[Podcast] Million Dollar Consulting with Alan Weiss

[Podcast] Million Dollar Consulting with Alan Weiss

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Who better to learn about consulting from than “the consultant’s consultant” Alan Weiss?

Alan wrote the famous best-selling book “Million Dollar Consultant” and is the author of over 60 books on consulting and business.

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In this episode, Matt and Jacob sit down with Alan to discuss how the principles of Alan’s books can be applied to brand strategy. We explore why a consultancy is a good option, different consulting approaches, how to sell it, and how to grow a consulting practice. We go deep into value-based billing and show how selling time is a terrible idea.


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Transcript (Auto Generated)

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding, the only podcast dedicated to helping designers and entrepreneurs grow brands. Here are your hosts, Jacob Cass and Matt Davies.

Welcome, everybody, to today’s episodes of JUST Branding. You know, we often say we have a rock star on the show, but frankly, today we have a genuine rock star, rock star of consulting, Alan Weiss. He is known as the Consultant’s Consultant, and it’s a great privilege that he’s carved out some time to be with us.

He’s written 65 or so books, maybe more, Alan?

Over 60 books on consulting, including quite a famous one called Million Dollar Consultant. And if anyone asks me, they say, Matt, how do you become a consultant? And I say, look, I can’t advise you better than going to Alan’s book.

The principles in there literally are putting food on my table. So I’m super thrilled to meet you, Alan, and to have you on the show. And I know Jacob is too.


Well, thank you. Why don’t you keep talking? I can listen to that for a long time.


Well, we want to dig into some of the principles, though, you know, appreciate your knowledge and we want to get cracking. And so perhaps one of the first things that we could possibly do is just kind of get get a bit of a grip, a bit of a bit of a story about Alan, how did you get to be a consultant and what’s the story behind behind them becoming the consultant’s consultant?

Well, when I got out of undergraduate school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. The Vietnam War was raging. The placement guy said, you know, I finished seventh in my class at Rutgers and he said, and you don’t have a job.

That’s great. So he set me up in Prudential and Prudential just drove me crazy. I was in Prudential insurance for four years, I was ready to, you know, commit suicide.

But I was writing articles, 25 bucks a piece, I was writing these articles, and a recruiting firm found me and set me up with a firm in Princeton, New Jersey. So I started as a service guy and 11 years later, I was the number two guy in the company reporting to the owner. And I learned that if you really want to be wealthy, you can’t work for someone else.

But at that time, I was offered the presidency of a firm here in Providence, Rhode Island, which is why I’m up here. And I worked here for 15 months and got into a tremendous argument with the owner. And so he fired me.

And I made two decisions which saved my life. The first was this is a relationship business. And the second is I would never charge based on time or numbers of people or numbers of boxes of training material, I would only charge for value and those two decisions changed my life.

So in the 90s, I really pioneered value based fees in consulting. And here I am.

Fantastic. And yeah, and as I said, there’s a lot of people talking about value based fees at the moment, but you were the original. And that’s why I love that you’re with us on the show.

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So perhaps we’ll get into that in just a minute. But before we do consulting, let’s just get some definitions on the table just for folks that perhaps need to kind of start with the 101, which we like to do here on JUST Branding. How do you define consulting, Alan?

Consulting is an expert who improves the client’s condition. If you don’t improve the client’s condition, it’s a version of the physician’s first do no harm. If you don’t improve the client’s condition, then it’s not worth it.

You’re not a consultant, you’re not an expert, you’re a failure. And so that’s rule number one. Second is that there are different kinds of consultants.

There are content consultants who might walk into Mercedes-Benz and tell them, here’s a better way to make, I don’t know, break pads. Then there are process consultants, which I are, and those processes, decision making, conflict resolution, innovation, yada, yada, cross industries, cross companies. And that’s why I’ve been successful.

I’ve worked for a huge variety of organizations. There’s also, I’ll answer a question you didn’t ask, people wonder if coaching and consulting are the same thing. They are not.

However, I have never yet met a successful consultant who did not have to coach during his or her career. I wound up coaching all the time by accident. There are some cases where you just coach, but a coach is not a consultant.

