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The Examined Practice

The Examined Practice

Socrates observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Perhaps the unexamined practice is not worth working.

How often are you willing and able to take a critical look at your own professional services practice (or most kinds of business)? Here are some suggestions to be your own best consultant:

• Are your revenues increasing by at least 10 percent a year? Why or why not?

• Is profit increasing by at least 10 or more percent per year? Why or why not?

• Are you ensuring that no single client represents more than 15 percent of your business?

• Is your name and/or brands better known by more prospects than a year ago?

• Have you created new intellectual property in the prior year?

• Have you published in magazines, newsletters, or newspapers—hard copy or electronic—in the past year?

• Have you received at least a dozen unsolicited, spontaneous referrals in the prior year?

• Are you being asked to speak and address groups at least monthly?

• Have you been able to increase your vacation time and discretionary time over the past year?

• Do you have contracted business that will pay fees over the next six months, and contacts going beyond that?

• Do you have no outstanding receivables older than 30 days?

• Are you submitting all invoices for fees and expense reimbursement as soon as possible?

• Do you create and analyze ideas for new products and/or services on a monthly basis? Do you implement at least one a quarter?

• Do you feel in charge of your life and organized, or disorganized and overwhelmed?

• Do you have a financial, liquid reserve equal to a year’s expenses?

• In all candor, would most people in your field and most of your clients and prospect see you as a current or emerging leader in the field?

Food for thought. Tough questions. If you don’t ask them and act on them, who will?

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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