What, Me Worry?

Last week Whitney Hess posted a simple tweet that caught my attention:

There is no recession for confident consultants

Whitney Hess, http://twitter.com/whitneyhess/status/1060971977

What was a quick scroll through my unread tweets quickly became a moment of pause. The sheer truth contained in so few words bowled me over and it got me thinking about the past half year.

Right about the time of AIG’s collapse was the first time I ever had a proposal rejected due to budgetary concerns. It was also the first time in my life that the volume-rich blathering filling up the nightly news had a concrete and very real relationship with my own life. Worry began to creep in as September came to an end, but I carried on, and soon thereafter we got our first post-bailout RFP.

As I sat crunching the numbers putting the document together that worry manifested itself as fear. Should I cut that number in half? Should we be delivering twice as much? These are hard times after all. At the end of the day I pushed those thoughts aside, used the same process I always use when filling out proposals, and sent it off.

We ended up losing out on that job as well, which was disappointing for sure, but that disappointment quickly fled as October and November saw more RFP’s come in than we got the entire rest of the year. This sure was some silly recession that was going around.

Some spec’s were a perfect fit while others had the budget of a second grade play. Some jobs we coveted in ways that would send us to hell while others were laughably vague (and worrisome). The common thread was that they kept coming in, day after day. If these were supposed to be hard times, then those hard times were going to be in our own hands.

As the year wraps up and I look back on these past few months, I see jobs that we didn’t win and I wish we would have. I see jobs that we bid on when we shouldn’t have wasted our time. I see jobs that I was unsure about, but am now ecstatic to be a part of. I see proposals where we were the cheapest of the bunch and lost, and proposals where we were the most expensive and won.

And that brings me back to the simple tweet I read last week. “There is no recession for confident consultants”. The opportunity is plentiful. The economy may be having an effect on the details, but there’s just as many opportunities available today as there were last July. As budgets begin to tighten up it’s your confidence that will separate your proposal from the rest. You’re not going to win them all, but as long as the RFP’s continue to roll in the recession can go back to just something you hear about on the nightly news.