Freelance Fortune: The Newsletter (No. 5: Jan 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.


This issue of Freelance Fortune is in sections:

  1. Success, not Perfection
  2. Five Fundamentals for Fueling Your Fortune
  3. Professional Development Opportunities

Success, not Perfection

No doubt you received my errant newsletter on January 1st. I am still getting the hang of my new interface and scheduling in advance. The result was a missive that went out incomplete and three days early. Friday morning, January 1st, I checked my email, saw the delivered newsletter in my inbox, then immediately thought, What a way to start the year! But, hey. This isn’t about perfection, just success.

I first heard this mantra from my mentor, Alan Weiss. He repeats it often. When something is 80% done, it’s ready for primetime, he’ll say. Just get it out there. Further, don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes. He’s right.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I was once sitting in one of his classes when he brought in a web guru to critique our websites. I volunteered mine (it was sometime ago, so not the current version). The guru cut me to pieces in short order, told me all that was wrong with my site. I was shocked. My website was responsible for well over $100k in increased revenues in just that year alone. Alan was sitting behind me. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, Success, not perfection, Seth.  It’s working for you. Don’t have to change a thing. I didn’t and the site continued to work well for me.

This is a major key. You must be tolerant with yourself, give yourself the extra slack. Then, get out there and perform – as soon as you taste the sweet rewards of success, all thoughts of your mistakes will melt into peaceful oblivion. That’s especially true when you’re walking to the bank!

Five Fundamentals for Fueling Your Fortune

The new year is upon us and it’s time to start your engines.  Those of you who have been following me for sometime have no doubt used the break between Xmas and New Years for strategic reflection. Today is the day the work begins in earnest.

This Friday I am teaching a class in DC, PowerSurge 2010! that teaches how to get your business up and at ’em now, providing a game plan for starting 2010 with strong business activity. More on that below in Development Opportunities. To fully take advantage of the opportunities 2010 presents, you must attend to your fundamentals. They create the platform that makes it possible for you to achieve extraordinary success. Here are five fundamentals for fueling your fortune:

1. Know How to Communicate Your Value in Common Conversation. When someone asks what you do, be ready to say it in no-nonsense parlance. Don’t worry about superlatives or blowing people away. Just get really good at getting the message across clearly.  If I am talking to business owners I say, “I help CEOs steer change by involving their people to create rapid, widespread engagement.”

2. Know Your Target Audience. I speak all the time so I often get invitations to speak for free. Many times people will say, It will be great exposure. Well, you can die from exposure. Since I know my target audience I can quickly discern whether or not the audience is filled with potential buyers. Oh, really. Who will be there? I ask.  I have two audiences: (1) CEOs and senior managers with budget authority, and (2) other free agents like myself. I can tell in an instant if the speaking engagement will be good marketing or not.  And, then it’s easy to make the decision.

3. Know Your Value. When I mentor other independent consultants I know that if they follow my advice I can increase their revenues by $20-100,000 in six months. Or, if they’re just starting, I can get them up and running fast, saving them a year in lessons learned. As a result, there is no question that my mentor program, priced $3,500 – 9,500 is easily worth the investment.

Same is true in my work with CEOs. If they are rolling out a $20,000,000 change program – my work in the course of a year will easily save them $600,000 (3%) and may even save their program from disaster. As a result, I can say without blinking that my contracts are worth $200,000 and up.  No problem. It’s a fact.

If you know your value, you have all the confidence you need to charge and earn what you’re worth.

4. Become outcome focused. Keep your eye on the ball. What is the result you are trying to produce? Are you trying to double your active client base, increase revenue, work less? Know your goal and constantly refer back to it. Many people get lost in their projects, and miss their targets altogether. If your goal is to increase revenues by 100% and you suddenly get a contract that is equal to the sum total of all your other engagements, you are done. Goal achieved. Stop working on that because it’s been accomplished. Now move on to the next. This is one of the fastest ways I know to increase your effectiveness.

5. Constantly Increase Your Efficacy. Collect techniques that make you better at what you do. I hired my mentor seven months before I left my full-time job so I could hit the ground running. His expertise and experience was my best investment to date. Things that would have taken me weeks to wrestle through, he solved in a single five-minute phone call.  And that happened time after time. I documented and practiced very technique he provided: how to write proposal, how to interview a client, what rates to charge, how to handle objections, how to write my book – the list goes on and on.  I multiplied my earnings from what I would have earned on my own because of his advice.

Professional Development Opportunities

January 8 Workshop in Washington, DC: 2010 PowerCharge!

A full day session dedicated to accelerating your business in the year ahead. This workshop is for you if you are serious about increasing your business growth now! It will be a tour de force of content culled from my years of experience as an independent consultant. Topics will include: » Identifying & Meeting Your Best Clients » What to Say When You Contact Potential Clients » Building Your Brand so Clients Come to You » Mastering Time Management » Website & Internet Strategy » Managing Your Head for Success.  Price: $800 / $400 for members of my Mentor Program. To register, visit SethWorkshop.com

Seth Kahan’s 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 yearlong 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:

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


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