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Fitness Fosters Productivity and Reduces Stress Featuring Carl Ficks

Carl Ficks helps busy professionals get back in the fitness game so they can be less stressed and a lot more productive. His “Ficks System” is a proven road map for athletes and weekend warriors alike.

We discuss:

  • Trial work as an extension of athleticism [02:49]
  • How to mix skills and attributes as an artist [04:53]
  • Stitching the net together before jumping [06:42]
  • Litigation is the art of imitation [11:15]
  • Why many folks can never escape the home office [12:28]
  • Professionals who know what fitness can do [14:48]
  • What works well for speaking and coaching in times of pandemic [17:14]
  • Why you don’t need fancy equipment to do a great workout [18:58]
  • A walk at the airport [20:14]

A former trial attorney for 30 years, Carl has presented to diverse audiences, including the Connecticut Bar Association, the Travelers, and the Wyoming State Bar. His bi-weekly newspaper column and weekly LinkedIn posts, both titled “The Friday Ficks,” provide strategies, tools, and inspiration to stay resourceful and resilient, regardless of the circumstances.

Learn more about Carl at www.carlficks.com.

Transcript
Carl Ficks:

An 82 year old gentlemen stood up and pointed at

Carl Ficks:

And he said, I'm 82 years old.

Carl Ficks:

And I go to planet fitness every day and I ride 30 minutes on the stationary bike.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Welcome to smashing the plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We help you get unstuck so you can do what you love.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And get paid.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What you're worth consistently.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm your host David Schreiner Kahn today on episode 617 of smashing the plateau.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'm speaking with Carl, fix the founder of no.

David Shriner-Cahn:

In today's episode, Carl, who is a former trial attorney shares how you can use

David Shriner-Cahn:

When many of us have too little physical activity, because we work remotely, it's

David Shriner-Cahn:

Stay with us to hear all the details.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And I also discuss what it's like to work alone.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Once you leave a firm with colleagues, one of the reasons we've created this

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll also find a range of tools and resources to support your.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Access to experts and answers to your burning questions.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Check out the smashing the plateau communities so that you

David Shriner-Cahn:

Doing what you love and getting paid.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What you're worth.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Learn more@smashingtheplateau.com slash community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashing the plateau.com/community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Now let's welcome.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl fix Carl helps busy professionals get back in the fitness game so they can be

David Shriner-Cahn:

His fix system is a proven roadmap for athletes and weekend warriors alike.

David Shriner-Cahn:

A former trial attorney for 30 years, Carl has presented to diverse

David Shriner-Cahn:

Both titled the Friday, fix provide strategies, tools, and inspiration

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl, welcome to the show.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank

Carl Ficks:

you, David.

Carl Ficks:

I'm so happy to be here.

Carl Ficks:

I'm looking forward to our discussion.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah, you have a very, interesting career pivot.

David Shriner-Cahn:

I'd love to hear a little bit about your career.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And then also what led you to this, this pivot where you've

Carl Ficks:

Sure.

Carl Ficks:o law school and graduated in:Carl Ficks:

I was on the trial side of the ledger.

Carl Ficks:

you basically have trial and you have transactional.

Carl Ficks:

One of the many reasons I went into trial work was because I

Carl Ficks:

And in high school and in college, and I saw trial work as an extension of that

Carl Ficks:

So that's what I did for many years.

Carl Ficks:

And the first few years of my practice, I neglected my body.

Carl Ficks:

I was all in on the practice, the hours.

Carl Ficks:

Not eating properly, not sleeping enough.

Carl Ficks:

And after four or five years, David, I realized this was not sustainable.

Carl Ficks:

So I had to get back to where I was as a younger guy.

Carl Ficks:

And I started to embed a fitness company.

Carl Ficks:

In my daily and weekly routine.

Carl Ficks:

And I continued to practice for many years.

Carl Ficks:

And, the private practice of law is a bare knuckle sport.

Carl Ficks:

And, I needed a bit of a break from the maelstrom.

Carl Ficks:

So I went into the world of philanthropy for a few years.

Carl Ficks:

Did what I could do there and then wanted it needed to get back in the law.

Carl Ficks:So I did that in:Carl Ficks:

So I started to think long and hard about something that I could do, which

Carl Ficks:

And I made this pivot to found this company called no surrender.

Carl Ficks:

Which is a fitness and wellness based company.

Carl Ficks:

So that's it.

Carl Ficks:

And I'm not sure.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Wow.

David Shriner-Cahn:

How did you figure out which pieces you wanted to be able to take advantage of

Carl Ficks:

I started thinking about transferable skills.

Carl Ficks:

We all have them.

Carl Ficks:

We just may not realize that we have them.

Carl Ficks:

So I started to almost as an artist takes, his or her palette and mixes

Carl Ficks:

I started to make.

