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Wealth is not money. Money is simply the fuel. Wealth is discretionary time. The ability to do what you want, when you want is real wealth.
In this podcast, Alan enumerates on diverse tips and strategies that can be used to kick start your own journey as an advisor:
- In order to stand out, you should become a contrarian and someone who is provocative. You should be able to suggest preferred methods of doing a certain thing. This means that you should not stop thinking of something new.
- People trust their peers and peer references more than the most common ways to utilize a certain service. Aim for referrals. Do not conform to what is easy and usual, like common forms of advertisement.
- Organizing your time and yourself can lead to better productivity and a good number of accomplishments.
- Identify your clients thoroughly. Worst clients keep complaining and best clients give you the benefit of the doubt, which supports the idea that customers aren’t always right.
- Work on your skills – specifically writing and speaking. These are crucial productive skills in getting your message and service across.
- Perfection can be the enemy of excellence. You should always give your best and know that there are chances to fail. If this happens, you must have the resilience to bounce back.
- Do not make unguaranteed promises. Do your best to help your client achieve reasonable goals and objectives.
Alan Weiss is a renown consultant, speaker, and author. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc. has clients of over 500 leading organizations.
He is an inductee into the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame® and the concurrent recipient of the National Speakers Association Council of Peers Award of Excellence, representing the top 1% of professional speakers in the world.
Michael Levin is a versatile and talented columnist, author, distance runner, and musical performer who has ghostwritten more than 700 books ranging from finance and entrepreneurship to health care and technology.
Note: This Advisorist Podcast transcript was created in part by computers – Please forgive any grammatical or spelling errors…or sentences that just downright don’t seem to make sense! Please compare to corresponding audio if clarity is needed.
Jeremiah: Hi, this is Jeremiah Desmarais, Founder of Advisorist and it gives me great pleasure and really it’s an incredible honor to introduce to you one of the hosts of the Advisorist podcast, Michael Levin. Michael is not only a personal friend, but he’s one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation and a New York Times best-selling author who’s written, co-written, or ghostwriter over 550 books. Hundreds of them in the financial services arena of which 18 are national bestsellers. You would be hard pressed to find somebody that hasn’t been in more outlets than Michael. He’s been on Shark Tank, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Politico, the LA Times, The Boston Globe, Writer’s Digest, CBS News. I mean, the guy has even had his work optioned and made for film by Steven Soderbergh of paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, Frank Perry, and so many more. He ghostwrote for some of the biggest names in sports and business including Dave Winfield, Pat Summerall, Howard Bragman, former Schwab CEO David Pottruck, Marketing legend Jay Abraham, NBA star Doug Christie, and the list goes on and on and on. As the host of All Eyes on You, Michael will bring his unique blend of insights and wisdom as it relates to using books to get to the level of your dreams that you’ve always desired. They are one of the most powerful introduction tools that financial advisors and insurance agents can use today. I know when I got my book written, oh my, did the doors open up that’s why I’m so excited to have Michael hosting All Eyes on You as part of the Advisorist Network. Michael, take it away my friend.
Michael: My guest today is the legendary Alan Weiss who is the number one business consultant, speaker, author anywhere in the United States. Wherever you go, Alan is the man. Summit Consulting Group is the name of the company, www.alanweiss.com is the website. His clients include Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Merill Lynch, Federal Reserve, New York Times, Toyota and on and on. He is a frequent keynoter. He’s been a visiting faculty member all over the United States and he doesn’t just work with these massive companies, he also has written more than 60 books and 500 articles, which ‘Million Dollar Consulting’ I would say is the foundation of his work. He works with large numbers of entrepreneurs, business owners, individuals who are looking to become more successful and to do things the right way and not waste time and make money and so on. That’s who Alan Weiss is. If you haven’t heard of him, I’m very happy to bring him to you. Alan, thank you for taking the time.
Alan: My pleasure, Michael. Good to be here.
