On the minus side, there is no regular pay check, no benefits, no IT department, and no one to blame but yourself if something goes wrong.
Remember earlier I said that no check goes into my bank account unless I go out and win the business? That is the cold, hard truth. My husband is also self-employed, so our family has no benefits unless we purchase them ourselves. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner with corporate benefits, you are ahead of the game. The check I write each month for the health insurance is bigger than the check I write each month for the mortgage. But please don’t ever take the risk of going without health insurance. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills.
The first time my laptop broke, I really missed the IT department. Now I buy a new laptop every few years, before the old one breaks down completely, and I keep the old one to use in an emergency. My system also backs up automatically to the cloud twice a day. There is no excuse for losing client work with all the options available today.
One night I was sitting in my home office working and I decided I needed a red pen. I got up to head for the supply room and realized, there is no supply room, oh… I had to laugh. It wasn’t too difficult to stock up the supply cupboard. Make sure you always have an extra toner cartridge for the printer. Murphy’s Law dictates that you will run out of toner at 2:00 am when you’re preparing hand-outs for a 7:00 am board meeting.
You will quickly learn to build your network of support professionals and then you’ll be good to go!
I see you.
I see you Mama. Feeling overwhelmed trying to manage career and family. Just getting out the door in the morning is a major challenge. Constantly fighting back tears at home and at work. A lost sock or last-minute diaper change can ruin the whole day. Feeling sick at the thought of leaving the new baby at day care. Afraid of missing first steps, first words and school plays because of work. You spent a lot of time and money on your education and you have worked hard to get to this point in your career. Before you had children, you loved your job. You cannot afford to quit working, but you cannot be the mother you want to be, spending so much time away from your children.
If I can do it, you can do it.
I am on top of the world. Some days I forget I still work full time! I can work when I want, where I want and how I want. I work half my workday during the day and half at night. I can go on every school field trip if I want to. I am able to have more impact on my clients as a consultant than I could as a full-time employee and I make more money. It still takes some juggling but now I have the best of both worlds.
Don’t Lean In, Walk Out!
People sometimes ask me, “What can I learn from you that I couldn’t figure out on my own?” I reply, “Absolutely nothing, but it took me 15 years, how long do you want to wait?” The mission of Billable with Baby® is to help you find the courage to start your own consulting business so you can have the freedom and flexibility to raise your children the way you wish. For more information on how to start a successful consulting business, download the Billable with Baby® Free Guide.
This is the seventh of the Top Seven Things to Know About Starting Your Own Consulting Business. I’ve had my own consulting business for more than 15 years and I love it! It’s easier than you think to get started. I invite you to read the entire series to learn the Top Seven Things to Know About Starting Your Own Consulting Business.