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Being an Online Consultant: What Every Beginner Needs to Know

Being an Online Consultant: What Every Beginner Needs to Know

When you move into the working world, life throws many paths at you―some very unprecedented paths which make you doubt yourself. You walk through the doors of rejection with pride and determination while there are moments you’re withering from the inside. But, there are also the significant moments where you find your inspiration to start a career from a different angle.

Recently, the market is booming with online consultancies to help make the world a flatter and reachable platform. It’s negating the concept of distance and making it possible for the world to be run with just a click of a button from any corners of the world.

However, when starting out, we all need that holy book of guidance ‒ not only it boosts our confidence, but also it gives us a great start. What do you need? To answer that question, we have put together a few tips on what you need to have a great start in being an online consultant.

1. Make Sure That You’re Not Charging Too Little

When starting a business, you often times assume that the less you charge, the more you attract. You assume that people are fearful of high prices and you wouldn’t attract more clients if you’re charging a high price. It could be guilt; it could be inexperience or it just could be the fact that you don’t know what to charge.

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Charge more than you think. ― always remember this as your quote. In an online consultancy business always remember to not sell yourself short. Your clients will want their return on investment in everything they invest in – they’re not only investing their money, but they’re also investing their time so take that into consideration. If you can prove ROI, then you’ve got the permission to charge a steady percentage of your client’s profit.

Remember, there’s no potion that will hand you the key to set your price point. You will have to determine it yourself and consider all your pro’s and con’s. A perfect example is, when you’re looking for a pair of shoes, you would find Charles & Keith much more valuable compared to the same pair you’d find in a flea market or a random super-mart. Even if it’s the same pair, you would find the over-priced pair much more exquisite than the cheaper one.

Never sell yourself short.

2. Always Know Your Tools

Starting up in a new field can be taxing, you would need to comprehend everything you’ve practiced in your life in an online world; converting your client base from an offline to an online path, understanding your finances, and finding the perfect platform to communicate with your clients. Skype maybe be the known reliable tool, but does it fit your purpose? How will you manage to track down your finances and how will you ensure that you aren’t wasting your time with clients who won’t bother paying?

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Always research the market and seek the best tools you would like to use for your business. For example, MINT in itself is a perfect tool to keep track of your finances, tally your taxes, and make sure your payments are done in time. This will ease the burden of your strenuous day and leave the bookkeeping to be done by your app.

The internet is a place filled with wonders, you can find freelancers, free sites to build your website, and various communication platforms that would guarantee your client satisfaction and build your business that eventually will sustain itself without any major marketing plans.

3. Always Remember: You’re Not Your Own Boss

The sentence which is constantly uttered when anyone embarks in the world of online consulting is “I finally get to be my own boss”. This myth has created a lot of disappointment and has made many entrepreneurs who started out in this business to quit before they’ve even embarked on this journey.

So, the most important concept to understand is that YOU’RE NOT YOUR OWN BOSS.

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In the world of business, you’re never your own boss, as your clients are paying for your services and your clients are ensuring the lifeline of your business. It means that they are your bosses; they determine your billable hours and look for the necessary results before endorsing any form of payments. Therefore you have to constantly ensure to please not just one boss, but multiple bosses. This attitude will keep you humble and allow your venture to progress at a steady pace.

But what are you entitled to?

You have your own identity, you are responsible for deciding upon your schedule and what you offer. Despite them paying for your services, you have the privileges to say “NO”. This gives you the freedom to choose and the discipline you need to work hard and maximize your potential.

Isn’t it the best of both worlds?

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4. Know The One Reason Why You’re Hired

You are hired for one reason and one reason only; “knowledge”.

As a consultant, your niche is knowledge, your clients hire you to help them with something they don’t know. They hire your services pertaining the fact that you know more than they do, so you got to hold your end of the bargain. You have to always make sure that honesty is your key principle.

When they say “Honesty is the Best Policy “, they don’t mean it lightly.

You have to be able to call things as you see them and offer advice from a professional standpoint, which can either be derived from your own personal interest or from your education background. Either way, the knowledge you pass on should be on a professional basis and at the end of the day, if they disagree or don’t enjoy your opinion, it isn’t your problem ‒ it’s just their opinion.

Your deliverable knowledge is your business model, hence, make sure it isn’t a half-baked mumbo jumbo. If you lose the reliability of your information, you lose your business.

Now you have the major keys to launch a successful online consulting business. All you need now is to roll up your sleeves and be willing to get down and dirty in this industry. Work hard and be the best consultant you can be; your business will take on a life on its own.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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