Creating A “Job” Versus A True Consulting Business With Tony Velasquez: Podcast #310

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What makes you stand out from any other consulting businesses? How can you increase the value of your business? In this episode, Tony Velasquez, the CEO of Angelus Advisors, brings his wisdom on what makes a true consulting business and how consultants can build one instead of simply creating a job for themselves. He delves into increasing your offering’s value, making your clients feel special and heard, winning new clients, and crafting impactful messages to attract ideal customers. Tony also shares his insights on how consultants can prioritize their families while building their businesses. If you are a startup or a seasoned in this industry, this episode is perfect for you! So, tune in to the Consulting Podcast with Michael Zipursky and Tony Velasquez today.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Increase the value of your offering.
  • Make your clients feel special and heard.
  • Ignite excitement for your offering.
  • Craft an impactful message to attract your ideal clients.
  • Make your family a priority while building your business.

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In this episode, joining the show is Tony Velasquez, who is the CEO of Angelus Advisors, which provides guidance on enterprise resource planning software for large-scale Fortune 500 companies. This software gives users a single platform through which companies can do a variety of business functions but they can be quite complex. This is where Tony and his team come in, helping their clients identify the best systems for their needs and then guide them through the implementation.

As you’re about to read, Tony has joined the Clarity Coaching Program. When he started, he thought that he might have 2X his revenue but after a few short months, he surpassed his original goal, achieving 2.5 times revenue growth. 1 year later, he is approaching 4 times revenue growth. If you want to see the results that Tony is seeing and you want to join the Clarity Coaching Program, head over to ConsultingSuccess.com/Grow to apply.

Here’s a quick reminder about the giveaway that we are running. We’re excited for this. Let me tell you exactly how you can enter, what you will get, and what you might win. First, if you head over to Apple Podcasts and leave a rating and review, first of all, what you’re going to receive is a free eBook on What Consultants Really Charge In 2023, where you’re going to learn what the highest-earning consultants do differently with their fees. You can learn best practices and how to raise your fees by 2X to 3X. You’re going to get real-life case studies of how consultants have increased their fees by up to 100%, plus an action plan for raising your fees with confidence on your very next consulting project.

To claim that free eBook, all you have to do is simply send us an email with your Apple ID over at [email protected]. That’s for anyone who leaves a rating and review. As a bonus for anyone who leaves a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, you’re also going to go into a pool with a chance to win lifetime access to our Momentum Consulting Course, which is one strategic hour each day to help you add six figures to your annual consulting income. This course is regularly $2,000. However, if you leave a rating and review, you get the chance to win it free.

Let’s talk about what you will learn from this episode with Tony. First is how to increase the value of your offering, how to make your clients feel special and heard, how to ignite excitement to win new clients, how to craft an impactful message to attract your ideal customer, and how to make your family a priority all while building your business, plus so much more. Here to share with you his insight and story is Tony Velasquez. Enjoy.

Welcome, Tony.

Thank you.

You started working at Visa back in 1997 and Blackboard Mastercard AEON. I believe in 2017, you decided to start your consulting business. Take us back to that time. What was going on? Why did you decide to strike out on your own, leave to work in this very well-established large corporate organization, and become a consultant?

Prior to starting Angelus Advisors, I worked for Fortune 500 and well-known companies around consulting and systems. I was working with clients so they could identify what systems were appropriate for them or update and support those systems. At that time, my father had worked for a long time on his own. I always had the bug of trying to do something by myself and not necessarily under the corporate umbrella.

Focus on the entire journey and what you need along the way. Click To Tweet

My son at that time was six months old. When he was born, I was working on various projects. I couldn’t take any time off to spend with him. He was born in November and I didn’t have time until maybe March or April the following year to take off and spend time with him. That was one of the key points of motivation of saying, “Why don’t I do something different so that I can control some of my time?”

Two, I was working on various big implementations, Fortune 500 companies, and global implementations. I had a great experience. I would do it all over again. The only thing I would change is probably to go on my own much sooner. I always waited for that right moment. It came out of the family. This is pre-COVID. I was traveling and working 40, 50, or 60 hours a week depending on what was going on. I wanted to spend time with my kids.

I’m speaking to my wife who was the first one to approach me to say, “Is there a better way?” I said, “If something opens up, if I get something local, or it’s another project that I can handle and not travel as much and be home, I’ll take it.” I said it and the next day, it happened because I got contacted. In my first client, I had some contacts there who were personal friends with whom we worked in the past and it started from there.

