It's always easier to attack ambiguity and huge issues on the mountain top than it is to fight the battle in the trenches. If the thought police come after me, then I don't care.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 274, June 2022)

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Balancing Act® is in four sections this month:

  1. Pulling the Trigger
  2. Musings
  3. Why Consulting Is Not Rocket Science
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O 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

Pulling the Trigger

I mean no violence here, I use the phrase in its colloquial sense of setting something in motion and stopping the hesitation. If the thought police come after me, then I don’t care. (See “if/then” in the article below about consulting.)

We tend to fail to act promptly because:

  • We are afraid of consequences in general, not specific ones, because we don’t know how to determine them.
  • There is a fear of being “first” and mocked if things don’t work.
  • Self-improvement always takes a back seat in terms of investment, which is ironic, since the greatest dividends are derived from investing in yourself.
  • The normative pressure advises not taking that action: “You can’t charge the same amount for remote work, none of us do.”
  • There is a fear that we just won’t “measure up” and will be exposed as foolish.
  • We lack resiliency and see every minor setback as an insurmountable obstacle.
  • Ambiguity becomes a cloud that we are afraid to walk through.
  • We listen to “projection” from others: “I couldn’t ski the blue hills my first time on the slopes, so you shouldn’t try them, either.”
  • We listen to the “chicken littles” of the world who constantly see doom and gloom, though the sky never really falls.
  • We don’t have good support systems, and our families and friends assure us that we can’t be successful in our intent.
  • We can’t find the trigger any more. We’ve become stuck in our holding patterns.

This “gun” is metaphorical. I’d suggest “aim, fire, ready.” No one is going to get hurt and you just might wind up helping others.


It’s always easier to attack ambiguity and huge issues on the mountain top than it is to fight the battle in the trenches. We can decide that the yard needs to look better and hire an architectural landscaper, but we won’t pull the weeds.

We complain about health care costs, but the truth is that obesity is the cause of huge expenditures in health care. We are “woke” today when we support people simply appreciating their body types and not feeling “shamed.” I believe one’s health is a matter of personal choice, but the statistics are clear that if someone is severely overweight (body mass index is weight divided by height squared, there are calculators on the web) they are far more prone to difficulties with many diseases and disabilities, which cost a fortune collectively.

The amount spent annually in the US alone on health, fitness, exercise, and dietary assistance is over $800 billion.

We are justifiably concerned about climate change and its implications for disasters. We urge recycling and the switch to electric vehicles. Yet we continue to allow people to build on the beaches and in the forests and insure their homes. Prohibiting that would create an election backlash. And while it’s easy to support electric cars, it’s not so easy to figure out how all those smoke-belching plants generating electric power can be converted, or how a state like California with severe drought which can’t keep its electrical grid at full support in the best of conditions is going to support 14 million electric vehicles (that’s how many cars are currently clogging the freeways).

My point is that we tend to be comfortably focused on the huge design—improving our schools—but not pulling the weeds—getting rid or poor teachers, politicized school boards, and administrators who simply want to make more money.

I grew up in an inner city. It looks pretty cool from a plane, but not so much on the streets where I grew up.

Why Consulting is Not Rocket Science

When I first wrote Million Dollar Consulting in 1991, I found that the palm reader/psychic on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, required more licensing and oversight than anyone claiming to be a consultant. I thought that was rather droll!

Since then (and Million Dollar Consulting is now in its sixth edition 30 years later), I’ve made my money by providing value to clients in the form of simplicity, not complexity. Clients—whether Fortune 1,000, closely held, non-profit, government, academic—need clarity and transparency, not elaborate models and opaque commentary.

I’m ideally suited to this reality because I’m just not that deep. I search for the causes of problems, the risks and rewards inherent in different options, and the need to prevent problems but also deal with them should they occur anyway.

Let me be even clearer: I often ask a client the “if…then” question. “If you do this, then what is likely to happen?” Most people fail to significantly consider risk. They are too eager to capitalize on reward. I call this the “risk/reward” ratio (Talib, in Antifragile, calls it “upside/downside”—great minds think alike.)

