It’s taken me a long time to realise the importance in consulting of being selective of the work you do and also not being approval driven in the early stages of a client relationship. As a junior consultant the importance of chargeability and utilisation is drummed into you such that your focus becomes on winning the work, rather than whether there is the right fit. It’s like a politician who focuses on how to win more votes, rather than putting in place good policy.
The cost is that you will become a slave to the client and you won’t grow personally. The relationship will not be meaningful.
Think of client work like a marriage. You don’t have to appeal to every girl or boy, just the one that matters. Seek those clients who value what you do and where there is the right fit.
This may take time and may bring short term pain in reduced utilisation, revenue and profits. However the long term health of your business will be better for it through increased repeat work, referrals and sustainable work from clients who truly appreciate the work you do.