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Business Development

I Need Your Help

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Many people fail in their business pursuits because they're afraid to utter four little words: I need your help. I've seen million-dollar executives stay unemployed because they're afraid to reach out to their friends and business acquaintances. It's silly. Others will gladly help us, if only we ask.

One way to ask for help is simply to say, "Here's what I'm trying to do . . . have you got any thoughts or ideas?" This letter, written nine years into my consulting practice, clearly says, "I need your help.

March 10

Ms. Annmarie Califano
INXINX Consulting
2400 S. Colorado Boulevard
Denver, CO 80222-5233

Dear Annmarie:

Although I haven't seen you recently—I know we're both busy—I think of you often as a friend and colleague in consulting.

A lot has happened since we last talked, and I want to keep you up to date. As you may remember, I left ULTD Partners in December 19— to establish CareerLab, a human resources consulting firm specializing in executive career development and outplacement (helping people leaving a company to find new jobs).

That was a good decision, and last year was a great year. CareerLab expanded into permanent quarters at 7700 East Arapahoe Road, and companies like . . .  

  • AT&T
  • Coors
  • First Interstate Services
  • Glasrock Home Health Care
  • Honeywell
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Millers Mutual Insurance
  • Schlumberger
  • Bank Western, and
  • WestAmerica Mortgage . . .
hired me to provide pre-termination counseling, one-on-one executive counseling, outplacement workshops, spouse counseling, early-retirement programs, and management teambuilding.  

I continued working with individual clients too, helping them with

  1. Promotions
  2. Pay raises
  3. Career changes
  4. Small business startup and marketing
  5. Corporate politics, and
  6. Other important issues.
Some of my work is outside Colorado. I have traveled to 15 states, and much of my work is by long distance telephone.  

I now charge $X-$Y per hour, but I bill in tenths of an hour. Keeping conversations short keeps the cost quite reasonable.

In order to continue to grow, I need your help. If you know companies that are reorganizing, merging, being sold, going out of business, or laying off, please call me. I can be a great deal of help to them. Or if you know individuals frustrated in their careers, I can help them too.

Any ideas or suggestions you could give me would be very much appreciated. In any case, I hope you'll call or write to let me know how you're getting along. I'd really love to hear.

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.