Previous Lecture Complete and continue  

  Consulting

  • I think I want to work through consulting firms. Will you teach us how to do that?

    Yes! This is one of my favorite things to teach. I worked for two global consulting / staffing firms as a recruiter, sales person and manager. Since becoming a consultant, I’ve worked with even more firms. I know that business inside and out (the good, the bad and the “are you kidding me?!)

  • What if I hate consulting and want to go back to working as a full-time employee? Will I be able to do that?

    Yes! Absolutely. 20 years ago (when I first started recruiting consultants), companies were skittish about hiring people as full-time employees (if they had been consultants for 3 or more years), but those days are long gone. If you’re clear about why you want to go back to working as a full-time employee (and communicate that openly with them), it will not be a problem.

  • How do I know if I am good enough to be a consultant?

    If you know more about your specialty than the person you want to hire you, you are good enough to be a consultant! The real question is this: good enough for what? For example, if you have only 3 years of experience with cloud-based Agile technology plus DevOps experience with PaaS and IaaS, you can probably write your own ticket anywhere. Consulting firms and companies are screaming for you! Here's another example: If you've worked as a Director of Nursing for years in small clinics, it would be easy for you to become a consultant helping small clinics hire and retain nurses. You could also find work at large hospitals, but it would be a harder sale than going where you have already have significant experience, reputation and relationships. One more example for you: Let’s say you have just 4 years of experience designing marketing materials ... but it has all been for large retail organizations. You would know WAY more than owners of most small retail businesses and could launch right now as a consultant helping them.

  • How will I find the gigs? I know I want to be a consultant, but I am really scared I won’t be able to find work.

    I’m glad you’re thinking about this. You do need to know how to find the work. This course will show you how to do it. There are several common mistakes that prevent consultants from finding consistent work. The most common mistakes are these: lack of focus (trying to be all things to all people), relying on only one channel to find work (applying online only, for instance), relying on only 1-2 clients to keep them busy (you can’t have all your eggs in one basket … no matter how great that basket is right now!), unclear messaging (people don’t understand what they can do for them) and lack of networking. This course will teach you how to mitigate all those challenges.

  • I don’t know how to sell. The truth is, I don’t want to know how to sell. Does that mean I can’t become a consultant?

    Not at all! I didn’t always know how to sell, either! In fact, in the beginning I didn’t even want to tell people that I was in sales. But I remember how scared I was in the beginning. That’s why I designed this course to help you figure out who you want to help … and how … before you start looking for work. My easy exercises will help you figure out what your superpower is (market niche) AND who needs your help the most. By the time you hit the streets to look for your first project, you won’t be thinking “Now I have to go sell myself.” Instead, you’ll be thinking “Who am I gonna get to help today?” It’s a really powerful shift! Once I made that shift in my thinking & my approach, everything changed for me. It got really fun to market my business. Today, I am proud to say that I am in sales because I know that I am helping people get what they need … when they need it.

    Here's the reality: we all need to sell (promote) ourselves. I think you’ll discover that you have actually been selling yourself … at least a little bit … already. Whether you choose to pursue consulting career or stay a full-time employee, that is the truth: you still need to know how to sell yourself. In a world where people are changing jobs every 4.2 years, that is just the reality these days. You will certainly have to do it more often as a consultant (and I’ll show you how), but it’s a skill you will never regret learning.

  • What about healthcare, 401K and taxes? Are you factoring in that you have to pay your own benefits?

    Absolutely! Very much so. I hired consultants for over 10 years (and with every single one, it was my job to help them make sure they could afford to cover their own benefits and taxes). Plus, I have lived it with my own family for 12 years (taking care of my own benefits). It’s a big deal, and I am so glad you are already thinking about that! You have GOT to be thinking about it, because (as you clearly know already) you will be paying for your own benefits. And, if you choose to work as a 1099, you will need to pay your own taxes. I cover this in Lesson Two (Test the Waters) and again in Lesson Three (How to get paid) of this course. I walk through the key differences between the three ways to get paid (traditional W2 salaried employee with benefits, W2 hourly with limited or no benefits and 1099 independent contractor (where you will need to get your own benefits). You need to understand the cost, and make sure you charge enough to cover those costs.
    The good news it, companies know that 1099 contractors need to cover those costs (because they won’t have to cover those costs for you), and they expect to pay you more money as an independent contractor. Another great thing is that it has gotten so much easier to shop around (and compare prices) for healthcare benefits online. As an example, a recent study by HIRED highlights that the average tech consultant makes MORE money and works FEWER hours than the average full time (employee) tech worker:

    “In the US, a 1099 technical contractor working 40 hours per week is paid an average of $147,680 annually — a full $24,918 more than a full-time W-2 employee working the same number of hours for an average $122,762 salary. Considering that many tech workers work more than 40 hours a week, paid-by-the-hour contractors are enjoying the benefits of working a standard work week while still getting higher pay.” (Global Flex Report: State of Contract Work by HIRED)

  • What if you don’t have credentials or degrees to support this fabulous approach to work?

