The Best of 2018

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

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Here are 3 of the BEST BOOKS I discovered this year.

A great book changes the way you THINK.

A great book makes you SEE the world differently.

A great book changes how you APPROACH life.

These 3 are that type of book.

As a BONUS, I also included my favorite PODCAST episode of 2018.

Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue (by Ryan Holiday) 

Holiday is my favorite author.  His latest book “Conspiracy” is a modern-day combination of Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.  I knew little about Peter Thiel.  I’ve not thought of Hulk Hogan since high school.  I never heard of Gawker.  No matter.  This is an amazing book about strategy, the danger of hubris, ego, and human nature.  Two of Holiday’s other books, The Obstacle is the Way and The Daily Stoic, are the books I gift most to others.

The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership (by Sam Walker) 

Hands down the best leadership book of 2018.  Walker goes on a search to find – What makes a team elite?  How does a great team become a dynasty?  It’s NOT how much they spend.  It’s not their “system”.  It’s not even their star players.  It’s whether or not they have great CAPTAINS. The Captain may not be the most talented or well know, but they are the glue that holds the team together.  The captain’s GRIT, TENACITY, and CHARACTER determine how far their team can go.  Amazing stories.

Leadership In Turbulent Times (by Dorris Kearns Goodwin)

Goodwin explores the decisions that shaped lives and times of four of the greatest US Presidents – Lincoln, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.  Kearns shows how good leaders became great leaders by rising to the occasion of unbelievably difficult circumstances.  This is one of those massive books that you are bummed when you hit the last page.

Bonus:  Best Podcast Episode of 2018

The Tim Ferris Show:  Coach George Raveling — A Legend on Sports, Business, and The Game of Life (#332) 

Raveling is a pioneer in civil rights, business, and coaching.  If a university ever offered an MBA in Life, this podcast would be on the syllabus.  Do yourself a favor and download this episode.  It’s a master class on how to live an incredible life.

Hope you enjoy.

Wish you a REMARKABLE 2019!

#TheBestOf2018

-Joe Ciccarone

 

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Answer the Bell

“There is no such thing as failure.  There are only results.” – Tony Robbins

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TOUGH BATTLES will inevitably find us.

At some point, we are going to have to step into the ring and fight our version of Apollo Creed.

We will be in a FIGHT that will test us like nothing before.

Be ready to bring your GRIT, GUTS, & CREATIVITY.

But also, be ready to cut yourself some SLACK.

Because things will not go as planned.

Like Rocky, our Apollo will KNOCK US DOWN.

More than once.

No BIG deal.

Just put your mouth piece back in.

And GET BACK UP.

Ding. Ding.

#AnswerTheBell

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Perspective

“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” – Ian Maclaren

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Everyone is in a BATTLE.

Their health.

Their finances.

Their sales numbers.

Their CONFIDENCE.

No one gets a pass.

It’s the cover charge of being human.

On any given day, your BATTLE pales in comparison to what others are going through.

So when you think you have it really tough, it helps to keep that in mind.

#Perspective

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

The Secret

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” –  Neale Donald Walsch

gratitude

Gratitude is the secret.

BE GRATEFUL for the journey that brought you to this point.

BE GRATEFUL for all the things that went your way.

BE GRATEFUL for all the obstacles that knocked you down.

BE GRATEFUL for the present moment directly in front of you.

Love all of it.

It’s the only way.

#TheSecret

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

Get Back Up

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” – Bruce Lee

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Jim Kelly knows something about the power perseverance.

Kelly, a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, played 11 seasons in the NFL.

He led the Buffalo Bills to a record 4 straight Super Bowl appearances.

The Bills lost all of them.

Kelly’s son Hunter died in 2005 from a rare disease.

In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with jaw cancer.

After beating back cancer, Kelly was diagnosed with MRSA.

In early 2018 Kelly underwent surgery after his cancer reappeared.

In the Summer of 2018, Jim Kelly won the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY’s.

