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The Secret to Finding and Hiring a Good Consultant [Podcast]

Episode 78: Michael and Kathryn discuss the right way to find and hire a good consultant. Finding a consultant who can help your company (and who you actually like) can sometimes seem like an impossible feat... but it doesn't have to be. If this is an area where you've struggled, or you are new to working with consultants, then check out the tips covered in this podcast episode.

consultants at a table


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover why you need to search for a consultant based on competence and character.

  • Find out what questions to ask when you are vetting a consultant.

  • Learn how to approach a consultant in a way that positions your partnership for the best chance of success.

“If you are even 'thinking' about getting outside help, then you probably need it.”
– MICHAEL Redman

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Michael:
              Hi there, and welcome to HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              This podcast is to help business leaders build Passion and Provision companies that are filled with profit and joy. One of the new terms we've been playing with right now, because we're looking at dealing with our new book coming out this next spring.


Kathryn:
               Yes, we are doing the book title.


Michael:
              Spring of 2020, we're working on that. It's really frustrating and really hard. How do you title your baby?


Kathryn:
               What do you name your child?


Michael:
              What do you name your child?


Kathryn:
               What if people don't like the name and it's stupid?


Michael:
              And it's like well, and so we only had one child together and we had no children separate from each other.


Kathryn:
               We did not.


Michael:
              So we have one kid and we only had the conversation of naming once.


Kathryn:
               So not much practice.


Michael:
              And it was rough even naming one kid when we did that 23-and-a-half years ago.


Kathryn:
               I mean we named a couple of dogs, but.


Michael:
              But yeah-


Kathryn:
               We named our first dog-


Michael:
              I didn't really get much choice in any of the dogs names.


Michael:
              So today we're going to be talking about the idea of working with consultants as a small business. Now, this topic, words are hard today. This topic came from a friend of ours, Mike [Trawlenger 00:01:03], who is a business consultant to restaurants. Really, he's such a talented guy and has so much great ideas and thoughts in his mind. And I got to be at a workshop with him, a two-day workshop this last week where we were both participants in it. And just to listen to him talk about ideas and flow and how to make an environment more welcoming and all the different things that he talks about in restaurant work. And I know he does other stuff like that, but that's one of his specialties.


Michael:
              And we were talking and he said that he listens to the podcast and he recommends it, which is really cool. Thank you Michael.


Kathryn:
               Absolutely.


Michael:
              And he also said that he suggested a topic on how to work with consultants because he finds that a lot of his customers, a lot of his clients are what he calls mom and pops. They're family entrepreneurs. They started a restaurant and they didn't either go to college or they didn't study business or marketing or anything like that, and they don't have an experience in their background to know what it's like to work with consultants.


Michael:
              So he finds that what it's hard for them to do is they want help, but they don't know how to access it. Even though they hire a consultant like Mike, they don't know how to get the best out of him. They don't know what it looks like. And I have found that a huge chunk of our clients over the years, I mean, I think you might agree with this, they walk in and they've never worked with a marketing firm before and many of them have never actually hired a business consultant. They definitely haven't hired a marketing consultant. So they don't know how it works. And they have all kinds of expectations or thoughts or ideas, preconceived ideas, and they have ideas about how it works that's governing the way they talk to us that they don't even realize they have.


Kathryn:
               So when you were talking to Mike, was there a specific, so when restaurant owners bring him in, but don't quite know how to best utilize him, did he give you examples of that?


Michael:
              Well, one of the things that came out of our conversation is, for instance, he's looking for folks when he goes in, that have a good business model. He says probably 70% of the folks that have a restaurant that are in trouble because they hire somebody, typically hire somebody when they're in trouble.


Kathryn:
               Well, people rarely hire consultants until there's some pain, some place.


Michael:
              Right?


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              And so one of the things that happens is he goes in and finds that probably 70 maybe 80% of the businesses he's talking to, they started a business, a restaurant or something in a place where the business concept that they have isn't working. Just because you have a restaurant doesn't mean it's a good business model or the right food or the right neighborhood or market or anything else. So he deals with that and he actually advises a lot of people when he finally gets there that you're going to be better off just shutting this down. It's a bummer because their dreams are shot.


