Printer Friendly Format

Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 166, June 2013 )

Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here:
Every day I provide 2-3 brief, pithy pieces of advice for growth. Join the thousands who read these �quick hits� every morning.

And find me on Facebook:

Free consulting newsletter: The Million Dollar Consulting� Mindset:
Monthly, fast advice on consulting techniques with case studies.

Return to Top

  • Try a vacation where you're not rushing around to see every sight and sample every taste. Settle in one place, drink in the local culture and environment, and relax.

  • Bucket lists are pretty dumb. They generally create arbitrary standards of personal success, exclude other options, and distract you from opportunistic and new choices. Punch a hole in the bucket.

  • If you get the bulkhead seat, no one can lean back into your lap.

  • When someone puts a big, bulky coat over their theater seat so that it's nearly in my lap, I politely ask them to move it so that "it doesn't get dirty when I cross my legs" or "I don't accidentally spill a drink on it."

  • Carry a roll of quarters in your console or glove box if you may find yourself needing to park where there are meters that need to be individually fed.

  • I keep a small amount of common, foreign currency at home (euros, Canadian and Australian dollars) in case I don't have time to change money and I'll need small amounts for tips or taxis at the other end.

  • The time you take trying to get the best rate in monetary exchange easily eats up any advantageous, small difference you find.

  • Stop worrying about people "stealing" your intellectual property and ideas and start focusing on getting people to use them.

  • The TSA Global Entry and Pre-Check are extremely useful programs to get into. But if you travel regularly with someone else, then you need to do it together.

  • I'm a TV junkie, and I love the iPhone apps that allow you to program the recorders while travelling.

Return to Top

The roads in Italy are generally two-lane, even on the Autostrade. And there is a huge disparity among vehicles, from tiny four-cylinder mini-cars to roaring Mercedes and BMWs (and even one Bentley that went howling by). The speed limits are the equivalent of 75 MPH.

The system works wonderfully well because everyone keeps right except when passing other vehicles. It's very rare to have to flash your lights and, as in the U.S., it's not unusual to run about 10 MPH above the limit. And many of these roads twist and turn around cliffs, or wind through mountain tunnels, or are squeezed between concrete barriers.

In the U.S., on the interstates, which are often multi-lane, people clog-up the high speed lanes. I've even seen 18-wheelers (and truckers used to be the most professional, polite drivers on the road) simply stay in the left lane, arrogantly holding up everyone behind them and causing unsafe passing on the right (virtually never done in Europe).

The Italians drive like this because they have to if they are going to get anywhere. No one is playing ego games or is oblivious to what's going on around them (because the risk of doing so may mean involuntarily leaving the roadway). We don't drive in the U.S. with a collective intent that everyone is expedited. We drive with a selfishness that we each rule the road. (I'd like to fire on the spot every New York City bus driver who blocks an intersection causing a hundred cars to miss a light.)

I'm all for individual freedom, and consider myself a very successful entrepreneur. But there are times when the collective good helps us all. Every car I approached in the left lane pulled over for me, and I pulled over for every car approaching me. No one had to blink lights and you only hear a horn when someone texting edges over into your lane.

If someone is on your tail, on the road or in life, I suggest you either accelerate or get out of the way.

Return to Top

The human condition: Tranquility

We often seem to be rushing from pillar to post (a reference to the manege: riding grounds for horses). We dash around at work, at play, even at rest—when we surf the web, jump into social media, chat on cell phones.

Vacations are often frenzied trips, rushing from highly-touted landmark to "in" restaurant, from five minutes at a beautiful vista to a three-hour drive back. Some of the most frazzled people I've ever seen are on vacation. Just take a look at them at airports, they look far more exhausted and frustrated than most business travelers and even soldiers returning to duty!

It's time to ensure we have some tranquility in our lives. Tranquility means "free from disturbance." Typical disturbances can be external or internal, another's demands or our own obsessive searching for the next event. But no journey is successful without rest, no trek can be completed without occasionally taking bearings. I find some people like dervishes, so constantly in self-imposed motion that they have no idea where they are or how they arrived. (I'm reminded of the most classic drunk line I ever heard at a bar, when the bartender tried to remove an inebriated customer: "I didn't walk in here, and I'm not leaving.")

Even Apollo 11 required a "tranquility base." I think so do we all, so that we can contemplate where we are, how we arrived, and where to safely travel next. I remember snorkeling once and, instead of following the crowd and searching for as many fish as possible, I just floated, barely moving, and in a little while hundreds of fish came to look at me. Sometimes the world comes to you—or at least you can focus on its mysteries much better, when you simply wait a bit.

Try some tranquility. Don't schedule it, just set back and stop beating yourself up for doing nothing. You are doing something. You're fine-tuning your senses.




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.


Five minutes every week starting in June, no matter where I am in the world, providing insights into opportunities around us for our lives, relationships, and professions. An excellent companion to Alan's Common Sense Consulting® Weekly Video. Sign up and see a sample:


June 13, one hour teleconference, free download

Learn "the right angle" for getting in front of the buyer and closing the business. Too many people are losing golden opportunities, and we all only get one first impression. Learn the Pythagorean approach to squaring two sides to learn the hypotenuse. You know, the right angle!

