Start It Up

“Being an entrepreneur is not about starting a business.  It’s a way of looking at the world.  See opportunity where others see obstacles. Take risks when others take refuge.” – Michael Bloomberg

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“Be your own boss!”

That’s the rage today.

Anyone who has seen Gary V roll through his day “crushing it” dreams of launching their own START UP.

You don’t have to live in Silicon Valley or flip houses to be an ENTREPRENEUR.

We are all START UPS.

We are the CEO’s of our CAREER.

The same skills that help an entrepreneur launch a START UP are needed to GROW your career and keep your work RELEVANT.

We have to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to our CAREER.

When I first got out of college I worked in a CPA firm.

That was my first “START UP”.

I was “out of business” in about a year.

But I learned a ton and moved on.

I took those lessons and changed course.

I did what every successful entrepreneur does when they FAIL:

  • Learn.
  • Adjust.
  • Try Again.

Like many entrepreneurs, I had a few lean years.

I tried and failed multiple times.

It wasn’t until my 6th START UP until I went PUBLIC.

CAREERS, like like START UPS, have to grow and evolve or they die.

Here are 5 WAYS TO START UP YOUR CAREER:

CONTROL YOUR TIME

Control your time or someone else will.

Never go into a day with an empty calendar.

An unplanned day leads to working on other people’s agendas.

One of the wealthiest entrepreneurs I know gave me this killer time management tip, “Throw away your “To Do” lists.  If something needs to get done, schedule it. Protect that schedule.”

CONTROL YOUR FINANCES

Create a monthly budget.

Give each dollar a job.

We are not in Congress.  We can’t spend more than we make.

Dave Ramsey sums it up best, “Debt is dumb.”

CREATE YOUR BOARD OF ADVISERS

No one wins alone.

Have a board of advisers.

Learn from who came before you.

Make original mistakes, not basic ones.

INVEST IN YOURSELF

The first START UP we need to invest in is ourselves.

The wealthiest people I know all have 1 thing in common, they never stop learning.

Take the seminar.

Read the book.

Grow or die.

TAKE RISKS

No risk, no nothing.

There comes a time when you have to LEAP.

When opportunity appears, take ACTION.

It doesn’t matter if you are a solo ENTREPRENEUR or part of a BIG organization.

There is enormous opportunity everywhere.

What will you START UP?

Up to you…

#StartItUp

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

Free Yourself

“Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” – John Quincy Adams

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FREEDOM and COURAGE.

You can’t have one without the other.

I read David McCullough’s fantastic book  – 1776.

It’s an incredible story of how America won it’s FREEDOM.

Midway through the book, no rational person would think the Americans had any chance of winning.

But thanks to the LEADERSHIP of Washington and the COURAGE of his army, they did.

Our FREEDOM came at a tremendous cost.

It’s an amazing gift.

The crazy part is how easily we give our FREEDOM away.

240+ years later we no longer have a foreign power occupying our country.

But sometimes our own insecurities steal our FREEDOM on a regular basis.

Here are 3 THINGS THAT LIMIT OUR FREEDOM:

FEAR OF REJECTION

We have to come to grips that not everyone is going to be a fan.

There are going to be people who are not interested in us or what we do.

Each day we face a sea of rejection.

That’s a good thing!

That rejection keeps out the amateurs.

People are usually rejecting your idea, not you.

Most people are so caught up in their own lives, that they are not even thinking about us.

Don’t hold back.

Produce your best work.

Send it out into the world.

What others think is irrelevant.

ANXIETY

Don’t let the PAST or FUTURE steal another second from TODAY.  

Give yourself the FREEDOM of the present moment.

Lao Tzu wrote, “If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.  If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

The PAST is gone.

The FUTURE is a mystery.

Live in the moment.

EGO

EGO’s are fragile.

They get bruised when we fail.

Our brain tries to protect us by keeping us “safe”.

Unfortunately our safety zone is our DANGER ZONE.

Check your EGO at the door.

Have the COURAGE to fail.

Make today your Independence day.

The Founding Fathers did their part.

Now it’s time we do ours.

Move past FEAR.

Free your mind.

Free your life.

#FreeYourself

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

The Resistance

“There is nothing more fatiguing than the projects we never get to.” – William James

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One of my weekly goals is to write a blog post.

Write it.

