A small, intimate group of independent consultants meets monthly to discuss and support one another’s marketing efforts and programs. As small business owners, consultants are unique professional services providers, and oftentimes struggle with creating marketing programs that are (1) meaningful; (2) representative; and (3) succinct and articulate. Our small marketing roundtable group meets monthly to help improve or grow one another’s consulting practice.
This post isn’t about marketing…it is about surrounding yourself with people whom you can trust and people who are willing to push you a bit out of your comfort zone. How many of us have the opportunity to work with others on a professional (or even personal) level that genuinely care if we are successful? This isn’t about relationship building, although this usually occurs as a side benefit, but it’s about putting yourself out there for others to dissect, analyze, critique, or celebrate.
Sometimes painful, sometimes revealing and even surprising, this is about our ability to learn when we find others’ comments personally meaningful. A comment made to me recently from one of my marketing roundtable colleagues fostered a radical shift in the way I see myself, forcing me into a learning experience of how others view see me as a management consultant. These experiences can alter or deeply move us to places we would not have gone to on our own.
On the topic of transformative learning, scholar John M. Dirkx, of Michigan State University, (2006) writes, “We are left with the feeling that life will not be as it was before, that this experience has created a sense that we cannot go back to the way we were before the experience.” We may find this form of a learning experience as transformational; could we not all benefit from being both the recipient as well as the donor with a small Board of Advisors?