Friday, November 30, 2012

I’m Ready for My Close-Up!

Since — if you’ll pardon the obvious and intentioned pun — I’ve “transitioned” from my former post to the consulting arena, one of the questions that has been repeatedly asked (aside from how’s the new gig going?) is “How do I know my firm is ready for a merger?”

That’s a tough one because, much like putting a house on the market, it has so many moving parts. I often joke that when we sold our condo, it never looked better — in fact, I almost had seller’s remorse.

But I digress.             

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Cold Call and Business Development — Zero Degrees of Separation

Years ago, I had a short run with a company called “Dial America.” It was essentially a magazine renewal clearinghouse where you were given a list of names, the publications to which they currently subscribed, and their respective expiration dates.

Like most call centers, you read from a prepared script and, after a short pitch, it was basically yea or nay. I struck gold on my first night there, nailing the first six calls I made. After that, I foolishly assumed that my lucky streak would continue. In the ensuing weeks, my success to call ratio was roughly 1 to 1,000.

Ever since that experience, I’ve always felt for someone forced to make cold calls to drum up business, but like they say, success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration or some similar lopsided percentage.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Are You Prepared?

Despite spending the better part of five years with first the Cub Scouts and then its more advanced sibling, the Boy Scouts, I was perhaps the worst member in either legion in the New York tri-state area.

When assembling a tent for an overnight, it more resembled an undertaking of Abbott and Costello than a true outdoorsman and 99% of the time it collapsed during the night. My handmade campfires lasted all of 30 seconds before the sure flameout and the inevitable cold dinner. The results of my trying to adhere to the organization’s requirements to tie knots such as a bowline or sheepshank could not have effectively restrained a 90-year-old grandmother.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maybe it Should be Run Like a Business

Back in my days as an under-performing student at the University of Denver (which lately has been getting a lot of national attention and not all of it good), there was a basketball player who lived in the apartment next to me, who, when not practicing cross-over dribbles or jumpers from the top of the key, used to spend hours reading the Wall Street Journal and related business publications.

He relentlessly tracked things like M&A in various sectors and the burgeoning influence of what became known as venture capital or VC. We all knew he would probably go on to become wildly successful and, ultimately, a millionaire several times over — which, to no one’s surprise, he did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Getting Back To Business

It’s been nine days since we’ve gotten our power back and though I wouldn’t exactly draw a comparison between having heat, running water (we’re on a well), and working — ahem — facilities, with winning the Powerball jackpot, there’s something to be said for your house firing on all cylinders — literally.

As described in this space last week, Mademoiselles Sandy and Athena played havoc with my utilities and flight schedules, but somehow I managed to wedge in a pair of accounting-centric conferences between the two angry storm systems.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Planes, Trains, and Hurricanes

I’m back. 

Whether news of my return prompts applause or eye rolling for many of you, my sabbatical from commenting on all things accounting and political in this space was prompted by the quinella of a heavy travel schedule and the unwanted influence of two women named Sandy and Athena.