It’s always interesting to hear how when you create a vision or set your sights on something, opportunities start to arise. I want to come back to that in a moment. Your dad was also an entrepreneur and did his thing for a while. What line of work was that? What was his background?

My family is from Colombia, South America. He came with my mom to start a new life. He had an accounting background. He took a few courses, worked for a couple of companies as an accountant, and worked on their books. From one day to the next, someone asked them, “Can you help me with my taxes?” He said, “Sure.” He leaps of faith. 1 became 5 and 10. He grew that business so big that he had to leave the corporate world. He has been working on his own ever since.

Luckily enough, he did well. We didn’t have a lot of means but at the time when I was ready to go to college, things were going so well that he said, “I’ll support you wherever you go. We have the means to at least start something.” Growing up where I grew up, most of the friends that I had didn’t go to college. If they go to college, they have very low resources to go to college. It wasn’t instilled in them from the very beginning because it wasn’t a possibility.

I owe that to my family, my dad because of that, and my mom who raised and instilled in us how important education was. He has always been on his own. I was in college but he would reach out to me to help him with his business. I started to do taxes. That’s when he’s like, “You’d be good if you ran your own business. You get it.” I was maybe 21 at the time but I was always coached to go to school, get a degree, and work for someone. It took me some time to break out of that. I owe everything to my family and my parents for instilling that and helping me make that push.

It sounds like that seed of entrepreneurship and even professional services was planted for you quite early by your family, which is fantastic. You talked about the first client when you decided to leave working with Fortune 500 companies as an employee. It came from a relationship that you had and that’s very common in the consulting world.

Some of the studies we’ve done have shown that 50% of consultancy of their first client was a previous employer. In your case, there is a little bit of a difference there but can you walk us through what did that look like for you in terms of that first client? How quickly were you able to replace your Fortune 500 income through the work that you were doing? What was that initial 6 months to 1 year when you went off and started your consulting business? What was that like?

Prior to deciding to leave, I was already managing and working with Fortune 100 companies globally. I was part of that implementation team. At that time, I was focused more on the system side of the implementation and how those systems were talked to other systems. With that background, it was pretty easy for me to go on my own and talk about systems A, B, and C. My background, at the core, is project management. I was a certified project manager. I knew how to manage multilayer and multiphase implementations. I was used to it.

CSP | Consulting Business

In deciding to go on my own, initially, to be honest with you, I didn’t know what I was doing. I said, “I’m going to walk away. I have my first client but I wasn’t sure how we would go.” Luckily, this first client, the HR director was a personal friend of mine because we worked in the past. We are still very close. The teams and companies that were involved, I knew very well. That acclimation didn’t take that long and I jumped right in.

This project was available because they did have a project manager on it but unfortunately, that project manager disappeared from one day to the next. Not only was it a project that needed a PM but it was a project that was already ongoing and it needed direction. It was at a standstill. In making the change, I understood the value of this. It wasn’t like before I made a salary and that was the only value I brought to the table. This was more of what I bring to the table times a certain factor because you have a multimillion-dollar project sitting there. Little by little, I learned with each and every project.

Do you see that component of value early on? What I’m getting at is oftentimes consultants, especially in the early stage, think about their work more in terms of deliverables and what they’re going to do. They’re not focused as much on the outcome, value, result, and real benefit for the client. It sounds like the way that you’re talking, you saw the value of doing this work and focused on that, not so much about like, “I can help you with project management or get the solution in place.” Can you take us back to that time? Was that something you saw very early on and you were pushing or are you speaking more from the benefit of hindsight and knowing what you know now?

It is maybe a little bit of both or probably the latter. I’ve already been in business for several years. I’ve had constant work and implementations so that’s how I can talk about the value. If I equate it to going to the gym, maybe in the beginning, you get used to doing certain exercises and then you realize the results. You keep on doing them because you feel a certain way and then after the fact, you’re like, “I get it. If I did this, I get certain results.”

In the beginning, maybe it was like that for me. I didn’t get the a-ha moment of, “I’m adding all this value,” but I knew I was adding something extra and I kept on focusing on that. One of the key things there first with client work and being a consultant is that at a very early age, and maybe this is a prior question you had, I said to myself, “If this doesn’t work out, I can always go back to where I was.” I was very confident in that. If I was going to go back to the same company, I would go to a similar company.

