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Often the route to independent consulting begins with a gig at a well-established firm. In this case, I left Drake Beam Morin, the world's largest career development company at the time. People questioned why I would want to leave the biggest and best to go out on my own.

I said I wanted to do a better job with fewer clients, and positioned CareerLab® as "Small and Personal versus Big and Impersonal," a position it still holds today. Notice that the letter does not simply describe our proposed services—it asks for advice and ideas, and appeals to friendship.

The ending, "Please let me hear from you" is weak. I wouldn't use it again. I'd choose something much more urgent and powerful. However, the letter delivered excitement, enthusiasm, and new clients. 

Back in the day, it was sent by U.S. Mail. Today, I'd send it by email, and also by U.S. Mail or even FedEx to very important contacts. In addition, it would make a terrific posting on LinkedIn.

The letter began a successful run. After the announcement, we continued the momentum, and have worked for more than 350 brand-name corporations, and thousands of individual clients.

October 18, 20-

Mr. Boydston Aberdeen
Attorney at Law
1655 Gaylord
Denver, CO 80206

Dear Boyd,

For the last year and a half I have worked at Drake Beam Morin as a consultant to the senior executives of such companies as AMAX, EXXON, Tenneco, Kelloggs, Wells Fargo, and Johnson & Johnson.

Now I have left DBM to build CareerLab®, a state of the art innovation center for succeeding in business.

Places like the Mayo Clinic, Pritikin's Longevity Center and The Center for Creative Leadership attract clients from all over the world because of their one-of-a-kind nature and their pursuit of excellence. I hope CareerLab will be such a place.

Inside CareerLab you will find:

  • A structured, yet innovative career development program
  • Up to date word processing, printing, mailing capabilities
  • The latest business books, periodicals and references
  • Video facilities for interview training
  • An extensive network of business contacts
  • A supportive, high energy culture.  
CareerLab serves both individuals and organizations. To individuals we offer counseling to achieve income levels of $200,000-500,000. To organizations we offer human resources consulting and outplacement counseling for key executive officers.  

I have affiliated informally with Gary Hollowell, Certified Financial Planner, and Dawson Platte, nationally known consultant, publisher of the HR Professional's Newsletter, and Chairman of the Professional Development Committee of the Human Resources Planning Society.

Your thoughts, feelings, ideas and suggestions have always been valuable to me. And most of all, your friendship.

Please let me hear from you.


William S. Frank

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.