Ted Cline's Consulting Success Story
by William S. Frank, President/CEO of CareerLab®
At age 48, Ted Cline had achieved a major milestone in his career as Director of Information Systems for Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. As a result of his leadership, Rose Medical Center was named one of the top 25 hospital IT organizations in the country by a national trade group. However, that didn’t guarantee Ted’s employment, and he was laid off in a corporate reorganization, the first of many to beset the hospital.
His company sent him to CareerLab for outplacement, and we met in my office. After getting to know Ted, I told him we could find him another high-level corporate job in another hospital. However, the entire healthcare industry was undergoing continuous, ongoing radical change: Mergers, acquisitions, cutbacks, and layoffs. I was afraid that if Ted took another corporate job he’d be vulnerable to another layoff within six months to a year.
I suggested repositioning his career so that he could consult to the industry but not be stuck in any one company. The benefits for that are numerous: for one thing, it cuts out some of the corporate politics. For another, it gives you a flexible schedule and freedom to choose which assignments to take. Finally, if handled right, it gives you higher pay. In Ted’s case, each of these benefits came true.
Ted was suspicious of this consulting model. It seemed foreign to him, but he agreed that he’d be highly vulnerable in another corporate job. That motivated him to give consulting a try.
Over several months, we put together marketing materials and a business plan. Although Ted completed his assignments for us, underneath he was suspicious of our marketing ideas and methods. To his credit, he persisted in the process, and together we breathed new life into his career. He renewed friendships with friends, business acquaintances, and past employers, and quickly found a demand for his services. Within six months he had replaced his former salary—and soon eclipsed it.
Ted wanted to be a sole practitioner. Although he had been a superb, well-liked manager, he didn’t want the headaches of supervising others. In addition, he wanted the freedom to take his wife with him on business trips, and to partner with her as Administrative Assistant on consulting projects—which he did.
I met Ted in 1994. Since then he’s had some long, high-paying engagements, and some time for fun in-between. At one point he took off several months make major renovations to his home. Consulting is sometimes a good option for business warriors who have tired of the corporate structure, or who are forced out in mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, and downsizings. Here are Ted’s comments in his own words.
TED A. CLINE
9800 Parkmoor Drive West
Denver, Colorado 80134
February 7, —
Mr. Bill Frank
10475 Park Meadows Drive, STE 600
Lone Tree, CO 80124
I apologize for not writing sooner as my consulting business has been booming! So in a way, it’s really your fault.
It’s really hard to believe that your worked with me just a little over a year ago and everything is really working out great. I can still picture myself in your office thinking, “Just what can you do for me?” Obviously, that was never discussed with you, but I had some real concerns about some of the activities you had me perform.
It’s easy for me to say today that it all now makes sense. Everything from letterhead, business cards, advertising, mailings, letter composition, resumes, etc. Everything functions now just like clockwork. People respond to my ads, referrals come seemingly from the blue, and most of all—I’m doing something I really love to do and my blood pressure is now normal.
Just last week I presented a systems plan to a group of executives and the approved the multi-million dollar plan within two days, and want me to kick off the plan for the first three months. A success story? Your bet!
Call me when you get a chance for lunch. Oh yes, I’ll buy lunch as you can guess the cash flow has unbelievably improved.