The Strategic Independent: Tom Critchlow on Blending Consulting, Courses, and Creativity




In this episode, I reconnected with Tom Critchlow, an independent consultant, marking his second appearance on our show. Tom discussed his nine-year journey in indie consulting, emphasizing the transition from consulting as his sole income to exploring new ventures like course creation and book writing. He shared the challenges of balancing these diverse interests, especially when self-direction replaces client demands. We delved into the nuances of working independently, like maintaining motivation and managing time effectively, especially with added responsibilities like family. Tom’s struggle with finalizing his book project, reflecting on the importance of strategic avoidance, and finding inspiration in everyday life were key points of our conversation. It was a deep dive into the realities of an independent career path and the continuous search for personal and professional satisfaction.

Themes Discussed:

  • Independent Consulting: Tom’s experience and insights into building a sustainable independent consulting practice.
  • Balancing Identities: The challenges of juggling roles as a consultant, course creator, and writer.
  • Creative Process: Insights into Tom’s approach to writing and developing his SEO MBA course.
  • Time Management: Strategies for managing time and focus when working on multiple projects.

Impactful Quotes

Tom on Career Evolution:

“I’ve been on this indie path for nearly a decade, juggling consulting, course creation, and now book writing. It’s been a journey of constant evolution and self-discovery.”

Tom on Strategic Independence:

“Aligning my identity with being a consultant was enlightening. It brought clarity and a sense of purpose to my professional life.”

Tom on Creative Challenges:

“The transition from consulting to creating courses and writing a book has fragmented my identity. It’s a new kind of struggle, finding where I fit between these roles.”

Tom on Writing:

“Writing has been the most fulfilling part of my journey, yet it’s also where I feel most stuck. There’s a paradox in the joy of creation and the struggle of completion.”

Tom on Future Goals:

“I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in both consulting and educational ventures.”