Carl Ficks:

Certain transferable skills.

Carl Ficks:

certain attributes law school is a great education and there are many

Carl Ficks:

And then I combine that with some attributes of resilience,

Carl Ficks:

And then I was thinking about this service component.

Carl Ficks:

That I want it to be in service to the community, the business community, and the

Carl Ficks:

And one I'm very proud of for my entire life.

Carl Ficks:

And that started out.

Carl Ficks:

when I was a kid, I was a paper boy, this is long before the 24 7 news cycle.

Carl Ficks:

Long before the internet I delivered the morning paper, seven days.

Carl Ficks:

For many years, I was, the breaking news guy in the neighborhood.

Carl Ficks:

I was in service to these neighbors delivering their paper.

Carl Ficks:

So I was thinking, how can I be in service?

Carl Ficks:

How can I share what I learned throughout my career that allowed me to practice

Carl Ficks:

So that's, and it all came together.

Carl Ficks:

And what appeared on the canvas was this.

Carl Ficks:

Carl,

David Shriner-Cahn:

how long did it take you once you decided that you wanted to

David Shriner-Cahn:

How long did it take you before you actually move forward with your first.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Action step.

Carl Ficks:

It was about a 12 to 18 months process.

Carl Ficks:

When I started to think about this and then put pen to paper, work with some

Carl Ficks:

So it was thoughtful.

Carl Ficks:

I know a lot of folks, some may say, just jump in the net will appear.

Carl Ficks:

that's not the way I wanted to do it.

Carl Ficks:

That's not the way I practiced law.

Carl Ficks:

when I went into court, I was prepared.

Carl Ficks:

I didn't go into court winging things saying, it'll all work out

Carl Ficks:

So I did not want to jump without a net.

Carl Ficks:

So I'd stitched the net together.

Carl Ficks:

And, it was a thoughtful, calculated process.

Carl Ficks:

Yeah.

Carl Ficks:

And I,

David Shriner-Cahn:

and I would say most of the folks that I have.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Observed making a major transition like this and being able to do it successfully.

David Shriner-Cahn:

There's a process and a timeframe for this self-reflection it's not trivial

Carl Ficks:

agreed.

Carl Ficks:

And I will tell you that at the start of this process, in all

Carl Ficks:

I said, geez, I've been a lawyer, my entire adult life saved for that brief

Carl Ficks:

So I really, this is all I know.

Carl Ficks:

And then I stepped back and that pity party in all candor was very brief.

Carl Ficks:

And I said, wait a minute, you've got X, Y, and Z.

Carl Ficks:

So let's start putting those things together.

Carl Ficks:

so yeah, it was a thoughtful.

Carl Ficks:

Process because I just, it was a 180 and w let's be fair.

Carl Ficks:

There's a steady and generous cashflow in the legal business.

Carl Ficks:

And I was going to willfully abandon that.

Carl Ficks:

And, you don't do that.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Now what did people who were close to you say to you when

Carl Ficks:

My family was very and remains very supportive.

Carl Ficks:

My close friends at the firm were in a word envious lawyers and other

Carl Ficks:

And I heard various comments, David, like you're really climbing over the.

Carl Ficks:

And you're really doing this.

Carl Ficks:

And I think a lot of folks want to do it, but they don't.

Carl Ficks:

and here's in my humble opinion.

Carl Ficks:

One of the reasons being a lawyer defines a lot of people,

Carl Ficks:

being a lawyer, never defined me.

Carl Ficks:

I've always introduced myself as Carl fix.

Carl Ficks:

There are other lawyers who would introduce themselves,

Carl Ficks:

Attorney Carl fixed.

Carl Ficks:

That's not the way I ever did it.

Carl Ficks:

My birth certificate says Carl, I am called.

Carl Ficks:

So it was the disentanglement process, I think was easier because although

Carl Ficks:

I was still who I was and am.

Carl Ficks:

So I think.

Carl Ficks:

Envy is a good word.

Carl Ficks:

And there were some who thought I was really crazy, but I don't know

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Often the people that are close in, look at some of these pivots

David Shriner-Cahn:

In some cases there's a mixture of, of envy.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And also I think, wonder about how one can actually pull this.

Carl Ficks:

Agreed.

Carl Ficks:

And you look at folks that have done things later in life and

Carl Ficks:

I've written and spoken about my mother.

Carl Ficks:

My mother went back to college and got her degree at the age of 78 years old.

Carl Ficks:

And she did that for a number of reasons.

Carl Ficks:

One of them was to show her grandchild.

Carl Ficks:

Two of my children included that it's never too late to do

Carl Ficks:

my mother was a great example of somebody who said, I'm not

Carl Ficks:

And so there are a lot of stories like that out there.

Carl Ficks:

So there are blueprints and, people have done this before, it's not

David Shriner-Cahn:

right?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Yeah.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Are there particular blueprints that you found were really helpful?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Sure.

