For many being a consultant looks exciting looking in from the outside. The reality is a very stressful job. Let’s dissect why most folks hire a consultant. It boils down to one of a few reasons
-They don’t have the people power to do everything they need
-They need things done they don’t have the knowledge base to accomplish tasks
-They want to focus on their business and offload some work to others
So, how is this a bad thing for the consultant? I routinely run into two types of problems. Either it’s a project or something broken. Building a business model on something broken is not very sound. So how do you keep money coming in? You take on projects. Projects eat up time, but they keep food on the table. But as a result, this can take away from the issues that pop up.
So the balancing act always is how do you take care of the critical broken stuff and still make a living? One way is Red Bull, loud music, and no sleep. This only lasts for so long. For many years I have said being in the ISP business is a lifestyle. One of the biggest problems is supporting a company that has to be functional 24/7/365. Pretty soon you run into a catch-22. You need more people to help you support clients, but you need consistent business to support the new hires.
Many consultants have supplemented their revenue by hardware and distribution. Ive always felt that leads the consultant into being a little biased. You might start recommending products which give you a higher profit margin or ones you have had sitting on the shelf. It would be an easy trap to fall into.
Being a consultant is either feast or famine. Sometimes you can be busy for days at a time and then days of nothing.
Being a “break/fix” consultant can be very stressful if you let it get to you. The anxiety of going into a movie theater and turning off your cell phone is worse than having a gun pointed at you. What if a major network outage happens? What if that core router takes a dump. Now imaging you have not one, but 10 networks to worry about.
Don’t get me wrong, being a consultant is something that i routinely enjoy. You just have to be able to be strong enough to not let it overtake you. Somedays that is easier said than done.
So, what are we doing at MTIN about being better? We have a multi-Step program we are working on.
1.We are hiring some junior techs to do things like open tickets, do routine maintenance tasks,
2.We are forcing customers to use the 317.644.2224 telephone number and the firstname.lastname@example.org number. This will make sure you are not depending on just one person. This will ensure you actually are talking to some.