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Episode 116: Getting Clients Through LinkedIn the Right Way—with Paul Higgins

Deb Zahn: Hi. I want to welcome you to this week's episode of The Craft of Consulting Podcast. So here's the deal. If you're not currently using LinkedIn to generate sales for your consulting business, then you are, for sure, without a doubt, leaving money on the table. Obviously, there are good and bad ways to be able to train and do sales on LinkedIn and we've all seen the really bad version. So I brought on an expert, Paul Higgins, who knows how to do this right. Now, what he does is he works with consultants and helps them build predictable sales systems that help them get business and, in particular, achieve their next million dollars in revenue. He is an expert in how to use LinkedIn well for the purpose of getting clients and he's going to share a lot with us today about how to do that. So get your notepads out, you're going to want to take notes on this. And let's get started.

Hi. I want to welcome Paul Higgins to my show today. Paul, welcome to the show.

Paul Higgins: Glad to be here, Deb.

Deb Zahn: Let's start off, tell my listeners what you do.

Paul Higgins: Yeah. So I help consultants to gain more revenue. The way that I do that is building them a sales system because often, especially if you're new into consulting, you love doing the delivery, you love helping clients, but it's sales sometimes can be difficult. Sometimes you come from a corporate background where you haven't ever had any formal sales training, so you love your work. You're very intelligent, and sales become difficult and we make it easy by creating a system for them.

Deb Zahn: Well, that is music to my ears. I love sales and I love systems! And if folks want to serve as consultants, you got to nail down both of those. So we're going to talk about LinkedIn today, which is a mystery to a lot of people in terms of how it works and how it can actually work to support that sales process. So let's start off, for those that either have an allergy to LinkedIn or they don't really get how it works, why should they consider LinkedIn as one of the avenues by which they can sell their services?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. So just many of us have been to local events and you go to a local networking event and some people know how to leverage the most out of those and some people don't. Just think of LinkedIn as that, except it's virtual and it's got 700 plus million people on it, so especially now with what's happened with COVID and a lot of people working from home and a lot of people becoming more online than what they were. The regular coffee catch up physically within your geography was the way that we used to do it.

Now you can have a virtual coffee with anyone around the world. But often, if you walk into a networking event, there's not a lot of information about someone. So you look around the room and it's, basically, what you see is all you can understand. Whereas LinkedIn, that's where people now, it's often on Google search, it'll be above your website. It'll be above anything else is your profile will come up. So people now have a great way to meet you, understand you, as they say, like and know you before you can reach out to them or vice versa. So it's virtual networking on steroids.

Deb Zahn: That's right, and it's a step up from a name tag and awkward networking.

Paul Higgins: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. I love that.

Paul Higgins: You might miss the lucky dip where you put your business card into a bowl and get a present. But yeah, it's incredible. So quickly, I had to put my business on hold, from a marketing perspective for a while, due to some health problems and I came out of that. Since then, I've got over 3 million views on LinkedIn, which is all free. I haven't paid a cent to do that. I've got over 150 new clients, and it's completely changed, not just my business, but the way that I'm able to live my life just predominantly through LinkedIn. So it is an enormously powerful platform if you just know the key things to get them right. If you do those and repeat those, it can be, like I said, it's life-changing for me and life-changing for a lot of other people that I help.

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. I think that it is important that it is an “if” question. Like how you do it and if you do it correctly. So let's start off, let's get off the table all of the bad ways to do it. So obviously, people can message you on LinkedIn. I get dozens of those throughout the week. What are people doing wrong that isn't actually going to lead towards sales or let alone, having a sales conversation?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. Look, I think, unfortunately, some people are just a little lazy. Whether it's lazy or they don't have all the information, but they will just basically pitch straight away. So they'll connect with you. They don't have a lot of information when they connect and then they'll basically just pitch straight away. It's like walking into a cafe and walking up to someone and asking them if they'd buy. That's not how us as humans work. So yes, we might be online, but human behaviors are exactly the same. So look, now I think, unfortunately, it's not all, but there's a lot of people that do that. That then make everyone else nervous to receive messages or accept messages for someone and we've got a couple of tips.

