Balancing Act #204: August 2016



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:

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Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Techniques for balance
  2. Musings
  3. The human condition: Fudging
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department


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  1. Techniques for balance
  1. Musings

         I’m watching people here at the shore (New Jersey has a shore, all other places have beaches, go figure) with massive, visible tattoos. There are also the facial piercings, for me difficult to even look at without cringing.

         There are people—including infants—with caps on backwards in the glare of the sun. Grown me are actually covering their eyes with their hands to block the rays while the bill of the cap is at the back of their skulls. (There are few things as pathetic as a man of a certain age with his cap backwards, gold bling dangling, and untied sneakers.)

         I see women with stilettos—walking on the boardwalk, which is designed to have large openings between the boards. There are tee-shirts with obscenities, often worn by a kid in the company of parents. (One used two weapons in a certain configuration of an “f” and a “k” to discuss a positon on gun control, for example.)

         There is some drunkenness on the beach after it closes, and the cops (here in great force and always visible) quickly put an end to it. There are others, more subtle perhaps, whom the cops don’t find until they collapse on the floor near the bar.

         The Jersey Shore represents part of the vast middle class, which is why we continue to come here, acknowledging our roots (and why we also go to Nantucket, acknowledging what we’ve become). The economy is quite good, gas is cheap, and people are taking advantage of some of the best beaches in the entire country.

         Yet it’s also an abject lesson in the power of normative pressure, of being victim to style and fad, of being afraid not to be part of the “in crowd.” I can see young women walking down the beach strutting for attention, with the most popular leading the way and others maneuvering to be next to her, some in a frantic power walk to stay close. You and I know what happens after high school to the king and queen of the prom.

         It’s astounding how contorted and uncomfortable people make their own lives just to be able to conform to irrational norms created by strangers. Maybe, as adults, that’s why people of any class open their wallets to a Bernie Madoff or expect a crazy dance across hot coals will make them successful.

         Or, maybe, you should learn the rationale for wearing a cap with a bill meant to shade your eyes. If you send me $100, I can send you the instructional video.

  1. The human condition: Fudging

         “Fudge”: To make vague or misrepresent in some way.

         I encountered a woman once whose biographical sketch claimed she had “written over seven books.” I asked, “Does that mean eight?” She replied, “Actually seven, with one in the works.”

         I can say I’ve written over 50 books, or evan over 60—because I’ve written 64. But I wouldn’t say, I’ve written over 63”!

         A speaker told me she had spoken three times a month over the past two years. I thought that was very impressive, but also very suspicious. “Oh, the assignments are all on my site,” she said, clearly suspecting I wouldn’t bother to look. But I did, and found she had included invocations at her church group, introductions of other speakers at non-profit chapter meetings, addressing the local Red Cross volunteers pro bono, and so forth.

         “Yes, I was in Paris last year,” a man exclaimed when someone had mentioned her desire to see the city. I asked if he had gone to Notre Dame or cruised the Seine. He then admitted he had only been in the airport to change planes. Recently, we cruised past Bratislava on our Danube cruise. But I’m not about to say to my wife in front of others, “Remember, hon, when we were in Slovakia?” (She’d say, “Sure, it was a great 40 minutes.”)

         People fudge because they’re desperate to be part of the “in crowd,” to impress, and/or because they begin to believe their own lies. They move from supporting that high school championship team, to having been on it, to having started, to having caught the winning pass. That’s why we see so many high-level people mortified by early fudging on their resumes about the schools they attended or the positions they’ve held—they’ve come to believe their own lies.

         You may tell me you were the best looking person in your class. That may be vanity, but it’s subjective and you’re entitled to your narcissistic opinion. But don’t tell me you were number one academically in your class unless it’s so.

         Or, unless you’ve written over one book.


Alan Weiss Development Experiences

Periscope Broadcasts

Download the app on your mobile device and follow me @BentleyGTCSpeed for regular, live broadcasts on self-worth and self-esteem. The schedule is announced on Twitter and Linkedin.

