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Episode 92 - What the Top 1% of Consulting Income Earners Do—with Bryan McDonald

Deb Zahn: Hi. I want to welcome you to this week's episode of The Craft of Consulting podcast. Do you want to know what the top 1% of income earners among consultants do that's different from folks who are struggling to make income? I think that's an important question because your income is going to help you have the life that you ultimately want to have. I brought on Bryan McDonald from onPurpose Growth. We have this fantastic conversation where we break down the very specific things that the top earners do that are different from folks who are going to be struggling to bring in the income as consultants. So much great stuff in this. Let's get started. Hi, I want to welcome my guest today Bryan McDonald. Bryan, welcome to the show.

Bryan McDonald: Hey Deb. Thanks for having me on. This will be fun, and I'm excited.

Deb Zahn: Me too. So let's start off. Tell my listeners what you do.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, what do I do? That's a tough question. I'm a partner at a company called onPurpose Growth. It's me and then two partners. OnPurpose Growth is a coaching and consulting firm that serves entrepreneurs who have ambitious yearly and multi-year revenue goals. We actually help them fulfill that ambition. So it's fun. We do everything through sales strategy. Sales process. Sales systems. And it's all set up. Well, I'll say it this way. When all of our clients have told us that when they apply the things that they learn, they are assessed as rare by their prospects and clients. Thus, their offers are more readily accepted. I guess in their words, that's what we do.

Deb Zahn: I love that. Well, you can't get any better than that. And you're definitely on the right podcast because this is for consultants who are exactly trying to make their revenue goals. Let's actually dive into that. Because one of the things we talked about ahead of time is there are things that the top 1% income earners do and apply. Or skills that they have that make it easier for them to become that rarity that attracts the dollars and make it easier to sell what they're doing. And that it's not just one thing. There is no magic bullet. Hate to tell people. There isn't. But it's a combination of things that you apply that are mutually reinforcing. We thought we would dive into how you folks do that related to mindset, strategy, techniques, and habits.

We'll just start to take those one by one. And then along the way we can talk about how they actually reinforce each other. If I want to be a top 1% income earner, what do I need to understand and do related to mindset?

Bryan McDonald: Forgive me in advance because I may stray in and out some of these…

Deb Zahn: That's all right.

Bryan McDonald: ...because just like you said, it's all connected. One part of the mindset is clarity. Always being clear on what you're doing. And here's what I mean by that. Just this morning, I was talking to one of my partners. I run the coaching side of our business. My other partners stay on the consulting side. And we talked about...I'll call it a high-end offer. As we're developing that offer and we decided on what it was, he goes, "Yeah. Go out and test that in the marketplace." I just made a comment to him like, "OK, perfect." Mental note for myself, I'm not talking to the people right now that would accept this offer. The mindset is I need to be clear when I go in. Take actions. Do tactics.

The clarity was I need to go talk to different people to make sure that I'm staying relevant to them. I guess it's a mindset of being clear and intentional. What am I doing? Why am I doing it? How am I going to do it? What outcome does that produce? That may be very foundational or sound like basic blocking and tackling, but what I found is there's many people that do not have the mindset of clarity. And they struggle. They definitely struggle.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. And then it ends up being spaghetti on a wall as opposed to you're driving towards something because you're thinking about it correctly. And you're taking action based on that thinking.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, and all my actions fit into my strategy.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Bryan McDonald: They're actions to be actions. I know why this action rose up into the strategy of acquiring this high-end ticket client I'll say.

Deb Zahn: I love that. That's fantastic. Then let's hit strategy because that's the next piece. But I know it's not next because it's an iterative process. If you’ve got your mindset in the right place, you're clear. You understand what you're trying to drive at and what you're trying to achieve. How then do the top earners use strategy in a way that folks who are struggling to make the income do?

