultant Secret 9: The Powerful Presentation

  • Consultant Secret 10: Lead the Transformation

Here are some freebies...

Consultant Secret 1: Use Evidence, Not Instinct

A big mistake many community and business leaders make is that they rely on their ‘gut instinct’.

Why do people rely on gut instinct? It’s easy. It’s right there. It feels good, especially when your gut instinct pays dividends. However, like betting on the horses, it’s not a science. It’s luck. And luck isn’t a plan for fostering future growth. Luck isn’t going to grow your income or revenue – except if you’re lucky enough to with the lotto (and that isn’t a business plan either).

As a consultant, I won’t advise you to follow my hunch unless I’ve backed it up with evidence. Reports, numbers, trends, research… you have to take the same approach.

Gut instinct is the distillation of knowledge and experience. Unfortunately, instinct is clouded and cultured with an incredible amount of psychological baggage. Instinct, like flight or fight, often takes you down the road of your personal averages - I always pick the team in blue.

This leads to the next secret.

Consultant Secret 2: Fit Thinking

A big mistake many community and business leaders make is that they don’t nurture a healthy and intelligent approach to their mindset.

We have to ditch that ‘trust my gut’ mindset and be actively aware of our response patterns. Toxic thought patterns include;

  • I already know it all… I’m pretty smart and superior to everyone else

  • I’m too old… busy… tired… hip… broke… to learn new things

  • What if it doesn’t work… people will think that I am stupid

  • I’ve tried some of that before…

As a consultant, the hardest thing to do is to ‘push the boat out’ on new ideas and techniques. I’m accountable to my clients and my family, and consulting is quite difficult and challenging, so my thinking has to be pretty fit. I admit I found this out the hard way when I let toxic thoughts get in the way of success.

Fostering future growth starts with your mindset – recognising bad thinking habits about yourself, your ability to achieve success and your willingness to learn new things.

So turn those toxic thoughts around… which leads to the next secret.

Consultant Secret 5: Your Customer List is Gold

One of the biggest mistakes community and business leaders make is that they don’t know who is on their List.

The number one list I have is my customer list. These are the people who have actually paid me to work. This list is GOLD. People who are like the people who are my long-term customers are my target market.

When I go into a consulting job, the first thing I ask for is THE LIST. I start by understanding the bedrock of a business and building from there. In this list are the clues to nurturing ‘finer seeds’ rather than mass-advertising to everyone and hoping for the best.

Personally, I DON’T LIKE hope marketing. I don’t like hope leadership. Hope is not a marketing strategy. Hope is not a business plan. You can’t show up every day and hope. Hope that someone who might be your customer will show up too.

Understanding your customers is a better strategy than hope.

In my book, Foster Future Growth, I talk in detail about analysing your customer list so I won’t do it here. Let me share with you this… when I looked at my customer list, I looked at personal attributes. I was thrilled to find my long-term customers had these qualities:

  • Learning – They’re educated and possess a continuous-learning mindset

  • Sharing - They want me to teach them what I know

  • Listening - They want to teach me what they know

  • Forward-thinking - They’re open-minded in thinking about the future

  • Connected - They’re technologically proficient and use this medium to stay connected

  • Passionate - They have diligently worked up to their position because of their passion to serve their community and provide for their family

  • Ethical - They want to do business with people who are honest and transparent, and loathe industry politics

  • Improvement – Despite different levels of success and the knowledge that they can have impact, they all want to do better; they want to get out of their comfort zone and follow a process to achieve their improvement.

These are the people who will become my long-term customers of the future. They’re not people who believe in magic wands, working a little as possible or are attracted to power for the sake of power.

Getting a sharp and accurate picture of the people you do business with today will help you understand the people you need to do business with in the future.

Which leads us into the next secret.