6 Things I Wish I Didn’t Struggle With, But Do

I’ve had a lot of cool wins this year. After the disaster that was last year, the hard work that I’ve put in these last six years is paying off in a bigger way. I’ve lost 93 pounds after a diabetes diagnosis scare. I get to wake up and do whatever I want—work wise—in the places that I love. I’ll travel to 32 amazing countries this year for consulting gigs. My business has done well financially and my relationship with my children is amazing. I have complete freedom in my work, health, and relationships.

Life should be smooth sailing. Right?

You and I aren’t always together. What we see of each other is through this blog, podcasts interviews, videos, and social media. You get a tiny glimpse into my life, and I get a tiny glimpse into yours. During all that time that we’re not together, a whole lot is going on behind the scenes.

I try to be as honest as possible with what I share publicly, but I’m human. There are things that I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit. I want you to see me as this super cool, take-on-the-world-without-blinking type of guy. I’m not. There are many things that I struggle with but wish I didn’t. Here are six major ones.

1. Envy of other’s success

I’ve had some cool wins, which should make me cheer for joy when I see others also experiencing success. Sometimes I do, but too often, I don’t. I get all kinds of crazy thoughts running through my mind.

I wonder what they did. I wonder why more people didn’t “like” my status update or retweet when I shared my good news? I think twice before liking or sharing their win because “I don’t remember them liking or sharing mine.” I basically act like a teenager all over again. Grow up, KIMANZI! Read more ›

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4 Things Besides Pay Consultants Need to Negotiate in Contracts

As a consultant, you can travel the world training companies on how to do what you teach in your business. Consulting can be another source of income in your main business or you can start a consulting business as your primary source of income. It’s one of the highest paying industries and the opportunities worldwide are exciting.

As you do research to identify companies that are good prospects for your consulting services, you’ll start sending out proposals. Some of your proposals will be ignored. Others will get a response from the company saying “no thanks,” and there will be some companies that see value in what you offer. You will then move forward to negotiations, and if all goes well, a contract.

You don’t have to accept whatever contract is offered initially. You can and should negotiate a better deal. I want to add a disclaimer upfront that I’m not a lawyer and can’t offer you legal advice. You should always consult an attorney when it comes to legal matters to protect your business. However, as someone who has gone through contract negotiations 40 times-and-counting with companies all over the world, I’ve learned a few lessons. Here are four things to think about including in your next consulting contract.

1. Keep control of your travel budget.

Conventual wisdom is to ask for a consulting fee and have the company book and pay for your travel-related expenses. There’s another way. You can figure out how much it will cost for all of your travel expenses and then come up with the main number. You ask the company for your fee and then give them a “travel budget” number. Once you’ve been paid the travel budget, you can book all of your travel arrangments. You can pick the Airbnb’s, airlines, and extras that you want. You might even find deals as you book and pocket some of that travel budget.

2. Retain your rights to your content.

There will be companies that see the content you offer and want to own it. They may see the value in using it to train their staff or they may want to repackage it and less it as their own product or service. Either way, it’s not in your best interest to sell what you worked so hard to create. Over your career as a consultant, you’ll make far more training at different companies than you’ll make if you sell a company the rights to your signature content. Read more ›

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The Ugly Side of Consulting at Companies Worldwide

For most of this year, I’ve talked to you and taken you on my journey as I’ve traveled the world as a paid consultant. I started this year consulting in the U.S. and then spent two months on a six-country European consulting tour. As we speak, I’m in Asia on a five-country consulting tour. I have 32 paid consulting gigs booked in 32 countries this year. 

I’ve shown you a lot of the benefits of paid consulting at companies. My goal was to open your eyes and show you what’s possible. Most of what we see is Internet market, online business, and all the fads that pop up in that space. I want to show you that you can take the skills and knowledge you have around your core message and train companies all over the world. 

When I started my lifestyle business journey, I promised myself I would always be honest and show you the full picture–the good and the bad. Since I’ve shown you the good this year, I wanted to talk about the hard parts of being a paid consultant. Let’s get into it. 

Deals Fall Apart (A lot)

Life would be great if everything always worked out as planned but that’s not reality. There are times when it looks like you’re going to sign a killer consulting deal and one hiccup ruins the deal and the company walks away. If you follow me on Facebook, I shared how I walked away from a consulting deal in Russia because we couldn’t agree on all the terms–it burns. 

As you start your consulting journey, know that you’ll sign some game-changing deals, and others will have you walking away scratching your head. It’s not the end of the world. Acknowledge your feelings and tell yourself a different internal story. Realize there will be more opportunities if you get back up and keep going. 

It Can Be Incredibly Lonely  Read more ›

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Companies Will Hire You to Consult on These Topics

Companies all over the world will spend $39 billion dollars this year hiring outside consultants to train their employees on a variety of topics. When I talk to lifestyle entrepreneurs about consulting, the question that always comes up is around why a company would need to hire a consultant. Yes, companies have access to big firms and they have a lot of resources. But, that also is a disadvantage for them.

