Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Connection rejection.... Why can't I let go?

No.... I haven't been "falling down on the blog-job." I've had NO Internet connection since Monday morning.

We've all experienced this at some time during our careers. After the first initial hours of panic/anxiety/physical "connectedness" withdrawal, I began to settle into a hey-I-can-actually-get-some-work-done-because-I-don't-have-the-damn-email-chime-ding-donging-at-me flow. Amazing. I've been more productive over the last 3 days BECAUSE I've had no email... no online research to distract me... no spam to clean out. Ahhhhhhhh-complishment!!

Did that thing just chime at me again? So soon???

Friday, March 23, 2007

How Can I Say No? Let Me Count the Ways.....

I'm at a bit of an ethical business dilemma...... isn't free advice worth exactly what you paid for it? If so, why do some people insist on trying to extract "complimentary" knowledge from knowledge workers? (i.e. Lawyers, Doctors, Financial Advisors, ah-em.... Marketing & Business Development Consultants)

I, just like you I'm sure, am bombarded on a weekly basis with emails and phone calls from people who want to "take me to lunch and pick my brain" for my thoughts on various and asundry topics-- career advice, business strategy advice, office politics advice.... good grief, even love advice. (like I'm expert there?!?)

I've recently decided to follow Debra Condren's advice from her book, "Am-BITCH-ous," and utilize the following responses:
- "Actually, no. I don't work that way."
- "I'm over my pro bono limit this year."
- "I don't have coffee, drinks, or dinner.... spend all my free time with my family and friends. That's why I created my PowerHour (tm) 60-minute consulting session, if you'd like to set up an appointment."

Yes, I'm still a "giver"...... but, if Wendi (or you!!) drops dead from mental exhaustion in the woods when no one is around, would anyone hear the thud?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Because You Said So?

This past weekend, I took my mother to see the latest "chick flick," Because I Said So. No, it won't win any Oscars, but it was a predictable, light-hearted comedy with some lines and circumstances so familiar they made my cringe.

Yet, the premise of the movie made me wonder about the relationship most consultants have with their clients..... the helicopter-parented child. Micro-managed, second guessed, and frequently only allowed to give the "answers" that the parent wants to hear.

So, is there anything about this situation that is worthy of calling a consulting engagement.... let alone worthy of compensation?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Oh... did you need something?

As I get older, I seem to have a shorter and shorter fuse when it comes to customer service..... or lack of it. Maybe because I am always thinking like a business owner, and I cringe when thoughts of "what if YOU owned this place?" run through my head after tolerating a really bad experience.

I did some due diligence on a new client this past week with my father. We went to a particular establishment acting like real customers. The mechanic waited on us. Yes, you read that right.... the mechanic. Meanwhile, the cashier and the sales guy made sure that the front desk and the cash register didn't run away. They also made sure they didn't break their vows of silence.

Why is it that something that should be so obvious (help a customer so you can make a sale) is elusive to so many?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

What's in a name?

I had drinks last night with a potential client who has been a potential client for almost 6 months now. He and his business partner are trying to launch a new business unit (technology company), but they are both convinced that they can't hire me until they:
1. have a new name for this venture
2. make a couple of sales so they can afford to pay me

How bass-ackwards is this thinking?