Printer Friendly Format

Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 170, October 2013 )

Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here:
Every day I provide 2-3 brief, pithy pieces of advice for growth. Join the thousands who read these �quick hits� every morning.

And find me on Facebook:

Free consulting newsletter: The Million Dollar Consulting� Mindset:
Monthly, fast advice on consulting techniques with case studies.

Return to Top

  • Let go. Even if you're right and the other person is wrong, let go of minor issues. Otherwise, you just look petty, insisting on trivial matters.

  • Speak with enthusiasm. Use inflection, intonation, and volume. Pretend you're a sports announcer when something exciting occurs.

  • Never lend anything that would be devastating not to get back.

  • If the water is cold, jump in. You won't be cold any longer and you'll cease looking silly being afraid of a liquid.

  • If you want to criticize something, also suggest a plan to improve it.

  • Folks, it's concierge with a ZH ending, not AY. The latter is an affected and incorrect pronunciation of the French. When the hotel staff can't pronounce it correctly, I'm not about to take their advice on restaurants.

  • There's nothing wrong with a big ego so long as it's an internal drive and not an external horn.

  • Break out of "doom loops." Stop doing things that lead to bad outcomes that force more bad choices. Let things drop or be late or others to become angry. Just take a breather and plan a better approach for yourself.

  • Don't spend $1,000 to save $100.

  • Dentists can fix a smile, surgeons can repair a heart. But you alone can deal with your own hurt feelings.

Return to Top

My wife and I are dining at Cherrywoods, a barbeque restaurant on the grounds of The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The restaurant overlooks one of the three immaculate golf courses, this one featuring ponds and semi-swamps, festooned with different kinds of diners—egrets.

A few fee away from the sign, "Danger: Alligators!" sit two alligators, as if present to validate management's concern. Or, they might have brought the sign with them, like the utility guys who place their own "Men Working" signs. They are basking in the last remnants of the dying sun, unmoving, uncaring. The sun dips below the horizon and, as if hearing an alarm clock, the two reptiles awake and run into the water with surprising and terrifying speed.

My wife and I request that we be reseated inside, not because the gators are gone but because a legion of small bugs has arrived, intent on capturing the terrace. The hostess kindly moves us and we're happy with our ribs and pulled pork.

I'm thinking, though, as I try to avoid a shower in barbeque sauce, that two six-foot alligators weren't at all a threat or inconvenience, but nearly invisible insects were a major problem, causing us to change our own behavior and relocate. The irony is hard to avoid.

As in life, it's often the small pests that afflict us and cause detours or even crashes. We're accustomed to the large, lumbering issues: the major project, the tyrannical boss, the broken water heater, or the major exam. We can prepare for these and even prevent their recurrence.

But the tiny, almost unnoticeable can derail us: the annoying neighbor who insists on telling the same story every day, the air conditioner that drips like an instrument of water torture, the computer reminders that pop up like acne, and the button that pops at the exact wrong moment on the exact right outfit.

Sometimes we have to admit defeat and move inside, or simply grin and bear it. I refuse to leave a beautiful beach because of some sand flies, at the same time resigned to the fact that I can't get rid of them. I'll endure loud noise in restaurants where the food is sensational. And I'll tolerate boring people at charitable events where we at least have the same philanthropic beliefs.

Of course, I have found that a good cigar will drive away almost all bugs and most people, and when you accompany it with a fine brandy, minor annoyances simply disappear.

Return to Top

The human condition: Affiliations

I think it uproariously funny that many people on Facebook are demanding more privacy. For goodness sake, if you join a vanity publishing platform, what do you expect?

It appears to me that social media platforms (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter) are not proliferating any longer, and have become simply riots of opinion. There are those filled with platitudes (You can be your own best friend if you open your own door), political angst (It's a sad day for our country when the majority feels differently than I do), ultimate neediness (Please like me, this, or that), and desperate quest for validation (Here is my 9.76 rating on a scale of 10 while introducing the speaker at the Rotary meeting).

We all have affiliation needs, but they vary tremendously. Some people aren't suited to be solo practitioners because they crave being around others all day. They want to be team members or team leaders. Others can work with people when necessary, but don't require it (that's me). Still others would rather be alone unless there's a fire and a firefighter reaches them with a ladder in the upper floors.

Live and let live, I'd say. But I'll make one observation (or why else am I writing this): You must be comfortable relying on yourself. There are times in life when only you can make a certain decision, can create a certain gesture, can solve a particular problem. Relying on others, who may have starkly varying objectives, doesn't improve the situation. I don't want to be on an airplane flown by a committee of passengers.