That didn’t worry me so much. I did have a new family. I had kids and a wife. People depended on me and my family but that wasn’t a concern. Moving forward, the value is that I focus on how I separate myself from everybody else. “There are a lot of consultants out there. Why do you want to work with me?” To understand the overall value and how I can bring something to the table was extremely important.

With each and every project, I’ve learned a lot more along the way. When I meant you and Consulting Success, that solidified that and gave it more reinforcement of the value of why I am what I am because I focus on that. I’ll be honest, most consultants that I come across might focus on their billable raid or, “I’m here to do a task and leave.” They don’t understand the big picture of the value.

Can you give us some examples of something that you’ve done and that you focused on with a more tangible example for people of how you’ve highlighted that value and tried to differentiate or separate yourself from the other consultants or alternatives in the marketplace? What have you seen work for you?

It’s the overall opportunity costs and risk costs. I’m going to use this analogy. Sometimes I’m on conference calls, I talk about building a house or you bought a big investment like a very expensive luxury car. That already has a number to it but if that car or house you do not maintain, flourish, or add certain things to it, then that value is going to degrade very quickly or you’re not going to get to the top of where you want to be as far as overall value. I focus on that from day one.

It’s not about how much this project is costing, how much they are providing to me as a service, or how much I’m providing to them but what is that overall impact and value? I help companies implement HR payroll financial solutions. That’s a digital transformation. They impact their employees to day 1 but I am I have impacts 5 or 10 years from now. That is huge. That’s what I try to bring to the table.

Caring and energy are different things for different people. But those are two areas that can easily separate yourself from the norm. Click To Tweet

There are two areas that people have highlighted to me and hence, my name came out of one of them. The first thing is when I come to the table, most clients after the fact postmortem, feedback, and lessons learned, say, “You brought to the table that it’s obvious that you care about the project.” It’s very unique because most of the time, you won’t think about that.

When you say that, for some, it’s like, “Anybody can say things like high quality and best-in-class service.” These are buzzwords that are very general. I’ve known you for a couple of years. We’ll talk about your energy in a moment. When we’re jumping on a call, even with other clients in the Clarity Coaching Program, or whatever it might be, you generally come across as caring but how do you do that? What’s going on in your mind? What are you focusing on? How do you turn that dial? Is there anything tangible you could offer so that people could see and try to compare what they’re doing so they could get some of the advantages or benefits from showing up the way that you do?

I’ll go back to college. I skipped the grade before going to college. I went to college at seventeen. My first semester was horrible. I almost flunked out. Who knows the change, new scenery, and new city? I picked up a study program and it said, “What’s the difference between average grades, A, and A+?” There was a model that they showed you like a hamburger that was C and A. In the C hamburger, the lettuce was off, the tomato was falling off, half of the bun was off, and things like that.

I’ve always instilled in that when I deliver the caring part. I focus on the details because I know it’s important. I want the client at the end of this experience to say, “I couldn’t have done that without Tony and his team.” I want them to walk away feeling they ate that A hamburger and they didn’t get the C-part because they always get the C part. In my room, I have so many people who are going through the motions. The caring part is taking it up another level, not just checking off a box. Always think about the next steps.

At the end of the day, what I do is help people implement systems but I work with people. I try to focus on their needs. For example, I’m focusing on a new system. It’s going to change their day-to-day. How does it change their day-to-day? Are they worried about losing their job? Are they very excited about learning something new? Focus on what’s important and help them along the journey. That will make a huge difference. That is the caring part. When I say caring, it’s not because I think I care. That’s what the clients are telling me after the project. That’s what I try to focus on and then instill in my team to make sure that they keep that going and focus on that as well.

I’m going to repeat what I’m hearing you say to try and summarize. Tell me if this is accurate or from way off the mark. What you’re saying is that the secret sauce or the caring part is you slow down where others might try and rush through a process, meeting, presentation, or securing a sale. You go slower. You focus more on asking questions and listening. Even if you have your framework and the way that you guys do things, you try and adapt or adjust that for the specific client so that they feel like they are heard. You’re doing that not just in the first meeting but throughout the whole engagement. Does that sound accurate or am I missing something there?

