Should You Be a Consultant?
When The Wall Street Journal has a special section titled “The Journal Report,” I try to read it. I pay a lot to subscribe because I need to know what the current thinking is in all aspects of business.
I started reading “The Journal Report” to learn about the 10 ways to make more money in a job. The writer’s first suggestion was:
Listen to your boss.
I got no further.
The words hit me with the same effect that biting into a madeleine cake had on Marcel Proust (1871-1922).
The taste of that small, rich cookie sent a flood of memories reeling through Proust’s brain and was responsible for his vast literary work, “Remembrance of Things Past.”
When I started out in business, I had 10 jobs in the first 16 years.
The dumbest thing that I ever did was listen to the bosses.
A Checkered Career
When I got out of the Army in 1960, I had no idea what I wanted to do. My father was a successful writer and we knew a lot of people in the book business, so I drifted into publishing.
I loved working and acquired a lot of different skills, but the jobs were low-paying and I always needed money.
Everything would’ve been fine if I would’ve done some moonlighting. I didn’t do sports and had no hobbies. I had the time to moonlight evenings and weekends.
But I listened to my bosses—all of whom said, “If I ever catch you moonlighting, you’re fired. I’m paying you for 100 percent of your time.”
I remember, once in the early 1960s, I had a shot at writing for Enid Haupt, owner of Seventeen, who had a twice-a-week newspaper column for teenage girls. It paid $50 a column, which at that time, would’ve made all the difference in my life.