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7 Signs You Should Become An Independent Consultant

You Feel Like You’re Not Making The Impact You Could

Do you feel content with your corporate job…but deep down, you know there is something missing?

A few years ago, independent consultant Dan Pontefract was on vacation, looking out at the final Maui sunset before heading home.

Dan had an amazing gig at Telus, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies.

The company even created a role for him as the “Chief Envisioner.”

Despite the fact that he was thriving in his corporate life, he couldn’t help but think about starting his own consulting business.

As he looked over the water, he heard his father’s voice…

“Dan, don’t you think it’s time to put on your big-boy pants?”

Deep down, Dan felt as though he could create a bigger impact if he went out on his own.

The last thing he wanted was to live a life of regret.

You Want To Earn A Higher Income

How much money can you make as an independent consultant?

As much as you want.

As an independent consultant, you have unlimited income potential.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re magically going to make 7-figures in your first year in business.

Like anything else, earning a higher income as an independent consultant takes time, experience, and hard work.

But here’s an important difference between your salary as an employee vs your income as an independent consultant:

  • As an employee, your employer determines how much you make.
  • As an independent consultant, you determine how much you make.

As an independent consultant, you determine how you’re paid.

You could charge by the hour.

Or, you could charge by the project.

You Feel Like You’re Lacking Control

Are you tired of taking orders all the time?

Would you rather work with a flexible schedule that matches your energy — instead of being forced to work 9-5?

According to our Marketing for Consultants Study, a flexible schedule is one of the top 3 reasons people become independent consultants.

There’s nothing like waking up when you want to wake up, working on the projects you chose (instead of ones that were assigned to you), and knowing that you can work hours that work best for you.

As an independent consultant, you have more choice over how you spend your day:

  • What type of projects you’ll work on
  • Who you’ll serve: handpick your clients
  • When you’ll work: set your own schedule
  • How you’ll work: your own unique process and methods
  • Why you’ll work: using your business as a vehicle to create the world you want to live in

If it’s more freedom and flexibility that you’re looking for, then your corporate career will never be able to match independent consulting.

You’re Not Learning New Skills

Does every day at work feel like “groundhog day” — a repeat of yesterday?

Sure, it might not be stressful…but the monotony and routine are boring.

You work on the same types of projects and do the same tasks every single day.

People get bored of their jobs because they stop learning.

Continuous learning is essential if you want to advance in your career — and for many, you can’t get that learning in your corporate job.

However, as an independent consultant, you’ll be forced to learn continuously.

You’re More Than Just A “Pair Of Hands”

At your job, are you doing more than just providing a “pair of hands”?

Are you providing your knowledge and expertise to your company?

Example: You’re a software engineer, and instead of spending your entire day writing code, you are also helping the company make important decisions: how to structure the engineering team, what technology to use and why, hiring and training junior engineers, etc.

Remember — consulting is the business of providing knowledge and expertise to clients to help them solve problems and reach their goals.

It’s different from freelancing, where you are functioning similar to an employee.

As a consultant, you are advising your clients. They aren’t bringing you in to write code for them. They would hire a freelancer for that.

Instead, they’re bringing you in to tell them what kind of code to write, how to write it, best practices for writing code, etc.

You Were Laid Off At Your Job

Have you been recently laid off at your 9-5 job?

This is actually a common reason why people become consultants.

Think of it this way.

When you’re laid off at your job, you begin the job-hunting process.

  • Upgrade your resume
  • Improve your LinkedIn profile
  • Reach out to your first and second-degree connections
  • Start learning new skills
  • Apply for jobs
  • You are doing all of these things as an independent consultant

Instead of upgrading your resume, you are upgrading your public-facing marketing materials: your consulting website, your bio, etc

Instead of applying for jobs, you are looking for new clients

You’ve Got The “Itch” To Start A Business

After interviewing hundreds of successful consultants on the Consulting Success® Podcast, we’ve learned that many of them got the “itch” to start a consulting business.

And that’s what prompted them to go out and become an independent consultant.

The “itch” is something you can’t ignore.

It’s that voice you hear in the back of your head.

The good thing about independent consulting is that it is a low-risk, high-reward business.

It’s low-risk because you can choose high-profit margins.

As a consultant, what’s in your head — your knowledge and expertise — is your product.

nd independent consulting is a high-reward business for all the reasons we’ve outlined in this article:

  • You choose your level of income.
  • You choose your schedule.
  • You choose the services you offer and the clients you work with.

If you’ve got the itch to start a business — but are scared of the “risks” of other forms of entrepreneurship — then independent consulting is perfect for you.

It removes a lot of the risk, but provides you with the same upside.

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