A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.
From the President
Good Morning RPCN!!
Happy New Year! My wish for you is that 2020 is YOUR BEST YEAR EVER, personally, professionally and in every way imaginable.
It is a great day to rock and roll! THANK YOU for being a part of RPCN. Our organization is nothing without our members, and I appreciate every one of you.
There is so much going on with RPCN in 2020 and beyond; and none of it is successful without YOU!
When you are not at events, we miss you. We miss the connection with you, we miss your smile and your energy. If you think nobody notices that you aren’t there or that nobody cares if you show up – you are wrong; we do notice and we do care.
When I became President I had the Leadership Team participate in a Leadership Retreat. We decided that our mission and our theme for my Presidency was going to be “YOU BELONG.”
YOU BELONG here at RPCN and we are happy and lucky that you belong with us.
This initiative is not only to make to members feel included but also experience us, as a board, as leadership, as providing you with what you need to start, run or grow your consulting business.
To that end, I am hosting a Town Hall Meeting
SAVE THE DATE:
Wednesday, February 5 from 6 – 8 PM at
Pittsford Recreation Center,
35 Lincoln Rd, Room 107.
This is me, Tamara, inviting you, our members, to come and tell me and the leadership team what you want from RPCN, what we are doing well and what we can improve. Are we doing the right things for you? Are the events what you want? Is our pricing for events fair?
Bring your ideas, frustrations, questions and we will listen.
The next thing I want to do is give a huge shout out to DAVE BASSETT. Dave has been the person behind the curtain bringing us the opportunity with the Simon School of Business. This initiative has been successful for every semester in which we have participated. It is also the single biggest reason the IRS gave us the 501 (c)3 status – they were greatly impressed with our work in that initiative.
Please join us for our 2020 TREND TALK on Diversity and Inclusion. This is NOT your average diversity and inclusion talk. We are bringing in panelists from the LGBTQ Community as well as the Deaf Community to hear how we can all be more diverse and inclusive. These two communities often get left out of many conversations; and this time, we’ve invited them to the table. This talk will be moderated by our very own Dee Alexander. Join us on JANUARY 15 at the Comedy at the Carlson from 6 PM – 9 PM. There will be hearty hors-d'oeuvres and a cash bar. The cost is $35.
Diversity & Inclusion discussion at
RPCN’s 2020 TrendTalk event
Plan to attend a powerful and different discussion on diversity and inclusion at RPCN’s TrendTalk on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
Our panelists are:
Michele Liddle, CEO of The Perfect Granola
Antonietta Alfano, CEO of Come Fly With Me Healing
Dr. Taj Smith, Director of Diversity Education, RIT
Sasha Mitchell, Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center, Inc.
Sady Fischer, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Excellus BCBS, & LGBTQ speaker
The discussion will extend past the usual diversity and inclusion discussions to include at-risk youth and the deaf and LGBTQ communities.
Join our moderator, Dee Alexander, for this compelling event with networking, cash bar, and hearty appetizers at 6:30 p.m. and the panel discussion from 7-9 p.m. at Comedy @ The Carlson, 50 Carlson Rd, Rochester, NY 14610. Tickets are $35 per person.
In 2020, RPCN is celebrating its 30th anniversary. As part of that celebration, we will be conducting our fifth Consultants Business Bootcamp, a unique set of presentations, workshops and panel discussions helping participants learn how to start or improve their consulting business. Over the five Monday sessions, participants will:
Define their Services and Client Value
Identify and understand their target clients
Develop a plan to market themselves as a consultant
Learn how to build credibility and provide value
Learn how to present themselves and their value to prospective clients.
Obtain feedback on their value propositions from experienced successful business owners and consultants
Since its inception in 2012, the Consultant’s Business Bootcamp has given more than 85 new and experienced consultants terrific tools for building and improving their business for success.
If you would like a member of RPCN to speak to your group about the Boot Camp and RPCN, please contact Devin K. Floyd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've been asked to help get sponsors for the 2020 RPCN Boot Camp. We're looking for sponsors for the snacks and to establish a fund for scholarships for the Boot Camp. You'd be feeding roughly 16 people (12 attendees and 4 presenters each day). They are asking for $25.00 and up. Please contact Devin K. Floyd at email@example.com or 585.902.2900. The deadline is January 30th, 2020. Every bit helps! Have a great day!