I like the latter part of that. Let’s say there’s a project to paint a room. Most people focus on the end. I try to focus from day one all the way through like buying the paint, “Who’s painting? Did you bring any water for the painter? Did you feed him? Did you pat them on the back?” There are so many steps to get to the finished painted wall. Most clients or consultants focus on the last part, “How much you’re going to charge me for the painted wall?” Let’s focus on the entire journey and what you need along the way. Maybe I need to encourage your painter. With this project, they can paint the whole house instead of just the wall.

Is that intentional or do you look at every component of an engagement from initial conversation to proposal to kick-off meeting and onboarding? Is that something you’ve broken down, and you and your team have figured out, “How do we adjust and fine-tune? How do we deliver at the level that we want for each of these things,” or is it more natural and organic that you do it because it’s what you’ve been doing for so long?

It started very naturally because that’s how I’ve been raised or focused. With each project, we take the time to dissect and review it. More and more, we get the feedback from the client. With each feedback of the caring component, we do take time to break that apart and build it into our business processes and our delivery. Why are we successful? It’s because we keep on focusing on what’s successful. We don’t try to deviate from that. Frankly, sometimes if there’s not a good environment for whatever team members or projects, the answer is no because we want to make sure we deliver that part. It would be natural at first but then we’ve learned along the way with every new engagement.

This might be the second part, which is the energy part. We also want to make sure that we’ve kept on doing this for so many years. We don’t want to come to the table very stale and boring like, “I already know what you want. You want this painted wall. No big deal.” We don’t want to do that. We want to bring the energy as if it’s the first time we do this. Now that I have kids, when they open up that new toy, we want to make sure this experience is incredible because it could be defined differently. Some people define change differently than excitement.

CSP | Consulting Business

Sometimes when you are implementing a new system globally or company-wide, they look at that as a negative initially. We want to make sure they look at that as an excitement and opportunity. If we come to the table energized, then it spills over to the team. With the feedback, I’ve had direct clients tell me, “We did this because of you and your excitement and energy. There were days I didn’t want to be on that call but I heard your voice and I’m like, ‘I got to do this,’ or there were days that I’m like, ‘We’re not going to be able to do this,’ and then you were so convinced we were. I followed it along.”

That’s the feedback that we get and try to instill in all our projects, regardless if it’s our first or latest one. We want to make sure that sentiment is there and we can focus on it. Luckily enough, we’ve been able to survive and thrive. Frankly, that’s one of our secret sauce. One thing I’ve learned through your program is at first, I was hesitant to share that. Now, I share it even more because no one does it our way. It’s like those restaurant chains have their secret formula. No one does it the way they do it. Everybody knows they have a secret formula but it’s hard to duplicate because they do it a certain way, the same thing with us.

I want more consultants to learn from what I said and do that. I want the greater community to be better with a higher standard because then we’re all at a higher level. As opposed to sometimes when I walk into a room, they assume I am at a different level. I call them D or C players as opposed to the A player. I justify and go through that sometimes. Those are the two main components, caring and energy. That’s different things for different people but that’s two areas that you can easily separate yourself from the norm.

I’ve been able to experience firsthand your energy on many calls in the Consulting Success Community. When you come on, you’re very consistent with your energy. I’m wondering about those who are joining us, I can see the value of bringing energy and how it’s almost always going to be more enjoyable to be around somebody who has good positive energy as opposed to somebody who is draining the room, sounds like they’re half asleep, or not excited about what they’re doing. You bring that level of excitement. How do you do that?

When I ask that question, I’m trying to get at everyone who has had an experience where they feel excited about something. They feel like they’re bubbly and full of energy but then there are a lot of times when they don’t have that feeling come up anymore. You are consistent with it on the calls that I’ve seen you on, which is many at this point.

You’re very consistent with your level of energy. That’s why you’ve been dubbed as Tony Mr. Energy but I’m sure you also run into challenging hard times where it’d be very easy for you from a mindset perspective to focus on something negative and not bring that energy. How do you navigate that? How do you show up consistently with that level of energy?

It is part of who I am. It’s my DNA.

Where does it come from? Even though it’s your DNA, you grew up in an area of New York where it wasn’t the most positive. There were lots of challenges. A lot of people around you who by 18 or 19 years old were in jail and forth. That’s not a place where somebody typically goes like, “I’m happy all the time and positive.” I’m going to challenge you a little bit on that because there’s probably something in there, a defining moment or a set of experiences of what made you who you are.

