Home Work

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“Sorry I couldn’t answer the phone when you called.  I was working from home.” – Anonymous

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that shows up early at the supermarket but doesn’t hoard all the paper towels.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is WORKING FROM HOME.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Just remember to stay six feet away at all times.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Home Work

Week #2 of lockdown in progress.

One of our many new challenges is our new office.

We are all suddenly WORKING FROM HOME.

Just one problem…

Our entire family is home as well.

24/7.

We are taking conference calls in the mud room.

The sounds of Fortnight in the background.

Being asked to make waffles just when you unmute your line to speak up.

Interesting times.

At first glance, working from home sounds amazing.

There are defiantly some advantages.

The commute, dress code and free coffee come to mind.

But home base is filled with DISTRACTIONS.  

It can be one of the most challenging environments to get real work done.

The Harvard Business Review has a video on the best practices from working from home that made the rounds on social media this week.

I think the advice is average at best.

With all due respect to Harvard, I’d like to share some ideas to fill in the gaps.

These HOME WORK ideas are from the busiest and most accomplished people I ever came across.

How To Do Your Home Work:

1) Get Up Early

This is by far the most effective idea on being productive at home.

No one wants to talk to you at 5am.  

The early morning is gold.

It’s distraction free.

You have time to think.

Your mind is fully charged.

You can feel the STILLNESS.

Added bonus: You get to see the sunrise.

Waking up early is THE most time tested way through out history to have a productive day.

Two thousand years ago Aristotle said, It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

There is no substitute for getting up early.

2) Know Your ONE THING

If you only could get ONE THING done today what would it be?

That’s your #1 priority.

Author Gary Keller calls this your ONE THING.

Everything else is just a distraction or back ground noise.

We don’t have time to get everything done.

But we always have time for our #1 priority.

Focus is everything.

What’s your ONE THING?

Get focused.

Get going.

3) Set A Schedule

Put your schedule on the fridge.

Have your partner do the same.

Communication is key.

Start the day knowing who and when everyone is on kid duty.

This reduces a ton friction.

4) Take Lots of Breaks.

Go for walk with your kids.

Have coffee with your wife.

Working from home is about being PRODUCTIVE, not punching a clock.

Fresh minds do great work.

4.5) Cut Some Slack

Give yourself (and everyone else) some slack.

This is a new environment for everybody.

Your kids will remember this crazy time.

Our job as parents is to make it a great memory.

All we can do is ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES. 

And let’s cut everyone some slack along the way.

Be well…

#HomeWork

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll With The Punches

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“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Welcome to The Vibe!

The weekly blog that shows up in your inbox while respecting your social distance.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of ROUTINES.

If you think this post is VIRAL in a good way, please forward to a friend.

Just Purell your keyboard afterwards.

Let’s scrub in…

The Vibe: Roll with the Punches

There is a haunting Chinese blessing that doubles as a curse.

“May you live in interesting times.”  

A fitting phrase for the present moment.

Schools closed, communities self-isolating and our daily ROUTINES KO’d like an early opponent of Mike Tyson. 

Not to mention we have to watch that guy in jean shorts carry nine cases of toilet paper out of Costco.

Interesting times.

Epictetus said the most important thing in life is to separate the world into two categories:

1) What we control.

2) What we don’t.

The next few weeks will give us a chance to put this wisdom into action.

We don’t control that this virus is here.

We don’t control our communities are shut down.

We don’t control what that guy wearing jean shorts buys at Costco.

But we have 100% control of our own actions. 

We all have some BIG time family bonding on our hands.

A great way to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES is to establish new ROUTINES.

We are all products of our daily ROUTINE.  

Routines create the rhythm for our lives.

Our routines establish our habits. 

Our habits determine who we become.

It’s time to create some new ROUTINES for times like these.

Here are 3.5 ROUTINE IDEAS that may help:

1) Take Long Walks Outside

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts…if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.” 

Long walks outside clear our mind.

They get the blood flowing.

Walks connect us with nature.

Some of our best family conversations happen during walking.

2) Establish a Reading Practice

There has never been a better time to be a reader.

There are some mind blowing, perspective changing books out there.

Gather your crew and have them read for an hour in the same room.

Then have each person share one idea from the book they are reading.

Amazing conversations will follow.

3) Declutter

Use this unexpected time together to liberate your house of all that clutter.

