To Be or Not To Be?

“Remember your ‘To Do’ list but don’t forget your ‘To Be’ List.” – Richard Branson

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Monday Fun-Day…

Another week gets rolling.

Some of our “TO DO” lists are longer than a Springsteen concert setlist.

Before we sprint out the door, take a minute to think…

What’s missing?

Maybe we need to focus less on what we want ‘TO DO’ and more on who we need to BE.

Here are 12 things that may BE missing from your “TO DO” list:

430 years ago William Shakespeare asked, “To be or not to be?”

It’s an amazing quote.

It’s also a great philosophy to live your life.

#ToBeOrNotToBe

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

(Big Thank You to Seth Godin for the inspiration!)

 

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Lead the Way

“Leadership is influence.  Nothing more, nothing less.” – John Maxwell

 

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What makes someone a LEADER?

The best definition I ever heard is “INFLUENCE”.

Whether you lead a global corporation or run your family, every organization needs the next generation of leaders to step up and LEAD THE WAY.

John Maxwell wrote, “Everything rises and falls with leadership.”

You may be a new leader trying to establish TRUST.

You could be an established leader looking to STAY RELEVANT.

Either way, one thing is certain –

Leaders are CREATED, not born.

HOW TO LEAD THE WAY:

SHARE YOUR BEST IDEAS

Leaders need to ELEVATE the thinking of everyone in the group.

Don’t hold back.

Put your best ideas into world.

Edwin Markham wrote, “What we put into the lives of others, comes back into our own.”

MAKE DECISIONS

Leaders have the COURAGE to make tough decisions.

They gather the available information and have the guts to make a call.

Leaders know that NOT making a decision is making one.

Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity.” 

MOVE ON

Not every decision will work out.

Life will knock you down.

The past is an awesome teacher, but a bad place to live.

Leaders learn the lesson, adapt, then move on.

EMPOWER OTHERS

Leaders take people with them.

Wayne Gretzky said, “It’s not about how great you are.  It’s about how great you make the people around you.”

Empower others.

RAISE THE BAR

Leaders raise the bar.

From Washington leading the Continental Army, to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, to Steve Jobs denting the universe…

Great leaders show what is possible.

Seth Godin wrote, “You can raise the bar or wait for others to raise it, but it’s getting raised regardless.” 

Elevate what people think is possible.

STAY RELEVANT

Leaders know the best way to STAY RELEVANT is to keep learning.

John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Leaders keep learning or slowly fade away.

IT’S YOUR TURN

The world is asking you to step up and help show the way forward.

Someone is waiting for you to LEAD THE WAY.

Who will you INFLUENCE?

How far can you take them?

It’s time…

Lead, follow, or please get out of the way.

#LeadTheWay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

17 Ways

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul…I’m saying it helps.” – Walter Mosley

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Life is made of moments.

Last week was a special one for me.

I had the opportunity to present Sales Vibe Live to our national sales team in San Diego.

The presentation was based on the principles and ideas I write about in SALES VIBE.

We discussed ways to:

  • Prepare.
  • Engage.
  • Build Trust.
  • Organize.
  • Strategize.
  • Question.
  • Close.
  • Get Invited Back.

Over 60 people attended.

It was an awesome experience.

After the presentation, I received multiple requests for the list of books referenced in the talk.

Below is that list with a brief summary following each book.

Here are 17 WAYS to elevate your SALES & LIFE:

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful man on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino.  Iannarino writes “To succeed in sales you need three things: a Mindset, a Skillset, & a Toolset.”  Same goes for life.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.  This book made the term “mindset” hip.  Greatness is created, not born.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.  Holiday distills ancient stoic wisdom into 1 actionable thought each day.  Holiday is the modern day Robert Green. 

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer is the best sales trainer on the planet.  He also wrote one of the best books on how to create a winning attitude.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.  Willink spent two decades training & leading US Navy Seals in combat.  He shows how the lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to the boardroom. #GetAfterIt

Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar is famous for saying “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” Written in 1985, it’s still one of the greatest sales books ever.

SKILLSET

The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.  Tony Robbins was working as a janitor when he met Jim Rohn.  Rohn taught him these principles to lead an exceptional life. Gold.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  Covey’s book is one of the top 10 read books on Amazon.  He boils the secrets of success down into 7 habits.

