Building Your Advantage Through Consultant Learning

Developing a Competitive Edge as a Consultant… 
…for me, it’s constant. I’m always building skills, content, and knowledge in my field. And then there are other areas of expertise, such as marketing (honing my website for the 50th time, for example) or running my business (tipping my balance sheet, etc.), or expanding my business (making very passive income, for instance). I frequently develop these through gotchas, tips, and best practices.

Finding Consultant Learning and Development Resources
Everybody learns differently (which is why Women in Consulting offers so many options for getting up to speed on the latest best practices). They key is finding the method(s) that works best for you, be it:

  • On the job: Each client engagement offers an opportunity to improve your selling and your consulting skills.
  • Formal training: Conferences and class, while very traditional, can yield knowledge, contacts, and state-of-the-art trends.
  • The Internet: If you find formal training passé, you can tap newer learning methods, such teleseminars, webcasts, blogs, podcasts, and Wikis. Even Internet searches can yield a wealth of valuable information.
  • Expanding your network and learning from the consultant community: Perhaps the best resources for immediate insight into current best practices are your fellow consultants and small business owners. Find a community that you resonate with and tap it for tips, insights, mentoring, and feedback.

Evaluating the Learning Experience
You can evaluate the effectiveness of a learning experience by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Will the information help me strengthen the foundation and infrastructure of my business?
  • Can I use what I learned to build my profits?
  • Can I now create more value for my clients?' About Deborah Plumley

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