Michael:
              But what they didn't have is they didn't have the foundation and understanding of how to actually pick a market, choose how they were going to go out building their restaurant concept. And this goes true for so many businesses, that they don't understand what it takes to set themselves up properly in the beginning, the people they're going to work with, the concept, how are they going to meet those needs, all those kinds of things.


Michael:
              And so they build this business, they throw their blood, sweat and tears and all of their money into it. And then they get to a place where it's just not working. They finally take somebody's advice to get some help. And sometimes the best help that Mike can give them is, you need to stop. But there's those 20%, 30% that have a good solid business concept he said, and then we really can run with it. We can work with it. We could do a lot of things to adjust it.


Kathryn:
               Because the foundation's in place, so they're stuff that can be tweaked and adjusted as opposed to you're on a very rocky foundation. And then there's nothing we can do to fix this one thing because everything needs to be fixed.


Michael:
              And the way we were talking, a lot of the businesses that are hiring him, even the ones that have a good solid concept underneath, the menu's basically solid or the type of clientele with the food or whatever is good or there are some hints that the people have ... If you just tweak this, this, this, this, and this place would really take off, but you've got these chunks of things that are weighing you down and they're in trouble and the business is in trouble if they don't fix those things, the restaurant's not going to survive or it's never going to be really profitable.


Michael:
              And we've had friends that have owned businesses and shut businesses and shut restaurants down.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, restaurants are hard.


Michael:
              They are really tough and they are a labor of love because those that go into it usually love cooking. They love hospitality and they love the concept of having a restaurant where you can talk to your customers and see them enjoying your food and all of that kind of stuff. And so it draws, I think a lot more people into it. But the rest of businesses, non restaurant businesses, there's all these, we've talked about it on this podcast before, the idea that you have an entrepreneurial seizure.


Michael:
              Now I want to stop a second here because this all sounds like it's a bunch of preamble and we're not getting to the point, but this is really discussing the context of really what is important I think. And that is understanding how you got to this situation where you might need a consultant or you could use a consultant. And this idea that so many of us, we step into business with that entrepreneurial seizure. I could do this. I'm already doing it. I'm making somebody else rich. I might as well make myself rich. And there's so many things in working on a business besides just doing the task of whatever the business is and it's so challenging.


Kathryn:
               Well, and you end up with a lot of people, and this is true for folks that have that entrepreneurial seizure where they suddenly realized that the thing that they loved doing, they don't get to do anymore because running a business requires that they have their hands in so many other things. And so the one thing that drew them into it, they need to back out of or at least-


Michael:
              Or at least reduce their time a lot.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And so you take the chef who starts a restaurant and the management piece of it is like, oh no. Hiring employees, trying to figure out how to keep consistent employees, all those pieces and parts. How to order all the right inventory and figure out what your margins are and just this incredible slew of categories that suddenly the entrepreneur doesn't just get to be in the kitchen. They don't get to just do the thing they love. They actually have to learn all these other tools. And if you haven't done anything in business or had a business background, those things are not easy to come by.


Michael:
              So let's talk about actually looking for and hiring a consultant. Let's talk about defining what we mean by consultant on the front end. Consultant is a fuzzy word.


Kathryn:
               Anyone a hundred miles from home. Isn't that what they say?


Michael:
              I know. So what she's saying right now is, I knew you were going to bring this up. I knew you were going to bring this up. And, we're consultants. So we've got to be careful how much we bash on the concept of consultants because-


Kathryn:
               I'm just saying it's a concept.


Michael:
              So what Kathryn was referring to was a joke that some of you may have heard, and many of you may not have. And it is that consultant's got a bad rap as a general field because quite frankly, it's such a broad term, so many different types of help and so many different types of people can show up. And one of the things was you could call yourself a consultant if you were a hundred miles from home with a briefcase. Like I'm a consultant, I'm an expert. Yeah, I can help you and we're going to be great and let me put my briefcase on the table and open it up. Click, click.


Kathryn:
               I am super smart and I'm going to tell you what you should do.


Michael:
              Let me show you how you ... And what they do, and the rep for a bad consultant and they still exist out there is that they come in, they look around, they do an assessment, they tell you what's wrong and they give you some written report that may be well written or not. And it's like, okay, you need to fix this, this, this and this and they go away.


