book jacket for "Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant"

Cathy Perme, author of Fizz!

Cathy’s Blog

Check out Cathy’s blog The Consultant’s Coach for more advice and insights on being in business as a consultant.

Surviving Economic Busts

Surviving Economic Busts

These are such scary times, both personally and professionally,  that the easiest thing to do would be to crawl into a shell and stay there until everything sorts itself out.  Unfortunately, life goes on and so must we, as we maneuver through this pandemic and try to...

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What I Learned Recording the FIZZ! Audiobook

What I Learned Recording the FIZZ! Audiobook

When my publisher, Wisdom Editions, asked me to consider recording the audiobook for my recently published book, FIZZ! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant, I thought, sure!  How hard could it be? I know how to read! As it turns out, it was much harder than I...

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Focusing … and Dealing with Competing Needs

Focusing … and Dealing with Competing Needs

Welcome to the world of 24/7/365 – where the average leader and professional are constantly available via their smart phones, the piles of work are higher than ever before, and everyone is judged on how well they accomplish it on a timely basis. As I write this, I am...

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How IBM made me a good consultant

How IBM made me a good consultant

My first career at IBM taught me how to be a good consultant. That’s where I worked hand-in-hand with customers to plan and install large mainframe systems in cavernous rooms to support their business. Lead times were often 6 months to a year, and downtime was not an...

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A Consultant’s Initiation

A Consultant’s Initiation

Me in my 20's at IBM – gotta love that 80’s look! I always knew that I wanted to be a consultant, ever since age 25 when I met Bill Tinney, a Senior Systems Engineering Consultant for IBM in Cleveland, Ohio. He always seemed to be jet-setting around the world, doing...

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Succeeding at Your First “Adult Job”

Succeeding at Your First “Adult Job”

My daughter just got what I call her first “adult job.” I define that as the full-time job that takes what she has learned so far and applies it to what may lead to a fulfilling career. While talking with her about it, I realized how important those high school and...

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Why I Wrote my First Book

Why I Wrote my First Book

My first book is a labor of love -- to honor both my daughter and her Chinese heritage, and to share what I have learned about leading with folks in her generation.  At the same time, I'm delighted to know that the book resonates with folks of all ages, from...

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What I Learned about Writing from a Writers Workshop!

What I Learned about Writing from a Writers Workshop!

An old saying is that “successful writers write,” which is easier said than done, once you get past the initial inspiration. The rest of the process is not as much fun. It’s a lifestyle Attending this workshop, I learned that successful writers have built a discipline...

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Working for a Leader I Trust

Working for a Leader I Trust

As a consultant, my name is impacted by the leaders with whom I work. That’s because as a consultant I have no power to act. I do have influence based on my knowledge and skills, and the point of hiring someone like me, who is outside of the organization, is to get an...

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When Life Intrudes

When Life Intrudes

Been out of the office a bit lately, getting a new left knee.  (See it above, side and front views -- doesn't it look bionic?)  Normally this would just be one of those things in life that you have to take care of, but when you are in business for yourself, taking...

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What’s Your Price?

What’s Your Price?

One of the biggest taboos between consultants is sharing what we charge, so let's break it open and talk pricing strategy. Later I'll post a survey to gather data (anonymously) about how consultants price so we can all learn from it. Pricing yourself is one of the...

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You’re Not in Charge!

You’re Not in Charge!

I’ve talked to a number of leaders recently who are retiring and thinking about becoming a consultant.  Having coached and mentored others who have made the same transition, I have one major piece of advice: Remember that you are no longer in charge! New consultants...

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What to Do before You Leap!

What to Do before You Leap!

Starting your own consulting business is a huge leap of faith – in yourself! Assuming that this is how you plan to make your living (not just a retirement pursuit) here are 3 practical tips to create a safety net for yourself. So before you quit your “day job” make...

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Handling Rejection

Handling Rejection

Rejection is a lot harder to handle as a consultant. After all, you are marketing yourself and not just a “thing-a-ma-jig” with no emotional attachment. But you are not going to win every contract and that is reality. So how do you handle it? First of all, don’t take...

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Carrying Another’s Brand

Carrying Another’s Brand

Like many consultants, occasionally I am asked to be a member of someone else’s consulting team. Usually this is a pretty good deal, but there are catches. I don’t have to do the marketing or administration of the contract, and when you are in business for yourself...

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The Best Gift my Dad Gave his Girl

The Best Gift my Dad Gave his Girl

I have been thinking a lot about the best gift my Dad ever gave me – the confidence and ability to think. If you are a guy, you probably don’t see this as a big deal, because men are expected, trained, and socialized to think.But for a girl, and now a woman, it was a...

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Creating a Code of Honor

Creating a Code of Honor

I wrote this "Code of Honor" out of pure frustration one day after letting all of my former associates go. (See last week’s post on “Hiring Associates.”) I really wanted to be clear on how I did business, and I wanted my associates to honor that, thus the name. ...

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Hiring Associates

Hiring Associates

Early on my business, I realized that the only thing holding me back from making more money and taking on bigger projects was myself – I could only work so many hours in a day and was good at some things but not everything. The opportunities that I was seeing in the...

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Building Your Own Brand

Building Your Own Brand

As a consultant, your name ultimately becomes your brand. People experience you and form opinions about you and your work. Those opinions will determine whether or not to hire you again or refer you. So who are the best people to help you define and build your brand...

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Success on Your Terms

Success on Your Terms

Do you want to make a lot of money? You might be able to do that. Do you want to be famous? You could sure give it a try. That being said, most consultants I know are in it for reasons that have nothing to do with money or fame. Here are the real perks of being in...

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Knowing Your “Fizz”

Knowing Your “Fizz”

One of the tell-tale signs of a new consultant is that they will say they are good at almost everything. Anything you need, they can do it! No project is too big or too small, no challenge is beyond their experience. That’s often called “survival” in the early days of...

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Dangers of the Job

Dangers of the Job

In my office I have a picture of a woman with her head to the ground, looking up cautiously at the foot of an elephant, which she is gingerly "holding" with one hand just inches from her head.  Under its foot is an object that was obviously causing the elephant some...

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Getting Trapped in Your Client’s Culture

Getting Trapped in Your Client’s Culture

One of the biggest traps you can walk into as a consultant is getting sucked into your client’s culture.  Especially if it is somewhat dysfunctional (as many are, otherwise why would they need us?) we can find our tolerance slowly rising until at some point we are...

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Cathy Perme is the co-owner of Perme Peterson & Associates, LLC.

Fizz by Cathy Perme

Buy Fizz! on Amazon

Buy FIZZ on Amazon Audio
Catherine Perme

Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant author Cathy Perme also wrote Confucius in My Cubicle: Practical Wisdom for the Leader in All of Us, released by Wisdom Editions in 2017.