Chapter 10. Giving Yourself Permission to Succeed: How to Continue to Grow by Paying Back

The wonderful thing about the profession of consulting is that you are paid to learn, which makes you more valuable to the next client, who will pay you even more to learn still more, which makes you still more valuable to the next client, ad infinitum. There aren't too many professions that create a cycle of value that drives fees up and accelerates learning. Lawyers don't have it, nor do physicians, nor do most business executives.[66]

This dynamic means that there isn't a prescribed dues-paying tenure in the profession. Some of you reading this book may become very successful very rapidly, and many of you could become highly successful more quickly than you thought. It's never too early to prepare for success, and the worst condition of all is to be caught in the success trap, wherein rapid, early success causes you to believe that this is all there is and you're stuck on a relatively moderate plateau forever, no longer learning, no longer increasing your value, and dead in the water at far too early a point in your career. Figure 10.1 shows the plateaus that are the success traps that undermine continued growth.

The success traps.

Figure 10.1. The success traps.

So, in no special order, here are 10 goals or pursuits to keep in mind to drive you off plateaus and keep you focused on constant growth.

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