Consulting For Dummies

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It seemed that I was so busy fighting other people's fires that I didn't have enough time left to prevent my own.

CFD: Even when you were a vice president for that computer operations company? Economy: Probably more so than when I was lower in the hierarchy. The higher up I in an organization, the more 1was subject to the personal whims and foibles of those in upper management. If they sneezed, I jumped! Anyway, now I decide my priorities.

I decide the projents I want to work on, how much I'm going to charge my clients, and when and where I wiU do the work. I don't have up early at the office or stay late impress my boss. The color of my tie or the size of my pinstripes is flO longer an issue. My work speaks for itself. CFD: So your clients are more concerned with the final product not what you were wearing when you created it or whether you called in sick on Friday or whether you attended the mandatory off-site management meeting?

Economy: Right. They don't eare how I create products; they care only about the quality of the products I create and that t deliver them when I promise to.

CFD: So what is your second reason for coming a consultant? Economy: The second reason is for economic security. Back when I started getting serious about building a consulting practice, I could see that the government business that the cornDimiE! S I worked for depended on to remain prosperous was quickly drying up.


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J:ht very weH be next. CFD,: Yeah, there's nothing like getting laid aft to light a fire under you! Economy: That's for sure. The fjrst time I was laid off, I wasn't yet ready to make th e tra'nsition to a full-time cansulting pra cti ce. The second time" I was ready, willing, and able! Now t? If I work, I get paid. If I don't work, I don't get paid.

CFD: But how were you able to build a consulting business while you were working in a fu lltime job? Economy: Well, that I,eads to the third rea So n for my wanting to be a consultant: flexibHity. Because eftnisfact, I was able to squeeze occasional jobs into my schedule usu. I might review a book for a publisher or ghostwrlte a few chapters for a textbook or help fix another writer's manuscript - all in my spare time. When you work for an organizatIon, you ca n rely on a steady pavcheck- regardle.

Consulting For Dummies - is consulting the career for you...

When you work for yourself, you never know where your next paycheck is coming from. Not only do you have the freedom to succee:d beyond your wildest dreams, but you also have the freedom to fail beyond your wIldest nightmares. The hard part is taking the first step and putting your dreams into action.

It's not easy, but if you are willing to put your heart and snul int. And besides, then you too can sing "I did it my way..

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Once you work throug h the numbers and see that everything is going to be all right, a lot of the fear goes away. The emotional adjustments can't be made quite so easily. But it helpe. I wanted to be my own boss. CFD: One last q'uesiton. Is Peter Economy reaUy your real name? Economy: Put it in your ear, Nelson! Now the big question is: Do you have what it takes to become a consultant?

Do you want to find out? Then simply take the Consulting Challenge Quiz. It's quick, it's easy, and it's guaranteed to help you sort fantasy from reality.

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Don't forget to total your score at the end of the test to see where you fit. Read each one and circle the answer that comes closest to your personal feelings. If you're not sure how to answer a question on your first attempt, move on to the next question and come back to the tricky one later. Do you like to solve problems?

Yes, solving problems is my sole reason for being. Yes, I like solving certain kinds of problems.

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Can I trade one of my problems for one of yours? Is there someone else who can solve them? Can you set your own goals and then follow them to completion? I don't know what I would do if I didn't always have goals to pursue. Yes, I set my own goals, but I don't always follow up on them. I haven't tried before, but if you show me how I will. I don't set my own goals; they set themselves. Sorry, I don't have any goals. Are you an independent self-starter?

I don't need anyone to tell me what to do -let's get going! I'm independent, but I sometimes have a hard time getting motivated to do things on my own. No one has ever let me make my own decisions before. I kind of like the idea of doing things on my own, though. Hum a few bars, and maybe I can sing it. Do I have to be? Are you confident about your ability to get the job done?

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Without a doubt. I'm fairly certain. I'm not sure. Can we discuss this some other time?

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Absolutely, unequivocally not. Do you enjoy pursuing tasks to completion, despite the obstacles in your path? I am very persistent. Usually, although I sometimes avoid tackling problems directly. As long as we understand up front that no one is perfect. Is any task ever truly complete?

Consulting For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Some things were just never meant to be done. Can you adapt to rapid changes? My middle name is change. It's easier for me to adapt to good changes than to adapt to bad changes. If you've seen one change, you've seen them all. As long as it's you who changes and not me. I don't even like to change my socks! Are you creative?