Category Archives: Alanisms

Words I’ve Never Used in Certain Combinations

• I think I’ll just run a vacuum.

• Let me stop and get directions because I’m sure I’m lost.

• A Victoria’s Secret show, no, I have a bowling night.

• Am I driving over the speed limit?

• This sushi is moving so I’d better eat that first.

• Who can get me tickets to a Justin Beiber concert?

• The shirt is a little wrinkled, maybe I should iron it.

• Well, it would be a cocktail or wine, but not both.

• I’ll have the steak well done, please.

• I’ll vote for anyone who’s committed to raising taxes.

• I’m sorry I’ve missed a Tony Robbins’ workshop at this stage of my life.

• I think it’s time to paint the garage.

• Can’t the family stay longer over the holidays?

• First class is just a waste of money, what’s the cheapest ticket available?

• It sounds like the dog vomited in the living room, I ought to go see if I have to clean it up.

• It’s a great experience to be out here cutting the grass myself.

• What channel is roller derby on?

• My goal in life is to read all of James Patterson’s books.

• The remote control is only a few feet away, I’ll get up and get it so I don’t inconvenience anyone else.

• What’s your least expensive wine?

• I have to check my Klout score today.

• I don’t mind sitting in the last row, the view is fine from any seat, right?

© Alan Weiss 2013

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Definitions

Confidence: The honest-to-goodness belief you can help other people.

Arrogance: The honest-to-goodness belief you have nothing left to learn yourself.

Smugness: Arrogance without the talent.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.

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Alanism – The evolving collection of Alan’s Apothegms.


