If you have been in an industry for 20 years and were at the top 5% level of productivity and knowledge and are now semi-retired perhaps you should be a consultant. Not everyone has what it takes to be a consultant, but if you do, you will find yourself in a nice place financially by taking advantage of your expertise and knowledge.
Today, I am a semi-retired consultant to industry and having been in the franchising industry for so long I find that those are the most rewarding coaching opportunities for me. Of course it is not all good. There are some real winners out there. Luckily you can choose who you wish to do business with. My advice is to be the best, work only for the best and expect the best; let's call it “all the best!"
Recently when discussing franchise consulting with a gentleman who wished to start a mobile franchise business making jewelry, we got to talking about past experiences and international business. No, not far off international business, just over the border in Mexico from Arizona and I mentioned the questionable ways business was done there and how some of Mexico ran like a third world country. He stated;
I was going from Phx to Mexican border town for scripts. I met this girl and found that her Father was Mayor (town w/300K), her Uncle was Chief of Police (I could do NO harm), and another Uncle, on her Mother's side was a State Rep. I married her after a long formal courtship and bought a strip club 5 blocks from the border.So, far as a business consultant, no real problem here, only a red flag on the strip-club thing, but still there are always reasons why people do things. I no longer wanted the job of consulting this gentleman after hearing this, but did not dismiss him as an entrepreneur by any means. But then he stated something like this;
The kids came in droves from U of A, ASU and I rolled in the bucks, even sold coke right in the club. I got a chance to buy a cantina that had a 21 room “Casa de Pu-ta". I got the kids all pumped up at the strip club then loaded them on my jittney for the 4 mi. cross town trip to my Cantina so they could get drunk and laid. I made 3M in 4.5 years. Long story short I left my wife, three kids, mistress, and two kids 2M in trusts and took off for Tonapah, AZ where I sold land home packages until I went into an 18 day coma and almost died.Now as a consultant and a straight arrow, you can imagine my dismay at this gentleman's lack of personal character. Indeed, there was no way at this point I was going to help a man who left his wife and kids to set up a whore house in Mexico just over the border, with a strip-club and then sell drugs and assist American Kids in getting STDs. He then stated how he preceeded to lose all his wealth and how he got a terrible disease.
Well, being a one man show, not even capable of getting out of bed for 6 mo. , I lost all but 75K. Then I came down w/Buerger's Disease and wound up on SSD, living in Escanaba, MI. Oh well, I'm still going to try to make it again if you'll hang w/me and coach me!Indeed the answer is “No Way" would you? And am I suppose to feel sorry for this gentleman now and help him regain his ill-gotten riches in an industry that I care about? Well, you see there are success stories in consulting and there are horror stories. And the moral of the story is “Know Your Customer" because your reputation is based on it.
L. Winslow is a Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entreprenuer. Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by http://www.Calling-Plans.com and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.