Balancing Act #164: April, 2013

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BALANCING ACT: BLENDING LIFE, WORK, AND RELATIONSHIPS®

A free monthly newsletter about balancing life, work, and relationships based on the books and popular workshops conducted by Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Past copies are archived on our web site: http://www.summitconsulting.com.

Copyright 2013 Alan Weiss. All rights reserved.

ISSN 1934-3116

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Balancing act is in four sections this month:

1. Techniques for balance

2. Musings

3. The human condition: Cupidity

4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department


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  1. Techniques for balance


NOTE: Every day I post 3-4 items of value on Twitter. I have over 5,000 followers. Why not join me there for a minute a day? http://twitter.com/BentleyGTCSpeed


• Some people have legitimate complaints, and some people are merely terminally self-absorbed. The former are mature and request remediation. The latter are always outraged and can never be pleased.

• Pandora is a great device to provide pre-arranged music when you need some soothing or a break in your work routine.

• Always ask a second (or even third) time. A gate agent told me an earlier flight was sold out, but a club hostess was able to get me on it just a few minutes later.

• If you don't expect to be thanked or recognized when you donate time or money you will never be disappointed or stressed.

• I've learned over the years that there are two sides to every story, and I do my best no to judge until I've heard both.

• Your young children or grandchildren might be comfortable with very friendly dogs in your home, but teach them that not all dogs should be considered friendly or touched.

• There's nothing wrong asking the captain or sommelier for help with the wine selection. It's a sign of confidence, not weakness. When they do help, they should be tipped separately.

• If you can go to a cabaret-type setting—such as the Café Carlyle in New York City—do so. It's a very different, intimate entertainment experience.

• Airplanes are de-iced so that their control surfaces work better. Get yourself "de-iced" before important calls, events, and responsibilities. Get warmed up so that your voice and muscles work better.

• Best line of the week, provided by my colleague from Regina, Phil Symchych, citing his understanding of Air Canada's motto: "We're not happy until you're not happy."


  1. Musings


Do you remember when people wouldn't remove the tags on their mattresses because they stated "illegal by law to remove"? Everyone dutifully left these useless tags on (the legal aspect was intended to prevent removal before the mattresses were sold). Then there was the prohibition against swimming within one hour of eating. As kids, we'd actually watch the clock and say, "Six more minutes and we'll be fine."

There are kinds of mistaken laws, myths, misbeliefs, and bad advice we inadvertently (or advertently follow). Just because someone writes a book doesn't mean they're an expert, and just because someone reads a book doesn't mean they're educated.

The famous "rinse and repeat" manufacturer's instructions on shampoo may have immediately doubled sales, but that's because of a trusting, uncritical public, almost none of whom has hair so filthy that it needs to be shampooed twice. We too often blindly follow authority. (If cell phone really caused havoc with airliner electronics and communications, more than half the planes I'm on would have crashed because many people never do turn their phone and iPads off.)

Doctors routinely failed to wash their hands for the longest time, thereby spreading more disease and causing iatrogenic illnesses, until they were almost threatened into it.

Our lives aren't always governed by the logical, pragmatic, or even reasonable. We fall too easily into the grip of normative influence, or sensationalistic media, or unfounded rumors.

Now, I can't tell you definitively that there is no large monster under your bed, drooling and oozing, awaiting the right moment of the night to pounce from below. I have no empirical knowledge that the monster is not there at some point. But I do know that there are no reported instances of monster-smothering in the wee hours, and that I'd think if they did show up, well, you'd smell them pretty quickly.

So my point is this: Don't simply repeat habits because they have been performed for so long by so many. Don't uncritically follow directions that don't seem to make much sense. And don't think that just because some people are in positions of authority and trust that they always know what's best.

In other words, you have a brain. Use it, don't lose it.


  1. The human condition: That's not my job


Remember TNMYJ? I've just returned from Canada, where I've travelled extensively since the 1970s. I can make a case that Canadian people—east to west, north to south—are among the most courteous and friendliest on the globe.

So why is that, with the exception of very top hotels and restaurants, they condone such poor service standards?

We debarled from an Air Canada flight in Toronto and there were no signs leading to immigration, yet we could clearly go either left or right. An Air Canada employee, clearly positioned there to direct people, said nothing unless she was directly asked. A gate agent on my return told me casually that an earlier flight I sought was overbooked, yet the club hostess was able to put me on it immediately (see above).

How is it that many cashiers seem annoyed when they are given a large bill and have to make change? I know they probably can't calculate in their heads, but the computer is telling them what to return. I once had a cab driver who went into a hissy-fit because I opened the rear door to enter his cab without telling him first! He berated me during the drive for not being more careful. When I didn't give him a tip, I made sure it was no surprise.

If you deal with the public, shouldn't you get used to, well, dealing with the public?

Unions are the apotheosis of this philosophy. One union can change a light bulb, but another has to move a piece of furniture. Never mind the delay, the lost time, the poor performance—that's not their job.

My wife and I were flying to Naples and her bag, that was supposed to be a gate check, was sitting on the tarmac about to be sent to the baggage claim area, which meant that we would miss our connection. I turned to the nearest USAir employee and explained the problem in no uncertain terms.

"Just wait here," he said, and ran out to retrieve the bag. Only when he brought it up the steps did I realize he was a co-pilot. I apologized.

"Don't be silly," he said, "I'm happy to help."

I guess he felt helping us was clearly his job.


DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES


SUPER COACHING

I have selected openings in the Super Coaching Program (KAATN: Kick Ass and Take Names): http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/Supercharged-Coaching.php


I've helped people: obtain six-figure contracts, make major media appearances, gain meetings with top people (some nationally known), have proposals closed, start new businesses, gain greater visibility, build self-worth, obtain book contracts, create new brands, improve their web sites and blogs, and so on.


