The Book of Coincidences

A few years ago, I was driving home from a business trip and asked my travel guides for a place to pull off the road to get water, a cup of tea, and a clean bathroom. I expected to see Mecca at each bend in the road but nothing appeared. As I started to doubt my guides – and my sanity at asking travel guides for help – I happened on Chester, Vermont. With just a slight turn off the road, I was in an awesome little town with a general store that had fresh baked goods, water, tea, and a nice bathroom. It was all I’d asked for and more.

There were a couple of shops along Main Street so after I finished my tea, I took a stroll. I pushed open the heavy door of a small independent bookstore and a jingle above the door greeted me. Inside, I breathed the air of a real bookstore with wide-plank flooring and rows and rows of interesting books. Continue reading

Ask your guides

Sharing ideas on “best practices” is a great way to learn from someone who’s doing work that’s similar to what you’re doing. When you learn something new, you feel a jolt of positive energy. And when you share best practices in return, it can make someone’s day. You win. They win. And we all get better work done.

A couple of years ago, I was getting back into consulting work and decided to go on a road trip to hear what friends in the direct marketing industry were doing for best practices. I planned a week-long trip through western Massachusetts with a zig to upstate New York, then down through the mountains of New Hampshire with a few final stops in Vermont.

I headed out and all was well until day #4 when I realized I was on the last disk of a Dennis Lehane novel – and that was it for audio books. Anytime I’m in the car I listen to audio books. I get them from the library and listen to them to learn new stuff as well as to be entertained as I drive. I’m pretty much never without an audio book in the car. But as I pulled into the parking lot at Kripalu in western Mass, I broke into a cold sweat. My next stop was Burlington, Vt. There’d be plenty of bookstores in Burlington, but that was four hours away. Continue reading

Tips for efficient travel

travel stepsTraveling is a great challenge for your soul. When you experience new places and meet new people – especially if there is a language challenge – your brain gets excited. You remember details of each day of a trip. How often does that happen when you’re going through your regular daily routine?

To keep the challenge positive, it helps to be organized. Here are a few tips to help smooth out the trip. Continue reading