Since 1996 I have been consulting with small and large companies. Prior to coming to Seattle I worked in Chicago under the title of “Understander” with E Lab, a cutting edge think-tank consultancy that provided very unusual research and product development guidance to Fortune 500 companies. I applied my cultural anthropology background to study consumers in the context of their actual lives at home, work and at play. Studying “the natives” in their own environments I was able to glean insights and findings that ultimately led to new products, services and even entire organizational restructuring.
In 1998 I started my own consulting company, continuing to hone my skills in understanding both human behavior around products and services as well as developing my unusual brand of bold entrepreneurship.
I consulted with Fortune 500 companies on topics such as software and interface design, food manufacturing and packaging, advertising and identity, organizational development, telecommunications systems, retail environments, promotional content, display and merchandising, best use of new technology, product positioning and many other topics. I also worked with a wide range of smaller businesses during this time, including designers, artists, consultants, non-profits, retailers and other independent business owners.
When I moved to Seattle, I decided to focus my consulting on small businesses exclusively. Smaller businesses offer a chance to cause and witness rapid progress and since I am working with business owners directly, we can implement new ideas right away. I think of large businesses as big freight ships that move and steer very slowly, with a long chain of command, while small businesses are like speedboats, much more agile, quick, and a lot more fun. It is important to me to see small businesses thrive and to support people in doing work that they love. That is a deep commitment and aim in the work I do with each and every client.
I studied Sociology/Gender Studies at Colorado College and Cultural Anthropology and Writing at University of Chicago. I utilize this background every day in the work that I do. All of these fields have helped me gain a rich understanding of human behavior and cultural dynamics.
As any good anthropologist knows, we cannot extract ourselves from culture. This means that our cultural experience affects everything we do, from how we value a product or service, to how we work, manage people, move through a retail space, make choices, what we associate with a logo or name, etc.
I apply this understanding in the work I do, whether I am helping a client get inside the experience of a customer, reworking or developing marketing materials or showing clients how to unpack their own cultural assumptions and experiences and how that affects their business infrastructure, management or bottom line.
I provide a unique blend of Cultural Anthropology, brain studies and extensive business experience in my consulting approach. I am very active when working with clients. I provide cutting-edge insights, solutions and resources based on 14 years of on-the-ground business experience not something I read from a book. I will often challenge you to become more aware, support you in taking smart risks, and help you see patterns in your thinking, behavior and presentation. I also teach clients how to get to these insights on their own.
Whether we are working on defining a new business concept, positioning and smart messaging, attracting customers/clients, strategy and planning, setting up systems to manage your business better, or any other topic, my aim is to help you generate tangible results and to fulfill on your business goals. Clients often find that the insights and breakthroughs they achieve in their business spill over into their personal lives, which is an added benefit of the depth of work I offer.
The complaints I hear about business consultants is that they tend to be dry, boring, slow, formulaic, uninspired, poor listeners and only know what they read in a textbook. I am quite the opposite, offering a custom and creative approach that you you won’t get from your average MBA.
The complaints I hear about coaches is that as approachable and well-meaning as they might be, they often don’t have any real on-the-ground business experience or expertise to offer. While they can set up accountability programs and cheer you on with gusto, they may be cheering you on in a fruitless direction.
What you get with me is a combination of solid business experience, a fun and unique way of approaching business and someone who understands human beings and what drives them. I pride myself on not wasting my clients’ time and I am committed to offering you the experienced insights and guidance that will support you in producing tangible results for your business.
We are all embedded in culture and in an array of often unidentified subcultures. When we delve into our social reference points, our beliefs and cultural messages, we gain insight into what drives our behavior as business owners and also what drives the behavior and associations of our clients and customers. This is valuable information and, once understood, we can be more effective in sales, marketing, providing services in a meaningful way, developing products, etc.
I assert that ignoring culture will hurt you as much or more as it will to ignore your expenses as you develop a business. Using a rich cultural understanding, I give you the inside scoop so that you can reach your target market in a way that will resonate with them. I also help you understand how your own cultural experience has affected the way you approach your business, your customers, and your success.
