Choose Your List

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“What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” – Jen Sincero  

Here’s an idea from Seth Godin:

Create two lists.

On the FIRST LIST, write down all your COMPLAINTS:

  • The people who took you for granted.
  • All the bad breaks that came your way.
  • The work you did that was not appreciated.
  • The times you were misunderstood.
  • Projects that did not work out.

Be honest.

Come clean.

No need to hold back.

Let the NEGATIVE VIBES bleed all over the page.

Now on to the SECOND LIST.

Write down all the UNFAIR ADVANTAGES you were given:

  • All the people who supported you.
  • The good breaks that came your way.
  • The friends that had your back.
  • The mentors that accelerated your learning curve.
  • All the times you got the benefit of the doubt.

Now…

Choose one list.

Put this list someplace you’ll see it maybe once a year.

Hide it with the holiday decorations.

Or maybe put it with that crock pot you never use but refuse to donate.

Now take the other list.

Tape it to your favorite mirror.

Or put it in your phone.

Place it somewhere you’ll see it multiple times a day.

Godin writes, “The daily list will determine what you notice and the story you tell yourself.”

The list you look at everyday will create your MINDSET.

It will determine the ATTITUDE you bring into the world.

Here’s the BEST PART…

What list you choose is 100% in your control.

#ChooseYourList

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

Build Your Monument

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Deeds, not stones, are the monuments of the great. – John Motley

In RJ Palacio’s book “Wonder”, August ‘Auggie’ Pullman is a 5th grader trying to fit in to his new school.

There’s just one problem.

A chromosome problem.

Auggie was born missing one.

This condition caused his appearance to be unlike anyone else’s in the school.

Palacio describes Auggie as “an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face”.

“Wonder” tells the story of how this 11 year old deals with being singled out, excluded, ridiculed, ignored and noticed everywhere he goes.

All because he doesn’t look like everyone else.

Could you imagine?

The book is INSPIRING and funny.

And at times uncomfortable.

But like all good books, it teaches a LESSON.

Acts of KINDNESS stand larger than stone monuments to the people we help.

One of the fun characters in the book is Auggie’s English teacher, Mr Browne.

Each month Mr Browne inspires his students with a PRECEPT.

Here’s October’s Precept:

“YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS”

This quote, which Mr Browne told the class, “was carved on the tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh”, describes a timeless truth:

Actions speak louder than stone.

What we DO becomes our legacy.

Our DEEDS have a BIGGER impact than anything we SAY or THINK.

Life is about taking action.

And our ACTIONS give us our best chance to impact the lives of others.

This idea reminds us of that great line from Maximus in the opening scene of the movie Gladiator, “What we do in life echos in eternity.” 

Every KIND ACT we do is another stone cast into our legacy.

Mr Browne challenged his students to write down what October’s PRECEPT meant to them.

Here’s what Auggie wrote:

“We should be remembered for the things we do.  The things we do are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do are like MONUMENTS.  They’re like the pyramids the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Instead of of being made by stone, they’re made of memories.  YOUR DEEDS ARE YOUR MONUMENTS.”

Time to build.

#BuildYourMonument

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Enough

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“The greatest misfortune is not to know contentment.” – Dao De Jing

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were attending a party at a billionaire’s estate on Shelter Island, NY.

Heller, the author of Catch 22, one of the most acclaimed novels of the the 20th century, was asked a question.

Vonnegut: “Joe, how does it feel that our host made more money yesterday than ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

Heller replied:  “I’ve got something he will never have.”

Vonnegut: “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

Heller:  “The knowledge that I have ENOUGH.”

Ambition is a double edged sword.

What fuels our ambition is the same thing that keeps us from enjoying what we have.

The need for ‘MORE’ can crush our HAPPINESS.

It stops us from feeling GRATITUDE for the gifts we already have.

Even after we aquire ‘MORE’, the next level always comes into sight.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “It’s delusional to think that doing more of the same will bring about a different result.  The need for more will keep you from being happy.”

HAPPINESS and GRATITUDE can’t be found externally.

They come from within.

Over 2,500 years ago Lau Tzu wrote, “When you realize that nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

There’s no denying there are some things we need MORE of in our lives.