Ship it out.

Move on.

But it’s never that easy.

Each week is a battle.

Something as simple as writing takes all of my willpower.

My brain hits me with a 1,000 reasons why I should be doing something else.

Author Steven Pressfield calls this force “The Resistance”.

Pressfield writes, “The Resistance is the universal force that acts against human creativity. The Resistance’s sole mission is to sabotage aspirations.”

The resistance is POWERFUL.

The resistance will tell you anything to keep you from making progress:

  • No one’s going to read it.
  • It’s too early.
  • You should clean up your email.
  • When’s the last time you called your college roommate?
  • Did you just get a text!

It’s so easy to put things off until tomorrow.

The problem is that tomorrow never comes.

The ability to take action separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

A professional doesn’t negotiate with their mind.

Professionals create routines, not decisions.

An amateur has a million plans and they all start tomorrow.

Professionals slay the Resistance.

3 Ways to Slay The Resistance:

Use the 5 Second Rule:

  • When you get an impulse to act on a goal, physically act within 5 seconds.
  • Countdown from 5 and take action when you say 0.
  • If you don’t act, your brain will soon kill the idea.
  • This technique has helped me to get up earlier and write consistently.
  • Here’s a link to a fantastic TedX talk on the 5 Second Rule.

Practice the Daily Dose:

  • Create 20 minute blocks in your schedule.
  • Shut off your phone.
  • Do your important work.
  • Rinse & Repeat.

  Think 5 Years Out

  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • What work do you need to do to make this a reality?
  • Take 1 step in that direction right now.

Humans have been battling the “The Resistance” since time began.

2,000 years ago the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “Today – this day – will achieve what no tomorrow will fail to speak about.  I will lay siege to the gods and shake up the world.”

Your best work is trying to get out.

Do The Work and share it with the world.

What have you been putting off?

It’s time to punch the resistance in the mouth.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

#TakeAction

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

Super Power

“Know thyself.”  -Socrates

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If you could have one SUPERPOWER, what would it be?

Growing up I wished I could read people’s minds.

Facebook cured me of that.

Now my superpower would be SELF AWARENESS.

Self awareness is magic.

Self awareness is:

  • Knowing your strengths.
  • Realizing your weaknesses.
  • Understanding how your actions affect others.

Self Awareness is more important than intelligence.

Early in my career, I struggled big time with self awareness.

I wanted to be a tax accountant.

I got a degree in accounting and a position in a CPA firm.

How do you say “bad idea” in Italian?

Family members, who never offered me advice ever, pulled me aside during parties and told me I was making a mistake.

They said accounting and me were not a good combination.

Did their opinions have something to do with my inability to sit still, not being great with math, and my habit of talking to anyone who entered the room?

It’s amazing what others see, but we can’t.

My lack of self awareness caused a number of job changes.

I moved through 3 different industries to find my career path.

Fun times…

Tony Robbins said, “Self awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities.  Very few people are aware of their own patterns.”

So true.

Self awareness dramatically improves your chances of succeeding in SALES.

How?

Selling is about INFLUENCE.

Influence starts with self awareness.

3 Ways to Increase Self Awareness:

1.  Video Yourself 

There’s a reason video is used by every professional sports team on the planet.  The tape does not lie.  Watching yourself give a sales presentation can make you uncomfortable, but gives amazing perspective.  It shows things you would never realize.  Once you see your errors, they are much easier to correct.

2. Imagine You are Being Recorded

This idea came from Jocko Willink.  Willink said just the thought of being recorded will affect your actions.  Imagine your actions, expressions, and words are being taped. Then imagine that video played back to your family & friends. Ouch…

3.  Seek Out Feedback

Find someone you respect.  Ask them to critique your game.  How do they think you’re doing?  What should you start doing?  What do you need to stop?  This one takes courage. Double that if you ask one of your customers.

Gary Vee said, “If you don’t have self awareness, then no matter how smart you are, you aren’t going to get very far.”

#KnowThySelf

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Plus, Minus, Equal

“To become great, you need someone better you can learn from, someone lessor you can teach, & someone equal that can challenge you.” – Ken Shamrock, UFC Legend

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Ken Shamrock is a dangerous person.

Shamrock is a legend in the Mixed Martial Arts community.

He is a 4x World Champion and  UFC Hall of Famer.

