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Craig has a "favorite company," and he says so. His letter told a story and showed honest admiration. Best of all, it worked. He interviewed with Caterpillar over the phone, but their corporate downsizing prevented his being hired. Try this approach with any company you truly admire.

4720 West 49th Street | Denver, CO 80018
C: 303-555-7114 | H: 303-555-1682 | tlincoln@yahool.com

April 16, 20––

Mr. William T. Randolph
Executive Vice President Sales
Caterpillar Tractor Company
100 Northeast Adams
Peoria, Illinois 61629

Dear Mr. Randolph:

I've always been fascinated with the "Big Yellow" Caterpillar image. As a child, I received a toy Caterpillar tractor, and the gift has lasted as long as my fascination with Caterpillar.

In 1972 in Fresno, California, a Caterpillar representative brought your corporate story alive. The movie which told your story was incredible. It showed your approach to industrial education, international marketing (with special interest being given to the up-and-coming Third World Nations) and an overview of Caterpillar philosophies.

At a basic level, I was sold. If I hadn't been working on contract, I would have approached you the next day.

I could very well imagine myself working in corporate design somewhere within the Caterpillar Organization.

My background is sufficiently varied to lend you many avenues of expertise through good sound communications design at all levels within Caterpillar.

  • From corporate image to international education.
  • From advertising to product marketing.
  • From film to video design.

Caterpillar still maintains the strongest image in design, engineering and manufacturing of heavy equipment in the world. Your name is synonymous with building. And I want to be a part of your team.

In the next few weeks I will be in touch with you to see if you want to discuss this further.

Wishing you the very best,

T. Craig Lincoln

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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.