One thing that we do that helps with that at the moment is to actually send an email to someone because their email is on LinkedIn. It's public and you send them an email letting them know if they would like to receive a connection request. So it breaks that noise up, so they've already experienced you through email first because the biggest thing on LinkedIn is to give them permission. So as you know, Deb, if someone is approaching you do you want to be approached in the first place? So if you ask and the golden word is open. "Are you open?" If you use "are you open?" on LinkedIn, that gives you a huge advantage over the other people that just automatically accept or automatically think that you're open to what they're going to say to you.

Deb Zahn: That's right. I love the asking permission part because it gets to the point where it starts to feel invasive because I can tell they don't know me. They didn't even take the time to figure out who I was. I'm part of some larger strategy they have that seems rather impersonal.

Paul Higgins: Yeah, and look, there's a lot of great trainers out there that have scripts, and they train you on how to leverage LinkedIn. But don't take them to verbatim. And I think, unfortunately, that's what happens. You'll get a whole lot of people going through a wave of trainings, and then you'll see patterns in messages where they've just copied and pasted. It just, it doesn't work.

I have a bit of fun when someone sends me a message. I just send back nicely, saying, "How's this message working?" and it stops them. Then they're like, "Well, it's not working that great." I'm like, "Yeah. Would you open a message like this?" They normally say, "No." I say, "Well, maybe you need to adapt it because if you wouldn't open it, why do you think everyone else who doesn't know you, would?"

Deb Zahn: Yeah. I love that. It's very generous to give them an opening to do something in a different way. So I know one of the things that you talk about, which I love, is, before you start trying to do sales on LinkedIn or anywhere else, there's important things that you need to do first to make sure that you're going to have a big impact and really position yourself appropriately. What are some of those things that you encourage folks to do?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. If we link back to the other mistakes. I'll say some of the mistakes and then I'll say what you should do. So the first thing is your profile. So I talked about it before. Google Search is above most other assets. I've done over 300 podcasts. I've got 3 million views on LinkedIn; therefore, my profile will rank even above my podcast. There's a couple of key things. The first one, most people make get really hard for people to really understand what they do. So, you see, most people will spend two minutes on your profile, right? They've got busy lives. We've all got busy lives. Two minutes. In two minutes can someone actually say yes or no, whether they'd want to accept your request or read your post or do anything else.

So you've got to make sure that two minutes is maximized. So the first thing is the header, right? So your header is gold. Think of it as a billboard on a highway that all of your potential clients are driving past, so make it easy for them to know. So exactly who do you help? I think that's the most powerful thing, and how do you help them? So make sure that's really clear. Any of these tips, you can go and see my profile. You can just go to Paul Higgins Mentoring in LinkedIn and it'll have all of this because I put my best practice, which we've tested and iterated all of these things to get to where we are, so that's the first thing. The next one is your headline. So people don't want to know if you're a CEO, a founder. It's not about you. It's about them, right?

A lot of people, one of their mistakes is they still have it a bit like a resume, or I know because you've left corporate, it was resume-based. This is not. Think of it as a sales page not a memoir. So have the headline. So I help X through Y to achieve Z. It's a simple formula. Now you can adapt it slightly for your needs, but then they can read it and when you post or comment, that short headline will always be there. So that's like your stamp so make sure your stamp is really clear. Then the next part, which is the third essential, is the about section. Once again, you're actually writing it about your potential client, not about you. So always start with exactly who your ideal client is.

One of the mistakes people make is just being too broad. Now be brave and you can change your profile, right? You can change it every day if you want to, so make sure that you're really targeted towards someone and then talk about their situation. "So if you're having these challenges, it doesn't have to be like this." Then you talk about how you solve it and the experience that you've had, and then have just a clear, simple call to action. So if you do those three things after watching or listening to this, you'll be in the top 5% because I sadly get horrified sometimes when I see people's profiles. I'm like, "I just spoke to you on a call. You're fantastic but your profile's just not doing yourself justice."

