According to the small business administration, half of all start-up businesses fail within five years. Responsibility for success or failure rests almost entirely with the histiocytoma dog castor oil person who started the business. Some of the reasons include mistaking a business for a histiocytoma dog castor oil hobby; asking friends and relatives for advice; mismanaging money; lack of a business plan; poor or no marketing; lack of pricing knowledge; inability to manage growth; lack of commitment; failure to set and revise goals; inability to develop, monitor, and understand financial statements; inability to balance business and family; and underestimation of time requirements.
Even though many consultants charge over $2,000 a day, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll “get rich” as a consultant. Without an employer to share the burden, you’ll still have to set aside money for taxes and histiocytoma dog castor oil benefits like health and life insurance and retirement. On top of that, you can’t do billable work five days a week because you’ll need to allot time for preparation, marketing, and administrative work. You can definitely make a living doing this work, but don’t expect to make a killing. 3. You’ll give up the security blanket that is a regular histiocytoma dog castor oil guaranteed income.
One reason people go to work for companies is to histiocytoma dog castor oil have a guaranteed income. There is a lot to be said for the reassuring histiocytoma dog castor oil promise of a steady, predictable paycheck. But — oh no! — there is no such security for consultants. You are responsible for acquiring business, servicing clients to their satisfaction, and billing promptly to keep the cash flowing. 4. Clients don’t always pay on time.
Clients don’t always pay their invoices on time, or at all, in some cases. That means that you have to continuously generate enough work histiocytoma dog castor oil (and stay on top of billing) to maintain a steady cash flow in case money you histiocytoma dog castor oil counted on doesn’t arrive. It also means learning to live with the psychological burden histiocytoma dog castor oil of not knowing when (or even if) a check will come through — and, depending on your personality type, that can be a heavy burden. 5. You might be disrespected or viewed with suspicion.
There’s a lot of negativity around the consulting field, and you’ll have to have a thick skin to handle being histiocytoma dog castor oil called a “beltway bandit,” conman, pest, or worse. I’ve been called all three of these names! There are many charlatans out there, so in some cases the negativity is deserved. In addition, the profession lacks legal standards or legitimate certification. But there are also lots of great consultants as well; unfortunately, they must often fight a battle of trust due to histiocytoma dog castor oil poor ethics or overcharging by a consultant who worked with histiocytoma dog castor oil a client previously. 6. You won’t always win the client…
You’ll be working for clients who go to work early, have tight deadlines, and experience huge pressures. This often translates to doing 12 hours or more a histiocytoma dog castor oil day of sustained work for your clients — more if you take them to dinner after the workday. And depending on your client load, you could be working with multiple people inside several different histiocytoma dog castor oil companies each week and dealing with various personalities and sets histiocytoma dog castor oil of office politics. It can wear you down, which is why it’s so important to make time for self-care and relaxation during your time off. 8. Your client roster will stay in flux.
You may have 11 clients today, but that could change tomorrow. A change in the economic climate or the industry, or even a change in leadership, could end a project abruptly. This possibility means that you must constantly market yourself and histiocytoma dog castor oil network so you don’t end up with only one or two clients. 9. Any semblance of work/life balance may go out the window.
Consulting life may sound glamorous, but it’s really about long hours and a lot of work. Like most entrepreneurs, consultants spend 60 to 80 hours a week getting their histiocytoma dog castor oil business up and running during the first year and beyond. You’ll wake up for 4:00 a.M. Flights and spend countless hours waiting in the airport. You’ll miss out on plenty of family dinners and often histiocytoma dog castor oil arrive home well after midnight. Weekends often aren’t free either, and you often devote them to catching up, making phone calls, and even traveling. (remember, if you travel on a monday, you will lose a billable day of work.) 10. Let’s be clear: traveling will consume your life.
Working for yourself can be an isolating experience. On top of that, there’s no one to help you when you’re overloaded with work. This is why some consultants choose to hire people, from an assistant to answer phones to creating a partnership histiocytoma dog castor oil with another consultant to complete the workload. This, of course, means taking on the burden of generating more income (to pay the second person) or facing the growing pains of expanding your business. 12. You’ll struggle to get good food and enough exercise.
Traveling means that spending time with friends is harder to histiocytoma dog castor oil schedule and carry out. When you fly back into town on a friday evening, it’s usually too late to make weekend plans for social histiocytoma dog castor oil activities. And if you do have something planned, you may need to cancel when a crisis comes up. It is possible to maintain an active social life when histiocytoma dog castor oil doing this work: you just have to be thoughtful with your scheduling and histiocytoma dog castor oil grab opportunities when you can. 14. You will miss your loved ones at home.
When they’re not traveling, many consultants work in a home office. This has some obvious pros, like enjoying privacy and working in sweatpants, but the biggest drawback is the constant distraction. Your mind will wander off to any number of personal histiocytoma dog castor oil projects. Your dogs will bark, and if you have kids, you can count on having them barge in when you’re on an important phone call.
Some aspects of consulting really do suck — and it’s best to know up front what you’re getting into. But that is also true of any job. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll have the energy to power through the demands and histiocytoma dog castor oil you’ll enjoy clients and your work. When you deliver outstanding work that you truly believe in histiocytoma dog castor oil and care about, you’ll feel great about yourself — and that great feeling makes all the rest worthwhile.
Elaine biech is the author of “ the new business of consulting: the basics and beyond“. She is a dedicated lifelong learner who believes that excellence histiocytoma dog castor oil isn’t optional. As a consultant, trainer, and president of ebb associates for more than 35 years, she helps global organizations to work through large-scale change and leaders to maximize their effectiveness. She has published 85 books, including the washington post #1 bestseller “ the art and science of training“.
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