Stand Guard

“Stand guard at the door of your mind.” – Jim Rohn

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To live a POSITIVE life we have to feed our minds positive thoughts.

We have to protect our thinking from negative influences.

Negativity is constantly knocking.

It’s searching for a way in.

We have to make a conscious decision to keep it out.

In a interview, Tony Robbins said learning to deal with negative thoughts was one of the greatest lessons he learned from his mentor Jim Rohn.

“Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle.” Robbins said, “Every day, STAND GUARD at the door of you mind.  You alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life.  For these thoughts will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

In our 24/7 connected world, that’s no easy feat.

Negative is everywhere.

It’s waiting for us each time we log into social media.

Negative is on overdrive on cable news.

We have to curate the information we allow to influence us.

So much of what we are exposed to are sensationalized events that have nothing to do with us.

  • The tragedy 8 time zones away.
  • The celebrity that got arrested.
  • The shady politician screaming into the camera.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.

Everyday we all have important work to do.

Our job is to FOCUS on what we can control and ignore the noise.

Vince Vaughn said, “Don’t give a voice to things you’re not able to change.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

Keep all that useless, negative information from souring our thoughts and attitudes.

When we allow negative influences into out mind bad things happen:

  • Our attitude sours.
  • We get distracted.
  • We lose focus from the things that really matter.

If we pay attention to uncontrollable, negative events long enough, our thinking becomes negative.

Negative starts to follow us around all day long.

We have to feed our minds a healthy diet of positive information.

THINK ABOUT IT.

The information you allow into your mind affects what you think about.

  • What you THINK about creates your MOOD.
  • Your MOOD creates your ATTITUDE.
  • Your ATTITUDE influences your ACTIONS.
  • Your ACTIONS determine your OUTCOMES.
  • Your OUTCOMES become your LIFE.

Believing that we are unaffected by what we let into our mind is like saying what we eat does not matter.

Shut the door on the PEOPLE, EVENTS, & STORIES that try to pull you down and drain your energy.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Cut the negative strings that pull your mind.”

Shut out the negative.

Protect your mind.

Improve your life.

#StandGuard

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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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

On Your Mark. Get Set. Delete.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Ben Franklin

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Nothing like a fresh start.

A new day.

A new year.

Before we start piling up the RESOLUTIONS, we need to do something:

Hit the “Delete” button.

We all have aspects of our lives that no longer serve us well:

  • BAD HABITS
  • COMMITMENTS
  • RELATIONSHIPS

Joshua Becker, wrote, “The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

The start of the new year is a perfect time to hit the DELETE button.

3 Things We Need to DELETE:

BAD HABITS

Sometimes our habits turn on us.

I used to spend hours each day trying to stay up to date on current events.

I would read multiple newspapers and listen to hours of talk radio.

What started as trying to stay informed, turned into spending way too much time on events that I had no control over.

Habit DELETED.

Now I focus on things relevant to my daily life.

Take back your time.

Hit the DELETE button.

Don’t let a BAD HABIT follow you into the new year.

COMMITMENTS

I was part of a weekly networking group.

At first it served me well.

I met new people and learned some creative ideas.

Then it got stale.

I kept showing up, even though it stopped being a good use of my time.

Eventually, I gathered up the courage to tell them I was not coming back.

I don’t think they even cared.

Lesson learned.

Can you think of a commitment that no longer makes sense?

Hit the DELETE button.

Don’t bring a tired commitment into the new year.

RELATIONSHIPS

Some relationships no longer make sense.

These relationships could be personal or professional.

Only you know who they are.

Time to muster up the COURAGE and move on.

Hit the DELETE button.

Don’t let a bad relationship stand in the way of a great year.

What do you need to DELETE in 2018?

Have the guts to make a change.

This will OPEN UP the space for all the good things to come.

Happy New Year!

Ready.

Set.

Delete.

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Talking About Practice

“If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.” – Andre Agassi 

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In 2002 NBA MVP & Future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson held one of the most famous press conferences in sport’s history.

Iverson was 3 days removed from his team being eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

Emotions were raw.

There were rumors he was on the outs with his head coach.

People around the team whispered he was giving less than 100% at PRACTICE. 

A.I. took his frustrations out with a rant about PRACTICE. 

The word PRACTICE was said over 20 times in a 5 minute period.

A.I. downplayed its importance.

He told the media as long he gave everything he had during the game, PRACTICE did not matter.

The press conference was immortalized with his famous quote:

“We’re talking about practice.”

With all due respect to THE ANSWER…

LET’S TALK ABOUT PRACTICE.

PRACTICE is a force multiplier.

It’s a DIFFERENTIATOR.

PRACTICE makes POTENTIAL reality.

It creates MOMENTUM.

From playing in the NBA to the world of SALES – PRACTICE matters.

PRACTICE can reveal a person’s true CHARACTER.

Many people claim to be “hard workers”.

PRACTICE proves it.

PRACTICE creates champions.

Muhammad Ali said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses…in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Want to see how much CONFIDENCE a salesperson has?

