Archive for: May, 2023

Management Consultants – How Do Clients Choose Consultants?

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Clients choose for their OWN reasons, NOT YOURS!

You would think this is really basic stuff handled well by many. However, when I work with other consultants, I find it is often overlooked! How often do consultants forget to truly understand what the REASONS are that clients would want and need consultants? Well, in my experience, it happens too often and more than it should.

Your challenge as a consultant is to find their reasons for utilizing consulting services, NOT your reasons for wanting them to choose you!

As a consultant, you must not confuse “problems” with “reasons.” Problem statements and issues will normally be abundant and detailed, but, the “reasons” to solve those problem is of great value to the Odyssey Consultant.

Once you have a clear understanding of the reasons, you will be better positioned to help the client and to understand the “value” of solving the problems, which will help you to better develop the value proposition to your client later.

Focus your questioning on finding out what their reasons are for discussing a project, problem, issue or concern.

Get them to verbalize the reasons, by asking more “why is that important?” type of questions.

In this process make sure you show your client that you care about them, so that they feel comfortable enough to share openly with you about the real or underlying problems, issues and fears they may be dealing with.

Along with showing them you care, you should actively and intently listen. Listen to what they say with your ears and watch with your eyes what they do with their facial expressions and body language that will tell you probably more valuable information than what they say at times. Treat the non verbal communications as important and relevant.

To have them feel you care and have them know you are listening, you will want to put your PMA, or Present Moment Awareness, on overdrive and be present and sensitive to all that is being said and what is not being said in the conversation.

You will need to read and react to the non-spoken body language as if they were talking to you verbally. Letting one of those facial expressions go untouched could be your critical mistake.

Make sure you use this questioning and discussion process in finding their “reasons” for what they want to do. Knowing their reasons will help you to make sure you can match the “who you are” and the “what you do” to their reasons to want to utilize you as a consultant.

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Tips In Choosing An Immigration Consultant

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

There are a lot of cities and countries that continue to prosper today. These cities and countries are deemed be the best places to live in. As an aspiring individual who wishes to improve his lifestyle and finances, migrating to these areas is one of the best options. By migrating to another place, you will have better opportunities. You can also start a new life in a new place. And, you can provide a better life for your loved ones. So, when you plan to move, it is best that you choose a reliable immigration consultant.

Hiring consultants can make your move easy. Consultants can also help you accomplish legal documents that are needed prior to your move. Lastly, they can help you make better decisions. With this said, you need to hire an excellent consultant who can help you. To help you find reputable ones, here are some tips in choosing.

Certified by the government

Make sure that the consultant you choose is certified by the government. As of now, there are three types of authorized representative who can help you – Lawyers and paralegals, Notaries, immigration consultants. By choosing certified and reliable consultants, your move can be more efficient.

Communication skills

It is also important to determine their communication skills. This is very important to help you ensure that your needs are catered to. You may also find consultants who are multilingual. This is an advantage when choosing consultants to hire since you are sure that they can easily talk to other representatives from other countries. When it comes to communication skills, your consultants must also be knowledgeable with regard to negotiations to make your move better.

Know their success rate

The next thing you need to assess when choosing consultants is their success rates. In order to have a high success rate in the industry, consultants must have the right knowledge, skills and expertise in the field. By having good success rates, you are sure that you have hired the right consultant who can help you.

Know all their fees and services

Finally, you need to know all their fees and services. This is vital since some consultants have hidden charges, which can surely affect your finances. Therefore, you need to be sure that all fees and services are presented to you by the consultant before signing a contract.

With these simple tips, individuals can easily migrate to a wonderful place that will help them make their lifestyle and future better. Click here for more.

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Why Hire a Consultant?

May 31 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Today’s global economic crisis continues to create a challenging business environment within which small companies and large organizations alike have to compete. As companies continue to look for opportunities for growth and remain competitive in a struggling market, a need has been identified at the critical stage of strategic business planning and it deals with the availability and leveraging of talent.

