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

 

 

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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

Who’s In Your 5?

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

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One of the great things about living in Philly is how close you are to the beach.

You can go from the Liberty Bell to the ocean faster than you can watch Rocky 3 for the 10th time.

“My Prediction?…Pain.”

During our last trip, I went in the ocean with my kids.

After a few minutes I turned around.

We were 25 yards from where we walked in.

An undercurrent pushed us down the coast without us even realizing.

This concept plays out in our everyday life.

There is a POWERFUL force that either pushes us forward or pulls us back.

It’s the people in our lives.

Who we spend time with INFLUENCES who we become.

There is a great quote from Goethe that says, “Tell me who you spend time with and I will tell you who you are.”

Each person we allow into our life influences us in some way.

We start to:

  • EAT what they eat.
  • DRINK what they drink.
  • READ what they read.
  • SPEAK like they speak.
  • THINK like they think.

Eventually, we start to do what they do.

To have a remarkable life, you have to surround yourself with REMARKABLE people.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The people we surround ourselves with set the baseline for what we think is possible.”

We have to keep the right people in (and out) of our lives.

This is not always easy.

But it’s necessary.

Jim Rohn taught that we have to EVALUATE and SHIFT our associations into 3 categories:

  • Expand
  • Limit
  • Walk Away

Expand, Limit, or Walk Away

EXPAND

There are certain people that make us BETTER.   

They CHALLENGE us and bring out our best.

They PUSH us forward.

Our job is to find ways to EXPAND the time we spend with them.

Where do the people you admire hang out?

Join those organizations.

Find ways to spend more time in those communities.

LIMIT

Some people drag us down.

We need to LIMIT our interactions with them.

Maybe we can spend 5 minutes together, but definitely not 5 hours.

This idea can be tough.

This person may be a coworker or even in our extended family.

Regardless, we need to LIMIT our time with NEGATIVE influences.

WALK AWAY

There may be times when we need to WALK AWAY from people all together.

Can you think of a person that kills your ENTHUSIASM each time you see them?

You may have to cut them out of your life.

We can’t allow another person’s NEGATIVE ENERGY have a profound affect on our life.

No one knows what challenges lie ahead.

Being surrounded by positive influences is a great place to start.

#Who’sInYour5?

-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 Master Skill

“If something is not a “Hell YEAH!”, then it’s a “No!” ― James Altucher

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Warren Buffett is worth $78 Billion.

The “Oracle of Omaha” is the 2nd richest person in the world.

Buffett was interviewed by SUCCESS magazine.

When old Warren speaks, it’s probably not a bad idea to lower the volume on House of Cards and take a listen.

The interviewer asked:

What is the #1 Key to your success?”

Without hesitation, Buffett answered:

“For every 100 great opportunities that are brought to me, I say no 99 times.” 

Buffett concluded:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “No” to almost everything.” 

“NO” GIVES YOU OPPORTUNITY

We make a decision to START a NEW GOAL.  

As soon as we make a little progress, life tests our commitment.

The universe will try to take that time back.

We will be:

  • Invited to an event we don’t want to attend.
  • Asked to take on a forgettable project at work.
  • Picked to be on a group that meets way too much.

Saying “Yes” to the wrong things causes us to DRIFT. 

Lucky for us there is a WAY OUT .

Say “No”.

“NO” IS POWERFUL

“No” may be the most POWERFUL word in the English language.

Darren Hardy wrote, “Saying ‘No’ is the master skill of success.”

Saying “No”:

  • Puts us in back in charge.
  • Buys back our time.
  • Creates space to work on what’s important.

“NO” IS HARD

I have struggled saying “No” my entire life.

When I tell someone “No”, I feel like I am letting them down.

I’ve come to realize when I don’t say “NO” to distractions, I’m just letting myself down.

To accomplish anything REMARKABLE, we have to disappoint some people.

“NO” STARTS WITH GRATITUDE

Saying “No” requires TACT. 

I’ve found saying “Thank you” in front of “No” has real value:

“Thank you for your offer, but I can’t make it.”

Saying “Thank You” shows GRATITUDE.  

It’s also easier on the other person’s EGO.

“NO” NEEDS TIME

Another “No” tactic that works is asking for time to think about.

“Thank you for your offer:

  • “…I just can’t commit to that right now.”

  • “…can I look at my schedule and get back to you?”

  • “…I can’t make it, but if something changes I’ll let you know.”

“NO” CREATES SIMPLICITY

Saying “No” declutters our schedules.

“No” simplifies our lives.

We create more time to work on the things that matter.

Josh Billings wrote, “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying “Yes” too quickly and not saying ‘No’ soon enough.”

Take a HOT TIP from the world’s greatest investor…

#JustSayNo  

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

Just Start

“An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion remains in motion.” – Newton’s 1st Law of Physics

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The worst part was not being able to TRAIN Jiu Jitsu for a full year.

