Considering Consulting? What Are You Waiting For?

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Are you thinking about starting your own consulting practice? Your timing couldn’t be better! Many of the people we coach want to have more control over what they do. They want to do the work that excites them and work with people that inspire them. If you’ve been dreaming about being your own boss, you are not alone. A recent study by FreshBooks shows that 27 million employees are expected to leave their nine-to-five jobs in search of a more meaningful life. They expect to join the self-employed workforce this year.

Elaine recently discussed one of her books, The New Business of Consulting, on a call-in radio show. A caller named Mary told the host that she had a great job but always dreamed of being her own boss. After 25 years, Mary finally left her secure job with a guaranteed salary and benefits. She was surprised and delighted to learn that she could make twice as much and be more satisfied with her life as a consultant.

Don’t wait to take charge of your life. The FreshBooks study found that 42% of those who will enter the self-employed workforce will likely be Millennials. They do not intend to wait around for 25 years like Mary did. They want the autonomy that self-employment delivers. They believe that it will provide more control over their careers, their work/life balance, and even their health.

Don’t miss this intriguing
webinar from HRDQ-U

Don’t miss this intriguing webinar from HRDQ-U

Going Solo: Realities and Rewards of Consulting

What about you? How do you know if you are ready to make the move? What’s holding you back?

How do you feel about the work you are currently doing?

  • Do you love getting up in the morning to go to your job?
  • Are you excited about the problems you solve and the people you work with every day?
  • Do you see a role for you in your company five years from now?
  • Does climbing that corporate ladder seem satisfying?
  • How meaningful is the work you do every day?

 

Now, consider the alternative:

  • Have you thought about consulting and using your talent, skills, knowledge, and strengths more fully to help others?
  • Are you ready to trade the hassles of your daily commute and the same old work for something more exciting?
  • Do you have expertise that is in demand?
  • Does building a life of independence and alignment sound appealing?

 

Don’t over-simplify the process. If these questions resonate with you, perhaps you are closer than you think to become a new business owner. Starting a business takes time and energy, but consulting is a relatively inexpensive and easy business to start.

Here are seven start-up tasks to put you on the right path:

  1. Ensure that you have at least six months of living expenses set aside. It takes time to get clients.
  2. Interview several consultants to explore the challenges and rewards of the profession.
  3. Think about how you could start consulting: Should you start a part-time side hustle or go full time? With a partner or alone? Work for another consulting firm or start out on your own? There is more than one way to start a consulting business – find what will work best for you.
  4. Conduct a self-assessment that measures your entrepreneurial aptitude.
  5. List what you need to do personally and professionally to make a smooth transition.
  6. Once you’re sure you want to take the leap, begin to think about the clients you’ll serve:
    • What client problems you will solve and how you will do that?
    • What competition exists?
    • Who are your ideal clients and where will you find them?
  7. Next, plan the legal and financial aspects:
    • Forming a business entity, such as an LLC or a corporation to protect your personal assets.
    • Obtaining your tax ID.
    • Creating a name for your consulting practice and obtaining a domain name that matches.
    • Starting your business plan – keep it flexible, but also think about where you want to take your business in the future.
    • Developing financial projections to determine whether consulting will be profitable.
    • List the expenses you’ll need to invest.

 

Of course, this is just a start. If all this is new to you, it may seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. That’s what we do best – help new consultants get started. We’d love to help you walk through the details, answer your questions, and guide you to the resources you need.

Are you considering consulting? What are you waiting for?

Author
Elaine Biech and Halelly Azulay next to each other and smiling
Elaine Biech and Halelly Azulay

Elaine Biech is a consultant, trainer, and author of The Washington Post #1 best seller, The Art and Science of Training. With almost four decades of experience and 85 published books, she has been called “one of the titans of the training industry.” She is a dedicated lifelong learner who believes that excellence isn’t optional. She delights in helping leaders maximize their effectiveness and guiding organizations to address large scale change. She served on ASTD’s National Board of Directors and dozens of ATD committees, received the 1992 ASTD Torch Award, 2004 ASTD Volunteer Staff Partnership Award, and 2006 Gordon Bliss Memorial Award. Elaine was the first CPLP Fellow and wrote the first Training Certificate Program. She served on CCL’s Board of Governors and the Executive Board, and continues to serve on CCL’s Editorial Board. She received the 1995 WI Women Entrepreneur Mentor Award and is on the ISA Board of Directors. Elaine is a consummate training professional who has been instrumental in guiding the talent development profession throughout her career.

Connect with Elaine on LinkedIn.

Halelly Azulay is a consultant, trainer, author, podcaster, and leadership development strategist at TalentGrow. She brings 25+ years of experience in talent development including 14 years as a leadership development consulting business owner. Her company, TalentGrow LLC, is focused on developing leaders and teams, especially for enterprises experiencing explosive growth or expansion that want a more proactive, strategic approach to leadership development. TalentGrow specializes in growing leadership capabilities, improving communication skills, building stronger teams, and upgrading emotional intelligence. Halelly is the author of two books, Employee Development on a Shoestring and Strength to Strength: How Working from Your Strengths Can Help You Lead a More Fulfilling Life. She has contributed to numerous talent development books such as ATD’s Action Guide to Talent Development, The ASTD Handbook, and The Art and Science of Training. She offers actionable leadership insights on her blog and her leadership podcast, The TalentGrow Show, where she has interviewed such legends as Daniel Pink, Dr. Beverly Kaye, Elliott Masie, and many more. Halelly is a sought-after volunteer leader and mentor in the talent development industry.

Connect with Halelly on LinkedIn.

Recommended Webinar
Going Solo: Realities and Rewards of Consulting

Want to start your own consulting business? Join Elaine Biech and Halelly Azulay for advice on starting your own consultant business.

Going Solo: Realities and Rewards of Consulting
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