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A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Newsletter - April 2021

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

President's Letter

RPCN Redefines its VALUES

As many of you know, RPCN has been very active throughout the shutdown. Along with the many events, learning opportunities, volunteering and projects we have performed, we have also used the time to take a step back, look inward, and work on strengthening the foundation of our organization. One accomplishment was redefining our official Values Statement.

A temporary committee was created to take a look at our Values Statement and update it. The committee wisely engaged RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital (EHC) team to leverage their expertise, and they worked together—over 4 months—to accomplish their task. This was a major leap forward in the way RPCN has traditionally approached defining its values, and their efforts have evolved it from a list of key words into an updated list which now defines the meaning behind the values as well.

The objective was to not simply write down buzz words (as too many organizations tend to do), but rather to take a deep look into RPCN and really capture what the organization and its members are about. A lot of discussion and debate was put into the wording that was chosen. We asked ourselves not only “how do members treat, and interact with, each other” but also “when someone visits one of our meetings, what impressions do they walk away with?” We believe we have captured the essence of RPCN and described the principles that both guide its members’ behavior and shape its culture.

Our updated values are defined as follows:

Integrity: We are ethical, honest and transparent in all interactions with clients and each other.

Mutual RespectWe strive to make members and guests feel respected. We endeavor to treat everyone the way they wish to be treated. Everyone’s input is encouraged and valued. We create an environment that promotes inclusiveness in all aspects.

Mutual SupportWe work together to achieve our individual and common goals. We willingly collaborate and help each other.

Community SupportWe encourage and enable “giving back” to community businesses and organizations through alliances, volunteering, and other opportunities. 

This updated Values Statement was formally adopted by the Board of Directors in the last board meeting. I would like to thank the members of the temporary committee and the EHC team for their dedication to this effort. The updated Values Statement along with the entire Strategic Plan can be found here on our website.

Devin K. Floyd, RPCN President


Zoom – Updates and Best Practices

After a year on Zoom, you may either feel like a Zoom Pro or perhaps be still struggling at times. Either way, here are some tips to (re)fresh your enjoyment of Zoom.

Keep your Zoom client up to date. The easiest way to do this is to download this file and install the client on your computer. Even if you already have the Zoom client installed, this will upgrade it to the latest version. Updating the client every week or two will help make sure you have the latest features and functionality.

Choose a wired (Ethernet) connection over Wi-Fi. We have all seen Zoom users whose audio or video break up regularly, or their sound and picture are way out of sync. Very often these are caused by under-performing or overloaded Wi-Fi in their home or office. If people tell you that you are breaking up, or that your video freezes, your Wi-Fi may be to blame. If your computer is close to your router when you are on Zoom, connecting an Ethernet cable between your computer and your router will almost always make the Zoom experience better for you and those that see and hear you.

Don’t Zoom with a window or lamp behind you. How you appear to others is their first and most lasting impression of you. Lighting is perhaps the easiest thing to fix to make you look your best. Make sure there are no windows or lamps behind you when your camera is on, and you’re off to a great start. Having a good light in front of you will make you look even better!

Invest in a headset. Sound is a deal-breaker when it comes to Zoom. Most of us have heard Zoom-ers with perfect audio, and we may judge people by that standard (and we usually do this unconsciously!). A good USB headset will cost you between $40 and $100, but for that investment you will consistently sound great on Zoom. You’ll be able to hear others more easily (without disturbing those around you). There are additional benefits to using a good headset…

Mute yourself when you are not speaking. We have all struggled to find the Zoom Un-Mute button quickly, or tried in vain to tell someone else that they were muted when they start to speak. If you are on a computer, you may know that the spacebar can be used to un-mute yourself when you want to talk, but Zoom must be the fore-front (active) window for that to work, so you can’t be checking email and still un-mute with the spacebar. Here is where a USB headset can save the day; headsets generally have an in-line control that has mute/un-mute buttons as well as volume controls. With a headset, you never need to worry that you are secretly shopping on Amazon and are suddenly called upon to speak – just press the un-mute button on the headset control and you’ll look like the most engaged Zoom-er ever!

