Being a consultant: some guidelines on managing client relationships.
- Confidentiality. Avoid talking about your clients' business and especially avoid talking about your clients' plans. Instead, speak in vague terms. E.g. Saying "I am exploring multiple opportunities in the FinTech area..." is better than saying "I am exploring opportunities with SuperMoney.com on their payment system." Keep your clients' cards close to your chest.
- Commitment. You've only made a commitment when you've reserved a time for a client. If you say, "I will reserve time for you between 15th September and 25 December," then you have made a commitment. If you say, "I am available starting on the 15th of September," then you have not made a commitment.
- Decisions. Use a "values evaluation grid" to evaluate opportunities. Each row represents an opportunity, each column represents a value, and each cell includes a rating between 0 and 100. Some of my values, for instance, include money, work on environmental projects, living fully on Salt Spring Island, and fun. Doing this grid will probably not be satisfying; it will, however, help you to clarify your preferences.
- Choice. You're entitled to choose among the opportunities ahead of you. This will of course involve deciding not to take some of the options in front of you. It's a position of power, and it is your perfect right. Feel the guilt and do it anyway.