After a few months, I’m coming to you with another interview. First one is available here.
What made you decide to start a consulting business with a very specific approach?
I have known for a long time that business is the way I want to go. Consulting came by accident. When asked for business advice, I always knew the solution. I had a ton of ideas that worked. This made me feel that I can do it on a larger scale. In addition, I was sure that my work should not be boring or routine. As you called “specific approach” came up over time. At the beginning, I thought that the approach “I am for everyone” would be a success. In fact, it cost me a lot of nerve and burned me out quickly. I was about to give up when I realized where the problem was. From that moment on, there is no boredom or burnout.
How would you define your approach, the way of working with the client?
It’s hard to really define it because each person requires some twist into my methods. I’m not a production line. Few things might happen while I’m working with my Clients. I want them to laugh at their own difficulties. I’m presenting a caricature of their fears and provoking them to make a move. Sometimes I agree with all the barriers they create so that they see a need to change. Often my work is not strictly about business ideas and concepts. By coming to me they believed it is – but many times the problem is elsewhere ex. client is telling me that his team is not creative and doesn’t have any ideas, he always need to tell them what to do – but he really never gived them opportunity to share their ideas, he never speak to them and don’t remember names of half of them.
What is the essence of this method for you?
Its essence is humor and provocation, with empathy to the client.
What negative things have you heard about your approach?
Those who know me only by hearsay, from the texts I publish, see it only as an aspect of confrontation and believe that it is brutal, hurts the client, puts him in a bad mood and aggravates the problem. Many call me arrogant without even talking to me. I was called creepy too. Many clients told me they were confused at first but after working with me they have nothing to complain about. Sometimes I’m over the top and the words I use in that moment may appear too much for some people. But there will be always someone unhappy. Am I strange? Yes. Am I effective? Sure.
Are you only acting this straight-forward way?
Not only. The goal is not to be provocative, but the good of the client and the effectiveness of solutions. Some need shock, others only a sincere answer to their problem. On the other hand, I can’t change who I am, so swearing or sarcasm can appear along the way.
What dangers can a person working like you with his own method face?
There is a problem with scaling the business, it is difficult to teach the team to be provocative. Usually everyone wants to be nice. And a ruthless approach may result in not starting cooperation, shortening it, and overall hate (often with no reason or argument behind it).
What excludes people from using your services?
It happens that I’m not the right fit to them ex. I don’t understand their problem, I have the same problem as the client, I see a hopeless case I cannot see client’s strength and resources or I don’t like the client, I feel we are not on the same page.
From the client’s side: They must respect my working methods, including directness. They must have the right revenue and product. At least.
What impresses people and what is surprising during your consultations?
Clients, especially those who have already used similar services elsewhere, are often impressed by the lack of stress, humour during the cooperation and quick results. Some people are shocked by my uncensored openness to the client, but almost everyone has a lot of fun doing it.