Here are some recommended resources — web sites & books, along with my comments. There are many more, but I think these are particularly useful to anyone contemplating a Jump to Consulting. Many of these (and more) will be reviewed here.
Please contact me if you have a favorite to recommend.
Consulting – Web Sites
www.raintoday.com – RainToday
Focuses on sales and marketing for professional practices — large and small. Articles, newsletter, webinars, classes, and more. Paid membership site, but plenty of free stuff.
consultingsuccess.com – Michael Zipursky
Formerly consultingbuzz.com, this site focuses on small management consulting practices. Guides, books, blog. Some paid, some free.
bluepenguindevelopment.com – Michael Katz
Focuses on marketing for solo professionals. Specializes in newsletters, but covers other marketing too. Numerous introductory courses. The latest addition, the Blue Penguin Content Club, is very helpful and a lot of fun. More info here.
www.consultingfact.com – Learnondo
Site focuses on new MBA’s seeking management consulting positions with established firms (but not starting their own firm.) Guides, books, blog. Some paid, some free.
www.jumptoconsulting.com – Your Truly, of course!
A thirty+ year consulting engineer now sharing his experience on how to start & build a small practice. You are already here. Thanks for stopping by!
Careers & Life Styles – Web Sites
www.escapefromcubiclenation.com – Pamela Slim
If you are trying to figure out how to make your escape, visit here! Classes, guides, a great book by the same name, and even a free monthly teleseminar.
www.jobhuntersbible.com – Richard N. Bolles
By the author of What Color is Your Parachute? Although not specifically aimed at consulting, a very useful resource for career changers.
www.chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/ – Chris Gullibeau
Looking to change your life? Interested in world travel? You’ll find that, and more, discussed here. Several guides for sale. Author of the Art of Non-Conformity. Check out his free e-book 279 Days to World Domination.
www.locationindependent.com – Lea and Jonathon Woodward
How would you like to work from anywhere in the world? These “digital nomads” are doing just that, and will share their stories and advice with you here.
www.mrmoneymustache.com – Mr. Money Mustache
Want retire in 7-15 years? MMM, a fellow engineer, will show you how became financially independent at age 30. No gimmicks — just save 50-75% of your income and invest it. It CAN be done. Lots of good advice with the math to back it up. Fun to read.
Small Business – Web Sites
www.startupprofessionals.com– Martin Zwilling
Great information from an experienced entrepreneur and investor. Just published a great book. A note to geeks — Martin was part of the original IBM PC project! Free blog at blog.startupprofessionals.com
www.guykawasaki.com – Guy Kawasaki
Popular site that links to his popular blogs. Author of 10 books, blogger, founder of several companies, and former technology evangelist at Apple.
www.sethgodin.com – Seth Godin
Last, but certainly not least, the granddaddy of small business/motivational/marketing blogs. Author of 12 books, entrepreneur, former Yahoo executive, speaker, and much more. Best of all — Seth is completely bald!
Retirement/Boomer – Websites
satisfyingretirement.blogspot.com/ – Bob Lowry
Great retirement advice from a fellow Arizona blogger. Bob had his own business, but has been retired for a dozen years. Offers a great perspective if you are retired, or are considering it. Also the author of the e-book Living a Satisfying Retirement.
gotoretirement.com – Mark Patterson
A fellow EE who became a patent attorney, Mark is not yet retired but getting close. He shares his plans and concerns in his blog. As a professional, I suspect Mark will stay involved with his law practice at some level, just as I have with my engineering practice.
Consulting – Books
Million Dollar Consulting, Alan Weiss, McGraw Hill, 1992-2009.
Recently updated, this classic is a must-read for anyone considering consulting. One of 32 books now published by Dr. Weiss.
Value Based Fees, Alan Weiss, Pfeiffer, 2008
Another classic must-read with a focus on fee setting. Part of the Ultimate Consultant series.
Professional Services Marketing, Mike Schultz & John Doerr, Wiley, 2009
Written by the cofounders of RainToday.com, the premier consulting and training firm focused on sales and marketing for professional practices. This book focuses on marketing, branding, and lead generation.