Michael: The basic question is this. In a world where there’s so much competition and where the marketplace commoditizes people who do not stand out, how do you advise people to stand out or to get attention for themselves? What’s the starting point?
Alan: Well, you resist being a commodity by not talking or appearing like one. That means you have to be contrarian, you have to be provocative, you can’t just go with the flow, you can’t be a herd animal. You have to introduce intellectual property, IP. That’s different, that’s innovative and that’s not all that hard to do because of what you said. There’s so much commodity, there were so many herd animals that it’s not difficult to stand out in the crowd these days but you need self esteem and have the courage to do it.
Michael: Well, if I’m a financial advisor, or an insurance professional and listening to this I say, “Yeah, sure. There’s nothing that I could possibly say that will help you stand out from the crowd.” What’s your response?
Alan: My response is then drive a bus. Because if you really feel about your career, that you have nothing new to say, then you shouldn’t be in it because you’re a prisoner. The fact is, I don’t want to talk to an insurance person or an investment person, or even somebody who is part of a firm as accounting who can’t tell me something new, who can’t tell me there are new and better ways to look at things. For example, I’ve co-written a book and I’ve coached a guy who’s an expert on small business growth and small business wealth. He says, “Look, don’t try to minimize your taxes. It’s terrible for your credit. You shouldn’t try to minimize your taxes. Here’s what you should doing.” He tells people that the really important thing is total days to cash. Meaning that it’s not how much you’re charging, it’s how quickly you can get your money. These are interesting concepts to think about what makes the book so interesting. Anybody can do this if they put their mind to it but if you’ve been in the profession for a long time, and you can’t think of anything new, you got a problem.
Michael: Okay. Let’s say you’ve got someone who has some new ideas, but hasn’t really figured out how to express them or where to express them. What’s the first step?
Alan: Well, you have to get into what I call the public square. So you have to ask yourself, one, who is my ideal buyer? Who’s my ideal client? My ideal buyer? Number two, what do they read? That’s what you publish. Number three, where do they hang out so that you can network? Number four, what do they attend? That’s where you speak. The overwhelming research over the last 15 years or more is that executives and business owners buy from peer to peer reference. They don’t buy from advertising, from the internet because that’s what you do look for commodities, but they buy professional services, a peer to peer reference. Jonathan Berger over Wharton School who was my guest speaker at one of my events, he’s written ‘Contagious’ and ‘Invisible Influence’, he points out that only 4% of peer to peer influence occurs on the internet. All the rest is into personal. So you’ve got to get onto those radar screens. You’ve got to be saying things differently, networking, speaking, publishing so that people can hear you.
Michael: Give me an example of a client who took your advice. You don’t have to give me a name but just sort of the person came to you and heard all this and said, “Okay, I’m going to do that.” Where do they network? Where do they publish? Where do they speak?
Alan: Well, I’ll give you an example of a woman who came to me making six figures, and today is making a very healthy seven figures. Instead of being a thought leader in sales, she became an expert in sales, and then the expert in sales. She speaks at major conferences for executives, not for sales people around the world, she deals with Fortune 50 companies and helping them to strategize and realign their sales forces, she publishes in publications that these kinds of buyers read. Let me just take a moment to point out, you’re better off in a newsletter that reaches 500 of your true buyers put out by a trade association, than publishing in some magazine that goes to 50,000 people, none of whom are your buyers and all these people bragging about the fact that they blog for forbes.com, or one of these magazines you hear about all the time on the internet. It doesn’t matter because there’s so much noise there and everybody’s doing that. So those are the kinds of things she’s done and maybe we could take the rest of this interview with me citing examples like that but the fact is that you have to have the willingness to do this. You have to have what I call the courage of your talents. If you sit around saying, “Well, there’s nothing new for me to say”, well, you might as well go down the street and sit in the park with the squirrels.
