1. Persistence. Building a successful consulting practice takes persistence, time, and energy. There is no “quick” way to establish a solid client base, but rather it takes consistent effort and persistent attention to reaching out and finding potential clients wherever they may be.
2. Driven to succeed. In your consulting practice, you are it. You’re the principal service provider, the main marketer, the primary customer service representative, and the dedicated business manager. In short, you must wear a lot of different professional hats and to do so you must be driven to excel and driven to succeed.
3. Passionate and enthusiastic. Consulting work is indeed work, but if it is something about which you are passionate and enthusiastic then it doesn’t seem like quite as much work after all. The most successful consultants have an intense passion for their field or discipline, combined with tremendous enthusiasm and excitement for bringing their services to help their clients succeed.
4. Know what they don’t know. The very best and most successful consultants know what they don’t know; in other words, they are in tune with their own skills and abilities closely enough to be able to say “I don’t know” when it’s appropriate. To go along with this trait, though, they are also quick to research and look for information to fill in whatever knowledge gaps they may have.
5. Work hard, work smart. Successful consultants work hard, that’s for sure, but they also work smart. What does this mean? It means managing their time and effort so that they make the most of each, generating the greatest results possible from the least amount of effort necessary. They are not afraid to work hard, but they are also sharp enough to work smart at the same time.