I hear it again and again. "I really love what you do and I think it would be great. Once we get a little further down the line, I'd love to talk to you again about working together." Would you tell an architect that you "want to go ahead and get the foundation and framing done" and then bring her in? Nope. Because all she's going to do is tell you that you built a crappy foundation and you need to start over. Same with building a career. If you're getting strategy and planning help, get it up front. If you can only afford to work with someone for three months, make it the first three months of the year, not the last three. You'll get on the right path and learn a lot about what you should be doing on your own later. And a smart strategist and planner can set you up to do the execution on your own. There is no magical point where suddenly you have more money or a moment of total certainty when you say "NOW is the perfect moment to get help" — unless, of course, you screw something up beyond your own ability to even guess how to fix it. Yes, it's an investment. And not a small one. But investing is about timing. Do it now. Because the most common way that people waste that investment is by paying someone to spend their time and your money undoing what you've been doing for the last nine months. And in many cases, it really can't be fixed. And even if it can, I'm over it. I want to work with people who get it. People who want a partner, not a repairman.