Can I become an independent consultant if I am not an expert?

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Dear Liz,

I love the way you tell us to take charge of our careers, and I want to. I want to become an independent consultant. The problem is, I am not an expert in anything.

I have worked in operations, finance and sales administration. I know a lot of different things. I’m not at all near expert level in anything, as far as I know.

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I have a few friends who are independent consultants. One of them is a supply chain guru who charges $ 275 an hour. The other is an event planner who charges $ 125 an hour, but she also has a whole group of people she draws in when she needs help with specific things like event lighting, floral design, etc.

I don’t see how I could become a freelance consultant with my hands-on experience. What do you suggest?

Thanks Liz!

Yours,

Ron

Dear Ron,

Being a freelance consultant means one thing. This means that you are working for clients on a project basis, rather than working for an employer full time.

My first consultant contract came from the fact that I was active in the employers’ association in the city where I lived. I was 25 years old. I was a beginner HR who knew nothing about anything, but I knew enough to manage the small project that the employers’ association asked me to lead.

They were on a low budget, just for someone with my limited experience. It is a mistake that consultants are always high cost experts. Of course, there are clients who want massive expertise from a consultant, but there are tons of other clients who don’t need deep expertise and don’t want to pay for it.

My second consulting project arose because a guy who owned a manufacturing business two steps away from my employer called my boss and asked for a referral. The guy said to my boss, “I need help with HR. I don’t know anything about it and I don’t have an HR person.”

My boss said “I just have the consultant for you! Can she come see you at 5:30 pm tonight? Her name is Liz.”

My boss said to me, “I got you a job as a consultant! It starts tonight at 5:30 p.m. Bring a notepad and a pen.”

I was horrified. I was terrified. The employers’ association at least knew what it wanted. The CEO of manufacturing didn’t know what he wanted me to do.

I walked down the street that evening after work, fearing that I would embarrass myself.

The guy turned out to be super nice and very cool. He said “You tell me what I need!”

I was 28 at the time. I said, “Well, do you have the mandatory employment law posters in your break room? He said “Never heard of them!”

I have the posters. I wrote him an employee manual. I did all the basic and straightforward HR stuff that a 28 year old HR would do, but I felt bigger, more proud and stronger for taking on this consulting project.

Later, I became a full-time consultant and now I encourage everyone to build muscle by becoming a consultant too!

You don’t have to be an expert to take clients on projects.

All you have to do is ask yourself, “What kinds of business problems have I solved for my employers?” »Once you know what kind of problem you are solving (” We don’t have an HR infrastructure and we need one “,” Our social media campaigns are not working “,” We are spending too much ‘money in travel expenses’, etc.) a niche.

This niche can change over time, and it definitely will. You don’t need to define all the details of your consulting business when you start it. You only need to be able and willing to strike up conversations with the people you meet conversations about Business Pain and solutions.

As a consultant, you can charge a high hourly rate or $ 20 / hour. There are customers looking for help at every point on the spectrum!

Don’t be afraid to go out and explore your entrepreneurial side just because you don’t think you’re an expert on any subject. You know more than you think!

You’ll shock yourself with the expertise you didn’t know you had, once you step out of your comfort zone and start using your power!

All my wishes,

Liz


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