THE ALMOST FREE WORKSHOP

May 2, Seattle, WA

These sessions have been sold-out in Boston and LA. Spend an entire day with Alan, in a session that normally costs at least $1,000, for a tiny entry fee, his way of paying back. Learn the basics (and the tricks) of marketing, value, fee setting, implementation, lowering labor intensity, and so on. This is the only such session scheduled in 2013. Sold out in Toronto in March. Or you can attend the live streaming video!

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/Almost-Free-Workshop-2013-03.php


THE STRATEGIST

April 7-8

The Pierre Hotel, New York City

A rare repeat of one of my most popular workshops ever, the first day focuses on the philosophy, creation, formulation, and marketing of strategy. The optional second day focuses on actual client implementation and/or implementation for your own business. Complete documentation is included from an actual strategy project that required several months. Overwhelming demand for this rare program.

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/strategist.php


BRAND NEW: THE CREATIVE PROCESS

April 9, 2013, The Pierre Hotel, New York City

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/The-Creative-Process.php


I'll take a limited number of people through the same processes I use to quickly create globally popular offerings, such as Common Sense Consulting (above) in teleconference, workshop, and subscription forms, using participants' IP and "sweet spots." Very personalized. This will sell out, enroll ASAP. I'll show you how I made over $200,000 within 21 days by monetizing IP, and then WE'LL TAKE YOUR IP AND DO THE SAME THING! Do not miss this, i's the only one scheduled.


MILLION DOLLAR CONSULTING® COLLEGE

April 22-26, Newport, RI

LAST CALL: Join the 200 elite people who have participated in this unique program that has been offered in Newport, Boston, London, and Sydney. Everything you need to begin a business or dramatically grow an existing business, from marketing to delivery. There is no other offering like this in the world.

http://summitconsulting.com/consulting-college/consulting_college_2012-12.php


Sept. 17: New Workshop: KEEPING YOUR MONEY

The Sanctuary

Kiawah, Island, SC

I'm going to be tackling a new but vital topic: How to manage your money, because it's not what you make, it's what you keep. I'll be discussing how to use or not use debt; how to pay your bills most efficiently; how to vary your salary and use external sources (bookkeeper, financial advisor, tax experts); how to bill clients and ensure payment; how to pay yourself first; how to create credit with your bank; how to maximize retirement savings; how to be dollar/euro/pound-wise, and not penny/farthing/sou-foolish. And of course, I'll touch on how to charge $125,000 instead of $25,000 for the same value.

 

How's that for something different? The investment is $750, $650 before June 15. 



THE GAME CHANGER FOR MANY OF YOU:

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP 2013

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/the-thought-leadership-symposium-2013-10.php


October 21-35, The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

In the all-new Fundamentals Experience, Oct. 21-22, you'll learn how to formulate, nurture, and consistently create the IP which leads to thought leadership. MY SPECIAL GUEST IS RANDY GAGE, the global thought leader in prosperity and abundance-thinking whom you would otherwise never hear in a small group.


Oct. 23-25 is the Thought Leadership Graduate Experience, focusing on leveraging prior participants' success and solidifying thought leadership. MY SPECIAL GUEST IS DAN PINK, author of "Drive" and other best-sellers, who will chat interactively about gaining and sustaining thought leadership. Both Randy and Dan will be at some of our meals for more informal talk.


There is no place else in the world to experience a week like this in your development and success track. ONLY ONE SEAT remains in the Graduate Experience. Can you afford NOT to attend? If you attend the first two days you are qualified to attend the next three if you so choose.


http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/the-thought-leadership-symposium-2013-10.php


And these terrific sessions authorized by Alan:


Sealing the Deal

Conducted by Linda Popky

June 11, San Francisco Bay area

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/how-to-acquire-clients-value-based-fees-how-to-write-a-proposal.php


Learn from someone who has mastered and applied Alan's approaches the fundamentals of how to close business once you're in the buyer's office. Too often we get there, and then leave with nothing!. Extensive interaction and wonderful learning from Linda, who can share her immediate experiences.


The Art of the Referral Workshop

Conducted by Linda Popky

May 29, Boston

http://summitconsulting.com/seminars/the-art-of-the-referral-workshop-2013-05.php


Based on Alan's "Million Dollar Referrals" best-seller, Linda will take you through sources, the request, the follow-up, and the conversion. You'll have role-play practice and the confidence to go out and secure referrals the next day.


VERY SPECIAL IF YOU'VE READ THIS FAR: Alan's Israel. During the week of May 18, 2014, spend 3-4 days visiting the holy sites of the three major religions, join a private guide around Jerusalem, and engage in spirited conversations with a maximum of 20 participants about our work and our lives. Significant others invited. For details: alan@summitconsulting.com. Luxury lodging, all meals, tours, and local transportation are included.


4. ONLY READ THIS IF YOU KNOW ME WELL OR YOU'LL BE NEEDLESSSLY TICKED-OFF DEPARTMENT


I had hurriedly dialed the zoo which I call whenever I spot new wildlife on my land. They are somewhat, ah, tired of me.

I got through to the mammal expert.

"Look," I said breathlessly, "I've got two animals down by the pool that came out of the lake. They are long, brown, with thick tails, and look for all the world like otters. What are they!?"

"They're otters."

"No, no, I said they LOOK like otters. But what are they?!"

"They ARE otters. You have a river there?"

"Yes."

"They're river otters. Quite common."

"They can't be otters, here, on my property. Hello? Hello…..?"


There is no such thing as "writer's block." There are people looking for excuses not to write, however. – Alan Weiss

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