Being big means change happens slowly–too slowly at times. When a company needs to make a pivot, it’s like trying to stop a moving freight train. So, instead of stopping the train, they hire a consultant to help fix the issue while the train is still moving. There is also this element of feeling human. Companies want to connect with their customers on a deeper level because they know that’s what creates lifelong customers. They hire consultants to help them do that. The bottom line is companies need consultants for a variety of reasons.

At this point, you might be convinced. You want to add consulting at companies to what you currently offer in your business. You may be wondering what topics a company will hire you to train on. The short answer is any topic that they feel will help their company’s bottom line. But, there are some “hot topics” and some common topics that are an easier pitch than others. Here are some topics that could get you hired to consult at a company. worldwide

Hot Topics

There are several topics that are in demand in the consulting industry right now. Let me give you the list. Read more ›

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4 Glaring Signs It’s Time to Fire Your Business Coach

You work hard to grow your business but you get to a point where you hit a wall. It seems like no matter what you do, you aren’t reaching your next growth level. You can’t see what’s stopping you, so you decide it’s time to hire someone to help.

Business coaches and consultants are readily available. The Internet and various software make it easy to hire and have sessions with a business coach, regardless if they are on the other side of the world. You meet on Skype or through conference calling software to talk about where you are and what’s stopping you from growing.

You can check their references, check the coaches website and work, and do your research on this person to make sure they’re the right fit for your business. Today, you can hire a coach anywhere from $50 an hour to as much as $20,000 an hour. The access is there but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get what you paid for.

The coach might have fancy website copy on their website promising the world but the coach never delivers. You can be scammed by business coaches, but it might not even be a scam. What started as a great coaching relationship can deteriorate. Either way, here are fours glaring signs that it’s time to fire your business coach.

1. They stop responding to your questions in a timely matter.

One of the best benefits of having a business coach is getting your specific questions answered. The coach should teach you strategies that help grow your business. As you implement these strategies, you’ll have questions. You should be able to email or private message your coach and get those specific questions answered. The coach should respond back in a timely manner.

What does “timely” mean? That’s something you and the coach should establish at the beginning of working together. But, it should be at most within 48 hours. I don’t care how busy someone says they are, everyone can find a few minutes to respond within 48 hours. Read more ›

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Why You Should Consider Paid Consulting

As you’re reading this, I’m on several flights on my way to Asia. I’ll be in Asia for two months for consulting gigs in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila, Tokyo, and Seoul. I’m consulting for one of the largest marketing and advertising companies in Asia and they’ve already told me they want to buy licenses of all of my online courses after I’m done training at their offices. I’m excited and grateful for this opportunity.

2016 was a terrible year in my life and business. I did okay but I struggled financially most of the year. 2017 is the complete opposite. I started this year in Maui, Hawaii reconnecting with my dream and getting clear about what I want for my life. What came from those three weeks of getting clarity was the desire to make a pivot in my lifestyle business.

It felt like the online/Internet marketing space was too crowded. So many people doing the same things and trying to get business from the same customers. It felt too hard to sell higher priced services and courses. I also knew that I wanted to become the best version of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally–travel was going to be a big part of that. When I thought about what I wanted in my lifestyle business, I wanted to do more challenging work for higher fees. I raised all of my prices and thought about where I would focus my time. I had done some smaller consulting gigs before but knew there could be more opportunity if I went after bigger companies.

I went back to the companies I had done work for and lined up a few gigs for after I left Maui. My next trip after Maui was consulting at a Fortune 500 company in New York. The New York consulting gig was fabulous. I was paid $15,000 for a three-hour presentation and all of my expenses were covered. I was treated like a celebrity and got to sell some of my online courses as follow-up training for the company’s employees. It confirmed what my mind told me was the right direction for my lifestyle business this year.

After New York, I focused mainly on consulting. To date, I’ve booked 30 consulting gigs at companies in 30 different countries this year. I spent March and April on a six-country European consulting tour that was amazing. I’m on my way to Asia and I still have consulting tours in Africa, South America, and Australia. That’s my story of why I started focusing on paid consulting. Read more ›

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Desperation Will Cost You the Sale

As you’re casually scrolling through Facebook, you get a ping from someone who has sent you a private message. The message could be from a relative or friend but often these are sales pitches. A health and fitness coach wants to help you get in shape. A business “expert” offers strategies to grow your sales. A relationship consultant promises to guide you to deeper love in your life.

These people might be genuine experts who know their topic better than most, but the approach repels you. There’s a truth that most entrepreneurs know but need to keep reminding themselves: “Needy is unappealing.”

Financial stress is what motivates a lot of these marketing messages, but when you sense financial stress you think twice about doing business with that person. You want to do business with entrepreneurs who are successful. There are three things to understand so you don’t lose a sale because you come across as needy

1. Your content must prove your expertise.

When you are a genuine expert you don’t have to spend most of your time trying to convince other people that you are. You have blog posts, articles, podcast interviews and videos to validate your expertise.

