I receive Google Alerts each day, which inform me of where my name, “million dollar consulting,” “value based fees,” and other aspects of my intellectual property appear. Overwhelmingly, these are favorable notices, and I always try to say “thank you.” (On occasion, I find someone stealing my work. A favorite tactic of the plagiarists is to “excerpt” tens of pages and place them in their newsletters, which they sell, as a “review” of my work. I ask them to stop, then my lawyer asks them to stop. All have.)
The other day, I found a pretty amateur consulting blog with an exchange between two readers One had said, “Don’t read ‘Million Dollar Consulting,’ it’s not very good.” And the other said, “Thanks, you just saved me the money.”
There are dozens of things wrong with this transaction, but here are the salient points:
• MDC has sold 450,000 copies or something like that since 1992, globally. That doesn’t happen to bad books.
• Even if it isn’t a great book in someone’s opinion, it’s one of the fundamental books on solo consulting, and you need to read it if you’re going to be knowledgeable in a profession that refers to it. It’s like a strategist refusing to read Peter Drucker.
• Consider the source. The guy who didn’t like it is hanging out on an amateur site, with no credentials and no one has ever heard of him. Why would he be your muse?
• The book, in used copies, costs just few bucks, and maybe $20 new (or less on Amazon). Why wouldn’t you make the small investment to find out for yourself?
There is something worse than stupid professionalism (“I forgot to set the next date for the review of the proposal!”), and that’s stupid amateurism.
In any profession, listen only to those who are successful at what you want to be successful doing. Make sure you are familiar with the major issues and intellectual property. And don’t blindly take advice or make assumptions. (I had heard that Malcolm Gladwell’s new book wasn’t that good. It’s terrific. I wanted to see for myself.)
You may be new, you may be struggling, but you can still be a professional. If you are, you won’t be struggling for long.
© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.