Why Consulting Is A Dying Occupation
Why would I pay you for information when I can read it online for free? There will always be people who would rather pay you to do something for them than to (learn how to) do it themselves.
But with how easily information can be found online, and with how much new info is uploaded everyday, it won't be long before consultants become extinct.
Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of articles, infographics, videos, slideshows, tips, and tricks are uploaded by experts every single day. Do you know why? Because they're constantly competing with each other for market share! Little Sally Walker just posted this helpful article on her blog, so now Princess Peach has to one-up her. Repeat.
Everyone's competing with more and better free stuff. There's no sense in paying for something when there's an abundance of it freely accessible. But let's also take a look at how information naturally spreads.
In the world of research, which is where all of this begins (call it Big Data if you want), there's a time lag. An idea is constructed. Several months later an experiment is conducted, or reports are pulled.
Several months later the results are published. Top influencers and innovators cling to that information immediately as it's published (which is about six months to a year after the idea was conceived), and start spreading it for free to add value to their followers.
In the next six months or so, the second tier of influencers and innovators (those who closely follow the top) catch on, and start spreading the word down to their followers. Their followers - this third tier of influencers - are generally the consultants, who take another six months or so to catch on to what the second tier has been preaching.
See, while the consultants are teaching new dogs old tricks, the top influencers and innovators are the ones who keep trying new things and push the envelope. They set the trends that consultants take a year, even two, to adopt.
And after consultants adapt, they're teaching people who are below them, in the mainstream. So, if consultants are somewhere between a year and two years behind already, why in the world should anyone pay attention to them?
There are two things inherently self-defeating in the role of consultant, according to today's trends and tomorrow's reality.
One: Why would I pay you for information when I can find it online for free?
Two: If you're teaching, you're not doing, which means you have to wait for information to trickle down the pyramid of influence into your repertoire.
Blogging and social media are where people go to learn and share information. Consulting is where promising careers go to die.