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Goodbye To Office Manager

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It's always hard to lose well-trained, well-respected team members. Giving them an enthusiastic send-off, including letters of thanks, eases the transition for them, and for me. George O'Donnell was a hard-to-manage consultant. Celina was replacement.

As it should, the letter says it all.

May 16, 20—

Libby Veltry
5582 Antler Trail
Englewood, Colorado 80112

Dear Libby,

I really appreciate everything you've done for me and for our company.  We really needed you, your personality, and your skills.  (This was the first time an office manager could control and punish George O'Donnell—it was fun to watch.)  All the consultants really enjoyed working with you—they told me often, and I hope they told you, too. The clients also liked you, and I got many comments about your helpfulness.

You really took charge of the office and made it run.  You took headaches away from me without my realizing it.  You made positive changes, sometimes in spite of me.  And for all these reason, I appreciate what you've done and want to say thank you.

You contributed more than just office management.  You made a difference in our clients' lives by helping and caring for them at times when they really needed help.  And that's what this business is all about.

Although it's difficult for us to lose you, I believe you made a good decision to return to school full time to fulfill your personal mission, and I wish you great success and happiness in teaching.

You have my wholehearted support in your career and in your life, and I want you to know you're always welcome back at any time for any reason.  Our doors are always open.  (Well, my door is sometimes closed—but you're still welcome.)

Thank you for your willingness to train Celina.  As I'm sure you're aware, we need all the help we can get.  I hope I'll see you in the office again in the next few weeks.  And if I don't, please remember, you've got friends here—and I'm your friend.

With warm thanks,

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.