Deb Zahn: That's right. You're hiding your fabulousness, and it's a sad thing.

But you're saying something that I think is really profound that I want to dig into a little bit, which is, one of the things that I've seen with new consultants is there is either a fear or dismissiveness of identifying your ideal client. It's an interesting hump for folks to get over because it's almost as if, "But if I define it and I'm not going to be everything to everyone, I'm not going to be able to get clients." It's where this perceived scarcity kicks in. Talk a little bit about why it's important to do that work, which then gets expressed on LinkedIn, but why you have to do that so that you have a really good message.

Paul Higgins: Yeah. Look, for most people, their first million dollars in revenue will come from referrals, OK? So your network is the most powerful thing that you have. So when you're reaching out to your network or when someone refers you, your LinkedIn profile is important, but it's not essential because you've already got that knowledge and trust. People already know you. They know who you are. They've had experiences with you, right? So let's think about that as the 60 or 70% of revenue should be through existing relationships. Then the other 30% is who do you want to work with ongoing? They don't necessarily have to be the same people.

So you can take any work, but the work where you're marketing yourself is different. So a quick analogy. I used to work for Coca Cola, Friday News, and we marketed very specifically to teenagers. That's who our core was. But across the globe, there were people in their 90s still drinking the product, right? So that didn't stop all the people that still drank it because they knew and trusted us. But when we were trying to get new people to drink it, they were very tired of who they had in their commercials, etc. So you can take the exact same format on LinkedIn.

Deb Zahn: That's great. That's really helpful. So let's say you've identified. You've been disciplined. It's a good thing. You've identified your ideal client. You got those parts right on your profile. Then what? What do you do next?

Paul Higgins: Well then, it's the chance to add value because no one likes someone walking into a networking event and talking all about themselves, right? So you've got your profile there. It's when they choose to look at you. So that's great. They can do their research. They can understand you, but then it's time to provide value. We think the best way to provide value is actually posting on LinkedIn. So there's certain ways to maximize your post views and your reach because if you think about it, if you're reaching out to someone and you want to, basically, have a sales conversation with someone, they will look at your profile. But then they'll also look at your posts to see, "Well, is there some credibility with this person? Do they actually really know what they're doing?"

So obviously, the more likes and the more comments, that basically means that you're more of an authority. So look at it that way. But also you're getting that word-of-mouth out there. 50% of marketing works, you say now, which 50? So by posting and hitting certain hashtags and getting the algorithm right, that gets your message out to more people and when someone says, "Hey, Deb, I'm looking for so and so," because normally, they'll ask peers first. They'll say, "Oh, yeah. I saw a post the other day by Paul and Paul helped, so I think Paul's the right guy. You should check him out."

So that's how it naturally happens. So with posting, there's a couple of key things. One is that there is an algorithm and I won't get all in depth in this. You can ask me outside of the podcast in more detail, but there is an algorithm, and it's a certain amount of likes and comments in a certain amount of time that really triggers the algorithm. So that's the first thing, and it's pretty difficult to do that by yourself. That's the key tip. The second thing is, think of yourself as a journalist because a view is just a flick of the feed. You want people to stop and engage. So the best way to do do you think that is, Deb?

Deb Zahn: The best way to do that is one, compelling content that actually gets people's attention and then, I would say the other is engaging with others.

Paul Higgins: Right, and that compellingness is the headline.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Paul Higgins: Right? So that headline, that intriguing statement at the top is so important. Just write it like a journalist. Just think of all the times that you pick up any of your local papers. I know that they're all mainly virtual now and you can see the way that they write a headline. You should save the money and go to my post because I think I get anywhere between 30 to 50,000 views a posts. So the people are saying, "Yes, your posts are intriguing." So you get the intriguing headline at the start and then, the rest is a little bit of a story. You always write in a maximum of two line sentences because people, 60, 70% are on their mobile and you gotta make it easy for them to read. But it's a bit of a story, so the intrigue continues through. Then you have your main points and actually list those out because how often do you go to a post and it's just all text, it's all together and you're like, "This is too hard," right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Yeah.