The Mystery Workshop

February 7, Dallas

No, I'm not telling you what it's about, but it will be new, novel, and highly productive. Take advantage of $400 off the regular fee if you act before August 3. We already have more than 20 people willing to take the chance!

Retreat: Developing Creativity, IP, and Brands

September 15-16, San Francisco

It’s one thing to recognize the power of brands, another to use that power wisely with the right audience. We’ll combine creativity and your content to foster more gravity and attraction.

The Transatlantic Workshops

Featuring Matt Kolbusa from Hamburg

October 24-25, Washington, DC

You’ll hear numerous examples to enter high-fee territory. Taking our own experience as the starting point, we’ll describe how to gradually increase project volumes from $50k to $100K, to $200K, to $300K and, finally, even to $500k. What errors were made along the way? What were the profits of these projects and what will they be in the future? What erroneous reasoning and attitudes do we have to overcome to achieve this development? Based on hit workshops in Munich and Hamburg.

The Transpacific Workshops

October 19-20, New York City

I created these specifically for my clients in Sydney, and the two days sold out over a month in advance. I’ve decided to run them in the U.S. because of that great success. The sessions are highly interactive and feature small group work, “hot seats,” and personal case studies. One day on aggressive business growth, and one day on the abundance mindset required to sustain it.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Newport, RI

December 13-16

My longest sustained offering, enormously popular after more than a decade. Join me and a small group for an intense 3.5 days (newly reduced from 4.5) to dramatically build your business, whether beginner or veteran, and at a fabulous property.

Role-Play Workshop

November 2

New York City

A maximum of 26 people in the toughest and/or most common challenges, from marketing to implementation, from referrals requests to dealing with difficult clients. Write me to apply: [email protected]. First ten people are $950, second ten are $1,150, final six are $1,350.

Thought Leadership 2016

October 5-7

Four Seasons, Palm Beach

We sell-out every year and for our next one I've secured Harvard's Dan Gilbert, the expert on happiness, as my special guest for a discussion as well as dinner. His TED talk has been viewed by over 15 million people thus far. Three seats remain.

Million Dollar Consulting® Convention 2017

April 26-28, Chicago

After smash hits in Atlanta and Los Angeles, our third annual event will be in Chicago. We'll have five general sessions, six concurrent sessions, panel discussions, networking reception, and much more. Save $200 before August 3.

  1. Endorsed Programming

I offer fabulous resources through global experts in areas such as positioning, wealth building, fitness, social media excellence, coaching, and other areas, all of whom I personally work with and support. Consider this your "galaxy of expertise."

**Special New Offer**

Lisa McLeod’s Noble Purpose Institute 

Nov 16-18, 2016  Atlanta GA 

A three-day program for entrepreneurs, consultants, and small businesses.  

How often do you struggle to articulate what makes your firm unique?  Do prospects call you, or are you constantly calling them?

Without a Noble Purpose, you’re just another salesperson. A Noble Purpose is the reason your firm exists. It tells the world why you’re different.  A ten-year growth study of 50,000 brands revealed: Organizations with a Noble Purpose outperform the market by over 350%. (Source: Stengel and Millward Brown, Optimor.) 

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What will you take from the workshop?


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  1. Only Read This If You Know Me Well Or You’ll Be Needlessly Ticked-Off

I drove to the Shop Right at the Jersey Shore to get my morning papers. Once inside, I realized I had left my wallet home. However, because I’m so brilliantly resourceful, I knew I had a couple of rolls of quarters in my console, in case I ever have to feed a meter somewhere.

I went outside, grabbed one, and returned to pay the clerk. She eyed the role with interest before opening it.

“That IS five dollars,” I assured her, and then I noticed the subject of her scrutiny: The roll indicated “Fun Town Games and Amusements!” on the wrapper.

She looked outside at the car, looked at me, and said, “You have a big night at the arcade?”


If you want to be coached but “refuse” to discuss certain issues which are “off the table,” you don’t want to be coached, you just want someone to lie to you and tell you you’re doing fine.—AW


© Alan Weiss 2016