Monthly Archives: November 2010

Episode 51: Ambiguity

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Posted in The Movies: The Writing on the Wall | 5 Comments

New Car Arrives

Here is the Bentley Providence service manager, Ann, with ace mechanic Dave, and the new Super Sport. You can see my prior GTC Speed in the background with my plates still on it.


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Posted in The Best of Life | 10 Comments

Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 11/29/10

November 29, 2010—Issue #63

This week’s focus point: Success always trumps perfection. The elusive search for the ideal delays, deters, and distracts. Very few airline flights, surgeries, or performances are “perfect.” But most are successful. Focus your clients on the conditions that represent success, and focus yourself the same way. Otherwise, you’ll never “succeed enough,” because your standard is impossible to achieve.

Monday Morning Perspective: I am a non-perfectionist. I don’t look back in regret or worry at what I have written. — Issac Asimov (author of over 500 books)

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ISSN 2151-0091

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved

I remember a meeting with a boutique consulting firm that had fallen on hard times. The debate was whether or not to sell their magnificent conference table. “Where would clients sit?” asked one partner. “We have no clients,” stated the advocate of selling. You can’t cut your way to renewal or success. Top line growth is the key to bottom line achievement, for you and for your clients. Today is the time to invest in the future. Once you cut muscle, you’re powerless.
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I Am NOT Making This Up

If you scroll down you’ll find my post “From Freud to Roosevelt,” about winding up at Roosevelt Hospital on Wednesday when I had intended to be seeing the play “Freud” that night.

Well, this from the New York Times this morning: The actor playing Freud in the play collapsed on stage during the Saturday performance and was rushed to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where he recovered.

I wonder if we had the same doctor?

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Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment

Selling Products When Speaking

There is not a thing wrong with selling products in conjunction with a speaking engagement. Here are some tips I’ve found effective:

•        Give one of your products away while on the platform. I ask for a volunteer, reward them with “any book on my table over there,” and move on. You can also hold the book or tape up and present it at the moment.

•        Have the introducer mention your products and how to acquire them while at the conference. It’s a good idea to include that “Ms. Jones has kindly provided a 15-percent discount to conference participants while she is here.”

•        If there is a convention bookstore, arrange to have your products displayed with you advertised as a featured speaker.

•        Have someone staff your table. Never do this yourself. I try never to exchange products for money personally. If you need someone from the association, facility, or client, make arrangements to provide them with a commission or a flat fee.

•         Accept all major credit cards. This can be arranged easily through your local bank or American Express.

•         Create a “package” price, for which someone can purchase every product on the table at a discount. If it’s not there, no one can take advantage of it. If it is there, someone will almost always do it, and you get a several-hundred-dollar sale from one person.

•        Give every visitor to the table a catalog of your products, whether they purchase or not. You may want to stamp the conference or client name on them and indicate that there is an XX-percent discount in effect for 30 days.

•         Present one set of your products as a gift to the trade association library, client library, or a charity supported by the client.

•        Offer to stay and sign books.

Excerpted from Million Dollar Speaking (McGraw-Hill, 2010).

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Business of Consulting | 1 Comment

Same Medication

Courtesy of my son-in-law, Jan Medina, the President and I must be on the same medication:

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For Car Aficionados

My new car is off the ship, through customs, and at the dealer. It is 621 HP, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. Here is Bentley’s writeup:

The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible further strengthens Bentley’s supercar range, following the introduction of the Bentley Continental Supersports Coupé in 2009. The new Supersports Convertible, with the same 630PS (621bhp/463kW) twin-turbocharged W12 engine, is the fastest, most potent drop-top Bentley has ever built, offering the ultimate Bentley driving experience in the world’s most dramatic convertible.

The inspiration for the ‘Supersports’ name is the 1925 Bentley Supersports, a race-bred version of the iconic Bentley 3-litre, that delivered 85bhp when more ordinary cars were equipped with a modest 15bhp. It was also the first production car to reach 100mph – extreme performance in its day.

The new, muscular four-seat Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is unmistakably Bentley in its design and craftsmanship but its interior signifies a dramatic re-interpretation of Bentley luxury. Satin-finished carbon fibre, Alcantara™ and ‘Soft Grip’ leather create a unique ambience with a distinctly sporting and contemporary style.

