You Can’t Fix Stupid

A woman writes to tell me she loves my free weekly and monthly newsletters, but she doesn’t like my occasional promotional mailings, so she has to unsubscribe. In other words, she feels it’s appropriate for me to provide free, high value help to others, but it’s not appropriate that I inform them of further help available for a price if they so choose. I’m surprised she knew how to unsubscribe.


Ouch!

Kim Wilkerson brings to my attention some guy in South Africa who is sponsoring an evening of fire walking and cocktails! I can’t imagine any potential problems there, can you? I recall not long ago so many injuries at a fire walking event that the onsite team couldn’t handle them all and the EMTs had to be called. I guess that particular group just wasn’t sufficiently motivated. Maybe they should practice the equally effective techniques of self-levitation.


Making Time

If you can’t respond to an email within 24 hours or a phone call within four hours, there’s something profoundly wrong. You may think I’m talking about your response time, but I’m really referring to your philosophy about your business. This is the marketing business, not the delivery business. Without marketing, there will be no delivery. In 30 years of consulting, for Fortune 100 firms, non-profits, educational institutions, government, and closely-held businesses, I’ve never been so engrossed in my work …


Podcast – The Uncomfortable Truth – Episode 5: Myths

A memorial service to the many friends you lost when they went swimming 55 minutes after having lunch. Transcript: Hey, I’m Alan Weiss. This is about myths. Remember, we used to have monsters under the bed? I never found one; I even used a flashlight a few times. In the closets too, but we don’t read in the headlines people dying from monsters under the bed. So, it’s probably not the case. Remember when we couldn’t swim for an hour …


The Prime Question

The title of this blog is “Contrarian Consulting.” Let me offer you the prime contrarian idea in this profession, which really shouldn’t be contrarian at all: First ask, “What is in the client’s self-interest?” The answer to that question should readily set your direction. It’s not any of these: “How can I make the most money?” “How can I protect myself?” “Which part of my methodology can fit in here?” “Where can I quickly get referrals?” If you think about …


Lights, Camera, Little Action

My wife and I watched four movies over the past couple of days: Moonlight: This won the Oscar for best picture, and I wouldn’t even recommend watching it on a 16-hour plane ride unless you needed help sleeping. It’s unbearably slow, trounces its point into the ground, and is acted and directed with a sloth-like, glacial speed. Vastly overrated, I’m sorry I spent the time. It’s about an African-American kid with an addicted mother and no father and his homosexuality, …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 04/17/17

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

Buddy Beagle passed away peacefully at home a few weeks ago after a full and rewarding life. We did what I advise all dog owners to do—we obtained a puppy to continue the spirit and keep Bentley company since dogs are pack animals. We wound up, without forethought, with a combination King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. This is what makes puppies so valuable: They always wake up in a good mood. They throw themselves—literally—into their endeavors, from food to toys. …


If It Hurts When You Do That, Stop Doing It

Small businesses usually don’t fail because of poor products or services (in fact, the owners usually work themselves to exhaustion). They fail because of stupidity. My air conditioning guy, with whom I’ve spent thousands and to whom I’ve sent referrals, never showed up last season for a preventive check (which I pay for) despite three phone calls. I told him if he didn’t call me by today, we’re through. He won’t and we are. The local Bentley dealer and his …


Failure Work

“Failure work” is work, as I define it, that’s being done because the original attempt was wrong, unsuccessful, or didn’t work. We all experience it, from the minor toils of recovering something we dropped to the major hassle of retracing our route because we took a wrong turn. It’s wise, of course, to try to minimize failure work and to take it in stride and learn from it when we cause it. However, it’s extremely self-undermining to do someone else’s …