I get at least a dozen e-mails each month from people asking for my advice on whether they should become a consultant. Becoming a consultant isn't as easy as it sounds. Or, should I say, while it's easy to call yourself a consultant, the likelyhood of you becoming a successful consultant is not that great. There are definite perceived pros and cons to becoming a consultant (watch the video above where we highlight how consultants are viewed these days.) Now, even though the statistics indicate many will fail at becoming a consultant, my response to these folks is always, “Yes." I actually think everyone should try at least once in their career to be a consultant. Why? It shows you have just what it takes to run a business - a business-of-one to be exact. And, I think it's a must-do these days since, in reality, we are all businesses-of-one. Gone are the days where we work for a company for 20 years, get a gold watch and a retirement package. Today, EVERY job is temporary. Which means, your current employer is your client - and they could drop you at any time. So, when we decide to take control and determine our expertise and how we could use it towards becoming a consultant, we also start to recognize how to manage our careers like a business. And that is one of the most valuable things you can do to stay employable today. Does that mean you should quit your day job and become a consultant immediately? Not at all! Instead, you need to plan carefully and follow six steps to becoming a consultant. Becoming a consultant (or at least trying to become one) has enormous upside. And, if you do it carefully, you can minimize the risk and improve the rewards!
March 13, 2012