Just tell them you will video their PRACTICE session and play it back for their peers to critique.

I have seen experienced SALESPEOPLE crumble at the thought.

WHAT WE NEED TO PRACTICE:

SKILL BUILDING

This is the PHYSICAL side of PRACTICE. 

This is Old School practice.

This is the SALESPERSON writing down and rehearsing thought provoking questions before their BIG meeting.

This is the BJJ student drilling a new move dozens of times to ELEVATE their game.

This is the NBA star shooting hundreds of foul shots after practice to fix a problem.

You find something you need to get better at, then – REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT

PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE

This is the MENTAL side of PRACTICE.

This involves losing your EGO.

This is having the guts to try something new.

It brings about the possibility of you looking foolish doing so.

This is putting yourself out in the arena, again and again, to either succeed or fail.

This type of PRACTICE is far more rare.

It’s gettin knocked down, making adjustments, and having the guts to try again.

This is knowing you have to EVOLVE and having the COURAGE to do so.

This type of PRACTICE gives no guarantee.

Seth Godin writes, “This is doing things that might not work.”

PRACTICE IS A MINDSET

In Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET, she proves the greats in every field are MADE, not BORN.

How?

PRACTICE.

The world is filled with talented people who never ESCAPE AVERAGE.  

But not you.

You’re better than that.

Here’s THE ANSWER…

#TimeToPractice

-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

 

Time To Finish

“It’s fun to start, but the future belongs to finishers.” – Jon Acuff

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I read Jon Acuff’s new book, FINISH: GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF DONE.

Hands down one of the most helpful books I read in 2017.

It came at a great time.

Why?

I used to think the END OF THE YEAR was the time to make RESOLUTIONS.

It’s not.

It’s the TIME TO FINISH.

It’s the time to leave your mark.

I used to believe STARTING was the secret to SUCCESS.

It’s not.

The MAGIC is in the FINISH. 

It’s easy to START things.

It’s hard to FINISH.  

Look around…

We have UNFINISHED business laying all around us.

Here’s my version of UNFINISHED:

  • Dozens of BOOKS half read.
  • PROSPECTS not converted to CUSTOMERS.
  • ONLINE COURSES not complete.
  • TRIPS not taken.

Our UNFINISHED work clutters our lives.

This clutter is both PHYSICAL & MENTAL.

Has an UNFINISHED project ever wore you down just thinking about it?

The most tiring projects are the ones we leave undone.

FINISHING can make the end of the year the BEST part of the year.

There’s no need to wait for the NEW YEAR to make our lives better.

The best way to START a new year is to FINISH this one STRONG.

HOW TO FINISH:

CHOOSE 1 THING

What’s the ONE THING you need to FINISH?

What’s the one project that would make the BIGGEST IMPACT for you?

Pick that one.

MAKE YOUR GOAL SMALLER

A great way to get stuck is to have a monster goal that seems unattainable.

Jon Acuff wrote, “If you want to fail before you start, pick a goal that’s too big.”

Dial back your goal a few notches.

This may sound counter intuitive, but it’s not.

This will make your goal more REALISTIC.

You will be more inclined to TAKE ACTION.

If you hit your smaller goal, you can always keep going.

CHOOSE WHAT TO BOMB 

FINISHING requires FOCUS. 

We have to eliminate distractions.

Distraction is a killer.

A great way to ELIMINATE DISTRACTION is to choose what to bomb.

When I am in FINISH mode, I ignore email.

I FOCUS on the work in front of me, not my buzzing iphone.

This frees up a tremendous amount of TIME.

SEIZE THE MOMENT

Our moment is NOW, not next year.

What OPPORTUNITY is right in front of you?

What do you need to FINISH?

For me, there was trip my wife I talked about for 10 years.

No more.

Trip booked.

Your move.

#TimeToFinish

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Simplify

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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There are 3 certainties in life:

  1. Death.
  2. Taxes.
  3. And people COMPLICATE their lives as much as possible.

My version of COMPLICATED looks like this:

  • OVER SCHEDULED weekends.
  • Saying “Yes” when I should Say “No”.
  • Getting DISTRACTED 

It’s so easy to COMPLICATE our lives.

The more we complicate, the harder it is to succeed.

Tony Robbins said, “Complexity is a mortal enemy of success.”

HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL life is based on SIMPLICITY.  

SIMPLIFYING is about:

  • Knowing your PRIORITIES.
  • ELIMINATING the unnecessary.
  • Having the COURAGE to make changes.

HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE:

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES

A SIMPLIFIED life starts by knowing your PRIORITIES.

SIMPLICITY is about spending our limited time on the people and things we VALUE most.

It’s knowing what is important and eliminating the DISTRACTIONS that get in the way.

ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY

A SIMPLIFIED life is about ELIMINATING the unnecessary from our lives.

Clutter crushes SIMPLICITY. 

It must be eliminated.

The other day I DELETED all of my texts.

It felt LIBERATING. 

