Special Welcome – Geeks

A special welcome to my fellow “geeks” (and all you other “specialists”…)

If you’re a “geek” like I am, you’ve probably 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 specialists such as accountants, architects, lawyers, doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.

They can also include business specialists, like marketers, researchers, trainers, human resources, operations, etc.

The common thread is we’re specialists, not generalists.

So this special welcome is really for all you who “practice” any specialty – regardless of whether you consider yourself a technical “geek” or not.

Thanks to your specialized experience, you already have the potential to consult!

As an engineer, I know many of you 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 and/or advanced degrees.
  • You chose the technical/producer track, not the general management track.
  • You enjoy what you do.
  • You have 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 almost 40 years ago.

Consulting can be the perfect answer! Once established:

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 very smart. 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 specialists to do the same. Geeks rule!

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