Commencement

“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

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Graduating students from all over the country are walking down the aisle to receive their diplomas and begin the next chapter of their lives.

Before they throw their caps in the air, they are offered some last words of advice.

This comes in the form of a COMMENCEMENT speech.

Some COMMENCEMENT speeches are REMARKABLE.

Steve Jobs gave a legendary talkto the 2005 graduating class of Stanford.

Others, not so much.

The 2018 speakers ranged from Oprah Winfrey telling the USC graduates to “Live your best life. Keep your word. Get your hands dirty.”to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer telling Bucknell graduates that “It’s OK to fail, but it’s not OK to quit.” 

General James Mattis, the current Secretary of Defense, gave the commencement address to the 2018 graduates of the Air Force Academy.

The class got an unedited talk on the complicated world they enter as they defend our country.

General Mattis, known as the “Warrior Monk”, did what all GREAT LEADERS do.

He made his address about the cadets sitting right in front of him.

He focused his thoughts on the people he will now lead, not himself.

INSPIRE BY YOUR EXAMPLE

“Your example will be the thing that inspires others.”

Talk is cheap.

Your impact will be determined by what you do, not what you think.

Want to INSPIRE others?

Take ACTION.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

“Learn to embrace and enjoy the beauty of the unexpected.”

Life is unpredictable.

Preparation is key.

But sometimes the best laid plans fall apart.

We have to develop the ability to think on our feet.

ATTITUDE IS YOUR ULTIMATE WEAPON

Your primary weapon system is your attitude.”

We are responsible for the energy we bring into each room we enter.

Our ATTITUDE will determine our ALTITUDE more than anything.

THE ULTIMATE BATTLE

General Mattis ended with a challenge to the future leaders sitting in front of him.

“You ultimately only have to win one battle, it’s the battle for your peoples’ respect. Once you win that battle, your people will win all the others.”

The people you lead expect you to have their back.

Your people expect you to be there when they need you most.

There’s no other place a true LEADER would rather be.

#Commencement

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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Question of the Day

“Judge someone by their questions rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

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“Get out now while you still can.”

The guy on the other side of the table told me this as he stared at me with no expression.

I was a year out of college and struggling to make a job I disliked (working in a CPA firm) work.

The guy was a senior member of the firm asked to mentor me.

At our very first lunch outside of the office, instead of showing me the ropes, he tried to show me the exit.

Turns out he was miserable.

He hated being a CPA.

But he felt stuck.

He told me he was married, had young kids, car payments, and a mortgage.

“It’s too late for me to get out. Don’t get stuck like I did.” was the way I remembering him putting it.

Warning given.

Warning taken.

I jumped ship (and careers) a few months later.

SALES & LIFE

When I was an accountant, I knew many unhappy accountants.

They did not like their job:

  • The hours.
  • The monotony.
  • All those memorable lunches sitting at your desk alone staring at an Excel spreadsheet.

They may have been unhappy, but they were excellent at what they did.

They produced high level CPA work.

They delivered for their clients.

That’s not possible in SALES.

I’ve never met an unhappy, high achieving sales person.

Never.

An unhappy sales person has almost ZERO CHANCE of:

  • Engaging.
  • Connecting.
  • Building Trust.
  • Providing Value.
  • Helping someone else succeed.
  • Getting invited back.

ELEVATE YOUR QUESTIONS

What’s the best way to feel fulfilled in your career?

That’s hard to say.

It’s different for each of us.

There are no magic answers.

But there are MAGIC QUESTIONS.

The fastest way to elevate your MINDSET is also the fastest way to elevate your sales game:

Elevate the quality of your questions.  

10 QUESTIONS TO JUMP START YOUR SALES (and life)…

  1. What needs to happen for today to be a success?
  2. Who needs my help today?
  3. Who do I need to ignore?
  4. What do I need to stop doing?
  5. What do I need to get over?
  6. Who do I need to spend more time with?
  7. Who do I need to walk away from?
  8. What am I excited about?
  9. What’s missing?
  10. What am I grateful for?

High level questions attract high level answers.

U2’s Bono said, “We thought that we had the answers. It was the questions we had wrong.”

No need to get stuck anywhere.

What tough questions do you need to ask yourself?

That’s the…

#QuestionOfTheDay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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!)

 

Write It Down

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.” —Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

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What do the following people have in common?

Besides changing the course of history, they all shared a common practice.

They kept a JOURNAL.

Journaling is a life changing habit.

When I first heard about journaling, I was sceptical.

I thought writing in a journal was something that people who wrote bad poetry did.

I was wrong.

Jim Rohn said, “If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured, and unique individual, keep a journal.”

There are a number of studies that show keeping a journal helps you better cope with STRESS and ANXIETY.

