Transcript of the live chat session that took place Thursday, October 15, 1998. These sessions are normally scheduled for 12 noon-1 PM Eastern Time every Thursday. Please note that the US is now on Standard Time. So in international terms, we are on at GMT -5 instead of GMT -4.
These sessions are hosted by Richard Seltzer. If you would like to receive email reminders of our chat sessions, simply send a blank email message to email@example.com or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/businessonthewebchats and sign up there.
For transcripts of previous sessions and a list of future topics, click here .
For an article on how to make "business chat" work (based on this experience), click here .
Since the chat itself happens at a rapid pace, it's often difficult to note interesting facts in particular URLs as they appear on-line. Here's a place to take a more leisurely look. I've rearranged some of the pieces to try to capture the various threads of discussion (which sometimes get lost in the rush of live chat).
Please send email with your follow-on questions and comments, and suggestions for topics we should focus on in future sessions. So long as the volume of email responses is manageable, I'll post the most pertinent ones here for all to see.
Richard Seltzer -- Eric, Ron, Luis,shadowman, please introduce yourselves and let us know your interests (It's just about time to get started.)
Eric -- Hi everyone. I'm Eric Snyder with TCM's HR Careers. We run an internet based employment service for HR and Training & Development professionals!
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Eric, and thanks for forwarding our chat reminder message to your contact list.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Harris Sussman, please introduce yourself (for those who don't know you). As you've probably noticed from my chat messages, I've just joined the ranks of the "independent" and need to learn the ropes of operating as a consultant.
Harris Sussman -- Hello--Harris in Cambridge--consultant, writer--
Phil Grove -- Hello Richard. Hope the chat finds you well.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Phil. Have you found a new job-home? Or are you considering going the consultant route? (And please introduce yourself for those who don't already know you.)
Phil Grove -- Hi, I am Phil Grove. I recently joined CSC Consulting and Systems Integration. Until recently I worked with Richard at Digital.
Phil Grove -- It has been a while since I joined one of Richard's chats, but I am glad to take this lunch break with you all.
David Meyer -- I'm just looking in to see if there might be any leads. Wish I had something to offer!
Ron Rothenberg -- Ron Rothenberg, Belmont, MA, freelance writer, financial planner and internet consultant.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Ron. I didn't realize you have such a broad range of activities. I thought of you in terms of real estate, especially buyers agents.
Ron Rothenberg -- i sold my brokerage two years ago, but I'm still active, since I write for three or four real estate and business magazines.
Luis -- I am a Diversity/Org development consultant currently with Department of Defense. I also do training and consulting with private industry when my schedule allows. I am interested in sharing experiences/learning with all.
Susan -- Hello. I'm Susan Race; personal coach, hr and training and development consultant - primary focus is preparing students for the workplace. This is my first time.
Richard Seltzer -- Susan -- do you work with/for a particular college (preparing students)? or are you independent?
Susan -- Richard: I'm independent owner of Personal Growth Systems. Currently networking with high schools, colleges, shool-to-work committees, and businesses.
Richard Seltzer -- Susan -- do you get hired by individuals or by schools?
Susan -- I get hired by individuals, schools, and businesses.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome Bob Zwick, Paula Byerly, LenS, etc. -- please introduce yourselves and let us know your interests. We seem to have a very good group today.
Bob Zwick -- Hello everyone. Bob Zwick - Independent consultant from the Dallas, Texas area.
LenS -- Hi Dick, Len Segal here. Just got in . . . I started doing PC consulting when DEC (RIP) laid me off in 1993. Enjoy the work, but not the marketing of my skills . . . foreign turf for an engineer :-)
reem -- Hi, reem yared, indep consultant re. internet strategy & business plan development.