Rainmaking Conversations, Mike Schultz & John Doerr, Wiley, 2011
A companion to the above, this book focuses on selling consulting services using their proven RAIN sales model.
Winning the Professional Services Sale, Michael W. McLaughlin, Wiley, 2009
A practical guide for face-to-face selling for consultants — large or small.
Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants, Jay Conrad Levinson & Michael W. McLaughlin, Wiley, 2005 – A joint effort by Michael McLaughlin and Jay Levinson, the originator of Guerrilla Marketing.
Rain Making, Ford Harding, Adams Media, 1994
An oldie but a goodie that focuses on sales/marketing for consulting firms. I ran across this while standing in line one day at Kinkos. Glad I bought it!
Shenson on Consulting, Howard L. Shenson, Wiley 1994
The last book published by the consultant’s consultant before his untimely passing. Although dated, anything written by Howard Shenson is worth reading. My original consulting mentor.
Careers & Life Styles – Books
Escape from Cubicle Nation, Pamela Slim, Penguin, 2009
A literary road map to vocational freedom! Now a life-coach, formerly a consultant, and before that a corporate citizen, Pam has walked the walk. Great information you won’t find other places, such as how to tell your spouse you want to (shudder) break free.
Body of Work, Pamela Slim, Penguin, 2014
In Pam’s second book, she expands her focus to work in general – not just creating you own business. More great information if you are struggling to figure out what you should do next. A solid mix of practical ideas along with encouragement.
What Color is Your Parachute?, Richard N. Bolles, Ten Speed Press, 1970-2010 (Annual Update) This classic guide has sold over 10 million copies. This is THE guide for job seekers or career changers — including those considering consulting.
The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Gullibeau, Perigree Books, 2010
By thirty five, Chris plans to have visited every country in the world. Plus he has never held a corporate job. If you are a free spirit, or would like to be one, read this book.
Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki, Portfolio/Penguin, 2011
The latest in a series of books from the original technology evangelist at Apple. A nice mix of motivation and nuts-and-bolts business advice. An easy read and very “enchanting.”
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, Ernie Zelinski, Ten Speed Press, 2007
Written by another free spirit (also author of The Joy of Not Working), this book should be of particularly interest to my fellow baby-boomers. Consulting may be your way to be happy, wild, and free in your retirement.
Small Business Books
Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?, Martin Zwilling, 2010.
A compilation of Marty’s best blog posts of the past few years. What a wealth of ideas and information! Very easy to read too.
Permission Marketing, Seth Godin, Simon & Schuster, 1999
One of many classics from Seth, this book describes the best ways to build customer communities, lists, and markets. An excellent guide.
Tribes, Seth Godin, Penguin, 2008
Another favorite, this book is a bit more philosophical than Permission Marketing, but worth the read. A small book filled with some big ideas.
Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch, Thomas Nelson, 2006
Although not focused on consulting, this book is chock full of ideas applicable to small business marketing.
The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott, 2009
I think this will become a classic on marketing in the Internet age. Great details on using electronic media, blogging, and much more. Applies to businesses large and small.
The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida, Basic Books, 2002
Research results on creative professionals, including consultants. Where they live, what they prefer, social mores, and much more. Fascinating study.
The Great Reset, Richard Florida, Harper, 2010
The most recent book from Florida contrasts the recent recession with the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Long Depression of the 1870s. Positive prognosis. Very useful to consultants, particularly if you want a educated vision of where the economy might be heading.
The Millionaire Next Door, Tom Stanley & William Danko, Pocket, 1998
Research results on millionaires in America. The findings might surprise you — a very large share are small business owners, such as consultants. And most built their wealth slowly, a dollar at a time. Read it. Have your kids read it too!
Stop Acting Rich, and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire, Thomas Stanley PhD, Wiley, 2009 — An update to Stanley’s earlier book, with new research on the real millionaires in this country. A worthwhile read with lots of data. Have your kids read this one too.
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