The Consultant Gig – can you make it happen?

Cindy DonaldsonEntrepreneur, Featured, Must Read Blogs, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

RBC Consulting

Lately, I’ve been chatting with more than one “Mid-Life Re-brander” – those who have lived in Corporate America for a bit, gained a ton of knowledge and skills, and now in their 50’s and 60’s wants to leave and become a consultant.

The reality is, most won’t do it because it’s tough and scary leaving a 6-figure job and benefits to face the unknown. I know – I’ve been there, but I did it.

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The solution is, you need to test the waters – dip your toes into the world of Consulting. Find a few clients, try your skills, and see if you are good at it, and more importantly do you like it! The secret is doing this while you still have a 9-5 gig.

Disclosure: Some companies forbid side work while in their employ, so you need to check out your employment agreement and non-competes. Typically, if you aren’t taking money away from them, you are fine. Better safe than sorry, if you are at all iffy, contact an attorney and ask.

Here’s how to get started and get to 100K+ in revenue fairly quickly:

  1. Super Powers. What are you great at and love to do. What can you get lost in for hours? This is obviously a key component of success. You need to clearly define what you will be offering.
  2. Your early adopters. Once you figure out what your “offer” will be, you need to hone in on some early adopters who have a specific pain point that your offer solves. Make a list.
  3. Create a mini business plan. This doesn’t have to be a novel but you need something! What will your offer look like to your early adopters – what will the deliverables be, what will the cost be, what will the turn around be, and how will you do the work, so it won’t interfere with your job.
  4. Begin approaching your early adopters and sharing your idea with some key people in your network.
  5. Sign up 1 client. Test your new offer, tweak as needed. When you feel confident you delivered as promised and you enjoyed the process – go for Client #2. Rinse & Repeat
  6. Pick a Date. You’ve tested the waters and decided you can make this work. Set a date that you will exit your 9-5. Write it down.
  7. Pick a Dollar Amount. Determine how much you need to make in recurring income per month before your due date. Now work backwards to ensure your price point and working capacity matches. This is money you NEED versus what you WANT.
  8. Make sure you have a viable pipeline to add to the workload once you leave – you should have at least 5-7K in recurring income by the time you leave your job, and then be able to increase that immediately with new income streams.
  9. Bridges Secure. Don’t burn bridges with your current employer – in fact they may be an ideal client! (PS. I did this and secured $60K in revenue my first year in business at Red Barn). If you are great at your job, your boss may not want to let you go. Having you as a 1099 will cost them less and you can still be a viable team member – allowing for a slow transition out if that works for everyone!
  10. Go Time. Stick to your date unless there are real extenuating circumstances such as illness.

The 10-Steps may seem simple, and in fact the process is, but don’t be fooled, there is a lot of hard work involved. Early mornings, weekends, and nights working on and in your new business model. It’s far easier easing into the Consulting world than leaping in without a cushion.

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