Monthly Archives: July 2012

Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 7/30/12

July 30, 2012—Issue #149

This week’s focus point: In the Olympics, “hype” doesn’t win medals, only performance does. And the performance has to be at exactly the right time and place. There is only one final event, one championship game. True champions are able to perform at their absolute best in highly pressurized situations, those which often undermine their competitors. Winning by a fraction of a point or second isn’t about superior physical conditioning, it’s about superior mental conditioning which allows you to perform at your peak in the most critical conditions. You only have one first impression with a new prospect. You only have one opportunity to quickly respond to a challenge or objection. Get your head in the game. Use the pressure to triumph, not trip.

Monday Morning Perspective: If you’re good at what you do nobody can get at you. — Actor Montgomery Clift

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© Alan Weiss 2012. 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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Olympic Trials

• Ryan Seacrest is beyond being a fifth wheel at the Olympics. He’s in the pool and out of his depth, instead of interviewing vacant rock stars he’s talking to people who train diligently with great discipline. He’s less important to the telecast than any of the thousands were to the opening ceremonies.

• When is someone going to blow the whistle on 14-year-old girls in revealing costumes with a pound of makeup being placed in sexy poses, and hyped in glam shots? If that’s not exploitation, what is?

• The male swimmers seem to have morphed into a new life form.

• Branding is everything. The Chinese divers get higher marks than anyone else for identical performances.

• I keep wondering what happened to those sheep in the opening ceremony.

• Do you think the Queen keeps her Amex Black Card in that pocketbook whenever she leaves the palace?

• Water polo has to be the toughest sport in the Olympics. No one is trying to beat the hell out of you and drown you while you’re running the Marathon or lifting weights.

• When the Olympics were begun, no one represented their city, they merely competed. Today, it’s a geopolitical confrontation.

• Did you see the American woman who’s won five consecutive gold medals in skeet shooting? Twenty years of excellence and the needed performance under pressure at just the right time. No one needs makeup or posing there.

• I love it when NBC commentators refer to each other as “great.” (Note to males who are greying: No one has natural chestnut-colored hair, so get a better dye job.)

• I watched Cox Cable’s 3-D coverage, and it was very cool.

• Watching a bike road race, except for the final mile, is like watching grass grow, but without the pleasant aroma.

• Calling someone who rode a bike fast or composed some songs “Sir” is somewhat of an affront to Nelson, Montgomery, and the rest, isn’t it?

• No one wants to talk about it, but Paul McCartney ought to stop. He was not the ending note that was needed by a long shot.

• Once the Olympic glow dims, the Today show will once again fall behind Good Morning America, and they’ll think about firing another female anchor. No one wants to admit that Matt Lauer is boring.

• After a full week, we’ll finally get to track and field, which is what the competition is really about….

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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Episode 71: All Aboard

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Alan’s Thought For Today

The Olympics illustrate that hype doesn’t win medals, only performance does, on the track, on the mat, in the pool, on the field. Behavior trumps sound bites.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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Why Self-Employed Consultants Fail

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There IS Such A Thing As A Dumb Question

  1. A former buyer in San Francisco is visiting New York and suggested we have lunch to talk about possible future business. I live an hour outside of New York. Should I go?
  2. The buyer has said that he’d like to go ahead with my help in his business and asked what the next step would be to explore that. I’m not sure, what should it be?
  3. I haven’t had any business in nine months. A company has called me and asked if I’d do a couple of hours of training for $5,000. Do you think I should pass it up since it might dilute my brand?
  4. Someone is using the word “exponential” in his company’s title in Australia, but I was using it years earlier here in the U.S. He refuses to change the name of his company. Should I sue him?
  5. My client has missed both fee payment dates, I’m now two months into the project, and he says he’ll pay me soon. Should I continue working and for how long?
  6. My client has filed for bankruptcy and is being sued by six clients, and wants to know if I’ll do some work for him in return for stock. Is this a good idea?
  7. A speakers bureau wants me to pay them $1100 to appear for 8 minutes with 20 other prospective speakers in front of a dozen meeting planners. Is this a good marketing investment?
  8. Where would I go to find books by Peter Drucker?
  9. The client is on retainer but hasn’t contacted me over the past month. How much of the annual fee should I refund?
  10. If I’m doing pro bono work and value it at $50,000, that’s a business deduction, right?
  11. A firm in India wants me to send my presentation to them, they will market it and set up workshops, then I’ll go and deliver them and we’ll share in the profits. Should I negotiate my expenses being paid, or is that totally my responsibility?
  12. Should I invest in running an AM radio show for 30 minutes at 2 in the afternoon? I have to pay the station $500 per show and bring in at least $2,000 in advertising per week.
  13. What’s the best way to sell my books from the stage while speaking to an association audience—offering them during a break, or walking through the aisles with them?
  14. Can I list a benediction as a speaking engagement?
  15. Can I coach more than one person in an organization?
  16. I have no business at the moment, but I have four proposals in front of prospects. If more than two are accepted I can’t possibly accommodate all that work. Should I withdraw two of them?
  17. If I give you a call next week, can you teach me how to do a strategy project for a large firm?
  18. I’m making $150,000 and I have an office, a full time assistant, a part-time assistant, and share a bookkeeper. I’m not keeping enough of what I make. What am I doing wrong?
  19. How do I help the human resources director market me with her boss?
  20. My wife’s cousin is earning $100,000 a year but bringing in no new business and not otherwise helping out much, but I can’t fire him or my wife will kill me, and he won’t listen to suggestions to improve, saying it’s my product that’s poor, not him. What can I do about this?

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Personal Improvement | 5 Comments

The Haters

A while ago I decided I’d write occasionally for a local blog. The administrator is a very nice, bright woman and does a professional job.

What I learned, however, is that there are real “haters” out there who are, thankfully, rare among professional blogs and social media outlets (I see them mostly on YouTube comments). They launch personal attacks against anyone with whose opinion they disagree. Some will call you a “bleeding heart liberal who hates the rich,” while another will call you “a heartless conservative who wants others to starve.” They base this on no evidence, they just hate your opinion and, consequently, hate you.

They question your background, and simply make up facts to try to engage in character assassination. And these are just the posts that the administrator allows through, since she rejects those with obscenities and possible slander. One took a look at my website and claimed it was all fictitious, that I was lying about my accomplishments, and that I was really running a multi-level marketing scam!

These people are like piranha seeking blood in the water, and they don’t hesitate to turn on each other if they run out of victims. About a half-dozen of them effectively stymie any kind of objective discussion about politics or local issues by immediately going on blind attacks. The administrator told me, when I asked why she allowed them to publish at all: “This stuff is out there, and we have to realize it.”

I don’t mind these people having guns, if they have them, because I think they’re too stupid to use them. But I do mind them having the vote.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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Alan’s Developmental Beach

Green flag, solid skills building, pragmatic information. The breakers can be tough, but so can life. Take prudent risks and enjoy.

Yellow flag, caution, what you’re experiencing sounds right, but there are undercurrents and rip tides. Not totally safe; not what it appears to be.

Red flag, danger, the gulls know what they’re doing but the sand is so hot it’s going to burn your feet.

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New Version of Fire Walking

I’m going into competition with Tony Robbins. For $2,500 you can firewalk with him on hot coals. Or, for only $1,500 you can sit in a chair and one of my assistants will burn your feet with a lit cigar. During the experience we will be chanting “Robusto, Robusto, Robusto….”

Or, you can spend $600 and come to my Common Sense Consulting™ Workshop and actually learn something to improve your lives. Up to you.

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