BALANCING ACT: BLENDING LIFE, WORK, AND RELATIONSHIPS® A free monthly newsletter about balancing life, work, and relationships based on the books and popular workshops conducted by Alan Weiss, Ph.D.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 298, June 2024)

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Balancing Act® is in four sections based on famous quotations:

  1. Essays
  2. Musings
  3. Developmental Stuff
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department

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Why It’s Tough to Buy A Home

I was due to renew my mortgage when I hit 70. I usually chose adjustable rate mortgages and refinanced before the end of the five-year term. But that time, the banker said, “Look, stop refinancing every five years. I’ll offer you a 2.7% fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage.”

“You know that I’m 70?”
“I do.”
“And you know that 70 plus 30 equals 100?”
“I do.”
“And the offer is still good?”
“Get me the papers today!”

As with many “baby boomers,” I don’t feel the need to “downsize.” I live on a lot of land and have a lot of stuff. And the house to which I downsized would incur a 7+% mortgage and would be a compromise. There is no financial incentive for people in these conditions to sell their homes.

This is why it’s tough to buy a house. What’s the answer? Earn enough money to pay for an expensive mortgage and “downsize your dream” for the moment. When mortgage rates fall, which they will, either refinance or buy a new home.

The Airplane Entry and Egress Dilemma

The airplane (powered flight) has been in existence for 221 years since the Wright Brothers changed history. In all that time, we’ve failed to overcome the single-door entry and exit problems. (Some jumbo jets have two doors, one for first class, one for the peasants, but that’s a minor exception.)

We’ve changed airport configurations, engines, and air traffic control. But we insist on forcing passengers through a tiny bottleneck to get on the plane and depart from it. (Waiting to board a plane and watching the disembarking passengers, always reminds me of a circus clown car, with more people apparently getting off than there can possibly be seats on board.)

Aircraft should board in multiple entrances from the sides. Heresy, I know. Where are the Wright Brothers when you really need them?


ChatGPT has its uses (instructions, agreements, boilerplate, etc.) but it’s also woefully inept for some usage. If I were to say (from the famous song “I Can’t Get Started with You”):

“I’ve been around the world in a plane
Settled revolutions in Spain
The North Pole I have charted
But can’t get started with you
And at the golf course I’m under par
Metro-Goldwyn wants me to star
I’ve got a house, it’s a show place
But I can’t get no place with you.”

Chat says (this is an actual test) suggests:

I’ve traversed the globe by air,
Quelled uprisings in Spain’s lair.
Mapped the North Pole, cold and true,
Yet with you, I’m at a standstill, it’s true.
On the greens, my score’s subpar,
Metro-Goldwyn beckons for my star.
A mansion grand, a stage to grace,
Yet with you, progress I cannot trace.

Ira Gershwin would roll in his grave. Good luck. (GPT: The best of fortune should come in your proximate direction.)


Those who claim to foresee the future seem divided into three camps: There are the entertainers, and I include here magicians, psychics, palm readers, and so forth. Then there are the financial analysts who tell you what the shrugs and moans of Warren Buffet mean and how that affects Apple stock. Finally, we have the crazed world of sports analysis that consumes a great portion of the media.

The first category is the one most worth it with the greatest ROI. That’s because we are paying to be entertained: amazed, confirmed, warned, and otherwise innocently directed about coming events and conditions. This is akin to buying theater tickets hoping to have a good experience for two hours, two months hence. (Imagine a palm reader who told you to put your affairs in order, you’ll be hit by a beer truck tomorrow morning?)

The second has very, very few accurate gurus. But to prove my point I’ll name one who was exceptional: Peter Lynch who once ran the vastly successful Fidelity Magellan Fund. His fund was recommended by my accountant when I changed jobs and had a small pile of money from my former firm. I made a fortune with Lynch and withdrew my money when he retired—thank God. Most of these financial prophets make their money—well, their profits—from being paid to give advice not from their own investments. If they were held to account at the end of the year, at least 85% would lose their jobs.

Finally, the sports people can say whatever they want and if you track their predictions very few of them have impressive records in any media for any sports. They always have excuses (bad calls, injuries, poor coaching, etc.) at which they’re at 100%. However, they’d be out of jobs, too, based on their prognostication, and most keep their jobs because of witty banter, past fame, and fan popularity. As I write this, one network released two long-time former quarterbacks from pre- and post-game shows not because of their prediction record, but because they want to appeal to a younger demographic.

A particularly smug sports “analyst,” Jim Rome, predicted several years ago that the New England Patriots wouldn’t even reach the playoffs. They won the Super Bowl that year, but Rome was never challenged about his spectacularly bad prediction, one of many.

So, if you’re prone to provide predictions for clients or colleagues or family, think what would happen if you were retained or fired based on your success rate and accuracy! I’m predicting that you may just rethink a few things that you might otherwise have “foreseen.”

Development Opportunities
Not Without Honor…


Not Without Honor…

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
—The Gospel of Mark, 6:4

Join me for a monthly newsletter that will explore, analyze and predict ramifications of issues and events in global societies. Each issue will focus on topics that will include politics, social mores, the arts, sports, technology, financial affairs, and other contemporary issues.

Develop the ability to discuss current issues with dexterity and insight and become an object of interest to others, whether clients, colleagues, or friends. The discussions will be brief and focus on three-to-five issues per edition. Letters and commentary from readers will be welcome.

For example, as we are undergoing the dynamics of morbidity outpacing fertility in most developed countries, there will be a profound labor shortage if actions are not taken rapidly. This includes such diverse political systems as China and the US. There are three key areas, that must be utilized to accommodate what is apparently a multi-generational problem. We’ll discuss what they are and analyze what must be done to successfully resolve the dilemma.

