How to start a consulting business?

David Clapper
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A: When I started out, I got into the consulting business in the 90s as a way to earn money, but eventually I really couldn’t sustain that and it got me really, really fed up with being an adjunct professor working in classrooms at my alma mater, Ohio University.

The thing about the consulting business is, you want to earn an income, or a salary with your consulting, and you’ve got to make sure that you’re not making an overpayment on your debt because you’re taking a very small percentage on your loans, a measly 0.1 percent. What you’re actually, by the way, at most, making is a $200,000 grant to an organization that’s not a university, that’s not a nonprofit that is operating under non-academic grant guidelines.

So I think that was a big, big part of it. A lot of young professionals and young professors aren’t really able to sustain their status at colleges and universities. And I think the way to make money is to make a living from the consulting services that you provide, and I think that’s a big problem.

Q: What do you consider a typical salary for your role as an adjunct professor?

A: I think that’s $30,000 to $40,000 a year. I’ve got student loans and student loans and student loans. I’m looking at 20 to 25 years of this in my career, so I’m a pretty good salary on the part of my adjunct, full-time salary (because it doesn’t pay the tuition, and part of my income will go toward the books and the food and the utilities if you take out the loans). But that’s not exactly in my budget because our budget for all of our students is $50,000 a year. So it would be really difficult to get money if it was.

Q: So how do you make a living doing that job?

A: By doing research, and by writing, and by serving as our president and doing all of the other things that we need to do and we really need to do. So there are a lot of steps that go into being a successful adjunct professor, and that’s a career and I think it’s important for me, for many adjuncts, to help people navigate it.

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