Making Consulting Work for You: Living the Dream (Video 3)

26 responses to “Successful Infosec Consulting”

  1. Roger Stone (that really is my name!) says:

    Great stuff Ted – looking forward to the next part with more of finding clients (the scary part for me)!

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      A lot more on getting clients in part two – I might even (time permitting) do a quick PDF worksheet on the easiest clients to get, something actionable even if you are not ready to start yet!

  2. Chris Young says:

    Thank you for posting these. I’m currently trying to get out of my day job and excel my personal business with consulting. Would love to see a PDF worksheet!

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Thanks Chris – lots of people are trying to do the same so you are in good company, and the trend is in your direction! Working on some PDFs to complement the videos!

  3. Great info, Ted! There is so much information out there pretending to be about “consulting” but the vast majority is geared towards “coaches” and they focus on building email lists & sales funnels (!yuck!). I am so happy you’re here to represent InfoSec professionals & consulting from a tech point of view.

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Hi Chandra,
      You are absolutely right, a lot of the info is on “coaching,” not consulting, and although I’m not dissing the value of coaching at all (I have some very good and expensive coaches I use myself), most of us are interested in consulting for sure, certainly in security.
      There is some good consulting information out there, but it is mostly focused on management consulting. Enormous similarities as well as enormous differences!

  4. Mike Jenkins says:

    Ted, care to tie in to some of the sites out there like flexjobs or ? Understand that once on the platform users are banding together to pitch larger scope projects as a team. I always prefer an environment where I learn from the really smart analysts around me.

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Hi Mike,
      Great to hear from you!
      I always prefer working with really smart people and to some extent it’s driven my career and types of work I do!
      I’m not familiar with flexjobs and specifically although I have been familar with roughly similar sites in the past and I have friends that have had some success.
      Two things come immediately to mind, based on experience of my friends and colleagues and what I’ve seen.
      1) If it is a site with commodity type work (e.g. “secure a WordPress site”) you will have lots of competition and the competition may all or mainly foreign and if they are from a low cost country you can’t compete. For example there are sites where everyone vying for jobs is from low cost and English speaking Philippines.
      That said, I have friends (not in infosec) who have gotten super cheap gigs on that had lead to much more significant work.
      2) A site may be great and can change over time to not having suitable work. For example some programmer friends got decent gigs on way back and now that it has merged with another sire and become it isn’t working for them. Your mileage may very – some people love upstart it seems.

      I’d give them a try – they look promising, and report back!
      PS: I have had friends in the past support families well on similar sites. Not sure about today though

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Ted, I’m going to start consulting and am considering starting part time and then moving to full time.

    Can I ethically start looking for consulting clients while I have a full time job. It doesn’t seem quite right – is It ok?

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Mary, a quick rhetorical question: Can you look for a new job while you are currently employed?
      Of course the answer is yes. People do this all the time and it is certainly ethical.
      It is the same with consulting – you can look for consulting work while you have current work, whether it is a full time job, contract, or if you are already are consulting (in fact if you are consulting full time, you should be always looking for new work even when very busy – keeping options and future opportunities open!).
      IT may not seem quite right because it is different – slightly out of your comfort zone as it is a new concept perhaps, and that is absolutely OK!

  6. Perry says:

    Great content as always Ted.
    I was propelled into fulltime consulting on 7 Jan 19 due a startup gig that only went 3 months, then they went a “different direction”.
    Very scary at first. I am at the excited stage with landing my first client this week with three other things ramping up. I have two clients that look like they’ll provide a lot of my revenue but several others will queue up a lot more work.
    One tip that may be of use: become a trainer in your field.
    It may not pay as much directly as a consulting gig, but it can lead to more work.
    I am going to be training one of my client’s team. They HAVE to be cyber certified for him to win DOD contracts.
    I’m excited!
    One suggestion, topic of networking, relationship building, and biz dev might be valuable for all.
    Thanks again!

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Hi Perry,
      Thanks! It’s not uncommon to have a “disruptive event” launch a successful consulting career, such as loss of a job, a company going in a “different direction,” etc. and yes it usually is scary at first! Sounds like you are doing well.
      I’m working on something on very simple networking and relationship building – and I’ll put a link to it under the second video and email as well. Basic action steps that are easy to do.

  7. Charles Gifford says:

    The structure was good, the different parts of the nuts and bolts (pay, clients, & entity) were excellent, and the
    recap re-enforces the points. Thanks for sharing! As an Infosec professional who is working on launching consulting on the side this helps!

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Thanks Charles – from the survey results, as expected, lots of interest in consulting on the side. Some use it as a transition to consulting full time, and some are very happy and fulfilled with consulting on the side throughout their careers.

  8. Damien Hull says:

    Thanks for making these videos. These are a big help.

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Thanks Damien – it’s fun and rewarding although a lot of work!
      If I can start a few people off as successful consultants I’m happy (OK, I’ve started a few, a few hundred maybe 🙂 )

  9. Joan says:

    Great content Ted – thank you, and thanks for the summary PDFs. I hope to start producing YT videos soon; this is a project that’s been at the back of my mind for a while. Appreciate your inspiration to step out and just do it!

    Any additional thoughts on creating successful infosec consultancies by the disabled community and/or experienced analysts in their sixties? Specifically for attracting meaningful, enjoyable, remote work? “Asking for a friend.” lol

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Thanks Joan!
      For 60s and later, we all hear about age discrimination but honestly I do not see it in consulting. I’m getting close to 60. In consulting I see experience as an absolute benefit (no surprise) and no downsides to age (surprise to some). A former boss/friend started working again in his late 60s after getting bored with retirement and got a full time job AND quickly some consulting work on the side too, primarily based on experience and contacts, both of which we have more of as we “mature.”
      Certainly we see the disabled community consulting, whether it’s a friend of mine with significant PTSD as well as those with more visible disabilities. In fact a client of mine uses disabled vets specifically for some work.
      And although remote work is more common with full time work than it used to be, it is equally if not more so with consulting. That said, if you can only or primarily do remote work it can make finding work harder as you have limited some possibilities.
      Hope this helps!

  10. Arif Syed says:

    Thank Ted, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing

  11. Arif Syed says:

    Hi Ted,

    Great video. I did started security risk assessment training on the side. Its lot of work in addition to my job, but very fulfilling to help people learn new skills and transition them to be security risk assessors.

    I want to take this to the next level by starting consulting business and taking the risk assessment projects and giving my students opportunity to get hands-on experience.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Ted Demopoulos says:

      Thanks Arif,
      Training can be very fulfilling, it is for me Doing anything on the side takes motivation and hopefully passion (you certainly have both).

      I think that as a consultant I am able to do more and give more back to the community than I could as a full time employee. Not saying that’s necessarily true for everyone though.

      Thanks for your comments!

  12. Arif Syed says:

    Keep us posted on the details about the class. Interested to register.

    Thanks a lot.

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