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Two of my accounting clients have landed jobs by contacting members of the Financial Executives Institute.

The first, Len Kenney, lives in Los Angeles. He wrote to 350 members of the FEI, nationwide. One day he received a call from a recruiter in Chicago who was looking for a controller in L.A., right close to home.

Len won the job and went to work for one of INC magazine's top 20 small companies. When he asked the recruiter, "How did you find out about me?" the search consultant said, "I called a candidate in Chicago to see if he was interested. He wasn't. But he said 'I have the resume of a friend right here.'"

Someone who had never met Len considered him a friend. Members of professional organizations tend to feel a sense of kinship with their peers. Paul Gutknecht's letter featured here (page 72) resulted in a job offer. That's a letter worth writing. Think about trying this with your own association.

11374 Quivas Way | Westminster, CO 80234
C: 720-715-9825 | H: 303-465-1236 | pgutknecht@verizon.net

March 18, 20––

Mr. Charles F. McCay
Vice President Finance
Bank of America
123 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94104

Dear Mr. McCay:

I am writing to you as a fellow member of the Financial Executives Institute and seeking your advice in my job search. My 30 years of experience includes 3 years of consulting for the top managements and 20 years in top management of two different companies, plus 8 years as a bank director.

Most of my experience is in the petroleum industry; but management, financial and accounting skills are valuable in any industry. Although we enjoy living in Denver, my wife and I would gladly relocate.

Please take a few minutes and think about possible needs among your associates and friends for a man of my talents. You can either give them the enclosed copy of my resume, or give me their names so that I can follow through.

Any assistance or advice that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Paul H. Gutknecht


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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.