A coach simply helps a person to improve, but might not understand organizational dynamics and things like this. And getting degrees from coaching universities is not something you should spend your time on.

Why not, Alan? Why not?

Well, who certifies the certifiers? There’s a Roman phrase, I can’t say it in Latin, but what it says is, who guards the guardians? And the fact is that there is no set methodology about coaching as there is about medicine or law and so forth.

So Marshall Goldsmith and I are buddies. Marshall says he’s the greatest executive coach of the world, and I’m the greatest entrepreneurial coach in the world. We wrote a book together called Life Storming.

And he has a methodology for coaching. I have a different methodology for coaching, and 12 or 15 or 25 other people who are excellent have different methodologies for coaching. So who is certifying whom and what?

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It’s ridiculous.

So how do you establish then whether you can be a good coach or consultant or not? How would you go about it? Say someone was thinking of getting into this field, how would you sort of advise them?

Okay, so let’s take them separately. I wrote a book called Million Dollar Coaching, too, and what I ask in the beginning of the book is during your life, has anyone ever come to you for advice? And if so, have you given it to them?

And if you have, were they better off? And if the answer to all that is yes, congratulations, you’re a coach. We all coach people.

Give me a break. In consulting, I found out when I wrote Million Dollar Consulting the first time in 1992, this is the sixth edition now. It’s been on the shelves for 30 years, which is sort of Peter Drucker territory, right?

When I wrote the first one in 1992, I found out by accident that there are more requirements and licenses for a palm reader on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, than there are to enter consulting. There’s no barrier to entry. But if you want to be a really good consultant, what you have to understand is this.

I mean, above all else, this is the marketing business. And if you can’t market, you will fail. There are a lot of people who are expert and great at consulting and great models, and they’re starving because they can’t market themselves.

There are people who can market themselves who are mediocre consultants who do well. And then there are people who are great consultants and great marketers, and they do spectacularly well. And that’s what I coach people to do.

So it is the marketing game. And you know, a lot of people here on Main Street in my town, you know, open a donut shop or they open a knitting shop or something, because it’s their hobby and they feel I’ll open a store and make money. And of course, they’ll go out of business because they’re not business people.

And so as a consultant, you need to be a business person first.

Yeah, 100%. And I love the way you framed that as we’re in the marketing business, right? Because I often say to my clients, because I’m a solo consultant, you know, and I unashamedly like take people who follow me, they’ll be like, oh, Jacob Wintz is some type of, I unashamedly take like photos of myself in action and I broadcast that around LinkedIn.

And I’m in the room with leadership teams and I just say to them, look, I am my own marketing department. I have to do this. That’s how you guys got in touch with me because you saw me in action.

And I think you’re right. You have to be able to promote. You have to have show up with something to say, not just something to sell.

And you have to be a, you mentioned something earlier, which I think is really important for folks to appreciate. And that’s a, it’s a relationships game and people buy people. So I guess the biggest question on my mind is, well, how do you, how do you build that trust, Alan?

So someone, you know, I’m talking about people early in a consulting career so that they can get their first hire, get their first project under a belt, get enough trust to do that. What are your, what are your thoughts on building trust?

Before I answer that question, you take pictures of yourself in action as a consultant. Yeah, why not? I’m going to show you an action shot for a speaker.

You got it. Every time, so you know, you develop trust. What’s even better than that is if you’re doing that and you’re surrounded by a group of top, you know, execs, now, now you’ve got yourself a picture and then you can tell a story from it.

But anyway, just a thought.

Yes. Well, at the time, you know, you could be saying, please don’t fire me.

That’s mainly what I’m saying half the time.

But anyway, you develop trust in several ways. The first is that you have to provide value early. You can’t go skating around on, you know, conceptual niceties.

You have to establish value early by citing social proof. So for example, I’m telling people, look, there was no great resignation. It’s really an existential jailbreak.

And the social proof is if people don’t leave companies, they leave people. They leave bosses. The problem with consulting is that a lot of people who go out on their own get a tougher boss.

And they suffer, right? The second way you develop trust is you have a wide-ranging vocabulary. These are our tools.

Language controls discussion, discussions control relationship, relationships control business. That is an immutable sequence. So, a wide-ranging vocabulary and never dumb down.