Kathryn:
               And they charge a bunch of money.


Michael:
              And they a lot. Now this is the bad, worst case scenario.


Kathryn:
               And then you're left with this piece of paper with all of these things you need to fix. But no real sense of how to go about fixing it. And no consultant there to help you implement said issues.


Michael:
              Because a lot of times they give you stuff and you're like, I don't know how to do that. I don't even know where to go to hire the next person to help me do that. And then you've got this concept of, all right, it's going to take five, six, 10, 15 different experts in all these different areas. How do I find them? How do I organize it?


Kathryn:
               How do I afford them?


Michael:
              And how do I afford them? And emotionally it can be really frustrating. So a lot of people go, I'm not going to do it. Now here's the trick though. A consultant is, we're going to define this term a little tighter today. A consultant is someone you hire to bring in that has an expertise in either the high-level of your business. They understand the whole picture of business. They could be a business development consultant. So they understand all the parts and pieces. They're probably the most valuable in so many ways, unless you have one very specific thing that's like I need an expert in this one little thing.


Michael:
              And if I can figure that out and nobody else has been able to figure it out that has general knowledge, nobody has a high enough competence, we need a high expert. So we hire them for making specific widgets. In a restaurant, it might be how do we get our food costs down? I want somebody who's an expert at that cooking and food cost issue in the kitchen.


Michael:
              But what you're looking for in a consultant, a consultant is somebody who's just an expert that you're bringing in, that's not part of your normal team. And they may be there for a few meetings, they may be there for several months and they're going to come along and actually be an asset to you. They're going to help you understand a part of your business that you don't want to hire somebody full-time for on a regular basis, and add on your staff and add on your payroll. That's how we're going to define consultant. And a bad consultant is somebody who doesn't have the competence or the character to help you in the area of need.


Michael:
              Our friend Mike, who specializes in restaurants and that's one of his specialties. He understands what that looks like. And so you're going to hire somebody like Mike in the Northern California area. He's going to be there to help you with restaurant stuff. And he knows restaurant stuff. And he's worked with some really good restaurants that do really big business to help even tuneup successful businesses, and when there's lulls or different things like that. He also understands flow of people and how to help people feel more comfortable in your environment, how to get them to stay longer to have a more positive experience in your environment.


Michael:
              And so I heard him talking about an environment where it was just feeding the poor. And he went into this cafeteria and set it up and all it was was rectangular tables and long lines, just five tables in a line type of thing.


Kathryn:
               Like middle school. Middle school cafeteria.


Michael:
              Yeah. And he said it was so industrial. It was so cafeteria-style, it was not, it didn't allow people to feel comfortable and honored and give them dignity. And when you're feeding the poor, one of the things you're trying to do is help with the restoration process. So they took away all the square tables, all the rectangular tables, and they put in round tables. And it's still not perfect yet, but it immediately, he described how just putting round tables softened the environment.


Michael:
              Well, when you're in a restaurant, you want people to come and go at the right interval, at the right pace. You don't want them to stay too long, but you don't want them to come and go too quick. You want them to enjoy it and walk out feeling like not only the food and the service, but the environment made them say, I'm going to come back. That was great. And then when somebody says, where did you go last night? You go, hey, we went to Fifth Street. And it was great and I loved it. And the food was great. And because it occurs to me that, regularly when we go to that nice restaurant, I can do all of that at home for one fifth the price.


Kathryn:
               Easily.


Michael:
              And I cook it just as well. But we like to go there periodically-


Kathryn:
               I don't know if you could do those green beans. Those were-


Michael:
              Come on. I do the green beans as good.


Kathryn:
               Okay, moving on, moving on.


Michael:
              I know, yeah. What I don't do is the mashed potatoes. I don't do those as well. Nor do we eat those on a regular basis. So a consultant comes in and is an expert. So when you're working with a consultant, how do you do this? What's the best thing to do when you're looking for one?


Michael:
              First of all, you need to identify when you need help. And oftentimes I want to encourage you that if you're thinking about getting outside help, you probably need it. And most people wait too long to hire it. They wait until it's hard enough. It's going to be a bit of an expense. You're going to have to pay for it and there's no way around it. But if you do it well, if you hire well and you pay attention well to what they're doing, then it's going to be a good investment.