Utilizing the skills and talents of external consultants by outsourcing strategic projects is proving to be a cost effective business solution to meet that need and has become an integral part of the company’s strategic planning.

The decision to hire an external resource may seem difficult to understand until all the benefits that come with having a consultant on your business team are fully appreciated.

What are the strategic benefits of hiring a consultant?

Reputable providers of highly skilled consultants ensure you are provided with the talent and expertise to…

1. Capitalize on emerging opportunities with the speed necessary to respond to market changes.

2. Identify the talents and resources needed to diversify.

3. Develop and facilitate change management programs.

4. Increase your company’s performance. (One of the top reasons consultants are hired.)

5. Develop your staff. Consultants experienced in training needs analyses and performance management will identify exactly what needs to be done to address weaknesses, develop strengths, and build on the company’s core competences.

6. Motivate change by identifying new opportunities and by bringing fresh thinking to the business team.

7. Pinpoint ideas that are proven to boost your business productivity.

8. Build strong working relationships. Experienced consultants know exactly what their roles are and what they need to do to add value.

9. Provide in-depth knowledge of the markets within which you operate.

Any company that wants to grow their market share in the current climate needs to complement their core competences with the expertise that qualified consultants provide. Depending on your requirements, consultants will work alongside your business team for a short period of time or they may form an integral part of your business strategy in the long-term. In either case, the best consultants will enable your company to grow and succeed in meeting your strategic objectives.

Take the decisive action to hire the right consultant for your company and ensure you maximize the return on your investment. Match the direction you wish to take, the objectives you have defined and the strategic plans you have developed with the expertise only qualified consultants can provide.

The best consultants continue to add real value to companies large and small. Make sure you discuss your immediate business needs with a reputable company before deciding which consultants will be the right match for your company. Across the board the top consultants will always have something new and inspiring to offer your business that will boost productivity and profitability.

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10 Tips for Hiring a Paving Contractor

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Are you getting a new driveway? A driveway is a crucial part of any home, but it’s not typically at the forefront of every homeowner’s mind. Because of this, it can be difficult to know what installing a driveway entails. It is important for you to be familiar with the process and learn what to watch out for so you can avoid scams and end up with the best result possible. Continue reading to find out what to look for when hiring a paving contractor to pour your concrete in Schenectady or in your town.

Hiring a Paving Contractor
Before you begin the process of looking for and hiring a contractor, you should know pretty much exactly what you want. Come up with as many specific details about your project, including pictures and a footprint to make what you desire even more clear. The more details you provide your contractor, the more accurate their estimate can be.
Start by asking your friends and family if they have any recommendations of good contractors to hire. Once you have found a few contractors that you like, you can research their websites and contact references to find out if they are a good fit for you.
Even if you have your heart set on a particular contractor, it is recommended that you get several quotes. This way you can compare prices to figure out what works best for you. You can also take this time to consider other aspects, such as specific services and professionalism.
Don’t be afraid to find out as much as you can about each contractor’s experience. Most companies will be able to provide you with contact information and addresses of previous clients. If you want to see examples of your prospective contractor’s work, you can drive by a few of the addresses and see for yourself.
Ensure that the contractor you are interested in is properly licensed. This seems fairly obvious, but you would be surprised at how many contractors get around this.
Something that is often overlooked is the issue of drainage. It is imperative that proper drainage systems are installed to avoid water pooling in your driveway and possibly entering your home.
Quality concrete installation takes time. Discuss with your contractor about start dates and how long the whole process will take. Try to avoid times when the weather is rainy or snowy because installation will likely be unsuccessful in those conditions.
Before your contractor begins installation, have the company construct a written contract to make sure you and your interests are protected. A proper contract should include information about payment, coverage, terms and conditions, and details about the project. Review the contract before you sign it to make sure you are getting everything that was agreed upon in the initial estimate.
There are a few basic things to avoid when hiring a pavement contractor. Stay away from companies that go door to door. They will often say that they have leftover pavement, which is a tell-tale sign of a scam. Also avoid companies that claim to offer incredibly fast service and provide estimates that are considerably lower than other estimates that you have received.
Don’t be afraid to be involved during the actual installation. It is perfectly acceptable for you to check up on your contractor and his or her team to make sure they are holding up to your contract.
Installing a new driveway is quite a process, but if you take the time to do all of your research and preparation, the result can be wonderful. Give your driveway the attention it deserves and hire a good contractor to install your concrete in Schenectady or in your area.