The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer.  This book is the best selling sales book of all time.  You can put Gitomer’s ideas in to action 30 seconds after you read them.

The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer teaches how to connect, engage, and get invited back.  Hint:  “Start friendly, or don’t start at all.” 

Good To Great by Jim Collins.  “If you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any.”

The Lost Art of Closing by Anthony Iannarino.  A salesperson job is to ask for and obtain commitments. This book shows you how to be a closer.

TOOLSET

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Sales Bible is the most complete book on selling ever written.

Power Questions by Andrew Sobel. I read books then give them away.  I kept this one and refer to it often.  It’s filled with killer questions.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.”  Timeless wisdom.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday“What stands in the way becomes the way.”  Struggling through something? This is your book.

Lists can be overwhelming.

Start by picking one.

A great book will lead you to the next one.

There is a Latin Proverb, “Liber Medicina Animi – A Book is the Soul’s Medicine.”

Take the next step.

Go…

#17Ways

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

Airplane Mode

“Starve Your Distractions.  Feed Your Focus.” – Anonymous

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Have you ever flown across the country?

If so, you can speak to the phenomenon of PRODUCTIVITY that happens when you are at 30,000 feet.

It’s called AIRPLANE MODE.

Many frequent fliers tell tales of getting more work done on a cross country flight than an entire week in the office.

AIRPLANE MODE serves up the perfect work environment:

  • Zero distractions (barring that screaming baby 2 rows back):
  • No interruptions.
  • Your phone does not buzz every 10 seconds.

You are in a bubble.

Work gets done:

  • Presentations get finished.
  • Books get read.
  • Blogs get written.

Author Peter Shenkman brags about writing 28,000 words for one of his books on a single flight.

One of the BEST IDEAS I discovered in 2017 was bringing AIRPLANE MODE to ground level.

It’s an awesome way to get work done.

I spend 1 hour of each day on AIRPLANE MODE.

Jon Acuff talks about this concept in his book FINISH.

There’s no need to wait for your next trip to Las Vegas to make progress on an important project.

We can create an uninterrupted, distraction free bubble to do our most important work on the ground.

The start of the year is a great opportunity to experiment with new ways of doing things.

So buckle your seat belts.

Put your tray tables in their locked upright position.

Oh…

And stow that carry-on bag under your seat.

TIME TO GO ON AIRPLANE MODE:

CHOOSE ONE PROJECT 

What’s the ONE THING you need to finish?

What project has been hanging over your head for too long?

Choose that one.

PICK YOUR PLACE

Find a place where you will not be tempted by distractions.

I found my home office was a terrible place to get work done.

There were just too many distractions.

So much so that I gave up my home office.

It was converted into a playroom.

I find cafes and local libraries work way better.

GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT  

What time of day are you at your best?

Schedule AIRPLANE MODE at your mental peak.

I’m a morning person.  For me, the earlier the better.

Night time does not work.

I fade late afternoon like the Dallas Cowboys in December.

DISCONNECT 

Shut your phone down.  Turn off your ipad.

Completely disconnect.

What if my kids call? 

What if I miss a customer email?

Be brave.

The world will be there 59 minutes later when you reconnect.

SET A TIMER

I put my iPhone on AIRPLANE MODE.

Then I set 60 minutes on my timer app.

The first couple times I found myself looking up every 5 minutes.

Eventually the hour flies by.

GET TO WORK

Don’t let the distractions of everyday life keep you from doing your best work.

Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser focus.”

Starve your distractions.

Feed your focus.

Go on AIRPLANE MODE.

And watch your productivity TAKE OFF.

#AirPlaneMode

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SaleVibe.Net

JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK

“The person that gives value first has the leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

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What’s the worst professional advice you ever got?

In Tim Ferriss’ new book, Tribe of Mentors, Ferriss asks a series of questions to a group of elite athletes, super achievers, & billionaires.

Here’s one question that generated some fascinating dialogue:

“What are the bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?”

This question brought me back to my first SALES job.

During our weekly sales meetings, my manager would walk around the meeting room and say phrases like “Work the close!” and “A.B.C. – Always Be Closing.”