It makes my iphone feel 10 pounds lighter.

What do you need to ELIMINATE? 

This will make more room for what matters most to you.

SIMPLICITY REQUIRES COURAGE

It’s having the COURAGE to say “No” to an offer that steals your time.

“No” is LIBERATING.

“No” makes SIMPLE possible.

When you say “No” you eliminate distractions and have the time to focus on your priorities.

It’s not easy to tell Aunt Irma that you won’t be at her holiday dinner.

But sometimes it’s necessary.

SIMPLICITY IS POWERFUL

James Altucher wrote, “To live a SIMPLE life is to live a GOOD life.”

What do you need to SIMPLIFY in your life?

It’s a SIMPLE question that can lead to a REMARKABLE place.

#SIMPLIFY

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Stay Calm

“Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.” – Bob Marley, Three Little Birds

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This week my local Starbucks went from Falling Leaves to Holiday cups faster than Psy’s music career.

Lowes has their fake Christmas trees displayed likes it’s December 23rd.

The HOLIDAY CHAOS has begun.

The end of the year brings more DEMANDS.

We have PRESSURE to:

  • CLOSE OUT projects.
  • Bring in SALES.
  • PLAN for the coming year.
  • VISIT Aunt Betty.

It’s enough to make a Buddhist monk reach for the Ativan.

How do we STAY CALM in the middle of chaos?

STAYING CALM is a skill set we all need to develop.

Calmness is a MINDSET that can be learned, practiced and refined.

STAYING CALM under pressure will improve all aspects of our lives.

HOW TO STAY CALM: 

PRIORITIZE

All the requests for our TIME and ATTENTION can not be met.

PRIORITIZING reduces anxiety and keeps us focused on what’s important.

Trying to make everyone happy is a recipe for failure.

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

It’s easier to STAY CALM when we are centered on our PRIORITIES.

CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES

STAYING CALM comes from knowing the difference between what’s in our control and what’s not.

NFL Coach Andy Reid said, “Figure out what you can control.  That’s your next move.”

What’s in your CONTROL?

What’s ACTIONABLE?

Start there.

TAKE ACTION

Sometimes the only way out is through action.

Tony Robbins said, “Nothing succeeds like massive action.”

Be PROACTIVE.

Action crushes anxiety.

Be like Nike – “JUST DO IT”.

FIND YOUR OWN ZEN

Calmness comes from within.

We each need to find our own ZEN. 

It may be the YOGA mat, spinning class, or taking a walk on a brisk autumn day as the leaves fall around you.

Each of us has to find our own methods that help us STAY CALM.  

Eben Pagan wrote, “The calmest person in the room is the most powerful.”

Life throws constant OBSTACLES. 

It’s easy to lose our peace of mind.

When chaos shows up:

  • Prioritize.
  • Control the Controllables.
  • Take Action.
  • Find Your Own Zen.

Everything we need is already inside of us.

Time to let it show…

#StayCalm

-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

 

Right Now 

“The present moment is all you ever have.” – Eckhart Tolle

All weeks are not created equal.

Last week I had 2 CHALLENGES to face:

  • A 2 day test for work.
  • A belt promotion in Jiu Jitsu.

They were separated by 48 hours and 1,200 miles.

The 1st took place halfway across the country.

The 2nd happened on the other side of my comfort zone.

This is the type of week that would have gotten inside my head a few years ago.

I would think of all the things that could go wrong.

Seth Godin wrote, “Tell yourself enough stories of your impending doom and you start to believe it.”

To win this week, I knew I had to win the MOMENT.

To succeed in LIFE we have to give ourselves a GIFT

THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Eckhart Tolle wrote, “The present moment is the only thing that matters.”

The toughest battles are the ones we fight inside our our own mind.

Under PRESSURE, our minds wander.

We think of all the bad things that can happen.

Our minds project failure.

Lucky for us 80% of what we worry about never happens.

The PRESENT MOMENT is all we will ever have.

How to Live To In The Present Moment:

BE IGNORANT

We have to free up time to FOCUS on our important work.

We have to learn what to ignore.

I go on AIRPLANE MODE:

  • No email.
  • No news.
  • No social media.

This alone is a game changer.

GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD

To BE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, we have to get out of our heads and into our bodies.

  • Go for an early AM run.
  • Go for a power walk between meetings.
  • Get on the mat and get choked.

It’s amazing how exercising our body focuses us in the PRESENT MOMENT. 

Or as Jocko Willink says, “Get to the gym.”

BREATH

Focused Breathing helps us live in the PRESENT MOMENT. 

Breathing can be done anywhere.

Breathing 101:

  • Breath in your nose.
  • Out your mouth.
  • Deep breaths.
  • Repeat.

THE ART OF LIFE

Emmett Fax wrote, “The art of life is to live in the present moment.”

There is a CHALLENGE waiting for you.

How you respond in the PRESENT MOMENT will determine everything.

We have no more chances to do yesterday over.

The future is a mystery.

The best place to take on life is…

#RightNow

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net