Line in the Pond – Sassafras Consulting and Bonus

It would seem Consulting is the cool thing to do right now.  Well I didn’t know that and I don’t feel cool.

Truth is, consulting is hard work.


As of writing in September 2017, consulting is the line I’m watching most closely. (insert bobber joke here)


What is consulting?

Merriam-Webster dictionary describes it simply as “giving professional or expert advice”.  A consultant or consulting company is just an entity that trades that expert advice for money.

Well, most days I don’t feel much like an expert, but I believe I have enough experience in a few areas that I can get paid to jumpstart others.  I waded through enough mud to recommend others try the bridge.

It seems silly when written down, but consulting is just as simple as that.  Companies will pay to get you to teach them something and give recommendations.  Usually this advice is on how to make more money.  However, it is not always so direct.  Often times, you will see Consultants make companies more money by saving time, making more customers, cutting costs…etc.

Consulting doesn’t just have to be a money maker, either.  Sometimes you can provide advice on how to avoid falling out of compliance or improve safety at a facility.

In any area you can benefit a company they may be willing to seek your expertise.


Want to consider consulting?

Want to consider consulting?  You have to figure out where you fit in.


First you have to decide whether or not you even wish to be a consultant.  It’s not an easy decision, and can take focused, dedication.  If you already have a career as an employee for a company, you may choose to stay and benefit through other mechanisms beyond consultation.  I’ll save this for another blog post.

If you’ve decided you wish to consider consulting, you next have to pick a niche(s).  Don’t pick too many or you run the risk of watering down your skills.

In the past, I recommended people choose via the Venn Diagram.


Hmm.  Like the diagram for deliverable goals?

Like that but different.  Three circles for how to figure out how to help people!

Sally Thornton of Forshay (involved with recruitment and placement) talks about the problem with doing “what you love and the money will follow…”  It often isn’t that simple.  She posts a four circle diagram variation I am recently growing to like better.



In the four circle diagram, they add in “What the world needs”, which I think is a good inclusion.  If what you do doesn’t help someone in some way, you are not contributing to society.

Before you say it, I know, I know.  These are for career building and analysis.  This is true, but it also guides you into how you can help on a broader level, to include consulting.

Bonus – Line in the Pond under Consulting: D3 Charts and Graphs


To pull this together, it’s time I shared the first Line in the Pond under the category of consulting.

This is a real example and one of the real services Sassafras Consulting offers.


I help data bloggers to get existing readers to interact with their data longer by telling a story through D3 charts and graphs.


Aside: A good consultant will form this sentence with care.  I help (who?) to (get what result?) by (using what skillset?)


I can both offer consultation and build such charts depending upon the needs.


What you love: I enjoy creating digital assets and talking to people about how they can use them.  Especially if built with code.

What you do well: With every new project, I grow with experience and get stronger.  Keep chipping away and work at persistence and Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours.

What (the world) would pay for: Attention spans are at an all time low and still dropping.  Keeping people engaged and interacting with content helps form a committed audience.

What the world needs: This is something that could improve the way we look at the internet.  Instead of looking at data, my goal is to make it read more like a story.


If you have data and want to help numbers tell a story, drop me a line.  I’d be happy to talk and see if I can help.

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