Clean Slate

“The beginning is always today.” – Mary Shelly

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I thought it would never happen.

It did.

We moved.

We left the house we lived in for 14+ years.

Holy boxes…

Everywhere.

Has anyone seen our Vitamix?

Time for NEW BEGINNINGS.

Nothing like a CLEAN SLATE. 

Moving is an experience that literally MOVES you out of your COMFORT ZONE.  

New surroundings force you to create NEW ROUTINES.

You have to forget how things “used to be” and adjust to a new reality.

Moving is an awesome opportunity to create a CLEAN SLATE. 

But before you can start the next chapter of your life, you have to let go of yesterday.

WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN

The house buying / selling process gets complicated.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Everyone is looking out for their own best interests.

Timing has to be on your side.

We were fortunate to sell our old home a few hours before we bought our new one.

Many balls in the air.

They have to all land in the right order or things get complicated fast.

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

FORGIVE

Buyers can get petty.

Their requests can seem over the top.

It helps to take nothing personal.

Deepak Chopra wrote,“Everyone is doing the best they can with their level of consciousness.”

You have to cut people some slack.

Easier said than done.

You have to FORGIVE (and forget).

MOVE ON

You have to MOVE ON from the things that no longer serve you.

Moving forces you to EDIT both your possessions and mindset.

The next chapter of your life is going to require a better version of you.

KEEP WALKING FORWARD

The most emotional moment came for us when we walked through our old house for the last time.

My last view of the inside of our home came as I shut the the front door.

A flood of happy memories of our kid’s lives flashed before me.

Wow.

It’s hard to believe we will never be back there again.

The best way to WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN is to KEEP WALKING FORWARD.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The last step of the journey is the first step of the next.”

Step, step, step…

 

#CleanSlate

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

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Know When To Quit

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.” – Kenny Rodgers

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The more things I quit, the better life becomes.

I’ve learned the secret is figuring out what to quit and where to DOUBLE DOWN.

Here are the 3 best things I ever QUIT:

  • TV
  • Golf
  • “To Do Lists”

TV

Want to talk about a TV series or the news?

I am not your person.

The non-stop barrage of violence, scandals, and bias news kills my positive vibe.

I’ve cut the TV cord.

(Eagles games NOT included).

Call it purposeful ignorance.   

GOLF

Golf and I were in a bad marriage.

Our problems were beyond counseling.

I would spend hours on the links, shoot my weight, and come home frustrated.

As that Andrea Bochelli’s song goes, it was “Time to say goodbye…”

QUITTING golf was liberating.

No more searching for my drive in the woods.

No more watching grown men walk around in plaid pants.

This gives me time to concentrate on more important things – like being choked unconscious on a sweaty jiu jitsu mat.

“TO DO” Lists

I used to write out daily “To Do” lists.

I’d spend the day running around, crossing items off my list.

A false sense of accomplishment would surround me like one of those cheap Today’s Man suits I wore after graduating college.

I was busy, but far from relevant.

I learned focusing on my “Not To Do” list was way more productive.

Steve Jobs said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

Knowing what NOT to spend your time on is liberating.

TOUGH QUESTION

Think about your priorities.

What are you willing to quit to make those priorities a reality?

That’s the question.

Answer that and everything else becomes much easier.

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.NET

(The article was originally published in March 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

The Best Investment

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”― Warren Buffett

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Be Bullish

INVESTING means different things to different people.

For some, it means the stock market.

For others, its real estate.

There is one INVESTMENT that gets overlooked.

This investment generates the highest RETURNS and has the least amount of RISK:

  • YOU

When I started in SALES I knew I had to level up or I wasn’t going to last long.

So I started attending SALES seminars.

The first one I attended was a game changer.

The conference had amazing speakers:

It was awesome.

But an author named Brian Tracy was the one who changed my MINDSET.

Tracy told the group that the THE BEST INVESTMENT a person could make is in THEMSELVES.