Stepping away for a minute? Turn off your camera! Getting up and leaving an empty chair sends a powerful message – you are not engaged. Turning off your camera before you have to step out will ease that appearance and make you appear more professional. Letting others know you’ll be right back through a Chat message will help, too. Speaking of Chat…

Keep the Chat window open and pay attention to it. Most Zoom meetings allow Chat between individual attendees, and this can be a great way to make the Zoom meeting even more productive without being disruptive. However, if you are not paying attention to the Chat, you’ll miss those opportunities. When a new Chat message comes through, your Zoom icon on your Taskbar will flash orange, and you’ll see a “new message” indicator in the Chat window. Make the most of your meetings with Chat!

If you often Host Zoom meetings and would like a review of your Settings to make sure you are as secure and as productive as can be, please email me.

David Finger


Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Upcoming April Meeting - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: for Consultants and Small Businesses

On April 15th, we continue our discussion and exploration of the movement in business toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D/E/I). We will briefly review some of the key themes from our March 12th Learn from the Best program. Then, the group will be invited to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas on how consultants and small businesses should react to this business initiative.

To get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team at EHC@rochesterconsultants.org. The luncheon is open to members and non-members alike, but please register as it will help us with logistics of organizing the Zoom meeting. To register, click here.

March Meeting Recap - An Exploration of Self Actualization

RPCN’s Lunch & Learn for March involved a discussion of the concept of self-actualization and was held on
Thursday, March 18. We explored the factors that constitute the concept, which Bob Lewis obtained from a prominent and recognized psychological analyst.. As was intended, a lively discussion arose regarding each of the nine concepts discussed, provoking much thought and self-reflection.

One of the most challenging concepts was the search for the reality of both oneself and others. Also demanding was the idea of being able to exist autonomously, that is despite the disapproval of others, all provoking lively debate as to the meaning of each. At one point, there was great debate on the definition of reality.

Bob Lewis announced that in his perception everyone who participated in this discussion was on the way to self-actualization.

It was a good clarifying session for defining and striving to achieve one’s full potential in the quest to discover and attain one’s life purpose.


Find Your Consulting Focus
(Focus Quickly, then Focus Further)

Building a consulting business involves much trial and error. We don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time and money trying to “Build it and They Will Come”. We need to interview, market, and sell to your target clients quickly to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Once you set up a minimal structure (DBA, LLC, etc.) you need to develop a strategy and test your consulting concept. Then, narrow your focus on your “optimum target clients” and on what works for them.

Be Nimble, Be Quick

I love what Bill Reichert of Garage Capital Ventures recommends: “Small is beautiful: Build a lean, scrappy, nimble company without needing piles of money.“

Some of his key points:

  • Generate revenues. (Get in the game.)
  • Adapt quickly. (Be nimble, be quick.)
  • Always be selling
  • Plan for continuous upgrading
  • Focus on people

Be Lean and Mean

Instead of writing elaborate business plans and furnishing your office with the latest technology, go out and market and sell. (Remember, the competition is out there too). But, “lean and mean” doesn’t mean you can ignore planning, follow-up, pricing, profit and loss, taxes, etc. You need to balance these with speed and flexibility.

Test Your Consulting Concept

  1. Define your service, clients, client benefits.
  2. Research your marketplace: e.g. acquire input about and from your target clients and paying customers. (What do they need, value, and buy?)
  3. Quickly adapt and focus your offering to match what you learn from the marketplace.
  4. Test your modified concept. (Interview target clients, market and sell the value you can deliver).
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you have a viable business.

Give it a Chance

One advantage to having a “solo” business is that you have the ability to change things quickly. It is also a disadvantage. Being nimble doesn’t mean dumping a good idea before you give it enough time to work. Tweak it and try different things that fit your customer interviews and analysis. Give it your best effort, but don’t fall in love with a losing approach. As you test and focus your concept, ask yourself: Do they need my service? Am I delivering client value? Am I targeting the right clients? Will they pay for the value I produce?

