Throughout my career I've found myself gravitating towards startup assignments.
I'm a builder, so I find creating a business from scratch and calming the chaos extremely fulfilling.
Entrepreneurs who have chosen to create, develop, and execute a service or product are, by necessity, focused on growing the business.
External consultants, on the other hand, can deal with the time-consuming – but essential – details that keep the business on track:
- Bringing a consultant on board gives entrepreneurs the freedom to focus on strategy and innovation, without getting bogged-down in the tactical aspects of scaling a business.
- Experienced consultants are likely to have experienced similar growth environments and can share with entrepreneurs valuable ‘tricks and tips’ to drive organic growth. With a consultant's guidance business founders can make and invest in better decisions from the start without the experimentation that wastes time, money, and energy.
- Consultants are outside the business team and vested in the success of their assignment. As a result, they can rise above the office politics and interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the execution of strategy. Indeed, they can give business founders the honest, objective feedback they need to address these issues before they become problems.
On a recent assignment I found myself executing on all the above, allowing the business founder to shift their focus away from tactical areas best left for functional leaders and to spend more time fundraising for the company's next investment series.