Maybe I can talk it out and you can help me figure it out. Most people don’t believe in this and not even my wife. When I was a kid, I was very quiet. I was not the Tony that you see. I got picked on. I got bullied in elementary and mostly junior high school. I then noticed. I’m like, “I got to develop a communication here and be the guy who tells the jokes, who’s social, and who’s friends with everybody because if I’m friends with everybody, then I don’t get picked up.” That’s why I developed that. I started building that personality.

Fast forward with the energy, this is just me. Everybody has an energy. Am I down some days? Sure. My daughter one night woke up multiple times. She woke up by 3:00 in the morning. I’m running on 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I talked to a team member. I’m like, “Do this and that. You can call me at this time. I’ll be up at 6:00 in the morning.” She’s like, “You always bring the energy.”

If you want to grow and scale the business, you need to adapt and change. Click To Tweet

At least in the business realm, it’s important to always reset, take a second, and bring your energy. If there are days that you’re low on energy, call it out and say, “Client, today is not the best day for this. Give me until tomorrow or something.” That’s fine. If you’re going to do something, do it with energy. There’s no excuse. If you’re going to do something, bring it at 100%. Knock it out of the park.

Even if it’s folding a napkin, do the best that you can. I get choked up because not everybody has that opportunity. Always think about that. Regardless of what you’re doing in this world, there are so many things going on in the world. Put yourself in the situation of someone who wishes they had that opportunity. That will motivate you and bring the energy to always bring it. Later, you can take a nap, take it off, or be lazy. You can stay on the couch. In that moment, bring it.

That’s such a great reminder. There are people who have this belief that they can maintain the status quo, where they are, and not try to always find ways to improve or deliver at a high level. The reality is there’s no such thing as staying where you are. If you maintain where you are, there’s somebody else who’s prepared to work a little bit harder and raise the bar but higher. Even though you feel like you might be staying, there’s somebody else going up which means that you’re going down.

This is why I mean the world of business is not one about being complacent. It’s always about trying to find ways to improve things, getting better, and hopefully, enjoying the ride and the journey along that path. A few years ago, you came into the Clarity Coaching Program. You’re going to know what I’m going to be referring to you here in a moment because we had a call and we’re chatting. This is coming from the highest level of respect and caring but I said to you, “You don’t have a business. You have a job.” Do you remember that?

I do very well.

What did it feel like? I didn’t want to come across the wrong way but that’s what I saw. What was going on in your mind when I said that to you?

A little bit of backstory. I was from New York. I was born in Queens and raised in Brooklyn. That’s still in my blood. I’ve learned over time but generally, my reaction is being defensive. It was like the second call of Consulting Success. I was meeting you. I didn’t know you like I know you now. We’ve shaken hands and hugs. We know each other but back then I didn’t know.

We started the call. I forgot the specifics of the topic that led up to it but your point was, “Are you a solo consultant or are you someone who’s building a consulting firm in a consulting business?” The point was if it’s just Tony, then you don’t have a business. You are solo consulting. Afterward, you did provide some more context like, “If you are a solo consultant, you are having some type of business but if your focus is to grow and maintain, then that’s where you were hitting home.”

How did I react? I reacted initially defensively. I said, “Who’s this guy? He doesn’t know me. What does he mean I don’t have a business? I have a business. I got to do taxes, this, and that.” I took a step back. I’ve learned over the years. I don’t stop learning. That’s another takeaway from whoever’s reading this. On top of that, don’t mix the two Ls. Don’t mix Lucky with Learning. Most people are like, “Tony is lucky. He gets some great clients.” I’m not lucky. I keep on learning so when I do have the opportunity, I can hit it out of the park. It’s not luck. I’m learning. I’m always growing and trying to do more.

When you said that, I took it defensively. I didn’t take it well. After I sat down, I thought through it. I took more classes, sessions, and things like that. I’m like, “I get what he’s doing.” That’s part of the program. for those who are considering the program, the program will challenge you on multiple levels. In this scenario, it challenges me to think outside of the box. It’s not just about me. It’s about where I want to take the business. You are spot on.

CSP | Consulting Business

I didn’t have a business if I just focused on myself because I am one person. I get sick. I want to take a day off and spend time with my family. If I keep that going, I don’t have a business. I bill hours here and there. That is the takeaway, which I thank you for. I didn’t thank you at the time. I thank you now because it is motivation. I still remember that story. When I have tough days or if I wake up in the morning and I’m like, “I don’t know if I should be doing this,” I think of those situations. “I need to do this for X, Y, and Z reasons.” I thank you for that, Michael.