Bryan McDonald: The strategy allows you to focus. Strategy just isn't this vague, pie-in-the-sky thing. It allows me to say no faster to a prospect. And what I mean by that is when I meet somebody who's not a prospect for the strategy, I get to tell them that. Like, "Hey, I'm not the right fit. What you want, I'm not fulfilling what I do. And what I do is part of the strategy." Strategy allows you to focus. Stay on track. Strategy should always be something that gets you from where you're at to the next iteration of where you're going to go. If you're going for a million-dollar business, the strategy should be...yeah, maybe you want to go to a million dollars. But what's the next iteration of where you have to go, right?

People don't make a million dollars overnight. If you don't have any clients, you figure out how to get your first 10. That's part of my strategy of getting the million. Does that make sense?

Deb Zahn: It makes a lot of sense. And I've heard the word strategic thrown around a lot. I've heard it with clients. I've certainly heard it with folks who are trying to be consultants. And I say something probably similar to what you say, which is it's not strategic without a strategy. It might be strategery.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Deb Zahn: If everybody remembers where that came from, but that strategy isn't also an “and I'm going to do one thing.”

Bryan McDonald: Right.

Deb Zahn: You actually have to divide that up. And strategy morphs over time. When you're working with someone and let's say their strategy is to get to million annual income. They got bupkis right now. How do you work with them to understand and to constantly be evolving their strategy without losing focus?

Bryan McDonald: Oh, man. That's a…

Deb Zahn: That's a tough one.

Bryan McDonald: ...great and loaded question. Yeah. It rolls back to that clarity. It's a philosophical approach. Meaning your strategy not only has to keep you focused, but when it gets you to where you want to go...that next need to basically rework the philosophy saying, "OK. Hey now, I have new capabilities. I have new resources. How can I reapply my process of strategy formation to the current state so I can re-shift focus that gets me from my 10 clients to 50 clients?" It's the awareness that...How to say this? I think you get this. This is funny to explain. So my strategy is to focus until I get to 10. And then my strategy is to refocus, right?

Deb Zahn: That's right. That's right.

Bryan McDonald: It's that understanding. It's that foundational understanding of saying, “This is what I'm committed to. This is my strategy and how it fits into the bigger picture. That's how I stay focused.”

Deb Zahn: Right. And no chasing squirrels in between.

Bryan McDonald: No, no, no, no. Yeah. Not at all.

Deb Zahn: I think you're right because I think of an example of when folks get their first clients. Often, they're from their immediate network. People that know them. People that already understand their value and respect them. The way that you get those clients, it is going to be different than the clients that are in the next circle, which may know you by reputation. But they don't really know you and they're not sure they want to meet with you. That's a whole different set of strategies then to get to them. If you got your first $100,000 to $200,000 by your immediate network, and you've now tapped out your immediate network, you have to have new strategies.

Bryan McDonald: Yup. Inevitably. When I meet clients in that stage that you just talked about, here's what happens. They realize that they've used up their network if you will, right? I squeezed all the lemonade out of that lemon. And I can't get any more. They're wondering like, "Hey, now what?"

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Bryan McDonald: What happens is if they don't rework the strategy, they start doing some of the things that they've done to get the first set of clients that doesn't work to get the next. Or like for instance, inevitably clients who are doing consulting. What they want are monthly recurring contracts where it's paid on a monthly basis. Not hourly or project. When I meet them, they're saying, "Hey, here's my ambition. I've got a bunch of these projects and a bunch of these monthly paying clients.” And what they don't change is a strategy. A tactic that they continue to agree to doing projects. And then are stuck, like “Oh gosh, I keep on getting these projects." Well, it's because you're not clear on the strategy you're going to take to get there. So you take what's in front of you. It keeps you in place.

Deb Zahn: That's right. You don't pause and say, "Should I shift towards a trusted advisor role? Which is different than a project. And then in which case, how am I going to get business that does that when people are used to thinking of me for projects?"

Bryan McDonald: Exactly, exactly.

