The average annual merit increase in the US has been 3% for the past several years. Consulting allows pay for performance not possible when merit increases are 3%. I left the corporate world to achieve pay for performance and you can too. When you have your own successful consulting business, you drive and control your compensation.
Prosperity is Yours for the Taking
Somebody has to be first, why shouldn’t it be you? Be clear about why you are working. I have a lot of passion for my work, but if I didn’t need the money, I would be doing something different. Do what you love and the money will follow is a myth. Money is a strange and powerful thing. It is closely tied to our emotions, confidence and feelings of self-worth. As women, we receive a wide range of conflicting messages beginning when we are little girls. Repeat after me, “I am working for the money. I add tremendous value to my clients and I deserve to be richly compensated.” Oddly enough, your clients are more likely to take your advice if they pay you more. Making more money makes your clients more successful.
Start Making Money Now
My job is to clear roadblocks to revenue. I want you bringing in revenue as quickly as possible. Let’s be clear, I work for the money and I think you should too. The great thing about consulting is that you and I can be sitting here today having a chat, and tomorrow you could be working billable hours. All it takes is landing a project. Sure, there are many steps involved in building a sustainable business but for now, it’s all about generating revenue.
When I was a W-2 employee, I used to hear comments about 1099s and self-employment taxes. But I never really knew what those terms meant. And although I had a few friends who did consulting, I had no idea what was required to set up the business side of a consulting business. I had plenty of corporate experience, but I didn’t know whether this business stuff was a big mountain or a little hill. I’m here to tell you right now that it’s a little hill. In California, the only thing you need to get started is a business license. Everything else can be taken care of once you have your first check in your hand. Or even further down the road at the appropriate time.
Charge What You Are Worth
In the early days of my business, I didn’t charge enough. I was afraid that I wouldn’t win the business if my price was too high. Once I finally start charging what I was worth, my clients never batted an eye. Just think of all that money I left on the table.
STOP right now and repeat after me:
I earned it.
I deserve it.
I am worth it.
If you want to take it a step further, you can include some upside in your compensation scheme. I once worked a project where we were attempting to significantly reduce a specific category of inventory. I took a lower hourly rate and a percentage of the savings from the inventory reduction. We reduced inventory by $20 million and I made an additional $60,000. Just be careful that the metrics for the upside are crystal clear.
Don’t Work for Free
It doesn’t pay the mortgage or the health insurance or the college tuition. As soon as you become a consultant, smart people with good ideas will come out of the woodwork looking for your free expert help. Make a rule now that you will never work for free.
Don’t Lean In, Walk Out!
Stay home with your baby AND earn executive level pay. Please enjoy this Billable with Baby® Free Guide on how to start a successful consulting business.