A journal will help you:

  • PRIORITIZE your day.
  • CLARIFY your thinking.
  • Stay ORGANIZED and FOCUSED.
  • Increase your CREATIVITY.

HOW TO JOURNAL:

FIND YOUR PLACE

You don’t need a vista.

You don’t need an ocean view or a Pottery Barn table.

Da Vinci wrote (in one of his journals), Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Keep it simple.

Pick a spot where you can open up your blank notebook, feel comfortable and write down your thoughts.

GET YOUR TIMING WRITE

Start by allocating 10 minutes each day.

We are all busy.

But we all need time to THINK and REFLECT.

For many, there is a burst of creative energy that comes after a good night’s sleep.

For you NIGHT OWLS, there might be no better way to clear your mind than writing your thoughts down before bed.

Capture those ideas on paper.

WHAT TO WRITE?

The first step is the hardest.

Don’t let what to write be an OBSTACLE.

Here are some journal prompts to get you started:

  • What’s got my attention?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What surprised me?
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What excites me?
  • What scares me?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What great quote did I hear?
  • What people do I need to spend more time with?

NO FEAR

Write without fear.

Lose your inhibitions.

Don’t hold back.

Let your writing express how you really feel.

This journal is for you.

No one else.

THE BENEFITS

Journaling will help you enter each day with greater clarity.

Your actions will be more focused.

You’ll start to feel GRATITUDE for the little things.

2,000 years ago, the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “Just as one person delights in improving their farm, so I delight in attending to my own improvement.” 

So…

What’s on your mind?

What’s keeping you up at night?

How can you make tomorrow better than today?

Do what some of the greatest minds in history have done…

#WriteItDown

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Adversity, Knee Braces, & Attitude

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” Terry Goodkind 

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ADVERSITY enters our lives when we least expect it.

How we respond defines who we become.

While training in jiu jitsu, I heard a loud pop in my knee.

Yikes!

Not the background music I was hoping to listen to while training.

2 weeks later…

I’m standing next to an orthopedic surgeon.

He looked at the MRI and explained my injury –a full width tear of the ACL”.

Fun times.

A knee injury brings a level of adversity into your life.

I am firm believer that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond.

Jeffrey Benjamin said, Adversity always hides a gift.”  

Our job is to find it.

Here are 4 Gifts I learned by tearing my ACL:

STAY CALM

Fear thrives in adversity.

Expose yourself to enough stories of the worst possible outcome, and your mind will start to believe them.

One way to empty the fear out of our minds and fill it with positive vibes is to BREATHE.

As soon as I heard that “POP” behind my kneecap, I focused on my breathing:

  • Slow, deep breaths.
  • In my nose.
  • Out my mouth.

It’s amazing how FOCUSED BREATHING calms your mind.

Focused breathing is one of the true GIFTS I learned by training jiu jitsu and practicing yoga.

EMBRACE CHANGE

Take a page out of Charles Darwin’s play book.

Learn to ADAPT to your environment.

My energy comes from being active:

  • Playing sports with my kids.
  • Training jiu jitsu.
  • Traveling with my wife.

But with a knee as strong a Kardashian marriage, I needed to make adjustments.

I had to watch class instead of train.

To stay in shape, I had to trade my jiu jitsu Gi for the elliptical machine at LA Fitness.

There wasn’t a trade that bad since the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

But they served their purpose.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

Adversity puts fear in your head.

Speaking with friends who went through the same situation crushed that fear.

Discussing rehab options with a top physician & awesome PT’s created a game plan and built confidence.

Never underestimate the power of community.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD

Life moves on.

The world stops for no one.

An injured knee was not going to stop me from living my life.

A few days after I got hurt, I was scheduled to chaperone a Class Trip for my son’s 2nd grade class.

I bought my 1st knee brace ever and jumped (more like limped) onto the school bus.

It was an awesome day –  Kardashian knee and all.

Call it my Kirk Gibson moment.

Getting injured is AVERAGE.

Living life in the face of adversity feels REMARKABLE.

#FindTheGift

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

This article was originally published in June 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com.

 

 

 

 

 

You Too

“Everyone is in sales. Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if you deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.” – Zig Ziglar

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Have you ever tried to convince your kids to eat healthy?

Have you ever asked someone out on a date?

Ever try to convince your spouse it’s time to buy a new car?

If you have, I’ll let you in on a little SECRET:

YOU ARE IN SALES.

Anyone trying to MAKE A CHANGE happen is in sales.

  • It’s the PHYSICIAN convincing their patient to start a new therapy.
  • It’s the TEACHER getting their students to READ more.
  • It’s the BACKUP QB asking his head coach to run a trick play in the SUPER BOWL.

Seth Godin wrote, “If you’re not trying to make things better, why are you here? So, you are SELLING something.”

The sooner you realize this reality, the easier your reality becomes.

Be Proud.

Say it loud….

“I AM IN SALES.”