You get the idea. The first issue launches in October. The fee is $500 for the year of newsletters, including all back issues if you join during the year. If you subscribe prior to August 1, the fee is $400.

The Spontaneous Session


The Spontaneous Session

People laugh today when I tell them I’ve “prepared” for a Zoom or live session. They know my speeches are mainly riffs, and that I never change a word or phrase when I’m writing my books. (My all-time best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting, through six editions, has had exactly one paragraph changed by the publisher.)

What I want to do on Halloween is give you a treat by showing the tricks of my trade. I will actually demonstrate how you can be spontaneous and also highly impressive, controlled, and effective. You will walk out of the morning able to use spontaneity in business meetings, social and civic settings, in speeches and presentations, and in conflict. If you stay for the afternoon, you’ll be able to practice this with your colleagues and then with me. If you can do this with me you can do it with anyone!

If anyone else is providing this kind of help, I don’t know about it. If you stay for the afternoon, I’m buying lunch. And at the end of the day we’ll vote as a group on the best extemporaneous performance of those remaining and I’ll provide a credit for your entire fee to use for any of my future programs. Stop saying, “I wish I had said….” or, “Next time what I’ll do is….” You don’t have to risk $200,000+, and I guarantee you won’t be risking this tiny investment either in freeing yourself to be even more successful immediately.

October 31, 2024. Las Vegas, venue TBD. 9 am to 4 pm (afternoon optional)

Full day $1,250, Half day $950 Lunch included with full day.

Thought Leadership 2024


Thought Leadership 2024

I’m hosting a tenth Thought Leadership Conference, and our first such session post-pandemic, in the West Palm Beach, Florida area on September 10-12, 2024. This will probably be the last such “live” event of its kind since my future plans are to create a quarterly Zoom subscription for this endeavor in 2025 and beyond.

We will focus on:

  • The No Normal® of the workplace and how to market and succeed in continually turbulent times.
  • What the impending US presidential election will mean for professional services.
  • How to create weekly, relevant, dramatic IP.
  • Staying ahead of the innovation curve using your own past and continuing “body of work.”
  • Passive, global income generation—creation and sustainability.
  • Options for successful use of discretionary time.
  • Financial realities and metrics for safety and security (and prudent risk).
  • Topics raised in the prep work sent to participants.

We will have a special guest speaker whom I’ll announce soon. My newest book, Building Dynamic Communities: creating an evergreen client ecosystem, to be released in June, will be my gift to you, and the morning of the third day of the 2.5-day event will be optional and included in the fee. I’ll be “riffing” on that day on politics, society, education, personal wealth, and so forth.

The fee is $15,000, which includes rooms, breakfasts, lunches, and a cocktail reception. Finally, if you attend this session you may join the quarterly Zoom sessions next year for free, a $2,000 value.

My very special guest is the leadership guru, Hall of Fame speaker, and great wit Lou Heckler, who will be with us throughout the workshop.

In the Buyer’s Office

In the Buyer’s Office

I’ve been asked to elaborate on the extremely popular “In the Buyer’s Office” videos on a regular basis. So I’m going to stop whining about doing it, and do it. I’m offering a 1.5-day, live session in Rhode Island during which everyone will get the chance to sell to the buyer and to be the buyer. You may record this if you like. You’ll learn how to, and apply how to:

  • Open the meeting gracefully and move quickly to your objective.
  • Handle distractions.
  • Overcome objections.
  • Reframe and pivot the conversation.
  • Create trust, find key issues, create conceptual agreement, and “pour cement.”
  • Create a resultant proposal with over an 80% probability of acceptance of options 2 or 3.
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 47 countries.

Million Dollar Consulting® Global Online Program ADVANCED

New: Million Dollar Consulting® for the World ADVANCED

The new program contains over 60 videos and has 15 modules focusing on what to do in the buyer’s office, overcoming crises, financial planning, and much, much more.

Sentient Strategy Certification

Sentient Strategy Certification

My new book on the topic released in March 2023, so this is an ideal time to market Sentient Strategy. Write me to apply, join over 70 people certified in six countries. One-time fee of $12,000, includes 90 days of my support, free admission to all future certifications, and admission to a private web board with other Sentient facilitators. In a recent program a particpant sold a $100,000 strategy program within 48 hours.


NOTE: I’ve reinstated my inexpensive, limited coaching program I last used during Covid because I’ve found people who need help right now growing their practices. I’ve offered it to past coaching participants, but I can handle several more people at this point. Five calls at your desire: review proposals, prepare for meetings, create passive income, etc. $2,024. You simply have to use them before the end of the year, 30 minutes each. Should pay for itself 20 times over. You can write to discuss ([email protected]) or sign up by paying here:

Want to join me for my Book Sprint? In 60 days complete a proposal for an agent or an acquisitions editor (or the outline and marketing plan for a self-published book). We have an 80%+ “hit rate” for obtaining book contracts, complete with my introductions. The schedule is flexible and I’ll create one around the first people to register. The fee is $4,500—we meet weekly by Zoom with assignments in between and a common Drop Box to review each other’s work. Write me at [email protected].

I'm an Old Cowhand...

An employee of a CVS in Los Angeles whom I asked about newspapers said, “Who sells newspapers? I can’t imagine? Are they still for sale?” I explained they were, in fact in CVS stores back east, from whence I came. “And do they have phone booths, still?” she asked, snidely. “No,” I said, “so Superman can’t change any more on the streets.”

She looked at me strangely. “Superman?”

She said as I left, “Wait until I tell my son someone asked if we sold newspapers!”

She was in her late 30s, I’d guess. I was feeling sorry for her son. And I found my newspaper across the street in the 7/11.

Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2024

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