By Terry Matthews-Lombardo CMP
I was asked to get the ‘blog ball’ rolling by posting the second one. So many topics; which one to choose? Easy. A subject matter we, meaning those of us who are already independent planners, get tons of questions about from those who dream about going out on their own. But becoming independent is not for the faint at heart, so I decided to approach this from a kind of ‘top ten’ point of view except for the sake of brevity I’m narrowing it down to three. Maybe you’d like to add more? (HINT-HINT)
So here, after 30 ‘la-la-la’ years of hanging out my own shingle in this industry are my top pieces of advice for ‘going rogue’:
1) Don’t do it for the money. Yeah, you heard me. In this industry it’s rare to find an indy planner that is happy with their income; especially for those first few lean and mean years. Heck, most of us don’t even do it for the fame and glory (where is that, by the way?). You have to really, really want to be your own boss, and totally understand the highs and lows of every aspect of running your own empire of, um, one. Remember, until those big sales come in, it’s me/myself/and I.
2) Speaking of which, managing your own business is not for the faint of heart! That planner’s skill set that got you through years of corporate meetings success may not mean squat when you work for yourself, unless you also learned how to: be an accountant, be your own IT tech, sell yourself like your business depends on it (because it most definitely does), organize your office and then religiously maintain that organization so you can function without being frazzled, create a good marketing campaign for ‘the business of you’, keep yourself motivated to work each and every day even though you really want to call in sick (mommy, please?), successfully network at every opportunity including and not limited to the grocery store and every elevator you step into, be your #1 fan, and well, I think you get the picture here. You are omnificent in that you’re doing everything. . . and then some.
3) You must build a reliable infrastructure of consultant team members to cover things like contract liabilities, financial advice, insurance/bonding/licensing fees (each state/county is different in these requirements), printing, computer tech work, creative writing, advertising, and so much more. In the end, you’re never really working alone even though you actually work alone. Make sense?
Have I scared you off yet? Sorry because this wasn’t meant for that purpose! I just wanted to get the dialogue going and see what input you all have. We welcome your questions, comments, input and insight into this issue and any other topic you want to toss out here in the SPIN Blogsphere. Let’s get the dialogue going and see where the conversation leads!
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Kathie Niesen, CMP
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