Paul Higgins: Once again, make it easy for people. So space it out and then, the most important thing is to ask a question because comments are worth double what our likes are.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Paul Higgins: That's one reason. But the second is if someone comments on your ideal client, then you can actually send them the link to that post and say, "Thanks for commenting on my post," and then that's a way of building a connection with somebody. It's like, if you went to the same university or if you went to the same college or something, there's a connection there now and you can then use that as the opener to get into the door. The last quick thing I'll say is hashtags are really important. So we've got a list of the top thousand hashtags, but in LinkedIn you can just go put in the hashtag in the search. You hit enter. Now it doesn't always work. But sometimes when it does work, you'll actually see how many followers there are. I don't know. A lot of people love to have their own little hashtags related to the text. That's great, but if it's 200 followers and you know that that's not going to go fast, so make sure you're using large hashtags.

Deb Zahn: That's right. Your mom might like it but otherwise it's not helpful. You're also saying something really helpful, which is that it's not engagement for the sake of engagement. It's engagement for the sake of a business purpose. I think that's important and that's really the strategy piece behind it. So I know one of the things you do is you help consultants figure this out. How do you help them figure out and understand what that strategy is so they're not just posting so that they get a bunch of likes or they get a bunch of comments and then that's it?

Paul Higgins: When I consult with consultants or when I mentor them, we basically go through what is called a genius model. It's great. You know all your knowledge. It's fantastic. But once again, how do you make it easy for people to buy from you? So you have a genius model where for mine, it's connect, convert, and collaborate. And then under that, there's three elements, so there's nine in total. So that, then, means that I've got a base to post content on. So that, I think, is one of the most important things, right? So you've got something that all links back, so then your blogs, everything. So when Google looks at you, they go, "I know exactly what Deb is actually talking about." So that's probably the number one thing. If you go to, or just go to my homepage at, you'll see some questions that relate around my genius mode, and you'll also see my genius model there.

So that'll give you an understanding of what I'm talking about because we're not showing that on screen, or you might be listening to this on audio. So there's that. And then what you do is look at different formats of posting to then, for off that. So probably, the most important format at the moment to do on LinkedIn is to do, I call it a slider, or it's a PDF attachment, right? So what you do is, a little bit at the top in the text, but then you actually spell out exactly what you want people to do. So it's providing them part of your IP, right? So don't be fearful. Don't hold back. Do that. Let's say if it's eight to nine slides, then the dwell time, so the longer people spend on your posts, LinkedIn will say, "Hey, this is an intriguing post, we're going to boost it more."

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Paul Higgins: So it's got that. But actually people have got something they can take away from them, so that's great. Polls perform really well, so that's another good way. Then the third is text, text only, right? A lot of people put a photo that's a generic photo. We think that LinkedIn downgrades that algorithm, but also people think, "Well, if they haven't put the effort in and they've just grabbed any photo," that's probably not worth it. It looks like marketing. It brands it as trying to avoid marketing. So there are a couple of tips on format. So if you think of the genius model, then take that into creating IP, and then you filter that through by different formats. All of our members that come on board, we do a strategy call, but that's the key essence of the strategy call.

Deb Zahn: For folks who don't know what a slider is because I've recently been doing these and you're right, they're outperforming everything except kittens, which is part of my brand because I got a bunch of them behind me. But a slider's where you might provide a tip. So some of your IP. Something that is valuable to who your ideal client is and somebody has to swipe to actually get, basically, the different pieces of it. So it's slide after slide after slide and increasing in value as you do that. I love them and started recently doing them and it's getting more engagement than I typically do, so that's very, very helpful. So that's when you start to build then, that authority. You start to give away some value so that people actually understand that you are the real deal and that you have something that is valuable to them and you get them and you know them. So then, how do you then start to create a channel to leads and then warming up those leads to become actual prospects that might be clients?

