Like many commission-based jobs, technical recruiting has a pretty low barrier to entry, everything you need to know you can probably learn on the job, and the pay-outs can be huge. At the same time, however, it is not an easy field to be successful in, in much the same way that consistent, high magnitude successes in sales are difficult.

Confound that difficulty with the terror that comes with striking out on your own, and you’re in for a bumpy ride. Below, I’ll share the most salient things I’ve learned in the process of launching my own technical recruiting firm. Some of these things are obvious, and some, at least for me, were entirely unexpected.