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Recycling Can Help Save the Environment

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Recycling is the process of turning old products into new products. Get into the habit of recycling in order to help reduce pollution, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s important to reduce the amount of garbage being sent to landfills. Modern landfills are safer than the open-pit dumps of the past; however, available landfill space is limited in most populated areas. In addition to taking up space, the chemicals used to break down garbage can potentially leak into the local groundwater supply. Look into hiring a waste management company in Westville, IN, or in your local area to help you set up an effective recycling program for your home or business.

Top Reasons to Recycle
Recycling is not a new concept. Before the 1920s most cities had programs set up to recycle up to 25% of waste materials. By 1960, the recycling rate dropped to under 8%. Recycling started regaining popularity in the 90s. Currently, approximately 30% of our nation’s waste is being recycled.
Americans are generating more garbage now than ever. Our increasing desire for convenience creates a need for more disposable products like diapers, individual food containers, and water bottles. The more we can recycle these products, the less pressure is placed on the landfills.
Recycling is economically beneficial. The recycling manufacturing industry brings high wage jobs to cities and states throughout the country. Jobs include recyclable material collection, product manufacturing, and distribution. The recycling industry creates six times more jobs than landfill disposal.
Recycling helps our environment by conserving energy, reducing pollution, and conserving natural resources. It’s much more cost effective to make products with recycled material than to start with raw materials. The recycled materials have already been refined once; manufacturing the second time uses less energy and is much cleaner.
The energy required to manufacture, distribute, and manage waste comes from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are the largest source of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing to recycle and use products made from recycled materials greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions in our environment.
Types of Recyclable Products
Recycling aluminum cans uses 95% less energy than manufacturing a can from an original source. For example, recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours. Enough aluminum is thrown away every year to rebuild all commercial airplanes in the United States four times a year.
Glass can be reused over and over again–there is no limit to the number of times glass can be recycled. Recycling one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours. Glass can be melted down and turned into new products like candlesticks, vases, artwork, or glass tiles.
Each ton of recycled paper saves 60 lbs. of air pollution. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7000 gallons of water. Most communities offer a curbside recycling program.
Recycling all plastic containers would eliminate two billion tons of plastic waste from the landfills. Lightweight containers can be used to make fiberfill for winter coats, sleeping bags, and life jackets. Heavier containers are recycled into toys, piping, bed liners, and rope.
Steel is the most recycled material in the world. Steel recycling can save enough energy to power 18 million homes a year. Recycled scrap metal can be used to manufacture appliances, building materials, food packaging, and home furnishings.

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A City with an Eye toward a Green Future

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Considering that there are over 1,000 acres of parkland within the city limits of Prior Lake, this means that there is one acre of green space for every 25 residents! With 55 neighborhood parks scattered throughout the city, residents are assured of at least one park being close by virtually any residential community lots in Prior Lake, MN. One of the largest of these parks, however, is Spring Lake Regional Park, which is operated by The Three Rivers Park District in partnership with Scott County. The Three Rivers Park District is a special park district serving the suburban areas of the Twin Cities, all with facilities that have watersheds flowing into one of three rivers: the Mississippi, Minnesota, or the Crow rivers.

