I talk to many creative people who want to turn their passions or hobbies into a career in the consulting business that will allow them to quit their day job. They have big dreams fueled by the profound sense of unhappiness they feel heading into their job day after day. But, usually, there are 3 things they don’t consider before making the leap into consulting full-time.
I, myself, learned some of these lessons the hard way. 😂
1. Working for yourself is WORK. Hard work. Some of which you won’t get paid for.
When you first start planning to work for yourself, you may not think about all the extra work you will do that you DON’T get paid for directly. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks and responsibilities that have to be taken care of that no one pays you for if you’re a one or two-person show. For example:
Business planning – This can be a big timesuck if you do it right. You could spend hours and hours on branding and marketing plans or you could shell out money to have someone else do it for you.
Accounting – Keeping track of finances, even with top-of-the-line accounting software takes time and resources.
Technology – if you have a website, Facebook page, Instagram account, Etsy store, analytics accounts – who is managing that for you?
Prospecting – looking to add clients? Chances are you will spend lots of time in the courting phase before you even…uh, score with them.
Note: I type this at 5 o’clock in the evening and have been up since 5 am. I will probably bank 11-12 hours of total work time today, much of which isn’t actually billable.
2. Some people are employees and others are bosses.
There’s no other way to put this, but some people shouldn’t work for themselves because their personalities scream “employee.”
An employee personality is someone who constantly needs direction, approval, and permission.
If you’re stepping out on your own, you are the end-all be-all. If you aren’t a self-starter who can roll with the punches, make things happen, and handle being the HBIC – rethink your desire to strike out on your own.
One thing to keep in mind is, you may start off with an employee mindset simply because this is what you are used to. Don’t let this discourage you. Keep working at it and break into boss-mode. If you screw up (and you WILL screw up,) dust yourself off and try again.
3. Luck is unheard of.
If you’re sitting on your hands waiting for someone to notice how truly amazing you are, you better pack it up, babe.
This is one of my favorite quotes—and I apologize because I don’t remember who said it:
“Luck is half preparation and half opportunity.”
If your big break comes and you’re not ready to grab it by the short and curlies and take it for the ride of your life, then luck is just another thing that’s passed you by.
Work, then work, then work some more. Then, when the opportunity comes, you’ll be ready to pounce.
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