In part two of our interviews, we connected with Consultant Brad Kearney. Read “How and Why I Decided to Start My Consulting Practice – Part One”. We have had the privilege of working with Brad and supporting him in his new consulting practice since August of 2016. Here is a bit more about Brad’s journey.
Trusted Advisors: How long have you been consulting?
Brad: I have been consulting for four months.
Trusted Advisors: Why did you decide to take the leap into consulting?
Brad: To pursue the Pursuit of Happiness! Deep down inside, I have always wanted to own my own business and I knew I had more in me to be more successful in all areas of my life. That said, consulting gave me the opportunity to do things I am passionate about—leadership development and strategic planning are at the top of my list. These ultimately enable me help others which aligns to my key motivator.
Trusted Advisors: What happened or what was going on in your corporate experience that confirmed starting your own consulting practice was the right call?
Brad: I had a good job with a national defense contractor but the commute had become more difficult, so at the beginning of 2016 we decided that we should move closer to my primary work location. I chose to first research other job opportunities before making the big family move. Nothing I found was interesting … until that fateful day I took action to “Enter your name for more information” on the Trusted Advisors’ website.
Trusted Advisors: What was your biggest fear/s in making the leap to consulting? How did you overcome the fear/s?
Brad: Changing my income stream after decades of steady income where the threat of being laid off was very low. I am a new consultant, so I am still working on keeping “fears” in check. I built a financial plan that lets me focus on the work (and not worry about the income portion early on). I remind myself daily that I have succeeded in any challenge I have taken over the years (affirmations are helpful). I build my plans (daily/weekly/monthly) and focus my energy on executing them. Finally, I have no doubt I am doing what God had led me to do. So, I remain prayerful and in His Word for encouragement and hope.
Trusted Advisors: How would you define your market niche?
Brad: I started focusing on small to medium-sized companies. With my background, I plan on expanding the niche to include aviation-related industries.
Trusted Advisors: What are your most successful marketing activities that generate the best leads?
Brad: To get off the ground initially, it was friends and family who were business owners/leaders. Chamber events have been my next most successful way to meet people.
Trusted Advisors: Looking back, what would you have changed or done differently?
Brad: My first effort was scheduling a targeted class but that didn’t fit my first few clients (I am working directly with them). I wish I had started smaller with some workshops. Oh—and I would have given my former boss 3 weeks’ notice instead of 4, so I could have done Agility Training a month sooner!
Trusted Advisors: What is your biggest piece of advice for someone considering starting a consulting practice?
Brad: Have a plan to fund your family during the beginning so you can grow your business with the least amount of worry. You must decide how long that needs to go.
Trusted Advisors: How has making the move into consulting changed you personally and/or professionally?
Brad: Overall the stress level is much lower. The work is much more enjoyable and arguably more rewarding (nothing better than seeing a client’s mind think in new ways, the light bulb clicking, or they just have the time to pause to capture in a meaningful way all their great ideas so they can build an executable plan). Starting a new business means lots of hard work and long hours, but even amidst that my work-life balance is improved and I have been able to do things personally that I couldn’t before (which was another reason I switched careers).
Is starting a consulting practice right for you? Call us and learn more!