Paul Higgins: Yeah, spot on. So the first one we mentioned is anyone that comments or likes on your posts, you then can send them a link to that post and say, "Thanks for commenting on my post," and then, we have certain scripts that we can follow from there. So that's the first one. The second one is, you can search. So there's two ways to search on LinkedIn. One is just on the free version and the search is pretty good. So at the top now you've got filters and you can search for your ideal clients, so that's great. Then if you want to go a step above that you can use sales navigator, which is their paid tool. It's about $99 a month and then you can have a lot more specifics.

So what you then do is just find lists of people, right? As I said before, when you find those lists of people, your ideal clients that you want to go after, one tactic that's working well is to send them that email prior. So you can send them the email prior and then they can say yes or no. Now one of the reasons for sending that email prior is because now there's a 100 limit on 100 connection requests weekly that you can send out. So I think LinkedIn, they're trying to reduce the spam, which is great, but now it's around that quality. So the email beforehand actually helps make sure that you're using your credits for the right people. For people that really do want to connect.

Deb Zahn: Right.

Paul Higgins: So first, is people that have commented on your post. Second, is that you can reach out to people that you really want to connect with. Then the third approach, which is, seems a bit counterintuitive, but everyone goes for second, third connections to build their network. But don't forget all those first connections that you've got in your network that you've been ignoring. So once again, you can filter those. Your first connections and get more specifics around those. So for example, it might be an industry. So let's take management consulting. As an industry, you can actually see out of all your connections, how many of those are management consulting? How many are in a geography? So there's set fields within LinkedIn and then, once again, you can go and outreach to them. Now, people might say, "Well, what do I say?" I'm sure you're all thinking, "OK, Paul. I understand the how, but the saying..." and look, to be honest, the more personal you can make a script, the better.

I don't think script's actually the right word. It's just having a conversation. So think of how you'd have a conversation in person. Use your personality. Use your humor. Do that on LinkedIn and just test and iterate. So we've definitely got some templates and frameworks that work better than others because we've been doing this for a long, long time and we built up that. But literally, every time that I'll send a separate message, I'll basically document that saying why I use that and then we'll test which ones that were working better than others. You'll do the exact same thing because you're you. So you'll practice which ones work and which ones don't. But the number one thing that we spoke about before is, if you always ask for permission, right? So if you always say, "Are you open to...?" So think of it as if you're going to buy a car. The car salesperson's got certain steps they want you to go through to end up buying the car.

You don't walk in and they say, " OK, would you like to buy this car?" That's their intent, but they don't want to do that. So what they do is say, first, they get you into the showroom. The second is they want you to test the car. Go and drive it. So there's multiple steps that you go through. Do the same thing with your messaging. So it's just a conversation, so don't say, "You connected," etc., and then you say, "Would you like to meet with me? Here's my calendar link," because you're actually assuming that they've said yes to the first part. So make sure you're breaking your questions down so that people are getting familiar with them. The more that they reply, the greater the chance that they've looked at all your assets. So they've looked at your posts, they've looked at your profile and you're building that conversation up to then, have a call or whatever your go-to is.

Deb Zahn: I like that there's a psychology, obviously, behind that, which is, and my terminology for it is you're accumulating yeses. Once you get the first yes, which is the answer to, "Are you open?" It's actually easier to get the next yes. It's easier to get the next yes and it also shows them respect because every encounter you have with someone also shows them what it's going to be like to work with you. If you show them from start to finish, "It's about you, it's not about me. I'm respectful, always and forever," then they're already starting to know you and to like you and that's extraordinarily, extraordinarily powerful.

So I'm just digging into some of these things because you're saying it quite matter-of-factly, but it's deep and it's profound. So I want to make sure that folks understand that. So you start with the, "Am I open?" Assuming they say, "Yes, thank you for being so kind about it. I'm so sick of every other version that I get," how do you start to, then, warm them up for the purpose, if it is your purpose to get into a sales conversation with them?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. So we normally split it into two. So one is where you'd like a conversation now, and the other is when you'd like a conversation later. So now, you might say, "I help people. So for me, I help consultants with sales. Is this something you're looking to get help with now?" The downside of sending lots of messages is you don't want to actually just drown because people know that, "Hey, look, I know why you're on LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn for the same reason, to get to the job." So there's a balance between the two, but yeah, just say, basically what you do and are they open to some help? If they're not, then what you would do is we've got some messages once again, to see if they're open to the continuation of content because LinkedIn doesn't give every follower or every connection your content 100% of the time, right? It's maybe 10% of the time.

