Gambling, essentially, is taking a risky action in pursuit of a desired result. Military leaders have often done this with lasting fame and salutary results, but also with horrific loss and eternal infamy. D-Day was a gamble that paid off. Invading Russia was a disaster for both Napoleon and Hitler.


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 265, September 2021)

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Balancing Act® is in four sections this month:

  1. Lessons
  2. Musings
  3. The Human Condition: Gambling
  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



  • Always allow the German Shepherd to take the stairs first. It’s not an “alpha” thing, he’s merely looking out for you, sort of like the Secret Service. But if you dispute the stairs, you’re going to need the EMTs.
  • Before you complain that the TV remote is missing once again, make sure you’re not sitting on it.
  • If you keep asking everyone, “How are you?” understand that one person in ten will actually tell you, which may ruin the rest of your day.
  • Add at least 50% to both the costs and the time frames that local contractors provide you and you’ll lead a less stressful life.
  • Screaming “Agent! Agent!” at the recorded help center voice asking you for your account number does about the same thing as expecting the elevator to arrive faster when you keep punching the button.
  • If you order meat well done you might as well have the fish because that’s no way to eat meat.
  • Before searching the console and glove box for your sun glasses in the car, check to see if they’re on your face.
  • Complaining about airline food or seating is similar to complaining about music in the hair salon or the coffee at your car dealer. Are you confused about the primary reason you’re there?
  • If you insist on putting “her/she” or some made-up pronouns after your name as if I’m supposed to remember that whenever I speak of you, then I’m putting “His Grace/The Prince” after mine and you can address me like that.
  • Telling me there’s a Loch Ness Monster is like telling me about the six iron you hit on the fifth hole. I don’t care what you think about it and I’m prompted to hit you with a driver.
  • If someone tells you a secret, bet dollars to donuts that you’re not the only two who know.
  • Be careful about instructions. We’re told “don’t eat yellow snow,” but that’s exactly what a lemon snow cone is at the beach.
  • When a politician of any party says, “What the American people need is….” run home, lock up your valuables, bolt the door, and start firing from the upstairs windows.

The last statistics I saw showed the Olympic TV viewership down by more than 40% and at an historic low. I would categorize that as “huge” and I wonder if the network met the advertising minimum number promised in the contracts.

These Olympics should never have occurred. The combination of greed by the Japanese government and Olympic Committee, the lust for TV revenues, and the quest for medals overcame intelligent health policy and personal safety. Incidents of Covid readily arose, sidelining top athletes.

Of course, over 100 of the 600-contingent from the US refused to be vaccinated, and some flouted the mask rule whenever possible. “Emotional problems” struck several athletes, including Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka. The world’s best tennis player, Novak Djokovic, didn’t even reach the medal round and had a melt-down on the court. It’s small wonder, with no crowds, no family, and very little support present.

Brisbane is now celebrating having secured the 2032 Olympics, which is somewhat like celebrating being third in line at the dentist. Every modern Olympics, with the exception of Los Angeles run by a businessman, have run up huge, decades-long debt for the host city. A Brisbanian told me that the Olympics were important for the city because so much infrastructure needed improvement.

If that’s the case, you shouldn’t need an Olympics to fix it.

Ideally, the Olympics should be held every year in Athens or vicinity with international financing for permanent facilities. There would be a single medal, for winning, and no podium appearances with national anthems. This would also end the tedious arguing about “demonstrations” on the podium, which are more about personal attention than movements, in my view.

The worst aspect of all, perhaps, was NBC’s refusal to do any investigative journalism about conditions, athletes’ difficulties, or the dismal viewership. The network, in the best traditions of modern, self-indulgent journalism, pretended that nothing was really wrong and the thrill of victory and agony of defeat were all that mattered. Two former Japanese Olympic executives were dismissed for sexual harassment, and a third for telling jokes about the Holocaust.

These Olympics were an embarrassment. I feel like standing on a podium and protesting.

The Human Condition


Gambling, essentially, is taking a risky action in pursuit of a desired result. Military leaders have often done this with lasting fame and salutary results, but also with horrific loss and eternal infamy. D-Day was a gamble that paid off. Invading Russia was a disaster for both Napoleon and Hitler.

