In which, I am inspired at last

closeup of a lit lightbulbGood news! I finally hit on something I already have skill in, that I can set up a consulting shingle for immediately. I had my first client yesterday. I was able to solve all of her problems. She was thrilled, and already wants to schedule another appointment for additional consulting.

I never considered consulting on this topic as a profession before because it’s a deep, deep topic, and my knowledge level is intermediate at best. However, as many, many of the create-your-own-worklife blogs I’ve been reading point out, you don’t need to know everything, you only need to know more than your client. I had forgotten how I struggled with the same knowledge when it was all new to me, how arcane and incomprehensible it all seemed. And being both a midwesterner by birth, and a woman, I am the last to see my own expertise in anything.

I am pretty excited, as money is coming in immediately (and not a moment too soon).
The topic is related to other things I do in my life, so continuing to build my expertise will be a benefit, not a step in the opposite direction from where I want to go. This has been a big concern as I looked at career options. Once I had figured out that I wanted to make my blogs the center of my life, whether they were the source of my income or not, it was very frustrating to feel I had to pour energy into something else to make that possible!

I have also been trying to find something that would not sap all of my creative energy. This fits that bill too. Last but not least, since I am working from home by phone, I don’t have to buy new clothes. Thoreau would approve :)

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
Henry David Thoreau

My only reservation is whether working with people will tire me out too much. I was pretty wired yesterday, but it was my first time, plus I had an important appointment later in the day that I was anxious I would miss, even though I had scheduled plenty of time. Hopefully, the one-on-one nature of the interactions, and the pleasure I take in problem-solving for and empowering my clients will offset the energy impact of the interaction to some extent.

Also, I already think I’m undercharging. I didn’t want to scare her off so I started low, but she actually seemed willing to pay the rate I asked and then some, she was so happy to find someone to help her.

Since she was my first client, though she doesn’t know it, I will probably keep her at the starting rate forever. If that experience had been bad, I might’ve rejected this path without giving it a fair trial, so I’m eternally grateful to her for being such a perfect client. But I’ll charge new clients more, which means I won’t have to schedule as many hours of interaction to make ends meet. Also, I’ve thought of a related service I can offer which does not entail interaction.

So, I’m off to build a website, and a Facebook page, and find the right software to store client details, and figure out the best way to market myself. Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “In which, I am inspired at last

  1. This is wonderful, congratulations! I wish you a good continuation of your start ;) And if I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about what this might do with you — as in, whether or not the people drain you. You always have time to worry about that when / should the case come true. For now, soak up the energy and joy and surf on it :) But you’re already doing that, I see; in any case the energy is palpably transmitted through this post!! GOOD LUCK <3

  2. Thank you :) The people-contact issue is an important one for introverts and HSPs, and doubly so for those of us who are both. Boundaries are not our strong suit, and it pays in the long run to be realistic about our limitations. It’s not unusual for HSPs to be drawn to helping professions, but it’s also not unusual for them to feel burned out by them. I suspect this is even more of a problem for HSP extroverts.

    That said, I’m hoping to minimize burnout risk by my choice of a pragmatic, educational role. Empathy and perception are still useful for effectively supporting the empowerment of others, but the primary focus is on actions, rather than emotions. Also, it helps that most of my consulting will be by phone (nobody watching me).

    That’s interesting that I sound different. I feel different too, just walking down the street, as if I have more of a right to be in the world, not in anyone else’s eyes, but in my own. Though it may not be in my top 5, I suspect I have a strong streak of the Achiever orientation, which is not long on self-satisfaction unless something new is being learned.

    Your blog looks beautiful (really, check it out, readers). Is that a new theme, or are you just using it differently? Do you take all of your own photos?

    Well, I’m off to take care of a thousand tasks, from renting a PO box (for checks!) to finishing up my new business website and writing a few posts. Of course there will be a blog on my business website :)

    Oh, and my perfect first client continued in her perfection by contacting me yesterday for another appointment!

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