Well before I reached my present age of wisdom, I considered it critical to keep “mentally fit.” I began my regular visits to the gym at age 50, and realized how much better I felt when I was in shape


Balancing Act®: The Newsletter

(No. 277, September 2022)

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

  1. Messages to be left
  2. The Human Condition: Mental Gym
  3. Musings
  4. ORTIYKMWOYBNT-O Department

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Some of my favorites

Messages to be left with existing buyers who suddenly “go dark,” in increasing order of severity:

  • I know you’re very busy, this will take only a few minutes.
  • You may have missed or inadvertently erased my last message, so pardon me for repeating it here.
  • If there’s some family or personal issue preventing your response, can you have your assistant inform me?
  • Can it be that your priorities have changed since you and I thought this was top priority and agreed to work together on resolving it?
  • I’m thinking you may not appreciate the seriousness of the need for a decision from you immediately.
  • The project is in jeopardy of being irretrievably unsuccessful if you do not participate immediately.
  • The project is now beyond my power to further, and my time here is limited by the completion date agreed upon in the proposal. Your fees to me will not be refunded and I will depart in two weeks.
  • So as to depart on an ethical basis, I’m informing your superior about the failure of this project, my departure, and your consistent refusal to even respond to email and phone calls.
  • Listen scuzzball, do you know whom you’re screwing with? I am visiting the curse of Ming the Merciless on you, and the locusts will be descending on your house.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself

Mental Gym

Well before I reached my present age of wisdom, I considered it critical to keep “mentally fit.” I began my regular visits to the gym at age 50, and realized how much better I felt when I was in shape and I had to sherpa luggage through airports or move furniture at home.

I wanted to ensure my mental capacity remained on “top of its game” as well, because it’s easy for me to fall into “conscious competency” and not really pay attention to what I’m doing. (Hence, I can’t easily make a tie knot today because I used to do it without thinking but I may wear a tie only once a year these days.)

I’m not accusing any of you of being in your dotage, but here are the techniques I’ve adhered to in creating my own mental gym (without the dreadful rap music in my regular gym that’s worse torture than the planks):

  • Math in my head: I try to do everything mentally, from calculating a tip to adding up my revenues for the day or calculating percentages. When we’re driving somewhere I can easily calculate arrival times by using distance and driving speed and not relying on the navigation system or Waze.
  • Puzzles: I usually do an acrostic (a harder form of crossword) before I go to bed, with the intent of finishing it either in one night or two. Wordle has been fabulous, a new piece of equipment in my gym. I have never failed to solve the five-letter by the sixth guess. There are also puzzles that challenge you to create as many words as you can from five or six random letters.
  • I remember effective stories and quotes using “triggers” that appear in others’ conversations. This helps me to be a highly effective coach, as well as speaker. If someone talks about TSA or pre-check, I immediately recall my immigration experience in Canada.
  • I am not afraid to extemporize. I don’t stick to scripts or outlines. Occasionally, while speaking, I’ll find myself extreme stage left and say to the audience, “Talk among yourselves, I have to walk back to the lectern and my notes to see where I am.”
  • Whenever I encounter a word I don’t know (which is now uncommon) I make a note of it, look it up when I can, and then begin to use it immediately. If you can do this for a few days without being obnoxious (“We need to instantiate your issue”) that word is permanently rooted in your vocabulary.
  • I take tests, especially about logic and reasoning. I was tested at Johnson O’Connor in New York, where I learned I had supremely good inductive and deductive problem solving skills, and a very strong vocabulary, but I was terrible at special recognition and musical ability. I found the Mensa test simple (supposedly top 2% of IQ) but the ISPE (International Society for Philosophic Enquiry, top one tenth of 1% of IQ) very difficult (I passed).
    You get the idea. I don’t want to huff and puff through airports or through client problems. And with my mental gym, as opposed to my physical gym, there’s no chance I’m going to eventually turn on the instructor and kill him the next time he says, “WE will now do 15 lateral raises….”
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

The shoreline in ultra-luxe Nantucket is being battered and beaches in front of multi-million dollar homes are being seriously eroded. Some houses are being moved back from the brink at seven figures in costs. Some have collapsed. Efforts to pipe in sand from elsewhere have been rebuffed.

Daily we hear of wildfires destroying homes, flooding submerging homes, mudslides overwhelming homes. People use their insurance if they have any and it applies (earthquake insurance isn’t an easy purchase in California), rebuild if they can, and try to start over.

All of this, in the face of a clearly changing climate, is contingent action. It’s like praising the sprinkler system even though the fire was dreadful, or being happy the lifejackets kept you afloat as the boat sank. The sprinklers and lifejackets saved lives, but wouldn’t it be more effective to prevent the harm of the fire or the boat sinking?

