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Career Management

Newsletter To Strengthen Your Network

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Jeff wrote this letter after he had left Denver, Colorado, to take an overseas assignment in Australia. The newsletter was an attempt to stay connected with his network at home. And that proved to be a wise move, because several years later when Jeff completed his Australian assignment, he turned to his network in Denver, and his friends and business acquaintances helped him return home.

Newsletters are good public relations devices, and you should consider sending your own version to your key contacts at least twice a year. The newsletter doesn't have to be a work of art. It simply has to tell your story.

TeleCheck Australia | An FFMC Company
Head/State Office | PO Box 227 | St. Leonards NSW 2065
H: (02) 439-3188 | C: (02) 996-5596 | jeff.baer@example.com

 September 29, 20—

Mr. William Frank
10475 Park Meadows Drive, Ste. 600
Lone Tree, CO 80124-5437

Dear Bill:

Denver has the Rocky Mountains, Sydney has the sea. Each reminds the nearby city dwellers of the primitive earth.

The most stark commercial difference between the two cities is Denver's relative lack of concern for international export/import and Sydney's dependence on it.

Most Australian businesses cannot depend on a domestic market of 12 million for financial success. Export is a necessity. Conversely, Australians recognize that in order to develop products worthy of export, they must import technologies and products that keep them abreast of worldwide developments. In addition, there is a demand to import goods and services which epitomize the dominant western culture. McDonalds, KFC, and Sizzler are all very successful here.

An Australian acquaintance is interested in marketing personalized items to yacht owners. I have made several contacts here with qualified individuals who are interested in importing other American products and concepts. If you know someone who would be helpful to these business people, please let me know. You can reach me at the letterhead address, or by e-mail at jeff.baer@gmail.com.au.

TeleCheck's parent, First Financial Management Corporation (FFMC), recently announced FFMC will be acquired by First Data Corporation. The result? That's $6 billion of transaction fee annual revenue. FFMC stockholders have already enjoyed a 15% increase in stock price since the announcement in early June.

TeleCheck in New Zealand and Australia are progressing very well. We now serve the largest retailers in each country.

The Australian adventure became a family reality when Becky and our three children moved into our Sydney home. We are enjoying becoming a part of this great culture.


Jeffery B. Baer  

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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.