Becoming an IT consultant: Dos, don'ts, disasters to avoid

Here's how to know if you've got what it takes to go it alone

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"When you've been traveling first class and the limo picks you up and someone is there to make sure all the arrangements are flawless and then you don't have that level of support, it's a shock," agrees Computerworld columnist Bart Perkins, a former CIO and now managing partner at Louisville, Ky.-based Leverage Partners Inc.

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"It's a little bit intoxicating that people will pay me for what I know, but I travel a lot," says Mathis. "People don't buy services over the Internet. They'll read your proposal, but they want you to come to them and present it. My wife will tell you there are times she wishes I was still a CIO," he says.

On the upside, however, Mathis is able to schedule three- and four-week family vacations and get to more of his children's ballgames. "I have seen 100 percent more of my kids' games than when I was a CIO," Mathis says.

"But in the middle of dinner if the phone rings and it's a prospective client, I take the call," he says. "When you're only eating what you kill, and something comes across your path, you chase it."

Computerworld is an InfoWorld affiliate.

This story, "Becoming an IT consultant: Dos, don'ts, disasters to avoid" was originally published by Computerworld.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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