Being your own boss has a lot of advantages, but making the transition from the traditional corporate world takes work.
Give yourself financial padding
Most people need to set aside a year's worth of income before they cut themselves loose. You'll know within eight months whether you're developing a sustainable business. To boost your survival chances, make sure your entire income does not flow from any single project.
Be an advertisement for yourself
Sure, everybody you've ever met considers you a role model - just like Mom said. But that doesn't mean they'll slap down $150 an hour for your (alleged) wisdom.
Start by approaching your former employer if you saw a niche where consulting help might fit. And reacquaint yourself with your network of contacts. You'll also have to get used to proudly displaying your name tag at formal get-togethers and finding subtler ways to spread the word at golf games.
It's worth spending money on classy letterhead and business cards, says Pam Lassiter, a career adviser and author of The New Job Security. "You want to inspire confidence. You don't want to look as if you're just between jobs - even if you really are."
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