Consultant versus client..people always ask me…

1508550825_d96f14923a_mI have been consulting for the past 2+ years and have found it to be energizing, educational and freeing.  I chose it as a way to regroup personally and just needed a new perspective,  It turned out that what I got was the chance to work in far more industries than I ever could have working in corporate America.  Additionally, I was able to have a portfolio of companies ranging from multi-billion dollar conglomerates, to start-ups in industries ranging from technology, to media, to publishing, to financial services.

There are down sides too.  I miss working with a large group of people who are in the thick of it with you day in and day out.  People to bounce your ideas off of, people to commiserate with when things aren’t going the way you want and people in general.  I a not a lone wolf so that is the challenge for me.  Then there is the lack of security,  When you wake up each day, it’s up to you to find the work and if you don’t you don’t get paid.  For someone like me who is the sole bread earner in the family with a husband and two kids, that can be daunting but it DOES get me moving!

There are many other elements to this but I was having an email conversation with Tom Cunniff and he gave a few really smart bullet points about how to decide if consulting is right for you.

“If you can say yes to the below, you’re ready to consult:

- I am ready to get to know my strengths and weaknesses much more intimately;
- My family and I can live with uncertainty month-to-month (I’d encourage you to put a number on this);
- I am ready to deal without panicking if my core consulting opportunities suddenly vanish or go to hell in a handbasket;
- If it goes well, I will not let it go to my head;
- If it goes badly, I will learn from the experience and not waste energy on woulda/coulda/shoulda

So, I don’t think I will do this forever, but I don’t know.  I DO know that because I do this, I have grown my network 1000 fold, meet with new people every single week and am introduced to new companies almost every day.  I respond to every email and phone call and try to meet every person who is interested in doing so because now that I am not a client, I get to decide how to spend every minute of my day and meeting people and learning from them is how I choose to spend my days.

I am interested in what you think and what your experiences are as well.

9 comments

  1. Thanks Ftheredepression. There are a lot of ways to be successful in this enviro. Have to see the opportunities through the muck.:) Appreciate the comment.

  2. Julie – I just stumbled across your website and thought I would say hello. I hope you remember me from the “old” Woodcreek days. He were in AZ for 4 years but just moved back to Milford. I have my own business (selling sports video analysis software) and things are really tough. Valerie went back to school to become a nurse and is working at Jewish hospital. Got a note from your Mom and Dad that they moved out of the country. Not sure why. We have great golf courses here in the US!!! Hope all is well with you. If you ever stop in CVG, give us a call.

    Go Boilers!!! John VB

  3. I work for a National Children’s museum and over the past 12 years, have had many interactions with the guests that come through to perform, give workshops etc…. I often get asked by our programmers if I know artist, singers etc… I seem to have a vast resource of contacts and can often provide the resource they are looking for. In the world of arts, would this make a good consulting business. Perhaps some kind of consultation service if not a business.

    I would appreciate your opinion and look forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,
    Yannick

  4. Hi Yannick. First, I think that this sounds like a very worthwhile venture. Perhaps you can be an advisor or networking resource for these outfits. What I cannot say is whether this can be a strong enough business as a stand alone as I don’t know the number of people that have this need across the country or globe, nor the value they place on it. If you can begin to quantify that, you will have a better sense of whether this makes sense as a business.

    However, if it is not seen as a conflict of interest by your current employer, it would seem that this could be a good side business for you that you can develop over time and test the waters on the market size and value to various types of customers. I have to admit that I am a “go for it” kind of entrepreneur so if you dont have a conflict, I think it is worth starting.

    Good luck to you and let me know how it goes.

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