Deb Zahn: I love that. Let's say, just to say for the sake of argument, I got my mind clear. I got my focus. I've got my strategy that's going to get me to whatever that next step is. And now I really need to think through the techniques. I love that you folks separate strategy and techniques because often people think the strategy is the techniques. And they are not. Or they just start doing things. They start doing techniques without any strategy backing them up. Describe a little bit about what the high, top 1% income earners do that's different with techniques than folks again who are trying to figure out how to get the income in the door.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah. Here's an easy one to explain. A technique...When you're clear on your ideal client profile. What your offer is. You're clear on how that works in your strategy. A technique you can utilize while you're prospecting is being able to articulate to your prospect profile, "Hey, here's why you work with me. And here's why you work with my competition." Because you understand that differentiation. You understand clearly how you benefit people and how your competition benefits people. And you use a technique of saying, "Hey, so if you're thinking about this, you need marketing." Let's just say you've got somebody who's trying to hire a marketing consultant.

You have to be able to say, "OK, Mr. Prospect. If you want a marketing consultant to come in here and do the basic blocking and tackling for you and be here every day, that's why you choose your competition. If you want somebody to be a thought partner and help you put together a strategy, and then somebody else is implementing that for you internally, that's why you bring me on." Right? That's a technique to create the fork in the road. And the technique does a couple things. One, it allows somebody to say yes or no faster, right? Let's get this done early on in the sales process. And it also allows you to identify who are the people you're going to spend time with. OK. This is in my eyes top 1% income earners figure out how to spend more time with the right people. And less time with the wrong people.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And what I love is, and this is where it starts to get into the Jedi stuff.

Bryan McDonald: Yup, yup.

Deb Zahn: How it loops back to if you want a thought partner. Now that's because of how you've decided that you're going to get to what your income goal is because otherwise, you could say, "Hey, a gig is a gig. They want to bring me in for an indefinite period of time to essentially be their marketing operations. That sounds pretty good because it's a long-term engagement and somewhere I read that those are good things." Not anything we wrote but...

Bryan McDonald: No, no, no, no.

Deb Zahn: If instead you know that this is ultimately both the income you want and the life that you want, meaning you want to spend time doing other things in your life that are meaningful, then you know you're going to look for thought partner engagements. And as long as you have the skills and expertise that actually brings value by doing those things.

Bryan McDonald: 100%.

Deb Zahn: Love it.

Bryan McDonald: This all goes back to how all these things work together. They are not separate. You do certain parts because they fulfill other parts. You have to have the mindset first of approaching and looking for those thought partners. So you can then implement a strategy that allows you to do techniques like what I just described to help you find that, right?

Deb Zahn: That's right. And another example that comes to mind is selling. So many new consultants, particularly if they've been professionals who have been sold to and got grossed out by. If you don't have your mindset appropriate towards the sale, have the strategy and then the techniques, you're not going to also make as many sales. Can you talk a little bit about that? About how you helped folks break through. Starting with thinking about selling in a different way, but then getting them through the techniques. And then we'll get to the habits last.

Bryan McDonald: I think there is one exercise that I take probably the majority of my clients through when I first meet them. It talks specifically about what you're describing. Because on the coaching side of the business, the entrepreneurs and consultants I work with, they all have come from corporate America. They hone some skill in corporate America and then now are using that skill to serve small and medium-sized businesses. They've had that experience that you're talking about. They've been on the other end. What we do is we have them describe to themselves what a salesperson is. Like adjectives, right? Then I have them write down how they want to show up as a salesperson.

To the T, every single time, their description of a salesperson is used car salesman. Pushy. Doesn't listen a lot. But then their description of how they want to be is either not what they said, or just the opposites, right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah, yeah.

Bryan McDonald: They either say, "I don't want to be a used car salesman, or I don't want to be pushy." The mindset you have to first understand is what you project in the world. Well, how you perceive the world is what you project. If you walk around thinking salespeople are sleazy, guess what you're going to project? You're just going to by default start doing that type of behavior. One way we get people through the mindset is showing them the distinction between how they see salespeople and how they want to be. And then help them resolve that. Because if they don't resolve that, you will continue to show up in a way that doesn't serve you.