He challenged the audience to invest a portion of their annual income on their continuing education & personal development.

Tracy said INVESTING IN YOURSELF would return exponentially more than any stock or real estate holding ever could.

The 20 something version of me was SOLD. 

It’s a PHILOSOPHY I live by to this day.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR BEST INVESTMENT: 

INVEST IN YOUR CAREER

Jim Rohn said, “Income seldom exceeds personal development.”

In every field there are THOUGHT LEADERS. 

There were REMARKABLE people that came before us.

They established best practices.

Our goal is to make original mistakes, not the same ones they did:

This INVESTMENT alone will separate you from the masses.

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Thomas Sowell wrote, “There are no decisions, only trade offs.”

One thing we don’t want to trade for anything is our HEALTH.

No amount of money or recognition is worth it.

We have to INVEST a portion of each day to:

  • Exercise.
  • Healthy Eating.
  • Good Sleep.

We all have the same amount of time.

We just have to decide that being HEALTHY is a PRIORITY.

INVEST IN A HOBBY

Nothing centers us and clears our mind like a fulfilling hobby.

For me, its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BJJ delivers an unbelievable workout.

It keeps me humble and focused.

Jiu Jitsu has introduced me to an amazing group of people.

It even gave me a new ACL.

Like Robert Arnott said, “Investing in what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”

Find a hobby you love.

It will pay lifetime DIVIDENDS.

INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS

With the exception of just one person, the entire world is about everyone else.

Make it a priority to invest the TIME and ENERGY into the special people in your life.

BE BULLISH

There are times when we need to HEDGE our bets.

Investing in yourself is NOT one of them.

Time to go all in…

#InvestInYou

-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

 

The Secret Ingredient

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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My grand mom was a KILLER cook.

Her chicken cutlets were incredible.

The cutlets were so good, they caused arguments before Sunday dinners.

A constant stream of cousins would walk by and grab the cutlets as they came off the frying pan.

Everyone would downplay how many they swiped.

There would be none left to put on the table.

This cutlet heist played out over decades.

The early bird gets the cutlet…

One day I asked my my grand mom to teach me how to make them.

My version was average at best.

The cutlets all made it to the table.

Something was missing.

Years later I learned I forgot her “secret ingredient” that tied everything together.

The art of COOKING & SALES share the same principles.

Leaving out 1 ingredient can separate AVERAGE from REMARKABLE.

In SALES, that secret ingredient is EMPATHY.

Empathy is defined as the ability to step into someone else’s shoes & experience emotions from their perspective.

In his new book, Sales EQ, Jeb Blount writes, “Empathy is the most important of all the Sales Emotional Intelligence traits.”

The BIGGEST communication problem in SALES is we tend to listen to reply, not understand.

This habit can crush opportunities and destroy relationships.

Your EMPATHY must precede your advice.

If your customer doesn’t feel you UNDERSTAND them, you have zero chance of INFLUENCING them.

People like to think they’re special.  This mindset carries over to their perceived problems.

It doesn’t matter how simple the customer’s problem is to fix.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your solution is.

Your solutions (and sales) will go unheard if your customers don’t feel you understand them.

3 Ways To Bring More Empathy to Your Sales Game:

Never Interrupt or Correct

  • Give your customer your full attention.
  • Listen.  Then listen some more.
  • Let them say everything they need to say.

ReState Their Position Back to Them

  • After they finish speaking, say, “If I hear you correctly, you feel that…”
  • Then list each of their points back to them 1 by 1.
  • This will make your customer feel heard.
  • This will make them receptive to what you have to say.

Show How Your Can Help

  • Only after you do the above, offer your ideas.
  • Be Concise.
  • Be Relevant.

Empathy is a key ingredient for success in SALES and LIFE.

Empathy will increase your influence.

Empathy will help you close the sales that feed your family.

Will that food make it to the table?

Depends who’s cooking…

#LeadWithEmpathy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net