David ist Freelance-Berater und hat mit der Hilfe von consultingheads innerhalb eines Jahres mehrere Projekte akquirieren können, die er erfolgreich durchgeführt hat. In einem Interview erzählt uns David von seinem Weg in die Freelance-Beratung, wie ein typisches Jahr bei ihm aussieht und mit welchen Schwierigkeiten er dabei zu kämpfen hat. Wenn Du Dich für den Ausstieg ins Freelance-Consulting interessierst, solltest Du dieses Interview mit David auf keinen Fall verpassen. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
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David’s way into freelance consulting
Would you like to introduce yourself to our users? How has your career been so far? What is your expertise?
Originally, I come from a family of entrepreneurs and, inspired by this, I started my first small business as a schoolboy. During my studies with a focus on economics and finance, I had a lot to do with data processing, Excel and the like at various points and had to familiarize myself with the subject matter accordingly. After a year in a permanent position in M&A Advisory, I took some time off to start up again. My entry into freelance consulting was therefore not planned.
You left consulting after a relatively short time and then started your own business as a freelance consultant. What were the three Main reasons for your exit?
The main reason for the consulting exit was to found and build a start-up. Through marketing my company’s product, I came across consultingheads in a roundabout way and created a profile without many ulterior motives. After a few weeks, regular emails alerted me to a job that was a good fit in terms of timing and my skills. I then applied for this job through consultingheads and eventually got it. The project then went very well, I liked the work as a freelancer and then I just stuck with it.
David’s experience with consultingheads
You have already successfully completed several projects through us. How did your placement processes work and what did you particularly like about consultingheads?
Freelance jobs that fit the respective profile are sent regularly by e-mail. Contacting consultingheads was then mostly proactive and always very pleasant. If, after a short briefing, it seems that the consultant could be a good fit for the project, an introduction is made to the client, where everything else is then clarified. The consultingheads team is really very fast and efficient in terms of communication with both the consultant and the client. This prevents misunderstandings and creates a kind of “basic trust” when talking to the client for the first time. I can assume that if there is an introduction, there really is a high chance of placement.
“Everyday life” as a freelance consultant
Most recently, you were on a project with our partner. Can you give us a brief insight? What was the project about and how did you support the team as a freelancer?
We designed a global demand forecasting system for an electrical engineering and components manufacturer and tested it in individual markets. In addition to data preparation and analysis, I mainly supported the design of the forecasting tool and the conception of the necessary IT structure. For this project, I was at the customer’s site four days a week.
Please tell us about a project that stood out in your memory and why.
So far, I have met great new colleagues on every project, some of whom I am still in contact with. For me, it’s actually the people who make each project special and keep it positively in my mind.
What does a “normal year” as a freelance consultant look like for you? Are you constantly on projects or do you also have breaks? If so, what do you like to do most during these rest breaks?
During the last twelve months, I have spent approximately seven months working on various projects ranging from one week to four months in length. After each long project, I deliberately take at least six weeks off to recharge my batteries and do a detailed debrief for myself. This often results in opportunities to further develop my skills in a very targeted way. However, my favorite thing to do is spend a lot of time with my wife and my two boys. Even during projects, I have made it a habit to work only four days a week so that there is plenty of time for the family.
Tips for aspiring freelance consultants
What difficulties do you particularly have to deal with as a freelance consultant? What would you say makes a successful freelance consultant?
It is certainly a challenge to meet the expectations of the clients, especially because my role is often very specific and technical in nature. In order to be successful, I think it is enormously important to assess oneself well and to communicate this to the client. Furthermore, as a freelance consultant you usually don’t have a fixed team and should therefore enjoy working intensively with new people on complex topics on a frequent basis.
What tips would you give to young consultants who are interested in getting into freelance consulting?
From my own experience, I would recommend taking the plunge into freelance consulting when the opportunity arises. Of course, you can help out a bit and build up a good network and an excellent reputation as a consultant. This preparation makes the actual step at the end much easier.
Most importantly, be true to your word, be yourself, and don’t let anyone dictate your actions. This may seem difficult in the situations at hand, but in the long run, it makes life as a freelancer much more enjoyable.
Thank you, David, for your valuable insights and for being part of consultingheads. We wish you and your family all the best!