Paula Byerly -- Hi! I took an early buyout from IBM and want to work from home. I was a technical writer/editor/team leader/software library planner for IBM for 19 years, have a degree in secondary ed (English), and love working on the Internet. We are moving from Colorado to Texas (boohoo), but after we get settled, I'll need more work to do. I'm open to any suggestions (preferably editing), and I'll share my success in finding my husband's dream job (which is how I've spent the last 6 months on the 'Net.) I'm flying to Dallas today but will be back online on 10/22. This is my first chat group, and I'm looking forward to it! :)Paula Byerly.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, Paula. We're in similar positions. I just left Compaq/Digital after 19 years, with 39-week severance package. It seems like this is the best opportunity I'm ever likely to get to see if I can make it as an independent Internet writer, speaker, and consultant.
Ron Rothenberg -- i was ahead of the time. i was bought out 10 years ago.
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome Rich Norris, Jaime D., Wayne Thorn,
Tom M., etc.
Please introduce yourselves. Let us know your interests. And dive into the discussion. We have a good crowd on hand and this is likely to get a bit chaotic. Just type what you want to say when it occurs to you. Afterwards, I'll edit the transcript to try to make it easier to see the threads of discussion, and I'll post it at my Web site. http://www.samizdat.com/#chat
Wayne Thorn -- Hi Wayne Thorn here. I'm Eric Snyder's partner and I see he has made his presence felt here.
Jaime D. -- Thanks Richard - I'm looking at the possiblity of starting a business utilizing the web and fishing for info on what's involved and sources of info.
Richard Seltzer -- Jaime -- I have lots of info on using the Web to find info (I wrote the book The AltaVista Search Revolution). Please contact me off-line. firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaime D. -- Thanks for the info - I'll touch base with you off-line
Richard Seltzer -- Welcome, David Meyer, Barbara, and Darius. We're nearing the end of the hour. Please introduce yourselves, and let us know your interests. And please feel free to send me email with comments and questions that you don't have time to post here now. email@example.com I'll try to include those with the transcript as followup messages.
Phil Grove -- I understand this chat topic is to include using the web for job search -- that is how I found this current job.
Richard Seltzer -- Phil -- did you find your current job at a particular job-related Web site? or by checking the help wanted sections at the sites of particular companies? or by using a general search engine, like AltaVista?
Richard Seltzer -- Have any of you used the on-line job-search sites like Monsterboard, Careersearch etc. If so, which, from your point of view, were the easiest to use and the most effective?
Phil Grove -- I believe that this job was posted on the monster board.
Phil Grove -- I used several techniques. I down loaded a list of head hunters in the internet/marketing area and spammed them with my short resume. Sent 45ish and received 12ish leads and that turned into about 6 regular conversations.
Phil Grove -- I also looked at targeted business on their web sites for 'openings' Usually, the jobs I ended up talking to the firms about were not listed, I just used the listing to get into the door. When they are hiring, they usually only sort of know what they want and that they have money in their budget. You have to make the story fit their problems, because they really dont know what the best solution is....
Richard Seltzer -- Phil -- where did you find that list of head hunters???
Ron Rothenberg -- i find websites like the monster board a bit intimidating. I know i am qualified for many jobs, but not exactly sure which. I used to be a software developer (12 years experience) at lotus and wang, but that was a decade ago.
Luis -- It's always good to try out several services. I personally like the sites that offer a "Personal Search Assistant." These are ones that notify you by e-mail of positions that fit your particular profile. I don't like the ones that save possible matches in a large "batch" since you have to remember to visit the site periodically.
Richard Seltzer -- Luis -- Can you name some that use such a "Personal Search Assistant"?
Ron Rothenberg -- do those looking have a clear idea of what they want to do? or is it shaped by what's available to you?
Phil Grove -- I found that you never knew where the next lead on a job was going to come from. You always need to be networking and telling your story...at a party, to any contact. The book "Knock 'em Dead" was excellent to get me into the mindset and to focus on a single stage of the process at a time.
Richard Seltzer -- Phil -- who is the author of "Knock 'em Dead"?
Luis -- "Knock 'Em Dead"--- by Martin Yate
Phil Grove -- Knock 'Em Dead 1998
(Serial), by Martin John Yate, List Price: $12.95
Our Price: $10.36, You Save: $2.59 (20%). Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours.
