I work for a multinational company. I’m burned out on the job.
I think about stepping out on my own all the time. When the time is right, I want to become an independent consultant.
I know several people who consult in my industry. They earn a lot more money than I do and they have more free time.
How would I know if I’m the type who will be successful as an independent consultant, versus someone who will crash and burn in six months?
I live in a townhouse with two roommates right now so this is the perfect time for me to make a leap. My expenses are not too bad.
What do you think?
I think it’s magnificent that you’re contemplating self-employment, whether 2018 turns out to be the perfect time for your entrepreneurial leap or not.
Here are five signs you’re cut out for self-employment and ready to take the plunge:
1. You know one or more areas where you can help businesses and/or individuals solve a pressing pain point. If you aren’t sure what kind of pain you can solve or who has that pain, now may not be the best time to launch your consulting business.
2. You have a network of contacts who can recommend you to prospective clients, and you are ready to go out and grow your network even more.
3. You have the flexibility to launch your consulting business part-time alongside your full-time job or job search — or you have a financial cushion to sustain you if your consulting practice takes a year or more to bear fruit.
4. You are comfortable wearing all the hats in your new company, from chief strategist to customer service agent. You are comfortable shifting between roles many times during the day. You are ready to try something new whenever you need to and learn from your experiences.
5. You are comfortable negotiating consulting fees, setting boundaries with clients and prospects and generally conducting yourself like any CEO would.
Here are five signs you might not be ready to dive into independent consulting right now:
1. You are most comfortable and successful in a job when there is someone telling you what to do all the time. You don’t like to make decisions on your own.
2. You want to go to one building every work day and do the same things you always do, with the same people, and as little change or disruption in your routine as possible.
3. You don’t like to learn new things.
4. You would trade almost anything for financial security.
5. You hate the idea of having to tell a prospective client what you would charge them for a project. You hate talking about money.
Ask the people who know you best what they think about your entrepreneurial plans and their timing. If you are ready to take the first step, do it! Your trusty gut is always your best guide.