Knowing Your “Fizz”
Knowing Your "Fizz"

One of the tell-tale signs of a new consultant is that they will say they are good at almost everything. Anything you need, they can do it! No project is too big or too small, no challenge is beyond their experience. That’s often called “survival” in the early days of being a consultant – and being hungry is one approach to building a business.

Perhaps I starved longer than I needed to, because I never did that. In fact, consultants who profess to be good at everything are immediately suspicious to me. That’s because I subscribe to a self-coined “Coke” Philosophy of Consulting, as I am a die-hard fan of “Coke Zero.” With apologies to the Coca-Cola Company for what is no-doubt too simple an analogy, here it is.

There are three ingredients to making a coke – syrup, water, and fizz. You can make a flat coke with just the syrup and water but it is disappointing. It takes “fizz” to make it good. Same with consultants – anyone can make a flat coke by learning and applying a skill. But it is one’s passion for that topic and innate talents that will make it “pop” and be good!

For example, I know how to conduct process improvement projects and thoroughly enjoy facilitating complex group dynamics and decision-making. I also know how to research and create elaborate process maps, but I find it boring – I don’t enjoy the detail attention it takes to do it well and I am sure a client can sense that lack of energy. Flat coke! Better to find someone who LOVES process mapping and gets a kick out of the myriad details at play, and partner with them on this. That way I can do the “fun” parts (to me) and they can do the “fun” parts (to them.) Fizzy coke!

The best consultants I know are very clear on where they are good, and where they are flat. I don’t see it as weakness to admit that. I see it as self-awareness, which is key to being successful both in consulting and in life. If a consultant cannot admit to me what they are not very good at, I will not work with them, because at some point that lack of awareness will cause problems.

The best part of knowing your own “fizz?” It forms the basis of your personal brand, and the root of your company brand.

Cathy Perme is the co-owner of Perme & Peterson Associates, LLC.

Fizz by Cathy Perme

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Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant author Cathy Perme also wrote Confucius in My Cubicle: Practical Wisdom for the Leader in All of Us, released by Wisdom Editions in 2017.

rich set of suggestions
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare ...
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Barbara A Tuckner
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare for an independent consultant to "give away" so much of their business engine and expertise. That adds up to a heap of generosity; something that is remarkable in the "friendly" competitive consulting world.
rich set of suggestions
Barbara A Tuckner
down to earth and practical
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by ...
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Meghan Jost
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by intelligently marketing yourself, engaging others, and keeping it all in balance with your personal life.
down to earth and practical
Meghan Jost
dozens of ideas
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to ...
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NES
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to go into it. It’s a reality check for anyone who thinks they can just hang up their shingle and become a consultant, but a great guide for anyone who’s willing to put in the hard work to be a success.
dozens of ideas
NES
from a to z
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
Charles Bever
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
from a to z
Charles Bever
methodical steps
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
Kevin Walsh
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
methodical steps
Kevin Walsh
recommend to anyone
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
Patricia Jayne Keefer
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
recommend to anyone
Patricia Jayne Keefer
years of lessons
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and ...
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Ted Clark
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and developing a successful consulting company. Highly recommended.
years of lessons
Ted Clark
I appreciate Cathy sharing
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, ...
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Amy Brown
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, thoughtful, organized, and easy to follow.
I appreciate Cathy sharing
Amy Brown
Learning Experience Face
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Anonymous
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Learning Experience Face
Anonymous
drove to closure horse
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to ...
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Anonymous
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to closure and action.
drove to closure horse
Anonymous

Cathy Perme