Last week, we spent a few days at the OpenEye Global (OEG) Summit in Pittsburgh, where we not only looked back at an amazing year for OpenEye, their clients, and the brand, but also started strategizing 2018.

Continuously auditing your progress, no matter the size of your organization or brand, is imperative.

For those of you who are not familiar, Melissa and I are the in house marketing team for OpenEye Global. OEG is a digital experience design agency creating adaptive brand experiences … Essentially bringing digital experiences to physical spaces.

What does that mean? Check out the Ghostbusters exhibit at Madame Tussauds in New York City. 

After the summit, we took a road-trip from Pittsburgh to New Jersey… having absolutely no idea how big Pennsylvania was, it took 7 hours to get to South Amboy, NJ. WTF. Haha!

From New Jersey we were on our way to Roma! We took an overnight flight from Newark to London, sat in silence for 3 hours then puddle hopped over to Rome.  All that stood in our way to Tuscany, was a 2 hour drive.

Ahh… we made it to rest and relaxation, and of course, wine country. Literally… it’s country AF here. I’m lovin’ it.

We took the weekend to explore Montepulciano and Pienza, get adjusted to our new time zone, set up the kitchen with pasta, tomatoes, and vino, and make sure the wifi is strong enough. 

We’re in business.

Now, here I am exploring the local area alone on a Monday “not working.” As if I really know how to do that, not work.

Melissa started classes at a local Italian school today in the center of the old town, Il Sasso Language School, I’m sitting at a cafe and starting to reflect on our year and the ups, downs, awesome times as well as the not-so awesomeness times (but more on that later).

So here are the 5 points I’ve been pondering as the Tuscan lifestyle is starting to take hold:

1. KISS – Keep It Simple, Steven. I’ve said this to myself for a long time. I often complicate things and look to make whatever it is I’m doing harder. Here in Tuscany, they have it figured out. They understand when to take it slow and when to take it up a notch. They understand that while the rest of the world is moving at a thousands miles per hour, here, you can still get from point A to point B with a soft stroll.

2. ‘Hustler’ isn’t an action as much as it is a mindset. The native people of Montepulciano have spent hundreds, if not thousands of years being creative to survive. This innate hustle is inside all of us if we just learn to be friends with it and leverage it for the positive.

3. Stop being competitive and start being creative – This was something I said in my very first talk I did with regards to The Creative Hustler back in 2012 and it’s something I still preach about. Some may say business is war, but I’ll say success comes to those who are the most creative. All the little hilltop towns here in Tuscany used to war and fight with each other over land, dominance, and influence. Now, they’re working together to bring the greater region the influence and notoriety it deserves. A perfect example that by banding together and working towards a common goal, greater outputs can be achieved.

4. The wine doesn’t suck. Enough said.

5. Get outside and move. I’m amazed at how the people are always outside, walking around (not just during their passeggiato, which is an evening stroll). And walking around is no small feat, this little city is built on the Tuscan mountains. No wonder they have a higher life expectancy, less rate of heart disease, as well as an overall higher rating of happiness worldwide.

I can sure get used to this (said as I look through Italian real estate websites).

More to come.