The past two years I have been on my own as an Independent Consultant. Here are a few reflections of my journey
Be Clear of your Life Purpose
As an executive Coach, it was important for me to confirm my own personal purpose: ‘Follow my own light, and support others follow theirs’. It was time for me to make the transition from being an ‘EBITDA’ partner to a Trusted Advisor. I must admit that I also had enough of the operating world of HR: 30 plus years was like stretching things and I was not sure I was learning anything new. Also, I needed to move out rather than linger and discover that someone had moved my cheese. Once I left I missed two things initially: the monthly pay-check and the ‘title’. Nothing else. With time, I realised the ‘burden’ of what it meant to be under ‘Authority’ of the other. The greatest joy today is not having a Boss! I wake up each morning, committed to be accountable to self, and set goals that would make me happy.
I spoke to many independent consultants and their operating model varied. Some focussed on 1 -2 specific areas, while others were happy to support more generally across clients needs. Some worked in a partnership with a few link minded colleagues and created a partnership, while others decided to hire a team of a few people and set up an office. My own choice was to be a single contributor, operate from home and have no operating expenses except my mobile bills. Some choose names for their firms. I simply decided on ‘Steve Correa & Associates’ – (remembering two names for one service is difficult). I decided what is the quality and quantum of work that would make me happy. I learnt quickly that your professional networks don’t mean a thing – if that’s what you are depending on to get professional work. Help has come to me from unexpected sources. I feel very grateful to many for kind acts of generosity.
I continue to feel the same energy within, work just as hard, but the benefits are huge: freedom, quantum leap in learning, deeper relationships and the freedom to make choices. More importantly, to find time to relax and think! Soon I found that the things that I thought would be difficulty turned out to be easy and vice versa. I put myself out to embrace new opportunities and I am delighted with the choice of newer kinds of work. A muse visited and dropped the idea of a book. That was a long love affair that took over 18 months.
Innovation can be simple.
I found resources everywhere!
· I stated using Dunzo for pick up and drops of packages
· A small courier firm agreed to pick up packages from me at home
· I bought a kindle account and immediately fixed storage space while I continued to read even more widely.
· I used drop box and google drive to interact with my clients for storage of material.
· I bought apple music monthly subscription / Netflix / Prime movies – downloaded music / movies to watch during travel.
· I enrolled in several MOOC classes – Coursera, EDx, etc
· A trusted CA, helps me with all my financial accounting.
· I build out regular goals (adventures) for myself.
· I track my own activities into a weekly plan
In short, I manage everything – a jack of all trades!
More than hard work it’s been hard work learning ‘new stuff’, doing mundane but critical things – filling forms, managing accounts, etc. Broaden one’s experience and knowledge widely. Keep Learning. I put up a website, and recently added a landing page to host my forthcoming book. Have you visited yet? https://stevecorrea.co/the-indian-boss-at-work/
Stay obsessed with client’s need, and that should be enough. Celebrate often especially with family and friends.
I would love to hear from you. Do comment and I really enjoy the conversations that follow the post.