(Twin Cities) – Tired of the grind at your 9-to-5 job? Looking for a career where you get to do what you want to do rather than what you have to do? If so, Twin Cities consultant Cathy Perme says it may be time to give her chosen profession a try; but how do you know if consulting is for you?
“When someone tells me they want to go into consulting, the first thing I’ll ask is, ‘What’s your fizz?’ What do you really do well that you’re passionate about and love to do?” She’ll then go on to ask the person about their depth of knowledge and experience. “What knowledge do they have that they can leverage and sell?” she asks.
For those who don’t have a lot of experience, Perme will recommend they go out and get some. For those who are already accomplished in their fields, and are passionate about pursuing a career as a consultant, she’ll soon recommend they pick up a copy of her new book, Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant. Minnesota publisher Wisdom Editions will release the book in Jan. 2019.
Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant is a practical guide for starting and managing your own consulting business, written by one of the Twin Cities’ best known consultants in the areas of change management, facilitation and culture change.
Author Cathy Perme went into business for herself nearly 30 years ago after a successful career in the computer industry. Since starting up C.M. Perme and Associates, LLC, she has worked with hundreds of companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries.
“In recent years, so many people have come to me for advice on what it takes to become a successful consultant, that I decided to share my knowledge through a book so I can help more people,” she says.
Among the important topics covered in the book: how to clarify exactly what service or services you will be offering, how to establish your brand, how to find potential customers, and how to collaborate with other independent associates. “Collaborating means that between the two of us, we can create something bigger for the client,” says Perme, whose book also offers plenty of advice on strategy for those considering going into business for themselves.
She says consulting is not something you can just transition to overnight. “You need to be planning this out six- months to a year in advance because you’ll want to save up some money before you jump in,” says Perme, who adds that the book will appeal to people at all stages of their careers.
For millennials who are now in the workforce getting their experience, Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant can serve as a roadmap on what they need to do in the next five years if they want to go into business for themselves. The book is also for people in their 30s and 40s with experience under their belts who are tired of the corporate grind and want to do something for themselves; and for those recently retired or in retirement who want to do something different that utilizes their talents.
“The real reasons I went into consulting were to be respected and taken seriously; to really have the kind of influence that can lead to change; for the flexibility and ownership over what I was doing; and to have the ability to do what I love to do,” says Perme, who thinks there are a lot of people out there who feel the same way she does.
Early reviews for the book have been very favorable. Glenda Eoyang, Ph. D., who is the Executive Director for Human Systems Dynamics Institute of Circle Pines, Minn., says, “In Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant Cathy shares her secrets with clear and compelling practices, stories, tip and tools. I wish I had read the book before starting my first consulting company 35 years ago, and am glad to learn new tips from it today.”
Mark D. Carlson, who is retired now, but recently served as Vice Chancellor for Human Resources at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, says, “Following Cathy's advice will undoubtedly help the budding consultant leapfrog years of frustrating and stressful trial and error. If you are considering consulting as a vocation, or have already made the leap and are looking for advice you can count on, look no further.”
Tim Kuppler, Director of Culture & Organization Development with Human Synergistics and Founder of CultureUniversity.com, says, “I distinctly remember starting my consulting business and pouring through mountains of books and articles while under the pressure of my first marketing efforts, sales outreach, proposals, and client support. I wish I had the clarity and sage advice found in Fizz! when I started! I now interact with hundreds of consultants and they all could benefit from this proven advice.”
And Anne C. Knapp, Corporate Advisor, Northern Rangelands Trust, past EVP and Managing Director, GMAC Residential Funding, says, “Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant should be on the must-read list for all independent consultants and business owners. It tackles the most important business questions with the no-nonsense honesty and authenticity that are the hallmarks of Cathy’s brand. Cathy’s chapter on ‘Selling your Services with Integrity’ is worth its weight in gold. I’ve been the beneficiary of Cathy’s counsel and insights for 30 years. Fizz! puts her wisdom at your fingertips.”
Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant officially releases on Jan. 1, 2019. Cathy Perme is also the author of Confucius in My Cubicle: Practical Wisdom for the Leader in All of Us, released by Wisdom Editions in 2017. For more information about both titles, go to WhatsYourFizz.com.
About Cathy Perme
Cathy Perme is the owner and president of a successful independent consulting firm in Minneapolis that for nearly 30 years has helped hundreds of organizations, from two-person firms to multinational corporations. Cathy’s Fizz is deep experience in organizational and culture change, and as a change agent, she believes that we can all take the lead in our professional and personal lives. She has been asked for advice so often by folks interested in becoming a consultant (or improving their success as one) that she decided to write Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant. She also blogs as The Consultant’s Coach on LinkedIn.