The Consulting Thing – Part 1
By Lyle R. Hill
I have now reached a unique position in my life. You see, I have finally achieved that long sought after place where all business managers and particularly business owners ultimately want to be. That very special time and place in life when you can simply say “NO.” No, I am too busy, No, I am not interested in doing that. No, I don’t want or have to work with you. In other words, you can pick and choose what you want to do and who you want to do it with. Some may call this “heaven” but others may simply call it “old age.”
There is a certain freedom that comes with not having to do what you don’t want to do. And if we’re honest with ourselves, almost every day of our business career we have to do things we really don’t want to or work with people we’d prefer not to. That is the nature of business and the better actor you are, the better business person you will most likely be. How do I know these things you may ask? Well, with more than 42 years of active duty in business and now more than five years of consulting to others, I have learned a lot … mostly good stuff but now I have to ask myself, “Why should I keep these things to myself … why shouldn’t I share them with others?” So, that is exactly what I now plan to do by way of this column. In the year ahead, I plan to share my experiences and learning with you, the reader of this very prestigious and award winning magazine. You may consider me as your very own personal consultant. I will invoice you later once I have decided how
much you might owe me for all of the wisdom I intend to impart. No checks by the way. Cash payments only (kidding). I have decided to start with some important defi nitions (based on commonly asked questions by my clients) so that we can move forward with common concepts and terminology. Please try your best to keep up. I know you can do it if you try.
Consultant … usually a person who has had difficulty holding down a real job for an extended amount of time. Knows a little bit about a lot of things but not too good at any one thing. As the old saying goes … “those who can, do and those who can’t, consult.”
Accountant … usually the kid who got pushed around a lot when he was in high school. Now he is your accountant and he is going to get even.
Cooking da Books … unless you want to get into serious (and most likely losing) arguments with the feds, never cook your books. They, the books, will feel better and you will sleep better too.
The IRS … A terrorist organization that somehow (while no one was watching) got legalized by the U.S. Government.
An Audit … similar to oral surgery only performed without any anesthesia by an accountant who wanted to be a dentist but failed the test to get into dental school.
Cash Flow … kinda like the laws of gravity (what goes up must come down) only with cash it is …what comes in must go out (and usually at an accelerated rate of speed as well).
Bankers … ectoplasmatic creatures who are your best friends as long as you are current with your payments. However, heaven cannot help you (and don’t count on your friends either) if and when you fall behind or start to look a little shaky.
Goodwill … that nice feeling we get when we have a lot of money in our pockets or have just taken a large job away from a competitor we don’t like. Not to be confused with good intentions, good deeds, good behavior, the common good, or where you shop for clothes when times are bad.
Profit … someone who can see into the future and give great advice about what to do with your life … oh, wait a minute. I think I have that spelled wrong. I think I mean “Prophet” not Profit. I actually have no idea what Profit means! Never came across it in my 42 active duty years.
Write-Off … what every uninformed person in America who has never owned his/her own business thinks you do with all of your extra piles of money to avoid paying taxes.
Ok my friends. Now we have started our journey down the path of knowledge and understanding. This path will take a lot of twists and turns as we travel down it and often it will appear confusing if not downright misleading. But don’t be afraid. I’ll be there for you. That’s what we consultants do. And if you would like, you may send in your first payment now.
Lyle Hill has more than 42 years of experience in and around the auto glass industry. At one time he operated 71 auto glass retail shops and a wholesale auto glass distribution business. He is currently the directing manager of Keytech North America, a consulting firm, and is the co-founder of Glass.com®.
To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.
Read part 2 HERE.