Located on Prior Lake’s west side, along the north shore of Spring Lake, Spring Lake Regional Park encompasses 374 acres of spectacularly diverse natural habitats, including a three-mile paved trail that winds through magnificent maple-basswood-oak forests, wetlands, and prairie areas. It also links to the Scott West Regional Trail, connecting Three Rivers Park to the equally outstanding Cleary Lake Regional Park, just southeast of the city. Of course, all of this would be reason enough for any lover of the outdoors to heap praise on Prior Lake, and the quality of life that all of this open space offers to its residents, but it should be noted that it took years of planning to bring this all about.

Scott County began acquiring land in the area as early as the 1960s, but other than footpaths and some snowmobile trails, the land was mostly unused by the public. Initially purchased by the county to provide diverse habitat and protect natural resources, development of Spring Lake Regional Park wouldn’t occur for another half century. Then, in 2006, Scott County commissioned a Spring Lake Regional Park Master Plan Report as a guide for future implementation of infrastructure, recreational amenities, and stewardship practices. Six years later the county began to build the first phase of the park, which was to be phased in over several years, with the first phase opening in 2012.

Today, Spring Lake Regional Park not only has that three-mile paved trail, but dogs are allowed on all paved paths as well and there are 9 acres for large breeds and 1 acre for small breeds of off-leash areas with watering and rinsing stations. By linking to the Scott West Regional Trail, connecting this park with the Cleary Lake Regional Park, an additional eight miles of trail are accessible, with another eight miles in the planning stage. When fully complete, the trail will connect others in the region such as the Minnesota Valley State Trail and the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail. There are also plans that include a four-season lakeside pavilion with fishing piers and observation decks and restoration of savanna areas.

If that were not enough, Scott County also has a 2030 Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2009, that encompasses Spring Lake Regional Park. In it, the county updated its mission statement to read: “enhance the health and spirit of our residents and guests by creating a sustainable system that connects people to the natural world.” As stated in its executive summary, it establishes goals, policies, and strategies to balance the complex relationships between land use, transportation, public services, natural resources, and infrastructure in a manner that addresses the needs of its people while managing the impacts of growth.

The city of Prior Lake, in concert with its forward-looking county, certainly does provide its citizens with more than ample opportunities to interact with nature and has set its sights on ever greater opportunities in the future. With so many community lots in Prior Lake, MN, this certainly is an outdoor lover’s paradise!

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Reasons to Buy a Newly Developed Home

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

It can be a difficult decision to decide whether to purchase a new or used home. There are many factors to consider and in the end, it all depends on what you want and what you can afford. No matter what, moving into a home is new for you and you can do what you want with the home once you own it. It’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of new homes versus a resale home. Knowing these differences will help you to make your decision and take the steps necessary to complete the purchasing process.

If you’re looking for new residential developments in Prior Lake, MN, be sure to know what you’re searching for so that you don’t pass up any great opportunities. First of all, buying a new home allows you to customize the home to what you want it to be. Many times, you’re allowed to decide where specific bedrooms will be located and what colors they will be. You can decide the exterior paint color and the interior features can be picked with thorough detail. This isn’t possible when you are buying a resale home because the structure is already built and it’s not an easy process to move the bathroom to the bedroom. New homes allow customization and you’re able to feel as though it’s completely your design. This can be very enjoyable and you’re able to spend the kind of money you want, depending on the style of home you choose to design.

Another benefit of buying a new home is that there are fewer repairs that you need to worry about. If you’re buying a home that someone else has lived in, they may not tell you all of the things that are wrong with the home or that will go out within the next few years. In a new home, you can buy all new appliances and you know exactly what you’re getting into. You know when things were bought and that way you can maintain them specifically and keep track of when appliances will need to be serviced. Also, you’re able to decide who installs things into your home and make sure that you trust the company that’s doing so.

In newer homes, everything in the home is up-to-date and the best it can possibly be. This varies depending on the cost of the home, of course, but overall, everything in the home is newer and requires less maintenance. As new technologies develop, these items are installed into new homes and last for many more years to come. This is so important because there is less maintenance all around and people aren’t required to go buy the latest invention because it already exists in their home.

