We speak to several consultants who have made the leap into the independent working world, and ask them what it was that surprised them most about this new way of working. Here’s what they said, in 20 seconds.
What surprised Thiago:
“One thing that people should never underestimate is the time it takes for things to happen. It takes time for you to find projects, ways of working, new clients. And if you try to do it on your own, you’ll take even longer. If you happen to find yourself outside of your home country, then the need to rely on a network is so much stronger, and if you haven’t already built a strong one – you will be in over your head. Give yourself time to plan, take time to build your connections and when you have mastered that, you will have more time, flexibility, and control over your own business development”.
What surprised Lorenzo:
“Remember that as an independent consultant, you are just one of the fish in a very big pond. So – to get ahead – you need the strength of a network that carries you. This means that you need to have a strong network. But just because you have one, doesn’t mean that you can stop working at it. You have to constantly keep developing your connections. New clients are looking for reasons to believe what you are pitching to them – they are looking for credibility. And I never realised just how important a strong network was, until I needed it myself.”
What surprised Richard:
“The Independent Working world talks well to Talmix's story. I was surprised by the volume of people and businesses that could be helped by a number of people that would sell them solutions, advice and support but that just didn’t know how to find each other. The older way of working and connecting with projects and new clients has completely changed. It has become so easy to start engaging with people that can help you, and move you forward quickly. It’s now so easy for businesses to access the same caliber of people that you would if you were to spend lots of money.”
What surprised Frank:
“What I realised is that it has become so much easier to now partner-up with like-minded consultants – and where you used to rely on working for the same organisation, you are able to build a new independent organisation, under the power of a connected network – collective independence if you will. A lot of people have traditionally been too afraid to work with others who may work in similar fields and as a result, would rather suffer on their own. But the power of independent working now meant that I am able to build my own network and work collaboratively with people who are a good fit with me. Working independently can be a harsh experience and you haven't figured out who your target market is and who you want to serve - you're going to struggle even more. Once you've figured out who you want to work with - they naturally are attracted to you”.
What surprised Andre:
“The key thing that I learnt when I became independent, is that as a consultant, you need to constantly keep yourself updated – especially when it comes to tech and industry. We are in a world where everything becomes new every day. You need to keep your eyes open to that and be willing to adapt – it’s simple, if you don't adapt, you die.
Another surprise for me was the realisation at how many businesses are still following antiquated processes, and living in the dark ages when there was so much opportunity available to them if they were just willing to embrace change”.
If you have a consulting story to share, why not get in touch with us. Join our Live Broadcast in August where we’ll be discussion the power of a connected network and the opportunity it brings to independent consultants who take the time to nurture and develop it constantly.
About the Author
Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.More Content by Katy Roberts