Before the turn of the century breaking into the world of consulting and freelance
work was a buyer's market, but that has changed. What changed this market were
the corporate structures themselves.

Corporations and even smaller companies decided that they could no longer maintain a large base of employees, and put freezes on head counts, while relying on layoffs to increase bottom lines. While this may have worked, the needs for skilled individuals did not diminish, and in fact, increased.

• 10 percent of current workers and their spouses have had their traditional
pension eliminated at work.
• 15 percent have had their retirement plan changed to a 401(k)-style
account to which they must contribute.
• 9 percent have had their traditional pension plan frozen or reduced.
• 44 percent have had workplace health coverage cut.
• Roughly 9.51 million U.S. residents were self employed in 2005 — not
counting farm workers. They accounted for 6.8 percent of the U.S. work
force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The market has

Stepping into the world now is a matter of will, motivation, understanding of
your area and the ability to realize your own worth. When I first started into the
world of consulting, the common advice was 'You have to be able to sell yourself'.
As I continued down the road I found this was misleading.

After a time I realized that we are still dealing with sales when looking for
consulting work, and basics of the sale are simple. Anyone with a marketing
background can tell you that there are 6 motivations for a sale.

• Desire for gain (usually financial)
• Fear of loss (again, usually financial)
• Comfort and convenience
• Security and protection
• Pride of ownership
• Satisfaction of emotion

You might be the best in your field, but that isn't enough to make it as a
consultant. If you rely solely on that qualification, then you are in for a
bewildering time of watching prospects get sold by less qualified, and sometimes
even higher priced competitors. The reason this will happen will always come
down to fulfilling the perceived need of the prospect.

Why That Manager Hires You or Doesn’t

The manager or company owner that you are prospecting is not hiring you for the
reasons you are giving him, or the reasons his manager or boss are giving him,
he's hiring you for his own reasons, and while those reasons may or may not
make much sense to you, and may even be absurd in the light of the present
dilemmas of the company, they are still his reasons.
Understanding them and fulfilling that need is the difference between getting the
job and moving on to the next prospect.

Consulting is also a lifestyle of continued growth. Learn what is happening in
your area of interest, but also keep on top of what related industries are doing.
Discovering those related industries, and sometimes even creating a relation
between industries is often the road to success.

There are dozens of resources out there for you, find them. New ones are coming
up all the time. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability
Employment Policy (ODEP) is making available up to $5 million to fund pilot
projects aimed at increasing self-employment opportunities for people with

This isn't an isolated example, there are several more out there.
Learn to research. Open your browser and begin learning how to use search
engines, such as Google or Yahoo.

Find resources. There are places on the Internet, such as Google Answers
( that provide a place to get the answers you are looking for
in order to maximize your opportunities when they present themselves.
Watch the news. I find it simpler to get on the News boards, such as Yahoo News
or Google News and create some automated searches

that send me notifications via email, when fresh news stories are posted. Tools such as these are excellent for the consulting business, to keep your information fresh. Its also a great tool for those "small talk" questions from clients --- "Did you hear about XYZ company's plans to... "

Be available. Your communications are your greatest assets. Figure out ways of
being available to your clients, 24/7 and still having a life. Also find ways of
reducing your costs for items like phones, and shipping.

Skype is a great answer for this, in fact if you use Skype this year, all calls made in the US and Canada are free, and normally they are 0.01 a minute.

Organization with freedom of movement. Sometimes this goal is achieved with
gadgets, and sometimes it's done with planning. Either way, it is an effective goal
to achieve. You've seen the people who are able to move through the world, with
what they need at their figure tips.

You remember them for the same reason. I know I keep bring up Google, but that
is where many of my tools are for my consulting. Online calendar with email and
3 cell phone reminders, online spreadsheets for reports and invoicing, online word
processor for reports and communications, online storage for other data files.

My emphasis for this is largely because the consultant lifestyle is hectic enough.
No matter how well planned you are, there will come a day when you don't have
the file, or the report ... the sitter was late, the coffee spilled, you had to run to the cab and ... the report is on the desk, next to the coffee stained shirt.

Now you are in the meeting, with no way of getting at it.

While this is a comical scene in the movies, it is an unnecessary one in real life.
There are several resources out there to minimize your stress levels and life
hurdles. Find them, know them, love them. Using tools like the ones I listed allow
me to be anywhere, and get at the information I need.

Whether I'm in another client's office, sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for a plane or at the park, I always have my client's information at hand, ready to answer questions or work on a project.

Find the places to go. There are a growing number of resources for the consultant
these days. Of course there are the news papers and reports out there, but there
are others as well and the use of these is growing., puts consultants and employers together, handling invoicing and payments.
The Legal Expert Network

Again, seek them out. If you can't find them, find someone who can, because they
exist for your field, I can guarantee you they exist, and if they don't, you just
discovered another means of generating income.

Author's Bio: 

Peter J. Fogel , "The Reinvention Guy," Speaker/Reinvention expert and author of the critically acclaimed book “If Not Now… Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves”

Peter reinvented himself from being being one of America's funniest comedians into an in-demand sales/promotional advertising writer and keynote speaker.

His clients include multi-million dollar direct marketing companies as Early to Rise, Strategic Profits, Biocentric Health, Vital Max Vitamins (to name just a few)

For more information for on his speaking and writing services or to sign up for his FREE ezine or Reinvention E-course (Value $75) go to