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Freelance Fortune: The Newsletter (No. 10: Mar 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
others with appropriate attribution. You may forward this newsletter
to others.

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This issue of Freelance Fortune is in five sections:

  1. Three Reasons Business Cards are Dangerous and What to Do About It
  2. What is the Most Important Thing for You to Do Today?
  3. Seven Steps Every Consultant Must Master: March 17, Old Town Alexandria – free!
  4. Complete List of my Audio Interviews with World-class Consultants – free!
  5. My Private Roster™ Mentor Program

Three Reasons Business Cards are Dangerous and What to Do About It

Traditional business cards and CDs-as-business-cards are dangerous because:

1. They assume old-style communication: I have a message for you.

This is a transactional view of communication. If you simply put your card in someone’s hand as a way of marketing, chances are it will end in the trash can when your back is turned.

To ensure your card becomes a treasured artifact and entered into someone’s rolodex you must generate value on the spot, interacting with the other person and creating something they can use. This is what I call generative communication. When you want to hand someone your business card, ask first, “Have I generated value for this person?” If you can’t answer that question in the affirmative, why should they take your card other than politeness?

2. The act of giving a business card is almost always about the person who is giving it.

I believe there will be new smart business cards that will reflect the relationship and the circumstances rather than the giver. Think about that! These intelligent credit card like devices will provide different information to different people, taking into consideration what you can achieve together. You can’t predict this in advance. It is situation and context dependent.  So smart business cards of the future will generate new possibilities. In the meantime, while we wait, what are you doing to generate new possibilities with the people you meet?

3. Traditional business cards are about a limited number of roles.

How many titles can you put on a business card? One, three – I have seen fifteen, but only in jest.  Smart business cards will be responsive to multiple contexts and even promote innovation; ie, identify hidden potential and facilitate its emergence.

Until these wonder cards arrive, you must scan for emerging possibilities. You must inform your clients of all that you can create together, and do it in a way that is compelling, exciting, and fruitful.  Do you know when a new idea is ripe for the plucking? Are you cultivating the emerging reality of new possibilities with the people you meet?

When you meet someone for the first time, try asking these questions:

  • Have you thought about what is new in your field? What excites you most? Where is the highest potential?
  • What kind of media attention is your industry getting? Is that an accurate reflection of your situation?
  • What has to be fixed for your sector to really grow? Is anything holding you back?
  • What trends have emerged that have real impact on the way you do business? How are you keeping in step with them?
Make interactions about more than exchanging unwanted information. Step them up to a new level. Have a conversation that matters and will be remembered. Then, give them your business card.  They will be sure to file it in their system. Better yet, you may get an appointment to talk in greater depth about how you can help them achieve their goals.


What is the Most Important Thing for You to Do Today?

Every morning answer this question: What one thing is the most productive thing I can do today?  Make it your meditation. This question goes deep – like meditation. It is simple, and profound. Try it and let it work its magic in your life. If you do the most important thing every day for 30 days in a row, you will be astounded at your performance improvement! Guaranteed.


Seven Steps Every Consultant Must Master: March 17, Old Town Alexandria – free!

8:30-10:30 am

This participatory workshop will cover the Seven Core Practices that form the foundation for success as a free agent. It 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 7 powerful practices to help you move your business forward
  • Gain tips and techniques on how to grow your business
  • Network with other entrepreneurs
  • Create an action plan that will help you thrive!

This session on St Patrick’s Day (be sure to wear some green!) will be held at Marketing General, 209 Madison St., Suite 300, Alexandria, VA. To register, email Tya Bolton. Come and be part of the buzz! You can download a flyer here.


Complete List of my Audio Interviews with World-class Consultants – free!

These interviews are inspiring and chock-full of techniques used by highly successful consultants around the world. To see the master list and click on any one to listen, visit SethInterviews.com.


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


If you want to subscribe to this newsletter, click here.

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