Andy, a friend of mine that is also a recruiter, showed me a idea that I had only allowed myself to marginally consider. He took a chance and started his own practice and it is working out very nicely for him. He said, “Take those networking contacts that you have and turn them into prospective clients.” Why not? If I really want to take charge of my destiny I should go out on my own and sell my time for my expertise and never have to work for another boss again.
Along the lines of my post “The Entrepreneur,” I’ve been giving my vocation some series noodle time. After all, I’ve got all the time in the day to think (and, unfortunately, trying to fall asleep, too). Sure, it’d be great to start my own IT consulting practice; being my own boss, etc. But the thought of managing all of that makes me cringe. I could do the work, no question. I’m highly skilled in IT Project Management – infrastructure, datacenters, managing teams, etc., but it is the sales part of the gig that would be the tough part.
I think the hardest part of the consulting is that you’ve got to “fill your own pipeline.” Right? You have to go out and drum up the business, then you have to satisfy the project scope, then you are out of work again. Repeat. The trick to me seems to be implementing a rolling wave. In project management we talk about a rolling wave as a continuous sine wave. On the up slope of the wave we are planning the work. On the down slope we are doing the work. But with consulting I think you have to start planning (finding additional work) before you reach to bottom of the slope.
If I’m unemployed long enough I’m going to reach out to my business network to see if there are some extra projects that they have that they’d consider my help with. I think that is a way to ease my way into consulting. Dipping my toe in the water instead of jumping in off of the high dive! I’ve already got some ideas on how I’d market myself for this type of work. CIO On Demand, IT Project Manager and Business Continuity specialist, for starters.
In the meantime, I’m still looking for full-time employment with strong and growing companies.
Let me hear from you. Have any of you started your own IT Consulting practice where you’d like to post a Comment to share with our readers?
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