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Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) December 2022 Newsletter

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.

RPCN Holiday Party

Join us for the annual RPCN Holiday Party - we’ve missed seeing you for the last 2 years!

When:   Thursday, December 8, 2022

Where:  Joe Gatt's Food & Cocktails
              2126 Five Mile Line Rd.
              Penfield, NY 14526                    

Time:    6:00 pm (cash bar),
              6:30 pm (dinner) - 9:00 pm

The menu consists of Chicken French, Angus Roast Beef, Italian Salad, Penne, Roasted Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Salt Bread, and Butter. Dinner will be served in a private dining room.

We are looking for a kind individual or individuals to donate a dessert for the party—up to 50 guests. It could be, e.g. a bakery-bought sheet cake, cannolis, or plates of cookies. Please contact Joyce Curran, at if you would like to donate. We cannot accept home-baked items. 

The price for this year’s dinner is $35 per person (plus a cash bar.)

Please click here to make reservations.

It will be great to get back together again for our Holiday Party!

Edison Workshop Series -
Call for Volunteers

Would you like to help city kids learn about entrepreneurship ?  Bob Manard is assembling a team to teach the basics of business to students at Edison Tech High School as they prepare for careers in a wide variety of industries, including Automotive Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Culinary Arts, and Digital Marketing.

Let’s join together and give these kids a head start as they begin their journey of entrepreneurship, whether it’s helping their family business, joining a startup, or starting their own.

If you’re interested in this opportunity to give back to the community and help some kids in need, contact Bob Manard at

What Do Solo Consultants Do?
(And would I want to be one?)

(This is part one of an excerpt from an RPCN flyer used at display tables, meetings, conferences, etc.)

During the “Great Resignation”, many people are leaving employment seeking to become consultants. But, a consulting business differs greatly from employment. It has unique demands, pleasures, and pitfalls. Here are some things to consider when becoming a solo consultant.

What is a Consultant?

- Misconception: Consultants are all PhDs called in by clients begging for their help. They solve problems with a flash from their brilliant minds and leave with tons of money. Reality: Most consultants don’t have (or need) PhDs. They work hard to market themselves, acquire clients, provide value, and earn fees consistent with that value.

- Bad Rap?: One quip says “A consultant is someone who borrows your watch and charges a fee to tell you the time.” Yes, some consultants might help clients “simply” decide on client-known courses of action. But, consultants bring value to clients in many other ways.

- Need to Control?: Peter Block, in “Flawless Consulting” says “A consultant is a person who has no direct power to make changes or implement programs. A manager is someone who has direct control over the action”. Some consultants give advice and help implement solutions, but seldom have direct managerial power. So, if you need to control things, consulting probably isn’t for you (Also, some clients might pay you, but may not follow your advice).

Do I Have What it Takes?

Experience, expertise, and knowledge are minimum qualifications:

  • Experience: In a field related to the clients’ environment.
  • Expertise: Ability to use your skills to satisfy client needs.
  • Knowledge: Insight into your clients’ industry and/or business environment.
  • Degrees: Most clients don’t require certain college degrees, but some might. Some degrees can enhance your profile.
  • Certifications: Some fields require certifications to practice, but most don’t.

Why do Clients Use Consultants?

Consultants can provide these benefits and value:

  • Expertise: A consultant’s main contribution is bringing their expertise to bear on a client’s situation. They can objectively ask tough questions to clarify and understand a client’s problem and needs. They analyze problems and propose solutions (Solutions which may or may not involve the consultant).
  • Timeliness: Clients often can’t take the time to solve a problem. Consultants can work on a problem while the client “fights fires”. A consultant can satisfy client needs immediately without the client hiring or training extra staff. If needed, consultants can bring in others to help.
  • Objectivity:  Many clients need an independent, objective perspective. A consultant won’t be influenced by office politics, or be parochial in proposing a solution (e.g. At times, the client is the problem).
  • Effective Approach:  A client may only have access to ineffective methods. A consultant can bring in effective and efficient ways to solve the problem.

How Consultants Might Provide Client Value

  • Analyze situations
  • Solve problems or improve situations
  • Give advice
  • Express opinions
  • Advise and coach
  • Survey customers or employees
  • Facilitate teamwork
  • Be a trusted sounding board

(Still Interested? See next month’s RPCN newsletter “What Do Solo Consultants Do?”  - Part Two)

Bob Lurz

Did You Know? 
RPCN Member Benefits & Opportunities

If you are or ever have been a member of RPCN, especially if you have attended any of our numerous Events, you probably have an idea of some of the benefits that being a member has brought you. RPCN is a very active organization with the goal of making its members better consultants and to help them be successful.

This is accomplished by providing opportunities for improving your knowledge and skills in starting a business, getting paid, and everything in between. That’s a lot!

There is a page on our website that describes how our organization helps its members. This page can be found by clicking Membership on the menu at the top of any page.

You can access it right now by clicking HERE.

What you will find are ways to

  • Learn about how to operate your own business
  • How to Grow your business and make it successful
  • How you can Contribute some of your time, skills, and interest to RPCN

And should you know of anyone who wants to know why you joined RPCN and what the benefits are, you can refer them to this page. As always, we are looking for consultants, new or experienced, to join our excellent organization and reap its benefits.

Steve Royal

RPCN Video

Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, December 2, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

How to Increase your Mental Fitness, the X-Factor
Presented by Nermine Zakhary
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, December 9, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn: Beating the Peter Principle
Thursday, December 15, 2022
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, December 16, 2022
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
In-Person or Virtually
Friday, December 16, 2022
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

No meeting on December 23. Happy Holidays!

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Last Month's Lunch-n-Learn

The EHC Team completed the third of its three-part series designed to understand the forces behind the Great Resignation. We reviewed the points established so far regarding reasons for leaving current jobs and the reluctance to step in and fill current openings. As may be surmised there is dissatisfaction with working conditions and compensation, explaining many current unfilled positions. Bob Lewis then lead the discussion on how the employment of entrepreneurial practices could be applied to create more fulfillment, satisfaction, and reduce turnover by appealing to our innate needs and desires.

Upcoming Lunch-n-Learn

Dec 15th, 2022 – “Beating The Peter PrincipleFacilitated by Devin K. Floyd
The Peter Principle is a concept that states that “workers get promoted to the level at which they are incompetent and stay at that level for the rest of their careers”. In our next Lunch-n-Learn, we will discuss this phenomenon to understand how it happens and the negative impact that it has on companies. More importantly, we will explore ways to overcome this and ensure that the employee’s strengths are properly utilized and not lost.

RPCN’s Enhancing Human Capital Lunch-n-Learns are held via Zoom on the third Thursday of every month 11:30 am – 1 pm ET. Please join us for the next event FREE of charge. To get more information about EHC, please see  or contact the EHC team.

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

New members:
Valerie Hall

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.

Request from the Editors

When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please:
1. Send the submission TO and not to individuals.
2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)

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