I teach my clients specific things they can do and say to alter their own brain response or to elicit a response in their customers or clients. When you understand what is going on in your brain and have greater awareness of how it functions you can use that awareness and knowledge to actually change your behavior or to affect behavior in your customers or clients.
It amazes me how little we really understand ourselves but also how just a few key tips and tricks can launch us forward and help us overcome our hesitation areas. I am not trained in neuro-science but have been informally engaged in the inquiry of how our brain affects our behavior and business for over 13 years. I will offer what I know, but in this area do not claim to be an expert. I am always learning about the brain and will share any knowledge that pertains to the work you might be doing.
Small businesses are faster, sleeker and more fun to work with, in my opinion. Someone daring enough to start their own business tends to love what they do; Even if they forget that passion from time to time, it’s there and easy to tap into. I like the speed with which I can help a small business cause tangible results. When I consulted with Fortune 500 companies, I often had to wait several years to see implementation of my ideas and by then, times and markets had changed and often the people I worked with had even left the company. Statistics show that 80% of people in America don’t like their job. That small fact disturbs me.
I want to live in a world where small businesses and creative people thrive. I don’t want to see a world of fast food restaurants, corporate chains and dissatisfied workers. I prefer the diversity and personality offered by a world of small businesses. I want to support people in doing what they love and being successful at it. I believe that if we all did what we loved that the world would be more peaceful and happier and this is an underpinning of my commitment to this work.
If you are ready to dive in and get started cultivating your business, email me at Karrie@ThoughtShotConsulting.com. Tell me why you’d like to work with me so I can see if we’ll be a good fit. I’ll send you to a password protected page on my site where you’ll have all the documents to get started!
I do not offer free consultations as I do jump in quickly with clients and begin providing value that is actionable in the first session. If you are feeling unsure if you are ready to work with me privately, I suggest attending one of my events to get a taste of my style and approach. I also suggest following my business on my Facebook fanpage or Twitter @Thoughtshot to give you a better sense of who I am and how I communicate.
No, I do not require that you commit to a certain number of sessions or months. Most clients do choose a package from my menu to create continuity and some elect to work a la carte at my hourly rate. I do find that clients who work with me on an ongoing and consistent basis see greater results and tend to achieve their goals much more quickly.
I am located in Seattle, Washington. I typically meet with local clients in West Seattle unless they request that we meet at their location for a house call. Clients outside of Seattle can meet with me by phone, email or Skype.
Yes. Phone, Skype and email consultations are available to clients who are located outside of Seattle or local clients who prefer not to travel. If you work with me remotely, you are welcome to send materials ahead of the time that you want me to review during the session: photos, web links, marketing materials, etc.
Yes. I offer House Calls to my regular clients who live in the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. These are sessions in which I come to your office, studio or home and work with you in the context where you do business or where you set up your systems and infrastructure. I do not offer House Calls to first-time clients.
There is an extra fee for house calls, as outlined in my menu. Contact me by email email@example.com and I will connect you to a password protected page on my website where you can download my menu.
I dive in with my small business clients where they are and we begin working immediately. Clients find this very refreshing. I pride myself on not wasting my clients time; your first session will not be “fluff” or merely “getting acquainted” with me. To ensure this, before your first session, I will connect you to a password protected page of my website where you will find a set of 10 quick questions to answer before the first session. That way, I will already know a lot about you, where you want to take your business and how I can help you from the start of your first consulting session.
Sessions are never boring and always bring new information, insights, support and collaboration to my clients and their businesses. Clients tell me that they never knew business development could be so much fun and so enlightening.
I provide homework at the end of each session to keep my you taking action in streamlined progress toward your goals. Many clients meet their goals faster than they had hoped while working with me; this is especially true for clients who work with me in a package plan.
Most clients prefer to work within a package plan. A package allows us to build a relationship over time and provides consistency and continuity for the work we are tackling in your business. Contact me and I will connect you to a password protected page on my website where you can download my Menu of Packages. If you don’t find a package that suits you, I can often whip up a custom package that will.
I accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover and you can also pay by cash or check. I have my own merchant services account so you don’t have to mess with Paypal or any of those third party vendors. No signing up for anything or keeping an account anywhere! I can swipe your card on the spot if we meet in person or I can send a simple and easy form to you by email that you fill out and submit for payment.
