5.6. ABANDONING BUSINESS

This has remained one of the most controversial concepts I've ever introduced but also one of the most powerful in providing consultants with the means to acquire higher-profit, value-based clients.

We become accustomed to certain kinds of business. We tend not to question that business but rather to allow it to accrete, like a stalactite growing from the ceiling of our office. It's always been there. Why fret about it now?

Unless we abandon business regularly, we give ourselves no leeway to reach out for new and more profitable business. Our time is usurped and our energies depleted by business that not only can't be converted to more lucrative arrangements but is actively impeding us from converting (or acquiring) other, higher-potential business.

We tend to rationalize hanging on to certain business with a death grip, reassuring ourselves with platitudes:

  • They were there when we needed them. Early business that helped pay the bills is not something we easily forget.

  • The job's easy to do. (We don't feel we're really exerting ourselves, so why not? It beats working hard.)

  • It's fun. (We love the adulation or the experience or the environment. Our ego is rewarded, and it brightens our day.)

  • We have an enduring friendship. (The buyer or others have become friends to whom we feel we owe an allegiance beyond mere business considerations. We don't want to jeopardize that relationship.)

  • We're throwing good money after bad. (We've been promised, time and time again, ...

Get Value-Based Fees: How to Charge—and Get—What You're Worth: A Guide for Consultants, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.