From the beginning of the buying process, make sure you know what you want to spend and what you’ll be able to afford while paying off your home. If buying a resale home is best for you, do it! Don’t fall into what your friends are doing because you want to be secure in this major of a purchase and take the right steps when doing so. If you’re looking for new residential developments in Prior Lake, MN, find a development that will suit your needs and benefit you for many years. There are professionals that can help you with this process and realtors that are set out to meet your needs. Look at multiple homes before deciding what you want to buy and to get an idea of the home you want to buy or build. There are many options and if you know what you’re doing, the process can be enjoyable and exciting.

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Must-Haves for Your New Home

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Congratulations on beginning your search for a new home! Home ownership is the American Dream, and the opportunity to live in your own home and raise your family there is what dreams are made of. Before you can buy your new place, however, you have to find it! This process can take quite some time, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Check out the following article to learn a few of the must-haves for home buyers so that you can narrow down your options and choose a place that is perfect for you and your family. Know what you want and are ready to get started? Check out land in Prior Lake, MN, or an area near you.

Your Perfect New Place
Finding a new home can be quite a process, and with such a huge investment (both emotionally and monetarily) you want to ensure that the home you buy is the perfect one for your budget and your lifestyle. If you are unsure what you want and need in a new home, then this list is for you:

An open floor plan: Modern families need modern spaces, and the closed-off, tiny rooms of the past are no longer acceptable for today’s homeowners. You want a home with an open floor plan and large rooms with sight lines throughout the kitchen, dining, and entertaining area. When thinking about the number of bedrooms you want, make sure you take into consideration the possibility of your family growing, as well as your need for an office, guest room, or storage space.
A space for entertaining: No matter who you are and how much you entertain, there will undoubtedly be several opportunities throughout each year in which you will need to entertain groups of people. Your space for entertaining does not necessarily need to be large, but it does need to be present. Think about how often you plan to entertain when looking for homes and the space for entertainment opportunities the place provides.
An outdoor space: Some people need lots of space outdoors in order to feel comfortable. Others simply need a well-manicured, clearly defined outdoor space in order to be happy. Regardless of which type of outdoor space you prefer, you cannot discount the importance of the yard in prospective homes. Make sure that you take the time to walk all the way around the property in order to make sure you know which type of space you are getting.
Energy efficiency: Older homes come with a lot of charm, but what all older homes lack is energy efficiency. In order to have an energy-efficient home that will save you thousands in utility costs you need a new roof, new windows, Energy Star appliances, and sufficient insulation in the attic and basement. Make sure both you and a home inspector look into the energy efficiency of prospective homes well before you make a commitment.
A good foundation: No matter how great a home looks, if there are foundation issues, you may have a deal breaker. Foundation issues do not always mean you must turn down a property, but it does mean that you will need to factor repairs on the foundation into negotiations. Foundation issues can be very expensive, but purchasing a home with these issues without repairing them immediately will undoubtedly result in serious and expensive problems in the near future.
The right fit for you: Regardless of what is new or trendy in the housing market today, you need to find a home that works best for you and your family. Keep that in mind when searching for land in Prior Lake, MN.

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How To Choose The Right Business Consultant For Your Small Business

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Establishing a successful small business consulting relationship, and achieving the results that you want for your small business, can be very difficult.

This is because besides the money you will invest for the help – this person will enter your confidential world, guide you in making important decisions and will be with you for the long haul.

Here are some of the best suggestions on how to pick the right small business consultant for you – that will result in a win for both of you:

1. Are you compatible?- Compatibility is essential if you are going to build a long term relationship with someone…The same applies to a long term relationship with your consultant.

The question is can you see yourself working with this person over the long haul? Do they motivate you, inspire you, or most importantly meet the specific needs that you have?

The relationship should fit like a hand in a glove. If it doesn’t – keep looking.

2. Are they competent? You need a consultant that will help you create results – both short term (under 30 days) midterm (90 – 180 days) and long term (180 days – 5 years).