No. I do not do trades as a policy. It supports my clients to know they are investing in their business and I find they are more motivated and focused when they know they are paying for a session. This policy also keeps clarity in the relationship and models clean business boundaries for my clients. If you are dead-set on trading and have no other way to pay for business services, I suggest that you sign up for Dibspace, an online barter site for small business owners.
If you look, you can find business coaches and consultants who charge more or less than I do. What I find is that different consultants and coaches vary widely in their experience, their approach, the services they offer and the results they get for their clients.
When seeking a business consultant, you want to find out their background: Do they have any real business experience besides running their own business? Ask them about their approach and how they work with clients. Find out how they charge and what kind of commitment they require. I personally don’t like being locked in to a service provider until I’ve had a chance to work with them once. That’s why I offer an a la carte rate for those who just want to check out my services in a session and then decide whether a package would suit them.
You will also want to know what kind of results they get for their clients. A reputable business consultant will offer references upon request and will also be willing to answer your questions patiently and completely. Since this is the person you will be confiding in about business and financial matters you want to trust them.
As with any service provider, listen to your gut and if you get a feeling it’s not a good fit, keep looking. I never try to pressure clients; If I am not the consultant for you, I am happy to direct you to someone who might fit your personality or needs better. My goal is not to convince people to work with me, but rather, to attract the kind of clients who will get the most from my approach and experience and who I will enjoy working with the most!
My clients often tell me that they would pay much more for the results and insights that they get from working with me–and some do. Clients who work with me consistently are making more money than they have ever made, working fewer hours and with more ease and joy. I am happy to offer client references if you wish to talk to someone who has experienced my unique brand of business consulting.
I do not offer free consultations as I do jump in quickly with clients and begin providing value that is actionable in the first session. I am happy to set up a 15-minute phone introduction to answer your questions about how I work and to see how I might be able to help you before we schedule an actual consulting session. I will not provide advice during this call.
I work with clients who are intelligent, motivated and creative-minded. They may be at a juncture in their business or creative project where they are needing some new input, some guidance, direction, clarity in starting, growing or managing their business or large creative project.
I attract the type of clients who are willing to do the work to generate the results they want in their business but who may not know what is the most effective way of doing this or who feel overwhelmed by so many tasks that need to get done.
Clients who work with me often say they would not normally hire a business consultant or coach and they tend to be skeptical of the entire lot of them! I consider myself an outsider and my clients often see themselves that way as well. I am very out-of-the-box in my approach and clients find this refreshing and consistently tell me that they got more than they expected from working with me.
Yes. Many of my clients are in some kind of creative field, whether it be making and selling art, architecture, design, art direction, etc. I love working with artists and creatives and offering them tools and insights to be more effective and consistent in selling, managing and marketing their work. Many creatives have focused for so long on their craft that they have not taken the time to learn some of the business infrastructure and sales know-how that would help them be successful and able to sustain what they love to do. Working with artists in particular is very satisfying for me and the artists who I work with have gone on to win top art awards, have been featured in magazines and have been invited to show their work in prestigious arts venues around the world.
I work with clients who either have a business in place or who have a focused idea for a business or creative project. I have helped many clients decide on which business to start and I have helped countless clients set up a new business from scratch. It can be overwhelming to start a solo-venture. My suggestion to someone in this situation who is not sure yet if they want to take the leap: poke around on my site and read some articles, see what you can learn and then contact me when you feel inspired to move forward.
My business consulting services cover the full range of issues facing a small business: Start-up, Development, Management, Marketing, Growing and Selling. If I can’t help you with a certain topic or realm, I will direct you to resources that can. See my Services Page for more detailed information.
Yes. I consult with clients at any stage in their business development, whether you have an idea or concept you want to pursue and need help clarifying and getting on the path, or if you already have a business up and running, and need help developing, growing and managing it. I can traverse most waters within a business and when something it outside my area of expertise, I will gladly refer you to someone who can help you in that area.
I do offer classes for business owners and groups. If you are interested in participating in a seminar or workshop look at my Events page. I can also create a custom workshop for your group. Contact me at Karrie@ThoughtShotConsulting.com to discuss!