Some people gamble that a quick lane change in heavy traffic will get them a faster trip while (hopefully) avoiding an accident. Others stand up to the boss, hoping to stop unreasonable critique and long hours. Some sue to try to gain redress. Still others actually think they can win in the long run at the casino or the track.

Gambling runs from “prudent risk” to outright lunacy. The “Flying Wallendas,” the famous high-wire act originating in the 1940s, have descendants still performing today. As far as I can tell, a dozen of them have died while performing. Commentators talk of a golfer taking a “risky” shot, but that usually means instead of a million dollars in prize money the player will collect only a half-million if the shot fails.

The key consideration about prudent risk is what I call risk/reward and what Talib, in Antifragile, calls upside/downside. What we both mean is this: What’s the possible advantage or victory that can be gained vs. the possible disadvantage or defeat? Most people see too much downside and don’t move at all. This is my overwhelming experience in coaching both executives and entrepreneurs.

I’m asked questions such as: “Should I call back and ask to clarify the outputs of the project?” My response is that it can serve to make the proposal more valuable if a the buyer further clarifies things, and there’s no harm done (no “downside”) if the buyer refuses. Why even stop to think about it?

Beyond prudent risk we’re just tossing the dice. Long-term, you never come out on top in a casino, and most people don’t even win short-term. If you keep carelessly changing traffic lanes you’re going to be in an accident or become the object of someone’s road rage. If you walk the high wire enough times, you may eventually fall from it.

You hear about people who beat 10,000:1 odds. But you rarely hear about the 9,999 who failed.

Only Read This if You Know Me Well

I entered the restaurant’s rest room and found that the automated lights weren’t working. So, I used the flashlight on my iPhone to use the facilities. After washing my hands with the phone leaning against the wall, I picked it up to find the door handle and in so doing, found the manual light switch on the wall near the door.

Development Opportunities
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?

How to Maximize Value to Maximize Fees

How to Maximize Value to Maximize Fees

Fees are a function of the value perceived by the buyer. The higher the monetized value, the more the fee is justified as a return on the investment.

Spend 90 minutes with me on Zoom and learn the following, which you can then apply immediately. In fact, perhaps you should stop writing proposals until you hear this to prevent yourself from continually undercharging (and over-delivering):

  • Redirect all price and fee questions to returns on investment.
  • Create objectives which are readily monetized.
  • Become proficient in the 12 value questions.
  • Begin with a higher value, higher fee “option 1.”
  • Prepare the buyer for the fee expectations prior to the proposal.
  • Incorporate non-tangible outcomes as part of the ROI.

Now, what’s the ROI for you on a $500 investment? Maybe 1,000:1? You haven’t budgeted for this, right? So use a credit card or take the money from under the mattress or suspend your kids’ allowance for a month.

The Consulting Bible II

The Consulting Bible II

Publisher John Wiley has told me this is one of the “highest momentum second editions in their experience.” Spend an interactive Livestream session with me as I walk you through, visually, my comprehensive approach to building and accelerating a dynamic consulting practice. You can ask questions in “real-time” or before or after.

By Invitation Only

By Invitation Only

This is my “invitation” to you to be considered for my annual retreat with just a dozen colleagues. We discuss business challenges, new IP, thought leadership, financial planning, and a great deal more. We’ll be at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach September 21-23. The fee is $16,000 and includes meals and lodging. Partners are welcome and the socializing is also fantastic.

Write me: [email protected]. One seat remains.

Contact Alan
Getting Started and Re-energizing Your Practice—In Atlanta

Getting Started and Re-energizing Your Practice—In Atlanta

Boston and LA sold out and now I’m leading this full-day event in Atlanta, only $450 and I’m buying lunch! Extensive interaction while I cover fees, proposals, the three kinds of immediate sale, the five types of short-term business, how to be an instant peer of the buyer, creating your own unique “vault” and much more!

“You exceeded my expectations, and you over-delivered! I kept waiting for an ‘upsell’ but it neve came.” —Brian Rollo.

Register here while there is room. A full day with me is usually $20,000. If you don’t mind a few more people in the room, this is a great deal!!


Alan Weiss’s Balancing Act® Newsletter is a registered trademark of Alan Weiss and Summit Consulting Group, Inc.
© Alan Weiss 2021

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