Let’s cast our minds back to my 30-something self.
He’s bought a house in Christchurch, covered his taxes/utilities by giving a room to his property manager and has the ability to live free by renting out additional rooms.
Create a base of operations where you can live for free
Next up, he needs to figure out what sort of work to do and how to cover his cost of living.
A dozen triathlon coaching relationships (US$250) per month was what it took to cover basics. Those relationships were worth more than money. The relationships made his lifestyle sustainable.
Basic client filtering over time.
Which relationships to strengthen and retain? Green light client rating – immediate response, has all personal contact details. Travel to them.
Invert, which relationships are a source of distraction and drain energy? Red light client rating – still high service level, hand-off to a better fit at a natural breakpoint (end of season, end of project).
Move on to…
Next level client selection because => there is a limited number of close relationships we can sustain
These are areas I was able to study, from world-class experts, while covering my core cost of living.
Put another way, there are millions of interesting people out there. A consultant needs 5-12 relationships for a viable business. Craft those relationships with intent because your time is worth more than someone’s ability to pay.
Wise client selection is a game of getting paid to learn.
…but you gotta be lifestyle sustainable. So get that first!
Where do I want to visit?
Back in 2000, Christchurch NZ was cheap for a reason. It was far off the beaten path!
A material slice of my cost of living was international travel (airfares & hotels). I really enjoyed this aspect of my life.
I’m not alone. A key form of marketing is the ability to offer clients/investors the ability to travel to nice places. Most large companies have advisory boards, with a membership consisting of their key relationships. The advisory board has the perks of being a director, with none of the fiduciary risk.
I’ve had gigs in: Aspen, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Scotland, LA, Italy, London, Dubai, Paris, Cannes, Hawaii…
So, where do YOU want to go? Find that client, help them achieve their goals and undercharge them.
Rich folks love random acts of financial kindness. They’re always expected to pick up the tab, so paying for coffee/breakfast is a high-return investment.
A long term value added relationship with someone in a place you enjoy visiting – it’s worth more than whatever your financial deal is.
Invert (again) => don’t take work from a location you don’t want to visit. At any price.
One of my gigs came with an around-the-world ticket every six months. With a bit of planning, that covered an entire year’s worth of air travel. Another slice of my budget, covered.