Q1. Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?
Fell into the role as I really wanted to be a professional footballer. I spent 10 years earning my experience and it then became a natural progression from my earlier career in security.
Q2. What makes a good consultant?
I am not sure there is an answer to this. People I suppose have to like you, but you also have to know your stuff, be experienced enough to handle curve balls and tough enough to deal with the barbed comments that come from some customers when they perceive the “day rate” your being paid. I always refer them to Picasso when a lady who queued for his signature then asked why he charged $500 for a signature, when it only took seconds for him to squiggle it. His response was Madam, that didn’t take seconds, it took years.
Q3. Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?
I think I manage myself well, but the trick is managing others expectations and being realistic. They as the above quote alludes to, think the job is easier to do because they are not doing it. You have to communicate this to them and not over promise and under deliver.
Q4. Are there enough hours in your day?
Yes, in reality most roles are a 7.5 hour day as an employee’s role would be, so to take on extra pressure or to let the customer believe you are on call 24 hours a day is a failing in your approach to the assignment.
Q5. If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?
Thinking I am at their beck and call because I “get a handsome day rate”.
Q6. What do you find is the best way to market yourself?
LinkedIn is really good for that. But also being proactive and keeping an eye on what is happening on the market and building relationships with good recruitment companies (more niches ones rather than the bigger boys).
Q7. What do you do to unwind?
I ruin a good walk by carrying a Golf bag around with me and recently taken up walking with friends in the countryside.
Q8. What advice would you give a starting consultant?
Be yourself, don’t be anyone else, or what you perceive the customer wants you to be. They are hiring you for your experience and background and you must show this when you are discussing the role with them.
Q9. What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have recently begun enjoying Whisky so a nice little tipple once a week works wonders
Q10. What’s your goal for next year?
Keeping the customers I have and finding newer ones. Growing CyberOff is key to all of this and the videos I am developing to help improves everyone’s cyber savviness are so much fun to do.