People have a funny habit of acting in their own self-interests in a competitive market. Value often trumps cost.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 288, August 2023)

Balancing Act® is our registered trademark. You are encouraged to share the contents with others with appropriate attribution. Please use the ® whenever the phrase “Balancing Act” is used in connection with this newsletter or our workshops.

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Balancing Act® is in four sections based on famous quotations:

  1. Ten Lines That Heighten My Suspicions
  2. The Human Condition: Enlightened Self-Interest
  3. Musings
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department

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Ten Lines That Heighten My Suspicions
  1. This is our absolutely best deal and lowest price.
  2. The warranty is all-inclusive, no exceptions.
  3. We are revamping our technology to improve your experience.
  4. Your call is important to us, we’ll be with you shortly.
  5. This discounted fee doesn’t include taxes, local fees, gratuities, administrative costs, or special assessments.
  6. First come, first served.
  7. The customer comes first with us.
  8. If you’re at all unhappy, we’ll refund your money with no questions.
  9. You may cancel at any time.
  10. Due to current conditions, we are sorry we can’t avoid a price increase, and we’re sure you’ll understand because we’re dedicated to maintaining our high quality of service.
The Human Condition

Enlightened Self-Interest

When Uber started making serious inroads in major cities, the initial reaction from the taxi industry was to protest. The unions and owners jointly lobbied with politicians and various officials. In some cities there were blockades and street protests.

Today, most cabs have technological hailing services, are clean, accept credit cards, and have drivers who know their way around and speak acceptable English.

In other words, you can’t stop progress that is beneficial to your consumer, so you’d better improve your business or get out of the business. In 2014, a New York City taxi medallion cost about $1 million. The cost today is about $25,000 or less.

In the Northeast Corridor of the US (Boston to Washington, DC), of non-auto commuters and travellers, Amtrak carries 58 percent of all of them, buses 28, and airlines 14. People don’t like trekking to and back from airports, being searched by security, and being subject to delays and cancellations.

People have a funny habit of acting in their own self-interests in a competitive market. Value often trumps cost (Uber is far more expensive than taxis).

People are not vacationing as much in Cape Cod, it’s less expensive and far less wearying to travel to the Caribbean or Europe. (And they’re forced in the near future to repair the only two bridges for vehicles, which is going to add two hours to the trip.) The theme parks, especially Disney’s two in the US, are far down in attendance because there aren’t enough new rides, Disney raised prices considerably, and the waits for the best rides are too long.

Tourism is thriving, people are traveling after being pent-up by COVID and having saved some money while confined in their homes.

There is no “new normal” or “return to normal.” There is, however, No Normal® which features a great many new realities.


The phrase “nitpicker” originated with the removal of lice and lice eggs from hair hundreds of years ago. As recently as the 1950s, in my inner city public grammar school, a doctor and nurse would visit once a month to check everyone’s head with combs and gloves. On occasion, a classmate was sent home with an escort.

Today we have a different sort of nitpicker: those who search for typos, who correct minor matters where the correction is of no import, and who find trivial mistakes. I have coined the term “trivialists” to describe them.

These are people who write you about a book, video, podcast, or some other means intended to educate or enlighten or amuse, but who never comment on the content or message. Instead, they find the trivial. In the middle of a story where you say the year was 2021 they will stop things cold by telling you it was 2020, when the difference makes no difference.

The trivialist will point out, as if the correction is more important than the message, that the restaurant you’re citing isn’t on 38th Street but actually on 44th Street. They will correct a driving direction by saying, “It’s not a red light where you turn, it’s a blinking red light.” And they’ll make mistakes in the pursuit of their linguistic lice: The word, correctly spoken, is NOT “for MID able” but actually “FORM id able.” (And APP lic able, not ap PLIC able.)

But I’ve found a way to stop the pettifoggery: When they tell me, without mentioning the worth or point of one of my books, that they’ve found seven typos, I tell them, “I’m sorry, but there are 12, so you’d better go back.”

I'm an Old Cowhand...

I was staying at the Boston Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where there is a star chef restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s. The main entrance is on the street, but hotel guests have a private, unobtrusive entrance off the main lobby, a nondescript door. I used it for dinner, and was assured that breakfast was served starting at 6:30.

However, the next morning the door was locked at 6:45. I went to the desk and told them of the locked door after being informed the restaurant would be open for breakfast. The clerk apologized profusely, went down the hall to a completely different door, opened it, and said, “I guess they unlocked it while you were at the desk talking to me.”

“I guess so,” I said, and went in to have breakfast.

