Be Happy

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

happy4.jpeg

What’s THE SECRET to happiness?

I had no idea.

That was until an amazing little gift changed my perspective.

Now I pay attention to what makes me happy on a DAILY BASIS.

My wife, who I’m not permitted to mention by name (but will say she is an amazing blog editor) bought me one of my favorite presents for our last anniversary.

It’s called the The Happiness Project: One Sentence Journal.

The journal is based on a great book by Gretchen Rubin. 

happyjournal.jpg

It asks you to WRITE ONE SENTENCE on what made you happy that day.

  • That’s 7 happy thoughts each week.
  • 30 happy moments each month.
  • 365 happy memories each year.

You will have 1,826 moments written down that made you HAPPY at the the end of this 5 YEAR PROJECT,

To quote a line from the Lord of the Flies, “The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

I’ve brought this journal to every SALES MEETING and family vacation for 2 years.

My HAPPINESS PROJECT has traveled with me to California, New York City, and many stops in between.

The journal has visited more Jersey beach towns than Snookie.

One of my favorite things is looking back to what made me happy exactly 1 year to the day.

Studying your past is a great way to CREATE YOUR FUTURE.

So, what has this project taught me about HAPPINESS?

WRITING HAS POWER

Writing one sentence daily can keep GREAT MEMORIES alive.

It’s pretty awesome to have all your best memories captured in one place.

Like the old saying goes, “A sentence is worth a 1,000 words.”

Happiness starts with GRATITUDE.

Gratitude crushes rough days.

It’s hard to go to bed in a bad mood when you write down HAPPY MOMENTS that you were lucky enough to be part of.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

Happiness is about MAKING PROGRESS, not everything being perfect.

We have to focus on our gains, not on the things that went wrong that day.

From helping a new customer treat their 1st patient to learning a new technique on the jiu jitsu mat – HAPPINESS is all about progress.

TAKE CHARGE

We’re in charge of our own happiness.

If you don’t like something, CHANGE IT.

If you can’t change it, change THE WAY YOU THINK about it.

Don’t wait for someone else to make you happy.

That almost never happens, except in John Hughes movies.

Helen Keller wrote, “Happiness is not out there, it is in us.”

Happiness is the ultimate INSIDE JOB.  

It’s hidden in plain sight.

Our job is to notice it.

And maybe even WRITE IT DOWN.

#BeHappy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

Advertisements

Cross The Gap

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” – JD Houston

images.jpg

Sales & Jiu Jitsu have alot in common.

Both are humbling.

Each take decades to master.

Both have consequences when you underperform:

  • Make a mistake in SALES, you lose a customer.
  • Make a mistake in JIU JITSU, you lose consciousness.

The best practitioners in both fields feel a constant TENSION.

It’s a tension created by the GAP between where their SKILLS currently are and who they want to become.

Crossing this GAP takes time and a ton of work.

Early in my SALES career my skills were pretty awful.

My phone skills were so poor that prospects would actually offer me free coaching advice before they hung up.

Me: “Mr Prospect – Blah…Blah…Blah…”

Prospect:  “Hey buddy – You need to relax & slow down, or no one is going to buy anything from you.  Click.”

At least he did not leave me hanging.

There comes a time when we have to decide if we are going to remain just another face in the crowd or make an IMPACT.

We have to decide if we are going to CROSS THE GAP.

HOW TO CROSS THE GAP:

OPEN YOUR MIND

The best in any field are constantly EVOLVING.

They keep experimenting.

They actively search out NEW IDEAS. 

Ray Dalio wrote, “We have to be radically open minded to see what’s missing.”

ASK FOR FEEDBACK

Don’t wait for your performance review.

Make feedback a constant force in your life.

Feedback may bruise your EGO but will open your eyes.

It will keep you in touch with REALITY.

Elon Musk said, “It’s important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Feedback is a gift.

Embrace it.

PRIORITIZE & EXECUTE

Jocko Willink wrote, “Stop spinning. Prioritize and Execute. Pick the highest impact idea and do it.”

MAKE IT ROUTINE

Put your top priority into your schedule.

