N.O.N.S.E.N.S.E.

I’ve mentioned quite often that my respect for someone’s expertise is generally in inverse proportion to the amount of initials after their name, magnified by the obscureness factor. I know what an MBA means, but CRQ-FB8 leaves me seeking a drink. The worst cases of depression after losing a job I’ve encountered are those in which the individual identifies with his or her title, and not contribution. Take away the business card, you take away the identity. Take away the …


Dumb Ass Stupid Management at Gucci and Ralph Lauren

My wife and I are on Worth Ave. in Palm Beach shopping for a wallet and billfold for me. Price is not an issue, and there are dozens of high-end stores elbow-to-elbow. At Gucci, someone approaches after we wander to a display case, and he says, “Men’s wallets are down there” pointing to a different case, and then walks away. I said to my wife, “Not much of a selection,” and she said, “And lousy service.” We walked into Ralph …


Shortcut to Success

Don’t make things overly complex. If you want to succeed in consulting, here’s the sequence: 1. Determine what you love to do and are great at (your value proposition and “sweet spot.”) 2. Identify your ideal buyer for that value (Market Value Bell Curve). 3. Attract that buyer (market gravity and thought leadership). 4. Provide a variety of interventions to move clients to more involvement, higher fees, and less labor (Accelerant Curve). 5. Continually evolve and generate new IP (reinvention …


Job Performance Is Personal

We checked into the Tower Suites of The Palace Hotel, and encountered a desk agent who seemed aloof. She said, “Hello,” not “Welcome to The Palace.” “Checking in?” she inanely asked. “No,” I said, “I’m taking my luggage out for a walk. Of course I’m checking in!” Then told me our room wasn’t ready. I explained to her that this wasn’t the deal, and when the concierge walked over and greeted me by name, welcoming me back again, she suddenly …


10:1

I’ve always advised showing your clients at least a 10:1 return on any option they choose, so that the value of doing business with you is unarguable. (I’ve worked with consulting firms who told me their own clients were delighted with a 3:1 return. I don’t find that sufficient for six-figure fees.)   Be careful about the return on your own investments.   For example, if you purchase a software assessment instrument for $25,000 for use on a single project, …


Finding David

At the recent Million Dollar Consulting® College I told the (probably apocryphal) story of Michelangelo buying a piece of discarded marble and creating the incredible masterpiece, David. When asked how he could do this from a single piece of stone, he said, “I just carved away everything that didn’t look like David.” I told the participants that their careers should be based on what they love doing and are passionate about, and all else should be “carved away.” Michelangelo didn’t …


Lessons from the Million Dollar Club

These notes courtesy of Matt Kolbusa, from Hamburg, who joined us for the first time and made excellent summary observations of our three days together. The Million Dollar Club comprises no more than ten firms whose principals meet annually in exotic locations to discuss business, life, and the future.   What do I do from January to March 2015 to increase my earnings from last year by 50%? New value to existing clients: what exactly to whom? Make a list! …


Taxi, Anyone?

Taxis in New York (and other cities) require medallions to legally operate, and the medallions, being fixed in number, have often sold for six figures, with taxi fleets sometimes spending millions. However, medallion prices are now declining for the fist time in my memory. Why? Because of industry disruption, AKA: Uber. Whether you use Uber or even like it (I do and I do), it is a disruptive idea that is changing an industry. It’s not even that innovative, since …


The Price of Televisions and the Cost of Lack of Innovation

There are some incredibly good sales deals for large screen TVs these days. The reason is that there has been no new technology introduced over the past year, so there is no competitive edge available to raise prices. In other words, value to the customer has not increased and can’t be created virtually. Hence, the stores are doing the only thing they can to drive sales on these items—lowering prices, decreasing their margins, even using the TVs as loss leaders …


Lessons from The Million Dollar Club

At our seventh annual Million Dollar Club meeting, this one in Sevilla, the ten members considered these issues, which I thought might be of help to everyone. • The best reasons for moving into new geographic markets is to reduce labor intensity. • You can make a million dollars but that doesn’t mean you have a million dollar mindset. You need to move to an abundance mentality. • “Thinking big” means appreciating how various factors interrelate and not trying to “solve” …