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Firm Management

5 of the 37 Things I’ve Learned from Binge-Watching “Lucy”

We can all agree on one thing: our new way of living is stressful. We’re being bombarded with new information about COVID-19 every day, we’re isolated from our friends and family, and we’re hearing bad news about our loved ones over social media.


We can all agree on one thing: our new way of living is stressful. We’re being bombarded with new information about COVID-19 every day, we’re isolated from our friends and family, and we’re hearing bad news about our loved ones over social media.

I don’t know about you, but, personally, it’s exhausting.

One thing I’ve started to do to unwind is re-watch some of my favorite shows. Actually, one particular suite of shows. And that is the funny, crafty, lovely, and wonderful Lucille Ball – star and producer of sitcoms I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy, and Life with Lucy (all of which happen to be on Hulu). I should also mention her equally talented and amazing daughter Lucie Arnaz.

Now, why have I decided to take a walk down memory lane? Well, if we go the intellectual route, it’s because it’s a proven fact when anxious, people find it less stressful to watch a show where the outcomes are known instead of unknown. According to a clinical social worker, Dr. Maria Baratta, re-watching a tv show (especially one full of positive messages and laughter) can be calming during the onslaught of news and updates I’ve been hounded with lately.

If I go the honest route, it’s because Lucy is hilarious and I will never not binge 1 or 2 or 100 episodes!!!!!!!!

Besides enjoying some truly amazing TV, I’ve realized we could all learn a few lessons from my dear friend Lucy. Her shows encompass lessons of optimism, believing in yourself, and being a ray of sunshine even in the face of adversity. Here are 5 things I’ve learned from Lucy that I think it’s important to share with you!

1. A new way of starting the conversation.

Do you remember how Lucy would greet people… maybe…drawing a blank? That’s okay. I’ll remind you (or teach you for those who haven’t watched her masterful collection of art). Lucy would say, “how do you do,” and I think that’s brilliant.

You know what’s most brilliant about “how do you do” – the question is the answer, no response is needed. I, for one, am tired of hearing “how are you” and giving one of two responses;

  1. “I’m fine, how are you?!” – This is a simple response, but almost always sort of a lie. It says, “I’m polite and don’t want to burden you.”
  2. “Oh, you know, I’m stressed and OMG THE RANTING DAM HAS BEEN OPEN…” – This response is one my close friends and work colleagues seem to draw out, and unfortunately, we can kiss the first 10 minutes of our meeting goodbye.

By using Lucy’s conversation opener, you save your fellow human from being expected to give a cheerful response and from you becoming an unexpected 10-minute therapist. You couple a bit of humor with a bit of seriousness.

Bonus; for those you aren’t close with – say a sales prospect or new co-worker – you give that person a break from the need to answer how they are doing during a PANDEMIC and simply bypass an unnecessary question.

I think Lucy had it right, and this is something I’ll be trying in all my meetings going forward. At least I know my accidental therapists will love it.

2. While we’re at it…let’s use a Lucy farewell too

Well, we’re working on changing how we open up our conversations, let also throw out saying “Have a good day.” Not everyone will have a good day, and to be honest, what does that even mean? I know some of you are thinking, “but it’s polite,” and to that I say – you’re not wrong, but isn’t there a better way? Taking another page from Lucy’s wonderful book, I think we should use “until next time.”

This sign-off feels more sincere and is a good way over showing the intention that you want to talk to that person again. For a sales lead, that could be the promise of a follow-up call, email, or Zoom meeting. For friends and family, it both acknowledges the very real reality that some days won’t be good and that I’m legitimately looking forward to the next time we can talk, virtually or in-person. Geez, I miss talking to all of you in person…. I can’t wait until I see you all again… or to say it short and sweet – until next time, friends 😉

3. Live Like Lucy – Be Innovative and let others follow your lead

No one can deny Lucille Ball was a trailblazer; Not only was she the first woman to run a major television studio, but she was also a hardcore feminist who brought the first interracial couple to television and was the first pregnant woman on tv.

Listen, I could go on for an entire article… but you should really just check out her

Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, and Lucie Arnaz with some help from Beyonce.

Thanks, Lucy. I truly do love you.

Richard Roppa is the founder of Quasar Cowboy Consulting, where he helps accounting firms and their clients with technology, workflow, engagement process, sales, marketing, and long-term planning.