Freelance Fortune: The Newsletter (No. 11: Apr 2010)

This is a free, private-roster newsletter that celebrates the free
agent lifestyle and provides techniques for business success.
© 2009 Seth Kahan. You are encouraged to share the contents with
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to others.


This issue of Freelance Fortune is in five sections:

  1. My new book, Getting Change Right, on Kindle now – book arrives May 17!
  2. Conducting Interviews to Attract People to Your Website
  3. Opportunity to Save $700 on Smithsonian Storytelling Symposium + Master Class on Re-inventing the Workplace
  4. Free Workshop: How to Create Winning Proposals, April 14 in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
  5. My Private Roster™ Mentor Program

My new book, Getting Change Right, on Kindle now – book arrives May 17!

My book has arrived for Kindle readers, and will soon be on bookshelves across the nation. More on that to come. I am very excited – this is not only a big step forward for me, it’s a huge opportunity to generate real value. The book is a powerful motivator; there are tools and templates throughout.

I didn’t realize it at first, perhaps because I am new at this. But, a new book is a grand excuse to move people and agendas forward in large strides.  For example, the Dept Of Defense just purchased 300 copies of my book and is flying me to Boston to address the Defense Leadership Summit. Now, I think my book is great and I guess they do, too. But, when something like this happens I know that they are using me and my book as an opportunity to send a message to their people.

I have scheduled six kinds of events so far:

  1. Keynote speeches
  2. Sr Staff development sessions
  3. Board development sessions
  4. Creating a surge for a specific initiative
  5. A fundraiser
  6. Project implementation oversight

If you know anyone who would like to use my book in any of these ways (or any other cool way), please put us in touch! Your referral is of huge assistance to me!

Conducting Interviews to Attract People to Your Website

I have begun interviewing world-class consultants and making them available through my blog, FreelanceFortune.com. All interviews are available here. My monthly statistics have gone up considerably since undertaking this effort. This is due in no small measure to the regular readers I am attracting as a result.  Here is how I do it.

Asking for the Interview

Here is a sample letter I use now when I make the request. I started with a legalese document I copied from someone else and it scared someone off who I really wanted to interview. Then, I put it in plain English for him and it worked fine. So this is what I use all the time now.

Hi Nancy,

I am conducting a series of interviews with world-class consultants. I am writing to ask if you will do one? If you agree, you and I will have a conversation (it’s very relaxed) which I record and post on my website. If there is anything you say that you prefer not be used, you just let me know and I delete it.  Full disclosure: I may use your interview in a compilation of similar recordings and either distribute it for free as part of my marketing materials or sell it as a part of a product that I develop.  I will furnish you with a copy of the audio file from our interview and you are free to do the same or use it any way you wish.

The entire interview is approximately 15 minutes long and recorded in a single conversation that takes no preparation – we wing it and it always comes out perfect.

Please let me know. I know you will have a lot to contribute,


Recording the Interview – I use:

  • a Princess phone (be prepared to take major flack if anyone finds out) because this old, cheap model has a better quality microphone and is corded providing higher quality transmission than most cordless phones.
  • the Radio Shack telephone converter to intercept the line. I had to pick up a 1/4″ jack for the Radio Shack thing ($5) so I can plug directly into my…
  • ZOOM H4 digital recorder- this is an older model. The H2 is the current one available. Btw, this is excellent for catching jam sessions, which is why I bought it. The beautiful Laura Baron often has musicians over to our home and sometimes I catch them in the midst of something incredible with no time to set up anything fancy. You can just turn the ZOOM on and set it in the middle of the floor and it does a great job.
  • Audacity Mac freeware to edit – it’s easy to learn and simple to use.

Conducting the Interview – Here’s what I put into my interviews:

  • I love listening and am genuinely interested in what the people I speak to have to offer.
  • I approach the interview as a peer-to-peer relationship (where have I heard that before?).
  • I follow the energy and comments of the people I am interviewing.
  • I keep a laser-like focus on unearthing value for the listener.

This is how I zero in on value and make it explicit for the listener:

  • Do your homework. Know what value they can provide and be ready to track that in the conversation.
  • Prepare questions in advance, but don’t be afraid to deviate if something cool opens up.
  • Take notes while the person is talking so you can recap and drill down.
  • Tell them what you want to know and then ask them to “say more about that” or “give me some more detail.”
  • If something isn’t clear or is too brief, ask them to “tell me what you mean by that.”