Work on it 30 minutes each day.

You will be amazed how much progress you make in a month.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

We become our peer group.

Want to get better at Jiu Jitsu? Join an academy.

Want to get better at SALES?  Attend a sales conference.

Proximity is power.

DO THE WORK

Inspiration is for amateurs.

Professionals DO THE WORK.

  • How do you get rid of writer’s block? Start writing.
  • How do you get out of a sales slump?  Make a sale.
  • How do you get better at Jiu Jitsu?  Train.

Hard work creates luck.

DECIDE

Where are the GAPS in your life?

What part of your life is AVERAGE that you know could be REMARKABLE?

It may be time to LEAP.

#CrossTheGap

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Clouds & The Dirt

“I spend all my time in the clouds or in the dirt. That’s why I’m successful.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

clouds1.jpg

Fall is here.

Just walk inside a Starbucks.

Holy pumpkin everything…

I find fall the best time of the year to make CHANGES.

No need to wait for the chaos of the holidays to disappear.

We can get a head start by BEGINNING NOW.

When the conversation at Aunt Nelly’s holiday dinner turns to New Year’s resolutions, we’ll have 3 months of progress to show.

How cool is that?

Besides, I have an awful track record with resolutions.

I don’t do them.

From learning to trade stock options to trying to be less sarcastic, I’ve failed at most of them.

Instead, I now focus on DAILY ACTION.

DAILY ACTION is the secret to accomplishing BIG GOALS.

Gary Vee calls this concept – “The Clouds and The Dirt.”

THE CLOUDS

THE CLOUDS are your goals.

They are the places you want to take your life.

What BIG IDEA do you want to achieve?

  • Create a $1 million customer?
  • Lose 10 pounds?
  • Write a blog post every Monday?

We’ll all have different answers to this question.

But THE PROCESS is the same.

The 1st step is DECIDING what we want to accomplish.

For me, I want to be a more consistent writer.

I’d love to be 2 to 3 weeks ahead with blogs posts.

Waking up Monday at 4:30am to finish this week’s post is not a long term strategy.

THE DIRT

THE DIRT is how you get there.

It’s the DAILY GRIND.

The DIRT are the SMALL DAILY ACTIONS we need to take that make the CLOUDS possible.

THE DIRT is the journey.

It’s the gritty path that leads to our GOALS.  

DECIDE

Decide on 1 daily action you can do that gets you closer to your GOAL.

For me, I need to write more.

My DAILY ACTION:

  • Write 200 words each morning before 7am.

BE SPECIFIC

The SECRET is to be specific.

My goal is NOT to “Write every day.”

That’s too vague.

Our ACTIONS need to be:

  • Simple.
  • Actionable.
  • Accountable.

JUST SAY NO

TIME and ENERGY are limited resources.

We have to be intentional where we invest them.

Gary Vee said, “I don’t spend any time on things that don’t matter.”

This means sometimes saying “No” to people.

Saying “No” is tough.

We think we are letting people down.

But when we don’t say “No” to distraction, we are only letting ourselves down.

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

When you look into THE CLOUDS what do you see?

Keep your eyes on the CLOUDS

But your hands in the DIRT.

Our thoughts are with our friends in TEXAS & FLORIDA this week.

#StayStrong

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

Know When to Fold’em

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.” – Kenny Rogers, The Gambler 

poker-hand.jpg

Early in my SALES career I was looking to start a side business.

I did some research.

Somehow I landed on the idea of trading stock options.

I know…

I attended multiple weekend long seminars.

I even bought special software that was supposed to help me find the right stocks to trade.

But the more time I INVESTED, the less it felt right.

Thousands dollars and dozens of hours were sunk into my new options “business”.

What should I do?

Keep going?

Fight through the doubt?

Winners never quit, right?

Fast forward to 2015…

I hear and feel a LOUD pop in my knee while training Jiu Jitsu.

Always fun…

A few weeks later I’m standing in front of an orthopedic surgeon.

He tells me I need my knee reconstructed.

Was it time to RETIRE my GI?