Michael:
              So please don't wait till the last minute because a good consultant is not a miracle worker. They can't make something beautiful out of a swine. It's not going to work. If your company is on its last legs, it's very difficult for anybody to help bring it back because there's not enough time, and change takes time.


Michael:
              So one of the things you want to do is, if you think you're going to need help at all, great and you want to get help in two different circumstances. One's obvious I think. And that's when you're like things are really hard and you just can't figure out how to make them work and you're in trouble.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Basically, you're at the place where what you really need is outside perspective. You need someone who knows more than you and knows different questions to be able to come in and help you see clearly where you are.


Michael:
              And usually at this situation, the business is in trouble. You see danger. Okay. The second situation I think that's important and even more valuable for a consultant and more valuable for you as a business owner is, when things are going well but they've plateaued a little bit. You've done a good job, but you have a lot of things that you have to work. You have a lot of plates in the air. And you want somebody who's going to come along and give you that fresh perspective. When you're not emotionally stressed out and you're not financially all stressed out.


Michael:
              And so you can actually have some thoughts and ideas of, okay, how do we take this and tune it up and take it to the next level? Whether you increase the amount of revenue you have coming in or what you're doing is you're increasing your efficiency so you stay at that revenue. In a restaurant, it might be the number of plates that are served, but you have the ability to not have to bring in any more customers. But you save on efficiencies of food, you save on efficiencies somewhere, all these different places in the company. Because that's when it like, oh, we're doing well, but wow, it's after you get those things done and you implement, it's so much better.


Kathryn:
               So one of the things that occurs to me is that part of what stops small business leaders from hiring outside help is because there's a pride issue. There's a sense of I ought to know what to do. This is, I should know. And there's definitely a vulnerability when you're bringing in an outside consultant because you are inviting them to basically say, help me see what's wrong. Help me see where my issues are. Help me see how to grow.


Kathryn:
               And one of the things that is true is that, we say this all the time in leadership development is nobody gets to clarity alone. And consultants begin to help us and we hire consultants. We're running a business but there are places where we go, you know what, we just need someone that has a little bit different perspective, whose done this for longer, who can help us through this situation.


Michael:
              So we have one right now that's in sales. That we've hired an outside company that is helping us through with lead generation of, the type of lead generation we haven't done before, or we don't have the bandwidth for, and that's helpful. And having that outside perspective has been great because we have somebody smart brainstorming with us on our team.


Michael:
              And then our CFO who is not full-time at all, actually he's what some people are calling now, a fractional CFO. We have an account, we have a relationship, they know us, they know our situation and we connect with them periodically and it's phenomenal. We have it for Half a Bubble Out and we have it for our hay company that sells hay to rabbits, Rabbit Hole Hay, we use the fractional CFO. And quite frankly, I think in the last four months the CFO consultant has been 10 times more helpful in RHH in helping us just-


Kathryn:
               Laser focus.


Michael:
              It's been beautiful.


Kathryn:
               It's been great.


Michael:
              And it created a lot of competency in a high stress situation.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Because no matter how smart you are, there are things you don't know. And so part of it is just the humility to realize I don't know everything. And if you are in that situation where you started a company and you don't have a business degree or you do, there's still stuff you don't know. And one of the reasons we created the Village is because we really want business leaders to have that foundation, right? To have that core understanding. Because part of what helps you be successful working with consultants I think, is having minimum competency in something, so you know how to interact intelligently in that topic. Right?


Kathryn:
               So instead of just being like, I don't know anything, so what should I do? You're more at the, you know what, I don't know a lot, but here's what I have learned and here's the questions I want to ask you and the way you want to navigate that. So just like we teach in the Village, having that foundational stuff so that you can hire well, so that you can bring in people on your team that are going to be better than you at certain things, it's the same thing. In order to really interact with that person effectively, you probably need a minimum competency in that area so that you have intelligent conversation and you have a place to put the information they're feeding back to you and actually implement it and make changes.


