We have a letter!!! Our writer (Ready to Be Independent) asks about being a consultant: what does it take, what do they need to do, and what is the pros and cons list? We break it down.
Some of the things to consider as you're looking at making a leap like this: to consider are: inconsistent revenue as a consultant vs a regular paycheck and salary. What’s your brand and what do you uniquely offer? Are you ok with instability? If you’re a consultant, you’re a small business person and you have to assess your risk tolerance.
Are you ready to take on the expenses of running your business? We talk about doing soul searching around risk tolerance and not knowing where the money is coming from. You have to believe in yourself.
It’s time for your Board of Advisors to fish around to see what they would hire you for. What’s your pitch?
Put together a business plan: sometimes people do side gigs to build cash and a customer base.
The costs are there, and you want to be in a place of financial stability so that it’s not financially uncomfortable.
Be clear on your mission, vision and values to make sure you can decide who you are so that can communicate that to your customers. Think about marketing and if you’re going to be comfortable with your marketing plan. Are you ready to go into a pitch meeting? If you can’t sell yourself, don’t go into consulting.
Rely on your experts. Know what you’re good at and who you will need to hire (attorney, accountant, etc.).
Are you organized, consistent and reliable? If it’s not you, you need to have others do it for you, Figure out how to make it work or decide if being independent isn’t for you.
Something to think about: as a consultant, you’re an outsider and not actually on the team. Sometimes you’re left out of conversations.
Consulting gets lonely. Not everyone’s made for that and it can be stressful. Also, vacations as a consultant usually mean a dip in revenue, and client work still needs to get done. So as a consultant, you don’t have a boss, but you also don’t have co-workers to cover for you, or even to have coffee with and talk about what you're working on.
Career growth is possible as a consultant. It’s about relationships you make and the value you deliver. How strategic are you and what value do you bring? You can grow in many areas based off your core competencies. If you’re not want to be where you want to be professionally, it may not work.
Kat’s favorite part of being a consultant is working from everywhere, and being able to see if a role will be a right fit for her and her client. Liz likes that she’s had an impact on a number of companies according to her values.
Thanks for the question, Ready to be Independent.
So listeners, are you ready to make the leap and be a consultant? As always, feel free to reach out to ask your questions or talk through your current situation.