Maybe time to buy my first pair of salmon colored pants and start golfing?

These 2 scenarios raise a Timeless question:

When should we QUIT?

When should we KEEP GOING?

Seth Godin writes in The Dip, “Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

Motivational quotes like “Winners never quit. Quitters never win.” can be hazardous to your wallet.

This is FAKE NEWS.

New projects we take on START the same:

  • Excitement when we begin.
  • Then it gets hard.
  • We have to decide to keep going or quit.

This plays out from our New Year’s Resolutions to starting a new SALES position.

Every project has a BIG fat MIDDLE that is not fun.

We have to figure out if that JOURNEY is worth taking.

3 Questions – Hold’em or Fold’em?:

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?

What is your gut telling you?

Do you still believe in what you’re doing?

The first person we have to convince is ourselves.

WHAT ARE YOU MISSING?

When we say “Yes” to something, we are saying “No” to something else.

Everytime I train Jiu Jitsu or write this blog, I am saying no to something. (Especially teeing off wearing those salmon pants…)

And I am OK with that tradeoff.

IS IT TIME TO CHANGE DIRECTION?

Knowing when to pivot is a true sign of a professional.

There may be a better use of your TIME and TALENT.  

John Wooden said, “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”

Changing course may not be a failure.  It can be a step towards something better.

After asking myself these 3 questions, I knew:

  • It was time to RETIRE as a stock trader.
  • Jiu Jitsu and I were just GETTING STARTED.

Know when to HOLD’EM.

Know when to FOLD’EM.

#TheGamble

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

Free Yourself

“Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” – John Quincy Adams

thatsit.jpeg

FREEDOM and COURAGE.

You can’t have one without the other.

I read David McCullough’s fantastic book  – 1776.

It’s an incredible story of how America won it’s FREEDOM.

Midway through the book, no rational person would think the Americans had any chance of winning.

But thanks to the LEADERSHIP of Washington and the COURAGE of his army, they did.

Our FREEDOM came at a tremendous cost.

It’s an amazing gift.

The crazy part is how easily we give our FREEDOM away.

240+ years later we no longer have a foreign power occupying our country.

But sometimes our own insecurities steal our FREEDOM on a regular basis.

Here are 3 THINGS THAT LIMIT OUR FREEDOM:

FEAR OF REJECTION

We have to come to grips that not everyone is going to be a fan.

There are going to be people who are not interested in us or what we do.

Each day we face a sea of rejection.

That’s a good thing!

That rejection keeps out the amateurs.

People are usually rejecting your idea, not you.

Most people are so caught up in their own lives, that they are not even thinking about us.

Don’t hold back.

Produce your best work.

Send it out into the world.

What others think is irrelevant.

ANXIETY

Don’t let the PAST or FUTURE steal another second from TODAY.  

Give yourself the FREEDOM of the present moment.

Lao Tzu wrote, “If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

The PAST is gone.

The FUTURE is a mystery.

Live in the moment.

EGO

EGO’s are fragile.

They get bruised when we fail.

Our brain tries to protect us by keeping us “safe”.

Unfortunately our safety zone is our DANGER ZONE.

Check your EGO at the door.

Have the COURAGE to fail.

Make today your Independence day.

The Founding Fathers did their part.

Now it’s time we do ours.

Move past FEAR.

Free your mind.

Free your life.

#FreeYourself

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Halftime

“Do your job.  Finish.” – Bill Belichick, Halftime at Super Bowl 51

maxresdefault.jpg

The 4th of July…

With the amazing weather and trips to the beach comes a wake-up call.

July 1st is the halfway point of the year.

It’s HALFTIME of 2017.

A good time to pause and reflect.

How’s 2017 going?

Did you make any big RESOLUTIONS?

What type of PROGRESS have you made?

Are you still excited about the NEW YEAR?

Or has frustration set in?

Our best intentions can easily get pushed aside by our daily grind.

Life happens.

Regardless, we’re still in a great spot.

It’s only HALFTIME.

There’s still time to accomplish great things in 2017.

Andy Andrews wrote, “There is nothing less important than the score at halftime.”