Use your free time to free your home (and your mind).

You’ll BE HAPPY you did.

3.5) Be Kind

Everyone is out of their routine.

This is NOT business as usual.

George Raveling wrote, “This is a good time to be good to one another.”

There is never a need to distance ourselves from KINDNESS.

Ryan Holiday said that the version of you who steps out of this quarantine can be a better version than entered it.

Creating new ROUTINES like these can make that happen.

Finally…

BIG THANK YOU to all the healthcare care workers holding down the front lines.

To all the SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS that have people relying on them for their paychecks.

Stand tough.

This too shall pass…

#RollWithThePunches

Keep fighting…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Listen Up

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“The most successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of LISTENING and how listening is the fastest way to connect and INFLUENCE another person.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Listen Up

We all lead something.

Some of us coach our kid’s sports teams.

Others run companies that hundreds of people rely on for their livelihood.

While some are the CEOs of their families.

No matter the situation, LEADERS need the ability to connect and gain INFLUENCE to be effective.

No influence, no nothing.

What’s the fastest way to influence another person?

By LISTENING to them.

Learning to Listen

A few years after I graduated college with an accounting  degree, I realized something.

I was possibly the worst accountant in the state of Pennsylvania (but that has never been verified).

That career path was just not for me.

After deveopling some SELF-AWARENESS and building up COURAGE, I changed careers.

I jumped into SALES.

Overnight I went from struggling accountant to clueless salesperson.

My livelihood now depended on my ability to sell.

Just one problem…

I had never sold anything to anyone ever.

Things were really looking up.

So I decided to read every book and article on SALES I could find.

I attended every sales training course that came through Philly with the urgency of someone who’s career was suddenly in the balance.

Because it was.

What did I learn?

To be great at SALES you need to posses a SUPERPOWER.

That superpower is LISTENING.

Sales, like LEADERSHIP, is an art.

Rock star SALES PEOPLE, like great LEADERS, all have different styles.

But they have ONE THING in common.

They are awesome listeners.

They have the ability to CONNECT with people by asking meaningful questions, then thoughtfully listen to what that person says.

Asking questions and listening shows you care.

Listening forms a bond between you and the other person.

You get bonus points for not interrupting someone speaking, even when you know what they are saying is off base.

Listening is hard work.

It takes PATIENCE and POISE.

But guess what?

It’s worth it.

And LISTENING works.

Listening may be the most powerful way to connect with another human being.

George Raveling wrote, “What people need most is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” 

There is no better time to build your INFLUENCE.  

Someone out there needs you to LISTEN.  

And they want you to LEAD.  

#ListenUp

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving 2019 Inspired

“Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” – Anonymous

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Below are the BOOKS and IDEAS that inspired me in 2019:

BOOKS

Here are my favorite books for 2019.

Each of these helped me see the world in a better way.

Stillness is the Key (by Ryan Holliday) Is it possible to be poised, calm and focused even on our most hectic days?  Ryan Holiday shows us how.  Holiday distills 2+ years of research on ancient philosophy and modern neuroscience to deliver a playbook on how to live a more meaningful life.  My favorite book of 2019. 

Digital Minimalism (by Cal Newport) The average person spends over 2 hours a day staring at their phones.  That’s over 30 days each year.  That’s crazy.  Cal Newport shows how to control our technology, so it doesn’t control us. (Favorite idea:  Remove all social media apps from your phone.) 

Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life (by Guy Kawasaki) Guy Kawasaki was Apple’s chief evangelist under Steve Jobs.  He is a legend in Silicon Valley and one of its ultimate consigliere’s . Kawasaki shares a series of personal stories on family, career, and how to live a meaningful life.  So good.  Get the audible version.

Leadership in War (by Andrew Roberts) Winston Churchill said that if someone wanted to understand politics and leadership they needed to “Study history. Study history. Study history”.  Andrew Roberts proves Churchill’s point in one of the best leadership books I have ever read.  The good (Churchill, Napoleon, & Margaret Thatcher) and the bad (Hitler & Stalin) are on full display.  (PS – Napoleon was one of the OG ballers.)

The Art of Simple Living (by Shunmyo Masuno). Page a day books were one of the new genres I really dove into in 2019.  This one was my favorite daily reader.  Masuno, a practicing Zen Monk, gives 1 idea each day on how to live a more focused, joyful life.  

