help me solve my problems
November 9, 2013 11:24 AM Subscribe
I plan to make this a three-part series over three weeks, where I ask you to help me solve the three problems that keep percolating in my head. This week: my career
posted by cacao to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So there are three things that have been constantly on my mind lately, and I feel a bit frozen. They're not terribly interesting or even terrible problems, just what's been bothering me non-stop. One is related to being overweight, one is related to where I should live, and one is related to my career.
I'll start with my career this week. So I've started a business providing consulting to companies that want to expand abroad. My motivations for doing this are many, and boil down to this just feels right- it feels like my calling. Some motivations: I want the flexibility to be able to take care of children when I have them (want to start trying as soon as I can make this work a bit), I thrive off of responsibility and independence, and I have experiences and skills that give me some qualifications to do this with a measure of credibility (could use some more, but have enough to get started).
So a lot of the assignments I've made for myself are with clients that pay straight commission- there's no retainer coming in, but if there ends up being a pay-off, it'll be big. I have three customers like this, and three more in the making. They're in the same category of work and industry (the contracts with each client are almost replicas), so the work that I do for one helps me with the work that I do for another. I'm constantly ridden with fear that it's not going to work, and it drives me crazy. I don't have any money coming in but do have some money going out (think $800/month, mostly travel expenses). I can financially afford to do this for another year or two as I have savings (yayyyyy for saving for grad school and then not going!!) and a partner who is willing to support me, but what I can't afford is to derail my career and not have any real income in a couple of years.
Although I'm not making any money yet, I am making progress on a reasonable basis towards success, albeit not guaranteed success. I'm learning a lot. It's a much better, more enriching experience than going to grad school would have been, at least for me personally. How long do you think I should do this for before throwing in the towel? It's been a bit more than a year that I've been doing this, but before I had a lot of other things to deal with, and really it's only been five months since I've been doing it seriously
So to deal with the issue of feeling like *I need to make money now, at least just a little bit!!!* I figured I'll start looking for consulting gigs that I can do on a retainer basis. Do you have any ideas for how to get new clients?
I need inspiration. I need resources. I need hope. It doesn't help that I'm still trying to settle back into this country after a few years abroad, and generally have a lot of things to put into place (social life, etc). I basically need a hivemind brainstorm.
Thank you! I'm sorry if I was too nebulous with my question, I tried to give it some direction, but generally feel overwhelmed by it all and am constantly seeking mental clarity to drive myself forward.
One more thing: this business was partly inspired by many of your answers to anonymous career questions that I've posted. So thank you :)