Now go out there and change something for the better.

#YouToo

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

The Sweetest Thing

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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A woman in India had a son that ate way too much sugar.

No matter what she did or said, her son continued to eat sugar.

The mother was so upset that she decided to take her son on a trip to see his idol, Mahatma Gandhi, to ask for his help.

They traveled to see Gandhi.

They waited a day and half to get an audience with the leader.

When their turn came to speak, the mom walked up to Gandhi with her son at her side.

The women said, “Sir, my son eats too much sugar. It’s affecting his health, his teeth, his mood.  Every time he eats sugar I can see the change in him.  There is nothing I can do to stop him.  I am afraid that sugar will ruin his life.  Please tell him to stop eating sugar.”

Gandhi listened to the woman.

He looked at the boy, then paused.

Gandhi told the mother, “Go home and come back to me in two weeks time.”

The woman was perplexed.

She wondered why Gandhi did not tell her son to stop eating sugar.

The mom took the boy and traveled back home.

Two weeks later she returned, boy in hand.

The pair waited hours again for an audience.

When their time came, Gandhi motioned for them to come forward.

Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, stop eating sugar. It is not good for you.”

The boy nodded and promised he would not eat sugar any longer.

The mother was confused.

She turned to Gandhi and asked, “Dear Sir, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I first brought him to see you?”

Gandhi smiled, “Mother, two weeks ago I was still eating sugar myself.”

CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU

Want something to CHANGE?

Change yourself first.

LEAD by example.

Live what you preach.

It’s the fastest way to build TRUST.

There is no better way to establish CREDIBILITY. 

Andy Warhol said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” 

Start with you.

Earning TRUST and having CREDIBILITY with your colleagues and customers is kind of like winning the SUPER BOWL.

Its…

#TheSweetestThing

-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

 

Get Uncomfortable

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  That’s how you break the plateau and reach the next level.” – Chalene Johnson

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How do you get to the next level?  

A mentor of mine told me I needed to become UNCOMFORTABLE

He said, “What do you think about that makes you uncomfortable?  That’s the project you should be working on.”

What makes me uncomfortable? 

Beside “Italian” chain restaurants, it’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and writing a weekly blog.   

That’s why I train as much Jiu Jitsu as possible and publish a blog every Monday morning. 

It’s called the Sales Vibe.

Sales Vibe explores tactics and strategies that help you succeed in SALES & LIFE.

You can read the Sales Vibe by going to www.SalesVibe.net. 

#GetUncomfortable

-Joe Ciccarone

 

 

 

 

It’s Your Turn

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu

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The jiu jitsu mat resembled a blue slip & slide.

It was 95 degrees outside, hotter inside.

I was testing for my purple belt.

After about 10 rounds I was pulled off the mat.

I tried to walk back on.

My instructor told me to sit down.

It had something to do with me not making sense when I tried to speak.

The scariest part was yet to come…

A few weeks later, I walked past my instructor.

He asked someone if they wanted to lead a weekly beginner’s class.

I looked behind me to see who he was speaking to.

Nobody was there.

What business did I have leading a BJJ class?

It didn’t matter what I thought.

It was MY TURN

Leading that class taught me an amazing lesson…

We need the COURAGE to LEAP when opportunity shows up.

We have to walk past our FEAR and JUMP towards what scares us.

To live our best life, we have to TAKE OUR TURN.

Fast forward a few months…

I’m at a SALES seminar.

The presenter challenged everyone in the room to START A BLOG.

He told us having the guts to WRITE SOMETHING and SHIP IT OUT for others to judge will make you better.

A few days later I wrote my 1st post.

I hesitated pushing that “Publish” button for the 1st time.

I was scared.

But it was time to run head first into my little FEAR.

Life is at its best when we TAKE OUR TURN.

3 Ways To Take Your Turn:

Choose Yourself

Don’t wait to be “selected”.

You don’t need anyone’s permission.

  • Write that blog.
  • Start that Youtube channel.
  • Put yourself out there for the world to judge.

Create White Space

Free up creative time each week.

Ryan Holliday wrote, “Cut out all the needless things that make you busy.”

“Busy” is a great place to hide from doing work that scares you.

CREATE something.  Share it with the world.

What project has been on your mind but scares you?

That’s the project you should be working on.

Get Uncomfortable

Putting yourself out there is scary.

People will judge you.  Some will laugh.

Good!

Seth Godin wrote, “Dance with your fear.  Seek out what triggers the resistance and makes you uncomfortable.”

Get comfortable being UNCOMFORTABLE.

Amazing things happen outside our comfort zone.

“The Resistance” tells me all the reasons I should not write this blog.

Every week I have to quiet those voices.

What fear will you overcome this week?

What opportunities will you SEIZE?

I’ll start by hitting this PUBLISH button.

#ItsYourTurn

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net