I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for the last 17 years, launching one thing after the next (from simple affiliate sites to full startups)…
In that time, I’ve had a few big wins, several near-misses, and lots of duds. As the cliche goes, it’s been a rollercoaster.
But the trade-off for all that volatility is freedom – where I’ve either been the sole owner or a partner in all these ventures. And as such, my calendar wasn’t up for grabs by anyone else.
And this was my biggest internal objection to consulting as a business model… I hated the idea of handing even partial control of my time to a client – let alone multiple clients.
Perhaps you’re in the same boat, and the idea of a client business – for that reason and others – just sounds too demanding, regardless of the payoff. I can definitely empathize.
While there’s certainly ways to guard your time and minimize availability (which I cover in detail in Modules 1 & 4), consulting isn’t 100% “passive”.
However, the huge advantages you get with this style of consulting are as follows:
1) You’re not starting from zero. For me, this is a big one. As I’ve become “less young” and have more to lose if projects fail these days, being able to add value to an existing business that’s already proven is honestly a relief…
The startup grind is tough at the best of times – and it’s also a binary outcome. You either win big, or take a devastating loss.
2) It’s a lot easier to hit 6+ figures in personal income with consulting vs a startup. For example, getting a SaaS business to even $10K/mo in MRR generally means that you probably spent 1-2 years in product development (and at least $100K to do that), plus you’re doing great if your margins are anywhere north of 30% after acquiring customers, infrastructure costs, dev maintenance, support, etc.
Ecommerce is similar, where everything is hit-driven, and it’s very expensive to “kiss frogs” for months on end until finding a product that works… for a while, anyway. Plus, you live or die by the whims of Facebook’s ad algorithms and policies.
In contrast, from day one with most consulting engagements, you can generate a solid “foundation income” in the initial project phases, even before moving to the performance-based phases. (Plus, you basically have no costs).
3) You can still have huge wins. This is the real clincher. Unlike regular consulting, with this model you can share a serious chunk of any upside the business experiences – even long after you’re directly involved.
So in some ways, this is the absolute best of both worlds.
There’s way less risk than starting a business from scratch. And it’s much easier to generate a comfortable living (basically out of the gate) with consulting vs. bootstrapping something new. But you can also participate in the growth of the business – and on occasion – see huge windfalls.
And at very least, if you’re still intent on bootstrapping something in the near future, then this is the ultimate “Plan B” that you can use to drive serious revenues in the meantime.
So if you’re at all curious about this, I strongly encourage you to get in as a founding member, before the clock runs out…
Regardless of your decision today, I hope at the very least you come away with some insights about how lucrative consulting can be… when you’re using the right framework.