Here is some Q&A with me about the book and consulting in general. The rest of the interview can be found at http://businessinfoguide.com/interview-william-mcknight-author-of-90-days-to-success-in-consulting/.
What is your book about?
It’s about how to be a great consultant and have a thriving consulting business.
What inspired you to write your book?
This is a “write what you know” book. I’ve been through a complete lifecycle of consulting. I’ve taken the bumps and bruises along the way, but I’ve also won several awards and been able to leave each client better, many times salvaging business-critical situations. I enjoy consulting and I’d like to see it pursued in the right way too, which will elevate the profession. There’s also more where the book came from, and obviously every situation is different and requires some personalization and I have some value-added services for that.
How did you come to do what you’re doing today?
About 13 or so years ago, when I took a position as an IT Vice President in a large company, I inherited dozens of consultants from a big profile consulting firm. Owning the budget, I came to understand what they were making and was astounded to understand it was more, sometimes way more, than I. I also knew what their real contribution was and knew I could do better. I furthermore was looking to leverage my abilities across multiple situations and consulting seemed to be the way to do that.
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
There are multiple profiles to my days. I might be heads down with a single client or I might be working many client situations. Clients could be short-term, high-impact or they could be my primary client over multiple months for a project. I might be at client sites or at my office or both. I might be presenting live or in a webinar. I might be on the phone a lot or a little. It depends on client priorities, but I make my commitments and am always responsive. These clients I speak of could be local, domestic or international, which obviously impacts the day’s profile. Either way, I’ve been 100%+ as busy as I’ve wanted to be in all my years of consulting. I’m very time conscious and try to apply my time to productive and/or fun activities and not time wasting activities.
What do you most enjoy about what you do?
I enjoy making a big difference to clients. What I do can have tremendous impact if done well. I enjoy stepping away knowing that people and the company will be on a different and better trajectory as a result. On a personal basis, I enjoy seeing people more engaged in their daily work and their life as a result of some direction I’ve helped with.
Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?
There are so many. I’m always trying to learn more through reading, podcasts and audiobooks. Some of my favorite authors for business and success have been Tom Peters, Barry Posner (my MBA instructor), Peter Drucker, Dennis Waitley and Steven Covey. I’ve been inspired authors out of my field as well such as Jared Diamond, Ayaan Hirsi and George Orwell and noteworthy books In Cold Blood and The Black Swan.
I read a bunch of good blogs through my reader, as well as news online, daily. It’s an efficient way to take in the daily information I need.
And I’ve had several people who have believed in me including former bosses, clients and employees. They inspire me to continue to be the person they believed in.