Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 208, December 2016)

Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here:
Every day I provide 3-5 brief, pithy pieces of advice for growth. Join the thousands who read these "quick hits" every morning. Over 7,500 followers! Why aren't you among them?

AND: Join me on Periscope: @BentleyGTCSpeed Weekly live broadcasts on self-esteem and self-worth.

And find me on Facebook:

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



• Spend less time worrying about upgrades and more time focused on business that will reward you with an excellent life not dependent on upgrades.

• No successful general ever had a strategy of trying not to lose. Every fortress is eventually overrun, circumvented, or starved out.

• Try reading a novel and nonfiction book concurrently, alternating reading. It’s diverse and refreshing.

• It seems as if the more media experts we have the less accuracy results.

• Every time I feel that airport security is a drag I remind myself of just how horrible those jobs are. I’m through in ten minutes, they’re through in eight hours.

• If you don’t respect your audience, your members, or your clients/customers, you should get out of that career.

• Assuming that anyone who disagrees with you is stupid is an ignorant position.

• If you want me to do you a favor, try to show me how it’s also in my best self-interest and I’ll act with more speed and commitment.

• “Listen to all the options because the choices have changed” is a lie to try to prevent you from hitting 0 right away to talk to a human being. My advice is to hit 0 right away.

• I’ve never had my credit card number stolen in an email, but I have at an airline counter and in a restaurant. Your liability is only $50 when you discover the fraud, and most companies will not charge you a thing.


Allow me to share my writing philosophy here in the hopes it might be helpful to some of you. Of course, it may be somewhat surprising, as well.

I don’t write for the readers in my free newsletters, I write for myself. I’m not trying to maximize subscriber numbers or plaudits. My belief is that intelligent people can read varying opinions and agree or disagree without going ballistic. I follow this philosophy here, in Million Dollar Consulting® Mindset, and in Alan’s Monday Morning Memo®.

Recently, I mentioned in the Monday Memo that it was stunning that with so much going against him (much of it his own making), Trump was nonetheless in a tight race (and look what happened after I wrote that). I made no political point nor did I take a side. Yet someone wrote to me and told me he was unsubscribing because I had “inserted a political opinion.” At another time, a woman threatened that if I wrote another column she didn’t disagree with, she’s stop subscribing.  

I remind you these are FREE newsletters! I was never threatened when a $100,000 client warned they might pull their business. I don’t scare easily. The  threat of not reading my free newsletter made my dogs laugh. I unsubscribed both protestors on the spot.

THEY are the arrogant ones, not I. I write to provoke, challenge, and make people think. I don’t care you if agree or disagree, and care even less that you let me know. Here’s F. Scott Fitzgerald: The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. I trust that you can open your mind to new or different ideas and decide for yourself whether they make sense and/or are right for you. I don’t expect you to accept proselytizing, attempts at conversion, or attacks on your principles. But I do expect you not to froth at the mouth if I suggest something contrary to your current thinking.

My feeling is that my best readers want to make sure that I don’t unsubscribe.


I am NOT making political endorsements or suggestions here, I am making observations. I thought President Obama’s comments about “peaceful transitions of power” were very impressive. I thought both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s remarks after the results were final were impressive.

I’m not impressed by celebrities who threaten to leave the country, because they never do. Their fame and wealth are here, and they’re not about to abandon them. I don’t agree with protestors who clog the streets and cause damage, but freedom of speech is important to uphold and respect. I have to admit I am troubled by 80 million registered voters who apparently chose not to vote, but that, too, is their right.

The human condition is not necessarily one of polarization. While tribes and cultures have been fighting for land and resources and power for millennia, they have also been able to come together for mutual benefit. I’m writing this piece from Kyoto, and I own three German-built cars. We can afford neither to hold grudges in endless enmity among nations nor among ourselves.

The right to disagree, debate, and demur is important, even vital. But the belief that you’re with us or against us, you’re friend or enemy, is absurd. Despite the fact we may agree on a hundred other issues, this one issue creates an impregnable divide? Like the starship Enterprise, the emotional  “shields” descend and prevent rational discourse and even logic from penetrating. You’re the “enemy,” so I have no intention of listening.

I have never believed that someone else is “damaged” just because they disagree with my position, nor do I begin firing from the upper stories because someone has approached with an idea I dislike. And I think it’s the height of arrogance to consider someone’s education or degrees. I know a lot of non-graduates who are brilliant, and a lot of degree-holders whom I wouldn’t trust to walk my dogs. I want to respect the person, not the résumé.

