Have you caught a rare glimpse of a Unicorn Consultant?
They’re in the wild. I know they’re real because I’ve seen them. I’ve met them. And yet I have no clue how to harness the magic in their horns. They ruin it for everyone.
Who are these Unicorn Consultants?
They’re the ones who tell you, “I’m working a third of the hours I did in my last full-time role, and I’m making three times the money!”
They’re the ones who seem to close a deal with every single meeting. They close them anywhere and everywhere – a coffee shop, a bar, on the Q train, on line for the bathroom at the movie theater.
Their Instagram feed is full of them giving talks or going on assignments in cities and countries you’ve never heard of, can’t spell, and can’t pronounce. And if you meet the Unicorns, they say – without even trying to be snotty, “The sixteenth ‘r’ is silent.” Of course, everyone knows that. Just like everyone knows the best bar for drinking fermented snake milk.
So yes, there are people like this who exist. Most of the time I bring this up with others, they have a friend or acquaintance of theirs in mind right away. You may know a Unicorn Consultant too.
But they’re on that far-right end of the bell curve. It’s easy to think about the Unicorn Consultants too much. Similarly, we spend a lot of time thinking about the Phantom Consultants – the ones who say they’ve been consulting for awhile but don’t seem to have ever had a single client. During a rough week, consultants can feel better about themselves that they’re doing better than the Phantom but then get humbled (or depressed) comparing themselves to the Unicorn.
Personally, I’m happy for the Unicorns. They’ve figured things out, and they deserve their success. For most people though, there is little about consulting that’s ever worth sharing on Instagram, unless the barista at the coffee shop you work out of made some pretty spectacular latte art that morning.
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