Balancing Act: The Newsletter

(No. 250, June 2020)

Balancing act is in four sections this month:

  1. Emergence
  2. The Human Condition: Shaming
  3. Musings
Techniques For Balance

• Don’t create or cling to expectations that things will quickly bounce “back.” Some will, some won't.

• Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she didn’t realize her mask wasn’t on and maybe he doesn’t realize he’s standing only 5-feet, 6-inches away from you.

• No test at this point is infallible. Don’t let a test make you overly optimistic or morose.

• Support local merchants and don’t expect anything close to perfection.

• Try to avoid building up too much debt if at all possible.

• Don’t stop keeping in touch with the people you started keeping in touch with!

• Don’t expect service levels you’ve been accustomed to in the past.

• Tip more generously than usual.

• Tell people you’re happy to see them again.

• Keep things in perspective, this isn’t the worst of times.

• Listen to medical people, not alarmists on Facebook.

• Even your dog is going to tire of you if you don’t get out of the house.

• This, too, shall pass.

The Human Condition

The mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza, who doesn’t exactly blind you with his wattage in the best of times, actually said on a radio talk show that people who see others not wearing masks in public should “shame” them on the spot. This was a scant week after a store security guard was shot dead when the husband of a woman who he stopped from entering the store, maskless, drove up and killed him.

His not-so-honor wanted the citizens to be vigilantes. He also wanted them to assume someone else is damaged. That’s because he assumes he’s on some higher plain of morality.

A few days after this stupid suggestion, I was in a liquor store. There was another man looking at scotch where I was, and we said, “Excuse me” to each other and maintained the sacred six feet. However, when I looked up at his face, I saw that his mask didn’t cover his nose.

“You know,” I said, laughing, “that doesn’t do much good!” He realized what I meant, and said, “Thank you, I’m still not comfortable wearing these.”

“I do the same thing!” I said, and we laughed and moved on. I didn’t assume he was flouting the law, and he didn’t assume I was the mask police. But I’ve heard people say in stores, “What’s wrong with you?! You’re endangering all of us!!”

There’s a pragmatic reason not to throw rocks from your perceived higher moral ground. One is that the other person has larger rocks and can throw farther, even uphill. The other is that he or she might also have a gun.

Our governor said, in a moment of rare charm, that perhaps it’s time to be nicer to each other when asked about the mayor’s comments. I agree. We all need good judgment. Besides, why provoke the bear?

Remember the immortal song lyric: “You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Jim.” Whether it’s Jim or the Lone Ranger, you’d best leave him alone.


We are faced with tough choices during our lives. Do we continue to try to embrace a grown child who holds a grudge and is emotionally abusive? Or is it better to preserve our own health and endure the abandonment? I’ve noticed that adult geese valiantly fight to protect their young, but when the situation is clearly hopeless for all of them, they will abandon their young in order to preserve themselves and create more offspring in the future. (And their deaths would result in the goslings’ death in any case.)

We often have to sacrifice for a spouse or partner. We crave to live in warm weather, but our spouse won’t move away from family who live in colder climes. We sacrifice a career for our children, or sacrifice time with our children for a career.

We face quality of life decisions, financial security issues, and relationship problems during our lives as a matter of course. The resultant decisions are rarely pure “wins.” Life requires sacrifice. Those who win races have usually sacrificed mightily to practice, train, and focus on their passions. There are many current athletes sacrificing future health for present glory and income.

Right now, we may be suffering more economic deaths than medical deaths due to this pandemic. I’m not taking “sides” herein on fast or slow reopening of the economy. I merely want to point out that either route will involve great sacrifice, and we shouldn't back it or pursue it unless we’re prepared for it. And no crisis has even been solved or lessened by forcing people into poverty.

Endless sacrifice is no normal life. As humorist George Ade pointed out, “Don’t pity the martyrs, they love the work.”

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

I’m sitting in a parking lot waiting for my take-out food with the top down, playing solitaire on my phone.

A car pulls up several feet away, and the driver says, “Hi, Alan!” I’m horrible with names, so I simply say, “Hi.”

Her: How is Maria?

Me: She’s fine, thanks.

Her: I haven’t seen you around recently.

Me: Well, it’s not like it used to be.

Her: Do you still use the electrician we recommended?

Me: Ah, yes.

Her: You don’t know who I am, do you?

Me: Your voice seems familiar.

Her: And you don’t recognize me after all these years?!

Me: You’re wearing a mask!!!

Development Opportunities
90-Day Coaching

90-Day Coaching

I’ll share best practices and help you with both professional and personal issues with a weekly call and unrestricted email. This is not a regular offering of mine. It’s intended to help you not just weather the storm but to find sunny skies, and to be part of your support system. Obviously, I have limited slots. Write me at [email protected] to sign up: $2,500.

Contact Alan
Sentient Strategy

Remote Sentient Strategy Training

I’ve created a simplified, one-day approach to setting strategy for small and medium-sized businesses and for divisions of larger businesses. A dozen people have been certified, and two have already launched the program, which is applicable for both non- and for-profits. It can be delivered remotely to clients, ideal in these times, and in-person after these times return to normal. I’m holding a virtual training program for certification via Zoom. Write me for details: [email protected].

Contact Alan
Getting Started in Consulting and Re-energizing Your Practice

Getting Started in Consulting and Re-energizing Your Practice

Sold out in Boston, approaching 100 people in LA, grab your seat quickly, spend six hours with me at a ridiculously low fee and gain a 1,000:1 return. And I’m buying lunch! Note: This is now scheduled for September 15.

Million Dollar Consulting®️ Convention in Sydney

Million Dollar Consulting® Convention in Sydney

Join me for the first such event ever held outside of the US. We have 86 people registered, we can only accommodate 100, and there is a special discount for people from Australia and New Zealand. I’ll also be donating 5% of gross revenues to wildlife support groups in Australia. The country is in dire need of restoring tourism and investment. Join me and extend your stay if you're from outside the country. Note: This is rescheduled for December 1-3.

Million Dollar Consulting®️ College 2020

Million Dollar Consulting® College 2020

First time in the Big Apple! Join me for an unprecedented 2.5-day experience, October 27-29, in marketing, implementation, referrals, proposal writing, advisory business models, and a great deal more. Accelerate your career by years, no matter what stage you’re currently in. Apply to me directly: [email protected]. Fee: $16,000, includes lodging and meals.

Creating Dynamic Communities

Creating Dynamic Communities

This will now be via Zoom. Create the kind of perpetuating community that most people wish they had in place pre-crisis. Two mornings with complete instructions and examples to create a community of real and virtual interaction which creates client evangelists.

The Den

The Den

Confidential, weekly sessions one-on-one (or with couples) covering relationships, business challenges, illness, family matters, and related life balance issues. 60 days’ duration, $4,500, focused on life-changing issues.

Private Coaching KAATN

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Work with me for seven months with specific assignments and weekly reporting in addition to unrestricted access to me by phone, Zoom, Skype, email, etc. Expand your market, create a book, raise your fees, overcome your business fears.


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2020

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