Anybody who tells you to dumb down your attire or your language or your experiences, just get them out of the room. I mean, leave. Powerful people want to hire powerful people.

Smart people want to hire smart people. If you’re intimidated by my vocabulary, we’re not a match. And then the third thing is you have to have energy and enthusiasm because they’re contagious.

And so, you can’t sit there, you know, wondering about the fourth paradigm of your model for sales excellence. You have to be able to show that you’re excited. I can help you.

People, not enough consultants say, I can help you. They’re afraid to say, I can help you. And then the final thing is you need a very well-developed sense of humor because humor reduces stress and helps people to learn and to listen.

And it also gives you perspective. You know, when I go into a buyer’s office, it’s a challenge, a game for me. Okay, this is going to be fun.

Let me see how I can maneuver here, you know? So a buyer says to me, listen, Alan, this firm’s never hired an outside consultant, and I don’t intend to break that streak. And I say to them, you’d be surprised at how many of my current best clients started the conversation the same way.

So now I’ve reframed that from he’s an outlier to he’s one of my family. So this, to me, is fun. That’s why you need commands of the language.

And you have to understand nobody’s shooting at you, right? You can’t walk out of a buyer’s office poorer. The buyer won’t take your money.

But we’re very afraid of our egos being bruised. So those are some of the ingredients to develop trust early. And you have to be highly assertive.

They got enough yes people around them. They don’t need another yes person.

No, absolutely. And a lot of the stuff that you’ve talked about there, which is in your book, for me, particularly when I was just sort of starting out as a consultant, obviously experienced in other parts of business, it’s a mindset, isn’t it Alan? Like the confidence that just you phrasing and breaking those things down, it can give you somebody like definitely gave me confidence to then go in and just think, yeah, do you know what?

They’re vultures. Like we can’t give them any reason to peck away at me. You know, I’m going to get a bruised ego at some point, but go in confidently, go in positively and advise and help.

And you mentioned like establishing value early. And one of the things that I think is most profound is that’s why we get paid, right? Because we’re adding value.

And that’s the reason why society kind of gives us money in exchange or it should do in exchange for the value added. So I want to tap into that because yeah, yeah, go on, Jacob. And then I want to tap into value and value-based billing because we kind of get there.

Yeah, before we get into value-based billing, I’m just thinking here, so you rattled off some, you know, really great things that make a powerful consultant. But you know, if maybe a few people hear that, oh, I don’t actually have that or I need to work on that. Like, what is the best way to actually improve those skills?

Let’s say I’m intimidated or I don’t have that energy and enthusiasm or whatever it may be. How do you actually bring that into your skillset?

Well, if you need to change your behaviors and improve your skillset, you need coaching. You can’t do it yourself. It’s amazing, you know, how many people who believe in coaching don’t want it for themselves.

And if you look at the greatest performers in the world, whether it’s, you know, Michael Jordan or Frank Sinatra, or, you know, Tiger Woods, doesn’t matter who, you look at the greatest performers, they all have coaches. The greatest executives have coaches. It’s not a mark of shame, it’s a mark of wanting to continue to invest.

So you have to develop those skills and behaviors by having someone help you. My feeling is, if you want to do something yourself, whether it’s clean out the garage or learn to speak better, and you can’t do it in 30 days, you need help. If you get a coach and you can’t do it in 90 days, you need to go into another kind of business.

And Marshall and I agree on that. The other thing I’ll tell you is this, if the reason you can’t improve is psychological, it’s something your parents told you 30 or 40 years ago, which happens, right? You’re good, but not as good as your brother.

Then you need therapy. And now we’re not therapists. I have a PhD in psychology, but I’m not a clinician.

And so I have a line of demarcation that, okay, over here, I can coach you, but over here, you need clinical help. And those are two different things. Thanks.

Yes, I can totally relate to that. And I got into coaching a few years ago, and I was preaching that everyone needs a coach, and there I was, I didn’t have a coach. So I did change that recently, and invested in a coach.

And I totally agree with that as well. It’s very powerful to have someone by your side to show you the way. All right, do you want to get into value-based pricing?

