But what is it really like working for yourself? Well, here is a condensed, 360 view of being a consultant, solopreneur or coach.
1. You get to finally be your own boss
Even if you have the greatest boss in the world, you’ve probably had issues with him/her at one point. We cannot agree on everything, but if you start your own consulting business, you are your own boss and make your own rules.
2. You don’t have to worry about office politics
No more gossip at the water cooler or someone else trying to take credit for your work. You don’t have co-workers (though you may hire a team as your business grows), so less people drama and inter-office issues.
3. You can earn as much or even more than your last salary
Contrary to what you may think and certainly what I teach my clients, you DON’T have to settle for low fees. In the corporate world, you may be limited by lack of growth opportunities and salary caps, but when you are bringing in the money, you set the income goals.
With targeted, focused marketing strategies, you can build your reputation, attract a steady customer base and get paid what you’re worth. Often a lot more than if you were working for someone else.
4. You get leverage your expertise, experience and skills in new ways
The best part of being a consultant is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or learn a whole new skill. You can transform and package your years of expertise, knowledge and business successes into value-based programs, services and products for your ideal clients.
People will pay for your knowledge base, industry connections, and business insight. You get to teach, coach and advise people on topics you already know.
5. You get to work as much or as little as you want
We all have stories about working on a project or initiative that we hate or not being able to maximize your top skills on a job. Well, when you are taking on clients and new projects, you can decide which ones are worth your time.
Sure, there will be cases when you try something for the first time or take on a client to boost your cash flow, but in the end, the choice is still yours.
6. You get try out your creative and innovative muscles
One of the biggest benefits that keeps people tied to a job is the steady paycheck and income. When you run your own business, a company could cut its budget, a client could get sick or the economy could shift and overnight, your business income and cash flow is compromised.
To have a steady, consistent income means you step outside your comfort zone, you diversify your offerings, you have different pricing models and you package, re-package and change your services as needed. That takes creativity!
5. You find your inner strength and motivation
Not having a boss breathing down your neck or a structured workday may feel like infinite freedom. However, as a consultant, you can quickly become unproductive and stressed without the outside motivation.
Plus, if you’re working from home, you’ll find there’s a lot more distractions there than at an office.
To be successful, you have to learn how to keep yourself on task and understand the Monday for you is the same as Monday morning for your corporate friends.