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Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 175, March 2014 )

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  • Address it or forget it. If you feel you need to vent or react, then write the letter, make the call, confront. But if you don't, then move on. Otherwise, you're perpetually irritated with no relief.

  • If you want to improve the quality of your life, learn to say "No" and understand that  you don't need to justify that response.

  • The only way to deal with passive-aggressive behavior ("You went to Barbados? I assume you couldn't get to your first choice?") is to confront it: "Why would you say something so hurtful?" When you ignore it, you enable it.

  • When someone nearby chimes in to a conversation I'm having with someone else, offering their unasked opinion, I merely say, "I'm sorry, I wasn't speaking to you."

  • Someone's oafish behavior is not a personal slight against you. They act that way with everyone. If you take it personally, they you have the problem, not them.

  • Of all the gender issues, the one that no one talks about that I find insulting is this: EVERY TV female reporter, anchor, meteorologist, and traffic reporter ALL look exactly alike: a pound of makeup, hair done to within an inch of their lives, done up like donuts. They allow themselves to resemble Stepford Wives.

  • Your kids should be loved and supported. They should not be calling the shots.

  • I love the food stores and shopping services that deliver (Peapod). Why would anyone put up with 40 aisles, 60 checkout lanes, and hundreds of people looking for just the right jar of mustard?

  • Downton Abbey is one of the finest shows since Upstairs Downstairs, and "binge watching" is a great way to enjoy productions like this.

  • Even Jay Leno couldn't control his own fate. Be thankful you're running your own business. (My prediction: Jimmy Fallon will not come close to Leno's ratings after the initial interest has waned.)

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When I was young, the positions of authority and expertise were clear. You obeyed the police. Teachers were very knowledgeable and properly enforced discipline. Incurring your parents' wrath could result in physical harm and/or denial of important privileges (like leaving the house). Business people were smart. Religious people were on the moral high road. If someone published a book, they were an authority.

A great deal of that might have been fiction or self-delusions, but we adhered to the beliefs, by and large, and got through the day. It took a college education and exposure to diverse points of view to begin to question such beliefs and then, of course, along came the 60s with: sex, drugs, rock and roll, Viet Nam, cities burning, assassinations, moon landing, Beatles, Cuban Missile Crisis, Woodstock, and everything else.

Today, we have to employ more judgment than ever before. Our choices aren't always clear and our avatars are often virtual or illusory. We don't trust what government or business tells us, the media freely mix fact, opinion, and bias; many religious leaders have violated their own tenets; teachers seem to act in their own best interests but not the students'; over half of all children are born out of wedlock and the traditional, two-parent, married couple has declined.

It can be dangerous to trust almost any source too much. Every day we're told that foods are good or bad for us, and this seems to reverse every year or so. Charlatans claim relief for what ails you in sweat lodges, on hot coals, in multi-level marketing scams, and in magic pills. Social media platforms are filled with bad advice and false claims.

I don't find this depressing, but merely a sign of the times. However, I do find it to require a greater reliance than ever on our own decision making and a greater trust in ourselves than we may have previously been comfortable with.

At the end of this day and every day, it's up to us to look after our own best self-interests. We can't really help others sufficiently until we've helped ourselves. And that requires the ability and belief that we can separate the reality from the roar.

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The human condition: Paternalism

There's been a tropism among those with media exposure or control to tell us how to live our lives. This isn't the old style "exercise and watch what you eat." It's not in the vein of friendly advice, or even the well-meaning but annoying projection of others who have done something they think you should do ("You MUST hike the Mt. Wasteland trail, it made me a new person").

Today we have the arrogance of the morally certain who demand we acknowledge their world of right and wrong and black and white (it must be comforting to have no grays). Former Mayor Bloomberg of New York decided that soft drinks in large cups are evil and a civic menace (although any number of small cups would apparently be fine). Present Mayor de Blascio believes that the hundred-year tradition of horse-pulled

Central Park carts must end because of traffic hazards (which apparently doesn't apply to the humungous, double-deck tour buses releases on New York's already congested streets).

Radio talk show host Don Imus's wife, Deirdre, regularly appears to tell us there's a connection between vaccinations and autism (there is no scientific support for this) and that we shouldn’t eat any foods at all she doesn't approve of. Social media sites are replete with people who insist on what we have to do to stay healthy, make money, find better work, and be better philanthropists.

We've gone beyond giving advice—which is bad enough when it isn't requested—to insisting that others following our lead. If I'm using the wrong silverware at a table, or have lettuce stuck in my teeth, I appreciate someone subtly pointing it out. But when you begin to actually cut my meat in a certain way, I become disconcerted.

Selective advice and solicited feedback are important for growth. Demands that I conform with someone else's paradigms, or I'm a fool or doomed, are not. It's fine to have an opinion, but not to assume it carries the force of law or the elevation of some higher moral ground.

Saints may occupy the high ground, but us sinners are running the world every day.



Join a very small group in my suite on the morning of April 25 to be provoked, hounded, and intimidated into success. We'll develop more aggressive approaches and marketing expressly for each person in the room that morning. $2,500: [email protected]


We are forming groups for the third year of this very powerful mastermind experience. Use the link above or write to me to be placed in a group consistent with your goals, or to form your own. Groups renew or are created in March for the ensuing 12 months. These include personal meetings and group meetings with Alan and unlimited access.