Well, I think it’s kind of a, it was what you’re famous for, Alan. As you mentioned, you pioneered it in the 90s and obviously have championed it and used it to help consultants really kind of grow their practices without necessarily scaling the head count within their organizations. And it definitely, for me, I used to run businesses and frankly, I love people, I can run teams, but man, it’s so hard.

And it’s very hard to scale, particularly service-based kind of companies without becoming just basically a people manager all day long without doing the work that you enjoy. So what I really, when I sort of, I broke out on my own and I read your book and I was like, this is what I’ve been looking for. It took me about 20 years, Alan, but I was like, this is it, right?

There was so many things that ran true that I’d learned from painful, painful experience. And, but what I was missing was that value-based thing, right? Because once you understand that, it unlocks a way of scaling without, as I say, adding a head count, adding kind of more headache.

So perhaps we can work on that. What is value-based billing as opposed to just whatever else is there? Like I used to do time-based billing in the past life, never go back there, but what is the difference?

Can you lay it out for us so that we can kind of pick it apart?

Lousy service providers, which would include lawyers right away, lousy service providers, bill by a time unit as though their presence and their time is of value. It’s basically unethical in consulting because a client deserves a rapid resolution. But if a consultant is only making money the longer the consultant is there, that’s an immediate conflict.

It’s unethical. But lawyers charge in 600 increments. You know who?

I had a full scholarship to law school. Thank God I didn’t accept it. You know, it was a horrifying thought.

Now, the point of value based fees is a line that I put in my proposals. And that is, my fees are based on a dramatic return on investment for you and equitable compensation for me. That’s it.

It’s one sentence. And when people ask me about my billing model, that’s what I tell them. I tell them it’s unethical to charge by the time unit, that there’s no meter running.

They don’t have to make an investment decision every time they or their people need me. Their investment is capped. And I promise that if they do their part and I do mine, it’ll be at least a 10 to one return.

And you can’t, unless you bought Apple stock when it was 17, you know, you don’t get that return. So it’s an easy sell. And I find that most buyers these days are willing to listen to that.

If you can explain and educate why it’s important. So that’s what it’s based upon, but you need courage to do that because people don’t respect their own judgment. People don’t respect their own value.

One quick example, when the pandemic hit, you know, I’m in the Speaker’s Hall of Fame. It’s one of the things I’ve done in my life. And a lot of speakers I know lowered their fees because they went virtual and they were crying the blues.

They were rending their garments, you know, I’m going to die by all these big contracts. Well, why would you lower your fee? I mean, value is value.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re there, pressing flesh, shaking hands, or you’re sitting here like we are, you know? So that’s the kind of poor thinking, poor judgment that undermines the whole principle of seeing yourself as valuable because of your advice and your expertise and your abilities.

100%. You know, there’s so many things in that. The unethical thing is so interesting.

So a lot of our listeners, and Jacob and myself, we have a background in kind of design and creative services. And the way that you’re taught, well, I was anyway, at least, you know, many years ago in college, to price projects is that you kind of look at how long it would take, and then for some reason, you pluck a fee out the air of whatever you think you’re worth per hour, and then you basically total that up and give that to the client. And as you develop in your career, what tends to happen is you just do that in a more complex way with different services.

So when I ran agencies, that’s what we used to do. But what I have bitterly learned from experience is the client never cared about the fact that it would take you three hours to do that, and there’s only one hour for remens or whatever it might be. The client just cares about the bottom line and assumes that you’re going to solve their problem for that fee.

And so you’re absolutely right about being unethical because when projects go spiral and you go back and forth and it goes over the time, actually it’s unethical. And sometimes for the creative.

Let me interrupt you here. Okay.

Interrupt me. Feel free.

Yeah. Two things. One is all of this depends on the person to whom you’re talking.

If you’re not talking to a buyer, they’re not interested in results. So if you’re talking to HR, HR stands for hardly relevant, by the way, if you’re talking to HR, they don’t care about results. All they care about is what fits in the box.

So the first thing is you have to be talking to a real buyer. The second thing is what you started to explain there is even worse about dividing hours and so forth, because the recommendations that people made were calculate your expenses for the year, then calculate the available hours web over here that you can put into work and then divide that and you’ll get your monthly billing, your hourly billing. Well, of course, that presumes that you’re going to work 100% of the time, that you’re not interested in discretionary time.