A case in point. Many years ago, the major utility servicing Atlantic City and all the casinos therein was modernizing and employing new technology. This enabled them to reduce costs by cutting staff, and they were doing so with a very generous and humane offer. However, one such offer gave a generous bonus to all linemen (as they were known then) over 50 years of age who took early retirement. Although I wasn’t involved in that project, I asked the executive with whom I worked if I could take a quick look.

“I’ll give you 24 hours,” he said, “we need to announce this.” Well, IF they went through with the offer, THEN they would have lost every single lineman who knew how to rig lines after an ice storm. Every one, because they were all over 50. And there were ice storms in the winter, and all of the casinos would have gone dark.

Once I presented the facts, that offer was never announced. I simply asked, “If we do this, then what can happen?” Consulting is about common sense. Thank goodness there was no barrier to entry in this profession. I found that the psychic retired years ago after sending a couple of kids through college.

But I guess she knew that would happen.

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

We were in Boston dining with a couple we’ve known for years. They’re very intelligent and interesting, but the woman is rather stand-offish. Air kisses, immaculately groomed, doesn’t laugh a lot. Highly opinionated.

On this evening, however, when we arrived at the restaurant she left her chair, greeted me effusively with a tight hug and planted a kiss near my lips. She laughed uproariously at my stories.

As soon as we returned to the car for the trip home, I said to my wife, “Well, my charms finally got through to Lillian. Her entire demeanor has changed.”

My wife said, while looking at her email, “Alan, did you smell her breath? She was drunk when we arrived.”

Development Opportunities
Return to Australia

Return to Australia

I’ll be making my 19th trip in October, this time to Brisbane, to present a week of unique offerings from passive income and global “reach” to a new strategy approach. Join me and your peers for my latest value to grow your business and decrease your labor facing our “new realities.” There is limited seating capacity

Return to London

Return to London

I’ll be hosting a two-day, high-level discussion of likely business futures globally, financial considerations, global passive income, the new realities of sales, new approaches to strategy, and so forth. There would be a limit of eight people. I’ll also conduct a full-day experience for a larger group, probably a limit of 30, for an entire day which will address new approaches to value based fees, the five essential short-term revenue generators, role playing difficult conversations, the advanced Accelerant Curve, and scaling the practice.

November 29: General Session, 9 to 4.
November 30 and December 1: Intimate Session, 9-4 both days.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Million Dollar Consulting® College

I’ve been asked to run this again, and I miss it, so I’m going to do it on December 13-15 (2.5 days) in Castle Hill, Newport, RI, my usual stomping grounds. The beach houses in the winter are fantastic. There’s a great holiday atmosphere that time of year. I’ll be focusing on what I’ve seen as the critical areas for success: brand-building, accelerating referrals, provocative IP, low labor revenue focus, the post-pandemic lasting realities, and so forth.

Write me to apply: [email protected]

The fee is $15,000, which includes lodging, breakfast, lunch, breaks, and one dinner. If you catch me at the bar, it could include two dinners. I’m also going to take time to show how I create this and other workshops, step by step, live or remote. If you register with me prior to June 1 the fee is $12,000. If you buy a Bentley Card before June 1, you can attend the College for free, no deduction on the card. Past grads are welcome to attend for $5,000.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program

Million Dollar Consulting® for the World

I’ve provided 14 modules with videos from me, from your colleagues globally, slides, and text. They include everything from launch to self-esteem, proposals to fees, closing business to creating a brand. No upsells! It’s only $115. What do you think about a 10,000:1 ROI? We have over 500 people from 43 countries.

Beyond Thought Leadership

Beyond Thought Leadership

Six “stars” from my community from five countries will be interviewed by me in this live, 2.5 day experience. I’ll be introducing new IP, case studies, and role-plays. And the final interview will be with me. This is one-time only, it was difficult to organize. Limited participation, in Miami in November, register now, no one else can offer this experience for your growth.


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2022

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