Monthly Archives: September 2009

Straighten Up and Fly Right (Episode 37)

Click Here for entire series table of contents

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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

New York Times Agrees

See my review of “A Steady Rain” a few posts ago.

Here’s what the New York Times critic said this morning:

“A Steady Rain” is probably best regarded as a small, wobbly pedestal on which two gods of the screen may stand in order to be worshiped.

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Posted in The Critic | 2 Comments

Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 9/28/09

Alan’s Monday Morning Memo’s mission is to help readers to thrive.

September 28, 2009—Issue #2

This week’s focus point: Every buyer in every business has both time and money. Acquiring them for yourself is not a resource competition, in the traditional sense. It’s a priority competition. That money and time are going somewhere, just not to you at the moment. You have to manifest more value to win that competition.

Monday Morning Perspective: “ The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” — Voltaire
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Contact information: info@summitconsulting.com http://www.contrarianconsulting.com
ISSN 2151-0091

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved

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Football

I had won two Patriots’ tickets at auction: seats in the fourth row on the 50-yard line. The game was with the Atlanta Falcons, a good team with a fine, young quarterback. Rain was forecast, so my son, Jason, who was visiting to celebrate my granddaughters’ and wife’s birthdays, and I prepared for professional football in inclement weather.

Wearing a hooded sweatshirt, jeans, running shoes, and toting a rain slicker, I joined my son in our six-passenger limo. I wasn’t about to drive. I left my good jewelry home, found a watch that some company had sent me for free, donned an old baseball cap, switched my wallet for a money clip, and off we went. Foxboro is about 45 minutes from my home, but it took two hours in the pre-game traffic. We were charged $125 to park the limo amidst another 30, and trudged through a thousand tailgaters whose equipment ranged from a tiny grill and some hot dogs to tents, huge grills, flat screen TVs, and what looked like veal parmesan.

We were frisked at the stadium gate, and I realized I had the folded-up slicker in a pack under my belt, under my sweatshirt, in the small of my back. The security guy felt it, said nothing, and welcomed me to the game.

“Looks like that’s the place to smuggle in the weapons,” observed my son.

We bought hot dogs for $3.75, and two beers at $10 each. We were both carded, one of the most moronic of all the idiot laws that are on the books. The beer guy and the two of us joined in strenuous cursing about the authorities, and we happily parted company.

“You’re really into this,” my son observed.

“I haven’t used the pluperfect form of that particular verb since college,” I replied.

The place was packed by the time of the kickoff. It’s a civilized crowd, with a certain etiquette. (For example, you don’t enter or leave a row—causing people to stand to allow you to pass—during a play, so that no one’s view is blocked.) There is an eternity of down time (injuries, television breaks, team times-out, etc.), and a very poor video replay system for such an expensive stadium and successful team. My son fetched two more beers, fries, and some excellent pulled pork. (What is it pulled from?)

The Patriot players were about 15 yards in front of us, and we could hear some of them on occasion. Tom Brady, the quarterback, is an impressive guy. Some of the players are so huge that they resemble a different species.

In all candor, while you appreciate the game’s speed and contact much more in person, you don’t really see its intricacies as well as you do on hi-def TV, nor can you put your feet up and have a cigar and decent vodka. (More laws.) The Patriots put the game away midway through the fourth quarter, we hiked the half-mile back to the limo area, and we got home in 45 minutes.

We both had a fine time, the rain was light and sporadic, and I was lucky when I changed my wallet to have taken my driver’s license, since it would have been a dry time, otherwise. A good game, a good crowd. But I’m watching the Colts and Cardinals on TV right now, Buddy Beagle leaning against my hip, writing on my lap top, a drink by my side.

And I can stand up whenever I like.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Peregrinations | 2 Comments

Open Channel Teleconference

Alan has just conducted his monthly teleconference series while dedicating this one to questions sent and asked by various members of his community.

Click on the excerpts below to listen to some great sample questions and outstanding answers from Alan, or Click here, then scroll down and order your copy of the September 25th Teleconference in an MP3 format so you may listen to the rest.

Ever had a client not pay?

How do you price a three-options proposal?

How have you changed your opinion on blogging?

What can we do this holiday season to prepare for next year?

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Birthday Party Successful

A year after we raced home from Capri, our twin granddaughters celebrated their first birthday on the roof garden of their home in Chelsea. About 40 adults and children attended, including all the “cousins.” When Chad gets the chance, you’ll see a photo here of Cousin Jimmy’s (immortalized in one of my stories) daughters with me: Lisa and Andrea Gallo, along with birthday girl Gabrielle. The rain held off and we had a great event looking over the rooftops.


(Lisa on the left, Andrea on the right.)


(Alan, son Jason, and the Empire State Building)

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Broadway: A Steady Rain Has A Dry Spell

We were close enough for Hugh Jackman to perspire on my wife, which pretty much made her night. The house was packed, though the play doesn’t officially open until Tuesday.

