If you are reading this article, you may be intrigued by the idea of abandoning your job search to become an independent consultant. You are, however, probably worried about the prospect of not receiving a regular paycheck and having to rely on your spouse or fend for yourself for your health insurance. You may also have an aversion to marketing and sales.
7 Reasons Why Starting a Consulting Business
May Be Right for You
Before taking the plunge, you need to have a plan with a realistic probability of success. But more importantly, you need to be highly motivated.
Starting a consulting business may, indeed, be the right career move for you if you agree with any of the following statements:
- I am tired of being treated like a slave.
This may seem harsh, but employment is a form of slavery. Employees are told where to be, when to be there, and what to do. Although employment is certainly voluntary, many feel trapped in their jobs and see little way out. Even if you have a good boss (i.e., a benevolent master), you are still a slave. Some have no problem with this. How about you? Are you secretly yearning for your freedom?
- I am sick and tired of having to look for a job.
Are you fed up with taking a job for a few years and then losing it, through no fault of your own, due to a merger, downsizing, new boss, change in direction of the organization, or business failure? Are you tired of spending months between jobs living on unemployment, paying high COBRA rates for health insurance, and worrying about finding a new job?
- I want a better balance between my work and personal life.
Are you satisfied with your work/life balance? Can you freely take off time when you want to attend your kid's soccer games, have personal business to attend to, or just don't feel like working?
- I don't want to relocate.
Do you worry that the "perfect job" will require you to move from the neighborhood you love, lose the friends you value, or disrupt the lives of your spouse and children?
- I want the potential of making more money.
Do you believe that you are not paid what you're worth? Are you concerned that no matter what job you may take, you will never be able to raise your standard of living?
- I am confident that I can meet the needs of potential clients.
Are you confident that you can provide tangible value to potential clients so that they will pay you happily for your services?
- I want to be ME.
Do you believe that working at a job does not enable you to fully be yourself because you are forced to work on things that don't interest you, or you are too stressed out about the politics, pleasing your superiors, or losing your job?
If you agree with any or all of the reasons above, NOW may be the right time for you to abandon your job search (or leave your current job) and focus all of your energy on starting your own consulting business. If not now, when?
Some Preliminary Actions to Take:
1. Read a book about starting a consulting business. There are many readily available.
2. Talk to friends, relatives, and colleagues who are independent consultants. Ask them how they started their business and how they sustain it.
3. Develop a specific focus for your business. (If you say you do everything; people will think you do nothing.)
4. Retain a coach who can help you launch your business.
Starting and running a consulting business is hard work, very hard work at times. It is building a business "from scratch" - but it is your business that you are building. It's not easy and it's not for everyone, but it is worth exploring.
© Copyright Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About This Author
Starting a Consulting Business Expert Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist, president of Discovery Surveys, Inc. and Executive Director of The Center for Independent Consulting. He is author of "An Insider's Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice" (AMACOM) and "30 Reasons Employees Hate Their Managers" (AMACOM). Reach out to Dr. Katcher for consulting assistance at BKatcher@CenterforIndependentConsulting.com, 781-784-4367, on LinkedIn at Bruce Katcher PhD, or on Twitter @BruceKatcher.
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