Optimism and pessimism are choices, not innate human conditions.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 263, July 2021)

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.

NOTE: To change addresses, or to unsubscribe, use THIS LINK

Balancing Act® is in four sections this month:

  1. Emergence: Observations of leaving the plague
  2. Musings
  3. The Human Condition: Ego
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNTO Department


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? AND FIND ME ON FACEBOOK

Techniques For Balance
  • Optimism and pessimism are choices, not innate human conditions.
  • Innovation is the “through line” to success always.
  • The scientists and the military did the best they could, the politicians did the worst they could.
  • Ultra-conservative policy (Australia’s government is proposing an international lockdown until June, 2022) is absurd.
  • There is a higher percentage of being killed in a traffic accident than being killed by a Covid vaccine-related blood clot. Yet people still drive daily.
  • Attempts to bar non-vaccinated people from events will fail because of civil liberties lawsuits.
  • Attempts to demand to see vaccination proof—or a vaccination “passport”—are far too reminiscent of “Show me your papers.”
  • New York (see below) is bouncing back and the September opening of Broadway will bring it all the way back. The city’s problems aren’t Covid related, they’re the result of atrocious local government policies.
  • Don’t listen to Chicken Little, especially all his cousins who are anchors on the evening news broadcasts. The hospitality and airline industries are returning with a roar. It was said they’d take years to recover.
  • I never thought plexiglass at bars or between tables provided any kind of safety other than tokenism.
  • It’s all about optimism and resilience, isn’t it? If you could survive, let alone prosper, over the past year, then a little traffic jam, or toothache, or rejected business proposal isn’t exactly the end of the world any more, is it?

I’m just back from New York as I’m writing this (on the Acela heading home). I’ve been going to The City for 70 years. I’m as comfortable there as I am anywhere outside of my home.

I estimate The City is at about 65 percent of lifeforce, and growing. (People in Rhode Island thing that “the city” means Providence, which is like thinking that a skateboard is like a Corvette.) There is a happiness (about being back to work and seeing people), and a calm (about being effectively vaccinated), and an expectation (that things will improve daily). I think all of this will be supercharged by a new mayor, no matter who that person turns out to be.

Some of the restaurants have closed for good, some are planning reopening, some are open to smaller crowds, but some are packed. Offices are unevenly reopening, sporting events are well attended, schools will be open in the fall without the option of online learning (which is an oxymoron, since no one learned much at all online). Traffic remains light (by Big Apple standards) and the streets don’t yet have the old elbow-to-elbow crowds.

New York is resilient. The doormen and the red caps and the food cart venders and the Uber drivers are as positive as anyone, perhaps even more so. I found that perhaps 70 percent of people on the streets wore masks though they are not required to do so outdoors. I encountered no problems, everyone was professional, positive, and happy.

There’s an old saying that notes that the good thing about having your arm twisted is that it feels so good when they stop. That might be at play here. It’s not only a factor of people back at work and making money again, it’s a factor of belonging to a community, or having colleagues, or being socially active and not (that horrible phrase) “socially distanced.”

It’s forsaking an “abundance of caution” as though it’s a religious ritual.

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” If New York is coming back, so can anyplace and anyone. In fact, I bet most of you reading this are feeling better than ever. I know I am.

The Human Condition

“Ego” is generally considered to be a sense of self-esteem. In psychology it’s the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. It’s accompanied by the Id and the Superego, but that’s enough psychology for today.

The pragmatic problem with ego is that most people don’t have high levels of self-esteem. We classically talk about “imposter syndrome” but I’m talking about far more mundane, daily endeavors. Because people don’t feel good about themselves (and this is not about efficacy or skills) their egos are overly protected. Hence, they tend not to confront or even question authority figures (which is why so few patients are comfortable asking their doctors questions about treatments that don’t make sense to them).

They are also very sensitive to feedback, and tend not to “open up” to others, hiding insecurities, camouflaging uncertainties, and often procrastinating. A fragile ego would rather endure critique for not completing something rather than completing it and being critiqued for the result. Ego prompts them to join the crowd, to seek safety, rather than be a maverick a seek one’s own route, accepting the risks.

When one’s ego is “exposed” and easily threatened, it can be battered, since we tend to take things personally and dramatically. If I ask someone for feedback and they give me a suggestion, I’m comfortable analyzing it and deciding whether to accept it or reject it. But I’m not threatened by it. Even random, mean, malicious feedback can’t hurt us if we have strong egos and can dismiss the toxin as a weakness of the sender, not us.

In these times, it’s easy to be sensitive to a loss of control, to ambiguity, and uncertainty. A strong ego will settle us down and give us perspective. But a weak ego will tend toward an inability to cope—the dreaded “overwhelm”—and a further depth of self-doubt.

How do you build your ego? Focus on what you’ve done well and at which you’ve succeeded. We grow by building on strengths, not obsessing about weaknesses. Most self-help books assume you’re somehow “damaged” and need “fixing” per the author’s methods. Allow yourself to be vulnerable for people you respect in order to receive well-intentioned help.

