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Lisbeth Calandrino

I come from Copake Lake, New York; a small, country  town in the Berkshire hills. The people were simple.

There were twenty people  in the winter and two hundred in the summer. It used to get lonely in the winter.

Compared to the way people think today, people seemed ignorant. The people weren’t ignorant, the  times were. It was over sixty years ago.

Many of my friends had horses, and we all learned how to ride, bareback. There was a saying, there’s no lesson learned in the second kick of the mule.   In those days it wasn’t a mule, it was a  horse.

No  matter how many times I heard the expression, watch out for the horses’s hind legs, I never took it too seriously.

To this day, I can remember  turning my back on the horse and getting kicked!

Despite the warning  it seemed to be  an unavoidable happening.

Despite the pain, it was never enough to get me to focus on the horse’s back legs.I was too caught up in riding the horse.

When the  equivalent problems come along, businesses handle it the identical way. Despite the problem, they don’t seem to learn from it. Sure enough, a second kick is around the corner.

There is another expression that goes with it; it’s called ‘ learning from experience’. Rarely do we learn from experience. It just doesn’t work.

People learn  from an ‘evaluation of their experiences,’ not the experience itself. Most people are so happy to be out of the situation that they forget the experience. This brings me back to the second kick from the mule.

Our experiences use up our time and ultimately, our life. What could be more valuable?

I wrote a speech about life being like tiny pearls strung together and my writer friend Shelia Carmody added her twist. Her thoughts, “The more you invest in what life has to offer, the shinier your pearls!”

Why have plain  pearls when you can have shiny ones?

How can you learn from your experiences: (Karen Keller has some interesting thoughts on learning from experience.)

Be clear about the experience. Not the one you made up but the one you had. Rather than seeing things the way they are, we make the experience into what we want it to be. No wonder it comes out wrong. How can you learn from an experience that never really existed. The experience was the one we wanted not the one we had.

Be open to learning. You’ve all looked at the photo which contains one old woman and one young woman. At first, you may see nothing, but if you turn  the photo upside down, you see two photographs. Be willing to look at the situation from another angle. (If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth a look.)

People get so invested in making up their experience rather than dealing with what it is.

Write down what you’re doing and thinking. Ask yourself, does it make sense? Am I looking at it clearly? When you write your experiences down, you’re likely to see a pattern. Stay focused and don’t lose these important lessons.

Lastly,  consider  change your friend not your enemy. Many people are afraid to change. If you let your imagination loose, it will run wild with you. I have a friend who can go from  a rainstorm  to a tornado in about five seconds flat. I’ve been talking with my friends’ about the upcoming storm, and their reactions are interesting. A friend  asked  if I would take her to the grocery store to get water before the stores ran out.   In  her mind, the storm was already here, and she was out of water.

Talk about getting ahead of  yourself.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers. She does this through customer service training and retention marketing.

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By |2017-03-03T12:07:03+00:00October 28th, 2012|Blog, Change|6 Comments

About the Author:

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger and has spent over twenty years developing custom tailored marketing and customer service programs for businesses. Her recently published book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 Sizzling Ways to Heat up Your Business and Ignite Your Sales defines the steps necessary to build a competitive advantage and turn great companies into unforgettable or red hot companies. Lisbeth admits that much of her knowledge came from her Italian grandfather who despite very little formal education and a limited English vocabulary, managed to became both successful and wealthy. Lisbeth has wonderful stories about Grandpa DiBiagio’s and her time spent learning how to managing Grandpa’s fruit stand. Because of Lisbeth’s experience as a business owner, having been the managing partner and owner of 7 furniture and carpet stores for 14 years, she is able to bring her extensive business knowledge and experience to all of her clients. Lisbeth’s awards include executive of the year award from the International Executive Association, Albany chapter (a business networking group) and first place honors in an international marketing contest for alternative medicine. A two time cancer survivor, she has spoken extensively about her experiences of cancer, offering words of comfort and inspiration. As an activist, Lisbeth has initiated and contributed to many charitable causes. She has worked with at-risk youth, spoken out against injustice and advocated to and helped to build resources for women. As a presenter, Lisbeth Calandrino is highly motivational, information-rich, and very entertaining. Her acute business sense, contagious enthusiasm, positive energy and fun sense of humor make her a dynamic presenter. Lisbeth is a member of New York, Historic Albany Foundation, educational director of Business Referrals Networking Group and member of the board of directors of the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, New York.


  1. Magnificent website. Plenty of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your sweat!

  2. Lisbeth Calandrino December 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    One kick should be enough, don’t you think?

  3. Lisbeth Calandrino December 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Thank you for the note; if you have a minute, sign up so you can receive “Brain Snacks.” This is sure to give you some laughs. Lisbeth

  4. Leftfield October 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I heard the saying “no lesson to be learned from the second kick of a mule” and punched it up to see where it originated and discovered this site. Nice to read good material while mending from another kick of a mule (motorcycle spill). Hooked!

  5. Lisbeth Calandrino October 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Those kicks can really help us learn a lesson or two! Thanks for your note.

  6. Lisbeth Calandrino October 30, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I often re-read my comments and this just struck me–the motorcycle spill. Good thought. Lisbeth

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