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Resign Speaking or Teaching Engagement

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Although I was hugely successful and well-paid, I found speaking engagements for this organization unappealing. After three great years, I wanted to resign on my own terms with class. Most importantly, I wanted to retain the rights to the copyrighted work I had created. Part of the solution was finding my replacement. If you've been a valuable asset, replacing yourself makes your departure easier to manage. The purpose of this letter was to close the door on my returning to the program, so I presented the decision as final. Jerri was Martin's administrative assistant.

TO: Martin Parker
Subject: Bill Frank exiting the seminar business  

Sent via e-mail and USPS Priority Mail

You contacted me in November, 20—, to create a leadership development program for upcoming CEOs—and it's been a whirlwind ever since. You've proven your concept and the program has grown dramatically. Good for you.

I see you've planned a course for next year—and you may or may not want to use me—but I need to let you know I'm exiting the seminar business. It's been fun and challenging, but my corporate consulting practice is booming [more than 325 corporate clients now], and my Internet projects are expanding. It's a tough choice, but I've made the decision to stop speaking.

If you want to continue using the Birkman, I've found a great replacement for me:

    Max Dampier, PhD (Certified 1994)
    Max Dampier Consulting (New York, NY)
    Telephone: (212) 555-1212
    E-Mail: maxdampier@gmail.com  
Max has written a book for Birkman International called "The Birkman Reader." He's taught seminars at Stanford and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, among others. I've told Max you might contact him, although I did not mention you specifically.  

Most importantly, I've created 45 copyrighted works that I plan to publish myself, so please remove them from your present and future publications, including books, manuals, course materials, hard drives, and websites. I'm sure Jerri will recognize them, but I've attached a PDF itemizing my copyrighted works.

Martin, it's great to see your success, and I wish you many years of double-digit growth.

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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.