These days, there is no shortage of business consultants who are happy to help you. As a business consultant myself, here's what I look for when hiring one – for myself:
1. They've hired a business consultant themselves.
I'm not interested in learning from someone who isn't interested in learning from others. Someone who is convinced they personally have "all the answers" usually doesn't.
2. Their expertise goes beyond Google and the latest books.
I've hired consultants several times over the course of my career. Some were useful, some helped me shift my perspective on certain things even though their advice didn't actually work, and some were terrible – reciting paragraphs from books that I had already read, with zero knowledge beyond that.
3. They earn enough to be the primary breadwinner, even if that is not their family role.
Supplemental income is awesome. Being able to take your family on vacations and creating lifelong memories together matters. Even paying half the expenses in a dual-income family is great. However, being able to grow a business that generates enough revenue to completely support your family and the families of your employees requires a different skillset (and mindset) than running a business that only provides excellent supplemental income.
4. They spend both quality and quantity time with their families.
Travel is great and goodness knows I've racked up the miles, but at this point in my career I am not interested in learning how to build a business that takes me away from home on a frequent basis. For me both quality time and quantity time are important.
5. They work smarter and harder.
They don't claim to make a full-time salary by working "only three days a week" (I automatically nope right out of someone's Instagram page if I see this) but they also don't kill themselves or their team by never allowing their phones to be switched off during lunch. They work hard. They work smart. They rest. They make time for people. And they allow others to do the same.
Originally published April 2017