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I took this photo near the top of Mount Haleakala (Maui).

The Pursuit of Discretionary Time

Now that I’ve decided I’m going to become an independent consultant I’m faced with the question — how do I do that exactly?

I was trained first and foremost as a researcher so of course my response was: I must research this! There’s no need to reinvent the wheel so I read some books by people who have done this before.

I started with Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Workweek not because it’s the most relevant to what I want to do — Ferriss actually advises against service consulting — but because I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and I knew I would learn a thing or two in the process.

I admire Tim Ferriss and find him charming in an off-the-wall sort of way. He has some bold ideas and they make a lot of sense. Some of them are a bit extreme for me as I have no desire to uproot my family and vagabond around the world. But he makes it very clear from the onset that not all of his ideas will be relevant to all people. My take away from the 4-Hour Workweek was this — don’t defer living your dreams. Do everything you can to automate the things you’d rather not be doing so that you have more time to spend on what you find exciting.

Sufficiently inspired by Tim Ferriss, I looked at his list of book recommendations and decided to read The E-Myth Revisited next. This is a very “Yes You Can!” book and I mean that as a compliment. Michael Gerber provides some great gems of advice. He suggests that you build your business like a prototype — pretend that you need to launch a ton of others just like it. That gives you the mindset to build a smart, efficient, and sustainable business that you could easily pass on to someone else if you wanted to. It’s easy to see how Tim Ferris was inspired by this book. To me here was the take home: Be systematic in the way you build your business. Constantly collect data, learn from that data, and make changes as your business grows.

Next, I wanted to read a book that was immediately relevant to independent consulting. At the bookstore I stumbled upon The Consulting Bible and this hit the nail on the head. Alan Weiss offers a step-by-step approach to building a solo consulting practice that is easy to read and full of actionable advice. He’s not shy about bucking trends, which I love. In the end, though, it’s a book about freeing up discretionary time. Which is essentially what The E-Myth Revisited is all about. Which is essentially what 4-Hour Workweek is all about.

Which is essentially what life is all about.

Hey there tech managers! Is leading your team like herding cats? 🐱 🐱🐱Are you sick of making stuff up, without trusted systems to guide you? Are your days filled with useless, time-sucking meetings? Join my Facebook group with other tech geeks who are coming together to build thriving, high-performing teams who don’t need constant hand-holding. No H.R. B.S. Real stories, from real geeks, who understand the nuances of being a techie. Click here to join: https://jenbunk.com/facebook

Written by

Career Coach for Tech Managers. I help tech managers upgrade their careers, their teams, their paychecks, and their lives.

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