Kenjie Davis shared both the perks and challenges of becoming a consultant and lessons learned as he has built his own practice. The key lessons are there is no one solid path to being a consultant, developing a network is key as word of mouth will be your strongest advertisement and sometimes you have to take on side hustles before your consulting business becomes successful.
We had 10 consultants on our call that shared their stories including some with newer startups. Their expertise ranged in strategic planning, medical/technology writing, information technology services, and association management system assistance. The experience has been more pros than cons for each person. While our call consisted of independent consultants, there is another option for those who may want to have a greater safety net while starting in the space. There are many consulting companies out there that are already established and you can always join one of those.
So you what happens if you still decide to go on your own?
You are the boss. This is both a pro and con as it means you are responsible for every aspect of your business. Yes, you can pay someone to help do things such as build a website or manage the finances, but you may not have the funds for that in the beginning. You will need to think through a plan of how you will handle finances, marketing, legal set up, technology and the various projects.
Build your network. Your network will bring you more business than any other method of advertisement. Attend events, participate in online groups, volunteer for a local nonprofit who can later serve as a reference and reach out to other consultants who may need your help on a project.
Research. Read books on consulting and business building. Visit various websites. Utilize your network for feedback.
Get a coach. This will allow you to bounce ideas off of a third party as you are building your business and if coaching is part of your business it always helps to say you utilize a coach too.
The group recommended several books for those who are thinking of starting their own practice to read. The books are:
Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty
Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork
Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy
Book Yourself Solid
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