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*Jeff’s Journal

Jeff is the ultimate “road warrior,” performing hundreds of shows a year all over the country. Keep track of where Jeff’s been, and where he’s going!

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Passion

It all starts with passion. Passion is the fuel that drives any endeavor.

Are you passionate? Notice I didn’t ask, “What’s your passion?” I believe that’s the wrong question. That elicits a response like—‘I don’t have any weird talent like juggling. I can’t sing, I don’t play sports– I don’t have any passions.”

This is backwards. I believe it’s the rare case when someone drifts through life, suddenly finds something that moves them, and then instantly transforms into a different kind of person – one who cares, who has an intense drive and a desire to make things happen. Can this life-transformation occur? Sure. But generally speaking, that’s a remarkably one-sided view. More often, passionate people wake up every day with an intense desire to become more than they were the day before – mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially. They connect with projects they believe in, and channel their passion through that endeavor. The energy flows in both directions.

In his bestseller book “Linchpin,” (92) Seth Godin writes “Passion isn’t project-specific. It’s people-specific. Some people are hooked on passion, deriving their sense of self from the act of being passionate. Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project… Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.”

As a kid, I went from one hobby to the next – completely engrossing myself in whatever it was at the time. My parents talked of “Jeff’s obsessions.”  I collected rocks, I collected stamps… looking back at the other options, I think I actually became the least nerdy kid possible by choosing juggling. WOW.

My passion has changed over the years. At first it was hardcore, technical juggling. I wanted to juggle more stuff than the other guy, and win more medals at the world juggling competitions (yes there are world juggling competitions!).

Then my passion became entertaining. I quickly learned that the audience didn’t care about juggling – they wanted to laugh, to connect—they wanted to be entertained. I loved the feeling of making an audience laugh together – what a rush! My quest became to craft interactive juggling routines in a way that built a strong rapport with my audience.

Today, my passion is connecting with people – on stage and off.  I’ve learned that what really thrills me is bringing people together – whether it’s laughing together with a huge crowd for 45 minutes on stage at a corporate event, talking to one person after a show for 5 minutes, or building my non-profit – Win-Win Entertainment – to match willing performers with charity events in need.

The point is that I am not hooked on juggling. I am hooked on passion.

TAKEAWAY– Don’t complain that you don’t have anything to be passionate about. Work on becoming a passionate person, and you will have plenty to be passionate about.

This excerpt was adapted from the book Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion of which Jeff is a co-author.  Jeff Civillico is a Las-Vegas based headline entertainer who blends his perfected art of juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy.  With his “Comedy in Action” show, he has performed everywhere from Australia and New Zealand to The White House.  He is a favorite onboard Disney Cruise Line, and his credits on the Las Vegas Strip include V: The Ultimate Variety Show, Nathan Burton, and The Improv at Harrah’s.

In addition to his comedy show, Jeff also delivers a powerful keynote that illustrates the keys to “Branding Your Passion” to create the career, and lifestyle, of your dreams.  A 2005 honors graduate of Georgetown University, Jeff currently serves as President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Las Vegas.  He is the Founder and President of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit that pairs performers willing to donate their time and talent with charities in need of entertainment.

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What do you think of when you hear the word “juggler?” Clowns? The circus? A birthday party? You probably don’t think of sailing on the Queen Mary II, bungee jumping in New Zealand, sky diving in Australia, getting inside The White House, The Kennedy Center, The Ronald Reagan Building, visiting The Taj Mahal, Europe, and Malaysia.

Juggling has given me all these experiences—either directly or indirectly. How is this possible? I discovered my core competency, I packaged my services, and I positioned them in a way that was attractive to the marketplace. Remember– I juggle plungers.

After analyzing the branding of my juggling, I came up with 7 pillars– 7“Ps” of Success – that I believe can help anyone create the career, and lifestyle, of their dreams: Passion, Philosophy, Personal Brand, Power Team, Plan, Proactivity and Performance.

Please note:

This is not a linear, systematic road map of bullet points (#1 create a website, #2 send a newsletter, etc) but rather a discussion of interconnected ideas. I don’t think it is possible to create a step-by-step handbook for taking a hobby and branding it. Branding Your Passion is an art, and therefore needs to happen organically. I believe when you understand the larger concepts at play, the daily to-do lists will take care of themselves.

When I talk about “Branding Your Passion,” I’m speaking not only about being an entrepreneur, but also being an “intra-preneur.” You can just as easily “Brand Your Passion” in your role within your company, within your school as a student, or within your family.

This excerpt was adapted from the book Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion of which Jeff is a co-author.  Jeff Civillico is a Las-Vegas based headline entertainer who blends his perfected art of juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy.  With his “Comedy in Action” show, he has performed everywhere from Australia and New Zealand to The White House.  He is a favorite onboard Disney Cruise Line, and his credits on the Las Vegas Strip include V: The Ultimate Variety Show, Nathan Burton, and The Improv at Harrah’s.

In addition to his comedy show, Jeff also delivers a powerful keynote that illustrates the keys to “Branding Your Passion” to create the career, and lifestyle, of your dreams.  A 2005 honors graduate of Georgetown University, Jeff currently serves as President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Las Vegas.  He is the Founder and President of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit that pairs performers willing to donate their time and talent with charities in need of entertainment.

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Four years after my college graduation, I returned to my Georgetown University Homecoming to find that most of my friends were seemingly unsatisfied in their professional lives.  How could it be that so many intelligent and motivated young professionals were finding fulfillment elusive in “the real world?”  Keep in mind– we’re talking about graduates of the top business and law schools around the country.

Surprisingly, my career as a performer was all the buzz. “You’re so LUCKY to be able to do what you love for a living.”

I juggle plungers.  And I’m the lucky one.

Further conversation revealed that although everyone agreed it was theoretically possible to create an enterprise based on passion, to most the undertaking seemed unrealistic and impractical.  How are you going to pay the bills?  How do you meet the right people to help you?  What if you don’t have some weird talent like juggling?

Clearly there existed a gap between understanding the importance of a career based on passion, and understanding how to brand, market, and monetize that passion.

In 2010, the professional paradigm for most people bears little resemblance to the experience of previous generations. Platforms of business have changed.  Traditional industries have soured.  A typical employee may look more like an independent contractor, and the social media revolution has completely changed the way we communicate.   In this extreme climate of change, there lives unparalleled access and opportunity.

Realistically, if one sat down to choose a career based solely on personal and financial fulfillment, we can all agree that juggling probably would not make the top-ten list.  Yet I have been able to brand my passion for juggling in a way that affords me a lifestyle that is very comfortable and deeply gratifying… not to mention ridiculously fun.

This excerpt was adapted from the book Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion of which Jeff is a co-author.  Jeff Civillico is a Las-Vegas based headline entertainer who blends his perfected art of juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy.  With his “Comedy in Action” show, he has performed everywhere from Australia and New Zealand to The White House.  He is a favorite onboard Disney Cruise Line, and his credits on the Las Vegas Strip include V: The Ultimate Variety Show, Nathan Burton, and The Improv at Harrah’s.

In addition to his comedy show, Jeff also delivers a powerful keynote that illustrates the keys to “Branding Your Passion” to create the career, and lifestyle, of your dreams.  A 2005 honors graduate of Georgetown University, Jeff currently serves as President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Las Vegas.  He is the Founder and President of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit that pairs performers willing to donate their time and talent with charities in need of entertainment.