Carl Ficks:

I looked at, other folks in this space and I'll take a step back.

Carl Ficks:

I was told as a young lawyer, that litigation is the art of imitation.

Carl Ficks:

I had a great mentor and he said, anytime you're in court, even if

Carl Ficks:

The witness, the, the trial attorney and you will learn from that person.

Carl Ficks:

So litigation is indeed the art of imitation.

Carl Ficks:

So I took a page out of that playbook and I looked at others that were in the

Carl Ficks:

What do I think they're doing, right?

Carl Ficks:

What do I think they're not doing right based on what the market's telling them.

Carl Ficks:

And I as an Alchemist would put things together, I put things together and maybe.

Carl Ficks:

what I thought was my, I put my imprint on it because it's, people

Carl Ficks:

So I had to put my imprimatur on it, but there are blueprints out there.

Carl Ficks:

There are folks in this space that do it

David Shriner-Cahn:

and do it well, tell me a little bit about

David Shriner-Cahn:

Who do you serve?

David Shriner-Cahn:

What kinds of problems do you solve?

David Shriner-Cahn:

How do you have.

Carl Ficks:

I speak to groups, both corporate and community groups.

Carl Ficks:s I spoke with, plus or minus:Carl Ficks:

And the problem that they travelers was trying to solve with my presentation

Carl Ficks:

And stresses of trial work, including a changing court system.

Carl Ficks:

And by that, David, the Connecticut court system was using the Microsoft teams

Carl Ficks:

Doing court, you were appearing, quote, air quotes in court, online virtually.

Carl Ficks:

And what that's a game changer in this sense.

Carl Ficks:

for instance, I worked in Hartford, the new Haven courthouse, 45 minutes away.

Carl Ficks:

If I was going to court to argue a motion that 45 minutes in that in

Carl Ficks:

And then be ready when I walked into.

Carl Ficks:

the pandemic change that it's all of a sudden you're sitting in your office and

Carl Ficks:

Not a lot of time, you're running around doing other things.

Carl Ficks:

And then all of a sudden you're.

Carl Ficks:

So that's a change in, the playing field.

Carl Ficks:

So they wanted me to come in and speak and give some real life.

Carl Ficks:

And real-world examples about how to handle this and how many folks can never

Carl Ficks:

But we're even more on with the pandemic where you're not, you're

Carl Ficks:

So that was what the travelers asked me to come in and speak about.

Carl Ficks:

And that's what I did.

Carl Ficks:

And the desired outcome was to provide actionable steps to do that.

Carl Ficks:

But I've also spoken to a community groups like rotary clubs and the like, and then

David Shriner-Cahn:

So what's the core of your business model?

David Shriner-Cahn:

What types of revenue streams do you have

Carl Ficks:

in your.

Carl Ficks:

Speaking fees and, the one-on-one coaching fees.

Carl Ficks:

Those are the revenue streams.

Carl Ficks:

I am writing.

Carl Ficks:

A lot, as you mentioned, I'd have a biweekly newspaper column.

Carl Ficks:

I do a weekly post on LinkedIn, and I know there's a book in the future.

Carl Ficks:

Hopefully that will generate some revenue.

Carl Ficks:

I just, I'm not ready for it yet.

Carl Ficks:

It, I know when the time will be right, but I started last

Carl Ficks:

I did one every Friday.

Carl Ficks:

So season one has come and gone.

Carl Ficks:

I've got 52 pieces in the bank last week.

Carl Ficks:

I posted number one for season two.

Carl Ficks:

So I'm just gathering material and hopefully at some point I'll

David Shriner-Cahn:

out Carl, who's your ideal client for the one-on-one

Carl Ficks:

coaching?

Carl Ficks:

My ideal client is a professional regardless of the business,

Carl Ficks:

To fit in any workouts or fitness components in their weekly schedule.

Carl Ficks:

That is my ideal client.

Carl Ficks:

And also somebody not later in life because, we've got so many folks working

Carl Ficks:

And we'd like to get back in the fitness game.

Carl Ficks:

So most

David Shriner-Cahn:

commonly it's somebody who knows what fitness can do,

Carl Ficks:

correct?

Carl Ficks:

Yes.

Carl Ficks:

I spoke, I did a recording recently to the greater Hartford

Carl Ficks:

They have a program called view from the bridge.

Carl Ficks:

And I recorded that and that is now on their website.

Carl Ficks:

And I got a private message from somebody, a friend of mine who's a realtor.

Carl Ficks:

And she said, it was very inspiring.

Carl Ficks:

Thank you for the time you took to encourage us realtors to get in shape.

Carl Ficks:

It's truly in this industry and I'm trying to get better at it.

Carl Ficks:

I exercised after listening to.

