Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 221, January 2018)

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:
Copyright 2018 Alan Weiss. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1934-3116 

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.

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

1. Techniques for Balance

2. Musings

3. The Human Condition: Resolutions


Every day I provide 3-5 brief, pithy pieces of advice for growth. Join the thousands who read these "quick hits" every morning. Over 8,000 followers! Why aren't you among them?


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  • Why look for “deals” all the time? Do you like people asking you for deals all the time? Look for professional and courteous treatment.
  • For a good tip in a restaurant, take 10% of the total bill and double it. Stop worrying about deducting the tax from your calculation.
  • The next time you’re pumping your own gas in the rain, wind, or snow—or when you’re dressed well or breathing gas fumes—consider the fact that over the course of a year you’re only saving between $50 and $75.
  • Language controls discussions, discussions control relationships, and relationships control business.
  • If you have two weeks booked in a month and the other two weeks you hope to save for yourself, tell anyone who requests time that the month is fully booked (two weeks for clients and two weeks for you, though you don’t have to explain that).
  • If you want to reach buyers, find people who can introduce you, publish in publications they read, speak at sessions they attend, network at events where they hang out, do pro bono work for organizations they support and/or volunteer to serve on the board.
  • Early in your day, think about reaching out to people you owe a “thank you” or those who are in circumstances where your support would be appreciated.
  • Do you have a charitable strategy (time, money) or do you merely wait to see who contacts you and asks?
  • Try reading a fiction book and non-fiction book concurrently. I find the variety keeps me even more interested in both.
  • When you’re asked an esoteric or ambiguous question, just respond with, “What would be an example of that situation?”
  • If your “resolutions” don’t involve change within a few days chances are they’re not going to happen.
  • Listen to both sides of an argument, no matter what your preliminary impressions or preferences.
  • Forget about the year, what will make this January better than last?


There's something comfortable about "leaving a year behind," sort of chucking all that baggage and interference that got in our way, right? It's a new year, we're out of the tunnel and into new territory.

Except the baggage is actually still with us and the territory hasn't changed. We're simply a year older, not necessarily wiser. For many, it's like "surviving" not thriving. "We got through the last one, so there's a good chance we can get through the next one!"

I'd like to share some experience that might help make the new year truly exceptional for you in your life, relationships, business, and worldview. There are two aspects: control and leverage.

Take control of those things you can, which is usually much more than you suspect. You can't control the weather or the tax laws, but you can create alternate plans for your activities and access expertise on how best to organize your income and tax liabilities. If you complain about your job and do nothing to improve it, you surrender control. If you speak out, and/or actively seek to leave it, you improve your control. I've heard too many people say they can't "control" their family relationships. That's because they don't try, and don't attempt honest communication.

Use leverage to improve your life. Too many people view change as an excuse to protect themselves, hide, and create defenses. But the default position should be leverage: How do I create opportunity and improvement from this change? If a client makes a new request, a resource is no longer available, or financial conditions shift, what can you do to exploit the new reality? Many of us are reliant on people and conditions simply because of inertia, and change allows us to consider whether we should make positive improvements.

You can see how control and leverage complement each other.

I've learned that we all have more control than we think, but we tend to ignore it or surrender it. No one "steals" it, we don't claim it.

If you really want a "new" year, then adopt a new attitude. Maximize your control of your life and leverage the changes that inevitably occur frequently. Your old "baggage" won't be able to keep up with you.


Resolution: A firm decision to do, or not to do, something.

You're going to have trouble with them, you and I both know that. So I'm going to help you by recommending 13 generic resolutions that you can probably keep, depending on your discipline and self-control. Well, maybe some of you can keep them. Actually, if one of you can keep them, send me a note next December.

  1. Do not overeat. When you're "full," stop eating. Don't eat something simply because it's in front of you. Don't eat anything you can't lift.
  2. Move out of the way. If no one is in front of you on the highway but someone behind you clearly wants to get by, put on your signal and move to the right. This is not a test of your character or worth. It's called "courtesy."
  3. Stop asking dumb questions on Facebook. No one cares about whether others are reading your posts, or like them, or that your being shortchanged by some nutty Facebook algorithm.
  4. Do a good deed without being asked. Volunteer to work at a fundraiser. Offer your services at a soup kitchen. Throw a surprise birthday party for someone. Write a "thank you" note that wasn't anticipated.
  5. Go see a high school or amateur play production: theater, orchestra, dance. It's easy to write a check, but it's far better to provide support in the audience.
  6. Exercise at least every other day, by yourself with a regimen or with a trainer. Worry less about losing weight and more about being healthy.
  7. Be honest with people. We do more harm lying than telling the truth so that people can improve. Don't say a poor speech was a good one or a poor job decision was successful. Help people by caring enough about them to confront the truth.
  8. Help animals. If you can't adopt one, support the local shelter or protection league.
  9. Read four books in areas you never would have before, be they science fiction, art, cooking, science—whatever. Expand your horizons by taking new directions.
  10. Try a new food—perhaps Indonesian, or sushi, or buffalo, or hot chili. You don't have to fall in love with it, but just taste it. Who knows what might happen?
  11. Think about a new look. Consider changing your wardrobe, or your accessories, or your hairstyle. Give it a shot, though I'd stop short of tattoos and piercings.
  12. Coach someone. Be a mentor. Help them to learn and to grow. If you do that, you'll learn and grow more than they will.
  13. Listen to both sides of an argument, no matter what your preliminary impressions or preferences.