And that’s what I mean by people having a worse boss. So it’s anti-diluvian thinking. It’s absolutely ignorant.

So value-based fees works. Over the 30 years I’ve been coaching individuals, in addition to corporate work, we made an estimate and cut it in half. And the 50% results is that I’ve improved consultants’ income on an annualized basis by over a billion dollars.

Now you want to argue with those results, go ahead. But there are people in my community all over the world who are enjoying that. And so the whole concept of charging for anything but value is ridiculous.

You know, you don’t need a Rolls Royce for transportation. You don’t need a Brioni suit to cover yourself up. You don’t need a brightly watch to tell the time.

But the point is there’s an ego need to have those, which is a justifiable need. So people aren’t paying for basic transportation. And for us, people aren’t paying for a basic hour of time.

They’re paying for the resultant value. And a lot of times that value is monetary, it’s monetized, but a lot of times it’s because people feel better, you know? And so people say, I work with Alan Weiss and they want to say that.

So another thing I want to make sure we get in here right now is that the traditional definition of a brand is a consistent representation of quality. But the real definition of a brand is it’s how people think about you when you’re not around.


And if people think well enough about you, they’re going to come find you, which lowers your cost of acquisition. And you can charge whatever the hell you want.

Absolutely, absolutely. I’m living proof of that, frankly, which is amazing, you know? But it’s such a shift because as soon as I read all of your stuff around value-based billing and you know, you’ve been talking about positioning and branding is really about, as you say, it’s kind of like, what do people say about you when you’re there?

So how do you build that reputation, that trust, so that they kind of, they want to work with you. And secondly, I think, you know, the amazing thing around this is, what I found was, I asked myself the question, what problem do I really solve, right? Because if I can start to solve a bigger problem that’s worth money to a customer, to a client, to a buyer, then I can start talking to different types of people.

So rather than talking to procurement on an hour by hour basis, forget that, you know, start moving up the chain into the boardroom. So I do a lot where I work now with CEOs, right? And you’re trying to explain to them exactly what you’ve just said, which is, look, how are we going to build this brand so that, you know, it’s magnetic, so that people want to buy it and don’t kind of, they’re not picking it apart.

So Alan, I completely agree with that. I love that people feel better, you know, how about that for a simple kind of nugget of gold?

That’s what I’ve been missing, a Rolls Royce and a suit.

Oh, Jacob, you want to read Alan’s book?

That’s how you get these. I’ve got it in my bookshelf right there. I haven’t read it yet.

It’s on my list.

So let’s sort of shift the conversation a bit. You know, we’ve started to delve into value-based billing, but I know you have a lot of information around proposals and the whole purchasing process, if I can call it that, which is hugely useful and important to appreciate. I just wondered if you could kind of give us some top tips from your perspective of how consultants should position themselves and get into a position where they’re going to put a proposal forward.

Well, first of all, a proposal is a summation. It’s not a negotiation. It’s not an exploration.

It’s a summation and it’s a summation of what I call conceptual agreement. So conceptual agreement comprises three things, objectives, measures and value. And an objective is a business-based outcome.

So when people say, well, the objective would be to align our communication consistently within the company, you can align till the cows come home, it won’t improve the bottom line. So what’s the business outcome? Is it increased profits?

Is it increased market share? Is it reduced attrition and reduced expenses? Yada, yada.

The second is metrics. How will we know we’re making progress? So a metric is a measure of success and progress.

And if you don’t have a metric, then you don’t know if you reach it or not. And then the third is value. And so if we meet these objectives, what’s the value that accrues?

Now, I’ll give you a very simple example of how people sort of miss the boat. People think that profit is an objective and it’s also value, right? Higher profit.

Well, if a company derives higher profit, what can it do with it? That’s what I asked the buyer. And here’s what a company can do with it.

Just give us some examples. They can pay off debt. They can pay bonuses.

They can raise salaries. They can bring on new people. They can expand facilities and so forth and so on.

And so something as simple and clear as profit has value that’s seven or eight or nine times what that single word means. And that’s what consultants have to pursue. So in the proposal, you start with a situation appraisal.