You’re the one that’s put in the work. You’ve doubled your business or more since that time. To put it in context, you know the important things. It’s not that being a solo consultant is bad. For some people, it’s exactly what you should be doing. It was in the context of the conversation that we are having around like, “What do you want to build? How do you have your model structured?” You’re seeing that there’s a bit of a disconnect between where you were and where you want to be.

You’re starting to learn more about yourself and the massive potential that you have inside of you and your business. That was what came out. It’s like, “Based on where you want to go, the current model, and the way that you’re thinking about growth, this not going to add up.” Your face and reaction did not show up as being defensive at all but afterward, I was like, “The way I delivered that was a little bit tough but hopefully, that tough love will come through.”

It was amazing to meet you and your wife when we had an event right in person and see the growth that you’ve created inside your business. People will probably be wondering since that happened, what did you change? What adjustments did you make inside of your business that have allowed you to begin building a business and double the growth of the business? Is there anything you can share that you feel like, “I did these things and they had some big impact?”

We talked about caring and energy. People read that and they’re like, “That’s too general. Anybody can do that.” It’s the same response here. You follow the program. When I first joined Consulting Success, you went through the program. Those initial exercises with the program and initial focus were huge. In this particular case, the structure was already there. It was me understanding the structure and then applying it to my business.

In my business, my structure is, “I can’t do it all. If I bring the energy, I need a defined plan of how anyone in my team can bring the energy in that case.” That’s what I started changing. Very shortly after that and this was during the pandemic, I had all the excuses in the world but little by little, I adapted what I was learning through the program. Eventually, one of my biggest engagements was I had a team of seven people on an implementation.

That was mind-blowing maybe 4 or 5 months earlier than that because I still focused on, “It had to be me. I was the only one.” This is not something new. It was uncovered in Consulting Success which helped me to drive it. That huge implementation from that perspective spearheaded everything else I was thinking of, like my hourly model compared to my fixed fee model, my team model compared to my solo consulting model, and then the offerings I also changed.

Before, I was focused 100% on implementation. Now, I do digital transformation, selection, implementation, support, and posts go live phases and projects. I have a whole gamut of services that before, I thought was service one by Tony, and then it’s exponential. That’s the key there and already part of the program. Anybody on the fence who’s like, “Should I do it and jump right,” I said before that it was easy tenfold. My investment and what I got out of it is a no-brainer.

I appreciate the kind words but not the intention of having you on here. I appreciate it nonetheless. I’m wondering for those who might be in a similar situation. They might be solo or have 1 or 2 people who are working inside of their company. They’re doing a lot of the work and holding on to it. Maybe there’s some hesitation in building out a bit of a bigger team whether contractors, part-time or full-time people, whatever it might be.

Is there anything that you learned during that process or anything that clicked for you and it was a realization or something that you would maybe counsel somebody else on if they were trying to navigate or make that leap but they’re not being successful because they’re holding on to too much themselves and therefore holding back their growth?

Sometimes, you can do the best plan. And if something happens, you should adapt. Click To Tweet

It was an a-ha moment in the sense of being more strategic and applying that with my time. Most times, it’s like, “Here’s a one-hour task. I can’t give this to Michael. I have to keep on doing it because I’m the only one that does it.” That exercise is part of the Consulting Success. It’s to determine what you evaluate and what’s your time worth and then hand over that to someone in this case ending it to Michael. “It might take me more than one hour to get Michael up to speed but once he’s done, I can use that hour and do something else.” That growth is huge.

To get more, you have to let go. It sounds weird but that’s what will propel you. To your point earlier, if you want to be a solo consultant and have a certain scale to do that, fine but if you want to grow and scale the business, then you need to adapt and change. This is one of the big components that you can get out of the program. Make the change because you can always go back. Back to my analogy of how I was when I started, I can always go back to being a solo consultant one project at a time with only 2 or 3 tasks in front of me. I can keep on doing that forever but you can always grow and morph into something else. That’s the key takeaway I took from that.

You’re a big family guy. You and I share that in terms of prioritizing and always focusing on family, quality of life, and making those memories. I’m wondering. Can you share how you think about that? There’s a lot talked about work-life balance and people have different perspectives on that but it seems like there’s not a week that goes by where you’re not like, “I am off to Disneyland. I’m doing this or that.”