Michael:
              Absolutely. So there's a couple of things that you're going to want to do. First of all, let's break this into two categories. How do you find a consultant? And we're going to give you some suggestions. And then second, when you find somebody, how do you work with them? So let's talk about finding them. There's two things you're looking for in any employee, consultants, anybody like that. And that is competence and character.


Michael:
              You want somebody who has the competence in the area you're looking for and sometimes that's obvious. You say you need marketing and so you go find a marketing consultant. You need financial consultant, you go find a financial consultant, you need a CFO, you do that. That said, sometimes the skill set's also hidden. There are people who are really good at the high-level business development stuff that understand the big picture and they have the competence in that area above what is needed, above the minimum competence you need. So don't assume that just because somebody, that's all they do, they're the only people you want to talk to because sometimes it's true and sometimes it's somebody who has more of a general perspective. Okay, we're going to talk about that.


Michael:
              That said, here's what I want you to do. You're going to look, and depending on where you are in the country or anything else, you're going to look in a couple of different ways. One is, you're going to do an internet search for any kind of consultants or coaches. Those are keywords you're going to use, and business coaches, small business coaches, business consultants, small business consultants in your regional area. Second thing you want to try and do is potentially anybody in your network, any professionals, business people in your network, you want to ask them. Third, you can go to the Chamber of Commerce.


Michael:
              Some Chamber of Commerce's in some cities are phenomenal and have a great network. Some have just suffered from the years of Chamber of Commerce's visions being old-school and they haven't adapted. I don't know what's true in your area, but we have quite frankly in our area, a phenomenal Chamber of Commerce. Brag, we've done a little bit of work with them, but they're just great people, great leadership, the volunteer leadership and everything else. So if you're looking for it, you can go to them and say, this is who I am. It usually costs very little to join the Chamber of Commerce too which could be valuable.


Michael:
              And what you're doing is you're going to go to your network, you're going to go to the internet, you're going to go to Chamber of Commerce and maybe even your banker and you're going to say, I need three names, maybe four of good business consultants that could help a company like me with our business. And if you want to collect that, at least three names.


Michael:
              And then you want to get on the phone and call them. And when you call them you're looking for a couple of different things. One, you really are right off the bat looking to see if you'd like them, if they can gel with you and everything else. But you're also looking for, here's my situation, can you help me? And I want you to talk to them in a way that is basically a high-level, we own such and such kind of business. I've never worked with a consultant before, if you haven't. Or I've worked with a few consultants. Or by the way, I am looking for help, but I might, one of my problems is I've worked with consultants before and it hasn't gone well. So I found your name, I would like to talk to you if you're available.


Michael:
              And you have to realize that a consultant is also trying to find out if ... They're in business too. They have a small company or a firm usually. And they are looking at you as if you're a good customer for them also. Just because you have money and just because you want to hire them, do not go in with a sense of entitlement that they should be happy to hire you because you want to be teachable and you want to make sure that, there's an old saying called "The ox is worthy of its wage." It really means literally when somebody works, they're worth getting paid a fair rate. But what has also incumbent upon that is there is a dignity. We all have the right to work and we all have the right to work with people we like and enjoy, and everything else.


Michael:
              And so if you're doing that, you're looking for somebody who is trying to, you're trying to find out if it's a good fit for you to them and for them to you. Because you want it to be a win-win. If you can go in with an attitude that any relationship like this needs to be a win-win and you want to be fair to them because they're working hard for you or they're going to be, then you have a great attitude. And then just start saying, hey, I need your help. How does your process work? And do you think a company like ours is somebody that would be a good fit for you and you could help? And if they say yes, then ask how? And with any good consultant, if you're nervous, first of all you, hopefully you've gotten good recommendations.


Michael:
              But if you're nervous, get a couple of reviews or get a couple of references. Any of us out there, we're more than happy to give you a couple of references if you need them. If we're good at what we do, Kathryn and I have several. And yet we find that a lot of clients, they meet us, they talk to us, they hear about what we've done, they see a little bit of our work, they go, okay, even first-timers, like, great, it sounds like you can help me. And you're looking for somebody who just, who has an expertise but really wants to help their customers. So that's how you're going to find somebody.


Michael:
              When you hire them, Kathryn, what do you think the top two or three things that we look for when we're looking at folks that are hiring us that we want them to be keyed into so that we can help them the best?