Just ask the Atlanta Falcons…

Bill Belichick may not show up in our kitchen to give a motivational speech.

Lady Gaga probably won’t set up a stage in our back yard.

But this week is a great OPPORTUNITY to put on our own HALFTIME show.

3 Ways to Rock Out HALFTIME:

ASSESS

Each year I choose 3 words to guide my decision making in the year ahead.

As I look back on what I wrote, I see progress and missed chances.

Take a moment.

Look back at the GOALS you made going into 2017.

Where are you?

What’s working?  What needs to change?

Define what part of that process you can control.

That’s where your energy needs to go the rest of the year.

ADJUST

The greatest NFL coaches are known for their halftime adjustments.   

They observe the strengths & weaknesses of their opponent during the 1st half.

Then they make ADJUSTMENTS.

General Ike Eisenhower said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Unexpected things happen.

AVERAGE people fold to circumstances.

REMARKABLE people learn how to adapt.

Be remarkable.

FINISH

The second half is CRUNCH TIME.

The second half is where LEGENDS are made.

Focus on actions that move the needle.

One of my mentors once asked me, “What makes you uncomfortable when you think about it? That’s what you should be working on.”

Decide what’s your #1 PRIORITY for the rest of the year.

Commit to taking DAILY ACTION on that goal.

Move the ball forward a little each day.

The concept of HALFTIME is bigger than 2017.

It’s always HALFTIME in some aspect of our life.

We are always entering the midpoint of some important phase:

  • Our kids living at home.
  • Our career.
  • Our marriage.

It doesn’t matter the phase or the current score:

  • Pause.
  • Make adjustments.
  • Execute.

Come out of HALFTIME swinging.

Do your job.  Finish.

When you do, the best part is yet to come…

#HalfTime

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

Cutting Edge

“If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 hours sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

sawimage7.jpg

It happens slowly, but realized suddenly.

It’s the salesperson who has not READ a book since college.

It’s the physician who doesn’t take time to EXERCISE.

It’s the retiree who lost their ENTHUSIASM for living.

Drift happens.

Skills dull.

Bodies become soft.

Attitudes get stale.

Our MINDSET can become more dated than our crazy Uncle Pete’s wardrobe.

To stay RELEVANT, we have to keep our BODY, MINDS, & SPIRIT sharp.

This week we conclude a series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #7:  Sharpen the Saw.

Sharpening the Saw means you make it a PRIORITY to keep your:

  • MIND sharp.
  • BODY strong.
  • SPIRT unbreakable.

Sharpening the Saw is the M.V.H. – Most Valuable Habit.

Why?

It makes the other 6 habits possible.

There is no way we can be proactive, think win win, understand others, and synergize if our bodies & minds are dull.

Sharpening the Saw keeps you effective.

Sharpening the Saw keeps you RELEVANT.

To make this habit a reality, you literally have to make it a habit.

3 Ways To Sharpen The Saw:

 1) Get Moving (Body)

  • Find an activity you LOVE.
  • Walk, hot yoga, spin, or Jiu Jitsu your way into motion.
  • Schedule that activity 3-4x into your week.
  • Protect your schedule.

2) Learn 1 New Thing Every Day (Mind):

  • Read from an inspiring  non-fiction book for 10 minutes each morning.
  • Write the best idea you discovered in a journal.
  • That journal may become one of your most prized possessions.

3) Show Gratitude (Spirit):

  • Take 2 minutes before bed to reflect on your day.
  • Write 1 thing you are grateful for in your journal.
  • Be as specific as possible.

In his killer new book, “Tools of Titans”, Tim Ferris interviews billionaires, icons, & world-class performers.

Ferris deconstructs their habits, routines, and best practices for the average person to benefit.

One common thread running through each of their stories is their continual commitment to keeping their minds & bodies sharp.

They create routines into their incredibly busy schedules to sharpen their saw.

Saying you are “too busy” or “don’t have the time” is an excuse.

If the General in charge of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command can find the time to exercise, read, and clear his mind, so can we.

The key is consistency.

As Seth Godin wrote, “Rust never sleeps”.