Less than a hundred bucks to make hundreds of thousands!

NEW! Lasting Impressions
How to convert appointments into business every time

New York City
October 10, 2013
9 am to 4 pm
Venue to be announced, midtown

My analysis is that the "conversion rate" among consultants is far too low. That is, when you are successful finding and meeting the true, economic buyer, the potential business slips away like water in a sieve. In Lasting Impressions, we will use extensive role plays (every single person who volunteers and most who don't) and examples of the language, behavior, demeanor, and nuances that will create lasting, positive, impressions.


December 9-13
Newport, RI

I've had to add another due to demand, and it's a third filled already! Join the 220 elite people who have participated in this unique program that has been offered in Newport, Boston, London, and Sydney. Everything you need to begin a business or dramatically grow an existing business, from marketing to delivery. There is no other offering like this in the world.


Sept. 17, 2013
The Sanctuary
Kiawah, Island, SC

I'm going to be tackling a new but vital topic: How to manage your money, because it's not what you make, it's what you keep. I'll be discussing how to use or not use debt; how to pay your bills most efficiently; how to vary your salary and use external sources (bookkeeper, financial advisor, tax experts); how to bill clients and ensure payment; how to pay yourself first; how to create credit with your bank; how to maximize retirement savings; how to be dollar/euro/pound-wise, and not penny/farthing/sou-foolish. And of course, I'll touch on how to charge $125,000 instead of $25,000 for the same value. 

How's that for something different? The investment is $750, $650 before June 15. 



October 21-35, The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

In the all-new Fundamentals Experience, Oct. 21-22, you'll learn how to formulate, nurture, and consistently create the IP which leads to thought leadership. MY SPECIAL GUEST IS RANDY GAGE, the global thought leader in prosperity and abundance-thinking whom you would otherwise never hear in a small group.

Oct. 23-25 is the Thought Leadership Graduate Experience, focusing on leveraging prior participants' success and solidifying thought leadership. MY SPECIAL GUEST IS DAN PINK, author of "Drive" and other best-sellers, who will chat interactively about gaining and sustaining thought leadership. Both Randy and Dan will be at some of our meals for more informal talk.

There is no place else in the world to experience a week like this in your development and success track. ONLY ONE SEAT remains in the Graduate Experience. Can you afford NOT to attend? If you attend the first two days you are qualified to attend the next three if you so choose.

And these terrific sessions authorized by Alan:

Sealing the Deal

Conducted by Linda Popky
June 11 9-4pm
San Francisco Bay Area

Learn from someone who has mastered and applied Alan's approaches the fundamentals of how to close business once you're in the buyer's office. Too often we get there, and then leave with nothing!. Extensive interaction and wonderful learning from Linda, who can share her immediate experiences.

Thrive! Stop wishing your life away�

Conducted by Kelli Richards
Friday, June 28, 2013, 9am-4pm
Silicon Valley Capital Club, San Jose CA

Join Kelli Richards in the famous Thrive! Workshop developed by Alan from his popular book. Master your own life, exploit your greatest assets, control your time, achieve self-mastery. Kelli is a former Apple executive, consulting expert, and author of a best-selling ebook.

Marketing Growth

Conducted by Alex Goldfayn
Chicago, June 18

Alex is the master of evangelistic marketing and business growth, and a fascinating presenter. You'll get a copy of my book, Thrive!, with this session.

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.


Return to Top

I was heading out to Castle Hill in Newport to conduct the Million Dollar Consulting® College, so I made a point of charging my camera battery before I left. Midway through the week, I asked my colleague, Chad Barr, an accomplished photographer, to take the class photo. He told me, after several attempts, that the camera was dead, and I planned to rip into Nikon after Chad used my iPhone as Plan B

After the program, I returned home to write Nikon a nasty letter, and looking up their address found my camera battery still in the charger in my den.

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.

Video Rant

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

Visit my blog

Two new podcasts every week. Special cigar smoking room.

Join the Friday Wrap®

Weekly, 15-minute podcasts with segments on current business events, new intellectual property, and some humor. Monthly, ten-minute videos on business and self-development. And a full-day, free conference in mid-year. Three full work days—24 hours—of programming for a few dollars an hour in investment. Get this weekly booster shot right away. You’ll get all the archived material.

2013 Teleconference Series

A series of wide-ranging interviews with me, with 10 conducted by members of the Million Dollar Consulting� Mentor Hall of Fame.

Shameless Promotion

East Greenwich, RI
Scheduled on demand

One-to-four people participate in a rigorous two days of promotional "mayhem," in which we create assertive and powerful approaches to mold thought leaders, "go to" people, interviewing targets, and objects of interest. The second course is now completed, and we ensure compatibility by vetting applicants. Nothing else like this if you seek to "rise above the noise." One to four people, scheduled at mutual convenience. The third one has recently been formed.

Most people want you to succeed. If you believe most want you to fail, you're either neurotic or hanging out with the wrong people.—Alan Weiss

E-mail [email protected]
P.O. Box 1009 � East Greenwich, RI 02818-0964 � Telephone: (401) 884-2778 � Fax: (401) 884-5068

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 Summit Consulting Group
ISSN 1934-3116