But most of all, remind yourself that you’re a worthy person, not perfect by any means, but positive and contributing to the world around you. Don’t use others’ metrics. Focus on who you are and who you want to be.

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

When radar detectors were new technology, I had one installed in my sports car immediately. One day I was driving through the Queens Midtown Tunnel and emerged heading for Long Island. About a mile later I noticed a police car following me, after my radar warned me. But I had the cruise control on 50 miles per hour.

Two minutes later, the officer pulls me over. He compliments me on the car. I pointed out that I had known he was following because of the radar detector and that I had set the cruise control at 50, five miles under the limit at the time.

“Very nice car and very nice equipment,” he stated, “but the speed limit here is 35.”

He went back to write the ticket and I saw his partner bent-down laughing when he heard the story.

Development Opportunities
Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

NEW!! Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

For the first time ever I’ve created an online version of Million Dollar Consulting® with 14 segments representing business acquisition, value based fees, proposal creation, referral business, and so forth. I’m intending this for people who could not afford to be with me in the past because of travel distances or being new to the profession.

Every segment has a ten-minute video from me, brief videos from your colleagues in my community, and downloads of text and visuals. You receive all 14 at once, so that you can watch in any order and repeat what you like.

Those of you who have spent time with me will find this a great refresher.

And the introductory fee is only $95! I want to make this available to anyone, anywhere. The fee will go up to (a still modest) $115 on August 1. Simply go here and register immediately: milliondollarconsultingcourse.com

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

The Fishbowl II

I’m happy to announce a second Fishbowl Coaching Experience as we conclude the incredibly successful first edition.

In this second iteration, we’ll spend 30 minutes with me coaching an executive, as determined by people in the audience and role played by them. In the second 30 minutes, I’ll demonstrate “speed coaching” whereby I acknowledge volunteers from the audience and coach them quickly on a personal or professional issue. The final 30 minutes will be for questions or requested continuation of either of the first two approaches.

There is a discount until July 15. Join me for a unique, immediately applicable experience in both live and virtual coaching at senior levels and with less labor intensity.

Post Mid-Life Crisis

Post Mid-Life Crisis: Who do you want to be when you grow up?

A great many people have kidded me, saying, “Alan, I want to be you when I grow up!” This isn’t about ”being me,“ it’s about being the real you. And I can help because I’ve been through it and assisted hundreds of others through the “crisis.” It’s not easy, but it’s also the worst possible issue to procrastinate about. If you wait long enough, other people will have made the decisions for you.

Join me for an hour’s Zoom session (which will be recorded and forwarded to everyone who registers) during which—and after which, I’ll hang around—I’ll take questions. Among my topics:

  • How to determine your personal vision.
  • What is “fulfillment” as opposed to “victory”?
  • Five fundamental areas of personal impact to consider.
  • How to forge a path for yourself with confidence and without fear.
  • How do you find and engage with kindred spirits?
  • How to STOP evaluating yourself and simply accept yourself.

This is an increasingly important topic amongst people who are successful and those who are “stalking” success. There’s so much noise out there that it’s often hard to simply listen to yourself.

July 29, 10:30-11:30 US Eastern time via Zoom. What is the world like for you after success?

Master Class

The Master Class

A 2.5–day “PhD” in professional services and entrepreneurialism. We’ll  discuss new markets, remote best practices, concierge trusted advisors, scaling your business, client evangelism, and much, much more. At a world–class property, Castle Hill Inn in Newport, RI, Nov. 2–4. Maximum 16 people, one seat remains. Fee ($14,500) includes lodging and meals.

Sentient Strategy Certification

Sentient Strategy Certification

Over 40 people certified on three continents to deliver this radical, simplified approach to strategy for SMEs, divisions of large organizations, non-profits, and government agencies. The program can be delivered virtually or in person, looks only one year out, and requires two mornings or a full day. The certification is over two mornings via Zoom. The single and sole fee is $12,000. I recommend charging a fee of $35,000–$50,000 to clients. NO pre–pandemic strategy can possibly be effective today.

I support you for 90 days thereafter. Write me to apply: [email protected]

Contact ALAN
By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

My classic, elite experience returns, this time to the elegant Four Seasons in Palm Beach, FL. Over 2.5 days we spend each morning discussing my latest IP and approaches to new markets and offerings, as well as key challenges for each person attending. There are world class dinners and optional experiences. I usually have these around the world and I will again in 2022, and the participants in the current sessions have priority for next year.

Limit of 14 people. Partners are welcome at social events. $15,000 includes lodging and meals.

This is my “invitation” to apply. Write me for a discussion and appointment at [email protected]

Contact Alan
Kick Ass and Take Names (KAATN)

Kick Ass and Take Names (KAATN)

My elite, one-one-one, seven-month program to hold you accountable and drive you to new heights. Our goals can range from writing a book to entering new markets, from increasing passive income to gaining global business. Over 60 people have participated, many renewing once or twice.

I take on limited numbers. Fee is $17,000.


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2021

You are subscribed as: _email_
To REMOVE or CHANGE this address,
click here: http://www.cctomany.com/lu/_ln_/_up_/_dp_/