7 Steps to Becoming a Consultant

Many professionals feel pressure to ‘play it safe’ by continuing to fight the battle of the Corporate America day job. They are lured into a false sense of security that there will always be a paycheck every other Friday and they will have access to the good ole’ benefits package. The paycheck is often exchanged for long hours, office/employee politics, and constant travel depending on the responsibilities of the job. The pressure they feel is as much self-induced as it comes from outside sources and family members. You won’t find many professionals sitting around watching their grandchildren play that would say: “I really wish I had worked more overtime!”

There is another way! Many professionals have taken the time to define their passion and turn that passion into a viable business. Here are seven steps that will help you think through whether becoming an entrepreneur could be a realistic path for you.

  1. Focus on what you really want to do.
    We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t want that we forget the most meaningful and productive exercise is answering the question – WHAT DO I REALLY WANT? Take some time to clearly visualize what you want to be doing. What specifically would you be doing and in what surroundings?
  2. Discover your passion.
    As you start visualizing what you really want to do, you will start to uncover what you are really passionate about doing. People who love what they do are more apt to be successful.
  3. Identify your fears.
    Making a leap from a traditional job to your own business is scary. Don’t suppress your fears; rather, embrace them. Think through your worst-case scenario and create a plan of action to make sure it never comes to fruition. Sometimes fear creates the best fuel for success.
  4. Be realistic.
    Launching your own business takes time and effort. So be realistic about your goals and objectives.
  5. Knowledge is king.
    Become a ferocious learner. The more you learn and grow the more value you add to your business. Talk with other professionals who have made the leap. Align yourself with professional organizations that provide learning opportunities. Knowledge mitigates risk and helps to create positive outcomes. Knowledge turns the unexpected into the expected!
  6. Surround yourself with support.
    You don’t have to go it alone, nor should you! Like we talked about in step five, there are many professional organizations that can provide connection, networking, learning opportunities, and support. Find the ones that make sense and become an active member. Your experience will help others as much as their experiences will help you.
  7. Life is too short.
    Life is not to be endured. It is to be lived to the fullest. Your professional choices are a big part of how you choose to live your life. Take a look around. Are you doing what you are really passionate about or are you playing it safe?
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