When I was pregnant with Franco, I felt a lot of things, least of which was joy. Mainly I was anxious and scared because I’d already had two miscarriages. I prayed a lot. I ate a lot too. I rested more than I ever had, especially for someone who doesn’t need much sleep to perform well. But as time wore on, I became more excited. I started to plan. I thought of our life together.
Now, I feel a lot of those same things. Although I am not pregnant with child. I’m pregnant with possibility – as defined in #2 below. This work week has been challenging, which has caused me to consider what changes I need to make to feel more fulfilled. I need more flexibility, more work-life balance, more autonomy. I was reading research that pointed to this as the main reason women leave the work force, but specifically in the financial services sector: women are not provided with flexible options and because they cannot give 100% to work (as they are used to doing) and devote quality time to their family, they quit altogether.
For quite some time, I’ve had an idea on very low simmer in the back of my mind, which recently turned aflame. I had this resolution to start my own consulting practice. But not business-to-business consulting, more like me-to-you consulting.
Here’s the genesis of it. At least a few times a year, I consult with a child psychologist. She has helped me as a new parent through an assortment of issues: helping Franco with his sleep routine, coming up with a positive transition when we wanted to fire our first nanny, and recently, providing me with research on early education. She’s the resource I turn to for all things Franco (health, behavior, societal, environmental).
But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to consult with someone for general life advice? What comes to mind is a life coach, but that’s not what I mean. Yes I’ve had life coaches, career coaches, therapists…resources who have truly helped guide me. But those are ongoing commitments where you have to fill out intake forms or contractually agree to a certain time period. I’m thinking of providing a service in which people can call me, tell me their situation, and I help solve the problem by advising, providing scenarios and resources.
Dean laughed when I told him this last night, but I interjected, “I’m serious. It would be so nice to just call or email someone who can give you an unbiased, insightful viewpoint for 15, 30, 60 minutes, whatever. No ongoing commitment. Just setup time on my calendar and let’s figure this shit out. I have 41 years of life experience and major street cred!”
I’m the target market for this type of service because it’s exactly what I need. I don’t have time to do online research or to text X friend for the Xth time. Plus no virtual assistant is going to have the business smarts to solve your problems.
Here are some real-life examples. People have contacted me about:
- Career advice and resume review
- Dating and reviewing their profiles
- Infertility and having a baby when medical professionals said the only way we could get pregnant was through IVF (We had Franco the natural way.)
- Blogging and social media
- Brand management and online presence
- Investing and real estate
- Tiger parenting
- Depression and therapy
- Resources, books and daily inspiration
What do you think? Plausible business idea or not? Not something people would pay for? Not sustainable? I would love to hear your honest, “that’s cockamamie,” feedback.
And I would love to know:
- Have you ever consulted, either as a side-project or full-time?
- Have you ever turned your passion into your career?
- Have you ever worked full-time in corporate, then did a complete turnaround to work for yourself?