Mark your calendar and let me know how you make out.


This morning at 6:25, the dogs and I pull up to the Dunkin' Donuts window to get our order. As usual, I ask for something for the dogs. Since the owner of this franchise, in a moment of abject stupidity, decided that employees could no longer provide free dog biscuits or munchkins to the dogs because "he was going broke," the employees discovered that an abnormal amount of plain donuts had become "damaged" or "dropped" and were useless to sell. (This is the Mafia equivalent of a dining room ensemble "falling off a truck.") These "damaged" goods became dog food, though they are always fresh and even sometimes warm. They're kept alongside the window.

The woman at the window handed me some donut pieces while she went to make the latté. Normally, I get a third of a donut, from which Bentley gets two-thirds and Puppy one-third. However, this morning I had half a donut, and I felt it was too much for either of them. So, staring at the remainder in my hand, and realizing I seldom ever eat a donut, I popped it in my mouth before the dogs came back to claim it.

As I chewed I turned to the left and saw the woman, with my purchase, slowly shaking her head, concluding there were no dogs and it was just my way of getting a free piece of donut. I couldn't say anything with my mouth full, the dogs were absolutely silent and crouching on the rear seat. She handed me the coffee and slammed the window shut.


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Lisa Larter, master social media marketing strategist, and I are hosting a brand new experience in Naples, which includes:

  • How to “live” in a shameless social media mindset. Do you really think about “going on to the electrical grid” every time you turn on the toaster? Why would social media marketing be any different?
  • How to easily create a one-minute shameless Facebook Live stream video that you can use over and over again on any platform. And you’ll do it with us and your colleagues after we demonstrate it.
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Colleen Francis, the global sales strategy thought leader, joins me for an intense session on creating annuity clients which, over the years, provide seven figures in income. Consultants believe that the key to building a huge, fulfilling practice is signing six-figure deals with every new customer. Just like baseball hitters who only swing for home runs, they also lead the league in strikeouts. The truth is that hitters who simply get on base score more runs.

The fastest path to annuity clients (clients generating strong seven-figures during your relationship) begins with five figure deals. The secret is knowing who to target and how to grow your perceived value and, consequently, their business with you.

Limited attendance! Learn more and register here: Evergreen Relationships and Million Dollar Clients


Join me for one or both of my new monthly series in 2018: The Genesis of the Sale, and Exponential Growth. There will be live questions during the broadcasts from global viewers, and they’ll be recorded for viewing at your leisure, as well. Both occur on the same day, consecutively, each month (except July and August).

See the detailed agenda and sign up here: Livestream Workshops 2018 



        April 18-20, 2018, Boston

        Featuring my special guest Chip Bell, general sessions by Suzanne Bates and               Dorie Clark, 12 concurrent sessions, networking events, cocktail reception,                     and…me! We already have nearly 100 people on board, join us for what                           participants call "the best event of its kind in the world":                                            

        Sign up here: The Fourth Million Dollar Consulting® Convention


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         Go here: Lifetime Growth Access


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." Note that we now offer self-publishing ranging from ghost writing to editing, from artwork and design to printing.

Learn more: Endorsed Programming


         SPECIAL: Many of you have seen the work that the crew did with Marshall and               my videos promoting our work on Lifestorming. That book is now in three                         languages and is the top selling self-help book in South Korea. Marshall's use of             videos vaulted him from a couple of hundred followers on LinkedIn to over                       900,000 today. Many of you are trying to promote your work, books, and social              media numbers, and with good reason and intent. You can access our joint videos          here (click on the upper left box to view more videos) 

        I'm offering a unique experience to a few of you: You will appear in a dozen similar          videos with me, discussing as peers your work and your client results. These will            feature the same candid conversations, inserted stills, and great editing, and run            for about five minutes each. This will be a conversation, not an interview. I'll make            sure you absolutely shine—star quality. We'll have makeup and hair expertise on            site in one of my fabulous New York suites with the film crew. The entire process            should take about three or four hours. I'll send you preparation considerations.

        You need to have these resources/attributes/content: Client results stories to tell,            the ability to answer my questions briefly and extemporaneously, the ability to ask            me incisive questions about your field (e.g., retention, strategy, change                            management, coaching, leadership. operational excellence, etc.). You need to be            willing to have fun. I'll put you at ease, but I'm not going to dominate these. It's                important we talk as peers. 

        We'll schedule at our mutual convenience in The City. The fee includes: the crew's          time and labor; post-session editing; makeup and hair on site; your room in the                hotel; my work with you before, during, and after; 12 video segments of five                    minutes (approximately); my promotion of the videos over a year on my social                  media platforms and blog (if you so desire). Obviously, I'll also be using these in              my promotions, gaining you still more exposure. 

        The fee is $15,000. Call me if you'd like to talk about it.


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Balancing Act® is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing the blending of life, work, and relationships, based on the popular Balancing Act workshops and writing of Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Contact us for further information at: [email protected].
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© Alan Weiss 2018

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.


See Writing on the Wall, featuring Koufax the Wonder Dog.


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No one is going to be impressed with you if you're not impressed with yourself.

Alan Weiss