Monthly Archives: November 2008

Willie Jolly interviews Alan Weiss

XM radio host and international speaker and entertainer Willie Jolly interviews Alan Weiss in a highly motivational session to help anyone overcome tough times.

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and now also on iTunes

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© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Podcasts Series: Brave New World | 4 Comments

Christmas Cheer or Fear?

Is Christmas a secular holiday? What is this season all about? Could it have anything to do with treating each other and ourselves with respect and dignity? Don’t miss a moment enjoying another great podcast by Alan.

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and now also on iTunes

Click Here for entire podcast series table of contents

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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The Eagle Has Landed (Episode 27)

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© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in The Movies: The Writing on the Wall | Leave a comment

Choo Choo Man

The last airplane ride I took was on November 6, 2008 from Naples, Florida to Boston on Delta. The next one I take will be on February 1, 2009 to Dublin, Ireland. That’s almost three months between planes, which is fine with me.

Aside from the fact that you’re guilty until proven innocent at the airports, I’m convinced that there isn’t an executive in the entire airline industry whom I would trust walking Buddy Beagle. And I’m fairly certain there isn’t one who couldn’t be replaced by Koufax, the Wonder Dog resulting in improved earnings.

I was on a single Delta airplane, flying via Cincinnati from Naples, full fare first class with my wife, for over six hours. And not one meal was served. The plane was on time, and the cabin crews capable, though not memorable. The plane hadn’t been cleaned all that well. And it was, of course, a small airplane.

Not one meal. Just some snacks. And the gate agent in Naples gave me heat about my carry-on bag, which has only traveled as carry-on all over the world, so should be no problem, except he demonstrated it was three inches over his little measuring box, despite the fact it fits in the overhead. Our exchange ended with my bag on board with me and his appearing before the door closed to apologize. I guess it was a bad day for him, and still another one for Delta.

I wrote to the head of operations for Delta. She has not bothered to respond. I would guess that she’s too busy cutting seat padding or blanket size.

Maria and I have just been to New York for Thanksgiving, first class on Amtrak’s Acela. Traveling south on Wednesday, the heaviest travel day of the year supposedly, the car was half-filled, the service excellent, and I wrote a chapter for the fourth edition of Million Dollar Consulting, returned some calls, and caught up on my email, besides reading part of Updike’s newest book. On the return yesterday, their were perhaps six of us in total in the car, I wrote another chapter….well you get the idea.

On the Acela, which I take as far as Washington, DC, I’ve run into George Will, Ted Kennedy, John McCain and his wife, and quite a few others. This is not shabby company. They have never turned to me to try to make small talk about their product line, or made demands for more free liquor because they were upgrades from the rear.

My wife calls someone who has a larger train set than I do “choo choo man.” I’m happy to have this applied to me in terms of my traveling preferences.

I’ve been preaching that success and wealth are constituted by discretionary time. Thus, money is merely fuel for your life, and the pursuit of too much of it at too great a cost in time can actually erode your wealth. (“I don’t have time to see my kid’s soccer game,” means you choose not to see your kid’s soccer game. Of course you have the time.) My wealth today includes the fact that I can stay off planes for 90 days because I’m running events near my home or helping people remotely using technology.

I know I can probably choose a European carrier to go to Dublin, so I’ll have decent service, let alone a meal. But I am checking just to see if maybe there’s a train….

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Alas Babylon | 2 Comments

Slow the Plow

Slow the Plow

We’re in New York for Thanksgiving and to see the grandchildren. Wednesday night my son, wife, and I went to see David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” from house seats.

I think Mamet is brilliant and provocative, but the dialogue bothered me throughout the one-act play, though I couldn’t quite decide why. The three actors were good, but the two male leads seemed almost too bright, and the woman too deliberate.

Snaking our way through Broadway’s post-theater crowds on our way to a hot dog vender (traditional) before returning to the St. Regis, my son (the actor and college instructor) gave me the answers.

“You didn’t hear them breathe,” he pointed out. “The two leads were responding immediately to each other. Think about great repartee that you’ve been part of—don’t you have to listen to the response before you can reply? They knew their lines, but he director (Neil Pepe) hadn’t taught them to listen, to take a beat, before responding. It was unrealistic.

“As for the woman, I ‘heard’ every comma, semi-colon, and period in the script. She was reciting, not acting.”

That made it quite clear. We were having our hot dog at Rockefeller Center, watching the Christmas windows and entire façade being lighted with flashing, huge snowflakes, at Saks. Brilliant people can respond quickly to intellectual provocation, but not before they process what the other person has said. And it’s easy to memorize a script (or read a TelePrompTer) but harder to translate what you read into natural actions.

It’s great to be quick, but it’s better to listen. It’s fine to have good answers, but better to have great questions. Knowing what you want to say is not nearly sufficient; you must help the other person to understand what it means for them.

The art of influence and persuasion isn’t based on multi-page letters espoused by marketing “gurus,” nor telephone scripts advocated by cold calling experts, nor memorized lists of features and benefits, nor computerized connections in cyberspace collected like postage stamps.