Michael: You made a distinction when you began that story about this client between thought leadership and being an expert. What’s the difference between a thought leader and an expert?
Alan: Well thought leaders have a lot to say about their profession and they’re fairly well known. But the true expert is someone who becomes an icon. The true expert is cited, they’re talked about. I am the expert in solo consulting. Marshall Goldsmith, the expert in corporate executive coaching. When you talk about people like us, we’ve published a lot of books, we are featured speakers wherever we want to go, people come to hear us and pay a lot of money and other people cite us. Some people take shots at us. One of the things about someone who has reached a very high status in the profession is that people at lower levels who are insecure shooting you as a sign of success. You can usually name a profession, Michael, that has a lot of thought leaders but there’s often just one real designated person who’s the expert. A lot of thought leaders and strategy but Drucker was the expert.
Michael: If I want to go from thought leadership status to icon status, what’s the path?
Alan: First of all, let’s take it in two dimensions. The content dimension is you have to produce new IP every week, you have to be putting IP out on your blog and your publications and your speeches and everything every single week so that people are enthralled by what you’re putting out there. Not everything will appeal equally to everyone but some of it will appear somewhere to somebody. The content has to be new and fresh and also based on the times. My Monday morning member this week was about the fact that the traditional places where we picked up values and ethics, which were the schools and the churches and businesses and the family dinner table and so on, they’ve all disappeared. That’s why we’re so uncivil today. That’s why we’re so rude and crude today. This is the kinds of things I put out every week. That’s the content side. The process side, we have to shamelessly promote. We have to tell people, “I can help you”. We have to say to people, “Here’s what my best clients do”. We have to be absolutely fearless in showing people that we have a good way and a better way to do things.
Michael: Now, when you talk about timeliness, you’re saying weekly is the best frequency for getting your content out there?
Alan: No, I said I do something weekly, but I do things weekly, I do the monthly, I do some certain things annually. But in a given month, I have a Monday morning memo every week. I have a balancing act, the free newsletter every month. I have million dollar mindset of free newsletter every month. I have writing on the wall of free video comes out every month. I have the Uncomfortable Truth Podcast that comes out every week. I have the Word of the Week, which comes out once a week. I’m on my blog every day. I blog every single day on two different blogs on public and private. I mean, I can go on and on but that’s the amount of content I put out. Even in my position at this stage in my career, I still generate all that.
Michael: Why do you do that?
Alan: Because I love it and because it’s a great life.
Michael: The listeners are saying, how do you have the time to do all that? That’s a huge amount.
Alan: It doesn’t take that much time. It doesn’t take that much time. If you organize yourself well, it doesn’t take that much time. I mean, the Monday morning memo is basically a paragraph or two and it takes you about 10 minutes to create. I mean, if you’re spending an hour, you’re a writer, if you’re spending an hour to write three pages, there’s something wrong with you.
Michael: There’s a lack of confidence in what you’re writing.
Alan: Well, what happens is people self-edit, and they’ll write, “Hey, look, there were four great ways to innovate,” and then they’ll say, “Well, maybe there’s six or seven”. Before you know it, there’s nothing on paper. So you cannot self-edit in your speech or in what you write. You have to go boldly forward. That’s what experts do. People who are not experts continually criticize themselves.
Michael: Now, the Monday morning memo that you mentioned, or the piece that you mentioned was about the lack of places where values are taught and learned. Now, that does not reflect directly to solo consulting, does it?
Alan: No, I want to be an object of interest and so I’m putting things that are interesting out there and that’s a good catch that you made. So that people see me, I’m visible, my brand is strong and everybody knows about me. They’ll say, “Look what this guy’s talking about.” Eventually, they’ll get around to my expertise, that’s fine.
Michael: What I hear you saying is that, to be a thought leader, you have to spend at least a little bit of time thinking.
Alan: Yeah. Well, you have to be a leader and you have to have thoughts, right.
