First step out of staff aug

The next cohort of The Expertise Incubator begins Jan 13, 2020. If you’re curious, let me know.


I’ve gotten questions from y’all via my post opt-in survey. I’m answering the most difficult ones for you here.

The question: “For the mildly risk-averse, what are my first tactical steps to separating from this “consulting” (read: staff augmentation) firm to start my path towards becoming an independent, real consultant where I’m paid for my expertise rather than my time?”

The recommendation: Getting asked for your advice is a precursor to getting paid for your advice.

The probability of getting asked for advice increases as a function of:

  • (The problem’s) Importance
  • (Your client’s) Uncertainty
  • (Your) Visibility

You need to find a repeatable way to get asked for — and subsequently paid for — your advice. Here’s how you do that:

  1. Identify important business problems. They must be important from your client’s perspective.
  2. Prioritize them according to the amount of uncertainty clients experience when trying to solve those problems.
  3. Find one way you can earn visibility as a reducer of uncertainty around a problem that a) is important to clients, b) is cloaked in uncertainty, and c) is a problem that interests you. This method of earning visibility must be something you can implement as a side hustle.

The caveats: Your risk profile is a combination of your emotional response to risk and your ability to survive a loss. Your question suggests you have a low to moderate risk profile.

Do not leap and wait for the net to appear. You need a repeatable system for generating opportunity before you leap. I’ve seen few that are better than the kinds email lists I described in Tuesday’s email.

True consulting (improving your client’s condition by selling them advice) might be a long-distance leap.

Because of your low to moderate risk profile, consider adding an intermediate step in your move to consulting. That intermediate step is independent implementation work where you generate your own leads. That might be enough of a leap, and from that “lily pad” you can then move into full consulting.

Go deeper: This free ebook from Hinge Marketing helps you understand the issue of visibility: https://hingemarketing.com/library/article/the-visible-expert

Take action: Individual coaching with me has the flexibility a FTE needs to build up the ability to generate your own leads on the side before you leap to independent work: https://www.philipmorganconsulting.com/private-coaching