So say, "Have you looked at my content? If you would like to be engaged, would you like to be on my list?" So 15% of people roughly are ready to buy now; the 85, you’ve still got a solution. So that's one path. The second path is that you just let people know what you do and then when you've got a LinkedIn event, you can do LinkedIn events, which is to run a webinar or something, then you go back to those people and then invite them to something you've got on value.

Deb Zahn: That's right, and then they're getting more value from you in those moments, which is a powerful way for them to say, "Wait a minute, I should be working with this person."

Paul Higgins: Yeah. Remember, you're opening up your chances to succeed in the third P, prospecting because what you've done has got a great profile. So you've already given the value of your assets, like, I've got my story there." So in the featured section, you go to my story and most people, in four minutes they can really understand who I am. So that's so powerful. So they're already doing that. Then they've gone and read some of your posts and they've seen some of the material, right? So those two are working really hard for you so that it makes the third step a lot easier.

Deb Zahn: That's just wonderful. That's wonderful. So any other tips you would give on when you get to the moment where there's an opportunity, then, to convert folks into clients? Any tips you would give for that?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. So the first thing is if you can, get them to your email. So I normally say that LinkedIn messages can be a little tricky, and we all know that, right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Paul Higgins: Because messages go disappeared and technically, you're not meant to have this, but let's say that sometimes we have virtual assistants or someone helping us a bit, so you lose so you lose a bit of the-

Deb Zahn: Sometimes-

Paul Higgins: Sometimes, correct. I would never, but I've heard it happen. So you lose a little bit of the message flow, right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Paul Higgins: So if you can get people to email that's great. So we use Coppice for Sales CRM. It's great with Gmail. It actually shows when someone's read your email, right?

Deb Zahn: Yep.

Paul Higgins: People say, "Well, that's a bit spammy, isn't it?" I'm like, "No, because it just means that people that have read it and read it more than once, they may be more open, and it's the right time to go back to them to talk to them." So it's just giving you better data, that's all. But that's the other thing, we get them on email as quick as you can.

Deb Zahn: If you're nurturing your email list, knowing who's actually opening it and reading it tells you whether you're providing value and what actually is the most helpful to people. So it also enables you to serve, which I love.

Paul Higgins: Yeah. Just back to the post component as well, which can make it easy. If you give a slider, as we said, so it's a PDF and it's got value, what you can do is, to bid those steps we talked about before. You give the why and the what in that post. But the exact specifics on how you do it, you can then say, well just comment how or comment more or something and then that means that those people are warmer to your opportunity. Then that could be, you'll send them something specific and when you send them something specific, that could be based on a call, then. So that's a way of using your post, once again, to remove a little bit of, "Well, how do I guide myself through the prospecting parts," especially if you're new, that can be a little challenging. So by getting the post component right, that makes that easier.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. I was looking at yours and recently noticed that you did that where you provided value, but then, if they want a deeper value, they could comment. So that helps you with the algorithm. I thought, obviously brilliant. But then, there's a way to draw them in further by giving them additional value and now they're even warmer than they were before. I thought that was just absolutely a beautiful example of how to do it and to do it from a, "It's all about them," perspective, which I thought was particularly great.

Paul Higgins: Yes. Yeah because, ultimately as consultants, people are buying us. They're buying you, so they really want to know you before they go and engage with you. In the old days, it was a website, so that's fine and you still have your website, but now there's so many opportunities. Every time, Deb, you release a podcast, you've got thousands of people listening to you, right? They're conversations that you would never have had otherwise and then on LinkedIn, like I said, I can get anywhere between 30 and 50,000 views per my podcast, then that's getting the message even wider. So it's a great way of building your authority on a platform that as got over 700 million people on.

Deb Zahn: Which is pretty nice.