Kathryn:
               So I'm assuming if you're hiring a consultant, the first thing is, you know you need help and you're willing to listen, right? Because there's nothing worse than coming in as a consultant. And this happens in marketing frazzle sometimes. I was going to say all the time, but sometimes where we come in as the expert and the person's telling us how to solve their own problems and we're like, then why did you hire me? Right?


Michael:
              They've got a very specific prescription and-


Kathryn:
               Yeah, or it's I've tried, the person who will sit down after you say, okay, these are the things that need to happen, "Well I've tried that. Well, I've tried that. Well, I've tried that. Well, I've tried that." So it's really important if you bring in a consultant that you are teachable and that you're listening and that you're really willing to look at and implement what it is that person is saying you need to do because they're the expert.


Kathryn:
               So it's not that you don't ask questions, you definitely ask questions, ask good questions, but there has to be a teachable spirit in you if you're going to work well with a consultant. And then the second thing is, I said it earlier, there's a vulnerability. You have to be honest. So don't hold back the truth about what it is that you're struggling with. Don't hold back the bits that you wish nobody knew because those are the things that that will make a consultant fail because they're the things that they need to know, so they have the full picture. And if you're not revealing the full picture, then they're working with one hand tied behind their back. So be willing to be honest and clear about where you're struggling and then be teachable. So those are probably the top two for me.


Michael:
              Yeah. And one of the things I think that's hidden in what you said, tucked away in there is the idea that you're hiring somebody because they have an expertise to fix something, but your diagnosis of the problem may not be accurate or complete.


Kathryn:
               Right. There may be things you haven't thought of that contribute that that person's going to bring to the table. So if you already know the solution, don't hire a consultant.


Michael:
              Well, and that you can start asking people, look, I need a technician who's going to handle this very specific thing. And they're very narrow niche consultant, maybe. Like, "I know our finances are a mess." Well, I trust you. If your finances are a mess and you know your finances are a mess, that's probably okay. But if you're saying, it happens in marketing, an example would be I need SEO. I need more organic traffic. And that's all they need. And what we find out is that if they get traffic from search engines to their website, their website is such a mess that it's not going to convert and help. They needed a magnitude more traffic to just use the horrible statistics that they have, but they don't get it.


Michael:
              They're thinking that or social media, hey, we needed somebody to do social media, but they don't know how that transfers to the bottom line or they think they do. And then when we get in there, we find out that the rest of the system is a mess. And we know what we do best, we work with systems and planning and strategy, and then we help build a plan and implement it that way. We don't just come in and just do parts and pieces.


Kathryn:
               Right. So we'll tell our clients, I don't think we need to do just that, because that would just be pouring water into a leaky bucket. We actually have to shore up the bucket so that it can hold the stuff.


Michael:
              So what you want to do is you want to know that you're saying to the client, okay, here's what I think. Here's what I've assessed. Here's what I've experienced. Here's what I know, but I don't know what I don't know.


Kathryn:
               Right. So what do you see?


Michael:
              Yeah, and ask them, be aware that they are reading the label from the outside of the bottle. You're inside the bottle, they're on the outside. They can see things that you won't and you want them to.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. That's the beauty and the power of bringing somebody in, is they are looking with a completely different set of eyes. They're not wrapped up into it emotionally, it's not their baby. They're not living in fear. They're not. All those things that are just reality about being in a scary place and needing help. They're not that. So they're coming in with fresh eyes. And again, the more you open up to them, the more that you lay out everything that is, the more chance they're going to have of actually being effective in helping you.


Michael:
              Yeah. I think the last thing to say on how to help work with them is, you've gone through this process, we've given you a few ideas on how to vet somebody who's going to be a good fit. And then you're going to find somebody who's competent in the area and has experience. And then you're going to out of the people who have experience, you're going to pick somebody that, who do you think would be the best fit for you and help you really make the changes. And then you're engaging with them in a proper attitude and mindset.


