In the February 8th edition of The Wall Street Journal Richard Greenwald writes, “This trend is not really new having begun after the economic downturn of the late 1980s, as many laid-off professionals became consultants. Then it seemed temporary, though tied to bad times. Evidence now suggests that this is our new economic condition. Today, in fact, 20% to 23% of US workers are operating as consultants, freelancers, free agents, contractors or micro-entrepreneurs. Current projections see the number only rising in coming years.”
The reality of one in four workers being self employed has profound implications for the marketplace. The idea of working for a company that provided a clear career path and stable lifelong employment has been shattered and the business landscape has fundamentally shifted from one of stable full-time employment with benefits to one of economic self reliance.
Many will wring their hands, piss and moan and have pity parties about the loss of security and the shifting of economic risk from institutions to individuals but none of this will turn back time or change the reality we all face. The wise and emotionally mature will see this as an opportunity and will aggressively pursue a better future by redefining their view of success and carving out a life of their dreams.
Few things are easier than hanging out a shingle or putting up a website and calling oneself a consultant. And few things are harder than doing it successfully. (I should know because I have been doing it very successfully in the sales training and sales management training business since 1996)
Far too often these newly minted consultants don’t have a clue how to make it in this increasingly cutthroat and competitive environment because they simply don’t know what it takes to be successful on their own.
To be successful……………..continued next week.p