Development Opportunities
Autumn in New York

NEW: Autumn in New York

Join me for 2.5 days of a great growth experience. I’ll be presenting new IP on the nature of the No Normal® workplace and how we can best attract and help clients. We’ll talk about new approaches to strategy for all types of organizations. Every participant (who so desires) will get “air time” to discuss a particular challenge, question, or strategy. I’ll take you to dinner at two of my favorite restaurants, we’ll see a Broadway play with great seats, and there will be a tour with a unique New York touch. We’ll start with an opening evening reception. Limited to 14 people. October 10, 11, 12. $12,000 fee (until Aug. 31, after that $15,000) includes meals and lodging. Join me for a great business and social experience.

Business As A Second Language

NEW: Business As A Second Language

This 90-minute Zoom workshop will deal with reframing, social proof, instant examples, influence techniques, turning objections into selling points, and a great deal more. It will be interactive and recorded for ongoing use. Preparing for meetings is important (until, as the saying goes, you get punched in the jaw). I’ll help you stay in the moment and outduel anyone. Are you tired of worrying about “what you should have said”? Now you’ll be able to say it at just the right time. All this for $350, and you can drink while attending. September 14, 10:00AM US Eastern time. Recorded for all registrants. (After Aug. 15, $500.)

The Remote Millionaire™

NEW: The Remote Millionaire

Yes, I’m going to provide the secrets (and puncture the myths) of making a million dollars or more a year without leaving your home.

And, ironically, I’m going to do it in person, because I’m scheduled to be in San Diego and LA for other reasons and I generate so much money remotely that I like to be with people on occasion (in good weather)! Here’s what you’ll create or improve without leaving home, except for this day with me:

  • Developing unsolicited referrals.
  • Creating client evangelism with prospects.
  • Delivering powerful marketing discussions.
  • Creating contemporary passive income.
  • Establishing client “banks” that are used and replenished.
  • Moving to and enlarging a trusted advisor network.

We’ll be using role plays, actual participant services (from prep work), and exercises to develop the skills to market, deliver, and expand business through dramatic and tangible value from a distance. We’ll master how to do this with individuals, small groups, and/or large audiences.

Speaking with Alan

Speaking with Alan

One of my most popular experiential events, run twice a year. Learn how to create, refine, deliver, price, and market a speech of any length. A small group practices and video tapes the components over 2.5 days. Are you charging less than a minimum of $10,000 per speech? Are you agonizing over content, or not drawing a sufficient audience? You need this session NOW!

The Master Master Class

Master Master Class II

This sold-out event in March was so popular that I’m running another in October in Newport. I accept 16 people in person (you may also attend remotely on our large screen) and we have 6 seats remaining! I’m creating new material, exercises, and challenges. Past “grads” get a discount. One person said, “I’ve known you for nearly 20 years, and this is the best thing you’ve ever done!” (Maybe I just wasn’t that good before!)

The Advisory Suite

NEW! Alan’s Advisory Suite

Nine options for groups or individuals to receive “real time” coaching to build their practices and lives on a continuing basis. The strongest, best people in business, entertainment, sports, the media—all use coaches.

For individuals and/or groups.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

Million Dollar Consulting® for the World

I’ve provided 14 modules with videos from me, from your colleagues globally, slides, and text. They include everything from launch to self-esteem, proposals to fees, closing business to creating a brand. No upsells! It’s only $115. What do you think about a 10,000:1 ROI? We have over 500 people from 47 countries.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program ADVANCED

New: Million Dollar Consulting® for the World ADVANCED

The new program contains over 60 videos and has 15 modules focusing on what to do in the buyer’s office, overcoming crises, financial planning, and much, much more.

Sentient Strategy Certification

Sentient Strategy Certification

My new book on the topic released in March so this is an ideal time to market Sentient Strategy. Write me to apply, join over 70 people certified in six countries. One-time fee of $12,000, includes 90 days of my support, free admission to all future certifications, and admission to a private web board with other Sentient facilitators. In a recent program a particpant sold a $100,000 strategy program within 48 hours. The next certification is virtual on August 24-25.

Vancouver Day

Vancouver Day

I’ll be providing a full day in Vancouver for as little as $300 (US) including lunch on September 9: How to Dramatically Increase Revenues while Radically Reducing Labor. I’ll be returning from an Alaskan cruise and need the money to pay for it! This is a rare appearance in Western Canada.


SAC Annual Meeting – San Diego/Hybrid

Join me for the upcoming Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) annual meeting in San Diego and hybrid on Nov. 14th. I’ll be speaking in the morning, followed with additional content from colleagues. Click to learn more and register. Stay over and join me at The Remote Millionaire™ on the following day. You do not have to be a SAC member.


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2023

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