    Without knowing what industry you are in, and what type of work you want to do, I can’t tell you if it will matter for you. A good indicator is this: if you can get a full-time job without the advanced degrees and credentials, you can get consulting gigs without them. Some fields do require advanced education (engineering, for instance), but there are plenty of fields where they are a nice-to-have, not a gotta-have. Lesson Two in my course will show you how to do market research to find out what you need. The market research exercises there will show you how to go find out what’s really needed in your market. I understand your concern. In the beginning, I felt uncomfortable that I did not have more degrees and certifications to my name. I thought I needed them. I was insecure and constantly had to fight the little voice telling me “You’re not good enough.” But you know what? I was! In my 12 years of working as a consultant, I have only had a handful of people ever ask me about my certifications! And they still hired me.

    Bottom line: What companies really want is people with solid experience, and an ability to deliver results.

  • I am 62 years old. Is it too late to make a change like this?

    Absolutely not! In fact, many people step into consulting for the first time when they retire because they still have energy and enthusiasm for work, but they don’t want to be chained to one company and one desk. You have so much to offer! Experience. Grace under pressure. I could introduce you to tons of people who became consultants over the age of 60 … from all walks of life, in all lines of work.

  • I am 26 years old. Am I too young to become a consultant?

    That really depends on what you want to do. Your age does not matter; your level of experience is what matters. If you know more than the people you are helping, you can become a consultant. Do you have significant experience in one industry or field? In Lesson Two of my course, I will teach you how to go do market research to find out what is needed in your market, and to figure out if you have any significant gaps in your experience.

    The correct answer really depends on what you want to do – for whom. If you want to advise Fortune 100 companies on international sales strategy, then you need to have solid (successful) experience selling internationally for Fortune 100 companies. If you don’t have that experience, you are not ready to become a consultant in that arena.

    By the time I was 24 years old, I had 8 years of experience working with customers (retail and restaurant experience). Most restaurants and retail chains do a very poor job of training and retaining young workers. I chose to become a recruiter at that time, but looking back, I could have easily become a consultant helping restaurants and retail chains hire, train and retain young workers more effectively. I had been hiring and training in new staff for 4 of those 8 years.

  • I think I want to work through consulting firms. Will you teach me how to do that?

    Yes! This is one of my favorite things to teach. I worked for two global consulting / staffing firms as a recruiter, sales person and manager. Since becoming a consultant, I have worked with even more firms. I know that business inside and out (the good, the bad and the “are you kidding me?!) In Lesson Two (test the waters), I will teach you how to work with firms like that and give you 20 smart questions to ask before you say yes to a gig with a firm.

  • How will I know how much to charge?

    Yes! This is one of my favorite things to teach. I worked for two global consulting / staffing firms as a recruiter, sales person and manager. Since becoming a consultant, I have worked with even more firms. I know that business inside and out (the good, the bad and the “are you kidding me?!) In Lesson Two (test the waters), I will teach you how to work with firms like that and give you 20 smart questions to ask before you say yes to a gig with a firm.

  • What if I do not know what I want to do? I’ve been so busy working hard, doing great in the job I had (and raising my kids), this is the first time I have stopped to think about what I want to do next in my career in 20 years!

    Lesson One (How to find your superpower / market niche) is built for you! It’s got a series of easy, inspiring and high-impact exercises to help you figure out three things: What you love to do, what you do NOT want to do and what your most marketable skills are. Basically, Lesson One will help you find your “sweet spot.” Lesson Two (how to test the waters) will teach you how to go do market research to find out what’s out there. As you move through the course, you will start to get some significant clarity around that is possible and what you want to do. lastly, you can start small (just doing side gigs). You can start easy (working through consulting and staffing firms) before you go big (start your own business and become an independent consultant).

  • What are good questions for doing market research?

    I teach this in Lesson Two (How to test the waters). You will receive a list of really good questions to ask people in your target market.

  • I like your “start easy” (side gig) option. A lot! How do I make sure I won’t get fired for doing side gigs?

    Boy, am I glad you are thinking about that! You do have to protect your full-time job if you choose the “start easy” option. I am so concerned about this, I dedicated a section in Lesson Two (Start small: How to pick up a side gig) to this topic. I called it “9 ways to avoid getting fired.” You will like it! If you follow those simple steps, you can avoid any nasty surprised with your current employer.

Discussion
0 comments