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Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 165, May 2013 )

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  • Stop assuming every adverse consequence is directed at you, personally. Usually, you're just an accidental and arbitrary recipient.

  • Take action, don't be a martyr. Last night, a couple obviously upset with conversation at the next table asked to be reseated and wound up next to us. (I told them we might not be any better!)

  • Just because someone is impassioned doesn't mean they're correct. Oscar Wilde noted that, "Just because a man died for it, doesn't mean it's true." 
    I don't believe anyone reading a Tele-Promp-Ter to deliver the news is any smarter than you or I, nor is the person who wrote the copy. Your ears and eyes are pathways to your brain.

  • Apparently, dogs are at their happiest when doing absolutely nothing (according to animal psychologists). Don't feel guilty if you decide to spend a couple of hours doing just that.

  • Every day the horizon gets closer and there is less room to maneuver your boat. It doesn't do much good just sitting at the dock.

  • Pay your bills twice a month. You'll never be late and you won't be overburdened. Pay local people first, because they need the cash and someday you may need priority work from them.

  • If you want to create good will, give people referral business.

  • If you're waiting to be thanked for your donation, your charity is suspect.

  • If you don't want to argue with guests about the bill, give the captain your credit card before you sit down and tell him or her to add a 20 percent gratuity and simply bring you the card and receipt after dinner.

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I'm back at Castle Hill Inn in Newport conducting another Million Dollar Consulting® College. We have a full program with people from four countries.

As I pull up, everyone greets me by name, from the valets, who have pylons around a specific parking spot, to the front desk people who have my keys waiting for me. The general manager has placed a note with an 18-year Scapa single malt in my room. I give this place a great deal of business in its "off" season.

But it doesn't take that much to make us feel comfortable and appreciated. I've been thinking about businesses which I patronize regardless of comparative prices. Here are some common traits:

  • People greet you by name.
  • Everyone smiles.
  • A simple request is always honored (half a pasta course as an appetizer) without someone reciting "rules" to you.
  • You're offered the best seating, positioning, or view.
  • Service is prompt. At the local CVS, if there are more than three people in a line, they call for another cashier immediately.
  • It's easy to leave a message and there aren't complex menus and demands to use a keypad to find a name.
  • People are responsive and return calls promptly.
  • Suggestions are made to make your experience still better.
  • Upgrades are offered when available.
  • Discounts are offered to good customers.

Whether a retail outlet, hotel, printer, restaurant, airline, or theater, these small acts can generate large returns. (My usher at the theater last night acted as if she had never before seen either a ticket or a seat. It's a poor start to the evening.)

What are we doing to make people whom we want to attract more comfortable to be with us? I know one thing: We have to put ourselves in their shoes, not expect them to be in ours.

Speaking of which, I hope the price of Balancing Act is reasonable!

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The human condition: Helping others

The tragedy at the Boston Marathon demonstrated clearly our capacity and willingness to help others without spending time debating the need. Strangers, bystanders, passers-by, employees of businesses all rushed to assist people who needed aid, sometimes savings lives in those acts.

People were compliant with authorities' requests to stay at home, despite inconvenience and lack of information. There was no whining, no law suits, no demands for exceptions.

Enough people have written about the circumstances and content of what transpired. I want to talk about the process. We are all capable of such charitable and selfless acts every day, but we often deny or elide them in our behavior as we would omit a "silent" part of speech. The contractions in our speech become contractions in our behavior, and sometimes we're the poorer for it.

How often are we providing a compliment for someone doing a good job and not expecting the praise? How difficult is it to say "thank you" to a vender or delivery person? I'm constantly amazed at people who request of me a free sample or a correction in an address without so much as a "please" or "thank you."

I've seen 40 drivers pass a car in the opposite direction waiting to turn left against their line of traffic, without one of them allowing the maneuver. What kind of blow to one's ego is it to wait three seconds to allow someone to turn? Ironically, I find that people attending mass at my church, to whom I may be serving Communion or vice versa, don't allow me to make that kind of turn into the parking lot! Their Christian charity apparently begins at the door!

Robespierre observed once that "No man can climb outside the limitations of his own character." It seems to me that our society has to be composed of small acts of kindness every day, whether a door held open, some good-intentioned advice, a gratuity, or time invested in a good cause. We simply become better people by helping others.

It shouldn't require a catastrophe to demonstrate character.




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. I'm offering a 30% discount (it's only a couple of dollars per week) prior to May 15. Sign up and see a sample:


May 2, Seattle, WA

NOTE: Sold out. But you can order the live streaming and be able to ask questions and participate!

These sessions have been sold-out in Boston and LA. Spend an entire day with Alan, in a session that normally costs at least $1,000, for a tiny entry fee, his way of paying back. Learn the basics (and the tricks) of marketing, value, fee setting, implementation, lowering labor intensity, and so on. This is the only such session scheduled in 2013.


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.


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I enjoy taking the dogs to Dunkin Donuts, getting coffee for Maria and me and munchkins for them. They know the drill and crowd me when the server comes to the drive-through window with the goods. I hate it when I'm in line behind a dawdler, who has to count change and perfectly arrange the cups in the cup holders, and I noticed a line was gathering behind me. So, I wanted to get out of the way.

However, I couldn't move the truck. I placed it in gear twice, and it would not move. People were staring from inside and out. I'm not crazy about the BMW shift mechanism, but I was sure I had moved it to "drive."

That's when I looked at the dashboard. A light was on. Buddy Beagle was standing on the emergency brake button while he polished off his munchkin.

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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.

If you want to make things simple, always tell the truth. Lies require attention and work to perpetuate them. Worse, we often tell them so often that we wind up believing them. —Alan Weiss

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