According to a news report I saw last night there’s a new drug on the market specifically designed to help business owners who are suffering from Phobia est Consiliarius, commonly known as “Advisor Phobia.”
Early symptoms are sweaty palms, continually sitting on ones wallet in the hopes that things might get better, or nightmares in which a small, imaginary devil sitting on your shoulder keeps repeating, “Don’t worry. You can do it yourself. Trust me. You don’t need help.”
The news report went on to explain that the disease affects business owners that are unwilling to admit they don’t have all the answers. So in their desire to do everything on their own, they reject any and all outside help.
Well, that’s too bad. Because most of the business consultants and advisors I know can spot challenges a mile away – challenges that are right under the nose of the business owner but that the business owner doesn’t’ see… or doesn’t want to see.
And often, a conversation or two with a consultant or advisor is more than sufficient to move the business owner into taking appropriate positive action to remedy the situation.
Most of the consultants I know are truly and sincerely eager to jump in to help a business owner correct one or more potentially dangerous situations that undoubtedly would continue to harm the business if not dealt with sooner than later. They’re also eager and willing to jump in to help prevent the business owner from making fatal mistakes – ones that the business owner is headed for but doesn’t see.
See, right there is the problem! Most business owners aren’t willing to admit that they don’t know what they don’t know. Not only aren’t they willing to admit that to others, the real problem is that they’re not willing to admit that to themselves.
Plus (and I see this too often), most business owners are running businesses today that are larger than any business they owned and operated in the past. They don’t have all the answers simply because they have no previous experience with running a business that’s as large as the one they are running today.
But I know that consultants, coaches, and advisors really can make a big difference if for no other reason than we provide a point of view that is contrary to their own. Being challenged is a good thing.
And I know the presence of a consultant does a lot of good. My clients don’t often come out and say that to my face. But they say it because they keep me around.
So, perhaps, consultants, like used car salesmen and certain ambulance-chasing attorneys, get a bad name. If that’s the case, I like to think it’s just that people misunderstand our role and our intentions. We’re not trying to take over. We simply want to help you see what you’re not yet seeing.
I guarantee you that the cure (working with a consultant) is definitely not a bad as suffering day in and day out from Phobia est Consiliarius… because consultants categorically can and do bring about better outcomes for the businesses they work with.