Here’s why we’re together. One paragraph. The objectives, four or five.

The metrics, at least one metric for each objective. And then the value statements. And I ask for at least three value statements for each objective.

And half of those need to be monetized at the end of the day, half monetized. Then you do options. And I always give people three options because it raises the chances of acceptance by 50%.

Instead of saying, should I do this or not? People are saying, how should I best do this? It’s a big difference.

I talk about joint accountabilities, which here’s what you need to do. Here’s what I need to do. Here’s what we need to do together.

I talk about timing. How long will it take? And then I talk about terms and conditions.

So that’s the first time the buyer sees the fee. First time, right there. So the buyer’s been nodding.

That’s what we discussed. It’s a summation. That’s what we discussed.

Those are my accountabilities. I got that. Oh, and here are the fees.

And you see a tremendous return on these three fees for these three options. And then in the very last part is the acceptance. So my proposal is also the document you signed for acceptance.

I don’t send a contract. I want nothing to go to legal. 2.5 pages.


Beautiful. And you’ve got a book called Million Dollar Proposals, which I also read, which also blew my mind with templates in it and everything. And I was like, I literally have been trying it myself and I’m telling you folks, it works, right?

It’s unbelievable. But it is all in the confidence and the way you handle those initial conversations. You know, I think that’s it, because as you say, Alan, then you don’t want to get in a situation where you’re putting proposals forward, or RFPs as they’re known in our industry, requests for proposals that are like, you know, that you’re up against 10 other people, you know, it’s just, well, what are you doing?

It’s just wasting time writing stuff. So I think, you know, the principles there, they’re just phenomenally simple, but so powerful when you walk through it. I have a question for you, Alan though.

Do you ever see a need for like retainer based agreements? Because one way that I’ve been able to scale my practice is to adopt some of your thinking, but sort of apply some sort of retainer based things where the objectives are constantly evolving over time with clients. Have you got any thoughts on retainer based fees to bring stability to practice?

I’ve got a lot of thoughts on that. I’m helping move the more successful people in my communities to advisory work. And advisory work is based on a retainer.

You don’t do objectives, measures and value. Advisory work is strictly a sounding board kind of thing. It can be highly active or it can be rare, it could be irregular, but it’s not a project.

There’s not objectives, measures of value. I simply serve as your advisor. And advisory work is wonderful because I believe that wealth is really discretionary time.

It’s not money, money’s fuel. And if wealth is discretionary time to go where you want, when you want, advisory work frees up a tremendous amount of your time. So you talked before several times about scalability.

My contention is that increasing your discretionary time is as valuable as increasing your revenue. So I think that it’s something that experienced consultants should seriously think about doing more and more. I think that it’s something desirable for executives who are good.

They realize they need somebody outside the organization whose retirement plan is invested there, doesn’t want their job, doesn’t want a corner office. And you can take on a hell of a lot of clients at once. So I’m all for it.

And instead of a proposal though, you simply provide a letter of agreement.

Yeah, oh, I’m glad you think that, because yeah, I’m slowly transversing over there. I mean, the big question that I’ve been asking myself, and I hope none of my clients are listening, because it sounds ridiculous when you say this out loud, but everybody stay on your chairs, right? Take this seriously.

This is the big question I’ve been asking myself is like, how do I do, or how do I spend less time doing work, but get paid more, right? Which sounds like a crazy question, but it’s exactly based on what you’ve said, Alan, which is that wealth is discretionary time. I want to spend some of my kids and around my farm here.

It’s the question everybody should be asking. I agree. I’ve developed something called the accelerant curve.

And at the end of the accelerant curve is people want to spend more and more and get more value from you. You reduce your labor commensurately, there’s a vault. And in the vault of things that only you uniquely do.

And so people come to you and fee is not an issue because nobody else can do this. So, I have a Million Dollar Consulting College. I have a Beyond Thought Leadership Session.

I have elite coaching programs and so forth. So advisory work makes all kinds of sense. But again, you need somebody who’s sophisticated and wise enough to use it.