Eric -- TCM's Job Search Books http://www.tcm.com/trdev/jobs/job-books.htm
Richard Seltzer -- Eric -- are listings at your service free? What's the URL? What's your business model? (where does the money come from?)
Eric -- Ads on our site are $200 / 1 month. That includes "pushing" notice of the opportunity to our list, and cross posting on appropriate usenet newsgroups. Access to the jobs database is FREE to job seekers. We also provide a resume distribution service. We charge job seekers $50 to send their resume to 1250 employers/recruiters; but the service is FREE for employers/recruiters. http://www.tcm.com/hr-careers/
Richard Seltzer -- Eric -- thanks for the info. Are all the jobs you list full-time positions? Or do you also deal with consultants?
Harris Sussman -- I have been looking for jobs in HR/OD/training & consulting--looking for headhunters/recruiters and leads...not impressed with the online services...
Eric -- Harris: http://www.tcm.com/hr-careers/career/distribution.htm
Harris Sussman -- Eric, I could use your help in finding HR-type job...
Susan -- Harris: Are you aware of the website hr-jobs@TCM.com? Great site for full-time job opportunities in HR.
Eric -- Susan: Thanks for the plug! Eric Snyder here (that's my service!) Harris -- For info go to http://www.tcm.com/hr-careers/
Susan -- Harris: What type of job are you looking for? What's your area of expertise? I know a company in South Jersey looking for a Director of HR.
Susan -- Richard: I do contract work for Right Management Consultants - largest outplacement services around. Their program is top notch.
Ron Rothenberg -- yes - i have found some sites that list consulting firms, consulting opportunities and agents --- have you seen contract professional magazine?
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- what's the URL for contract professional magazine?
Ron Rothenberg -- It's http://www.cpuniverse.com They have a free email newslist, and a nice list of links for contractors and consultants.
Phil Grove -- The consulting clearing houses tend to be news groups as I recall. I never really used them, but that is what everyone pointed me at. I wanted a full time position which is inconsistent with those.
Harris Sussman -- Consulting is a lot easier and better with others--you need someone who likes to market.
Richard Seltzer -- Harris -- yes, I need someone who like to market, and also who knows how to close sales. I have leads/networking galore.
Ron Rothenberg -- does anyone know about the NACCB national ass'n of computer consultant business?
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- do you have a URL for NACCB?
Phil Grove -- http://www.naccb.org
Ron Rothenberg -- http://www.naccb.org - i don't know anything about them. they are having a confernece at disney world next month. New England chapter prez is Matthew Corbet 781-890-7007
Richard Seltzer -- Len, that's a very interesting (and discouraging) number. Have others had that experience? Are there major differences in startup time based on what kind of consulting you are doing?
LenS -- Dick, sorry, but a CPA stated the 3yr metric and I also found it to be true. Gross isn't net either!! You need sticking power in the consulting field. Now "Contracting" is a whole other ballgame. If you contract in a hot area (e.g. Y2K, ECommerce, etc) you may well be raking in the $$ in short order, if you make the right contacts quickly enough.
Harris Sussman -- Richard, welcome to the outside world. I'll buy you a coffee/tea/microbrew anytime
Richard Seltzer -- For me the biggest challenge is changing my mindset. I've been giving free advice for years. I've networked galore. But switching to a mode where you charge for your advice is very difficult. It's hard to judge how much to say and do to engage a potential client, and when is the right time to try to turn it into a consulting engagement. I've got a lot to learn...
Susan -- I bet that those of you who have just recently left big companies will find this the best time in your career. No corporate politics; any stress is self-generated.
Richard Seltzer -- Susan -- I'm feeling the first-week exhilaration of seeing lots of possibilities. But at some point, I have to get some cash flow going. And that's not easy.
Susan -- Richard: I hear you. What have you done to generate leads?
Bob Zwick -- Susan, STC has a big presence in Texas (Dallas) and usually a good list of referrals.
Susan -- Bob Zwick: Thanks for the tip. Who would you suggest I contact?