This is one of the reason that I try to get free advice from the consultant before I hire them. If I put it to practice and it works, then I can be more confident that this person can help me further.

If the consultant has a problem giving you advice upfront – look elsewhere.

3. Have they or anyone on their team actually built a business? This is where you find the consultants with true experience – and not just theory.

Granted, a good consultant does not need to have built and sold a million dollar business – but a great consultant will have.

Find out if they have built or sold a business – if not, they have to at least have someone on their team that has. If not, your business will look like theirs when they are finished with you.

4. Are they invested in you and your business’ welfare? The best consultants take ownership of your business and make it their own. They are the ones that are thinking about your business almost as much as you do.

Great consultants have a passion to see their clients succeed. They don’t see themselves as successful unless their clients are.

If your consultant is happy getting a paycheck for mediocre results – my advice is to fire them today.

5. Can they bring you results? Every consultant should be able to bring results equal to 3-5X what you invested into your consulting relationship. If you invest $500 a month – you should be bringing in at least $1500 a month through the consultants efforts.

This means that the you and your consultant should track your progress to make sure that everyone is winning.

After the first month – there should not be any excuses why you are not seeing results in your business.

Remember there are hundreds of things that a business can do to make more money in 30 days. If you do not see more money in 30 days – get your money back, or have your consultant give you a free extra month of services.

These are just a few specific requirements that consultants need to fulfill if you want to have a successful consulting relationship – and a successful business to boot.

Though the standards are high, remember that the vision that you have for your business depends on it.

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The Only Consultants You Should Pay Close Attention To

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Many consultants are simply dangerous to your wealth and, though they’re trying to help you, you should ignore them. Then again, there are a few you should definitely listen to. So how do you tell them apart? It’s important to understand which is which.

Most consultants are good at giving advice — but they’re not so good at following their own. There’s a reason why they’re consultants or teachers instead of doers. There’s a saying that says, “Those that can, do; those that can’t, teach.” And while it’s fine to be a teacher, that doesn’t mean a consultant always has practical experience. That’s not universally true; there are some good “doers” who are also good teachers. But it’s easy for other people to tell you what to do, and there are a lot of people out there giving advice.

Consultants usually have no personal risk. About the worst that can happen is that you can fire them and not use them again… but often, consultants can make even those kinds of problems go away just by being good soothsayers, telling you what you want to hear. They will encourage you in directions that sound good, even though the results might be contrary to that. They have very little accountability, whether their suggestions work or not. They can run your business into the ground if you let them.

On the other hand, consultants can be extremely valuable to your business, providing profitable ideas and suggestions. How do you balance that? How do you tell a good consultant from a bad one? Who can you trust? Who should you avoid? The first thing to remember — and to always keep in mind — is that a consultant, as good as they may be, will never understand everything there is to know about your business. They’re never going to know your business like you do; and unless they’re in your industry, they’re never going to know your customers or your marketplace like you do.

One of the important things is to look for people in a consultant is somewhat who had who have done what you’re trying to do-someone with a proven track record of getting where you want to go in your industry. If you’re a fledgling restaurateur, then a good consultant would be a former restaurateur, especially one who had successfully sold the kind of food you want to sell. If you’re in the direct mail business or would like to be, trust only experts who’ve practiced direct response marketing (DRM), especially direct mail. In general, you’re more likely to get useful results from a consultant who has been in the business you’re in, especially if they’ve made big money at it. Avoid the consultants who’ve spent more time teaching and theorizing than doing.

If you find multiple consultants have experience in both teaching and doing, lean towards someone who spends most of their time doing the business you want to do and less time teaching about it. If they dabble in business, but most of their time is spent consulting, that might be a red flag. But be careful here; do your research, especially in the information products field. Some of us do a great deal of both teaching and business. For example, I’m always teaching people how to make more money, but that’s part of my business, which I participate in daily. Every book, report, audio program, or DVD I produce is intended to be used as a product or a bonus.