The finest leaders I've seen can work well with people but also endure criticism and unhappiness when they feel they must act alone and do what's right, even though it may not be popular. Their affiliation needs are subordinate to their purpose.

I'd value your respect and, perhaps, even your friendship, but I don't need your approval.



Hard copy with audio files optional (containing a great deal of additional material). We expect actual printing on August 15, will ship thereafter. Great reference work, rich in techniques and approaches, provocative philosophy. A great gift, the book should be on every consultant's shelf.


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.


Five minutes every week no matter where I am in the world, providing insights into opportunities around us for our lives, relationships, and professions. All back issues provided. An excellent companion to Alan's Common Sense Consulting® Weekly Video. Sign up and see a sample:


For $5 a week receive a weekly five-minute video to increase your marketing and delivery effectiveness and efficiency. For a few extra bucks, we'll send you all 50 episodes of Season One if you missed them. We begin Sept. 3.


A very rare, extended (90 minutes) webinar with Alan on how to immediately create excitement and interest in a meeting, speech, phone call, or chance encounter. "Walk in the door" and be fascinating. The session is followed by video, audio, and text reinforcement aids.


October 10, New York City, 9-4

My analysis is that the "conversion rate" among consultants is far too low. That is, when you are successful finding and meeting the true, economic buyer, the potential business slips away like water in a sieve. In Lasting Impressions, we will use extensive role plays (every single person who volunteers and most who don't) and examples of the language, behavior, demeanor, and nuances that will create lasting, positive, impressions.


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.



October 21-25, 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.


CONSULTING TRIPLE PLAY: How to Acquire Clients, Value Based Fees, How toWrite a Proposal

October 15, 2013, San Francisco Bay Area

Back by popular demand. Three of Alan's most popular topics covered in one jam-packed day by marketing expert Linda Popky, who has mastered and applied Alan's approaches for smart professional services business growth. Extensive interaction and wonderful learning from someone who can share her immediate experiences.


The card will be $55,000 and will entitle the cardholder to $75,000 of personally selected participation as enumerated below. (Installments can be arranged but will cost an additional $5,000.) So, I'm offering a nearly 30% discount to be used on offerings that are individualized. (If someone were to exceed the $75,000, I'd offer a 10% discount on the overage.)

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.

Return to Top

I complain to designer that new ceiling fan in bedroom has stopped working within weeks of redesign of room. I climb up to push buttons, pull chain, I keep trying combinations on remote. Nothing works.

Designer calls electrician.

Electrician enters room, pushes switch on wall near door, fan starts to rotate.

Electrician leaves.

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.

Video Rant

See Writing on the Wall, featuring Koufax the Wonder Dog.

Visit my blog

Two new podcasts every week. Special cigar smoking room.

Six Figures to Seven for 2014

I've had a lot of requests to conduct another 627 experience, so let's see who's serious. I will take 12 people in any one group.�

There will be three meetings, one day each, over six months. I strongly suggest, from past experience, that the group meet the next day for at least a few hours to review and plan from the prior day. At least one meeting will be at my home. All meetings are preceded by dinner for whoever gets in town by that hour.�

There will be one call with me per month of 60 minutes. The group will be expected to conduct other calls on its own, arrange for accountability partners, and so forth. I'm accessible to the group during the six months. 627 is a metaphor for growth. We'll talk about and practice, specifically, products, services, and experiences to attract new buyers and higher fees. The program is designed for those making $250,000 or more now. I reserve the right to suggest you're not ready.�

All dates will be fixed when the group is assembled, so that we can have some consensus around times. There is no need to attend every phone call and meeting to get your results.�

The fee is $7,500. We will begin in either November or December with at least our phone calls, perhaps a meeting. Returnees from the prior group have a discounted fee of $6,000. Growth Cycle discounts apply (though I feel it may be redundant, Growth Cycle members have attended this in the past). Alan and Bentley Card credits may be used. You must pay in full when you commit. I will return funds if we don't go forward. I will run a second group if we have more than 12 people. Minimum group size is 9.�

To commit: Contact me by email. Name the five Marx Brothers. I will then give you payment instructions.

Shameless Promotion

East Greenwich, RI
Scheduled on demand

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 we're indeed tired of bigoted, unintelligent opinions, we need to stop talking about them and prolonging their lives.—Alan Weiss

E-mail [email protected]
P.O. Box 1009 � East Greenwich, RI 02818-0964 � Telephone: (401) 884-2778 � Fax: (401) 884-5068

All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 Summit Consulting Group
ISSN 1934-3116