Bob Zwick -- Susan - where are you moving to in Texas. The site linked to my name has the STC's home page under "Job Assistance". You are welcome to contact me also.
Susan -- Bob: I'm not moving to Texas. paula is. I'll travel anywhere in the country where client will pay.
Phil Grove -- Richard, I remember starting a business a while ago (18 yrs) and the better business bureau was very helpful. Also local banks (banks wanting to loan) held lunch conferences that were VERY helpful with several speakers. $10 was what I paid and I think that covered the sandwich.
Bob Zwick -- I have done contract work for both large and small consulting firms. Some W2, some 1099. Just have to be careful in choosing which jobs you accept.
reem -- Richard, I find the problem of how much to give for free is critical. My policy is give until they're hooked or until you've established that you can really contribute sth worth their $. Of course, WHEN that happens remains a question; at some point, you just take the plunge. I find it takes a couple months (at least) do develop a client. First research them well, know the issues they're facing, think about options/scenarios, start talking to them w/some ideas up your sleeve. Research & thoughtfulness are the key.
Susan -- Richard: My experience has differed from Reem's. I'm finding that if you're focused in your contacts, and network like the dickens, you can land a client within the first week or two of conversation. What about consulting for Digital?
Richard Seltzer -- Susan -- terms of the severance package preclude consulting for Compaq/Digital (though exceptions can be made in rare special cases -- and I am pushing for such an exception).
Rich Norris -- Hi folks. I'm a change agent for the Department of Defense in the diversity and organizational development and leadership arena. Will retire soon from the military and am looking forward to the possibilities of consulting towards future change. I'm open to any and all suggestions.
Ron Rothenberg -- check out 'columnist's collaborative' at http://www.askbuild.com/tcc/. This is one of several sites where independent writers advertise their goods directly to publishers w/o using intermediaries such as syndicators. there are similar sites for speakers.
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- thanks for that pointer. I'm definitely interested in getting free-lance writing assignments. Writing seems far easier to price, etc. that "consulting". Seems more predictable as well.
Ron Rothenberg -- though I just wrote an article on robots in real estate and the home - - sold it to 15 different regional business newspapers @ about $100 each.
Phil Grove -- Richard, Have you considered writing another book? The 'Digital Press' [sic -- Osborne/McGraw-Hill] had success with you maybe they would commission another book? Then you could take it on tour like suggested...
Richard Seltzer -- Phil -- My agent has asked me to put together an outline and sample chapter for a dummies-style book about shopping on the Internet. I need to get that together by Monday... I also have the 2/3 completed manuscript of my book The Social Web, for which I'm still looking for a publisher.
Susan -- Eric: What do you mean "For $50 she got the word out"? Can we advertise through your network?
Harris Sussman -- Eric, how do I send you my $50?
Richard Seltzer -- Eric -- what was the subject the speaker talked about? (Speaking is one of my possible sources of income).
Eric -- Richard: She has a motivational keynote called "Someday Isle..."
Susan -- Richard: What is your topic? What do you speak on, or, as the members of NSA suggest asking: What is your area of expertise?
LenS -- Dick, send me some private Email as a reminder and I'll refer you to a former client who arranges speaking gigs for executive speakers. He told me that almost all of his speakers are VPs or above, but he might point you in some good directions.
Suzanne -- LenS: What is your email? Also, I could not connect to your homepage just now. I would like information re: executive speaking opportunities as well. Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Harris Sussman -- Len, what's your email? I'm a speaker too...
LenS -- Sorry, due to excessive SPAM from my Email address on 'Net, I won't post it in a public forum. The Website solves that problem for me . . . if it is not available now, it probably will be shortly (I don't control it). I can't give the former client's name to everyone as he'll probably shoot me and I haven't asked his permission. Dick is an old friend of mine that I've known for probably 22 years or so that is why I made the offer to him (and I know that his area of expertise is a hot area right now).
Bob Zwick -- Richard - keep in mind that pro-bono speaking engagements often lead to contracts. Consider local chamber of commerce, LIONs, Rotary, country clubs, and business luncheons.