Paul Higgins: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: So you've gone, what feels like, I'm sure to most people, pretty deep, but I know that there's so much more there. So how can folks find you?

Paul Higgins: Yes. So we run a membership called The Sales Machine and it's a bit of a combination of do-it-yourself and done-with-you, and what do I mean by that? So we give you all of that dip. So we go through and give you the exact scripts. We go through and give you all the exact templates that you change. We go and give you exactly what posting and the algorithm and how it works. We give you tips on your profile and we give you feedback. Then when you post every day, well, at least once a week, we go and review your posts, etc. So there is that, and if you just go to and you'll find it there under the products. You'll see The Sales Machine, and in there, I've got a masterclass.

It runs for about 20 minutes where I go further into what Deb and I have been talking about today and that'll give you more of an insight into it. So you can do it purely do-it-yourself, which is just take that and go and work with it and test it. That's great, or you can come where we can just fast forward all your learnings because well, I've been on LinkedIn for over 10 years, but I've been doing this really hard post my transplant in 2019. Like I said, it's just been an amazing change in my business and I'd love for you to have the same change. We just fast forwarded for you. You're smart. You're intelligent. You'll get there, but wouldn't it be lovely to spend more time on all the other parts of your business-

Deb Zahn: That's right, the good part.

Paul Higgins: ...and get this one fast forwarded and make it a little easier for you.

Deb Zahn: Ah, that's just wonderful. And we'll have a link to that in our show notes, so it's easy for folks to get to. So Paul, let me ask you a last question. I ask everyone this, but I know to you it's particularly meaningful. So how do you bring balance to your life, however you define that?

Paul Higgins: Yeah. So the way that I define it is I put my life first and then, business fits around it. So like I said, I had a transplant. I had to work on a dialysis machine, so I got very good at making sure that I got that balance right, and a couple of key things. One is having an incredible team and I'm lucky to have an incredible team. You can't do it all by yourself. So even if you're new and you think, "I'm not at the point where I could get to a virtual assistant," I'm saying, "Get one, a computer, a phone, and a virtual assistant. I think every consultant should have one." So that's the first thing. Then the other thing is just put the most important things in your life each day in your diary first. So for me, I always go for a ride on my bike. I go for a nap and do meditation. I eat a really quality lunch and I have a cold shower.

That's every day and that's blocked out, right? So all the bits that are most important to you, block in first, so then that blocks them out for any noise or distraction, and especially if you're just known from corporate, it's so easy to think you're still at corporate, that the boss is watching you. "There's time where I've got to work 12 hours or whatever." That's not the case now. That's a hard transition to make, but they say, "To change habits is very hard, but to create new ones is a lot easier." So create new habits, blocking in your new habits and then let everything else form around it. So that's what works for me, and it works for lots of others. I've taken that from Stephen Covey who, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and all the strategies they had. So I've made my own version of that, but that would be my advice. Put the big rocks in first, and then, the pebbles will fit around them.

Deb Zahn: I love that, and it matches perfectly with, "Have a system. Don't just leave it to chance, have a system." So that's wonderful. Well, Paul, thank you so much for joining me on the show. There is so much there. I imagine folks are going to be listening to this multiple times and running to your website to check it out, so thanks for joining me.

Paul Higgins: Well, thanks for the opportunity for having me on, Deb.

Deb Zahn: Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Craft of Consulting Podcast. I want to ask you to do actually three things. If you enjoyed this episode or if you've enjoyed any of my other ones, hit subscribe. I got a lot of other great guests that are coming up and a lot of other great content and I don't want you to miss anything. But the other two things that I'm going to ask you to do is, one is, if you have any comments, so if you have any suggestions or any kind of feedback that will help make this podcast more helpful to more listeners, please include those.

And then the last thing is, again, if you've gotten something out of this, share it, share it with somebody you know who's a consultant or thinking about being a consultant, and make sure that they also have access to all this great content and all the other great content that's going to be coming up.

So as always, you can go and get more wonderful information and tools at Thanks so much. I will talk to you on the next episode. Bye-bye.

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