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Updated by Brian Clark on Oct 10, 2014
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Brian Clark Brian Clark
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Why you should not be a consultant.

I work with plenty of consultants. Some are employed in firms and some have their own businesses. Too many consultants are not prepared to be in business on their own. Here are some watch-outs if you are considering such a move.

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7

Money, money, money.

Well if you are responsible for your own income you can be wildly successful or struggling to fill the rice bowl. If you can't handle the lack 'so called security' from a job then do not become a consultant.

6

Generating business means selling!

Generating business means selling!

How many times do I meet with persons wanting to be a consultant but don't not like sales. You do not need to like sales but you must DO sales. Otherwise you can spend your days staring into your ThinkPad wondering how to pay for your car and house. Get real and get selling.

5

What do you do?

What do you do?

Sure you can be a consultant but what do you do? The most common ones are leadership, sales, marketing, recruitment and so on. You need to be very clear on what you deliver to your clients. What questions are they asking for which you are the answer. If you go for some generic area such as marketing then make sure you have differentiators worked out.

4

Who do I work with?

Who do I work with?

You need to have a very clear image of your ideal client etched into your grey matter. The ideal clients need to be defined such that you have clarity to focus your marketing and communications.

3

Time & productivity

Time & productivity

The best consultants are the most organised. To be super successful you have to balance business development, project delivery and IP development in your weekly routine. You need to adopt world's best productivity practices and use tools you can trust. You cannot afford to go a few weeks without business development just because you have a client project. You have to do it all. You an outsource some of the basics but the main game is still yours to play.

2

Thought leadership.

Thought leadership.

Thought leadership need not be a TedX invitation. You need to be out there writing, commenting and publishing. Do not get too hung up on how many platforms and tools you use to publish. The first point is get a blog going and after that you can expand depending upon your target markets, ideal clients and so forth. There is nothing worse [almost] than going to a consultants website and seeing the last blog post was made over three months ago.

1

You gotta love it.

You gotta love it.

Do not get into consulting unless you are super excited about the work you do. You will work all sorts of hours and there are no set times when you run your own business. So if you need to do some work on a Saturday morning you are likely to do quality work if you love it. If it is a grind then you will lose interest and your work and business will slip. This is one of the reasons so many of us go into consulting. We are passionate about ideas and working in our selected consulting areas means we are not keeping track of time and not fretting about missing out on something else because we are working.

8

Need credit?

Need credit?

If you want to buy a house or make any large purchase, you may be asked to fill out a credit approval form. Work for several employers can be a problem. Gaps in employment can be a problem. Your work as consultant is likely to make you look like a credit risk.

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