Sea Stories:  My Life in Special Operations (by Admiral William McRaven) William McRaven wrote a memoir that reads like a Brad Thor novel.  McRaven was part of some of the most famous US military operations of the past decades:  capturing Saddam Hussein, rescuing Captain Richard Phillips, and the special forces mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Get the audible version that is read by McRaven.  

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness (by Gretchen Rubin)  Clutter is everywhere.  Rubin shows why getting rid of things we don’t use, need, or love, frees up our minds (and closest) for what we truly value.

Gridiron Genius (By Michael Lombardi) Lombardi had the unbelievable good fortune to be mentored by 3 NFL legends: Bill Walsh, Al Davis, & Bill Belichick.  That’s 12 Super Bowl rings of knowledge showing you the ropes.  This is a fascinating look into what separates good teams from great ones and champions from dynasties.  (PS – Fly Eagles Fly).

Podcast

The Tim Ferriss Show | Jim Collins — A Rare Interview.  Forbes calls Jim Collins “one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds”. Collins’ books have sold more than 10 million copies.  This podcast is master class on how to build and lead an organization.

YouTube Clip

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates on the Charlie Rose Show.  Maybe the most knowledge ever dropped in 90 seconds on YouTube. Buffett and Gates tell us why we have to guard our most precious resource – time.

Happy holidays.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Wish you a massive success in the new decade!

#InspireSomeone

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Add & Subtract

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“The process of change is made up of addition and subtraction. Taking something off and then putting something on. – Creflo A. Dollar

We all fall into ruts.

Somewhere there is a COMFORT ZONE we need to escape. 

Because at some point, our Comfort Zones turn into our DANGER ZONES.

Here are two KILLER QUESTIONS from Brian Tracy to ask yourself that can help get us unstuck:

  1. What’s the ONE THING I could START doing today, if done consistently, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?
  2. What’s the ONE THING I could STOP doing right now, if I never did it again, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?

Major overhauls are rarely needed.

We don’t need another technique or life hack.

What we need is to ask ourselves a few TOUGH QUESTIONS.

Add a little self-awareness.

Then have the COURAGE to take consistent action on what we find.

Decide what’s missing.

Add it.

Figure out what needs to disappear from your life.

Subtract it.

Life can be that simple.

It’s just not easy.

#Add&Subtract

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Build Your Monument

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Deeds, not stones, are the monuments of the great. – John Motley

In RJ Palacio’s book “Wonder”, August ‘Auggie’ Pullman is a 5th grader trying to fit in to his new school.

There’s just one problem.

A chromosome problem.

Auggie was born missing one.

This condition caused his appearance to be unlike anyone else’s in the school.

Palacio describes Auggie as “an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face”.

“Wonder” tells the story of how this 11 year old deals with being singled out, excluded, ridiculed, ignored and noticed everywhere he goes.

All because he doesn’t look like everyone else.

Could you imagine?

The book is INSPIRING and funny.

And at times uncomfortable.

But like all good books, it teaches a LESSON.

Acts of KINDNESS stand larger than stone monuments to the people we help.

One of the fun characters in the book is Auggie’s English teacher, Mr Browne.

Each month Mr Browne inspires his students with a PRECEPT.

Here’s October’s Precept:

“YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS”

This quote, which Mr Browne told the class, “was carved on the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh”, describes a timeless truth:

Actions speak louder than stone.

What we DO becomes our legacy.

Our DEEDS have a BIGGER impact than anything we SAY or THINK.

Life is about taking action.

And our ACTIONS give us our best chance to impact the lives of others.

This idea reminds us of that great line from Maximus in the opening scene of the movie Gladiator, “What we do in life echos in eternity.” 

Every KIND ACT we do is another stone cast into our legacy.

Mr Browne challenged his students to write down what October’s PRECEPT meant to them.

Here’s what Auggie wrote:

“We should be remembered for the things we do.  The things we do are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do are like MONUMENTS.  They’re like the pyramids the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Instead of of being made by stone, they’re made of memories.  YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS.”

Time to build.

#BuildYourMonument

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Hard Part

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“The hard part is to just keep going.” – Shunmyo Masuno

It’s easy to start.

It’s fun to make RESOLUTIONS.

You join that new gym.

You start a blog.