Persuading others is about building relationships, and that is best done in person, looking the other person in the eye, listening to what they say, and articulating your own position in such a way that they can see their self-interest being met. That’s how you enable the buyer to buy in a solo consulting practice.

Don’t speed the plow, slow it a bit. The longer you take to forge trusting relationships, the faster you’ll develop quality business. Does that sound counterintuitive? Well, welcome to Contrarianconsulting.com. Things are different here.

We take time to breathe.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Business of Consulting | 9 Comments

Was that my hand on the knife?

We’re waiting for the hostess to seat us in a restaurant, with one couple ahead of us and another behind us. Both women are done up like donuts, and I’m beginning to regret not going into my distant cousin’s lip gloss and blusher business.The woman in front of us turns around, sees the other, and says, astonished, “Marsha, is that YOU??”And the reaction, “Monica, I haven’t seen you since school!”And the response, gesturing to the man next to her, “Marsha, this is my husband, Barry.”And the reply from Marsha, introducing her companion, “And this is my husband, Dr. Cohen.”You can’t make this stuff up.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is the greatest of the secular holidays in the United States, and I want to be among the first to wish everyone in my community the ability to engage in a peaceful contemplation of all that we have to be thankful for. Despite the tumult of the world around us and the cries that the sky is falling, the fact is that our resiliency in change makes us stronger and the sky is merely a reflection of the mysteries of this wonderful life.

Peace, health, and prosperity to all of you and your loved ones, all over the world. May you all enjoy long and happy lives.

– Alan

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Posted in Alan's Quest | 3 Comments

RainToday.com Podcast: Becoming a Global Consultant, with Alan Weiss

In the age of a true “flat earth,” there are no borders or impediments to consulting worldwide: it’s as easy to consult in Kuala Lumpur as it is in Kansas.


This makes it possible for solo or small-practice consultants (and those considering independent consulting) to seek the wealth, experience, and gratification of consulting internationally.


In this podcast, we talk about becoming a global consultant:



  • Who’s it available to?
  • What does it take?
  • How can consultants begin on this quest?
  • What are the possible pitfalls to avoid?

Alan Weiss, an internationally-acclaimed consultant and co-author, with Omar Khan, of the new book, The Global Consultant: How to Make Seven Figures across Borders, answers these and other questions in an interview by Mike Schultz, publisher of RainToday.com and president of Wellesley Hills Group.



(Length: 10:39)


Interested in hearing more? Click here to sign up for Alan and Omar’s upcoming teleseminar with RainToday.com.

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News and Thoughts for These Economic Times

Random observations:

  1. WalMart just announced, surprisingly during what appears to be a great season for them, that their CEO will step down in February. Why? Because they are replacing him with more of an internationalist. The company feels that its future is global.
  2. Look for the silver linings. The holiday season may be the worst on record, but who will do well? Discounters, consignment shops, those selling “do it yourself” goods, inexpensive gifts (subscriptions, memberships), and so forth. There are loads of people and organizations that need your value. HP is doing splendidly while Dell is suffering. Even within industries, there are standouts in this economy.
  3. I keep looking at my watch waiting for the martini hour when someone in coaching tells me that “business is down.” This is the time that coaching and counseling should be thriving. Broaden your appeal, market more aggressively (too many coaches rely solely on referrals), and diversify your offerings to include varied delivery options. People need someone to talk to!
  4. If you do have more “down time” than usual, then you have no excuse not to finally get that hairy project accomplished. I’m publishing a minimum of five books over 18 months, all commercially. (I prize volume over accuracy.) Why aren’t you writing your book proposal, creating new intellectual property, improving your web site, and so forth?
  5. I’ve hidden here in number five the most important thing you can do: Establish regular interactions with others in your profession, BUT, BUT, BUT, here’s the key. Do so only with strong, successful people, not “victims” and commiserators. I’ve seen magic happen when a group of good people combine to test each other’s approaches and preconceptions.
  6. The businesses I observe doing the best are those with the most loyal customers. The most loyal customers are the result of service and relationship quality, not merely product quality. The better the relationship, the more you get the “benefit of the doubt.”
  7. We just left a breakfast restaurant where the good service was even better than usual. We found out when we left that everyone was asked to fill out a comment card with the server’s name, in return for a credit for any future meal. They were getting close to 100% response. If you want to impress a client, use metrics to demonstrate your contributions and your progress. Measurement affects both performance and perception.
  8. The more you help others, the more you’re helped. Now is a great time to offer pro bono services, contribute to charities, and provide others with counsel and support. You will find yourself better off as a result.
  9. Top ten lists are alliterative bunk, with stuff thrown in just to reach ten. Do the eight things above, or at least consider them in your work, and you’ll do better than you might think.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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No Cackling Zone

A rare process visual presented by Alan at his most recent Million Dollar Consulting College® in Rhode Island.

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Posted in The Movies: Life in Reel Time | 5 Comments