Standing next to John Elway and Dan Marino, two of his former rivals, Kelly gave one of the all time great acceptance speeches.

His message?

“Never give up…Keep fighting…Get up.  You’ll be alright.”

Let’s think about that the next time we think we’re having a rough day.

#GetBackUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Competition

“No Pressure, No Diamonds.” – Thomas Carlyle

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Larry Bird had Magic Johnson.

Bill Gates had Steve Jobs.

Batman had The Joker.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Eventually, someone (or something) will stand in your way.

They will want the exact same thing you do.

They will TEST YOU to your limits.

They will do everything possible to stop you.

“They” are the COMPETITION. 

COMPETITION is:

  • That swimmer who just beat your personal best.
  • That new drug that has your customer’s attention.
  • That Jiu Jitsu opponent who submitted you in the finals.

Anything that stands between you and your goal is your COMPETITION.

NO CURSING

Here a tip –

Never speak bad of your competition.

Respect them.

BE HAPPY they showed up.

Why?

COMPETITION will make you better.

They will force you to ELEVATE your game to higher levels.

Magic Johnson said in an interview, “My job was to kick Larry’s butt, and his job was to kick mine. I didn’t want Larry to like me. But we both respected each other.”

Think of your COMPETITION as a TEST.

It’s the test you have to pass to prove how bad you really want it.

MIND GAMES

Barbara Corcoran said, “The biggest challenge is not the competition, it’s what goes on inside your head.” 

Winning begins in your MIND.

REMARKABLE people rise up.

AVERAGE people crumble.  

Which one are you?

PERSONAL BEST

How do you beat the COMPETITION?

By NOT focusing on them.

Your path to reaching your goal will be decided by how good you want to be.

The goal is not to beat the competition.

It’s to be the best you can possibly can be.

Jeffrey Gitomer wrote, “Competition does not mean war. It means learn, it means prepare, and it means be your best.” 

The COMPETITION does not decide your fate.

You do.

#COMPETITION

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

Remove Everything

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.” – Pablo Picasso

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In the book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder author Nassim Nicholas Taleb tells a story about Michelangelo and Pope Julius II.

The story goes like this…

Michelangelo just created the statute of David.

David was considered the masterpiece of all masterpieces.

David is still so renowned that 500 years later over 1 million people wait in line to view him at the Accademia in Florence, Italy.

Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo what was the secret to his creative genius?

Julius wanted a better understanding of the MINDSET Michelangelo brought to his work.

The Pope asked Michelangelo how he could create something so REMARKABLE out of a block of marble that many artists refused to work with because it was flawed.

Michelangelo answered, “It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.”

REMOVE EVERYTHING  

When I struggle in my job, jiu jitsu, or my personal life there is a common theme.

I try to install new habits or ideas with out getting rid of old baggage.

We all have OLD HABITS and STALE ROUTINES.

It’s like trying to sail off to a new world with out taking the rope off the dock.

You can only go so far.

Like Michelangelo, we have to REMOVE EVERYTHING that no longer makes sense.

We have to EDIT OUT what no longer belongs, so what’s possible can emerge.

Focus more on REMOVING than adding.

What if???

  • Instead of chasing that hot new stock, we get out of DEBT.
  • Instead of starting a new diet, we cut out SUGAR.
  • Instead of constantly checking our iPhones, we FOCUS on the people right in front of us.

Chip away at anything that no longer belongs.

Time to start your own RENAISSANCE. 

#RemoveEverything

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Batter Up

“Every strike out brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

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The game of BASEBALL is an amazing teacher.

From my earliest memories of playing tee ball to walking off the field for the last time in college (knowing it was the end, I actually kissed home plate on my way off the field) the game of baseball taught me many life lessons.

Baseball requires the same skills we need to succeed in SALES and LIFE:

  • Preparation.
  • Awareness.
  • Hustle.

But for my MONEYBALL, the most important concept the game teaches is how to deal with FAILURE.

The past 2 years I have been part of the coaching staff for my son’s travel baseball team.