Watching the students roll on the mat while I sat in a FULL KNEE BRACE was rough.

But the toughest part was yet to come.

I got the green light from my surgeon and PT to step on the mat again.

Then the MIND GAMES started:

  • Was my knee really fully healed?
  • What if I get hurt again?
  • These new guys are really BIG!

FEAR, DOUBT, & INSECURITY all showed up at the same time.

Good times.

These same emotions can also wreak havoc in our work.

They can hold us back when:

  • We don’t visit that ANGRY CUSTOMER because we think we have no value to offer.
  • We’re afraid to ASK FOR THE SALE after we served a customer well.
  • We don’t CHANGE CAREERS because we think we will fail.

We can’t make our emotions go away.

But we can make the room UNCOMFORTABLE when they show up.

Nothing crushes negative thoughts like ACTION.

When negative thoughts cause inaction, we have to learn to JUST START:

MAKE THE FIRST MOVE

The FIRST MOVE is the hardest.

It breaks our ENERTIA. 

When I stepped on the mat for the 1st time, it was a HUGE mental victory.

Confidence, that was barely present the day before, started to build.

Doing creates options.

Gary Vee likes to say, “It’s time to stop talking and START doing.”

It seems the universe rewards those who have the COURAGE to JUST START.  

FOCUS ON THE NEXT STEP

Thinking of the entire process is daunting.

I was only focused on who was next to me on the mat, not every challenge that lie ahead.

Many people PROCRASTINATE because they think they need to know all the steps.

Not true.

We just need to know the NEXT STEP.

We can ADJUST as we go.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

PERFECT is a lie.

Progress is our goal.

Forget PERFECTION.

Focus on shrinking the gap between where you are where you want to go.

CREATE DEADLINES

We need deadlines.

I have a deadline for my weekly blog.

7am each Monday I hit the “Publish” button on my blog.

Ready or Not.

It forces me to send my work out into the world.

1 published BLOG post is worth 5 that I am working on.

JUST DO IT

Nothing CRUSHES FEAR like doing what scares you.

From hitting the “Publish” button, to stepping on the Jiu Jitsu mat, nothing tells fear who’s in charge more than taking ACTION.

What project do you want to BEGIN?

What OBSTACLE do you want to take on?

START something BIG.

It may lead you to someplace great…

#JustStart 

-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

 

 

 

 

Selling Is A State Of Mind

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is depth and distance.” ~ John Maxwell

 

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Salespeople are behind the eight ball from the very beginning of their career.

They have dug a hole and don’t even realize it.

Salespeople pride themselves on being professional, and society requires initials.

In today’s society, “professionals” are identified with initials behind their name: DDS, RN, NP, JD, MD, MPH, CPA, CMP, OD, DO and many more.

Virtually every person in a physician’s office is also loaded with initials credentialing their education, professional status and legitimacy to be called “a professional”.

Many of these people with initials in their name, are required to take continuing education courses each year, to maintain their stature or licensure as “professional”.

Not salespeople.

Many salespeople attend a 1-2 week long training course and may take a couple quizzes from the company hiring them, and manufacturing the product they are about to sell.

These salespeople may be among the highest paid people in a lawyer or physician’s office, with no requirement for CEC (continuing education credit).

Society may treat salespeople like a label.

They weren’t smart enough to get into medical, pharmacy, optometry, dental or law school.

Since they are not professionals, they settled for sales.

They are like a brother-in-law, who is unemployed or spends most of his time on the couch, claiming to be a professional.

“Professional” in the sales world is a state of mind – the customer’s mind.

Salespeople aim to be perceived and received as “professional” and yet society, doesn’t’ really recognize selling as professional.

Salespeople are already in a hole.

“Wanna be a Better Salesperson – be a better Person.” ~ Jim Trunick

Professional sales people have to be incredibly:

  • Trustworthy
  • Patient
  • Sensitive
  • Hard-working
  • Dedicated

A “professional” salesperson has to rise to the level of ‘professional’ expected in society.

We all know “professionals” who act unprofessionally.

In yesteryear, when professionals with higher education, knew more, it was everyone in society hanging on every word or action of intellectual professionals, to guide their lives.

Today knowledge is so prevalent, that all professionals are in the persuasion game.

All professionals are selling:

  • Teachers sell kids on the value of homework.
  • Parents sell kids on the value of spinach.
  • Brokers sell clients on value of stocks.
  • Physicians sell patients on compliance of medications.

That requires professional conduct even more that professional letters.

In fact, any professional of letters, asked to describe their biggest challenge, or what keeps them up at night, its not their knowledge or studies, they almost always lead with – “getting people to do what they expect”.

We all sell.

Those members of society believing initials somehow separate professionals from non-professionals, are misguided in the emotional intelligence that goes along with influence, persuasion, caring and engagement.

Care More Win More.

Selling is a State of Mind.

– Jim Trunick

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Author, The CORE of Leadership

https://jimtrunick.com/