Consulting Woes

I was poking around the New York Times' work blog, Shifting Careers, and came across an interesting post about consulting.
Times are tough and people are losing their jobs. My father has thought a time or two that consulting might be a way to keep your foot in the door and the notion of being your own boss, well, it's always appealed to him.
Consulting is tough going though. You're always looking for your next client and sometimes people want you to work for nearly free or for free period. This is where this post comes in. Freelancer, Michelle Goodman, offers a few times when you might actually want to work for free. This includes: working for your "dream" client or if you have no portfolio or no base clientele to speak of.
Interesting any readers do consulting work? How's it worked out for you?

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