You take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Goals are set.

Excitement builds.

Then it happens….

The Achilles’ heel of human nature shows up.

Inconsistency.

Your new project is no longer fun or easy.

The excitement of the start fades like the Phillies playoff hopes in September.

Welcome to the THE HARD PART

Darren Hardy said, “Consistency is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Consistency creates your reputation.

Consistency separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

An Amateurs waits for the mood to strike them.

A professional shows up when it’s inconvenient.

Consistency will make you relevant.

What does consistency look like?

It’s the writer who writes 200 words a day no matter how busy their day was.

It’s the parent who makes the baseball game coming from the airport.

It’s the runner hitting the pavement at 5am when its dark and drizzling.

Keep showing up.

Do the work.

Especially when you don’t feel like it.

Because that’s where the MAGIC happens.

It won’t be easy.

But will be totally worth it.

#TheHardPart

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

22 Paths

“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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The morning we spent together in Madison was a special one for me.

It was privilege to speak to such an impressive group of people.

I am grateful for the TRUST you gave me investing 2 hours of your time.

Below is a list of the source material that the Sales Vibe course is based.

I included a brief summary following each book.

They come from some of the BIGGEST thinkers out there.

These books are an opportunity,

It’s chance to steal some of the best IDEAS, TACTICS, and STRATEGIES that can help you rock out SALES and LIFE.

Here are 22 PATHS you can explore.

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful person on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .  Think about that for a second.

GRIT: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence.  Duckworth shows why GRIT eats talent for breakfast.

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 Sun Tzu.

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 Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing and Reflection on the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday.  This is the follow up to Holiday’s Daily Stoic book.  This is one part journal, one part life lessons based on stoic philosophy.  It’s part of my daily routine.  

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.”

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.  Newport has been called the Marie Kondo of technology. Newport shows how technology is neither good nor bad. It’s our responsibility to control our screens, before they control us. This book shows how.

The Very Little But Very Powerful Book on Closing by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer shows you how to close sales that build relationships and create partnerships.  This short book also gives you some killer questions that will move the sales process forward.

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.  Fantastic.

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

This Is Marketing by Seth Godin.  A gamechanger on how to approach sales & marketing.  Godin shows you how to do work that matters for people who care.

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.

Tame it by picking just one.

Then find one idea from that book that resonates with you.

Challenge yourself to put that idea into your daily routine.

Day by day.

Step by step.

That’s the formula.

Go…

#22Paths

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Drop the ‘F’ Bomb

“Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” – Unknown

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It was July 9th 1997.

Steve Jobs was leaving his “personal wilderness”.

This was the day Jobs returned to the company that fired him.

Jobs retook the role of Apple’s CEO.

It was a dark time for Apple.

The company was almost bankrupt.

Apple’s customer base (and Wall Street) were jumping ship.

Apple had lost its way.

The pressure was on Jobs to deliver.

What was Jobs’ FIRST MOVE as CEO?

Did he lay off 30% of Apple’s workforce?

Did he travel the country making promises to analysts?

Did Jobs try to sell the company?

None of the above.

Jobs first move was so SIMPLE that it shocked many inside and outside of Apple.

Jobs dropped the “F Bomb”.

He FOCUSED Apple.

Jobs stripped Apple down to only four core products.

Apple would discontinue everything else.

All of Apple’s resources would be FOCUSED on its best products.

Job’s said in an interview, “It means saying ‘No’ to the hundred other good ideas. You have to pick carefully…Innovation is saying ‘No’ to 1,000 things.”

Jobs gives us a powerful one-word SUCCESS STRATEGY:

FOCUS. 

He shows us a killer TACTIC to execute this strategy:

SAYING “NO”.

It means saying “No” to:

  • Low value meetings and conference calls.
  • Invitations to events with marginal friends that gobble up your time and money.
  • Being constantly distracted by social media.

Where there is no FOCUS, distraction reigns.

DISTRACTION has killed more careers than any recession ever could.

The irony is not lost that one of the universe denting products Job’s FOCUS strategy helped Apple create was the iPhone.

Which may be the greatest distraction device in human history.

But that’s a subject for another day.

Seth Godin wrote, “If it’s going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.”

Take pass on what’s no longer relevant.

Lean in to what really matters.

BLOW UP your distractions.

Dent your universe.

#DropTheFbomb

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net