The top 3 myths about going independent

myth word cloud

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker in Kim Dority’s Alternative Career Paths for Librarians class at the University of Denver. Each year, Mary Ellen Bates and I visit the class to share our experiences as “independent information professionals.” Mary Ellen and I are among a group with graduate degrees in library […]

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6 tips for getting people to talk

telephone research

It’s hard to believe that my book, Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information, was published four years ago last month. As the title suggests it’s about web research tips and techniques, but I emphasize throughout the book that you can’t find everything online. Maybe what you’re looking […]

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Buying images – “free” just isn’t worth it

If you’re creating presentations, blog posts, or any other type of content, you need a good source for buying images. Yes, I know you don’t have to pay, but “free” image sites just aren’t worth it, since quality and search capabilities leave a lot to be desired – and you don’t have to worry about […]

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Subcontracting success: My #1 tip for making it work

Here at Phelps Research, I collaborate with a team of associates who help gather intelligence for our investigative profiles. Without their specialized skills or local, boots-on-the-ground research, we can’t provide the depth of due diligence our clients need . At the recent annual conference of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), I did a […]

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Visualization: How to choose the right graphic

Displaying research results in a visual format adds impact and brings clarity where words often fail. Whether you’re creating an annual report, executive summary, or a presentation for your CEO, charts, graphs, and maps provide analysis and help readers understand and remember the information you deliver. When I lead workshops on information visualization (it’s not […]

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The Vendor Experience – the tools of our trade

Here at Phelps Research, we use a wide variety of tools for gathering and processing the information our clients crave. Without these tools, I couldn’t run my business, and without the benefits I receive from my membership in the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP), I wouldn’t be able to access them without charging much […]

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PI licensing

It’s official – As of June 1st, when the new Colorado law goes into effect, I will be a licensed private investigator in this state. Before now, there were no licensing requirements for private investigators, except for a brief time when it was voluntary – and the requirements so ridiculous, that very few could qualify. […]

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Requesting military records – It’s complicated

One of the most frequently-asked questions in investigative work is, “How do I obtain copies of someone’s military records?” The quick answer? – It’s complicated. I’ve just come across what’s probably the best resource for tracking down this type of information that I’ve ever seen. Compiled by investigators Dean and Karen Beers, the Guide for […]

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Taming the information monster

With such busy business and personal lives – and so much incoming information, it’s essential to have a few tools that save time and give us a bit of a break. Here are a few information-related productivity tools that I can’t do without: Those who know me know that I’m a big fan of GTD […]

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It’s a crazy mixed-up world

The world of business information sources is changing so fast that every so often I feel the need to start singing and dancing to Soul Asylum’s “Crazy Mixed Up World.” Discontinued content, new interfaces, and huge price increases are just some of the issues info pros are dealing with lately. You know things are crazy […]

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