On being “A Consultant”

To be a consultant a few years ago; and as well; work from home, was considered “being unemployed”. And perhaps for a few consultants it was. That’s changed.

It’s the technology that’s made ‘solo’ the same as ‘big’. Powerful PCs, big screens,(for everything) cable TV, laptop, blackberrys, DSL, wireless, PDA, cellphones, Skype, IM, fax, videophone, Kinko’s! have all been part of the building blocks. They enable replication of the office environment at a fraction of the cost. They untether work from a location. They connect the outside world effortlessly. They put energy into home. And life into ‘Consultant”

I look at our operation at Perceptric. It’s only possible because of  widely available tools that give us a multinational presence and allow easy collaboration. But that wide ranging connectivity is happening more and more. Both for companies and individuals.

Global business requires global response. A guy sitting in Australia or England  can connect to someone in the US, India or China and be part of the action. Incredible. Wonderful.

Sure, it requires imagination, determination and something particular. The common questions? What’s unique? What’s your value add?  Plus.  Why will clients buy a service? 

Many companies have become basically consultant managers. To get hired you need a defining idea. Something different. Or better. Or extra. Or cheaper. When we set up, we went back and forth with concepts. Our final label? Strategic and Influence Marketing. And you always need to know what the culture is of the potential client business.

The great thing now is that so many people have disappeared from corporate life to consult; CEO types, upper management, as well as HR, IR, PR and creatives: Consultant, home based; are no longer epithets, but simply  acknowledgments of a way of working, and a place of work.

Cool. Important. And the way the world works today, and into the future.

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  1. Shirley

    I like your term for home based business people as “professionals working without employee assistance” at your excellent Solo Business Marketing blog. And your own story at your Gift Basket Business site is an inspiration.


  2. When I began consulting 10 years ago, as a new part of my core business, I was surprised how some individuals paralleled such a career with unemployment, including others doing the same thing.

    They saw themselves as “struggling.” Who would hire anyone with that outlook? What I saw was opportunities and the chance to make a difference, mold my career, and make money in the process.

    I believe in bringing your skills to the table in whatever manner is best. Grouping my specialized expertise under the “consulting” banner made sense then and still does today.

  3. Richard

    Thanks for posting. It’s great that you and Chris have taken up the invitation to be guest bloggers here and I look forward to more thoughtful and stimulating posts like this. I was just reflecting as I read it that I started my day with a telephone conference with people from California to North Carolina and Oregon USA, to Alberta Canada, to London and here on Australia’s Gold Coast – a conversation recorded and now available for download any time any of us want to review it at our leisure. Then an hour later I had a business meeting with a colleague in Dallas Texas: we used Skype at first but switched to POTS (at a very cheap rate), when as sometimes happens the VoIP wasn’t up to scratch: and we had the option of several modes of IM text chat anyway. What amazes me when I think about it is that we are rapidly taking all this convenience for granted and as you say it is transforming business and empowering those of us who like to work from where we like to work rather than from where someone else thinks suitable.