Deb Zahn: That's right. One of the things I love about it too is it may be new to them. Because I hit the same thing when I'm coaching folks that, "Wait, I get to choose?"

Bryan McDonald: Yes.

Deb Zahn: "There isn't just one way to do sales?" I'm like, "No, there's not one."

Bryan McDonald: No.

Deb Zahn: "Do you think I put on plaid and do infomercials?"

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, right.

Deb Zahn: I look horrible in plaid. I would never do that. But they don't know that there are different choices that they can make to do it, which is why I love your description. And, essentially, you're saying construct yourself as a salesperson.

Bryan McDonald: Yes.

Deb Zahn: Nice.

Bryan McDonald: 100%. And deconstruct this belief system you have about salespeople because you're putting yourself into that role when you're acting like a salesperson. You have to remove it. You have to remove that mindset.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. Oh, I just love that. Because what I also tell people probably similar to what you do is all the strategies and techniques in the world won't do you any good if you haven't got your mindset right about it. And they won't be effective. You won't believe in them. You'll leak. Your prospective clients will see it's seeping out that you're either trying to be something you're not or not comfortable with what you're doing.

Bryan McDonald: You nailed it. You nailed it on head, is we say mindset trumps technique…

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Bryan McDonald: 100% of the time because, Deb, maybe you present something in one way and it works for you, but I present the same thing in a different way and it works for me. It's the intention. It's not the specific technique. I tell people all the time like, "Hey, in the beginning we're working together. I absolutely will give you the words to say and how to do it, but we're going to transition as fast as possible into the mindset around that because you need to do away with my words and you need to figure out your own." Because you mentioned before, I think it was leaking out, or some reference to that is that communication is mostly nonverbal.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Bryan McDonald: Right? It's not the words you say. It's how you're saying it. And you need to be authentic. Confident. Whatever it is you need to be. It doesn't have to be my words. It has to be your authenticity. Your confidence because that's what people are buying.

Deb Zahn: That's right. And that's who they want by their side…

Bryan McDonald: Yes.

Deb Zahn: ...if they're trying to solve problems. Or achieve big things.

Bryan McDonald: 100%.

Deb Zahn: Yeah, I love that. I had somebody once say...She was having some difficulty because she'd worked in her market for so long that people would become friends. She felt really awkward having transactional conversations. One, I told her, to some extent, embrace the awkward. I mean I make jokes out of it and you can do it your way, but I had her stop and say, "So they're your friends. What are they going through? What are they facing?" She talked about all of their struggles and I said, "Do they need help?" She's like, "Yeah, they do. They could use help with this, that," and I say, "Can you do any of those things?" "Yeah, I can do this, that, and the other," and I said, "Oh my God. Get to them. Help them."

Bryan McDonald: Right.

Deb Zahn: Don't let them suffer any longer! In that igniting of the desire to be of service was her version, which I love because that's my version and it made the transactional part easier. Because the transactional part was just getting an obstacle out of the way.

Bryan McDonald: Exactly. And what I describe to people is if you feel it, say it in that mindset that you're awkward, right? Like, "Hey, Deb, this is awkward for me. I'd love to work with you. It sounds like you have some problems that I solved. Can we have a conversation? And I just want to admit, I don't want to make this hard. I feel a little awkward about it." It's surprising, the people that you know will take that awkwardness and remove it from the conversation.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Bryan McDonald: 100%.

Deb Zahn: Instantly.

Bryan McDonald: Instantly, right? It's crazy.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. There is an interesting generosity to it when you're authentic. And I used to make a joke. I used to say, "So this is the sales portion of the conversation," and say it like a sleazy salesperson, and they would just crack up. Then I'd say, "No, seriously. Here's the things that I think I can be helpful with. I don't know anything about that." I said, "If you need help finding someone, I'm happy to help you find someone." And now we're having a real conversation.