Richard Seltzer -- Bob -- I've done lots of speaking for free. (In fact, I'll be the keynote at an Internet Marketing event at Bentley College Nov. 14, for those who are in the vicinity). Now I'd like to get into speaking for a fee. I believe the demand is there, but once again, it is difficult to make the transition.
reem -- Has anyone here made the transition from free speaking to paid engagements? Even when you're paid, what figures are we looking at (or foregoing)?
Richard Seltzer -- reem -- I'm trying to make that transition to paid. While at Compaq/Digital, I was making 3-4 speeches/month, all over the world, as part of my job. Typically, the group inside the company that wanted me to speak picked up the expenses. Now I want to do those same speeches for expenses plus a fee (on the order of $1000). And I have clearance from the HR people at Compaq that that doesn't constitute "consulting" and hence there's nothing to stop me from doing it for Compaq. I'd also like to do it for other companies that are into e-business. I'm also trying to break into the "big time." For that you need a professional speakers' bureau to package and market your capabilities. In that league, the minimum for a speech is about $5000 plus expenses.
Ron Rothenberg -- there is a real estate speaker's collaborative site at http://www.goodspeakers.com - unfortunately, it is not as good as the columnist's collaborative site.
Eric -- A friend of mine - Jim Clemmer http://www.clemmer-group.com - does a FREE 1/2 day seminar around his book title - "Pathways to Performance". He generates enough consulting work to keep 10 or more consultants going.
Richard Seltzer -- Eric -- it's hard to sort out, for your own particular capabilities, what's the razor and what's the razor blade. do you give away the seminar to sell the consulting? do you give away the book to sell the seminar? etc.
Eric -- Richard: He SELLS the book at the back of the room during his FREE session. But he does the sessions across Canada bringing along his local consultants. Usually keeps the hopper full with 2 FREEBIES per year.
Richard Seltzer -- Eric -- interesting. I guess the magic is in finding the right balance among free work to get contacts and paid work to stay alive.
Eric -- Richard: You might want to contact Jim Clemmer and become an associate. You can learn a lot from him. He's a great guy with solid values, and he knows how to make money honestly.
Richard Seltzer -- Eric. Thanks for the pointer for Clemmer. Yes, there seem to be natural tie-ins among writing, speaking, and consulting activities. If you are successful at the one, maybe you can make more money by doing the others; or maybe by doing one of them for free, you can generate more activity in the others.
Eric -- Richard: Clemmer is speaking
all the time. Here's his schedule page....
http://www.clemmer-group.com/links3r.htm I bet he might even attend next week's chat if he's available!
reem -- Richard, I find the synergy is in building credibility. That's the real aim, talking & writing to me are means of building my credibility as a consultant. Of course, doing the work & referrals work at least as well, so I try to juggle all.
Ron Rothenberg -- Richard, a friend of mine has contacted people who put together conferences and conventions and does spouse programs for the spouses of attendees. It seems they are hungry for speakers and programs, and that market is hot right now. the good thing about that is that it doesn't have to be related to the topic of the conference.
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- could you put me in touch with that friend? I have a talk about finding and being found on the Internet that works for very diverse audiences.
Rich Norris -- Speaking engagements where spouses are involved really maximizes potential market. Spouses seem to be working in areas similar or related to their significant other or will readily pass the word onto others they know in your area of expertise. Training sessions we have conducted for Generals and Admirals where spouse were in attendance have led to some great leads .
Richard Seltzer -- Rich -- do you have contact names, URLs, for outfits that set up speaking engagements for spouses?
Rich Norris -- Richard - I don't have any names or URLs. Speaking engagements spouses has been setup as part the training or conference sessions in DoD. Might try any of the Federal Gov. websites for conference listings. There is usually a point of contact listed. The Department of defense is looking outside itself for info.
Richard Seltzer -- Rich -- thanks again for the advice.
Ron Rothenberg -- if you have a hot and generally interesting topic, there are a few conferences in town every day. Also, don't neglect secondary and tertiary conference markets (smaller cities). Many of those hosts smaller conferences that can't afford to hire Colin Powell or Bryant Gumbel. there are groups of conference planners on the web.
