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Permission To Reproduce Intellectual Property

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If you write and publish books, articles, CDs, or other media, you'll probably be asked for permission to reproduce excerpts. I always grant these requests, and as a result, my writing is distributed worldwide. That translates to an ongoing stream of referrals.

I like to be sure users don't change the material, take too much of it, and most importantly, I like to include a tag line after the article that identifies me, my copyright and my website. Last of all, I often ask to see a finished copy of the result. Below is the initial inquiry, which contains the kinds of facts you should look for, followed by my reply.

From: Kent Schenker [kschenker at gmail.com]
Sent: August 06, 20— 1:41 PM
To: wsfrank@careerlab.com
Subject: Permission Request

Dear Mr. Frank:

Mitchell-Karey Publishing is creating an educational Website to support students and teachers of technical writing. This Web site will be made available free of charge and will provide a wide range of materials and resources for use in classrooms where students are learning how to write reports, proposals, letters, manuals, and other forms of technical writing.

Part of this site will include model documents, documents that will serve as examples of exemplary technical writing. The following documents have been identified by our University faculty consultants as terrific technical writing examples that students can learn from:

We would like to use one cover letter and one follow-up letter at: http://www.careerlab.com/letters/ 

We are seeking nonexclusive permission to include these two documents as examples of exemplary technical writing at our English web site.

We will not adapt or change your document in any way, though we may need to place a border or highlight a specific area.

Since we want to have an archive of online technical writing documents we would like to retain your selection for two years. They would be a part of approximately 25 pieces.

We hope that you are willing to help with this important educational project. If so please indicate your approval by replying to this email message and saying so.

Thank you for your help in this important matter. We would appreciate a response within the next week, if possible.


Kent Schenker
Mitchell-Karey Publishing

From: Bill Frank [wsfrank@careerlab.com]
Sent: August 06, 21- 10:41 AM
To: Kent Schenker
Subject: RE: permission request  

Dear Kent,

This sounds like an exciting project, and I'm glad to be included in it. You're more than welcome to use the letters you've indicated. On each page, please add: "Copyright 1989-20— William S. Frank. All rights reserved worldwide. Source: www.careerlab.com/letters"

Please send me a link to the website when it's completed. I'd enjoy seeing your work.

Good luck,

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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.