Opportunities in an entrepreneurial journey

My last post talked on what if feels to take the entrepreneurial plunge and how to make that beginning. Given the current circumstances, many colleagues and acquaintances are seriously debating the crossover to start their own consultancies/firms. However, it is not as though everyone has been beaten by the entrepreneurial bug. It is the pandemic. The current environment. Necessity is the mother of invention here. The beauty it all is, irrespective of your own reason to enter a consultancy field, the rules of the game do not change.

My own brush with consultancy has left behind an inedible mark and changed my perspectives of many things. It has taught me deep lessons on my own ability to adapt to a volatile and unstable work environment. 

  • Solution-oriented mindset key to growing

Will the Satan of financial worries raise its head? Oh yes, multiple times. It may leave your jittery, it may make your stress over the new budget cuts that you may have to make because you no longer have a corporate job. This is, but, natural. The trick is to let these thoughts come over you and then rise above them with a solution mindset. If you don’t adapt that thinking, the thoughts will quickly pull you in and drag you into an abyss.

Opportunity: relook at your savings and investments and rejuggle your lifestyle/budget

  • Every day is a new day

In the consultancy world, every day is a new day. If you are a consultant to a start-up, be prepared to work with no plans, no strategic thinking, no budgets. I found this very exciting. Here was a blank, broad canvas ready to be filled with my favorite colors. Agile organisations do not work with a long-term strategy plan in front of them. They are super agile because they are nimble and quick to maneuver in an extremely volatile environment. If you have been working for a corporate where everything was time-bound and process driven, you will need to shift your mind gears and relook at everything with a new lens. 

Opportunity: learn to thrive in agile non process driven organisation

  • Creativity hits the roof

As a consultant you may either work in an organisation that has some picture of the kind of work a communications person is supposed to do. Or, you may take a strong leap of faith and take an assignment with a start-up who may have not much idea of the vital role communications can play. I chose the later and it provided me with the opportunity to lay the groundwork on the value and key role communicators play in any business. A work environment of this kind can also unleash creativity at its best when it comes to drawing up a strategic communications framework.

Opportunity: position communications as a vital function to the success of the organisation

  • I, me, myself

If you have been a team leader or a manager before, the transition to now being an individual contributor is not going to be easy. However, an individual contributor role brings with it a high level of accountability and responsibility. It begins with you and ends as well with you. You ideate, execute, monitor, evaluate and also draw up the budgets. On your own, you learn all the tricks of the trade pretty quickly.

Opportunity: be your own master and learn the A-Z of your role

  • The elixir

Working on your own can be an elixir for your future growth and network. In this scenario, you can tap into your vast network of past and former bosses, colleagues, known and unknown famous personalities…something that you may not do in a process driven organisation. You now control time and can set your own pace. You decide if you wish to work full time for one organisation or whether you would like to be a consultant to varied kind of organisations and in each role do a different thing altogether. You call the shots!

Opportunity: rediscover your true passions 

Yes, the beginning to this journey may be tough. But do not lose heart. The experience of a consultant/entrepreneur can completely change your perspective about yourself and your own abilities to manage a whole new world.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Sarita Bahl is an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Swedish Institute of Management Program. An experienced and versatile leader, she comes with nearly four decades of professional experience. She has over the years successfully overseen the communications and public affairs function and led the corporate social responsibility strategy for Bayer South Asia, Pfizer, and Monsanto, among others. Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, the public sector, trade associations, MNCs, and the not-for-profit sector. Her areas of interest include advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, and communications.

As an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Senior Practitioner (Mentoring) from the European Council of Mentoring and Coaching (EMCC), Sarita specializes in career transition, inner engineering and life issues. Sarita enjoys writing and is passionate about animals, books, and movies.

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