Episode 84: The Pros and Cons of Being Independent or Working for Firms—with Alicia Smith
In this Craft of Consulting podcast episode, I interview Alicia Smith, a renowned national behavioral health policy expert.
Alicia has lived many lives as a consultant. She has been an independent consultant, worked at firms of various sizes, and led a firm. So she knows the pros and cons of each and, in this podcast, shares what each step has meant for her life and livelihood.
She also shares some of the lessons she has learned throughout her consulting career to help you avoid common mistakes and make better choices about your consulting business.
In this podcast, we talk about:
Jumping into consulting from employment
Making an early mistake by having only one client as an independent consultant
Enjoying the independence, flexibility, and income of consulting
Realizing the hard way how important a filled pipeline of work is
Switching to working at a small but growing national consulting firm to a large firm to a boutique firm
Experiencing the pros and cons of different sized firms and how to set yourself up for success
Having the expertise you need to succeed
Challenges of helping other consultants get business
Reflecting on what you want, who you are, and how your life changes over time to guide decisions about how to be a consultant
Pitching to get an anchor client
Enjoying other work through volunteering
Honoring your entrepreneurial spirit and getting creative with how to fulfill it