General Musings

Do you have an interesting thought?

We are currently open to receiving guest writers to contribute interesting thoughts, knowledge, anecdotes, experiences, etc. to the Grace Asks page.  Each contribution should address a question that affects small- to medium-sized organizations (small business or non-profit).  The format will consist of an opening question followed by comments addressing that question.  When possible, external links are appreciated.  If interested, please contact Grace via email.

Who are you?

If you have my business card, you know my full name.  If you know my full name, you likely know that  I work for one of the pre-eminent research universities in southern California.  In my day job, I manage the operations of a large, internationally renowned research laboratory.  So why am I doing this?  Because I really enjoy it.  For me, helping small businesses is a hobby.  It doesn’t conflict or interfere with my day job, and I get to apply everything I learned in business school.  I’ve also learned a lot from working in a large institution.  That experience translates to real-world practices that benefit lots of other organizations. At this point, you should have other questions.  Some of these might include:

  • Why are you doing this?
    • Because I love it.  I live to work.  My mind is always going, and I take great joy in helping others succeed.
  • If you love it, why do you charge for your services?
    • If you review the page on services and fees,  you’ll discover that my charges are minimal and can be waived for worthwhile causes.  I have to charge a reasonable fee because I do spend considerable amounts of time on each project (much more than what the client pays for) and there is always the illusion of value.  One never values anything one does not pay for.  Look at how we all take oxygen for granted.
  • Does your consulting conflict with your day job?
    • I can almost see my boss raising an eyebrow when coming across this website.  The answer is no, my consulting does not conflict.  The scope is different.  What I do for my clients is not quite what I do at my day job.  Also, the time frame is different.  My consulting projects are done on my time.  That’s one of the main reasons why I usually do not answer the phone during business hours.  You are welcomed to leave me a message or send me an email (much preferred), but the discount you receive by choosing my services is paid for, in part, by the lack of response during business hours.  Of course, I will always try to reply to emails within a couple of hours whenever possible (read: when I’m not stuck in meetings all day).
  • If this is only your “hobby,” why should I hire you?
    • To put it bluntly, your small business/non-profit would benefit greatly from a high-level manager like me, but you can’t afford me, nor should you pay for someone like me full time.   Your money is better spent in trying to build your organization.  What you need is a solid plan from me that you can carry out on your own.  Additionally, this isn’t really a hobby for me like bird watching or knitting.  I fully intend to develop and grow AskGrace into a full-service firm providing you with turn-key administrative operations.  This includes everything from staffing your front desk to preparing your financial statements to providing all of your IT services.  To some degree, we are able to do that today with our limited number of consultants.  However, in the next couple of years, we will be growing both in terms of infrastructure and personnel so that all of your support services can be outsourced more cost-effectively to us.

In some ways, I may have driven away several clients with this post.  I’m not concerned.  We probably wouldn’t have gotten along anyway.  I know I’m good; I know you need me; I know I’m worth every penny you’re paying me and then some.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.  Arrogant?  Yes, a little.  But then again, one can only be arrogant if one has the talent to back it up. 

Disagree?  Leave me a comment.

Another website?

Is this yet another version of the website?

I have owned the domain name for over six years.  Over the years, many iterations of the site have gone up and been taken down.  This is because the site changes with the changing needs of my constituents.  So why a new site now?  Techonology has changed, my approach has changed, and the needs of my clients have changed.  This new site will be more client-oriented and less fluff.  I will try to continuously produce as much value as I can for all my clients – past, present, and future.  This format for AskGrace is here to stay.  I will provide static information on the different pages you see in the menu.  In addition, I will provide my thoughts on current events that impact small business, healthcare, and social welfare in general.  The dynamic content can be found under Grace Asks… and will be the landing page of the website.  This is done on purpose so that you visit the site often.  I hope you find my musings informative and entertaining.  If so, please leave a comment.  If you disagree with something I’ve said, please leave a comment.  I intend to use this site as a means of two-way communication.  If you don’t like this format, the rest of the internet is only a click away…