It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post, and that’s mainly due to the fact that I’ve been really busy! Which is great. There’s been a lot on at the moment culminating in a heady nexus of getting existing contracts finished, negotiating new work and starting new contracts, as well as tendering for some really interesting projects. None of this is a bad thing because to be busy is obviously very, very good for a small business such as Geoger.
Last week I was asked what it was that I like and dislike most about working as an independent consultant. There are a number of different things to consider and I would like to list just a couple of things here.
First off, I’d like to change the terminology from things I dislike most to things that I find most challenging. Of those, I think it probably comes down to two key things (at least for me): working on your own and not having someone to bounce ideas off; and having come from a technical background I’ve had to learn a lot about the business process, business negotiation and the contractual side of things. In all honesty, this has actually been very interesting and if I stop and review where I was three and a half years ago then I think I have made huge strides in terms of both my understanding, and my ability to be a more complete and successful business person. And Geoger has been (and is) successful, and I’m very proud of that.
In terms of what I like most, I think this is probably a lot easier to answer as there are lots of things that I like about being an independent consultant. One of the main benefits is that I get to meet and work with a wide variety of really interesting and highly capable individuals and companies. In addition, I can choose (to some extent!) the terms on which I work and with whom. I also have a lot of freedom to mess around with technical stuff and tinker with things that might not be directly relevant to the business as it is now, but that help win project work in the future. I can also (in the main) work to my own daily timetable, so have that flexibility to try and get the mythical work/life balance that we are always told that we must seek!
So one of the issues that arises from being an independent consultant, and the ebb and flow of work that comes with that, is that certain things like communications (this blog!) sometimes get put on the back burner.
Once you work for yourself you realise that not everything can be a priority and you really do have to prioritise your tasks – and there are often a huge number of tasks. Some people might find this daunting, but actually it’s a really good challenge for the type of person who enjoys that sort of thing. And I am loving doing all this at Geoger!