It also means that the consultant can have many clients simultaneously. When employees lose an employer, they fall back on unemployment insurance and look for a new employer. Contractors take savings out of the bank and do the same; a real business has multiple clients, takes a 10 percent hit to sales, and drives on. Spreading the work among multiple clients reduces the risk individually, but it requires an entirely different way to think about work-life.
If you kept reading this far, then you probably have some interest in this area. Small, simple experiments can be one way to start. Find some work at night, see if you like the freedom, and responsibility that comes with it. Get out to user groups and meetups and find out what problems exist in the community, and if you can meet them. Start a blog, tell your friends and get your ideas out there.
Don't try to complete with the big companies that pay for the Platinum Sponsorship and buy big banner ads. Instead, do what they can't – the personal, meaningful, individual connections that the big billboards and glossy brochures can never do. Yes, you'll need a website.
But people don't buy consulting from websites. They buy from other people.
So get out there … and let us know how it went.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.