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- yes, there are conferences around all the time. the trick is to learn about them early enough and get in touch with the right people to make a sale -- in some cases that has to take place nearly a year in advance.
Ron Rothenberg -- one thing to remember is that many conference speakers need to be booked WAY in advance, especially for the big ones. most real estate conferences are in the fall. the speaker marketing season starts in December for the next year.
reem -- Richard, I'm speaking at WITI on Mon-Tues (10/19-20) on How the Internet is Changing the Way we do Business. I'm a panelist & it's my first speaking experience, so obviously, I didn't ask for a fee. However, with all your experience, I think you s/be able to charge & be a lead speaker.
Richard Seltzer -- reem -- what is WITI? who is the contact? thanks.
reem -- Women in Technology Int'l, contact is Katherine McMonagle, cfce at Hynes next week, actually made contact with them at DCI e-business world in Sept. Just assume anything that took place this year will happen again next year & contact them.
Bob Zwick -- Richard - seems like your publisher or agent should be able to get you some paid speaking engagements.
Phil Grove-- I did an Customer Service via the Internet speaking engagement for IIR (International Institute for Research). They covered all expenses. Maybe that is a route to explore.
Ron Rothenberg -- ibm now compiles a list of all computer-related conferences, conventions, etc. in a searchable database.
Richard Seltzer -- Ron -- is that list at IBM's main Web site?
Ron Rothenberg -- no. the database of conferences is not on their site. it's usually on other sites as a button. can't find it now. I haven't seen it in a few weeks.
Ron Rothenberg -- you can probably get a list of conferences scheduled from the conference bureau in any city.
Harris Sussman -- I gotta go too. Hope we get everyone's contact info...
Richard Seltzer -- All -- this seems like a very popular and fruitful topic. I want to continue it next week. Please spread the word -- same time, same place.
Richard Seltzer -- All -- we're nearing the end of the hour. Please, before you sign off, post your email address and URL. Don't presume that the software captured that info. As usual I'll post the edited transcript of this session in a few days. Check http://www.samizdat.com/#chat and please send me your follow-up messages for inclusion with the transcript. email@example.com
Phil Grove -- Thank you all for a nice lunch chat. Richard, Good luck. -Phil Grove -firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Seltzer -- All -- please check last week's transcript at http://www.samizdat.com/chat89.html There are half a dozen excellent followup messages that I just added this morning, including one with lots of useful details about getting consulting work with the government.
Richard Seltzer -- Thanks to all for making this an excellent session. Please join us again next week to continue this topic. And please spread the word -- the more, the merrier.
Eric -- Eric Snyder, egs@TCM.com, http://www.tcm.com/hr-careers Thanks for hosting this Richard. It's a useful medium!
reem -- Thanks Richard & all. email@example.com Richard, I'd like to follow up w/you off-line, reem
Richard Seltzer -- By the way, keep in mind the power of content on the Internet. The typical chat session here attracts a dozen to two dozen active participants. But the transcript of such a session, posted as plain text and indexed at AltaVista, typically gets about a thousand viewers over the course of a year. (What you say here will be seen.)
Ron Rothenberg -- thank you. Ron Rothenberg - Homebase@world.std.com
Bob Zwick -- Thanks everyone -http://www.cottagemicro.com/
Richard Seltzer -- See you next week.
Richard do you know about Netscape's online Message Boards, the Consultant's Watercooler? From the main Netscape page (I use My Netscape, http://my.netscape.com/ so I don't know what the starting page is otherwise), look for a link to its Professional Connections forums and communities.
The Consultant's Watercooler is one "community"of many for professionals, and has about 25 message boards. Some topics:
Tracy Marks, M.A. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.windweaver.com/
PS -- A hint on the Netscape forums. For some reason, clicking on Consultant's Watercolor from the Community Forums page which is http://home.netscape.com/directory/community/html/pc_main.html often generates a server error. The best way to get to it is to choose it from the GO TO pop down list at bottom of page.
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