David Odier – Founder @ Launch Mappers

Breandan hEaghra
23 August 2021

Q1.  Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?

It’s actually none of the two! I was always interested in consulting. In fact, I had applied (and got rejected) from Bain, BCG or McKinsey right after university. I’ve always enjoyed supporting founders and entrepreneurs when I could. When I left my previous role and a consulting opportunity came, I took it immediately to test myself on the market and see if I would like it.
I knew who I wanted to work with: early-stage businesses and where my previous experience was the most valuable: helping companies with their go-to-market. Very early on, I decided to specialise Launch Mappers as the consultancy to work with if you’re an early-stage company that needs a sustainable go-to-market approach. 
Two and half years later, it seems like it was the right decision!

Q2.  What makes a good consultant?

All consultants must have a given methodology or framework. However, what differentiates a good consultant from an excellent one is the ability to go outside your comfort zone, exiting what you know best if it’s in the clients’ best interest. Overall, I would say that a good consultant must act in his/her clients’ interests, be empathetic and find creative solutions. 
If you’re looking to do a couple of small projects this is more than enough to get started. If you want to professionalise your offering, coming up with your niche and associated methodology is what will help you reach the next step. 

Q3.  Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?

I try to be as rigorous as possible with myself. I always say I structure my day like high-school students: I block specific time slots for tasks I need to complete to make sure I can be as focused as possible on these exclusively in a given time period. 
Other than that, I have a working methodology that I apply with all my customers and that drives my weeks based on Design Sprints principles.

Q4.  Are there enough hours in your day?

Surely not! Running Launch Mappers is extremely exciting and it’s very rare that I work less than 10h per day. I would love need to find more time if that was possible. 

Q5.  If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?

A lot of companies will hire you because they have a precise need to fill or an objective they want to reach. However, some will approach you by telling you how they think it must be approached. I’m tempted to say that if they knew what needed to be done, they might as well do it themselves.
If you’re a company hiring a consultant, make sure to listen to his/her ideas once they fully understand your business. You will be surprised by how valuable an external pair of eyes can be. Especially an expert that works on a given field you’re trying to improve

Q6.  What do you find is the best way to market yourself?

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel: develop your personal brand and your company’s brand if you have one. The best way to do that is to create content and to do so consistently (should it be a blog or linkedin posts) 
Consistency always pays off. 
If as a consultant, you have a unique point of view on a given topic: don’t be shy! Go and pitch some journalists with your idea. 

Finally, try to attend events or even better: be a speaker.

Q7.  What do you do to unwind?

Music and travel can heal any soul!

Q8.  What advice would you give a starting consultant?

Many of you will face an “imposter syndrome” when starting out. I know I had it. 
However, if you are confident that you can deliver value just go ahead and do it. 
It’s also important to bear in mind that you cannot control every outcome: you did not design the product, you did not create the associated business model. Failure can happen and it’s not necessarily on you. 
Finally, try to find a niche as soon as possible. If “any company” could be your customer, chances are no companies will hire your services. Once again, understand where you can drive the most value because of your previous experience, your passion, your education etc… 

Q9.  What’s your guilty pleasure?

I’ve got too many to share them here! 

Q10.  What’s your goal for next year?

Grow Launch Mappers at a point that in 2023 we can start rolling out our own products by investing some of the accumulated profits we’re making since our inception.

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