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Throwback Thursday - How I became a Consultant

April 6, 2017

 

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I’m a former film/motion producer, and I still consider myself a producer, although the creative content has changed.

 

People hired me to get the project done – assemble a team, meet the goals, manage the budget, hire key crew, cast talent, supervise location scouts, raise money, oversee production and postproduction, and have a great time doing it. 

 

People ask, what is a producer, I explain that I’m an trusted strategic partner, with high-stakes in the project, hyper organized and a problem solver.  I don’t know how to load a camera, light, push a dolly, or photograph a scene – what I do know is people.  And I’ve been hyper-organized since childhood.  I’m also a communicator – an essential skill as a producer as it takes 100+ people to create a visual project.  Everyone visualizes something different – if I say we’re shooting a yellow house, in middle-class suburban setting – everyone has a different picture in their mind – it’s my job to make sure everyone is on the same page, following and supporting the director's vision .  Creativity, management, financial, marketing and promotional skills are all needed to be a good producer.

 

Freelancer applied to me then, as it does now.  Getting projects, marketing myself, networking and hustling are skills I use every day of my professional life.  I thought that getting an agent was the end-goal, so I wouldn’t have to pitch myself – I was mistaken.  Agents and reps open doors, you do the pitching.  Same holds true for my creative clients.

 

I’ve experienced all the freedom and fear that comes with being self-employed. Fear was something I had to overcome and confront daily.  Obstacles abound, I learned to hurdle, circumvent, shoulder through, bowl-over, or simply ignore them.  A wise director once shared that there are no problems, only opportunities.

 

All these skills inform my practice as a consultant today.  People hire me because they need to take action, need help translating their goals into actionable strategies, creating cutting-edge products and services, or adapting their business to new markets.  So this is the niche I fill.  Clients seek my expertise because they are exploring unfamiliar problems, markets or methodologies.  I can offer help, guidance and a wealth of professional experience.

 

My life as a consultant consists of writing, strategizing, marketing, planning, coaching and consulting calls and travel.  I operate as a sole practitioner in my business, in partnership with part-time virtual staff and specialty freelance colleagues as needed.  

 

Currently my business consists of coaching, consulting, marketing, social media, strategy for my clients and I’m finalizing an ebook and marketing program.  As you see I have a diverse range of income streams, which is critical for a consultant and creative artists.  There will be times when clients seem to dry up for a while and you still need income.  Multiple income streams are a necessity to keep financially balanced.

 

I left the film business having hit the glass ceiling.  I love working with creative people, it’s all I know and I excel at it.  Consulting was a logical transition, I still consider myself a producer – now it’s careers, books, portfolios, businesses. 

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