What can Ken Shamrock teach us about sales and personal growth?

Everything.

Shamrock is now a renowned trainer for young MMA fighters.

He developed a training strategy that is studied by business leaders and best selling authors.

It’s called:  Plus, Minus, Equal.

Let’s double leg in to take a look…

PLUS

Everyone needs a coach.

We need someone in our life who has more experience than we do.

It’s human nature to revert back to the mean.

You need someone you can go to when you’re in a slump.

You need someone to tell you the hard truth you don’t want to hear.

Consider this:

  • Tiger Woods has a swing coach.
  • Mike Trout has a hitting instructor.
  • Robert De Niro has an acting coach.

Even Warren Buffett has Charlie Munger to run deals by.

It doesn’t matter if you have won 4 Masters, 2 American league MVP’s, 2 Academy Awards, or have a net worth of $74.6 Billion.

You need a mentor.

MINUS

Everyone needs someone to teach.

When you teach something, you are forced to understand it better.

The teacher benefits as much as the student.

I was a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for 7 years.

People earn their law degree faster.

I had incredible instructors.

I had a peer group who enjoyed smashing me into the mat.

But 1 thing was missing.

I was not teaching anyone.

Then I was asked to teach a weekly basic’s class.

An amazing thing happened…

The more I taught, the more refined my own skills became.

That faded blue belt is now draped around my college diploma in my home office.

Find someone to mentor.

EQUAL

We all need a peer group that pushes and challenges us to be our best.

Tony Robbins said in a podcast that there are 2 rules people need to follow to live an extraordinary life.

Rule #2 is:

  • “Surround yourself with quality individuals.  You become who you hang out with.”

Rule #1?

Sorry, that’s a topic for a future Vibe.

The Plus Minus Equals concept works so well because it gives us continuous feedback from every angle.

When we play in all 3 spaces, we get exponential benefits.

Plus Minus Equals changes our mindset.

Too often we get caught up in singular titles:

  • “I’m the director.”
  • “I’m just a sales rep.”
  • “I’m the new guy.”

No more.

Everyone teaches.

Everyone learns.

Everyone trains.

Your CHALLENGE is to find an area in your life where you can dive into all 3 roles.

Mouthpiece not included.

#PlusMinusEqual

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

Cutting Edge

“If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 hours sharpening the ax.” – Abraham Lincoln

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It happens slowly, but realized suddenly.

It’s the salesperson who has not READ a book since college.

It’s the physician who doesn’t take time to EXERCISE.

It’s the retiree who lost their ENTHUSIASM for living.

Drift happens.

Skills dull.

Bodies become soft.

Attitudes get stale.

Our MINDSET can become more dated than our crazy Uncle Pete’s wardrobe.

To stay RELEVANT, we have to keep our BODY, MINDS, & SPIRIT sharp.

This week we conclude a series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #7:  Sharpen the Saw.

Sharpening the Saw means you make it a PRIORITY to keep your:

  • MIND sharp.
  • BODY strong.
  • SPIRT unbreakable.

Sharpening the Saw is the M.V.H. – Most Valuable Habit.

Why?

It makes the other 6 habits possible.

There is no way we can be proactive, think win win, understand others, and synergize if our bodies & minds are dull.

Sharpening the Saw keeps you effective.

Sharpening the Saw keeps you RELEVANT.

To make this habit a reality, you literally have to make it a habit.

3 Ways To Sharpen The Saw:

 1) Get Moving (Body)

  • Find an activity you LOVE.
  • Walk, hot yoga, spin, or Jiu Jitsu your way into motion.
  • Schedule that activity 3-4x into your week.
  • Protect your schedule.

2) Learn 1 New Thing Every Day (Mind):

  • Read from an inspiring  non-fiction book for 10 minutes each morning.
  • Write the best idea you discovered in a journal.
  • That journal may become one of your most prized possessions.

3) Show Gratitude (Spirit):

  • Take 2 minutes before bed to reflect on your day.
  • Write 1 thing you are grateful for in your journal.
  • Be as specific as possible.

In his killer new book, “Tools of Titans”, Tim Ferris interviews billionaires, icons, & world-class performers.

Ferris deconstructs their habits, routines, and best practices for the average person to benefit.