And keep this in minds as well: Consultants may have some good ideas, but those ideas are often untested — until they try them out on you. So look for people who are out there doing what you want to do and getting the results you want to get. Those are the people to pay attention to — and not always in a formal consultant’s role. Sometimes you can learn from them as a partner, friend, or mentor. If you’re active in your business, you’ll have many opportunities to study the people who are achieving the results you want to get in your business.

You don’t need some egghead’s harebrained ideas leading you on, so be careful out there. And don’t assume academic credentials denote a real expert; some of the people teaching the dumbest ideas are college professors. My mentor — a very effective consultant and mentor — tells me of two such instances from Southern California. One professor was from the University of California in San Diego. My mentor and a colleague were doing a seminar on mail order marketing and self-publishing. This professor announced himself and where he was from, so Russ asked him to come up to the podium and make a few comments.

The first thing he said was, “I’ve been teaching business for 20 years. No offense to these gentlemen, but why do business by mail? If you want books, go to a bookstore. If you want to buy clothing, go to clothing store or to a sporting goods store.” My mentor thought, “Holy God! Why did we ask this guy to come up here?” He went on to some other topics before they got him off the stage. He didn’t know what he was talking about, but he was in academia.

Another incident occurred during a self-publishing seminar at San Diego State. The professor told them, “I’ve been looking through some of your advertising material. Do you realize that it’s riddled with incorrect grammar?” Sometimes we copywriters use “you-isms” and say things to make a point; we’re not interested in grammatical perfection, and my mentor pointed that out. The professor said, “Well, I think the first thing someone should do if they’re talking about publishing and writing is to make sure the grammar is correct.” My advice to anyone is, if you need help from an expert, get someone who’s proficient and successful in the field. Don’t go to these professors and teachers, because they don’t know jack. They often major in the minors, as I like to say. They don’t know how to prioritize. This professor who was lecturing Russ on his grammar didn’t know a thing about salesmanship — and that’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

My wife and I used to have a nice condo in Kansas City, in the historic Plaza shopping area. Right below it was a bookstore, and we used to hang out there for hours at a time. I went through dozens of business books every weekend looking for good ones — and they were hard to find. Most such books are written by “experts” who are college professors, or CEOS or former CEO’s of giant corporations. They have no clue of how a normal, everyday small to midsized business works. I went through well over 1,000 business books in the years Eileen and I had that condominium, and I bought very few. It used to upset me that these books were so complicated and confusing. By that time, I’d already been self-employed for well over a decade — and I felt sorry for anyone contemplating starting a business who got a hold of one of those books. They complicate everything.

On my wall right now is a cover of a book that I bought on the Internet — and I shouldn’t have, but I didn’t have the luxury of actually going through the book and trying to decide whether it was good or not. The title is The 12 Rules of Success in Business, and it was written by a well-known expert. Care to guess how many times the words “selling” or “salesmanship” appear in that book? Zero. Not once in all the hundreds of pages of text does he mention selling anything, certainly not in any of the 12 rules. Nor does the word “marketing” ever come up. How can you have a whole book on business success without mentioning marketing or selling? That upsets me, because people who buy that book and actually try to practice those rules are destined to fail. Business is all about selling and salesmanship. It’s about generating revenue and what you do with that revenue. The money comes first. I keep that book title up on my wall to remind me of that.

When Eileen and I first started our business together, back in 1988, I had just turned 29 and she was 31 — and we had so many people giving us free business advice, trying to tell us what we should do. Most of that advice was diametrically opposed to what we were doing, and the fact was, most of those people had never even been in business in their lives. Most had never even tried anything business-related. I never said anything about it, but I remember thinking to myself what a joke that was: they had never succeeded in any kind of business, and they were trying to tell us how we should do things!

Eileen and I just basically looked at each other and rolled our eyes, politely listened-and ignored them. You should do the same whenever someone offers you unsolicited business advice, unless they’re a recognized expert in your field.

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