Based on my experience in the industry, I believe that, on the average, the level of commitment provided by the proposal consultant exceeds that of the employee. It is true that the proposal consultant’s position with the company does not require him or her to prepare a winning federal proposal to keep the job. However, it is also true that a proposal consultant cannot deliver marginal work and hope to maintain the reputation needed to have profitable business. It is especially true in the proposal consulting business that, you’re only as good as your last assignment.
Proposal Consultants Have an Overriding Desire to Win
However, there are many other reasons why most proposal consultants nearly always provide highly committed service. A person who goes out to face the uncertainty and challenge of being an independent consultant has a higher level of energy and drive than do most employees. Like a professional athlete, the proposal consultant has an intrinsic love of the game and an overriding desire to win.
Being a proposal consultant like in any job, has a double-ended sword. Sometimes business becomes so slow that we need to resort to our savings or to plan B and C. And, when business is really good, we run at it with full steam. The nice option we have is we can avoid the burn out and take time off when it’s necessary for our well-being. When we’re ready to get back to work, we hop back in the ring refueled and ready to give it our all.
Committed to the mission
Although proposal consultants are not tied to a single company, most of them develop a genuine affection for their customer companies. Each customer company becomes the business home of the consultant while he or she is there. I recall serving the customers for 5 years when I was an independent consultant. I will never forget how exciting it was to go to each new customer site; how there was the feeling you are on a holy mission where you must give it your all; and how it comes with the territory to work long hours, for me one time including three straight days at the end.
The proposal consultant field attracts high energy people who thrive in performing whatever task is assigned, no matter what the difficulties. Like a race horse who loves the track, the consultant takes pleasure in providing the best he can deliver. He or she delights in solving difficult problems, working around the impediments that are always in the way, and helping to produce a proposal that lets the client win the contract if there is any way it can be won. As a result, most consultants can reach the end of the assignment honestly saying, “I gave this one all I had to give.”
What are your thoughts?