Michael: You can’t just sort of stand there and say, “I’m a thought leader”, but you’re not doing any thinking.
Alan: Well, that’s right. I mean, that’s why we have so few thought leaders in politics. None of these people are thinking. They’re just screaming all the time.
Michael: That’s not really a great role model, I guess, for what you do.
Alan: Well, I’ll tell you something. I can name you some excellent business executives but I can’t name you any statesman right now.
Michael: That’s really true. We have no lack of pretenders but there’s nobody out there who says Churchill or Reagan or whomever it is.
Alan: No, that’s right. There are no statesmen out there and they’re all politicians and that’s because they’re jabbering but none of them is standing up as an expert, as a leader, as an icon, who people want to follow.
Michael: Now you’ve got some candidates. We’re early in the cycle, you’ve got some candidates, were putting out policies, but Elizabeth Warren is putting up policy statements left and right and she can barely get arrested and then you’ve got guests. We don’t know what he stands for, we know what he stands on. He’s standing on a lot of tables in restaurants in Iowa and New Hampshire, but we have no clue what he stands for and it seems as though he’s got much more traction than she does.
Alan: When you don’t say much, it’s hard for people to be against you because they don’t know what you stand for. Elizabeth Warren, who’s having a great deal of trouble raising money right now is having problems because people do know what she stands for and not a lot of them like it. If you ask Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, or any of the rest of these people, how they’re going to pay for these programs, they don’t know. The American public isn’t stupid. So if you’re going to have some kind of approach where airplanes don’t fly on fossil fuel, and everybody has a minimum wage, and so forth, and so on, no matter how well your intentions, if you don’t figure out how to pay for it, it’s not going to happen. Every time you say, “Where’s the money going to come from?” they say the same thing, “We’re going to eliminate waste.” That’s their problem. There’s no real leader here. Kennedy said, “We’re going to put a man on the moon. We’re going to do it in 10 years.” Even after he died, it came true because he put place what he had to put in place.
Michael: Now to take this back to the people you work with, in my experience, people get excited about putting themselves out there and then they drop back because they’re so concerned about what their colleagues and peers are going to say that they’re not focused on their audience, do you see that?
Alan: I do. Consultants tend to have very low self-esteem, and it holds them back. They use the wrong metrics, which are other people’s metrics. But most of all, they care what people think and you should never care what people think. I’ve been doing this a long time. I have never, ever, ever read a feedback sheet from the speech I’ve made. People have handed that and collected them and so forth. I don’t read them, I never will read them. I only listen to people whose opinion I asked. If I respect some people, and I want their opinion, I’ll ask them but I never take unsolicited feedback because it’s always for the sender, never the recipient.
Michael: Is this something you teach your clients?
Alan: All the time. People who complain the most, they’re usually your worst clients.
Michael: For sure because they’re not perceiving the value in what you offer.
Alan: Well, not only that, I mean, your best customers give you the benefit of the doubt. They say, “This didn’t work, can we fix it?” Your best customers spend a lot of money, your best customers give you referrals and references. Your worst customers always want a deal. They want something for nothing. They complain because things aren’t perfect. The customers are not always right. It’s a fallacy. I tell my clients to triage their customers. You have your best customers, your average customers, your worst customers. Stop paying attention to your worst customers.
Michael: And they’ll go away?
Alan: And they’ll go away which is what you want. But if you enable them by listening to them, they don’t get to be better customers, they just get to be more frequent worst customers.
Michael: I like that a lot. It’s something that we’ve talked about, and it’s something that I try to do. Let’s come back to the idea. You’ve got all these different venues that you’ve created for disseminating your ideas, either in words or on video, what advice do you give to your clients? Where should they start in terms of… Is it a blog? Is it a newsletter? Then how do they get attention and traction for what they’re putting out?