In this business, you do not want to get stuck with remedial work and startup work for that matter, but remedial work where people have gotten themselves in a hole and they keep asking for a shovel instead of a ladder, I can’t save those people and I’m not really interested. So there’s a bank robber named Willie Sutton in the United States. And they said to him, why do you keep robbing banks?

And he said, that’s because that’s where the money is. And we need to go after successful companies and successful buyers because that’s where the buying is.

So I have another kind of, we’ve dealt with a lot, right? And we’re probably slowly kind of gonna start winding things up, but I’ve got a kind of a personal question for you, Alan. I hope you don’t mind me asking it, but you know, what drives you?

You’ve been insanely successful. You’ve obviously done all of this, all of your writing. You’ve got all of your coaching programs and your community that you work with.

What’s keeping you going? Like, why don’t you just sail off into the sunset on your yacht in your Rolls Royce?

Why do you keep doing what you were doing?

Well, I’ll be getting into my roles whenever you’re done here. But I mean, look, I wrote a book called Three Score and More. And the fact is that retirement is silly.

Retirement is dumb. It’s an ancient artifact. It’s based on demographics from the 40s.

And the fact is that people live longer when they’re engaged. Now, I’m not saying you have to continue to do the same kind of work, but I am saying you have to continue to contribute to society. You have to continue to build yourself.

And so, you know, I work out three times a week to keep myself in good physical shape. And every day I’m working out mentally to keep myself in better and better mental shape. I mean, I’m on top of my game.

So retirement doesn’t interest me. The whole concept is stupid, but I love doing what I do because I can write my own ticket at this stage of my life. You know, while we’re here right now, alansforums.com is operating, where people from all over the world are talking about marketing and fears and ethics and everything else.

And I’m getting credit for that, even though I’m talking to you, because I’m the one who brought them together. So I can set up what I want. I can put my name at any door.

And, you know, my wife and I are going to Brisbane in October and people will come to hear me and to work with me. And we’ll go-

Well, let’s talk about that. What’s going on? Because I know you’re doing some shows in Brisbane.

You’re going to do some shows in London. What’s the, talk to us about that.

Well, these are on my site, alanweiss.com, right? So in Brisbane, I’m going to do a general session, kind of a day, a day and a half. And we’ll talk about how to build your business with new realities, because I’ve trademarked the phrase, no normal.

We are not returning to normal. There is no new normal, but there are new realities. Normal means typical.

You really want to return to typical? I don’t. So I’m going to be talking about how you deal in this new world with these new realities.

I’ll have a VIP session then for half a day. And then I’m doing my sentient strategy, which is a strategic approach I created to deal with setting strategy in a single day for clients looking one year out. Because as much as I love Peter Drucker’s work, it’s 60 years old.

And it’s time now to face it. You cannot spend months looking for a strategy five years out. It’s ridiculous these days, right?

Disruption, volatility and so on. So that’s London. I’m going at the end of November, beginning in, that’s Australia, Brisbane.

End of November, beginning in December, I’m going to do a general session in London for a day. And then I’m going to do a two day elite session. It will be just for maybe 12 or 14 people.

I’ve got five people right now. And we’re going to spend, this is for successful people who want to learn how to get even higher, even better, even beyond superstar. And we’ll spend two days doing that and they’ll learn from their peers who I can bring together, but I’m going to introduce new IP and some new ideas for how you do that in this post pandemic world.

My wife and I leave day after tomorrow for Hawaii. And so, like I said, people are going to meet me in Hawaii, so we’ll have a nice vacation, but I’ll do a little bit of business. So wherever I tend to go and wherever my wife wants to go, people will come and what a wonderful life that is.

It’s a long haul from Prudential Insurance, right?

Yeah, for sure. You escaped that one. And you’re looking great, by the way, the working out and everything.

If I look as good as you, however old you are, I’ll be happy with myself.

I told you I love to listen to it.

Yeah. And maybe I’ll come see you in London. I’ll have to check that out and see if I’m available.

That sounds awesome.

And I should be in Hawaii in a few days as well. Oh, what?

Cocktails on the beach.

Please come. I’d love to see in person. That would be great.


Well, look, thanks so much for carving out your time. If folks want to get…

One more question if we’re going to squeeze it in.

Yes, squeeze it.