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in A Steady Rain are alone together on stage all night, and they are formidable actors. Aside from some very minor mood music and an occasional lighting change against the backdrop, they use only two chairs to tell the story of two cops headed in two directions. While it is 90 minutes of an acting class, it’s not 90 minutes of riveting theater. The plot is obvious, the events expected (though some of the audience gasped at a line you could see approaching you from a mile away), and the ending utterly predictable. It was instructional to see these two guys in a tour de force for over an hour, sustaining energy and pathos, but by the end the energy is exhausting and the pathos becomes bathos. I don’t attend the theater for instruction, but for emotional involvement, suspense, and excitement.

It’s worth seeing Jackman and Craig, but after this and Carnage of the Gods I’m wondering if there’s anybody left who can write compelling drama for the stage, or if we’re just putting actors from other media up there to draw in the crowds. Where’s Arthur Miller when you need him?

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Alan’s First Social Media Client!!

Having been King of Social Media for four or five months now, and with 6 million connections on linkedin, 300 friends on Facebook, and 1100 followers on Twitter, my very first client from those sources came on board this morning!!

Chris Patterson runs Interchanges.com in Jacksonville, Florida. Although he knew of me for several years, his interest was piqued when I showed up on Facebook. He entered my Mentor Program this morning (and actually qualifies for the Million Dollar Club), and he’s just a great guy. His company is global, deals with Fortune 100 organizations, and I just know it’s going to be a great relationship.

Obviously, this will be my final blog entry as I’m dropping all other marketing activity to focus solely on Facebook! (Not.)

Welcome, Chris, and let’s get all those folks on linkedin to send in 50 cents each!!

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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The City

I love it when people in Rhode Island say, “I’m going in to the city,” meaning Providence. There is only one The City, and it’s New York.

The Acela yesterday was smack on time, first class only half-filled, which is the best ratio. Limo to the Hotel Greenwich, way downtown, with a fabulous suite with river view. There’s an open air atrium for breakfast and cocktails. It’s just a fabulous property with magnificent service, and a fireplace in the room. Then back by limo to La Messaria on West 48th (no relation to prior post, of course), for a wonderful dinner with a 1990 Piedmonte wine, which is the region of half my wife’s ancestry, Piemontase food being the best in the world, for my money. It took 45 minutes to get back downtown because of the UN meetings, with very few cabs on the West Side, (Carey Limo had no limos in Manhattan for hire between 2 pm and 9 pm.) So we headed for the W Hotel, and had the doorman find one. The Lincoln and Holland Tunnels had traffic backed up for a mile, unmoving at 8 in the evening. Isn’t commuting wonderful?!

Today: Breakfast al fresco, teleconference at noon, shopping, massage, Grand Havana Room with a new mentoree, dinner at Lattanzi (no relation to prior post, of course), then house seats for A Steady Rain.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Peregrinations | 2 Comments

The Restaurant Cold Call Transformed

The names of everyone and everything except my wife and me are changed for obvious reasons!

As we’re driving out of the house to dine last evening, we realize that we have no dinner reservation in New York for the next night (tonight). We stop on the bridge, I use my Iphone to call via the car’s Bluetooth, and this drama ensues between us and over the speaker:

ME: Where should we go?
The Lovely Maria (TLM): What about that new restaurant owned by Tom Jones, whose kids went to school with ours? I think it’s on about 48th street. Remember, your driver told you to be sure to try it, since he also drives him down there all the time.
ME: Let’s see what Google says. (I plug in a misspelled name, Google says, “Is this what you really want, fool?” and I hit the phone number which accompanies some rave reviews.)
Restaurant Manager (RM): (Very haughty.) Yes?
ME: We’d like a reservation for tomorrow night, please, two people at six.
RM: Impossible.
ME: Well, what can you do?
RM: Perhaps I can fit you in at 5:30.
ME: (I confer with TLM.) Well, okay.
RM: Very well, your name? (I tell him.) Your phone number? (I give him my cell number.)
RM: (Now a tad more friendly.) Is that a Rhode Island number?
ME: Yes.
RM: (Now friendly and cautious.) May I ask how it is you’ve heard of us?
ME: Sure. One of your owners is Tom Jones, and his kids went to school with our kids, and we have the same limo driver. He’s also opening, as you probably know, another restaurant up here.
RM: (Now bowing and gracious.) Why didn’t you say so to begin with? We are happy to have the two of you at six tomorrow!
ME: I think that was 5:30, right?
RM: NO, no, you wished for 6 and that is fine. We will see you tomorrow. My name is Alfonso if you need anything further!
ME: Thank you, ah, Alfonso.
TLM: (Rolls eyes.)
ME: (Put car in gear and head to dinner and martini, laughing loudly.)

We all need to turn cold calls into warmer encounters.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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