RPCN History & Good-to-Know Facts
RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp
RPCN as Consultants Incubator. In 2011, the Boot Camp sprang from a concept that RPCN is a consultant incubator. (Factoid: The first Business Incubator in the USA started in Batavia, NY). Our idea was that RPCN would provide Learning, Networking, and Mentoring to startup and practicing consultants. Since 1990, Learning and Networking have been RPCN’s forte’. But, Individual Mentoring isn’t an RPCN service (we refer people to SCORE for mentoring). RPCN Business & Technical Forums do provide “group mentoring” and mutual support for RPCN members and non-members.
Best Practices. To discover best practices for Business Incubators, Bob Lurz interviewed local incubator, innovation, and business leaders: Jim Senall of High Tech Rochester (HTR, now NextCorps), David Hessler of Digital Rochester (now Tech Rochester), Jean Kase of The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), et.al. Bill Jones of Venture Creations and Bob Kot of HTR discussed their Incubators at RPCN Friday meetings. We also held a number of RPCN members “needs interviews”.
A concern from Richard DeMartino of RIT Innovation was “Why would RPCN members help create competitors and associate with them?” This hasn’t been a big concern because RPCN members usually build trust in each other. An example: Two RPCN member-competitors both helped job-seekers write resumes. They collaborated and would fill in for each other during vacations or times of too much business to handle. Ethical behavior and mutual trust are RPCN expectations. (Note: Richard DeMartino appears at ROCGrowth Candids on 1-8-20).
RPCN Boot Camp. Our research resulted in the Consulting Business Boot Camp. Doug Mabon, a SCORE-Rochester leader, provided valuable insight into SCORE training programs & Mentoring. The Boot Camp’s frequency of “once-per-week” for 5 weeks came from SCORE’s “Simple Steps” program. The week between sessions allows time for participants to plan and start their business.
The purpose of the Boot Camp (and RPCN) is to help people turn their skills into independent consulting businesses. It helps them explore what they need to do, and how to make plans and important decisions to build their business (including whether solo consulting is for them). The Boot Camp focuses on topics and issues unique to solo consultants and is useful for other solo service businesses. We concentrate on how to discover and meet the needs of participants’ clients. Another major focus is on how to market yourself as a consultant. Starting in 2012, there have been six “yearly” Boot Camps (none in 2013 or 2019). About 90 people have attended. Around 60 people joined RPCN as a result (RPCN members receive a $50. discount).
Experts from inside and outside RPCN share their advice and experience (and Boot Camp participants learn from each other). Boot Camp provides interactive workshop sessions and planning tools that get them started in the right direction. The Boot Camp ends with participants demonstrating their value to clients in a simulated-client presentation. They receive expert advice and constructive feedback on how to explain their Value Proposition. Participants say this is the most valuable part of the Boot Camp.
“The RPCN boot camp is the most concise, thorough and affordable treatment of this subject matter.”
“I highly recommend it for those who are starting out and trying to make sense of their new endeavor.”
“You could spend far in excess of the cost just in correcting simple mistakes that Boot Camp makes easily recognizable and avoidable!”
"The key thing for me was that the Boot Camp allowed me to be in an environment of other people attempting to do the same thing. I learned a lot and accelerated my business by being in that environment. One thousand percent better than sitting home trying to go through this solo”.
“For homework, I interviewed potential clients and discovered what they really need.”
"The Consulting Boot Camp provided real-world practical key fundamentals for starting and growing a solo consulting business.“
Next Boot Camp starts on February 10, 2020. Click here for more info and to register.
We all know that ‘backup’ is an important thing to do. We also know we should save money for the future, set aside time for our friends and family, and eat healthily and exercise regularly.
Your savings might dwindle over time; Your friends and family may slowly drift away from your life; Your health may deteriorate slowly…
But your computer will, sooner or later, suddenly stop functioning or otherwise suddenly become inaccessible. It is a WHEN, not an IF scenario.
A solid backup strategy is the only thing that can save you in this eventually.
