Are Successful Consultants Simply Wage Slaves?

Great consultants are busy…very busy.  They usually fly a lot and have multiple homes around the world…often in gated communities or estates called Fairfield, Embassy, or Hampton.  If the consultant is good, he/she will command a high daily rate.  Let’s say a typical consultant makes $1,000/day.  A better consultant makes $1500/day…but the Mac Daddy’s…the guys and gals that really make the corporate world tick probably fetch at least $2500/day.  We’re going to exclude speaking engagements or other products for now that may boost the income of the consultant.  Let’s also forget that some consultants probably thrive on the chaos/excitement/challenge of the career and love their lives just fine!

There are roughly 260 possible billing days per year (that excludes weekends).  Suck out the holidays, sick time, travel time (I’ll be gentle on this because that MAY be billable) and the whatever time, and you’re probably looking at 180 days of billable opportunity at best during any given year.   Let’s not forget that a 3-day consulting trip  will probably suck an entire week of your life if the planes are on time and weather cooperates when you think about my numbers above.  That includes the mental and physical recovery/catch up/re-grooving of ones brain waves, etc. 

At 180 days of opportunity, the possible options at FULL EMPLOYMENT, ie EVERY day is a billing day are the following:

  1. Mac Daddy = $450k possible wages
  2. Uber Gal = $270k possible wages
  3. Impressive Bloke = $180k possible wages

Let’s not forget as well that being booked solid would mean no marketing, business generation, content generation, or networking time.  Thus, I think it’s best to whittle down our possible days of opportunity a bit to say 80% of possible.  That may be generous, but we’re down to 144 days of billable time.

I won’t suggest that the example consultants are experiencing poverty…but I would contend that their actual investment in obtaining 144 days of billable time is MASSIVE when factoring in the time away from home, missed family events/experiences, the drain of being "on the road", etc.  These folks are working "for the man (or WOman)"..it’s just that they’re the (wo)man!  If they are not working…they are not billing just like a Doctor or Dentist. 

One can always make more money….but TIME is the only commodity which we cannot create once gone (Star Trek/Superman fans please don’t vilify me).  Using that time wisely to create income that happens during all waking, sleeping, playing, and vacationing hours is really what it’s all about.  If you’re a consultant…break out of the wage slave grind!

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One thought on “Are Successful Consultants Simply Wage Slaves?”

  1. Great post. However, most high paid consultants have invested a considerable amount of time in to creating their brand. The break to a time independent model is extreemly difficult, and often not as profitable. I can’t see someone like a Tom Peters making the same kind of money though books. I would guess 90% of his income stems from his live keynote presentations, not his book sales. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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