Alan: Do what you’re best at first. When I got fired in ‘85, I could write and I could speak really well. Today I’m still writing and speaking. I don’t like to network. I hate to schmooze so I didn’t do that. So if you like to write, like to speak, you like to network, you like to host events, you’d like to do a variety of things, go with what you’re really good at first because then it’s not onerous. But if you’re not good at any of them, then get into another line of work because that’s how you market.
Michael: If you’re not networking, and you’re not speaking and you’re not writing, then you’re just not going to find clients is what you’re saying?
Alan: Yeah, I mean, you should be a government official somewhere.
Michael: You should run for President.
Alan: No. I mean, just be the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Alan: Which is getting forms.
Michael: There you get seven minute bathroom breaks, there are worse things. We talked about the writing, let’s talk about speaking. How do you guide your clients toward getting speaking?
Alan: Well, the best way is to write a book, and use the book as your leverage point to get speaking assignments. People love to have new books for authors that work on their agenda. But you can go to a speaker’s bureau, you can go to trade associations, you can even go to private companies that have variety meetings during the year and you can appeal to them. There’s a raft of ways to do this. There’s a publication called National Trade and Professional Associations of United States, and Columbia books. It’s online, it’s also hard copy and it tells you what something like 10,000 trade associations are doing every year in terms of how many meetings they hold, what their themes are, what their budget is, and so forth, and so on. You go to things like that as a reference, and you start to make inquiries.
Michael: You want to look at it from the perspective of the meeting organizer, which is that they’re desperate to find interesting new talent to get up and speak instead of you saying, “Who’s going to want me?”
Alan: Well, you have to have the confidence to say, “I’ve got a lot to offer.” Instead of saying, “God, they don’t ever want to hear me. That’s right.” I mean, it’s all about attitude.
Michael: Do you teach confidence and attitude?
Alan: Yeah, I teach people to show your self-esteem. I just signed a contract for my next book last week and it’s called ‘Fearless Leadership’.
Michael: Congratulations, tell us about it.
Alan: Thank you. It’s a book about the fact that we go around afraid. We go around scared, even leaders and we’ve got to exercise this fear out of our lives. There are ways to do that. Procrastination, for example, is a form of fear and so we’ve got to get fear the hell out of our lives so that we can go ahead and do the things we have to do.
Michael: Can you give us a sneak preview? What are pieces of advice that you’re going to provide in the book in terms of getting rid of fear?
Alan: Well, it’s at least a 200 page book, but I’ll give you one idea. You have to face your fears, and you have to be willing to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying. What most people fear the most is a bruised ego. You have to stop worrying about being perfect. Perfect is the enemy of excellence and so what you have to do is to give it your best, knowing that you’ll fail sometimes and have the resilience to bounce back. But most people instead are very conservative, and try never to fail and hence that’s like the prevent defense in a football game which doesn’t really help you at all.
Michael: Have you seen people move from a state of fear and terror about speaking or writing or getting out there to a state where they’re able to do the things that are necessary in order to grow their business?
Alan: Of course, all the time.
Michael: What are you whispering in their ear?
Alan: I don’t whisper anything in their ear. I show them what their behaviors are, and where appropriate, where their behaviors have to change, and how to change those behaviors. It’s all based on observant behavior and empirical evidence. It’s not based on some Tony Robbins island in the middle of the Pacific that you tell yourself your own best friend. It doesn’t work that way.
Michael: What are some of the self-defeating behaviors you coach people out of?
Alan: Well, what I mentioned is self-editing, constantly trying to recreate something that’s better and better and better. Another is using the wrong metrics wherein you use somebody else’s metrics instead of your own so you say, “Well, I ski down the hill but it was a blue hill and this skiing on the black diamond, which is a much better hill.” Who the hell cares? I mean, use your own metrics. Some people say, “Well, I wrote a book and it sold 10,000 copies, but it’s no bestseller.” It isn’t the wrong metrics and it’s supposed to be James Patterson. It’s supposed to be putting out a book that will help get business. People do it all the time every day.
