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Volunteering Creates Sales

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Where do consulting assignments come from? Everywhere.

During a severe recession in Denver, our company sponsored a career call-in night for the HelpCenter at KCNC television. Besides our consulting staff, we brought in recruiters and human resources executives to serve as experts. Most of the executive-experts were current or potential clients.

Viewers called in and asked how-to questions. Some of it was broadcast on camera. The experts liked that. After the call-in show, CareerLab treated the group to dinner in a friendly restaurant. What fun that was!

As a result of that volunteer effort, we gained the goodwill of Tom Martino, the television host and consumer expert. When a viewer asked Tom to evaluate a competing career consulting firm, Tom told the viewer to call me. This is the paper trail of e-mails back and forth, and we got the assignment.

To: Bill Frank
From: Dudley Ullman
Sent: August 14, 20— 12:21 AM
Subject: Career Consulting . . . ?

Dear Mr. Frank:
I recently contacted Tom Martino to ask him if he knew anything about a particular Denver Career Counseling firm. (I am considering retaining this firm to assist me in securing a new position). He recommended that I contact CareerLab and ask for you.

My profile is as follows:

  • Vice President, Engineering with a NASDAQ $170M company in Boulder.
  • Salary package: $200K base with a 50% annual bonus potential.
  • Stock options: 170,000 shares
  • Staff: approximately 175 in Boulder and Tokyo, Japan.
  • Reporting line: to President/CEO.

What kind of assistance could CareerLab offer in my case?
Thank you.
Dudley Ullman

From: Bill Frank
Sent: August 14, 20— 3:56 PM
To: Dudley Ullman
Subject: Re: Career Consulting . . . ??

Dear Mr. Ullman,
My client base is composed mostly of senior executives and partner-level professionals in the $100,000-$1,000,000 salary range.  We provide career consulting through all phases of career transition, from beginning to end.

There's literally nothing we don't do related to job search, starting or buying a business, purchasing a franchise, or securing another senior executive position.  If you'll give me a call at 303-790-0505 we can chat.  You might want to look at www.careerlab.com/.

Thank you,

To: Bill Frank
From: Dudley Ullman
Sent: August 15, 20— 6:21 AM
Subject: Career Consulting

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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.