Michael:
              Then the third thing is going to be you have to trust them. And this is probably the scariest part. This is where people who are inexperienced at working with consultants have a different idea of how this works. They're just going to treat them as a different employee. And what you're doing is you're hiring like a mechanic for your car. If you don't know mechanics and you're going, I need you to diagnose it, I need you to fix it and tell me how much it's going to cost and then I'll write the check. At some level with consultants, you're doing that. That sounds terrifying in a business, but you would do it with a mechanic.


Michael:
              And you're sitting there going, okay, you need to trust them and they're going to make suggestions on how you need to change things and some of those suggestions are going to be easy for you and some of them are going to go against the grind of your personality. They're going to go against the grind of the way you see the things should work.


Kathryn:
               They might go against the grain or the grind.


Michael:
              The grind. Yeah, the grain too, yes. And so you're going to do that and go against the grain, but you want to trust them. When they make suggestions, you're going to do this, this. This is where you paid the money. You brought them in. You're writing them a check. You have got to do this. And you may be saying right now that's so obvious, Michael, duh. And I'm telling you, there are so many people who hire consultants who don't get this. They just go, oh no, we can't do that.


Kathryn:
               Or, that makes me really uncomfortable to market that way. And yet it's proven that it's going to work. And they're saying, no, we've had clients like that where they're just, I can't do that. Okay, well?


Michael:
              And it's not violating the laws. It's not violating ethics. It's violating their comfort zone. And their comfort zone is actually too small and it's strangling their company. And so, I get having core values. We talk about core values. Don't let a consultant tell you to violate your core values, don't. But if they're not telling you to violate your core values, if they're just pressing on things, then be willing to have that tough conversation with them. Talk about why it's hard or anything else. But ultimately you hire these people, you got to listen to them.


Michael:
              And if you think you've really got a bad consultant, cut your losses and go get another one. But I warn you that my experience is most of the time when you think you have a bad consultant, you don't have a bad consultant. They're asking you to-


Kathryn:
               Not if you've vetted properly.


Michael:
              Yeah, not if you've vetted. You've got somebody who's just, they're just pushing on your, you're pushing on some really tender spots for you emotionally and mentally and everything else. And you've got to change because the way you formed your business that got you into the troubles or couldn't get you to the next level, we all have to grow, we have to change. What got us here, won't get us there. And we've got to be able to change the way we see things, the way we expect things, the way we interact, and even the expectations we have of ourselves.


Michael:
              If we grow, the company will grow. If we aren't willing to grow, there's a good chance that the company won't grow. So those kinds of things, I think that's pretty good right now, of talking about it, especially in a podcast of just what do you do with a consultant, what's the value of a consultant and how do you interact with a consultant at a high level.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, and then we just want to encourage you. I mean, shameless plug, but if you feel like you don't have the foundations of business, then we just want to encourage you to sign up for our email list and make sure that you keep your eye out for when we open the Passion and Provision course because that's really going to go through core foundational principles of running a business that can provide both profit and joy. Right? That sense of fulfillment as well as paying your bills.


Michael:
              It gives you basic education for running a business.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, little mini MBA. So just keep your eyes open for that because that will be a valuable use of time.


Michael:
              And where can go get that?


Kathryn:
               They can go to Habovillage.Com.


Michael:
              That's Habovillage.Com?


Kathryn:
               That's Habovillage.Com.


Michael:
              Yeah. And there's a place there you can sign up for the email list, get great tips and also be on the waiting list for that, so that when it comes out, when we release it, because we only release it right now a couple of times a year and open it up for folks. And coming in the next few months we're going to be opening it up again and we're pretty excited about that.


Michael:
              All right. So hopefully that was helpful for you. My name is Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               My name is Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              We're married.


Kathryn:
               Not brother and sister as it turns out.


Michael:
              And we run HaBO Village and Half a Bubble Out marketing. And we love working with Passion and Provision leaders who want to have more profit and more joy in their company for themselves and their employees because we believe having a meaningful life involves having meaningful work. And we believe that in a Passion and Provision company, you can have success financially, you can have profit, you can have purpose and you can leave a legacy. So till next time, thank you very much. Hit subscribe on the iTunes. We would love that. That helps.


Kathryn:
               Leave a review. That'd be great too.


Michael:
              Yeah, that'd be fantastic. And if you have any questions, email us and let us know. Take care and have a great week.


Kathryn:
               Bye.