You’re always talking about your kids. They’re always front and center and your wife as well and family extended. What do you think about that? Is there a way that you plan? Are there any rules or guidelines that you set in terms of how you approach building a business and growing a successful business while at the same time having young kids and a family?

The reason why I started Angelus Advisors is family. I wanted the flexibility to be around my growing family. My children are in their key years. I owe everything to my parents. I tell them every day. Luckily, they’re still living. Everything I do is a representation of what their sacrifices were. When I put on a white shirt and a tie and I go in front of a client, I’m representing my family. Family has always been huge for me. I want to make sure that I’m there for my kids.

I work a lot but I don’t want to always work. I want to be always around them when I can. It is a priority. To answer your question very specifically, even before I was with the family, I would map out my world, my life, and what have you in different categories of priorities. Family was always a priority. I even did that before I got married. “When I get married, I’m going to do this and that. I want to be hands-on. I’m going to change diapers and clean. I’m going to go to Disney.” Is there a day that I get up and I’m like, “I don’t want to do this?” Sure, but the point that you made is creating those memories. It’s important for them. Maybe not now but it will be soon.

Do you have any rules around not opening your computer, checking email, or doing work between this time and weekends? I know myself earlier on or years back, I’d be working on the weekends and I would tell myself, “A few hours here and there.” There’s no right or wrong. It depends on what season of life you’re in but I’m wondering about your season. Do you have any rules or ways that you structure things?

I don’t know if I have any rules. When you’re making it a priority, you need some game plan and a strategy for what works for you. For me specifically, I know the core hours that I have to dedicate to the business because no one else is around, the core hours where bath time, dinner time, or family time is important, playtime, and Disney. In the past, maybe I had other priorities. I’m going to binge-watch something over the weekend. Now, that is out of the way. I can binge with my family. I spent as much time with them for the first movie or experience.

One day at Disney is huge at this point for them. That’s what I do. I also focus on the reward for the kids. Meaning, “You do well here. Focus on school here. We’ll all make time and do this.” It’s part of raising my kids as well. I’m showing them the value of work so they understand how much I work and what I do but then they also understand, “If we do this, we get this.” I don’t know if those are rules. I will say this and I want to take a back step so when people read this, they’re like, “Everything’s rainbows and unicorns.” Every day is tough.

Every day is a new commitment but it’s back to what I said. If you want to be the best dad, be the best dad. I want to be the best dad. My dad did that for me. I want to do that for my kids. It’s hard but you do it. That’s why I want to be the best dad. I want to be there, give them everything I can, spend time with them, do homework with them, scold them, and run with them. Everything that’s included in that package is a priority as much as it is with the business.

CSP | Consulting Business

I do struggle like anything else. There were days where I was like, “I should be doing this more on the business or this more on family.” You do have to adjust. It is like flying a plane. There’s no straight line. You go up and down. There’s turbulence. There are good days and bad days. I’m a project manager but kids have taught me that sometimes you can do the best plan and something happens. You have to adapt it. It is something that I’ve learned to adapt to but I’m also realistic. When my child is a teen, he’s going to have other priorities. I want to squeeze as much time out of those as possible. That’s what motivates me to make the time and do it because I’m not always going to have that opportunity.

Thank you for coming on. We’ve scratched the surface of your story. There’s much amazing stuff that you and your team are doing over at your company. For those who want to connect with you or learn more about the work that you all do, where’s the best place for them to go and connect with you or learn more?

I’m on LinkedIn. You can easily type @TonyMrEnergy on LinkedIn and I pop up. Angelus Advisors is on LinkedIn but we have our website. We focus on White Club, a dedicated service to our clients. On purpose, we don’t say yes to everybody and take on everything that we can. We want to make sure that we deliver on each and every project and we set a standard that we’re doing the best we can.

Luckily, it worked so far. Each day, we grow a little bit more. There are more projects. We want to make sure that we continue that. I’m looking forward to finishing off 2023 strong. I’m looking forward to 2024 and beyond. I appreciate the time, not only through Consulting Success and through this but also overall. I can say that the friendship has developed. I hope you grow as well. Anybody who’s on the fence or seeing that and deciding by all means you need to talk to me, reach out to me. I’ll convince you that it’s worth it.

I appreciate you, Tony. Thank you so much for coming on.

Take care. Bye.

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