A Consultant’s Initiation
a consultant's initiation

Me in my 20’s at IBM – gotta love that 80’s look!

I always knew that I wanted to be a consultant, ever since age 25 when I met Bill Tinney, a Senior Systems Engineering Consultant for IBM in Cleveland, Ohio. He always seemed to be jet-setting around the world, doing cool things like helping leadership teams and governments plan their next generation of information systems and strategies.

When I had the courage to walk into Bill’s office one day and ask how I could be like him, he sized me up with the lens of a 60-something professional who had done and seen a lot in his years in the biz.

  “Well,” he said, “You need more experience, in lots of different areas – like first line management, second line management, marketing and sales, product development, strategy development, and project management. Also having a stint in corporate wouldn’t hurt.”

  When I heard his list, I was dismayed. “Bill!” I said, “I’ll be forty by the time all that happens!”

  “Precisely,” he said.

The good news is that I started my consulting business at 36, after mentally ticking off what Bill said I needed for experience. My thought was to “fail fast” so that I could learn from experience and be successfully self-employed by the time I was 40. And that was certainly the case – it wasn’t easy! I am now approaching my 30th year in business, successfully self-employed.

I am in the process of writing my next book designed for the person who wants to start an independent consulting business. I want to give you the benefit of what I have learned over these years, from the good to the bad, and hold nothing back. From tricks of the trade to hard-learned lessons, I will share what I know. The only thing I ask is that you let me know how it goes for you!

Cathy Perme is the co-owner of Perme & Peterson Associates, LLC.

Fizz by Cathy Perme

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Fizz! How to Succeed as an Independent Consultant author Cathy Perme also wrote Confucius in My Cubicle: Practical Wisdom for the Leader in All of Us, released by Wisdom Editions in 2017.

rich set of suggestions
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare ...
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Barbara A Tuckner
Cathy's marketing and selling background makes for a rich set of suggestions for getting business and building one’s brand. I think it is rare for an independent consultant to "give away" so much of their business engine and expertise. That adds up to a heap of generosity; something that is remarkable in the "friendly" competitive consulting world.
rich set of suggestions
Barbara A Tuckner
down to earth and practical
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by ...
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Meghan Jost
Down-to-earth, practical, and provides plenty of tools to use to develop your independent consulting business. Cathy takes a constructive look at how to succeed by intelligently marketing yourself, engaging others, and keeping it all in balance with your personal life.
down to earth and practical
Meghan Jost
dozens of ideas
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to ...
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NES
Cathy gives dozens of ideas about networking effectively, making sales calls and using social media and she doesn’t minimize the effort that has to go into it. It’s a reality check for anyone who thinks they can just hang up their shingle and become a consultant, but a great guide for anyone who’s willing to put in the hard work to be a success.
dozens of ideas
NES
from a to z
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
Charles Bever
Cathy will take you from point A to Z on how to successfully become an independent consultant.
from a to z
Charles Bever
methodical steps
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
Kevin Walsh
For those that take the leap, Cathy's methodical steps will surely be helpful in achieving success.
methodical steps
Kevin Walsh
recommend to anyone
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
Patricia Jayne Keefer
I recommend to anyone starting a business.
recommend to anyone
Patricia Jayne Keefer
years of lessons
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and ...
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Ted Clark
Cathy shares years of lessons and a broad breadth of practical consulting and business experience in a very clear and engaging guide for starting and developing a successful consulting company. Highly recommended.
years of lessons
Ted Clark
I appreciate Cathy sharing
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, ...
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Amy Brown
I appreciate Cathy sharing what she’s learned over the past 30 years about how to succeed as an independent consultant. Her advice is straight forward, thoughtful, organized, and easy to follow.
I appreciate Cathy sharing
Amy Brown
Learning Experience Face
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Anonymous
This has been a truly learning experience and has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Learning Experience Face
Anonymous
drove to closure horse
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to ...
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Anonymous
Took a very complicated and dynamic set of realities and personalities, surfaced underlying issues, facilitated a robust and healthy interaction, and drove the process to closure and action.
drove to closure horse
Anonymous

Cathy Perme