Carl Ficks:

That made my day, because if I can reach one person who will get up and

Carl Ficks:

That's great.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl, what do you find works well in terms of business

Carl Ficks:

I think when I get out and speak with groups, whether it's

Carl Ficks:

I spoke to him.

Carl Ficks:

Ironically the day before Thanksgiving, we were talking about fitness and everybody

Carl Ficks:

So when I get to the office, I'm ready to go and I can handle whatever comes at me.

Carl Ficks:

And when I finished my.

Carl Ficks:

An 82 year old gentlemen stood up and pointed at me and said, this guy is right.

Carl Ficks:

And he said, I'm 82 years old.

Carl Ficks:

And I go to planet fitness every day and I ride 30 minutes on the

Carl Ficks:

But it was a glowing endorsement from somebody who, again, in his eighties who

Carl Ficks:

So it was really a cool moment.

Carl Ficks:

And I said, there you have it.

Carl Ficks:

this book at this gentleman.

Carl Ficks:

And, he started ticking off all the things that they'd work outs did for him.

Carl Ficks:

and how it allowed him at the age of 80, his early eighties to just

David Shriner-Cahn:

And a stationary bike is something that is, certainly

Carl Ficks:

And something else folks can handle is you don't need fancy equipment.

Carl Ficks:

we're inundated with ads for fancy equipment.

Carl Ficks:

You don't need that.

Carl Ficks:

And as a, for instance, if folks live in a town with a high school that has a

Carl Ficks:

You can walk one loop, which is 400 meters a quarter mile.

Carl Ficks:

And then if you want do a slow.

Carl Ficks:

For the next loop and then walk and then a slow jog, do that for 20 minutes.

Carl Ficks:

That's a fantastic workout.

Carl Ficks:

And that's free.

Carl Ficks:

All you need are running shoes and, or a good pair of walking shoes.

Carl Ficks:

And that's something that folks can do that, does not take a lot of time and

Carl Ficks:

Yes.

David Shriner-Cahn:

And even without a track, you can still just do this

David Shriner-Cahn:

Absolutely.

Carl Ficks:

you can step off and, run from light pole to light pole,

Carl Ficks:

no, you're correct.

Carl Ficks:

You don't need a high school track.

Carl Ficks:

It just makes it a little more convenient if you've got access.

Carl Ficks:

Carl,

David Shriner-Cahn:

congratulations on your career pivot.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What you've built in your business.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Sounds fantastic.

David Shriner-Cahn:

What's your dream for it?

David Shriner-Cahn:

Where would you love to see this go?

Carl Ficks:

I would love to be speaking, once or twice a day

Carl Ficks:

The key David is to just keep moving in some way, shape or form, I've joked

Carl Ficks:

If you're stuck for two or three hours.

Carl Ficks:

Take a half-hour walk.

Carl Ficks:

It's wonderful.

Carl Ficks:

There's great people watching, and it'll kill time and you're

Carl Ficks:

It's so just keep moving park as far away as you can, from the entrance to the

Carl Ficks:

So if I can get more people up and moving, I will be very.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Sounds great.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl, thank you so much for taking the time to join us

David Shriner-Cahn:

If somebody wants to go deeper with anything we've discussed, learn more

Carl Ficks:

off.

Carl Ficks:

Thank you so much for having me, David.

Carl Ficks:

my website is Carl fixed.com, C a R L F I C K s.com.

Carl Ficks:

And if they go on Carl fixed.com forward slash free.

Carl Ficks:

I've got a gift for your listeners.

Carl Ficks:

It's.

Carl Ficks:

10 steps to get back in the fitness game.

Carl Ficks:

These are just things that have worked for me.

Carl Ficks:

So I would offer them to your audience and I invite them to be playful with them.

Carl Ficks:

one or more may resonate with them.

Carl Ficks:

just some again, some steps or tips to get back in the fitness.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's great.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you, Carl.

David Shriner-Cahn:

We will include those links in the show notes.

David Shriner-Cahn:

My guest today has been the founder of no surrender.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Carl fixed.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you for joining us.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you

Carl Ficks:

so much for having me.

David Shriner-Cahn:

When you visit the smashing the plateau

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll find a summary of each episode, along with the links

David Shriner-Cahn:

The kind of career pivot that Carl made takes courage, confidence, and

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's why we created the smashing the plateau community inside the community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll experience the comradery of supportive collaborative colleagues.

David Shriner-Cahn:

You'll also find a range of tools and resources to support your

David Shriner-Cahn:

Check out the smashing the plateau community so that you

David Shriner-Cahn:

What you're worth.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Learn more@smashingtheplateau.com slash community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

That's smashing the plateau.com/community.

David Shriner-Cahn:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our show.

About the author, David Shriner-Cahn

Host of the podcasts Smashing the Plateau and Going Solo, David guides solopreneurs selling knowledge and creativity to build profitability and sustainability in their businesses.

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