You mentioned everyone has a coach. I’d be really interested to hear who your coach is or coach is for.

Well, I have two sources. That’s a very good question. The first is I have this worldwide community, which serves as the laboratory.

And so I introduced no offerings. I listened to them. I’ll give you an example, Jacob.

Five days ago, four, five days ago, somebody said on my forums, I’ve been on seven or eight boards. I’ve led two boards. I’ve just done a remarkable turnaround with a ballet board here in Providence from poverty to wealth.

And so somebody says on my forums, listen, I would love to be on boards. I’d love to lead boards. Can you do a session on how to do that?

I said, sure. It’ll be this amount of money. And now it’s, so five days later, it’s scheduled.

I have six people in it. I’ll probably get another six people in it. So my community is a laboratory.

The second is my wife, who is, you know, married in August for 54 years and we were high school sweethearts. So she’s seen my act 400,000 times and, um, she’s, she’s only been wrong once. I mean, think of this record.

She’s only been wrong. Well, are you sure about that Alan? I don’t, I don’t believe that.

I’ll tell you, she’s never wrong. Let’s be honest.

I’ll give you two examples. When, when I was fired, my wife said, what are you going to do? I said, I’m going to get an office.

She said, why? I said, I’m going at my own. You know, they said, people won’t come to see you.

You have to go see them. You’re a consultant. I said, gee, should I have, she said, I’ll tell you what, if you find out you need an office, get one.

But in the meantime, see if you don’t need one. Well, here I am, you know, 35 years later, no office. Now in the first, I don’t know, 20 years or something, there was no electricity, no utilities, no insurance, no part-time help, no upkeep on the office, no rent, nothing, which would have cost me.

I calculated $450,000 over that stretch. My two kids went to private school from kindergarten through college, private schools, and you know what it cost? $450,000.

So my wife paid for their college education by telling me not to have an office. The one issue where she might have been wrong is when Million Dollar Consultant comes out in 1992, people call me for free advice, right? Because I was doing corporate work and my ego got so involved that for four years, I gave people free advice.

And then I said, I’m spending more time on free advice than getting paid. So I said to my wife, I’m going to charge people. And she said, I don’t think anybody’s going to pay you to coach them.

I said, yeah, but they won’t bother me. And so she said, what are you going to charge? I said, $3,500.

And she said, what kind of research did you do for that? I said, well, $3,500 is the monthly lease on my Ferrari. And if I get 12 people, I’ll pay for the damn car every year.

I got a lot more than 12 people. And I realized, talking about discretionary time, whoa, wait a minute. The corporations, I had to put up with politics and I had to travel to Sitka and Pittsburgh and strange places where their outlets, where their offices were, but this was different.

And so I said to her, you were somewhat wrong about that. She said, well, it depends on your interpretation, but she’s got a hell of a good record.

She sounds like my wife. They’d get along, to be honest, Alan, my wife and yours, I’m sure. There we are.

Well, thanks so much. So, you know, really appreciate you carving out the time. You’ve shared, you know, you talk about value.

You’ve just packed this episode so full of value. It’s an honor to meet you. Thank you so much.

If folks want to get in touch with you, you know, or find out what you’re doing. I know you’ve mentioned your shows. Is it your website?

Is that the best way? Do you want to drop that again, just so that everyone knows?

Yeah, it’s A-L-A-N-W-E-I-S-S, alanweiss.com. I have four monthly newsletters, which are free. I have a weekly newsletter, which is free.

I have a free weekly podcast. I have a free monthly video. I could go on and on and on.

I do a one minute a day on social media, one minute with Alan, all free. And you’ll find it all on my website.

And folks, seriously, buy the books. If anyone comes to me after this podcast and says, oh, Matt, how do I become a consultant? I’m just going to be like, look, just read Alan’s books.

You’re not listening to what we’re saying. Read Alan’s books and then come and ask us. But no, thanks so much, Alan.

Honestly, bottom of our hearts, thank you very much. Not just for your time today, but for all the work you’ve put in over the years. As I say, for me personally, really appreciate it because, yes, putting food on my table.

So thank you very much.

Well, you’ve both been very kind. I’m happy to be here. Thank you.

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