When starting any new business, there are things you learn as you go. Moving from professional to consultant requires a shift in mindset. As a professional, you enjoy much less risk and greater predictability than a consultant. You work with the same people every day, use the same workspace and equipment to do your job, are granted fixed days off (paid, no less!), and have a general idea of what to expect from day-to-day.
A consultant, however, has none of that predictability, especially in the beginning. Making a change in conduct that comes easily to you would be challenging to resolve if you are a creature of habit or a social animal.
Here are some strategies to crossover from professional to consultant:
1. Accepting and managing risk:
When you decide to become a consultant, you choose to fall into the ocean without understanding its depth. You do not know what you will find under the surface, but you can decide that the risks and benefits exceed the predictability and stability. You will agree that no matter what happens, you will be fine as long as you work hard to resolve challenges and give your best.
2. Work on the side:
Continuing to work as a professional can be effective while transitioning into a consult on the side. You will feel more successful once you are relaxed and see more revenue coming in. All of this can help you move out of the corporate job.
3. Leverage Your Contacts:
Another effective strategy is to leverage the contacts that you have made over the years at your job. You have probably had hundreds of interactions with various types of people as a professional, ranging from vendors and partners to clients and customers. It will be beneficial for you to go through your database of contacts and start building those relationships. Often that relationship is established because they will respond effectively. Use that opportunity.
4. Getting used to unpredictable hours and time off:
Depending on your business and consulting work, you may have to work long hours, including weekends and holidays, to accomplish the job. Think it an opportunity to grow your company, a reward for months of hard work, or a way to give back. Downtime helps you to recharge so that you can devote your full attention to your next customer.
5. Being comfortable with change and the unknown:
Successful consultants thrive in the unknown. You never know who will be your next customer. It would be best if you acted quickly in new environments.
I encourage you to take action and follow your desires and passion. Do not overthink it. Start moving in that direction, and the faster you take the first move, the sooner you will reach your desired destination.
If you’d like to learn more to get your consulting business up, Contact us now!