  1. Get the straw out of your teeth and get out of the cornfield.
  2. Big fish die in small ponds.
  3. When you are 80% done, then move. The final 20% is dysfunctional.
  4. Aim for success, not perfection.
  5. Tell the audience what they need to know, not everything that you know.
  6. Talk the walk.
  7. Wealth is discretionary time.
  8. Only the gifted few can wing it (and if you’re wondering who they are, you’re not one of them).
  9. You can always make more money, you can’t make more time.
  10. Unsolicited feedback is for the benefit of the sender.
  11. Give three options: change the question from “Should we do business?” to “How should we do business?”
  12. What’s your point?
  13. You can’t make this stuff up.
  14. I can’t believe how stupid I was two weeks ago.
  15. You are enabling their behavior.
  16. I don’t know what you’re asking me!
  17. If you don’t blow your own horn there is no music.
  18. You seem to be a best kept secret.
  19. Marketing IS work!
  20. You’re in the marketing business, not the consulting business.
  21. Don’t waste time on a gatekeeper.
  22. Life’s about success, not perfection.
  23. It’s all you, not me.
  24. What’s your question?
  25. You’re not talking to a real buyer.
  26. It’s about creating marketing gravity.
  27. Earth to Roberta…
  28. Believe me, I don’t need all this information.
  29. If you wanna be loved, get a dog!
  30. You’re overthinking this.
  31. 80% of the problem is self-esteem. Let’s move on!
  32. Move three things forward a mile, not a hundred things forward an inch.
  33. The 1% solution: improve by 1% a day, and in 70 days you’re twice as good.
  34. It takes 90 minutes to write an article, not 90 days.
  35. I only kid people I like.
  36. Don’t just drop your baggage. You’ve got to throw it off the train.
  37. You’re going around the block to get next door.
  38. You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first.
  39. A sale is a series of small yeses.
  40. Think of the fourth sale first.
  41. What’s in the client’s best interest?
  42. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying.
  43. Self-confidence in the honest-to-God belief that you can help someone learn. Arrogance is the honest-to-God belief that you have nothing else to learn yourself. Smugness is arrogance without the talent.
  44. You can’t square a circle.
  45. We just don’t agree, and you have the right to be wrong.
  46. There’s nothing new under the sun.
  47. TIAABB: There is always a bigger boat.
  48. It’s as obvious as a ham sandwich.
  49. Be diagnostic, not prescriptive.
  50. Frank Sinatra did not need an introduction. Everyone knew who he was.
  51. Be an object of interest to others to attract them to you.
  52. Keep your inbox clean – cut unwanted email off at the source.
  53. Schedule time to write, and keep it sacrosanct.
  54. Words are the tools of our trade.
  55. Don’t dumb down, not your language or your attire.
  56. It can’t be done, or is it just you that can’t do it?
  57. That’s exactly why you need me.
  58. Enlarge your playing field.
  59. People believe what they see, not what they read or hear.
  60. Your name is your brand.
  61. Who certifies the certifiers?
  62. There are more speech coaches than good speakers.
  63. You will have your Cell Phones, PDA’s and Huckelberrys with you for the rest of your life. You only have me for the next 60 minutes, so put them away and pay attention to me.
  64. This is not a democratic forum.
  65. Too much information.
  66. This is not rocket science.
  67. You’re not talking to the economic buyer.
  68. This person is a waste of time.
  69. Let go of it and move on.
  70. The first sale is to yourself.
  71. Language controls the discussion, the discussion controls the relationship, and the relationship controls the business.
  72. Only read this if you know me, otherwise you will be needlessly ticked off.
  73. The next time you’re REALLY ANGRY, remember that virtually all such rage is actually self-anger being transferred elsewhere. Take the time to find out why you’re so unhappy with yourself.
  74. You never know where the next hit is going to come from.
  75. There is no objection we haven’t heard. You may not be able to effectively rebut every objection, but it’s negligent not to at least be prepared for them.
  76. If you’re always going to be number two in your market, it’s time to take a sharp right.
  77. Look at life through a telescope, not the microscope.
  78. Ain’t I a great facilitator?
  79. If you’re in consulting and don’t at least know of me, you’re just kidding around.
  80. Consulting is just common sense.
  81. It’s hard to learn while you are speaking.
  82. Build on strengths, stop correcting weaknesses.
  83. Life is what you make of it, not what life makes of you.
  84. The difference between the buyer’s “Wants” and the buyer’s “Needs” is your value distance.
  85. Buyers know what they want, but they rarely know what they need.
  86. Negotiate your wants, never your “musts.”
  87. You are not selling, you are enabling the buyer to buy.
  88. Relationships are everything.
  89. Live Large!
  90. Do the best you can, then move on.
  91. Buyers are supposed to buy.
  92. You don’t have a business life and a personal life; you have a life.
  93. Good consultants give help, not solutions.
  94. A professionally published book is the gold standard. A referral is platinum.
  95. Don’t let the client tell you how to consult.
  96. Is there a question in there somewhere?
  97. Why in the world would you waste your time on that?
  98. Hold on, I have to whack- a- mole!
  99. Lighten up.
  100. You are not selling anything, you are providing high value.
  101. You are world class consultants, but had better believe that first.
  102. Whatever you do, it is not going to affect the course of Western civilization.
  103. That was a “yes or no” question, why are you still talking.
  104. Maria never cooks. Ever. I hide her Christmas gifts in the oven.
  105. Life is like working out: You go for as long and hard as you can within the time you have available.
  106. You don’t have to write “War And Peace.”
  107. I’d like a very cold, very dry, Effen Martini.
  108. It’s about controlling the room with intellectual firepower.
  109. Don’t ever ask me that question: Is there anything else I should have asked you that I haven’t?
  110. Use your head.
  111. What are you waiting for?
  112. Value deserves payment.
  113. Referrals are the coinage of my realm.
  114. AW: “Have you been paid already?” Me: “Yes, handsomely” AW: “Then stop whining!!”
  115. You show up, do the best you can, and then you go home.
  116. Stop enabling your client’s terrible behavior!
  117. Don’t fall in love with your methodology.
  118. Don’t pity the martyrs, they love the work. (Citing George Ade)
  119. What’s your Ferrari?
  120. And there you sit! (Response to unsolicited criticism, or negative feedback.)
  121. Don’t assume the other person is damaged.
  122. Don’t swat a fly with a howitzer.
  123. Keep your days light and your weekends free.
  124. AT the end of the day: clean desk, clean floor.
  125. Check your ego at the door.
  126. Who certifies the certifiers?
  127. I don’t want a ski instructor to teach me how to ski from his stool in the bar; I want to see his rear end ahead of me on the slopes.
  128. Welcome to success. You have to be prepared for success.
  129. You are either in the game or you are not!
  130. You must think bigger!
  131. You don’t negotiate fee but you can negotiate terms.
  132. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
  133. Minimize detail and maximize results.
  134. Lead the way to the next yes.
  135. Leadership is driven by values and measured by results.
  136. They are dealing with someone of tremendous power and success.
  137. You can’t be of help if you feel you are intruding.
  138. No one grows by correcting weaknesses.
  139. If it hurts, stop doing it.

Credit: Collected, compiled, and recommended by the members of Alan’s Professional Communities, edited by Alan to protect the innocent.

Click here for the PDF version of this collection. To contribute to this collection please comment below and add your favorites. We will review for quality and accuracy and update this thread.

(This thread last updated on  11/20/09)

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