A special welcome to my fellow “geeks” (and all you other professionals…)
If you’re a “geek” like I am, you’ve probably already thought about hanging out your own shingle. Incidentally, when you mention geeks, most people think of Dilbert the engineer. But I think “geeks” come in many flavors, and can include other technical professionals such as accountants, architects, lawyers, doctors, nurses, etc.
So this special welcome is really for all you who “practice” any technical profession — regardless of whether you consider yourself a “geek” or not.
As a professional engineer, I know many of you fellow professionals harbor secret dreams of striking out on your own. You spent years to get to where you are at. You mastered a challenging body of knowledge, you gained critical experience, and you may even have a professional license. You chose the technical/producer track, not the management track.
You enjoy what you do. You have probably been fascinated by your chosen profession since you were a kid. But now, you are getting a bit tired of being “managed” and treated like another cog in the big machine. You suspect you could make it on your own, but you are not sure where to start or how to get there. I remember — I felt the way 30 years ago.
Consulting can be the perfect answer! Once established, you can focus more on the technical stuff you really enjoy. You can pick and choose projects that interest you. You can accept the good clients, and decline the rest. You can work from home, or almost anywhere in the world. I’ve certainly enjoyed all those benefits as a full time consulting engineer.
Yes, there are a myriad of details in starting a consulting business, which include marketing your skills and managing your practice. We’ll discuss those in this blog. I’ll also share a number of real-life success stories about fellow professionals who made it as consultants, and had a good time in the process.
One final thought –don’t ever apologize for being a “geek” of any kind. There was a time when I was sensitive to admitting I was an engineer — you know, worried about that image of Dilbert and his friends. But then I got my head reshaped by a fellow airline passenger.
I had just started consulting full-time, and was off on a technical mission. When asked what I did by my seat mate (an older longtime business owner), I mumbled something about being an engineer, almost apologizing in the process. He said, “Stop! Don’t ever apologize for what you are. My son-in-law is an engineer, and he is a very smart person. Furthermore, I know he worked hard for his degree, and he works hard now.”
Wow, I thought. He is absolutely right. So ever since then, I have embraced the geekiness, and invite all of you fellow professionals to do the same. Geeks rule!
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