From Employee to Consultant – the Transition
There is so much damn talent in the Boomer pool. As part of that generation, I’m continually fascinated by the number of us who have zero interest in really retiring. Sure, most want to get out of the structure and politics of Corporate USA, but they aren’t ready to drive a golf cart around the Villages in Florida yet – they want to share their brain power and get paid for it.
Many execs I talk to are fascinated with the prospect of becoming a business coach or a consultant specific to their field of expertise – be it operations, leadership, sales or marketing. Some get even more granular and are industry specific such as finance, manufacturing or insurance. They want the flexibility, they want to choose who they work with, and they want to feel like they have purpose – that they are creating a legacy.
The roadblock happens when they actually have to launch a business and market themselves. Most stop at this point and determine it’s not worth the effort – they become overwhelmed and either stick with their job for another 10 years or head to Boca and become snowbirds.
It’s not that difficult to make the transition. It’s a process.
- The key is to flesh out your biz idea while at your current job. Let’s actually find out what your target client profile is, what you will charge, what your capacity is, and hell – let’s land a few clients. In other words – let’s try it before you commit.
- In the consulting world – you don’t NEED a ton of clients to make 6 figures. You just need the right ones. (see the first bullet)
- You do need to be a biz owner – so you have to set up an LLC, get insurance, hire an accountant and an attorney, manage the books and pay taxes – oh and find damn health insurance which is often a big expense. If you can ride the health insurance coattails of a spouse or partner – that’s a win!
- You do need to market yourself and be a salesperson. This is the part where most execs melt down – but deep breath, this isn’t all that difficult. No need for a 5 figure website and fancy branding package to start – let’s first see if you like it. Next, we start with your current network – there is a ton of low hanging fruit to tap into for your first clients. Once you’ve decided to go forward, setting up a simple website and building out content, nurturing your pipeline and clients will be important. That’s Phase 2 and you can always outsource that part – marketing is a revenue generator not an expense.
I’ve coached countless people through this process with grand results. Plus, I’m one of “those” – I left my corporate job to become a biz coach and marketing consultant/implementor. In other words – I’ve been in your shoes.
If you aren’t ready to retire – don’t. Consider the consultant gig – it’s beyond rewarding on so many levels. Legacy type rewarding – you are literally will change lives and make a great living doing it…on your terms since YOU are the CEO.