We need to stop building homes and communities on the peripheries of (or inside) forests and along seacoasts, as examples. Too many people have done this, seen their homes destroyed, rebuilt using insurance money, and then experienced that destruction a second (or third) time. “We’re going to rebuild!” is a nice sign of determination and resilience, but if it’s in the same spot it’s also a sign of intransigence and selfishness. Police, fire, and emergency services lose people every year trying to save others who shouldn’t be where they are.

We need flood-resistant housing, in any case. (There are such things.) We need earthquake-resistant and fire-resistant housing. (There are such things.) I had a client who must remain confidential who is working on self-sustaining homes that recycle everything and actually contribute excess power to the existing grid, making a profit in the process. (There will be such things.)

It’s preventive action that we need to focus on, to start boasting about anticipating and saving, not rebuilding and reconstructing.

Nantucket will eventually look very different. After all, it’s an island in a four-season area of the Atlantic Ocean. It was once a whaling center, from whence its wealth originated, over two centuries ago. But that has changed.

All things do.

I'm an Old Cowhand...

There was a great Polynesian restaurant in New Jersey called Chan’s Waikiki. It was a 45-minute drive, and they didn’t take reservations, but the food was sensational. So were the Mai Tais.

One day we drove out, left our car with the valet, and sat at the bar, having taken a ticket to be called when a table was ready. Although the wait was often an hour, it was 90 minutes this time, and we had heard some numbers continually called with no response—people who were tired of waiting and left.

Finally, I went over to the host who called our number, only to see another couple present the same number ahead of us. I made a huge scene about the inefficiency of the system, until the host said, “Sir, this is your parking ticket for the valet. We called your table number 40 minutes ago and you didn’t come up.”

Out of pure mercy, he seated us next.

Development Opportunities
Coaching Confidential

Coaching Confidential

Subscribe to my new monthly newsletter, Alan Weiss’s Coaching Confidential™ beginning in September. The charter subscription is only $100 annually. Every issue will have a case study, a humorous or bizarre coaching adventure, and contemporary coaching methodology. You can sign up here:

Maximizing Revenues in Uncertain Economic Times

Maximizing Revenues in Uncertain Economic Times

You can attend in person in Times Square’s W Hotel or obtain the audio recording of the day. Overcome buyers’ claims of “bad timing” and “no budget.” Turn conversations about “lacking staff” and “supply chain issues” into positive initiatives. Create a healthy mix of personal and remote intervention. Turn “wait and see” attitudes into “act and see.” Create intellectual property and models exactly appropriate for these times. Use “disruption and volatility” as offensive weapons. Adapt a new definition of brand-building to your advantage. Engage in and observe role plays and exercises of application.

Return to Australia

Return to Australia

I’ll be making my 19th trip in October, this time to Brisbane, to present a week of unique offerings from passive income and global “reach” to a new strategy approach. Join me and your peers for my latest value to grow your business and decrease your labor facing our “new realities.” There is limited seating capacity.

Return to London

Return to London

I’ll be hosting a two-day, high-level discussion of likely business futures globally, financial considerations, global passive income, the new realities of sales, new approaches to strategy, and so forth. There would be a limit of eight people. I’ll also conduct a full-day experience for a larger group, probably a limit of 30, for an entire day which will address new approaches to value based fees, the five essential short-term revenue generators, role playing difficult conversations, the advanced Accelerant Curve, and scaling the practice.

November 29: General Session, 9 to 4.
November 30 and December 1: Intimate Session, 9-4 both days.

Million Dollar Consulting® College

Million Dollar Consulting® College

I’ve been asked to run this again, and I miss it, so I’m going to do it on December 13-15 (2.5 days) in Castle Hill, Newport, RI, my usual stomping grounds. The beach houses in the winter are fantastic. There’s a great holiday atmosphere that time of year. I’ll be focusing on what I’ve seen as the critical areas for success: brand-building, accelerating referrals, provocative IP, low labor revenue focus, the post-pandemic lasting realities, and so forth.

The fee is $15,000, which includes lodging, breakfast, lunch, breaks, and one dinner. If you catch me at the bar, it could include two dinners. I’m also going to take time to show how I create this and other workshops, step by step, live or remote. Past grads are welcome to attend for $5,000.

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 43 countries.

Beyond Thought Leadership

Beyond Thought Leadership

Six “stars” from my community from five countries will be interviewed by me in this live, 2.5 day experience. I’ll be introducing new IP, case studies, and role-plays. And the final interview will be with me. This is one-time only, it was very difficult to organize, and there’s no one else, anywhere, who can bring this talent together in one place at one time. Limited participation, in Miami in November, register now, this will not occur again.

Miami, November 8-10.


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