Michael: 10,000 copies in today’s world is an awful lot of copies.
Alan: Well, but it’s still not James Patterson, is it?
Michael: No. It’s not necessarily as useful as sticking 200 copies of your book into 200 envelopes, and mailing them to 200 prospects and saying, “Hey, read my book, it’s going to help you.”
Alan: Well, it depends because if you do that cold, the likelihood is that books are going to get tossed out. You need some kind of entree point to do that but you’re talking about metrics, I’m talking about metrics here. The fact is that you can’t say to yourself, “10,000 is disappointing, or is crazy good”, unless you know what your expectation is and if it’s realistic.
Michael: When people come to you, when they bring you on board as a consultant, what are they looking for? I saw somebody on your website that was up by 25%, someone else is up by 10x. What do you offer? What do you promise people?
Alan: I don’t promise them anything. All I do is tell them that I’m the greatest entrepreneurial coach in the world and I will do my level best to help you achieve reasonable goals and objectives. If somebody says, “Hey, I made $100,000 this year, I want to make a million next year”I’m not going to tell them I can help them do that. They might but it’s unreasonable. All I do is give them my best efforts to help them. I can’t guarantee results and people have to want to be helped. I can’t help people who don’t want to be helped and I can’t help people who don’t use what I tell them. So that part of it is on them. If people are willing to accept then they usually do very well.
Michael: What does an engagement with you look like?
Alan: Depends. If it’s an individual and it’s me personally, it’s usually my coaching program, which is nine months. I give assignments, we usually talk weekly by phone or zoom or Skype or whatever, emails, unrestricted access, we might meet once or twice, depending upon geography and that’s an individual one on one relationship. I also have growth cycles where people get together in groups of 6 or 8 or 10 around the world. Three of those meetings I attend. They also have access to me. We have a meeting coming up in Vietnam, we have another meeting coming up in Dubrovnik, and we have another meeting coming up in Sicily, for example. Then I also put on very high end events. I have a thought leadership session in Palm Beach. My Million Dollar Consulting Convention is next week which is outside of Washington. I do something called Masterclass in Newport once a year. So it depends what kind of relationship you want to have.
Michael: Then what about for kind of blue chip companies that I listed at the top of the podcast?
Alan: With a couple of exceptions, long term clients were really like, I don’t work corporately anymore. I’ve done that, I had a great success but I don’t need that anymore and I don’t want the politics and I don’t want to travel. Right now when people come to see me and that’s the way I like it.
Michael: Once again, 168 hours I think in a week and it sounds as though you’ve got a schedule that would require many times that.
Alan: I work about 20 hours a week. I seldom do anything on a Friday. I take a lot of vacations every year. It’s very easy to do if your time efficient and you’re not verbose. A lot of people instead of asking a question, start to make the cognitive process articulable, they start to tell you what they’re thinking. I don’t care what you’re thinking, ask me a question. I trained people to do that well, and to be brief. People just don’t use time well, but I certainly do.
Michael: Why nine months?
Alan: Well, I felt that we needed enough time for some trial and error, we needed enough time to show that there was no pressure on the person to start to do things, and plenty of time to implement. Then I also want more time to exploit success. It wasn’t just enough for them to say, “Hey this works, I got a sale.” I wanted them to be able to exploit the success and nine months seemed like the right time. I mean, could it have been 7 or 10, sure, but doesn’t matter.
Michael: Okay. Do you ever fire clients?
Michael: What causes a client firing and elements as well?
Alan: Well, if somebody doesn’t want to be helped then I’m not going to waste my time trying to help them. If somebody is going to be engaged in something that I don’t think is legitimate like multi-level marketing, which is a Ponzi scheme, I won’t go forward with that. If people don’t take responsibility for their actions, and keep telling me, “No, no, no. It was the prospect, it wasn’t me.” There’s no sense going down that road so when people act irrationally like that or act dishonestly, I mean, there’s no reason to stay with them.
