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August 13, 2012


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Rod Burkert

I would like to say that I agree with your post ... thank God I can say I agree 110%. I have been teaching fellow professionals through a national organization since 1996. The people I teach do exactly what I do ... yep, I am teaching my competition. And far from it hurting my practice, I am busy today BECAUSE of my teaching.


Marketing by teaching - I like that thought.

You have such a clever way with words.

Geni Whitehouse

Our firm has been providing free training for the last couple of years. It has been an incredible way to showcase our unique skills. It all started when we defined our Why thanks to the amazing Simon Sinek. Once we articulated our goal of making the Wine Industry and our local Napa Valley better, it was a no brainer to give the training away, rather than charge for it. It does take time and effort to design and deliver training but we love the interaction with the students. It has been the best way to get in front of the right people.

Chris Mercer


Nice post and good advice. Unlike precious commenter, Rod Burkert, who is. Friend, I have been teaching his and my fellow practitioners of the business valuation art for more years than since 1996. And he and I have taught together!

Too many professionals think of business as a zero-sum game. What I have learned over 30-plus years is tht the more one gives away, the more that comes back our way.

Nice post!

Michael Wall

I love #1, be generous with your thoughts and be willing to share. The more open you are with your ideas the more folks will want to work with you.

Michelle Golden

@Rod and @Chris - exactly right! Adds perception of credibility when you teach your peers...shows you're ahead of the curve!

@David - thank you, sir! That means a whole, extra lot coming from a Prof!! :)

@Geni - very awesome to hear how it has elevated your cred related to your specialization. Definitely underscores it!

@Michael - thanks! I find most CPAs (you are a great example of this) have chosen their profession because of their altruistic nature...they want to help other people. That desire to help makes this one quite natural once people realize the value of sharing even without charging for it (only to a degree, for sure) and the keys to sharing while CYA, which isn't all that hard to do.

Keep up the great work, folks!

Jim Caruso

Michelle, great post as always. We lose nothing by sharing content, because from a technical skills standpoint it is tough to differentiate anyway. Buying decisions are based on many more factors that are based on relationships and other intangibles, so if sharing content helps build those relationships then you win the business, even ahead of others with equal or better technical skills. I am reminded of David Maister's discussion in Managing the Professional Services Firm, about how "good service" is predicated more on the elements of relationships and intangibles than it is upon technical knowledge. So again, you lose nothing giving it away; like it or not, its value is already diminished simply because everyone else has given it away! But also don't forget that applying the knowledge is still a skill clients will pay for; few can read about something outside their area of expertise and then implement or apply it without help.

However, I can't help but think about the Mad Men clip that Ed Kless has shared, which evangelized the opposite view (sorry I can't find the link but I am sure you know what I am referring to). But of course, we are in a different day and age now from Mad Men; Donald Draper did not have the challenges or opportunities of the Internet and social media!

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