Why I quit consulting to make a living online
A few years ago, I suddenly found myself without a job. This was a bit of a shock as I had just completed my MBA degree, resigned from the government, and moved to a new city to take up a senior management position at an international training agency. It seemed like my future was ready. I seemed to be on the threshold of an international professional career for the remaining 15 to 20 years of my working life.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately as it turned out, when I took that new job, it quickly became apparent that I had jumped aboard a sinking ship. In a matter of 17 short and hectic months, my brief career at that agency ended. Soon after, that organization lost its funding and disappeared in the twilight.
Starting over isn’t always easy
Finding myself unemployed for the first time in my 25-year working life, my initial impulse was to put myself into reaction mode and immediately start looking for another regular position, or a “job-job” as I now call those conventional types of work. jobs. After all, that’s all I had really known up to that point in my life.
A few times over the years I was on the verge of escaping from the bureaucracy, but fear and life circumstances always conspired against me. Invariably I think of the “easiest, softest way.” After all, there is nothing safer than receiving a predictable paycheck every two weeks, automatically, like clockwork, for life. (Yawn … wake me up when it’s over!) As it turned out, I didn’t even have to make the decision for myself; a board of directors did it for me when they decided to eliminate my job.
Fortunately for me, before I panicked and jumped into serious job search mode, I realized that more than 25 years living from one salary to another and achieving very little, in a lasting sense, was more than enough. It occurred to me that it was my chance to do something different. I reasoned that working for a large company would not be much different from the government scenario I had already endured. It’s just a function of size more than anything else. I could see that with a large company I would be just one of thousands of “cubicle dwellers” awaiting retirement. I shudder now, just thinking of that fate!
Not long after that, I hung up my pebble as a private business consultant and business writer. It sounds easy enough, but it wasn’t. Like everything else in life, I had to pay my debts and learn many things the hard way. Because I’ve always been an “experimental” learner, it took me almost two full years to become completely disillusioned with business consulting and copywriting. In fact, I was really surprised to discover the many negative aspects of what I had always seen from the outside as “freedom.”
The disadvantages of consulting
* I soon realized that there were few hours in a day that I could work as a consultant, which limited me to a fixed income, just like when I worked for the government, except there were no frills. Not to mention, there is no revenue between contracts or while proposals are being prepared.
* My previous corporate “bosses” had simply been replaced by demanding and often ungrateful “clients”. At least those bosses had a direct interest in keeping me happy as an employee by providing decent pay and working conditions. Clients had no interest in the success or well-being of me or my business.
* Clients changed me frequently. Many of them “used” their option to switch to a competitor as a lever to lower me to the lowest possible daily rate, forcing me to work for rates much lower than I was worth.
* The only time I got feedback from customers was when they wanted more or when there was a problem. No matter how hard you worked to produce a high-quality product that you are proud of, it was rare to receive any kind of positive feedback from a customer. His attitude always seemed to be, “after all, we paid for it.”
* Every time I got a new client I had to prove myself again from scratch. Since the new client does not know you and has not worked with you before, it often takes a lot of time and effort to prove that you are truly qualified for the job.
So, as I learned during that period, life as an independent consultant wasn’t necessarily as good as it was. However, I am grateful for that false start in consulting, as it was that real-life experience that led me directly to my current career path of the last decade, in which I have made a living entirely online.
In fact, it was during my time as a consultant that I realized that a certain group of people, some of them in situations similar to mine, actually made a living online. Some of these online entrepreneurs seemed to be doing very well.
Now that I have successfully made a living online for the past decade as a freelance webmaster, I realize that my period as a consultant was a necessary transition phase on my path to becoming an online entrepreneur. I don’t regret my time as a consultant, but I must admit that the many downsides to that lifestyle had never occurred to me before trying it out myself. I would rather make a living as an online freelance entrepreneur.