Stay sharp.

Stay relevant.

#CuttingEdge

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Main Event

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Steven Covey

priority.pngBrazilian Jiu Jitsu is a microcosm of life.

When you:

  • Don’t execute the BASICS, bad things happen.
  • Lose FOCUS, trouble follows.
  • Get DISTRACTED, you get hurt.

It doesn’t matter if you are training Jiu Jitsu or negotiating in a customer’s office, you have to PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST or pay the price.

This week our series continues on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #3:  Put First Things First

Let’s roll…

There is an amazing disconnect between what we say is IMPORTANT and our actions.

At times we act like a General Manager of an awful sports team.

We trade high value assets for low value items:

  • We give our ATTENTION to Instagram when our family is right in front of us.
  • We give away our HEALTH when we pass the gym to get “caught up” on email.
  • We let people steal our TIME because we are afraid to say “No”.

Take back control by putting first things first.  

It all starts by eliminating distraction.

A few weeks ago I found myself losing focus.

My phone pinged all day.

I was reacting, not initiating.

The iphone was stealing my attention away from what was right in front of me.

This was happening more often than I would like to admit.

It was time to put first things first.

I made 3 changes:

  • Removed all social media apps from my iphone.
  • Turned off all notifications for everything.
  • Limited email to 2 times per day.

The result?

More focus.

Less stress.

A game changer.

There is more white space during my day.

But the biggest benefit has been PRESENCE.

I’m more AWARE of what’s going on in front of me.

200 years before Covey wrote the 7 Habits, Goethe said:

“Things Which Matter Most Must Never Be at the Mercy of Those That Matter Least.”

Maybe it’s time we start acting that way.

#PutFirstThingsFirst

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

The Power of Habits

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”  – John Dryden

habit-2.jpg

Name the 1st book that changed the way you think?

For me, it was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 7 Habits changed the way I conducted business.

It changed the way I approached life.

Each habit called me out.

The Habits are simple concepts that separate the REMARKABLE from the AVERAGE.

The Vibe will cover each habit over the next few weeks.

Let’s go…

 Habit 1:  Be Proactive

You can’t wait for things to happen.

Nothing starts until you do.

To live our best life, we need to LEAN FORWARD.

We can’t wait for perfect circumstances or the mood to strike us.

We must create the mood with ACTION.

One of my mentors in Gracie Jiu Jitsu told me “If I only trained when I was in the mood or had the time, I would train 3-4 times a year.”

Tony Robbins said, “Great concepts don’t just appear, they must be pursued.”

Being PROACTIVE means stop negotiating with your mind.

Your mind is wired for survival, not success.

Your mind will tell you to:

  • Stay in bed.
  • That’s too hard.
  • You’re not qualified.
  • It’s too cold.
  • It’s too hot.
  • You’re too old.
  • You’re not good enough.

All lies.

Being PROACTIVE means moving the ball forward a few yards each day.

Proactivity starts with changing your MINDSET.

When we are proactive, we no longer blame outside circumstances.

We become the circumstances.

Think of all the VIP’s in your life:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Customers
  • Coworkers
  • Managers

How can you be more PROACTIVE in their world?

Go there.

How can you be more PROACTIVE in your world?

  • Get proper sleep
  • Limit distractions
  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Read a Weekly Blog J

Where do you need to step up?

Start that habit today.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

12 Books That Will Jump Start Your Morning

These 12 books have influenced my attitude, career, & life.

In no particular order:

“The Compound Effect” – Darren Hardy

“The Art of Possibility” – Rosa Stone Zander

“Start: Punch Fear in the Face” – Jon Acuff

“The Power of Positive Thinking” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude” – Jeffrey Gitomer

“Think & Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill

“Break Out!” – Joel Osteen

“How to Stop Worrying & Start Living” – Dale Carnegie

“Ego is the Enemy” – Ryan Holiday

“Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” – Harvey Mackay

“What To Do When It’s Your Turn…And It’s Always Your Turn” – Seth Godin

“Power Questions” – Andrew Sobel

What books would you recommend?

-Joe