Years ago I wrote a few books for Sybex publishing – mostly study guides for various computer industry certifications. My partner, Gary Govanus, and myself put out over a dozen “tomes.” None of these would ever be considered classic American literature, but they paid a few bills and opened a few doors for my consulting business. Anyway, one of the books that got bandied about, but never actually published, was Bob’s 101 Tips for Consultants (this was just the working title, I think in the end we were hoping for something with a bit more pizzazz.)

I’ve been thinking about that book for quite some time now, and trying to recreate that list of tips – now that consulting is an honorable profession there might actually be a market for it. My brainstorming might just be the perfect fodder for my No Topic, No Talent blog. For the next few entries (or maybe the next 101, depending upon how things go) you will be seeing boxes like the one below in which I drop my pearls of wisdom.

Those of you just starting out in life might want to write them down as life’s lesson’s learned. Those of you who are a little longer in the tooth, will realize that they are exactly what I claimed – pearls of wisdom. (Of course we all know that pearls are just a clam irritant.)

The First Rule of Consulting:

If it works, you did it right.

I know this sounds rather cavalier, but the concept is sound. Your client will describe a set of specifications that define a successful consulting engagement. If your finished project meets those specifications, you are a success! Collect your check, get customer sign off, and move on! (Or better yet, try to sell them the enhancements you thought up while working …)
A corollary to this rule is that if your finished project exceeds customer specifications you have given away your product – but that’s a story for another tip!

On a more web-site appropriate topic I ate some BBQ in Indianapolis last week. I’ve always said that a bad plate of BBQ beats a plate of broccoli any day, and that there really is no such thing as bad BBQ. I still live by those words, but I’m now willing to admit that there are times (and places) where it might be better to skip the ‘Q and have a steak.

So I ate at two BBQ joints while in town – G.T. South’s and Big Hoffa’s. The difference between the two joints was like night and day. G.T. South presented a fairly mediocre fair – check out my review here – let’s face it, it earned 3 Splats – barely enough to qualify as edible. I apologize to my student who recommended the place – and I give him credit for saying it didn’t compare to Big Hoffa’s (where we all went for lunch one day.)

Big Hoffa’s was one of those joints you find once in a blue moon – good ‘Q, well smoked but still juicy, a great sauce that compliments the meat (instead of overpowering it,) and a nice BBQ atmosphere – I swear if I lived near I’d be eating at this place at least once a week. Check out my review here.

Family News

So Katie took the test and earned her Driver’s Permit. This means that she’s behind the wheel whenever the King family travels around town – watch out world! Actually she’s doing a good job – she pays attention and is just afraid enough to take it seriously. I’m more afraid of her younger sister’s turn. Carrie has no fear, like’s to go fast, and worst of all, reminds me of me (the worst symptom of all!)

It’s just about fishing season, so the boat will be out of winter storage soon! If you’re going to be in the area over a weekend (or one of my rare down weeks) give me a call – we’ll get some beer, drop her in the water, and do a little fishing!

I’ve got a couple of ideas for BBQ/Cooking videos that I’ll be posting in the near future, as well as a few recipes I’m working through. (If you like the carnita (pork) at Chipotle’s keep coming back. I’ve just about perfected a crock pot version that will knock your socks off!)”