Today (and really this past week) marks a huge achievement and change in my life. You guys… I am an entrepreneur… it’s FBO, so it’s really a for-sure thing now. All systems are GO! For those of you who haven’t fallen into my generations love/hate relationship with Facebook, I’ll clue you in.

FBO = Facebook Official. The real deal. Shall I use it in a sentence? “oh you might say he’s your boyfriend, but you’re not FBO.” You can get married on paper but when you change your relationship status on Facebook… that’s when it REALLY happens.

This week, I changed my employment status on not just Facebook but also LinkedIn. Mary Kay is a real job for some but it doesn’t quite cut it for me. Goodbye beauty consultant, hello business consultant. Senior Consultant. Owner. Partner. Loving it.

I submitted my first invoice to my first client today. HUGE! Invoice number 0001. Lots of extra zeros, I’m not sure why, but I see it on invoices all the time so I went with it.

I can’t wait to be making good money! It’s not the only thing that matters by a long shot but I’m sick of living paycheck to paycheck. I definitely need to start putting myself out there, networking, to expand my client base. With consulting it’s all about quality over quantity – you want to make sure your current clients are getting all of the time/energy they need from you before you take on more and overwork yourself and leave your clients dissatisfied. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that people can’t do everything themselves. I’ve seen so many businesses close from this same mistake. That’s another blog entirely though 😉 So even this blog is a part of the marketing. Word of mouth and referrals will be the primary source. I’m hoping in between larger projects I can keep my rent paid by doing freelance jobs online. 

Even though it’s just the beginning; there was a lot I had to do in a short time to get to this moment, and a lot more to be done. I had to research market rates for the services I offer, create my fee schedule, create my contract, my logo, my letterhead, RFP’s and invoice. I still need to get the website and online portfolio put together. Business cards were ordered tonight so that’s on track. Other than that just network network network and keep my web presence strong. I’d like to do more than just a blog someday. I could write white-papers on my theories, and I have a lifetime goal of writing/publishing a book; it could be a novel or something business related or even faith-based. I have this diagram on economic efficiency that I think would really take off. Under wraps for now.

See, that’s one reason I think consulting is the perfect job for me. Because it is an umbrella for so many opportunities, and I’m the kind of person that’s always wanting to do new and different things. I am constantly trying to learn and grow. I heard a saying at church once that “the healthiest things/beings are always growing” and I definitely believe that. Any business that I go into, I’m going to want to make it better and if I’m stuck working the entry-level gig… that’s not going to happen. This way, I help businesses reach their goals, grow, try new things, be strategic, be efficient. To me this is like the ultimate economic stimulus. Forget stimulus, actually, I’m like economic crack. I learned to spell on a computer so when I took those Microsoft Word and Excel tests my percentile was off the charts and I’ve also studied some very relevant subject-matter people are just beginning to explore such as sustainable urban development, green accounting, non-profit governance, strategic planning, best practices, basically tons of great things businesses need to know about in today’s market and the markets of the future. Not a lot of people my age have led teams, gone through leadership training, changed mission statements at their college job or trained new processes on GoToMeetings from East to West Coast.  Sometimes, like anyone, I get down and I doubt myself, but at the end of the day I remember these things and I’m confident that what I offer will be successful.

Have you ever watched the show “Tabatha Takes Over” ? Kind of like that… just more hair, less scowl. I love the way she just transforms these businesses that are struggling and whips them all into shape! Not just salons but various kinds.

This next month or so is going to be a challenge but I have faith and I am very excited. I will have to detach myself from my first, and currently only, client that’s been keeping me very busy and branch out. I’m supposed to be wrapping up my projects with them in the next week. The unknown future is always a little scary but I know I’m going to be fine.

With that being said; help me pay my rent and pass on a referral if you can! Plug it in, plug it in (:

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!

By: Kelly Rates