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Testimonial For Speaker

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As a physician, Ray was transitioning out of clinical medicine into a career as a public speaker. Testimonial letters were very important to him as he built his reputation. Most speakers to our monthly executive breakfast, ExecuNet, received handwritten thank you notes. But I felt Ray deserved a well-worded round of applause.

February 4, 20—

Raymond J. Watwood, M.D.
15235 Peacock Dr
Littleton, CO 80124-2623

Dear Ray,

Your talk "New Year-New Career," was a smash hit with our ExecuNet audience at CareerLab. As you know, the 50 attendees were senior executives across all industries and functional areas, and they always expect a lot. Satisfying them is no small challenge.

Your talk received rave reviews, both the day of your presentation, and for weeks after. Lonnie Templar, a senior marketing executive told me, "Wednesday with Ray Watwood was really dramatic." I know by speaking to participants that you have gone out of your way to assist several of them personally, and that means a lot to us and our reputation in the community.

It is obvious you were well prepared. First of all, you attended several ExecuNet meetings in advance to get the feel of the crowd. Second, you showed up very early to make sure the room was set up properly. (As program chair, this always gives me a sigh of relief.) And third, your talk came off smoothly, as though you had rehearsed it several times before. Your PowerPoint slide show—complete with remote control—was very helpful.

Most of all, Ray, I think the audience really appreciated your willingness to share your own personal experiences from the heart, which is very rare and beautiful. As you pointed out in your talk, all of us face life transitions-and your story, so vividly told, gave all of us the encouragement to move ahead in our own lives—and not to fear change.

In the last several years, we have had some remarkable speakers at ExecuNet—but yours was certainly the most professional speech we have had. Your fee was more than fair, and we plan to bring you back again and again.

With thanks and best wishes,

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.