Maybe this election will tell us something about ourselves beyond the fact that polls are pretty worthless these days, and people are not so easily influenced by the media.

I was once invited to a dinner by a very rich man, famously affluent, and a dozen of us sat around his table in splendor. I asked him at one point how he acquired 40 acres on the water. “We received a grant after the war,” he told me.

“World War II?” I guessed.

“No, the Revolutionary War.”

When we drove home, my wife told me I looked odd. I told her it was because of a parting comment. Our host had taken me aside and said, “I like you. If you ever need anything, call me, because it’s us against them.”

“What’s bothering you about that?” she asked.

“Well, if we’re ‘us,’ who on earth is ‘them’?”


After surgery to correct a crooked ring finger, I was given therapy instructions on how to massage it and gain flexibility. I absently would do this four times a day while watching football or sitting on a plane or reading a book.

One day I realized I had much greater flexibility and no pain whatsoever, so I must have “broken through” some scar tissue or critical resistance. When I looked down to see if the swelling had subsided, I realized I had been working on the wrong finger. (It did have, however, excellent flexibility.)


You can receive a twice-monthly video on Maverick ideas, and/or a weekly, one-minute podcast, and/or a full day with me, and/or bonus downloads! We begin January 1, there are large discounts if you register now, and if you currently subscribe to How to Change the Life You Have Into the Life You Want, you get a further discount! Don't wait, go here:


December 13-16, 2016

My longest sustained offering, enormously popular after more than a decade. Join me and a small group for an intense four days to dramatically build your business, whether beginner or veteran, at a fabulous property.

Retreat: Developing Creativity, IP, and Brands  

December 7-8, 2016, Four Seasons, Palm Beach

Learn how to codify your current consulting, coaching, and other methodologies so you can create "retail" sales to others who purchase or license your program. Ideal passive income, small group.

The Mystery Workshop  

February 14, 2017

No, I'm not telling you what it's about, but it will be new, novel, and highly productive. Take advantage of $400 off the regular fee if you act before August. We already have 20 people willing to take the chance!

2017 Million Dollar Consulting® Convention  

April 26-28, 2017, Chicago, Embassy Suites Downtown

After smash hits in Atlanta and Los Angeles, our third annual event will be in Chicago. We'll have five general sessions, six concurrent sessions, panel discussions, networking reception, and much more. 

Alan's Nantucket  

June and September, 2017

Three days of informal discussions on life, relationships, careers, and the near future. Take the fast ferry, auto ferry, or plane to Nantucket. Opening reception on June 5, September 11. All meals are included. We officially end with lunch on June 8 or September 14, but anyone who wants to stay is invited to discussions, events, and dinner that evening. Lodging is included.

Thought Leadership 2017  

October 4-6, 2017, Four Seasons, Palm Beach

We sell-out every year and for our next one I've secured Harvard's Dan Gilbert, the expert on happiness, as my special guest for a discussion as well as dinner. His TED talk has been viewed by over 15 million people thus far. Three seats remain.

Endorsed Programming  


I offer fabulous resources through global experts in areas such as positioning, wealth building, fitness, social media excellence, coaching, and other areas, all of whom I personally work with and support. Consider this your "galaxy of expertise."



I’ve run two free pilots to test the technology, and now we’re off and running in 2017. Watch a one-hour workshop, rich in content, and ask questions while in progress, no matter where you are in the world. They are also recorded, in case you can’t make the live event or want to retain the actual broadcast. I’m offering six, as detailed below, at $75 each, or $400 for all six. You can pay here:


• Feb. 23, 2017: The Strategist - How to set strategies for organizations or individuals

• Apr. 18, 2017: The Innovator - A methodology for systematic innovation

• Jun. 13, 2017: Creating 6-figure Projects - Consistently and effectively

• Sep. 19, 2017: The Advisor - Advisory work as your primary intervention

• Oct. 17, 2017: Abundance - The mindset of success, happiness, and growth

• Nov. 16, 2017: The Expert - How to command a room, discussion, and direction



Having problems viewing this email, click here.
Balancing Act® is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing the blending of life, work, and relationships, based on the popular Balancing Act workshops and writing of Alan Weiss, Ph.D. Contact us for further information at:
To subscribe, send an email to:
To change your address or to unsubscribe:
Web link:

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.


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


Two new podcasts every week. Special cigar smoking room.




Confidence and volume will carry a room.

Alan Weiss