It was like Alec Baldwin’s character “Blake” from Glengarry Glen Ross giving you a motivational talk each week.

SALES was all about CLOSING a deal.

Get the contract signed and move on.

Helping a customer succeed and establishing a long term relationship had little to do with the process.

For my money, “Always Be Closing.” is the worst professional advice I ever got.

EVERYONE IS IN SALES 

Like it or not, EVERYONE is in SALES.

We all have something to sell:

  • Our product to a customer.
  • Your kids on brushing their teeth.
  • Convincing your husband it’s time to remodel the kitchen.

If you really want to CLOSE THE DEAL, focus less on CLOSING and more on VALUE. 

LEAD WITH VALUE

Sales is all about providing VALUE.

It’s HELPING someone get the OUTCOMES they are searching for by using your idea, product or service.

Gary Vaynerchuk, internet entrepreneur & bestselling author, has an amazing philosophy on how to get people to decide in your favor.

It’s called JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK.

GIVE TO GET

Think of the SALES process like a boxing match.

Each JAB is you providing HELP and VALUE to your customer.

The HOOK, which comes only after a series of jabsis your ask.  It’s what you are trying to get the other person to agree to.

Your JABS setup the HOOK.

The JABS increases the chances that your HOOK hits the target.

Just like a boxer has a GAME PLAN before entering the ring, each salesperson needs a plan before entering a customer’s office.

SALES PLAN

Before you ask a customer to do anything, HELP THEM three times.

Prove your VALUE. 

It’s not about “Always Be Closing.

It’s all about: “Always Be Helping.

It’s:

  • Give Value
  • Give Value
  • Give Value
  • Ask

The JAB, JAB, JAB, HOOK method delivers knockouts:

  • It ENGAGES customers.
  • It creates TRUST.
  • Establishes long term RELATIONSHIPS.

People are way more receptive to take action on new ideas with people they like, trust, and know have their best interests at heart.

This is not just a GAME PLAN for SALES.

It’s also a great philosophy for life.

#JabJabJabHook

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Uncommon Gratitude

“Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.” – Napoleon Hill

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Last week was a great reminder of all that we have to BE THANKFUL.

It’s EASY to GIVE THANKS for the good things:

  • Our families.
  • Good health.
  • Our freedom.

I just listened to a REMARKABLE podcast with Gary Vee and Tim Ferriss.

Ferriss was promoting his new book,  Tribe of Mentors.

Gary Vee asked Ferriss two of the most powerful questions I’ve heard in an interview:

  • What setback are you most grateful for? 

  • What failure propelled you the furthest?

Wow.

It makes you think…

When was the last time you were GRATEFUL for an OBSTACLE that knocked you down?

  • The injuries.
  • The setbacks.
  • The breakups.

These OBSTACLES, which seem horrible at the time are actually the fuel that make the good stuff possible.

Often the view at the top is fantastic, but GROWTH happens in the valley below.

It takes UNCOMMON GRATITUDE to appreciate setbacks.

If we want to BECOME MORE, we have to CONFRONT MORE.

We have to think every obstacle that comes our way was made especially for us.

The tests of life are not there to break us, but make us.

Tony Robbins says, “Life does not happen to you, it happens for you.”

Looking back, I can see where this has happened for me:

  • I got cut from my high school baseball team.  I was crushed. To fill my newfound free time, I started training martial arts.  I’m still training to this day.
  • After missing out on a promotion I really wanted, I decided it was time to PROMOTE MYSELF.  I hired a recruiter and landed a position with a growing company.  One of the best moves I ever made.
  • My knee blows out while training Jiu Jitsu.  What started off as scary, turned into an amazing journey that showed me a better way to EAT, TRAIN & LIVE.

UNCOMMON GRATITUDE is being thankful for all the tough times that make you better.

Gratitude is not an automatic response, especially for the tough times.

Being grateful for both the good and the bad transforms an AVERAGE life into a REMARKABLE journey.

What OBSTACLE made you better in the past?

What TOUGH CHALLENGE are you facing now?

Time to give thanks.

#UncommonGratitude

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Be Happy

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

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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. 

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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

 

Cross The Gap

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

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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

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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 

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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