Bryan McDonald: Exactly. Too, I think this is a mindset, a strategy, and a technique. When you're out there—for anybody listening or watching—when you're out there prospecting. Look for peer-to-peer relationships. Peer-to-peer conversations because you have to be able to work through challenges. You have to be able to work through things. They have to be open and I tell clients that if they're creating a situation where you can't have a peer-to-peer relationship, and this is one person on every post and the other person is begging to do business, just exit. Just don't even waste your time.

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Bryan McDonald: Because that will continue through the relationship.

Deb Zahn: That's right.

Bryan McDonald: And there are many more people out there that will have a peer-to-peer relationship with you.

Deb Zahn: Yeah. I call that truth in advertising, which is…

Bryan McDonald: Oh, I love that.

Deb Zahn: ...what you see is what you get, and, chances are, if it changes, it's only going one direction. I took that from years ago when I was dating. But it really applies to consulting extremely well...

Bryan McDonald: Yeah.

Deb Zahn: Let's get into habits. Because when I saw that habits were on your list, I just got giddy and nerdy about it because you can have the right mindset, the right strategies, the right techniques, but consulting is a long game, which means you have to have a solid base of habits that's propelling you forward. Talk about what the top earners do related to habit.

Bryan McDonald: I'll talk about some specific ones to make it a little bit more granular and clear. And then people can just expand this out and apply it. One of the habits is not committing to only working with the ideal client profile and not bringing on a client that doesn't fit that. Somebody explained this to me the other day, and I love it. I told him I was going to take it. It's the difference between meal money and meaningful money.

Deb Zahn: Nice.

Bryan McDonald: Or was that you actually? Was that it?

Deb Zahn: No, that wasn't me.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, OK. Alright.

Deb Zahn: Although I love it.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah. Where the meal money is, "Oh, this is an opportunity right in front of my face. They're willing to pay me. It's not perfect, but I'm going to take it," versus, "Oh my gosh, like this is a perfect scenario. It's exactly the problem I solve. It's exactly the people I solve it for. It's going to get me to where I want to go." That's the meaningful money. Habits like that where you commit to yourself that this is what I do and this is what I don't do.

Then just living that every day. And you can boil that down to things like when I wake up in the morning, I'm not going to turn on the TV or turn on social media. I'm going to read for the first 30 to 45 minutes of every single day. And that's one habit that I found for myself is it sets the tone because we live in a world that is very fast. It's very negative. It's very judgmental. If we don't take habits that help us control our mindset, we've given that control to the world. And from my experience, the world doesn't do a good job at taking care of me.

Deb Zahn: Exactly. I don't exist to serve the business models of social media.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, not at all.

Deb Zahn: I might use them to serve mine, but otherwise, I don't. And I love that because if you don't establish those habits, if you don't make deliberate decisions and then establish habits related to those, you get carried away. Then every single time there's a potential opportunity, or every time you're thinking about prospecting, you have to use your executive function, which is of limited supply, to decide is this a good idea? Is this not? Do I want to do this or not? What's the strategy? Well, if you decide what your lane is and you stay in it, you have the chance for repurposing and recycling things that have worked. You're not constantly using your brain power to come up with new things because you keep allowing for novel situations.

Bryan McDonald: This goes back to strategy technique. The way our mind works is it wants to go wide, right? In the habit formation, especially for somebody who's starting or is about to start a consulting business. Or has been in it for less than three years. It’s that...Oh, I just lost my train of thought.

Deb Zahn: Brain goes wide.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, but the brain went wide...Oh...Perfect.

Deb Zahn: It went wide right in front of us.

Bryan McDonald: Thank you. It went wide. It went really wide. It's the niching, right?

Deb Zahn: Yeah.