Opportunity to Save $700 on Smithsonian Storytelling Workshop + Master Class on Re-inventing the Workplace

If you register for both the Smithsonian Symposium: Storytelling to Improve the Workplace on April 16 and the Masterclass I will teach with Steve Denning on Re-inventing the Workplace May 27-28, 2010, you get a $200 discount. That’s in addition to the $500 early bird discount that you get if you register before Friday April 23 for the Masterclass. So if you register for both before April 23, you get a total $700 combined discount.

Smithsonian Symposium: Storytelling to Improve the Workplace, April 16, 2010

The Smithsonian Storytelling Symposium on April 16, 2010 in Washington DC will feature an introduction to radical management and the role of storytelling to improve the workplace. I and some colleagues will be discussing a wholly new way of managing organizations. In addition to Steve our good colleague, Madelyn Blair, will be there along with Matt May (Toyota), Mary Poppendieck (3M), and Elizabeth Woodward (IBM). For more details and to register ($115), go here.

Two-day Masterclass with Steve Denning: Re-inventing the Workplace, May 27-28, 2010

For an in-depth immersion in the principles of radical management, there is a two-day Masterclass on May 27-28, 2010 in Washington DC, which I and my former World Bank colleague, Steve Denning, will be offering. It will be an intensive interactive session showing what radical management is and how anyone can implement it in your organization. Participants will get copy of my new book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out. You can get more information here.

Registration for the Masterclass (after Apr 23):                     $1,500

Registration (with early bird discount before 4/23)                 $1,000

Registration (with combined early bird/Smithsonian discount)  $   800

To get the Early Bird discount for the Masterclass only, and save $500, register hereTo get the special Combined discount (i.e. early bird plus the Smithsonian discount) and save $700, register here.

Free Workshop: How to Create Winning Proposals, April 14, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

8:30-10:30 am

This workshop is part of my concentrated effort with Marshall Brown, creator of the Entrepreneur Mastery Success Program, to build a vibrant community of entrepreneurs in Washington, DC, helping each other succeed. Every month Marshall and I put on a free workshop to bring people together to learn together and network. By attending this program, you will…

  • Learn how to build proposals that succeed with your clients
  • Enhance your value and your fees with options
  • Create joint ownership for success
  • and of course… Network with other entrepreneurs

This session will be held at Intelligent Office of Alexandria, 2331 Mill Road, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA. A guided tour of Intelligent Office will be provided immediately following this event. To register, email Tya Bolton. Come and be part of the buzz! You can download a flyer here.

My Private Roster™ Mentor Program

This unique program is available by exclusive arrangement with Million Dollar Consultant Alan Weiss. I am the first person in the world to be certified by Alan to provide all three of his mentor programs. When you enter my mentor program, here is what you get:

  • An initial interview to identify your business goals and evaluation by me of your approach
  • Access to Alan Weiss’s global mentoring community where you can ask questions 24/7, and have access to world-class consultants around the globe.
  • Access to resources such as proposal templates, lists of questions to access clients, frameworks for establishing business offerings, audio and video files, newsletters; mastermind groups; international mentor summits and much more.
  • All teleseminars I produce during your participation are provided to you free of charge.
  • Discounts to both my workshops and the workshops of Alan Weiss

You may take your choice of one of three programs:

  1. The Regular Program – Six months of unlimited access to me by e-mail, phone, fax, regular mail – or in person, if convenient for both of us. I help people strategically (how to set fees, how to gain visibility, how to position and market your practice, etc.), and tactically (what to say at the meeting tomorrow, critiquing proposals, overcoming objections, etc.).
  2. The Guided Program – Just like the Regular Program, plus I provide you with a detailed game plan with specific completion dates, and formal, scheduled contact times to discuss accomplishments and any obstacles preventing short-term tasks from being completed.
  3. The Total Immersion Program – This consists of two days with me, at my home/office, to learn how I handle clients, prospects, office management, invoicing, interruptions, writing, etc. We also spend considerable time on your strategy and goals, and create plans to move forward. You then enter the Regular Mentor Program for six months.

For more information, including fees, and to register, visit SethMentor.com

Seth Kahan (Seth@VisionaryLeadership.com) is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell, World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a year-long learning experience for CEOs in Washington, DC. His next book, Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out, will be published in Spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass.

Visit all of Seth’s blogs:

Follow Seth on Twitter. Learn more about all of Seth’s work through his website: VisionaryLeadership.com

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