For Mother's Day: Thanks, Mom, for the consulting tips!

By Lisa Witzig

Dr. Witzig serves as Fuel's CMO, has decades of consulting experience, and enjoys her role as a marketing professor at Colorado State as well. 

My mother is 98 years young. And, although she didn't pursue her career after she started her family with my father, her wisdom greatly influences my approach to consulting. (My dad — a well-known physicist and consultant himself — also shaped my consulting career, but we'll save that for Father's Day.)

For this Mother's Day, I want to honor Mom by sharing her nuggets of consulting brilliance.

Be prepared for the worst; expect the best. My mother is a child of the Great Depression, which affected her outlook. Her theory is this: If you prepare for the worst, you're ready for anything. And, usually, the worst never happened. For my clients, I lay out best- and worst-case scenarios; we call this "risk management" in today's terminology.

Pay attention to the details. Mom was an English major in college — in our house, spelling mattered. So did all the other little things that make a big difference when you add them together. As a consultant, I strive to worry about the details, which is especially challenging yet important for me, as I tend to think "big picture."

Tell the truth. As children, my siblings and I all knew that it was better to come forward with the truth and suffer the consequences than to be caught in a lie. Mom does not abide lying. With my clients, if I have bad news, I share it swiftly and completely. I've never been fired from a gig for doing so.

Be the consummate hostess. Mom could throw a party like no other! She would spend hours planning a menu, decorating a table, shopping for small gifts — all in an effort to ensure that her guests felt welcomed and appreciated. In consulting, I find that carrying this sense of giving and graciousness to my clients can make a significant difference.

Mom, thank you for your wisdom. Readers, how did your mother influence you? (Now, excuse me … I need to go call Mom.)

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