Consultants live more? If you are working in a crazy hour project with long hours you will probably laugh right now. You will say: consultants do not even have a life. I am saying, in a way, consultants live way more than many other people. Just bear with me for a while.

A normal life

Most “normal” folks have a regular life. They go to work at about the same time every morning. A lot of the stuff they do is somewhat similar. They go home at about the same time each evening. They do some fun stuff, like watching TV, playing a computer game or sports. Often it is more or less the same each evening or at least the same each week. There is nothing bad about this and actually, routines can have something very soothing and they are less stressful than constant changes. (I hate that I have to find a new routine to work out in each place. Depending on workout room opening times, workout machine availability – I am not a cardio bunny, breakfast hours, etc.). The downside is that routines make your time go by faster. Remember how slow time went by when you were a kid? This is because so much was new for you. The older we get, the more we know our surroundings, our work, our routines. This is what makes time fly by when you are an adult.

A consultant’s life

As a consultant, you get to be a kid in some ways. You get to do new stuff all the time. (You still have to wear a suit and pretend you know it all, but yeah, you get to play with new toys. New strategies, new systems, new methods, new content, …). You get new playmates (nope, not that kind of playmates): new colleagues, new boss and new clients. (And yes, sometimes these people turn out to be playmates of the special kind… I even married mine.)
Your surroundings change. You see new hotels, new food – sometimes even new countries and cultures. So while all this newness adds to the stress you already have with delivering your precious deliverables it also makes your time feel longer. It is more intense. It does not just fly by. It is like you have the same number of minutes every day just like everybody else – but still have lived more time. More intense.

I guess this is what makes consulting life so addictive. It is not the small perks like hotel points or frequent flyer miles. It is the fact that you life more.

What do you think?