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Congratulations To Departing Consultant

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If you hire consultants in your firm, you may have conflict. Consultants have notoriously-strong personalities, and many times they clash. That happened to me as my company entered a phase of explosive growth. I hired Barrett, a former client, to learn our business and he became a successful consultant here.

Then I hired Franklin, another executive friend, who loved our products and services. Very soon these two friends went head-to-head. One left the company to form his own firm, and I subcontracted work to him. This is my letter of support for Barrett.

December 9, 20—

Barrett Tilstrom
Tilstrom Consulting
700 17th Street, STE 3200
Denver, Colorado 80202

Dear Barrett,

Merry Christmas!

Last night you thanked me for my support, and I want you to know it's there. I'm ready to give you a lot of support in the change you're making now.

I imagine it's scary stepping out into the future, but you've done it before—we've done it together, and we'll do this one together too.

I'll be behind you supporting you every way I can, with advice, ideas, friendship. Just let me know what you need.

I've felt bad this last year, as I know you have, about the situation with Franklin. As I told you, I never intended him to come between us, but obviously he did. That was really sad.

I need you to know that you're number one with me—always have been, always will be. I'm closer to you than to my own brother. You are my brother.

Congratulations on your choice of new office space. I think it's great. It signals a really wonderful new beginning for you, and all of us here want to be a part of it.

As a way of getting you started, we'd like to contribute $400 per month for the first quarter toward rent ($1200). Obviously, you're going to be using your office to benefit our business, and we'd like to share the expense. (By the way, it was nice to see you have the balls to do it alone.)

Congratulations and best wishes. Let's have our best year ever.

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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.