Michael: Makes sense. We’ve talked so far about getting moving to the writing world, we talked about getting on the speaker’s platform, we haven’t talked that much about how to get started networking. What diamonds do you offer in terms of getting going in networking?
Alan: The best thing to do is to go to events where people aren’t expecting networking. Here’s what I mean, if you go to a trade association meeting, people are expecting networking but if you go to a fundraiser for the Red Cross, or the United Way, or for the local symphony, or the local regional acting company, or whatever it happens to be some cause, you’re going to find movers and shakers. You’re going to find people on the board of directors, you’re going to find major donors, you’re going to find supporters and a lot of these people are the executives of business owners who are your clients. The idea there is to meet them and simply connect to the extent that it makes sense to do some follow up with them and they are willing to take your call.
Michael: When you call them, what are you offering or saying or doing?
Alan: Well, when you’re talking to them at the event, somebody says, “I’m the Executive Vice President of this, I’m the General Director of that” and you say, “You know something? I’ve had clients in the same field. I have best practices I’ve gathered from those clients. I’d love to share them with you. This isn’t the time and the place, how about if I call you Thursday at 10?” When you call them Thursday at 10, then you say, “When’s the time for you to stop by so I can show you what I’ve got? I can give you some of these things.” Then you talk and you listen. This is a relationship business so you’re not trying to make a sale, you try to develop a trusting relationship.
Michael: It sounds great and it also sounds time consuming.
Alan: You keep saying that. I mean, your language is everything is time consuming. It’s not time consuming. It’s going to an event for an hour to an evening, maybe twice a month, and then following up four or five contacts with a five minute phone call, and then going to visit them. I really don’t see that it’s time consuming. Most people are spending 10 times that amount on Facebook, which is a big time dump as I’ve ever seen.
Michael: I guess I’m coming from the perspective of a listener who’s saying, “I’m already working 60 hours a week. When am I going to find the time to get to the United Way? When am I going to find the time to drop by somebody’s office? At 10 o’clock, there’s no possibility than an immediate sale.”
Alan: I hope everybody listening listen to this next statement very carefully. Anybody who’s working more than a 40 hour week either is terribly inefficient at their job, or has a job that is structured ridiculously. Nobody should be working more than 40 hours a week if that. So you can carve out time to do other things. I’m also going to tell you what real wealth is. Wealth is not money. Money is simply fuel. Wealth is discretionary time so the ability to do what you want when you want is really wealth. That’s what you should be thinking about. Not working harder, not working more hours a week, but looking at your life strategically and saying, “Where do I want to go with it?”
Michael: Alan, I know you’re on the board of a lot of organizations, and charitable organizations so I guess it’s partly because you love those things, and partly because it’s a good place to meet the kind of people you want to meet.
Alan: Well, it is. It’s also very frustrating because nonprofit boards are horribly inefficient, but such as life.
Michael: Well, you do what you can. Last question. I know you love fine automobiles. What are you driving these days?
Alan: Well, I’ve got an interesting garage. I have a Rolls Royce Dawn, which is a new model, a convertible, which is fantastic. We have a Bentley GTC speed, which is a ferocious beast and then I have a Corvette z06 which weighs about as much as the door on one of those cars but has 650 horsepower, and has seven speed manual. The next generation Corvette, this next year’s Corvette will only have automatic shifts. You can’t get a Ferrari with an automatic shift, which is why I stopped driving them. You can’t get a McLaren, a Lamborghini with automatic or with a stick shift. They’re all automatic. I’ve got a seven speed manual Corvette with 650 horsepower and it looks like I’ll be keeping that for some time.
Michael: www.alanweiss.com is the website. Alan, thank you so much. I really enjoyed this. I’m sure the listeners are going to get a lot out of it. Thank you so much for taking the time today.
Alan: Thanks, Michael. I had a great time.
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