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Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 173, January 2014 )

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  • Markets go up and down. It's the long-term prospects that are important. Don't panic because you've stubbed your toe.

  • The secret to personal success and control of your destiny is top-line growth. That is, if you can independently generate income, you'll always be in good shape. Focus on that.

  • In this age there is more information and less expertise than ever before. Wear a metaphorical headset through which you listen only to those you can really trust and who have really succeeded.

  • If you're not going to spend your money and save it for some other time  it's 12:1 that it's going to go to the nursing home or the government. Religious or atheist or agnostic, we can agree you don't need money in the afterlife.

  • I don't see any short-term relief to outrageous school tuition fees. If you intend to send your kids to private schools at any level, you'll need a comprehensive savings plan and it's never too early to begin it. This is important because there's also no indication that the quality of the public school system in the US will improve any time soon.

  • The day of the "driverless car" will arrive when the day of the "non-eating meal" arrives.

  • With the US moving toward energy independence, huge new oil reserves accessible and new finds on the horizon, I wouldn't be investing in electric cars.

  • Don't ask yourself what you most need to improve in 2014. Ask yourself what your greatest strengths were in 2013 and ask how you can exploit them further in 2014.

  • If you run a firm, ask yourself if everyone is productive and contributing or you're actually running an employment agency. If you're a sole practitioner, convince yourself that you can subcontract but need no overhead to be successful.

  • Find something you haven't done before and someplace you have been before and do it and go there.

  • Someone far from home with a briefcase and suggestion is no smarter than someone snug in bed at home with a great idea. Cut yourself some slack.

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Heading into still another new year, I'm astounded by the transient nature or most people's happiness. They'll drink and be merry for a night, but then return to their own self-imposed rat race.

If you don't enjoy getting up in the morning, attending to business, enjoying your life, surrounded by loved ones and a happy environment, then why not change your life? It's completely within our power. I've known many people who marry, cohabitate, divorce, move, change careers, change their business, alter their appearance, and change their beliefs (usually not at one time, but you get the point). They take control of their destiny.

One of the leading causes of stress is the belief that you have no idea what will happen tomorrow AND you have no influence over it in any case. Every day becomes a game of roulette, and in the long run everyone loses at roulette. But if you take steps to control your life, to improve it, and to enjoy it without guilt or fear, you are no longer playing a game. You are building your future.

I find most people who whine about their status and create themselves as victims to have neither the skills nor the energy to do anything about it. What fuel they do have is burned in the furnace of complaint and despair. It becomes a way of life and, when joined in commiseration by other victims, it becomes addictive. "They" are beating us down, it's not us, it's "them."

There is no "them." There was no one else on the grassy knoll. There is no prehistoric reptile swimming around in Loch Ness. There are no aliens kept embalmed by the government in Area 51. Pogo was right (We have met the enemy and he is us).

My best suggestion to everyone is to enter 2014 with the understanding and vitality that you create your own future, you are the primary influence on your own destiny, and the choices you make every day will determine how well you surpass your goals or how far short of them you fall.

That's what the truth was in 2013, and will be in 2015.

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The human condition: Persistence

A great many people I coach become adept at doing the right thing, yet they don’t enjoy immediate results. They ask what else they should do, or they often abandon doing the right thing.

The point, I've learned, is that you have to do the right thing consistently. The secret of advertising is repetition—one ad seldom achieves the desired results. Some people do the right thing repeatedly before they see any results. That applies to submitting a book proposal, auditioning for an acting role, attempting to pass the Bar Exam, or trying to convince an executive to hire you.

Many years ago I read of an experiment where someone typed up the entirety of A Tale of Two Cities but changed the author's name from Dickens to his own. It was rejected by every acquisitions editor to whom it was submitted. I've accepted things after earlier rejection, and wish I had rejected things after earlier acceptance!

We're dealing with human judgment, timing, unknown variables, and the vagaries on any new day. We can't declare our techniques inept and ourselves incompetent over a single setback or series of rejections. We must persevere.

My best-selling book (of 55) is Million Dollar Consulting, still on the shelves continually through 22 years and four editions. It had been originally rejected 15 times by almost every major publisher before it wound up at McGraw-Hill and an editor who thought that, with some change of focus, it could be a hit.

This is an age of instant gratification, of vanity publishing at will on social media, and of cacophonous claims of startling success by others that can never be validated. We are impatient and anxious, eager for instant success just as we have instant communications.

Alas, it doesn't work that way. You have to persevere. In fact, the worst thing to happen to many people is an immediate success which sets the wrong expectations for all that is to follow. Because what follows is never that easy.



Abundance mentality, building your life, creating control, enlarging your career.




There are critical thinking skills which can be used instantly with impressive influence to solve problems, make decisions, innovate, negotiate, and so forth. This session will explain them in both detail and rapid fire use, and make you adept at utilizing them.




Find five minutes a week for these videos which will add over a month a ear to your life, and creativity and fulfillment to your career.




March 31 in New York, June 2 in LA

Learn improve in the morning, how to apply in the buyer's office and stay in the moment in the afternoon. Unique. $1,495.



Jan. 13-14 at my place.
Join just a few people in a two-day journey to improve your self-worth. What more needs to be said?