Narrow Your Focus

Author Bruce Katcher says we should ask ourselves two questions about focus: “First, how can I narrow my focus?”

Then, ask “How can I narrow my focus even further?” Before Consultants Accelerator, I was a “Strategy Consultant.” I didn’t get traction until I narrowed my focus to specialize in strategy for nonprofit organizations. I exploited the trend for nonprofits to function more like a business. As a “solo” consultant, I was able to quickly change my consulting process, terminology (jargon) and marketing to focus on the value I could bring to nonprofits. This focus allowed me to market the right service to the right niche of clients, and provide the value they needed.

Always be Improving

As a small, nimble company, continually test, refine and focus your consulting approach.

Don’t just sit there, focus.

Bob Lurz

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

RPCN Podcast

To listen to an RBJ podcast in which RPCN's David Powe and Laurie Enos talk about our great organization, click here.


Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, April 2, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Members Only Meeting: Tools to Master Digital Marketing
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

A Sales Cookbook for Consultants, Advisors, and Coaches
Presented by Tom Fecteau
Friday, April 9, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

EHC Lunch N Learn
Facilitated by David Powe
Thursday, April 15, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
Friday, April 16, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, April 16, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Small Business
Presented by Laurie Enos
Friday, April 23, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Surprise Thursday
Thursday, April 29, 2021


Did you know?

RPCN Has a You Tube Channel

Have you ever been involved in an RPCN video? Maybe you attended an event such as the Gala Awards dinner or some other function and noticed that a member was shooting a video with their phone or camera. Perhaps you were a speaker and were recorded in an introductory promotion video.

It turns out that those videos, and many more, have been saved and are available for your viewing pleasure on RPCN’s You Tube Channel.

To access RPCN’s You Tube channel, go to the very bottom of any page on the RPCN website. You will find a “CONNECT” box that looks like this:



Click on the arrow in the box and it will take you directly to RPCN’s You Tube channel.

Once there, poke around a bit. You will most likely see some folks that you recognize.

Maybe you could see yourself there one day! It’s a great way to become known as an important member of RPCN.

Steve Royal


From the Library

One more something interesting from KnowItAALL:

A Simple Way to Boost Your Happiness

Psychology Today / 3.17.2021

Introduction: Small acts of kindness can cheer you up when you are feeling down.

And now for something completely different. We’ve written about market research. Here is how you can do some yourself.

How to Use the Facebook Ads Library for Competitive Research

Search Engine Journal 3.17.2021

Excerpt: What do you know about your competitors' social advertising strategies? Competitor research is a crucial portion of any online advertising strategy, and the Facebook Ads Library is a natural first place to start. This handy resource offers complete transparency into recent Facebook ads run by all brands.

—Ruth Balkin


RPCN Website Blogging Process and Pages Enabled

The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) website blogging process has been enabled. You can read the Submission Process on our website, whether you are an RPCN Member or not. You must be a member to submit blogs, however. Click here for the Rules for Writing a Blog and the Submission Process.

There are currently seven topics for blogs on the website. They are:

  • General Articles
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Technical Articles
  • Project Management
  • Leadership
  • Operations
  • Finances

Not all of the topics currently have blogs in them, but we’re looking for submissions. Submissions can be sent here.

Whether you are an RPCN member or not, or whether you’re logged in or not, you should be able to see and read all of the current blogs here. Choose one of the topics to see the individual blogs.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me.

Sandra Glanton


Membership News!

Are you a new entrepreneur? Join for 40% off!

Due to current events, we want to help new entrepreneurs get started, so we are announcing the 'New Business Owner' membership to RPCN. The discounted cost is $75.

This new membership level is open to any individual who is, for the first time, opening or has opened a small business and is within one year of opening that business. This membership discount is only available for first time members and continues for one year. At the end of the year, the individual must upgrade their membership to a Regular Member or an Affiliate Member to remain an active Member.

Click here for more information on joining RPCN.


Membership Information

RPCN welcomes the following new members:

Sharon Leigh

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.


Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the May/June 2021 calendar ad sheet is April 18, 2021. Sign up for your ad here.


We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.


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