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Networking With Potential Client

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Gloria Valdez has been the Vice President of Human Resources for several large companies. Although she’s never hired us, I like to stay in close touch. These kinds of relationships can explode into an avalanche of work.

I met Gloria in Denver, and kept in touch with her when she relocated to Michigan, and later Ft. Worth. I had sent her an earlier letter, and this is her reply. Below it is my second letter to Gloria. As in a tennis game, I’m hitting the ball back into her court.

Gloria Valdez
Vice President, Human Resources
North American Appliance Group, Kendig Appliance Corporation
Waukesha, Wisconsin 50223

November 19, 20—

Mr. Bill Frank
10475 Park Meadows Drive, STE 600
Lone Tree, CO 80124

Dear Bill:

It was great to hear from you. Congratulations on the impressive growth of your business. Your brochure is very striking. I hope sales of your book are going well.

In April, I was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources for North American based operations. It has been exciting and challenging to reorganize the HR department and to step into a more significant role.

Into what geographic area does your business extend? I would be happy to send business your way should the need arise.

Say hello to Kathryn. Hope all is well with you and your family.



P.S.—Thank you for the spiffy letter opener and logo pencils.

December 3, 20—

Gloria Valdez
Vice President, Human Resources
Kendig Appliance Corporation
5300 Highway 502
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022 2692

Dear Gloria:

Thanks for your nice note. I know time is at a premium these days, so anything personal is extremely rare.

I'm so proud of you. Am really glad to see you moving up in the company and making a big contribution. I'll bet it's exciting and gives you a great feeling of success.

In answer to your question about our territory, we work nationally, with corporate clients all over the country. There's really no geographic restriction on what we do, so much of it is done by phone, voicemail, the Internet, and FedEx.

When we work out of state, we travel to meet clients face to face, or we invite them to Denver to meet us. It works out really well.

Thanks again for taking time to write.

We miss you here in Denver,

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.