I have been a consultant for 6 years. I have had numerous clients. Every now and then I run into a worker bee (like I once was) who becomes enamored with my work, life style. They want to be a consultant too.
I have this business name, Last Chance Consulting. For many clients I am their last chance to turn things around before their organization topples down around them.
The other day a guy I have been coaching, calls me and tells me that he is finally getting the hang of this Last Chance Consulting thing. Of course he is not a consultant but an employee of a client. I have already warned him repeatedly that his job is at risk. He is a bit like the Holy Roman Empire. Neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Recently I have just gone silent on him. Way too high a bloody body count to prop him up. Good person, means well but he is like a woolly mammoth running off a cliff.
I have to turn away. This guy will crash and burn. Not much money in the bank. He has not made it priority to put some cushion dough for situations just like he will be facing head on soon enough. I hate it when you are only as good as your last paycheck.
You can make millions a year but if you don't put some of it away, you are toast.
Anyway, here are some of the signs of a true consultant
1. You can walk away from any job at any time. This is true whether a client blows you out or you blow them out.
2. You have go to hell money in the bank. Even 6 months will do it. You make putting this money in the bank a priority because you know this is part of your strategy. See number 1 above. Otherwise you are just another employee-type in hiding.
3. You don't need an office, computer or phone at the client site. Nice to have but you can operate without it.
4. You have no need to go to company party's and events. You either get this or you don't. Most people don't.
5. Job title and pay no longer are an element in your work strategy. You charge what you feel you are worth or what is fair. That is that. Your title? Consultant.
6. The price to make you go inside is way too high. Loss of freedom (see number 1). Doesn't mean you'll never do this but it would only be for a set period and for a large amount of stock and even that is a big maybe.
I had to struggle to get to this place in my life. I took the long way around route (stupid me) but I still got there.