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Lessons from the million dollar club

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The thing about a club, I have learned - if it’s a good club I mean - is that it is as much a place of learning as it is a place of being. Take the case of Carol Trull Adams , Certified Treasury Professional and managing principal of RedKnot Resource Group. Established in 2008 by Adams, RedKnot is a business resource group specializing in management consulting with a particular emphasis on treasury management essentials, mergers and acquisitions and business process improvement. RedKnot Resource Group serves a diverse client base who share a common goal: improving top-line performance to produce greater bottom-line profitability. Adams, as principle managing partner, set a financial goal for Redknot to gross $1M dollars this year. And, although Adams has doubled the revenue for RedKnot in the last five years, the company came up a few dollars shy of the goal this year. But she learned why and what to do about it and – ironically – what she learned may push her beyond the 2013 goal of $1m dollars in 2014. I interviewed Carol a couple of weeks ago and she shared some of what she had learned.

You have to be willing to reinvent yourself.
RedKnot pulled up short of goal not because Carol did anything wrong, but because the client pulled back on use of consultants as a cost saving measure.” When the client pulled back, it required me to look at the circumstances underlying the client’s decision, and examine our service list. I had to ask what other value could we offer to the client.” As a result of that examination, Carol realized more potentialities for RedKnot. These increased potentialities equate to increased revenue streams and serve not only as a hedge against decreased use of the company’s core services but increase offerings to many more companies.

Understand that there are forever things outside of your control.
Changes in the market, regulatory changes in the industry, client budget constraints are all operating all the time. At some point, one or more will emerge and exercise impact on your business. “You can be smart as heck, plan and plan and execute flawlessly”, Adams says, “and it all go to pieces because of something over which you have no control. Recognize those instances, don’t take it personally and make another plan.”

Irony is your friend
The irony of the client pullback referenced above is that the process has positioned Adams to realistically project a financial goal beyond her original $1M dollar benchmark. Additionally, because adding new services will require new and additional collaborations with other businesses to fully realize, a new pool of expertise including some in other locales, Adams will be expanding her network of colleagues and associates and as everybody knows new people mean new ideas and expanded opportunities.

Constantly re-evaluate your network of colleagues and associates and not just for now but for future.
Adams has a posting on her wall attributed to the Zen tradition: “Walk or be dragged.” That fits with an axiom in business that there’s no such thing as maintenance in business, you’re either moving forward or falling behind. Plan to move forward, Adams says. At least that’s how it’s done in the Million Dollar Club.

Visit Adams and RedKnot at to read some client success stories.



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