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FT 160: Mindsets of Elite Consultants with Michael Zipursky

Michael Zipursky of Consulting Success has spent nearly two decades building consulting agencies. Over the last ten years, he’s dedicated his time to helping other consultants & freelancers alike to build better businesses. His experience has taught him that having the right mindset is what sets truly successful freelancers apart.

Michael has also recently published a a new guide on how to start a consulting business.  It's a great resource, and worth a read!

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Michael shares with us:

Michael believes that most freelancers are held back because their mind isn’t in the right place. We all know the steps toward success, we can even have the tools to achieve them, but if you’re in the wrong mindset, you’re never going to unlock your true potential. Your mindset will get you in front of the high-quality clients you’re looking for, and help you achieve that freedom and flexibility you want from your career.

Change Your Mindset
Michael knows the 16 most successful mindsets, but today he’s discussing some of the most common mindset blocks he’s seen in his line of work. The one he sees most is fear. Too many of us are afraid to pick up the phone or send an email to a potential client. The fear of rejection is real, even more so when you’re an entrepreneur. Most of the time, freelancers translate this fear into work. Do you ever spend your time creating content or designing logos just to avoid picking up the phone and calling someone? You’re not alone.

These days, so many people are looking for instant results and gratification, and we focus most of our energy on learning the tactics and strategies for success.

Just because you know what to do doesn’t always mean you’re going to take action. Michael points out that there is a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it for your business. Fear can stop you from doing what you need to do, but there are ways to break that anxiety.

The most successful people in all walks of life understand is that they don’t view failure as failure, they view failure as a learning opportunity.

Michael’s best trick for changing your mindset is to change the way you look at failure. You can’t be afraid to fail because it’s the only way you’re going to learn. In fact, Michael doesn’t even use the word failure in his work. Instead, he calls them “learnings” or “learning experiences.”

You don’t have to dive into your learning experience right away, either. Take baby steps so you don’t take on too much or psych yourself out. If you’re too nervous to cold-call potential clients, then seize your opportunity by asking a friend or colleague for a referral. In business, it’s always about who you know. So let the people who know you best work in your favor.

Taking Tangible Action
Tackling your fears is the first step toward taking tangible action with your business. You want to move your business forward, and the only way that’s going to happen is if you put it in front of the people who need it most. So act on what you know. Michael shares a few scenarios to help you break the ice.

First, get in touch with people you already know. Even if you can’t work with them as a client, they can offer you valuable feedback on your sales pitch and your services. This feedback is extremely important to your business model. You want to make sure you’re bringing clients a service they actually need. Remember, you are here to offer solutions to clients’ problems.

Second, mine your current network for referrals. Ask friends to put you in touch with people who might need your expertise. Whether you build websites or offer legal advice, somebody somewhere is going to need your skillset. And don’t limit yourself to local friends and colleagues, either. Michael recommends using social media to mine your network and look for brand new clients.

You can build a business that will allow you to work with anyone you want from anywhere you want. It’s all about the model you choose and the path that you take and the plan that you put in place.

Third, reach out to those potential clients who have no idea who you are. This is the most intimidating part of running your own business, but it’s much easier after you’ve already talked to the people you know. You can use their feedback to improve your approach, which will make you feel much more competent and confident when talking to complete strangers.

Get in the Mindset for Pricing
One of the most important topics we touch on today is pricing. Your competence and confidence should define the prices you set, and you should never lower your prices just to attract clients. If someone doesn’t want to work with you because they think your prices are too high, there is nothing wrong with that. It simply frees you up to work with clients who do want to invest their time and money in you.

At the end of the day, it’s not about selling what you want. It’s about offering what the buyer wants to buy. That’s why the conversation is so important.

Having the confidence to ask for higher fees comes from having the right mindset. Michael walks us through a potential sales conversation so you can see how confidence plays a deciding role. This conversation is very important. Not just because it’s your sales pitch but because it’s your opportunity to identify your client’s problem and offer them a solution in a way that justifies your pricing and your expertise.

Don’t talk yourself out of doing something just because you think your prices are too high or that you lack the experience. Everyone needs to start somewhere. If you don’t change your mindset and start seizing opportunities now, you might miss out on the chance to make the most out of your freelancing career.

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