Bryan McDonald: It is a way you go narrow to go wide. Meaning, it's a phenomenon in the world that when you get really good at doing a service for a specific profile under a specific offer. There are people that are outside that profile, maybe outside that niche that just assume you're really, really good at it. And you can more easily bring them on board. What I tell clients is the way we're going to go wide is in the beginning. We're going to go narrow because it's a habit that allows you to focus to get a throughput of sales. Fill your capacity. Get resources. Get clients. And then I don't want to say bring in distractions, but we can go wider because it's easier to do. It's not that you can't do it. It's just easier to do.

Deb Zahn: That's right. Well and the other thing is if you do something multiple times, you actually do get better at it.

Bryan McDonald: Exactly.

Deb Zahn: And you accumulate results that you can then brag about to get other business. If you go wide all of the time, sometimes you hit results and sometimes you don't. That becomes your reputation in the field, which is, "Oh, she's fun to work with, but she's a wild card with results."

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, exactly.

Deb Zahn: Not good.

Bryan McDonald: No. And I want to run with that too. For anybody listening, there's a habit of focusing on outcomes instead of focusing on the thing that you do. Deciding that I'm going to structure what I'm doing around outcomes versus the activity of what I do, which they think people buy sometimes. It's a constant struggle. I know you run into this. People want to move away from that hourly rate because you start a business, but now you just got a new type of job. The way to move away from hourly and get to these large monthly recurring contracts is structuring how you speak. Structuring how you just orient to work. And that's around outcomes because that's really what people are buying. They're buying an outcome. They're not buying the consulting that you're doing.

Deb Zahn: They're not buying a unit of time because yeah, people default to hourly. I get it. I've done a ton of hourly contracts. There are some contracts I would still do because of all of the uncertainty and long periods of time or if it's a state gig and typically states will only pay that.

Bryan McDonald: That fits into a strategy.

Deb Zahn: Exactly.

Bryan McDonald: Which fits into techniques.

Deb Zahn: Exactly. You have to know. “Does this serve both your consulting business and does this serve the life that you want?” And if it doesn't, because you're going to be underpaid for state work, you're going to be hourly, there might be things that you get from it like some income stability. But that's a choice.

Bryan McDonald: Yup.

Deb Zahn: I love that. That's great. When you work with folks, obviously you have to bring all of these things together. If there was one or two things that you would tell new consultants no matter what, do these two things, what would you say?

Bryan McDonald: Oh, man.

Deb Zahn: It's hard to distill it down to two, isn't it?

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I appreciate it too because I've said this. I'm just going to say it again. One of the things is get really clear about your ideal client profile: the problems that they have, the collateral damage that those problems cause, and what outcomes the ideal client profile is trying to produce. Because when you do that, you can develop relevant ways to serve that. That ideal client profile, you can develop relevant offers. You're going to be able to know what you're going to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to go find those people and why you're doing it. Clarity is ultimately a huge thing.

Deb Zahn: I want people to actually rewind what you just said on the podcast and listen to that again because that is at the heart of a successful consulting business on an ongoing basis. Basically, those exact things you just described.

Bryan McDonald: I would add to it, when you listen to it the second time. At the end add to it “and the prospect doesn't care about what you do.”

Deb Zahn: Nope. Or your resume by the way.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah, not at all. They don't care. They care about themselves. Deb, what's the number one thing people like to talk about?

Deb Zahn: Themselves.

Bryan McDonald: Exactly. When they're not talking about themselves, what's the number one thing they like to think about?

Deb Zahn: Pretty much themselves.

Bryan McDonald: Exactly. If we know this phenomenon, you have to get into the mind of this ideal client profile. Their world. Get a deep understanding. When you're talking to them or interacting with them, it has to be in their world. Not yours.

Deb Zahn: That's right. You will say different things, and you will ask different questions. You will present different things if you know that. One of the things that I do. I'm known for curing decision-making disorders in groups.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, OK.

Deb Zahn: If there's a group of individuals, whether they're in different entities or within the same organization and they cannot agree, particularly if they're mad at each other. I'm known as the person who can come in and get them to agree. Get them to move forward. That is my thing that I do better than anything else. To the point now where there are other consultants who I occasionally work with doing other things, who when they're in a group that's struggling with that, they say, "Oh my God, can we please get Deb in here to solve this?”

