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These days we're invited to join LinkedIN or other business networks. For reasons I've often discussed, it's generally wise to accept those invitations. I use a database called cardscan.net. I put my contacts in there, scan business cards I'm given, and the system sends automatic update forms to my network. My friends and business acquaintances update their contact information online, and I'm notified of changes. This triggers me to make friendship or sales and marketing calls. The letter below was an attempt at client engagement, and it worked beautifully.

September 10, 20—

Dana Kysar
Attorney at Law
Kysar & Company
1393 Cherry Creek Drive North
Denver, Colorado 80119

Dear Dana,

You read it everywhere.

These days, a lot of career advancement takes place via the Internet. If you're not online, you're left out. These days you can make a career move without ever leaving your keyboard! I'm exaggerating, of course: face-to-face interviews still determine the outcome—but nearly everything else can be done online.

At CareerLab, we're leading the field in the use of information technology--especially the Internet—to help our clients reach the stratosphere with their careers.

As you may know, we've created an award-winning 650-page Internet Website with incredibly useful resources no one dreamed of a year ago. Very popular, it's receiving 160,000 hits per week. In the next few months we'll be rolling out many new services for you and our other alumni who are already successful, desiring more success.

As a first step, our Lincolnshire International Offices—all 24 of them—have launched a national electronic database for senior executives and top professionals. As a friend and alumnus of CareerLab, you may access this database right now. You may search the database to find contacts all across the country—people really willing to talk to you confidentially about any career issues you face—and you may add your own name so that others can find you. If you remember the difficulty of cold calling and networking, you'll certainly appreciate this innovation. 

(Please turn the page . . .)

CareerLab Alumni Registry
September 4, 20—
Page Two 

There are two ways to proceed:
  1. You may add your name and contact information yourself.
    To do so, go to our home page http://www.careerlab.com. Select "For Your Career," from the menu. Then select "Special Services for CareerLab Clients and Alumni Only." (This is the database.) That will bring up an identification screen. Your code is alumni, and your password is net4all. That will get you into the system. From there, you may add your own contact information and search the database.
  2. If you prefer, we will submit your name and contact information for you. Simply FAX, mail, or e-mail this information to us—and we'll do the rest.  
    • Name
    • Title
    • Company
    • Address
    • City, State Zip Code
    • Work Tel:
    • Home Tel:
    • Cell:
We're excited about this new benefit to you and to other CareerLab Alumni.  We're confident it will help you advance your already highly-successful career.  

Always wishing you the best,

William S. Frank

P.S.—If you would like a demo of this system, or if you would like to see our Website firsthand, give me a call. I'd be thrilled to show-and-tell. Very soon it won't be enough to have a simple resume. You'll be expected to have a portfolio online, a personal Web page that could include such things as your resume, publications, letters of reference, product brochures—you name it. We're launching that soon.

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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.