One common thread running through each of their stories is their continual commitment to keeping their minds & bodies sharp.

They create routines into their incredibly busy schedules to sharpen their saw.

Saying you are “too busy” or “don’t have the time” is an excuse.

If the General in charge of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command can find the time to exercise, read, and clear his mind, so can we.

The key is consistency.

As Seth Godin wrote, “Rust never sleeps”.

Stay sharp.

Stay relevant.

#CuttingEdge

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

Believe

“Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels

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37 years later you can still feel it.

The air inside the building has a presence to it.

You can sense something REMARKABLE happened there.

As you enter Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid NY, you are greeted by 2 amazing images:

  • A 30 foot photo of the 1980 US Hockey Team diving on captain Mike Eruzione.
  • A banner hanging in the rafters that states, “Miracles Happen Here.”

Goose bumps…

ESPN ranked the 1980 US Hockey Team’s win over the Soviets as THE GREATEST sporting event of the 20th Century.

A group of rival college kids, under a drill instructor head coach, defeated the greatest hockey team ever assembled.

They went on to win the GOLD medal.

This MIRACLE was made possible by 1 thing:

Synergy.

This week we continue a series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit # 6:  Synergize

Synergy is defined by the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Synergy means 1 +1 = 4.

Synergy is everyone following the same script.

The 1980 US Hockey Team may be one of the greatest examples of SYNERGY.

Most of the players on the US Olympic hockey team could NOT even have made the Soviet roster.

But together they found a way to defeat them on the world’s biggest stage.

The reason?

Synergy.

3 SYNERGY Lessons from the 1980 US Hockey Team:

  • Diversity is a force multiplier: Brooks selected players with different skillsets, back grounds, & perspectives. Great teams are created with diversity.
  • Trust: Synergy is built on trust.  You know the other person has your back.  You know they will be there when you need them.  No trust, no nothing.
  • Expect Adversity: Adversity is going to strike.  It’s not a matter of if, but when.  How you handle adversity determines who you become.

The 1980 US Hockey team SYNERGIZED their way into history.

Helen Keller wrote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Believe In:

  • Yourself
  • Your teammates.
  • Your mission.

Synergize.

And watch the miracles unfold…

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

2 Ears & 1 Mouth

“A wise old owl sat on an oak.  The more he knew the less he spoke.  The less he spoke the more he heard.  Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Ernest Hemingway

 

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Early in my sales career I worked for a VP that would personally lead our training sessions.

Her philosophy for a “successful” sales call was for the team to spew out the amazing facts about our product.

We were NOT encouraged to ask questions.

She thought asking questions gave up control of the conversation.

She believed we had a much better chance of connecting and influencing by making strong statements and doing all the talking.

Yikes…

Would you be shocked to learn that despite having some of the most talented, energetic people I ever worked with, this team never hit their quota?

Shocking.

No question, this was a bad idea.

This week we continue with our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #5:  Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

What’s one of the worst characteristics of sales people?

For me, it’s listening to respond rather than listening to understand.

The fastest way to connect with another human is by LISTENING.

Listening will separate you from the masses.

3 Killer Phrases to Understand, Before Being Understood:

  • “So what you’re saying is…”
  • “From your perspective, you feel that…”
  • “So what I am hearing is that you think…”

2,000 years ago the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

It takes courage to stand up and speak.

It takes even more to keep quiet and listen.

Listen.

Understand.

Connect.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Nix the Selfie

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

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This week we continue our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #4: Think Win Win

This concept may be the most difficult of all the habits to implement.

Double that if you are in sales. 

Why?

The first 3 habits were about us:

  • Be Proactive.
  • Begin With the End in Mind.
  • Put First Things First.

It’s EASY to think about us.

Sometimes it’s hard to think about others.

This is especially true because the game of sales rewards individual performance.

Thinking “Win Win” means each party benefits from the end result.

Thinking “Win Win” takes CONSIDERATION and EMPATHY.

Contrary to popular belief, sales is not a zero sum game.

The opposite is true.

Elite sales people are COLLABORATIVE.

They see their work through the eyes of their customer.

Elite sales people create results where both sides win.

For you to win, the other person does not have to lose.

You win.

They win.

Each party becomes more.

Give to get.

Make other people look good.

Create an environment where everyone walks away with something to brag about.

Nix the selfie.

Take the group photo.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net