There are myriad backup solutions out there, and choosing one can be harder than selecting an attorney. However, there are a handful of key questions that, once answered, can guide you more easily to a solution:
Do you have multiple computers that are used to work on the same files, or just one?
Are you an organized, schedule-based person, or do you need an automated solution?
Are there multiple computers in your business or home office that need backups?
Are you using a shared storage device (a file server, NAS, etc.) or are your files all stored on your computer’s hard drive?
Are you a Mac or Windows (or other) user?
How long could you function until your access to your files is restored (days vs. hours)?
There are many more details that could impact your choices, but here are some general categories of data backup solutions:
Backing up just your files (documents, spreadsheets, pictures, etc.) vs. making a backup “image” of your entire computer’s hard drive
Storing all of your files on a cloud-based solution (like Google Drive, OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox) vs. backing up to storage physically in your location
Backing up multiple “versions” of files vs. only keeping the latest version on backup
Multiple copies of backups for greater disaster protection vs. a single backup copy
For individuals and small businesses (which are my focus), here are some free solutions that I either use myself or have implemented for customers:
Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Apple iCloud all have free versions that provide online space for files. These are also great tools to share files among multiple computers (and with iCloud, your iPad and iPhone) and to share selectively with others. You can pay for more space as needed.
If you are a Mac user, Time Machine is a spectacularly functional and effective backup solution for individual computer backups. It’s free with your Mac. In a single simple solution, Time Machine will backup files, programs, and your macOS, and can be used to restore historical versions of files.
Aomei BackUpper is a free tool that can backup your entire Windows hard drive to an “image” file that can be used to restore a failed hard drive. It can also clone a hard drive to a new hard drive or SSD for migration. You can also automate the backup process, and additional features are available in the paid-for version of Aomei.
Uranium Backup is one of my favorite free file backup solutions for Windows users. There are many others out there, and for a fee, you can get additional features with paid-for versions of Uranium. Uranium also supports automation.
Marcia Bornhurst Parkes Presented at the NY State Music Conference
Marcia Bornhurst Parkes, Ph.D., gave a presentation in December 2019, at the 84th New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference, the professional development conference for music education professionals. Dr. Parkes spoke on the topic “Strategies that Improve Students’ Success with the Artistic Processes of Performing and Responding”. Both creative processes and related learning anchor standards 4 – 9 were discussed. Marcia provided strategies and examples of how she enabled school and collegiate students, as well as senior adults in community music programs, to experiment with music composition and free non-jazz improvisation. Both strengthen students’ abilities to perform and respond and develop their creative and critical thinking skills. Marcia shared strategies utilized by two experts in improvisation: Bill Cahn, member of the internationally recognized Nexus percussion ensemble, and Dr. David Rudge, Director of Orchestras and Opera at SUNY Fredonia.
Dr. Parkes discussed the benefits of creative exploration and described her research and consulting work for The Commission Project (TCP, 2005-06), and her doctoral research and field study with band directors and their elementary band students (1985-86). Both studies involved several music teachers and student populations close to 300. In the TCP study, four composers and one teaching artist also participated. Prior to commencing that study, Marcia reviewed the literature on creativity and the efforts of Education Scotland to promote creative problem-solving by students. Through her on-site observations and surveys for music teachers, their students, and composers and teaching artists, Marcia determined that TCP had met its’ mission to foster creativity.
In Parkes’ groundbreaking doctoral study, elementary band teachers were taught how to engage students through the innovative teaching approach at that time: comprehensive musicianship. Students learned about the composers of band selections which students performed at school concerts. Through studying the elements of music, students felt they gained a deeper understanding of the music; they also enjoyed composing short melodies. Dr. Parkes observed and noted teachers’ efforts to employ the pedagogy. Results from attitude surveys administered to both teachers and students revealed that nearly all enjoyed teaching and learning via the new approach.
During her presentation for NYSSMA, Dr. Parkes explained that creativity is central to everyone’s learning and growth, especially when it is fostered through the arts. As students uncover their creativity while composing and improvising, they are developing creative and critical thinking skills. These are transferrable and enable all to succeed as they perform and respond to works in music, the other arts, and work in other fields. In an ever-evolving marketplace, creativity is essential for success.
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
3 City Center
FREE. Register to attend.
