Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting Back to Business

My goal lo! these many years has been to configure work that balances money and meaning. Geriatric care consulting is rich in meaning---a combination of social worker, chaplain, geriatric psychologist, and grief counselor. Service opportunities galore!

But how to make a living as an independent?

Consultants typically bill by the hour. This does not work for my practice. After all these years as a caregiver/consultant I know that many of my client meetings (in person or on the phone) might be as short as 10 minutes. Often this is all that the caller can manage given the topic. Sometimes there is just a question or a concern that can be handled quickly. Sometimes it’s about needing a friendly voice. I don’t want the hassle of billing by the quarter hour and I don’t want people to feel inhibited because the meter is running.

My solution is more project-oriented---have clients put me on retainer for a period of time. It might be the duration of an illness treatment cycle (chemotherapy), looking in on a parent once a month or endstage care. Would include phone calls, e-mails, internet research, one or more in-person meetings each month.

So far several families have worked with me this way. They are satisfied and I love it.

Maybe I’ve done it---money and meaning in the same career!.” 

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