Advisory work isn’t your golden ticket to financial freedom. It’s called advisory work after all.
The truth is, it’s really hard to sell your head independent of your hands. It takes years to build up the skills needed to lead people to an outcome without being the one with your hands on the keyboard.
Luckily, though, it’s more of a spectrum than a binary transformation.
If you’re a freelancer, you can sub-contract the less strategic parts of your work to other people. You can hire people to perform the basic functions of your job while you handle strategy, vision, and account management.
Eventually, you build up processes, templates, and examples that others can follow. These are gold for advisory work down the line. They also make great knowledge products you can sell along the way.
You can turn your work into an agency model, if you want. You become a leader of the operations, not the one doing day-to-day execution.
But if, like me, you prefer to stay solo, you can begin to do what I call managed advisory work, which most people associate with terms like interim/fractional CXO in various capacities.
This model will force you to create even more templates, trainings, and bring examples to make execution more and more streamlined. It will also help you build up your Rolodex of people who specialize in various kinds of execution work.
You become good at managing vs. doing the execution work. You’re still responsible for the outcome, it’s just your hands aren’t doing all the things anymore.
Eventually, you remove the management part. It’s important, but a lot more people can manage things if you empower them with the right tools and strategies.
That’s when you become a pure advisor. Your job is about facilitating outcomes and directing how best to allocate budgets, measure outcomes, and get results in any way you can.
All the while, you’ve been building up your arsenal of tools, people, and training to bring to your engagements. You became an educator from the moment you involved other people in the execution.
And if you keep with it long enough, your work becomes largely about teaching others. You do training, create knowledge products, and share templates, processes, and examples for how to do things.
The road won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be overnight. It’s something you build towards slowly and with conscious effort, day by day.
The more you take your expertise, package it up, and sell it separately from your hands, the more you’ll potentially earn and the more discretionary time you’ll have back.
So where are you on this journey? Are you stuck or do you have clarity?
Reply and let me know—I’d love to hear how you’re progressing on the journey toward a leveraged expertise business.