Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mike Purdy Will Cut Back on Work as a Consultant

As many of you know, I retired in early 2010 following a 30-year career as a public contracting manager, having worked for the City of Seattle, the Seattle Housing Authority, and the University of Washington.  Even though I “retired,” my work as a consultant has not looked or felt much like “retirement” or given me time to do other things I’m interested in.  As a consultant and trainer, I’ve been busier and worked more hours than I ever did when I was employed by government agencies. 

Milestone birthday:  In April last year, I turned 60 and used that milestone birthday to think and reflect about my dreams and the years ahead.  While I’m healthy and energetic now (and certainly don’t feel 60!), I’m more and more aware that life is short, that each day is an incredible gift, and that there are no guarantees of tomorrow for any of us. The recent passing of family and friends and the health challenges of others have continued to sensitize me to the brevity and fragileness of life.  And strangely, I’ve noticed that my hair (especially my beard!) is a lot whiter than it was a few years ago!
Solving problems:  I’ve loved the freedom and flexibility that comes with being self-employed, and providing services to help people solve problems.
  • Consulting:  Working on procurement/contracting strategy, reviewing and revising bidding and contracting documents, developing procurement policies and procedures, serving as a GC/CM advisor on ten such projects, and helping to solve a host of procurement and contracting challenges.
  • Training:  Providing training to thousands of dedicated professionals.
  • Blog:  Writing my Public Contracting Blog to help keep the broader public procurement / contracting community informed of key and emerging issues.
  • Questions:  Responding to many emails and phone calls each week from those with specific and short questions and scenarios.
It's time to make a change:  However, for everything there is a season, and for every good thing, there comes a time for transitions and changes.  As I evaluate my years ahead, I want to be deliberate and intentional in the decisions I make, in how I spend my time and energy, and not just continue doing the same thing because it’s easier to not make a change.

Cutting back on commitments:  With mixed emotions, I’ve decided to scale back on my consulting and training work starting on March 5, 2015.  At that point, I will have done consulting for ten years, five of those years full-time.  Here's what my commitments will look like:

  • Current clients:  I have some current clients I am under contract with, and some longstanding relationships with others, and I will continue to work with these clients.
  • New clients:  In order to free up time for other things, I will be accepting fewer consulting engagements and teaching fewer training classes.
  • Public Contracting Blog:  I will discontinue writing regular blog postings effective March 5, 2015.  I started writing my blog seven and a half years ago in early June 2007.  Since then, I've written some 2,040 blog postings.  Approximately 2,200 of you from across the country subscribe to the blog by email, and I've been gratified that so many of you have mentioned to me over the years how helpful the blog has been for you.  However, as you may well imagine, researching and writing the blog takes a considerable amount of time for me.  While many of you are most familiar with the emails of new blog postings that you receive, you can also access the blog at  The blog will remain online, and you will be able to continue to do key word searches of the blog, and research issues based on a subject index on the blog.
How will I spend my time?  My immediate project starting in March 2015 will be to finish researching and writing a book on the U.S. Presidents that I’ve started, and to find a publisher.  And I have dozens and dozens of other things I want to write about.  

Presidential history blog:  I will also write more frequently for my Presidential History Blog.  If you’re interested in this:
  • New Video:  Watch a fun six minute "Presidential History News" video on my website (  It delivers "live" news coverage (I'm the newscaster) of key moments in presidential history. This first video reports the surprising story of the presidential election returns for 1916 between incumbent Woodrow Wilson and challenger Charles Evans Hughes.
  • A Request:  If you like this video, please share it on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, other social media, and by email with family and friends.
Great relationships:  As a consultant, I’ve had the great privilege of working with more than 100 clients including public agencies, contractors, consultants, non-profits, and associations getting to know many wonderful people who care deeply about making the public contracting process fair, transparent, efficient, expedient, and in compliance with the myriad of laws and regulations that apply.  I’ve learned from all of you, and count many of you not just as professional colleagues, but as friends.  A big thank you to everyone for helping make my 35 years in public contracting so fulfilling!
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2015 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC


Tina M Borger, CPPO said...

Mike, Your message is bittersweet. I will miss your blogs. With a busy work and family life, it's hard to keep up with everything. You often covered something that I wouldn't have heard about otherwise. I truly appreciate the time and effort you put in!

However, you have served public procurement well in your career, and in your consulting work. You deserve to focus on other things at this mid-stage of your life. I wish you all the best!


Mike Purdy said...

Thank you, Tina, for your very kind and gracious comments. It has been my pleasure to serve the public procurement community over the years. Mike