Bryan McDonald: That's awesome.

Deb Zahn: Because I have focused. That gives me the ability to also then have brand ambassadors out in the world who know if you hate this moment in this meeting, I know who can give you relief.

Bryan McDonald: Mm-hmm.

Deb Zahn: There's no better marketing than that.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, God, it's magical.

Deb Zahn: It really is. And usually, I just have to ask a few questions like, "So you have a group of people, do the people have feelings?" Everybody laughs. They're like, "Oh my God, do we have feelings?" I'm like, "Great. So let's talk about what we can do about all of those." But it makes it so much easier for me to get business because of that.

Bryan McDonald: I bet any amount of money that you can probably tell who’s a prospect that looks like that. What their problems are. What they're experiencing. Without them saying it.

Deb Zahn: Oh, yeah. And this is where again most communication is non-verbal. If I'm in a prospect meeting and I ask one of those questions and then suddenly muscles tense, somebody's trying to keep their poker face and they're not really great at it. Eyes will roll. I mean it tells me everything I need to know about what we're facing. Here's the type of relief that people truly want. And that relief is one of the outcomes.

Bryan McDonald: I love it. I love it.

Deb Zahn: I know that. Well, this is just absolutely lovely. Let me ask you the question I always love to ask folks because one of the reasons to be a top income earner is not to work every second of every day, and that's all you do. However it is you define balance in your life, how do you bring that balance to your life?

Bryan McDonald: I'm in the camp of you can never perfectly balance. It's like one of these hamster wheel things. For me, it's working on my awareness and being able to notice when I'm off and how I'm off. Meaning, if I'm working a lot, I need to be able to notice that I'm doing it. How it's affecting things personally or professionally. And that's the first step because I can't take effective action from that to tip it in the other way. It's doing these check-ins on a regular basis like, "Hey, I am frustrated or I feel busy. Am I working too much? What do I have to do?" or, "Hey, am I feeling nervous because I'm not working enough? Maybe I've been paying attention to the personal side too much."

Deb Zahn: Yeah, yeah.

Bryan McDonald: It's developing awareness all the time. And then keeping people around me that can keep me in check on that.

Deb Zahn: That's extraordinarily helpful. And then I would imagine mindset, strategy, techniques, and habits also come in handy as well.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, yeah. Well, the awareness and developing it is every single one of those things to a T, right? It's how I take action depending on which one I'm doing.

Deb Zahn: Wonderful. Where can folks find you because...Well, actually, let's say you have a podcast also, which is super cool. I've listened to it. It's great. Tell people about your podcast then we'll talk about where folks can find you.

Bryan McDonald: Yeah. I've got the onPurpose Growth podcast. We talk about real life subjects, right? It's not a bunch of talking heads. I have experts from all different walks of life that talk about things like mindset. Talk of things about tactics, techniques, strategies to help entrepreneurs grow their revenue. So things personally and professionally. It's everything that a consultant trying to grow a business would want to think about and we have open and honest conversations about it.

Deb Zahn: That's wonderful. And otherwise, where can folks find you?

Bryan McDonald: They can always find us at our website And I'm on LinkedIn. A lot of people can find me there. My username on all social media is my last name, first name. If you apply that, McDonald Bryan, I'm Bryan with a Y. You can typically find me on any social platform with that. And then also one other place on Facebook, I've got the onPurpose Growth community. It's for the entrepreneurs who left corporate America and now are building their own consulting or service-based business. It's a community where we share ideas, practices, tactics, and strategies to help everybody out. And that's on Facebook. It's a Facebook group.

Deb Zahn: Wonderful. Well, Bryan, thank you so much. I could go on for hours with you.

Bryan McDonald: I know, me too. Me too.

Deb Zahn: We could completely nerd out over all of these topics but thank you so much for coming on the show.

Bryan McDonald: Oh, I appreciate you and thanks for having me on.

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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