I did some independent, pro bono consulting work for my friend and associate a few days ago. I will provide some more of my consulting service for my associate on a pro bono basis as required. Here is a definition of pro bono: Professional services dispensed on a voluntary basis at no cost to the recipient - Investopedia.
I am offering my services on a pro bono basis at this present moment in time. I have the mechanism in place to accept payments for my digital products and consulting/training, coaching services. However, I will not be accepting payments for these products and services until I decide that I am ready to. I have personal reasons for not wanting financial rewards for my work at this juncture.
In these present economic times, one should creatively evaluate themselves and their abilities and work out ways in which we can either start our own businesses and/or do freelance consulting work. Nowadays it seems like job security is a thing of the past. With the current interest in the DIY movement, self directed learning, there are many ways in which a dedicated seeker can create opportunities for themselves. There are a multitude of learning resources available, and the majority of these resources are available at no cost. Independent scholarship is another area which is becoming popular. The underlying theme within these areas is: Self Directed Learning SDL. Independent scholars are pursuing lines of research outside of academia and they are creating compelling work, as a result of being unconstrained by what they can learn and write about. Academic writing generally requires a narrow focus. Independent scholars pursue their areas of research with vigour. This is because they are free to learn about, research, explore and write about things which they have a passion and interest in.
I foresee more and more people participating in consulting and freelance work in the next few years and beyond. Don't listen to your detractors. I have had a few people questioning me in regard to my consulting work. These people tried to say that what I was doing was not consulting. Just because I am offering my consulting services in areas which are different from the areas that they are working in, does not mean that I am not providing 'consulting' services. I have worked at an e-learning and training company in Sunnyvale, California, USA, and I have extensive experience in training. Therefore, I am a consultant. My point here is that aspiring consultants should not be swayed or influenced by the negative things which the detractors have a habit of saying.
Here are just some of the benefits of offering pro bono consulting services:
- Helping others. You will feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that your work is helping others.
- Gain experience.
- Testimonials, recommendations, referrals.
- Gain more confidence.
We all have knowledge, skills and experience. There are businesses and individuals who can and will benefit from your knowledge. Don't worry too much about creating business plans. There are numerous examples of hugely successful business which started without business plans. Facebook started out as a project or hobby, Mrs Fields cookies initial business plan was to make and sell cookies. There are other examples. Please feel free to google this area for more info. Be bold, adventurous and creative and get started with your consulting, freelance opportunities.