April 1, New York City, Palace Hotel
June 3, LA, Airport Hilton Hotel

There are critical thinking skills which can be used instantly with impressive influence to solve problems, make decisions, innovate, negotiate, and so forth. This session will explain them in both detail and rapid fire use, and make you adept at utilizing them.


March 31 in New York,
June 2 in LA

Learn improve in the morning, how to apply in the buyer's office and stay in the moment in the afternoon. Unique.


May 5-9, Newport, RI, Ocean Cliff Hotel

I keep moving out and they keep pulling me back! I've had requests and people throwing money, so I'll do another at a time of year when it's often possible to have drinks on the beach. Join me for the longest continuing major event I conduct, now in its ninth year.


April 16, New York City area

Bring with you your toughest hurdles and obstacles and we'll deal with them then and there, whether a writing assignment, the creation of products, Internet concerns, financial growth goals, constant interruptions, inability to move projects along, "overwhelm," poor time use�and so on.

Can we do this in just a single day together? Of course we can, and you'll never be the same. Sign up now if you want to change your habits and life for the better.


Four Seasons, Palm Beach
Oct. 22-24
SOLD OUT, wait list only. Dan Pink thrilled everyone this year, and 18 of those participants immediately signed up again! The internationally famed political analyst James Carville is my special guest. The fee is $10,500.

Presented by Linda Popky,
Licensed by Alan Weiss

April 8, Mountain View, CA

This one-day workshop is designed to help you create and master the marketing activities that will help you take your business to the next level by bringing clients and prospects to you, rather than you having to chase business on an ongoing basis.

This workshop combines material from Million Dollar Consultant Alan Weiss, with that of award-winning marketing expert Linda Popky.


Personal Power

London, April 23
Bali, July 10

This workshop will explore and build "presence" and charisma. We'll create and practice the traits that work for you to:

  • Command a discussion
  • Influence a meeting
  • Turn objection into advantage
  • Be instantly accepted and heeded
  • Enable others to be successful by being with you
  • Set the standard for others
  • Build personal and/or professional communities

We'll use actual examples and then create scenarios where participants will role-play with feedback from peers in a "fishbowl" environment.

In one day, we will increase your personal power. What's that worth to you?

Fee: $1,495 until February 1. $1,795 thereafter.
Growth Cycle discounts, Alan and Bentley Cards apply.

Note that Bali setting will be in a casual "retreat" atmosphere.
10% additional discount on Bali sessions until February 1!

The Pivot Point

London, April 24
Bali, July 11

The pivot point is that point at which you dig your foot into the conversational turf and change direction. You "run to daylight" in the immortal coach Vince Lombardi's words.

Great athletes turn quickly toward opportunity. People do the same in successful careers and conversations. This is how to escape wandering and meandering discussions and "run to daylight." Your daylight, of course, is a proposal and a project.

In this half-day session, we'll:

  • Practice the language and techniques to suddenly shift a discussion
  • Identify and master how to use others' language to change course
  • Accelerate the speed of progress suddenly
  • Practice standard and customized pivots

We'll use extensive role-play which participants are encouraged to record for personal reinforcement.

Bonus Option
In the afternoon, we'll practice in an informal discussion group for anyone who chooses to perfect these skills still more. We will challenge each other with instant feedback on progress. This will be a strenuous workout.

Fee: $750 for the morning until February 1. $1,000 thereafter.
Bonus afternoon: $495 until February 1. $$750 thereafter.
You must attend the morning to attend the afternoon.

Note that Bali setting will be in a casual "retreat" atmosphere.
10% additional discount on Bali sessions until February 1!


This is a free newsletter which is my fastest growing, with monthly, brief insights about consulting and expressing expertise. NEW: For those of you who would like more of an experiential approach and to accelerate learning and results, I'm offering a Professional Subscription. For just $50 I'll provide in addition:

  1. A quarterly teleconference expressly for Professional Subscription members, which will include Q&A and a free download within 48 hours.
  2. A quarterly video on implementation and methodologies. This will also be a free download.

The first two alone are worth between $200 and $400, and you'll receive 8 learning experiences which you can retain and replay whenever need. This will be all new material. The deadline is January 31. That's $6.25 per video and audio!


Build your energy, renew your focus, create greater growth by taking an ongoing, weekly break, guided by these five-minute videos. A breath of fresh air in a busy life.


An hour's guide to personal and professional success with free downloads.


Do you have a small niche audience, or a book commercial publishers don't understand, or a need to launch a book quickly? I've self-published, have a crack team, and we can get books into print that are highly impressive, hard copy and/or electronic. We can even create special web pages and video promotion.


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.


now available for 2014

As of 2014 there will be a Diamond Alan Card. (Colleen Francis calls this "all in," which is a poker term, and Colleen gambles on cards. My biggest gamble is wolfing down shellfish at dives on the Jersey Shore.) The card will entitle the bearer to partake of my offerings below (I've indicated as much as I can about next year and whether fees will increase or be stable).

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.

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I sat in my new Corvette, with a 7-speed manual transmission, at my Bentley dealer for the very first time. (They had arranged the purchase.) I was impressed at my ability to move through the gears, practicing, until I heard the service manager yelling through the closed window, "You're rolling!"

I had depressed the clutch, the brake was off, and the natural tilt of the service bay exit was taking me slowly but inexorably toward a 1986 Rolls parked ten feet in front of me. We averted calamity, but the staff was clearly wondering what they had done.

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.

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You can dry up energy suckers by not providing them with your time and energy.—Alan Weiss

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