Content is what people absorb and what helps them to know, like and trust you. Chasing the sale wastes time you could be using to create informative content that brings sales to you. We live in a time of Google, social media and other search engines. You will be viewed as an expert when you have expert content appearing at the top of those search engines. That will speak volumes about your qualifications. Read more ›

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The Elements of a Complete Lifestyle Business

When I started this journey in 2011, I had a dream of building a “passive” income online business. I wanted to have membership websites, courses, and everything passive so that I could make money while I slept. I read the Four Hour Work Week and was determined to live that kind of lifestyle. It took doing the actual work to realize that even in passive income, there is active work. If I was going to build an online business that supported me and my family, four (or even 40 hours) was not going to cut it at times.

Today, I operate what I call a “lifestyle” business. The idea is to build a business that supports the kind of lifestyle you want to live. The “life” part comes first. A lifestyle business has some passive income elements but also active. It’s a business that involves writing, speaking, coaching, consulting, digital products, travel, and lots of relaxing. Today, I want to break down some of the main elements of a complete lifestyle business. I hope it helps as you build this year.

Traditional Online Parts

These are the things you would normally think of in an online business. You have a website setup that talks about your topic and who you are. You start to build your social media presence and email list. You build an audience and social proof as an expert. You start to sell different online offerings in different ways. You might run some Facebook ads, do a webinar, or use live video (which is popular right now). A complete lifestyle business needs the online parts because passive income is nice and it’s good to have multiple streams of income. That’s how you create stability in your life and business.

Services

Here you might offer coaching or other services depending on your topic. There are all kinds of services to offer in a lifestyle business and they can bring you a great income. Coaching was my #1 income source for a long time. This year, it’s consulting by far. Services are the natural place to start and make serious income in the beginning. As you grow, you might scale back because services take up so much of your time. A complete lifestyle business will have some kind of service’s offer. Read more ›

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Four Mindset Struggles Every Speaker and Consultant Needs to Overcome

When I self-published my first book in late-2011, my only goal was to make enough money from this new online business thing so I could get rid of my service business. This idea of speaking and consulting never crossed my mind. In 2012, I was focused on building my audience. This meant that I guest posted on over 60 blogs and was a guest on over 80 podcasts. It worked because it brought 500,000 plus visitors to my website in 2012.

The exposure through the blogs, publications, and podcasts also had an unintended effect. In mid-2012, I had gotten an offer to speak at a small social media conference. They offered to pay for my flight and hotel, and give me a speaker’s fee of $250. The idea of public speaking terrified me as an introvert, but I went because I was more excited about traveling.

I got on stage and bombed—I sucked. But, the whole experience got me on a path that would lead to traveling to 20 countries a year for speaking and consulting gigs. As I write this, I’m getting ready to leave for a five-country consulting tour in Asia. To get here, there were four mindset struggles that I, and many other speakers and consultants, had/have to overcome.

I’m not good enough.

I’ve had the honor of hearing some amazing speaker’s speak. I looked at the way they moved and talked and knew I wasn’t that good. I let this belief that I’m not good enough keep me from pursuing speaking and I know I’m not alone. Realize that everyone is different and has different styles. The important thing to understand is that you have to be clear. If you can present your message in a clear way, you’ve done your job. You are and can be better than good enough as a speaker and consultant. Practice will help get you there.

I don’t have enough experience.

Everyone has to start somewhere. You may not be as experienced but that doesn’t mean you can’t be good. You can study and practice and become the best at what you do. A lack of experience keeps too many speakers and consultants from pitching paid gigs—it shouldn’t. You deserve to get paid every time you get on stage. Your life experience is worth more.  Read more ›

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4 Essentials That Persuade Companies You’re the Expert They Should Hire

Being booked as a paid consultant to companies is one of the highest margin services offered by lifestyle businesses. You can consult full time, which pays as much as $175,000 a year according to USA Today or consulting can be a portion of your larger business. Either way can be lucrative and can lead to many other interesting opportunities all over the world. Many entrepreneurs dream of consulting at companies all over the world but few know how to do it.

There aren’t many books or much information online teaching entrepreneurs how to book paid consulting, but you won’t succeed if you don’t understand what companies are looking for. This year, I’ve booked 20 consulting gigs at companies in 20 countries. I just completed a six-country consulting tour in Europe. I know a little about paid consulting. Here are four things companies look for when hiring a consultant.

1. A foundation that shows you’re an expert on your topic.

When an H.R manager at a company is considering hiring you, they will look at your foundation — your website, social media presence and email list. They want to see if your foundation matches the expertise you claim you have.

Your website pages should demonstrate your expertise. Your content page should include blog posts, podcasts and/or videos that show you know what you’re talking about and can educate. You need “speaking” and “consulting” pages about what to expect when hiring you, what your topics were if you’ve done gigs in other places and the value you provide to a company.

2. Content on large publications.

Companies, C.E.O.’s, H.R. managers and small business owners all look to, trust and read large business and personal development publications. They read Entrepreneur, Business Insider, SUCCESS and so on for information and strategies to help their businesses grow.

When you contribute to these publications you become a trusted source who is seen as an expert. When a company can read your content on these publications, they trust you do know what you’re talking about and become interested in hiring you. Read more ›

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