It’s a REMARKABLE learning experience.

What’s the toughest lesson?

Teaching the kids (and sometimes us coaches) how to to respond to FAILURE. 

The best baseball players are not the ones with the STRONGEST arms, the FASTEST times to first base, or the most EXPENSIVE bats.

It’s the players who learn how to bounce back from FAILURE the quickest who have the most success.

Baseball mimics life.

To succeed you have to condition yourself to:

  • Fail.
  • Adapt.
  • Move On.

FAILURE

Think about hitting.

You can FAIL at the plate 7 out of 10 times.

That’s a 70% FAILURE rate.

If you can manage to FAIL at 70% for an entire decade, you will go in the HALL OF FAME when you retire.

Wow.

That’s a lot of FAILURE. 

It’s easy to lose your composure.

It’s even easier to dwell on that bad play you just made.

A good baseball player has a SHORT MEMORY. 

They never let the last play ruin the next one.

ADAPT

Baseball is a game of CONSTANT ADJUSTMENTS. 

The game forces you to pay attention.

  • Where did they hit the ball last time?
  • What does this pitcher like to throw with two strikes?
  • What do I need to adjust?

ADAPT or lose to someone who does.

MOVE ON

In baseball, it’s all about the next play.

Not everything will go our way.

That’s a good thing.

Failure can be the spark that forces you to GROW and become better.

The best players learn from their mistakes, then MOVE ON to the next play.

Baseball is the ultimate HEAD GAME.

It’s all about MINDSET.

Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

Did you just make a mistake?

Did your ERROR allow the other team to take the lead?

Good.

Make some adjustments.

Jump back into the batter’s box.

Time for a two out rally…

#BatterUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Question of the Day

“Judge someone by their questions rather than their answers.” – Voltaire

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“Get out now while you still can.”

The guy on the other side of the table told me this as he stared at me with no expression.

I was a year out of college and struggling to make a job I disliked (working in a CPA firm) work.

The guy was a senior member of the firm asked to mentor me.

At our very first lunch outside of the office, instead of showing me the ropes, he tried to show me the exit.

Turns out he was miserable.

He hated being a CPA.

But he felt stuck.

He told me he was married, had young kids, car payments, and a mortgage.

“It’s too late for me to get out. Don’t get stuck like I did.” was the way I remembering him putting it.

Warning given.

Warning taken.

I jumped ship (and careers) a few months later.

SALES & LIFE

When I was an accountant, I knew many unhappy accountants.

They did not like their job:

  • The hours.
  • The monotony.
  • All those memorable lunches sitting at your desk alone staring at an Excel spreadsheet.

They may have been unhappy, but they were excellent at what they did.

They produced high level CPA work.

They delivered for their clients.

That’s not possible in SALES.

I’ve never met an unhappy, high achieving sales person.

Never.

An unhappy sales person has almost ZERO CHANCE of:

  • Engaging.
  • Connecting.
  • Building Trust.
  • Providing Value.
  • Helping someone else succeed.
  • Getting invited back.

ELEVATE YOUR QUESTIONS

What’s the best way to feel fulfilled in your career?

That’s hard to say.

It’s different for each of us.

There are no magic answers.

But there are MAGIC QUESTIONS.

The fastest way to elevate your MINDSET is also the fastest way to elevate your sales game:

Elevate the quality of your questions.  

10 QUESTIONS TO JUMP START YOUR SALES (and life)…

  1. What needs to happen for today to be a success?
  2. Who needs my help today?
  3. Who do I need to ignore?
  4. What do I need to stop doing?
  5. What do I need to get over?
  6. Who do I need to spend more time with?
  7. Who do I need to walk away from?
  8. What am I excited about?
  9. What’s missing?
  10. What am I grateful for?

High level questions attract high level answers.

U2’s Bono said, “We thought that we had the answers. It was the questions we had wrong.”

No need to get stuck anywhere.

What tough questions do you need to ask yourself?

That’s the…

#QuestionOfTheDay

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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