#1 4 reasons not to hire me

 
Photo by Allison Rose Lekewe

Photo by Allison Rose Lekewe

I know I know, I want business as much as anyone else does. I love my work and I love paying my bills.

Which is why I put so much time into developing and testing my 5 Signature Social Impact Solutions:

  • Solution #1: Social Impact Brand

  • Solution #2: Theory of Change

  • Solution #3: Business Model Canvas for Impact

  • Solution #4: Impact Metrics Dashboard

  • Solution #5: Review & Reporting Guide

But I put my foot down when it comes to doing one-off stuff outside of my 5 Signature Social Impact Solutions. Why? Because I’m as motivated by social impact results as you are, and these one-off projects are not the optimal way to use my talent to help your organization. Why not? Let’s think through an example . . .

My birthday is November 22 and I’ve hired you to bake me a cake. You, however, are not a baker; you’re not even a cook at all although you ARE an award-winning bartender and I really like your drinks and you so I hire you.

To help prepare you take a baking class in late October which I have to pay you for. You consult with me and decide on a recipe Week 1. Then go shopping for ingredients Week 2. Then measure the ingredients Week 3, after which you’ll have to pack them up into baggies or containers stuffed in the cabinet or fridge because you’re not going to actually bake the cake until Week 5. In the middle of Week 4 you need to buy new eggs because the ones you bought Week 2 aren’t good anymore (rookie mistake).

In between each week, you have to pull out the cookbook again, review it because it’s not top of mind anymore, and second-guess yourself as to whether or not you used the right recipe in the first place so on Week 5 – one day before my birthday – you also implement a quick poll of your bar staff, in which everyone agrees you can probably find a better cake recipe and one person thinks I may be lactose intolerant because he saw me buying soy milk, so you call my boyfriend to check if I may not mind actually celebrating my birthday on November 30 because you have gathered additional stakeholder feedback, revised your original plan and need to push back deliverables a little bit.

My boyfriend does not know the answer so sets up a conference call between him and my mother, and decides to pull in my best friend for good measure as I’m at a conference all day and not able to weigh in. And it goes on...

This is how most consulting work goes, and it’s insane. Here’s a little more realistic rationale for why I designed my 5 Signature Social Impact Solutions so tightly:

 

1. I customize my results and deliverables, but not my projects. 

You’re not paying me to be a project manager; you’re paying me to deliver my expertise in social impact.

 

2. You should not be dependent on me to do your work.

Each of my 5 Signature Social Impact Solutions creates tools with you that you and your team fully own and are empowered to use in perpetuity. I’m maximizing and empowering the talent and intelligence of your team, not replacing it.

 

3. Other people are better than I am at a lot of things.

I know a lot about the 5 Solutions I offer. I am not the expert in the room when it comes to any other stuff, like, say, donor solicitation or planning your communications calendar or completing B-corp certification.

 

4. Time is the enemy of results.

Unless it takes the form of coaching to work through the long-term implementation of my 5 Solutions, nothing I do lasts longer than a week. The back and forth of long drawn out projects kills success.

Because I’m all about growing, funding, selling, and celebrating social impact, I may even encourage you to treat your team to a cake every now and then to mark huge milestones. Heck, I may even buy it for you.

But I’ll never bake it for you on your dime, because I’m not a baker ;)

See? You CAN have your cake and eat it too. Even in social impact.