In this issue:
Striving for diversity in RPCN
By David Powe, RPCN President
Let’s talk diversity! What does it mean to you? How and why are we striving to increase the diversity of RPCN?
My favorite definition of diversity comes from Malcom Forbes: “Diversity – The art of thinking independently together.”
In RPCN, we certainly have the first part of this definition. We are a group of nearly a hundred consultants who demonstrate our independent thinking in our respective businesses every day. While we should certainly strive to bring even more independent thinkers into our organization, where we need to improve is in thinking together. Everyone in this organization should feel comfortable about contributing their thinking to our direction, planning and action.
As I’ve said numerous times in this space, the best way to do that is by participating in one of our committees. You can also share your thoughts with your board members and officers. But another way we can get everyone involved in our organization is through our member survey. We completed our last member survey in 2013–14 and it is time to refresh our information. If you have some expertise with running surveys, we can use your help in developing and executing this year’s survey. At a minimum, make sure you respond when we launch the survey later this year.
Making sure that everyone is involved is one way we are striving for diversity in RPCN. Why is that important? To answer that question, I’ll turn to Pastor Steven Anderson: “Alone we are smart. Together we are brilliant.”
Help us make sure everyone is involved in our organization, and all of our members will benefit.
RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp starts February 2
Thinking about starting your own consulting business? Or maybe you’re already out on your own and want to kick your consulting career into high gear. The 2016 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp starts on Tuesday, February 2, and runs each Tuesday through March 1 at High Tech Rochester. This series of presentations, workshops and panel discussions by successful consultants will be facilitated by Bob Lurz, RPCN Consulting Boot Camp Leader.
“Driven by frustration, ambition or desire for independence, many skilled people are starting consulting businesses,” writes Lurz in his Democrat & Chronicle Nextpert column on January 24. “They apply their expertise as consulting entrepreneurs, not employees. So, how do you start a consulting practice, and what’s different about consulting?”
Read the rest of his article online – and then sign up for the Consulting Business Boot Camp to find out. You also can view a list of topics and presenters and download a flyer with more information. Questions? Contact Bob Lurz, RPCN Consulting Boot Camp Leader, at RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com or 585-544-2387.
Next TrendTalk focuses on economic development
RPCN is continuing our series of business panel discussions with the next TrendTalk, taking place from 5:30 - 9:00 PM on Thursday, February 25, 2016, at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel (1111 Jefferson Road).
The topic is “Economic Development in the Rochester Region.” Our expert panel includes Vinny Esposito from Empire State Development and Carlos Carballada, recently with the RIT Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, with a third panelist to be confirmed.
Stay tuned for more details about this exciting TrendTalk event!
2016 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp
Tuesday, February 2, 2016; 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM; High Tech Rochester (HTR), Lennox Tech Center, 150 Lucius Gordon Drive, West Henrietta
Learn how to start and improve your consulting business through this unique set of presentations, workshops and panel discussions, facilitated by Bob Lurz. The series continues weekly through Tuesday, March 1.
Friday, February 5, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library
Steve Royal facilitates this informal, roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? Click here for a list from recent forums.
Navigating the Financial Roadblocks for Consultants
Friday, February 12, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester
Michael T. Chabalik, CRPC, of Merrill Lynch will address several pillars of running a successful consulting practice from the financial end of things. These include understanding the vast difference between being paid 1099 vs. W2, creative ways to fund retirement accounts for your business, access to lines of credit depending on your existing assets, ways to fund medical savings accounts and the power of being organized. He will also talk about generating new business using LinkedIn.
Friday, February 19, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library
Bob Lurz facilitates this informal, roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? Click here for a list from recent forums.
RPCN Board Meeting
Friday, February 19, 2016; 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Pittsford Community Library
RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.
TrendTalk: Economic Development in the Rochester Region
Thursday, February 25, 2016; 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM; Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, 1111 Jefferson Road, Rochester
The next in our TrendTalk series of business panel discussions includes Vinny Esposito from Empire State Development and Carlos Carballada, recently with the RIT Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, with a third panelist to be confirmed. Stay tuned for more details.
Members Showcase Panel Discussion
Friday, February 26, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester, NY
Three RPCN members – Margit Brazda Poirier, Peter Burns and Lee Drake – will share what it took to build and manage their successful consultancies. You will learn about their backgrounds, business objectives, their failures and successes, and the strategies and tactics they deployed to succeed. Each panelist will start with a short introduction followed by an interactive discussion among the panelists and the audience. Come ready with your questions!
Making your business better
Hiring a consultant
Bob Lurz, leader of the RPCN Boot Camp, wrote a January 10, 2016, Democrat & Chronicle Nextpert column on hiring a consultant. He stated that one should always ask for a consultant’s SPAR – Situation, Problem, Action and Result. Read Bob Lurz Explains How to Hire a Consultant for more information on SPAR.
Productive phone calls
Do you do most of the talking when on a phone call with a potential client? That’s a bad practice, according to Eric Loyd, CEO of Bitnetix. Instead, ask questions and let your potential client do the talking. Loyd writes about the best way to make your phone call productive in his blog post, Three Things to Never Do on the Phone.
Making tough decisions
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of questions to follow when you have a tough decision to make? Donna Rawaday, an executive coach, provided such a list in her Women at Work column in the Democrat & Chronicle on January 5: Checklist for Making Sound Decisions.
Productivity and job satisfaction are based on how you feel about what you do, and not where you work, says Pam Sherman in her Suburban Outlaw column in the Democrat & Chronicle: The Best Place to Work? It’s a State of Mind.
We want you!
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 by email to the Newsletter Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.
If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Newsletter Committee: Janice Hanson, chair; Barbara Moore; Ruth E. Thaler-Carter; Steve Royal; Sheryl Rhodes. Please send articles for the March newsletter by February 15.