RPCN member, attorney Jere Fletcher will be teaching a course on how to negotiate - how to improve your odds on the outcome. Learn negotiating skills and an effective technique that will help you to be more successful. You will learn different negotiating styles, and, using the example of buying a car, you will practice what you learned with some simple role-playing.
Just one example of Fletcher’s achievements - his 35 years of experience involved him helping to negotiate and facilitate a unique, confidential arrangement between N.Y. Telephone, the state’s largest telephone service provider, and the State Department of Social Services.
Bob Manard recently graduated from the Venture Jobs Foundation's business accelerator program as he migrated his business, Faces That Work, into a full-service digital marketing agency. The nine-week program helps you develop your business concept, hone your business strategy, and build a business plan with actionable steps. The next iteration of the program starts on January 22, 2020, and applications are due by January 15th. Click here for more info.
Some books which I have read have helped me in both my personal and professional lives. I love to read and enjoy exploring a variety of perspectives, views, and techniques the authors share. Here are highlights from my first choice. (Others will follow in subsequent issues of the RPCN Newsletter.)
7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen R. Covey
My dad sent me this book many years ago at a time when I was juggling a multitude of activities (yeah, I even dropped a few in the process). This book had a major influence in helping me to become more effective and to put my energy where my core values reside. I see this as a must-read for any adult on the planet.
Highlights from the book :
The 7 habits are:
Begin with the End in Mind;
Put First things First;
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood;
Sharpen the Saw
Apply these principles, together with your personal values, at work, play, and in your relationships, and I believe that you will improve your productivity and have a most fulfilling life.
Other books by this author: First things First; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families;The8thHabit;The Leader in Me: How Schools Around the World are Inspiring Greatness; The3rdAlternative
Did You Know?
Have Questions about RPCN? Use the FAQ’s
Have you ever had questions about RPCN such as:
Who are the RPCN members and which professions do they represent?
I am not sure about starting my own business. How can RPCN help me decide whether consulting is the correct path for me?
What is RPCN all about? How can it help me?
Here are questions we all ask,
Will RPCN help me market my business?
In addition to information learned at seminars and forums, what skills can I gain, what experiences can I have?
These are just a few examples of questions asked every day about RPCN. There are many more. They can all be found at our website by clicking on “About,” then scrolling down to “FAQ.”
Try it. You’ll very likely learn something about RPCN that you didn’t already know.
Have You Heard an Inspiring Speaker?
Since 2013 RPCN has been on a quest to “Learn from the Best”. We have brought in speakers who have made their mark in various aspects of business. We find many presenters through networking and at conferences, workshops, trade shows, universities, and professional organizations. Through these resources, we have engaged some very stimulating, insightful and inspiring speakers. Members have suggested a topic of interest or a speaker that turned out to be a real inspiration. Presenters have mentioned that speaking at RPCN is so interactive, they actually learned from the group.
In the recent few years, we have had some marvelous presenters on a variety of topical areas.
Business – of– Business
Marketing & Sales
Computer & Software Skills
We have been inviting members to participate more broadly in the programs.
Have you identified a topic that we seem to have missed in our offerings?
Have you been to a presentation or a conference where a presenter did such a good job, that you believe RPCN should hear him or her?
Have you been so inspired by a topic but you thought you could better?
Would you like to cover a topic of your own?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, as a member, RPCN may be the place to make your suggestion, recommend a speaker or a topic, or try out your material to hone your speaking skills.
We’ll even give you feedback as you compose your presentation, slides, and speech.
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 March/April 2020 calendar ad sheet is February 14, 2020. Sign up for your ad here.
A note from our copyeditor:
Good day, RPCN members:
As you know, I “pre-edit” the RPCN before sending it on to Melanie, who puts the newsletter together. This note is just to help us keep things in order because the system sometimes becomes rather more complicated than it sounds here.
In order to help me to retain my sanity, and to avoid my stretching Melanie’s to its limits as well, would you please, if possible:
1. Get your copy of the newsletter to us as close to the 21st of the month as is possible. (It is much more efficient if I can edit them all over a short period.)
2. Put your name and “RPCN newsletter” in the subject line.
3. Make sure that the piece you have just finished writing IS the piece that you actually send us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.