All models in the Continental model range, including the new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible are now capable of running on both petrol (gasoline) and E85 bioethanol or any combination of the two, reaffirming Bentley’s ongoing commitment to make all its cars bio-fuel compatible by 2012. Pioneered by the Supersports Coupe, this FlexFuel technology offers a reduction of up to 70 per cent in CO2 emissions on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis, a measure of a fuel’s net contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions.

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From Freud to Roosevelt

We were supposed to have a lovely dinner in New York on Wednesday, prior to Thanksgiving with the family, and then catch the play “Freud.” Instead, I wound up at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

We left The Palace Hotel by limo and arrived for pre-theater dinner at Marea, one of our favorites. I was happily engaged with my fusilli and octopus when I felt a flash of heat. I have been battling a cold, and have been through five time changes from Bora Bora and a 40 degree temperature decrease.

I told Maria I had better head for the rest room and she offered to walk with me. I told her I was okay, rose, walked two steps, and the next thing I knew two other dinner patrons were working over me, taking my pulse and asking if I knew where I was and when I was born.

The good thing about a great restaurant is that there will always be doctors at dinner, and Mike, the EMT, told me later, “Do you know that one guy was a cardio-thoracic surgeon? You couldn’t do much better than that if you had to pass out somewhere!” (Mike couldn’t figure out though, why the doctor was considering CPR when I was clearly breathing, and I didn’t like him telling me not to move because, “You may have broken your neck and if you get up you could be paralyzed.” He then began to ask the other doctor where he practiced and went to school. I was staring up at the fraternal conversation, wondering if this shouldn’t be more about me.)

Anyway, Mike arrived with a buddy, they checked vital signs and off we went. There was a lot of blood all over the floor, since I went down like a building being demolished. ONLY IN NEW YORK: As we get outside, Maria yells to our limo driver, “Follow that ambulance!” She came with me, lights flashing, limo pursuing.

Unlike any medical television show you care to name, Roosevelt’s ER was calm and completely in control. Dr. Kim took my case, Ellen was my nurse, and a great guy whose name I can’t recall was my “transporter,” taking me for my CAT scan and back. Approximately 85 people asked if I knew were I was and my date of birth, and apparently I aced the tests. The CAT scan was negative and the diagnosis was plummeting blood pressure (something like 77 over 47 whereas I’m always at 120 over 80) due to medicine and alcohol.

The Roosevelt ER is not only well run, it’s courteous, professional, and reassuring. It is typical New York: Asian, Hispanic, Black, White and combinations thereof in every position. And it’s a funny place.

Transporter: The CAT scan folks will get to you in just a few minutes.

ME: You tell that to everyone and it’s going to be a long wait.

Transporter: That’s true, but what I’m telling you is far more politically correct.

These were terrific professionals, with great attitudes. I don’t care what they’re paid, they’re not paid enough. And contrary to stereotypical stories, no one asked me about how I was going to pay or for my insurance until after I had been initially treated.

After three hours I was stitched up (three in my eyebrow, three in my lip, and super glue to close a gash on my nose), was told how l lucky I was, and was sent to discharge. A great guy there, with huge blonde dreadlocks, said, “Let’s get you out of here as quickly as possible,” and calculated swiftly, took my Blue Cross Coast-to-Coast coverage, and charged us a grand total of $100.

On our way out, we saw Mike with another patient coming in. “Hey, Mr. Weiss,” he yelled, “you look much better!”

“New York and March 3,” I said.

Now Mike was concerned. “No, I didn’t ask you where you are….”

“Kidding, Mike!”

“Oh, good one! Enjoy your holidays!”

And we stepped out into the night and our waiting limo.

(Postscript: The family had Thanksgiving dinner as arranged in the private dining room of Marea last night. I asked the manager to add the prior night’s meal to the bill, since we had sort of rushed out. “No,” he said, “it’s on us. You’ve paid enough!”)

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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Happy Thanksgiving

May you and yours experience the warmth of family and friends and rejoice in health, peace, and prosperity. We wish you the very best.

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Posted in Alan's Quest, The Best of Life | 5 Comments