Being a business consultant
Marnie Jones: What I wish I’d known about being a successful business consultant
As a business consultant I specialise in training leadership teams on culture, productivity, accountability and expansion. Essentially, I teach business owners and leadership teams how to be more effective, productive, and profitable. People hire me to take their managers to the next level whilst keeping things simple, defining key roles and metrics, and conducting culture training with their teams.
Taking a company from loss to increasing market cap to $43 million within 4 months
In 2014, I was hired on a job in Cameroon, Central West Africa. When I arrived, the company I consulted was losing $1m a week. I began by training all 120 staff members on ideal company structures and strategies, introducing key cultural guidelines and helping them define roles and responsibilities. I worked there full time for a 7 month period, with transformational outcomes. Market capitalisation of the company increased by $43 million in the first four months. The company was producing a third more, with less staff. The culture changed dramatically from being an environment with toxic, idle standards to one in which staff took pride in their everyday work.
What I wish I’d known starting out as a business consultant
First of all, I have learned that every person is human, sharing common concerns and ambitions; people are not just their titles or their professions.
I have observed that although people adjust the way they handle a situation based on who is involved, their title, their income, etc., everyone has pretty similar challenges: attaining wealth, health, happiness, sustainable relationships, personal power, etc.
I have learned that age is not an impediment to expertise. I started out in this industry quite young (19 years old), which made it much harder for me to convince others that I had knowledge that was useful to them. It was better if I didn’t state my age, and it was hard for me to stay confident in myself and in what I know because I might be perceived as ‘too young’ or ‘not experienced enough’.
However, the results I have achieved for my clients have made it clear to me that age isn’t a factor unless you allow it to stop you from doing your job well. Currently, I am at capacity with my time and have clients that beg me to consult them. This only started to happen once I realised what I have to say IS valuable, so long as it is delivered in a way that is easy to understand, actually valuable and applicable to tackling issues, and said with respect for the person I am speaking to.
I once did a training session to parents and gave some tools to make parenthood easier. Before I decided to do this I doubted myself because I don’t have any kids of my own – so how could I possibly offer advice in this area? But then my wise father said, “Well, you’re not a parent, but you’re a child …” When he said this to me I laughed at its simplicity and really took a lesson from it.
My biggest learning is this: Don’t underestimate the value you can bring in any area. No matter your age and experience, you have viewpoints, observations and lessons. Share them. And anyone who feels you’re not in a position to give your viewpoint or learn from you could learn a lesson or two about humility.
Marnie Jones is currently a business consultant at Gallop Solutions and offers mentorship on the Kindred platform. You can find her mentor profile here: http://kindredmentor.com/profile/marniejones/