Those who can’t do, consult

So since leaving WhitePages.com a few months ago, I’ve talked to literally hundreds of people – bigcos, smallcos, nocos – searching for what I wanted to do next. Sometimes these searches can be very directed – when I went to WhitePages, I was aiming for something specific (executive leadership at a mid-sized company with a strong business). This search has been a bit less focused – more of a What Should I Do With My Life(TM) sort of search – and so it’s taken a good deal longer. (Also, global financial crisis, maybe you’ve heard of it.)

The process has of course been interesting, but after a planning conference call for Velocity 2009 last week where “for example, if you’re unemployed like Scott,…” was (kindly) used three times, I decided it was time to get a damned job.

But I didn’t really want a “job” – in particular, I didn’t want a job where I was unambiguously working for someone else, and I didn’t want a career ladder that I felt obligated to climb (one of my favorite things about being at WhitePages). I’ll write more about this, and the job search, in a post in the coming days, including some tips.

So after coffee with Matt K (where he really pushed me on what I wanted to do), some well-placed phone calls, and a sign or two, I’ve decided to dust off the occasional-sometimes-consulting business and make it my real business.

I have a first contract (which I’ll write more about in a few weeks) that can feed my family and a bit more. I’m looking for one-two smaller advisory-type contracts. (<weak_pitch> See “contact me” on the right if you’re looking for some help on technology/program management/product strategy, app prototyping, lead generation, etc.</weak_pitch>) I’m also taking what I’ve done for free for years – pairing up great jobs and great people – and turning that into a sometimes-for-pay-service.

I was talking to Todd Sawicki about caused him to stop consulting and go full-time with Lookery. He said that he went full-time when he realized that he wanted to join something more permanently and be more part of something. I liked that answer, because it was as natural as the decision to _not_ do that – it makes you think about moving between consulting and full-time employment as more of a continuum and less of a straight path.

So, I’m on “my own” (still working for people, but in different ways) for a while – not the least-scary decision in the world, but one of the easiest, once I finally saw it clearly.

I still have a personal project or two to improve, so those will be out soon. In the meantime – on on!

2 Responses to “Those who can’t do, consult”

  1. 1 Dave Schappell Oct 20th, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Congrats, Scott — of course, when you’ve arrived at the point where Sawickipedia is giving sane advice, you may want to start looking for the number for that truck driving school…

  2. 2 Paul Brown Jan 13th, 2009 at 3:08 am

    Welcome to the ranks of the gainfully unemployed.

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