In addition to the free monthly newsletter, receive a quarterly video on consulting fundamentals for newcomers and veterans alike, and a quarterly teleconference that includes Q&A. All for just $50! That's about $6 per event!!


The cycle begins and renews in March. If you're interested in joining a group or forming your own, now is the time to apply. The process has been going on for two years with rather spectacular results for quite a few participants. I'll reduce the new fees by $5,000 for each type during the month of January so they are at the renewal level even for new people.


May 5-9, Newport, RI

I keep moving out and they keep pulling me back! I've had requests and people throwing money, so I'll do another at a time of year when it's often possible to have drinks on the beach. Join me for the longest continuing major event I conduct, now in its ninth year.


Four Seasons, Palm Beach
Oct. 22-24

Dan Pink thrilled everyone this year, and 18 of those participants immediately signed up again! Our next world class speaker and guest is Jim Carville, the extraordinary political analyst. I'm creating all new material for the next program. The fee is $10,500. Write me for a spot on the wait list.


April 1, New York City

Learn the bases for problem solving, decision making, innovation, and other methodologies so that you can quickly and accurately improve the client's condition—and your own!


Personal Power

London, April 23
Bali, July 10

This workshop will explore and build "presence" and charisma. We'll create and practice the traits that work for you to:

  • Command a discussion
  • Influence a meeting
  • Turn objection into advantage
  • Be instantly accepted and heeded
  • Enable others to be successful by being with you
  • Set the standard for others
  • Build personal and/or professional communities

We'll use actual examples and then create scenarios where participants will role-play with feedback from peers in a "fishbowl" environment.

In one day, we will increase your personal power. What's that worth to you?

Fee: $1,495 until February 1. $1,795 thereafter.
Growth Cycle discounts, Alan and Bentley Cards apply.
Note that Bali setting will be in a casual "retreat" atmosphere.
10% additional discount on Bali sessions until February 1!

The Pivot Point

London, April 24
Bali, July 11

The pivot point is that point at which you dig your foot into the conversational turf and change direction. You "run to daylight" in the immortal coach Vince Lombardi's words.

Great athletes turn quickly toward opportunity. People do the same in successful careers and conversations. This is how to escape wandering and meandering discussions and "run to daylight." Your daylight, of course, is a proposal and a project.

In this half-day session, we'll:

  • Practice the language and techniques to suddenly shift a discussion
  • Identify and master how to use others' language to change course
  • Accelerate the speed of progress suddenly
  • Practice standard and customized pivots

We'll use extensive role-play which participants are encouraged to record for personal reinforcement.

Bonus Option
In the afternoon, we'll practice in an informal discussion group for anyone who chooses to perfect these skills still more. We will challenge each other with instant feedback on progress. This will be a strenuous workout.

Fee: $750 for the morning until February 1. $1,000 thereafter.
Bonus afternoon: $495 until February 1. $$750 thereafter.
You must attend the morning to attend the afternoon.
Note that Bali setting will be in a casual "retreat" atmosphere.
10% additional discount on Bali sessions until February 1!


This is a free newsletter which is my fastest growing, with monthly, brief insights about consulting and expressing expertise. NEW: For those of you who would like more of an experiential approach and to accelerate learning and results, I'm offering a Professional Subscription. For just $50 I'll provide in addition:

  1. A quarterly teleconference expressly for Professional Subscription members, which will include Q&A and a free download within 48 hours.
  2. A quarterly video on implementation and methodologies. This will also be a free download.

The first two alone are worth between $200 and $400, and you'll receive 8 learning experiences which you can retain and replay whenever need. This will be all new material. The deadline is January 31. That's $6.25 per video and audio!


Do you have a small niche audience, or a book commercial publishers don't understand, or a need to launch a book quickly? I've self-published, have a crack team, and we can get books into print that are highly impressive, hard copy and/or electronic. We can even create special web pages and video promotion.


I have selected openings in the Super Coaching Program (KAATN: Kick Ass and Take Names)

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 original group's nine months is about to end, so there are a few openings.


now available for 2014

As of 2014 there will be a Diamond Alan Card. (Colleen Francis calls this "all in," which is a poker term, and Colleen gambles on cards. My biggest gamble is wolfing down shellfish at dives on the Jersey Shore.) The card will entitle the bearer to partake of my offerings below (I've indicated as much as I can about next year and whether fees will increase or be stable).

Digital Empire Creation
Provided by Chad Barr and his team

Work with the strategic technological genius, Chad Barr, Master Mentor and Mentor Hall of Fame member, who is behind all of my web activity (and co-author with me of Million Dollar Web Presence). His team will create "instant" intellectual property from your material and place it in a variety of forms on the Internet on a continuing basis.

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We checked into a hotel we had never before visited, and I noticed a very expensive looking soap on the sink. I washed my hands but could not get any lather and suds. I was wondering if it were some kind of high-end, high tech, latherless soap. So I tried again, rubbing vigorously, but with no suds at all.

My wife walked in to use the mirror. "Try taking off the transparent wrapping," she said.

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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You don't need resolutions. You need resolve.—Alan Weiss

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