A Wild Ride in the Communication Business


Today marks the 11th birthday of my consulting business, Holland Communication Solutions LLC. The Virginia State Corporation Commission document is dated June 21, 2000.

Being in a bit of a sentimental mood, I’ve been thinking back on what a wild ride the last 11 years have been. I’ve learned so much and I’ve had the privilege of working with some outstanding clients.

Invoice #0001 was billed to Ragan Communications, the publisher of resources and producer of conferences for communication professionals. Actually, I owe a lot to the folks at Ragan. Not only were they my first client, but in my previous corporate life, I learned an awful lot about this business by reading their newsletters and attending their conferences. They’ve also published a lot of my writing and allowed me to take the podium at many of their productions.

I’ve done hundreds of jobs for scores of other clients, too. And I’ve done some things I never dreamed I would do:

  • I learned the ins and outs of a machine that packages poultry products so I could write the script for a training video about the equipment.
  • I wrote a booklet for an obscure trade association about how to succeed in their business after interviewing a dozen of their most successful members.
  • I spoke about effective communication to a roomful of engineers for a defense contractor in the desert outside Las Vegas.
  • I helped a multinational company in the nuclear power industry figure out how to overcome their communication barriers.
  • I produced a brochure explaining the dangers of radon gas for a one-man business that helps homeowners get rid of it.
  • I helped a church market its Sunday evening coffeehouse program.
  • I’ve consulted with some of the best-known brands as well as one-person shops just getting off the ground.
  • I’ve spoken about communication in some interesting places — Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Charleston, S.C., the Tuskeegee Institute, a U.S. Naval Base, beautiful mountain resorts and bland corporate conference rooms.

The purpose of all this is not to boast, but to reflect on just how fortunate I have been to do such a variety of things — some of them fascinating, some exasperating and others utterly fulfilling — all with the goal of improving communication among people in the workplace. I can’t think of many careers I’d rather pursue.

If you’ve been one of my clients over the years, thank you. I don’t take a single one for granted and I always learn something from each.

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