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Show Persistence For International Business #2

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Great letter, weak close. When you spend this much time to draft a letter, don't leave the outcome to chance. Executives are notoriously busy, so don't wait for them to call you. Often, they won't. Not because they don't want to, but simply because they don't have time.

When you draft a tailored letter to an important contact, you should end it strongly. In this case, "I'll call you to see if there might be something to talk about in this suggestion."

1128 2nd Avenue South | Edmonds, Washington 98020
H: 425-759-8971 | C: 425-799-8767  | rruby@aol.com

December 16, 20—

Mr. Kenneth D. Blackman
Corporate Counsel
Storage Technology Corporation
2270 South 88th Street
Louisville, Colorado 80027

Dear Kenneth,

You will recall that I visited you a few months ago at Bill Henry's arranging. Our discussion started with copper--which has been a large part of my life--and then moved to the role and responsibilities of a corporate counsel for a smaller hi-tech firm.

Since our talk, I have been interviewing in the east, and expect to be back there in the next week or so--but, as I mentioned to you, I would much prefer to stay in this area.

Your current state of work overload may well last for much longer than anyone suspects. I wonder if you might be feeling the need for some additional, battle-scarred strength in your office, to help you keep track of and deal with the many outside big-league players now buffeting STC.

A press release describing the financing we put together for the Peruvian copper mine in the '70s is enclosed--simply to give you an idea of the complexity of the undertaking. I had a lot to do with the entire effort, and would be glad to explain my work and accomplishments in detail if you should ever wish.

Chase Manhattan was the lead commercial bank on the financing. The Millbank Tweed lawyer who carried their load is now the senior outside legal counsel to Chase. He knows me well from that period, and he or his assistant (also a Millbank partner) could give you a reading on my contribution. ASARCO'S outside legal counsel was Covington and Burling, specifically Phil Rathbun and Dick West both of whom knew amd valued my work highly. Phil, after it was all over, commented that my ability to master a complex tangle of financial and commercial relationships, and to keep all the pieces lined up and moving in the desired direction, was crucial to the success of the legal side of the endeavor.

Please call me if you think there might be something to talk about in this suggestion.

Yours truly,

Richard P. Ruby

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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.