But they are those intangible soft skills that can’t be bought or shown on a balance sheet:

EMPATHY.

GRATITUDE.

SELF-AWARENESS.

More TIME with the people we care about most.

Nothing we BUY or SELL can ever take the place of these.

Because what’s essential is invisible to the eye.

On his death bed, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, was the richest person in the world.

As his family gathered around his hospital bed during his final moments, Walton looked around the room and said his last words, “I blew it.”

No need to blow it.

Stay ambitious.

Keep showing up.

Please give us your best work.  

Just make sure to measure what matters.

#Enough

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

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

 

17 Ways

“I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul…I’m saying it helps.” – Walter Mosley

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Life is made of moments.

Last week was a special one for me.

I had the opportunity to present Sales Vibe Live to our national sales team in San Diego.

The presentation was based on the principles and ideas I write about in SALES VIBE.

We discussed ways to:

  • Prepare.
  • Engage.
  • Build Trust.
  • Organize.
  • Strategize.
  • Question.
  • Close.
  • Get Invited Back.

Over 60 people attended.

It was an awesome experience.

After the presentation, I received multiple requests for the list of books referenced in the talk.

Below is that list with a brief summary following each book.

Here are 17 WAYS to elevate your SALES & LIFE:

MINDSET

Meditations  by Marcus Aurelius. The most powerful man on earth writes notes to himself on how to be a better person .

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino.  Iannarino writes “To succeed in sales you need three things: a Mindset, a Skillset, & a Toolset.”  Same goes for life.

Mindset:  The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.  This book made the term “mindset” hip.  Greatness is created, not born.

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.  Holiday distills ancient stoic wisdom into 1 actionable thought each day.  Holiday is the modern day Robert Green. 

The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer is the best sales trainer on the planet.  He also wrote one of the best books on how to create a winning attitude.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.  Willink spent two decades training & leading US Navy Seals in combat.  He shows how the lessons learned on the battlefield can be applied to the boardroom. #GetAfterIt

Secrets of Closing The Sale by Zig Ziglar. Ziglar is famous for saying “You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” Written in 1985, it’s still one of the greatest sales books ever.

SKILLSET

The Art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn.  Tony Robbins was working as a janitor when he met Jim Rohn.  Rohn taught him these principles to lead an exceptional life. Gold.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.  Covey’s book is one of the top 10 read books on Amazon.  He boils the secrets of success down into 7 habits.

The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer.  This book is the best selling sales book of all time.  You can put Gitomer’s ideas in to action 30 seconds after you read them.

The Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer.  Gitomer teaches how to connect, engage, and get invited back.  Hint:  “Start friendly, or don’t start at all.” 

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

The Lost Art of Closing by Anthony Iannarino.  A salesperson job is to ask for and obtain commitments. This book shows you how to be a closer.

TOOLSET

The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer. The Sales Bible is the most complete book on selling ever written.

Power Questions by Andrew Sobel. I read books then give them away.  I kept this one and refer to it often.  It’s filled with killer questions.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. “Strength and growth come only through struggle and effort.”  Timeless wisdom.

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday“What stands in the way becomes the way.”  Struggling through something? This is your book.

Lists can be overwhelming.

Start by picking one.

A great book will lead you to the next one.

There is a Latin Proverb, “Liber Medicina Animi – A Book is the Soul’s Medicine.”

Take the next step.

Go…

#17Ways

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

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

Leaving 2017 Inspired

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

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Below are the PEOPLE, BOOKS, & PLACES that inspired me in 2017:

People

Ryan Holiday is my favorite author.  Holiday’s writing draws modern day wisdom from ancient philosophy.  His latest book, Perennial Seller shows how to create perennial success by basing your work on timeless principles.  His other book,  The Daily Stoic , is the book I give to others the most.

Seth Godin has the greatest blog on the planet.  He has published a daily blog post for over a decade without fail. His blog is the first thing I read each morning.  Godin challenges people to stop hiding and leap. He is known for asking, “Would they miss you if you were gone?”  The answer is up to you.

Jocko Willink spent 20+ years leading & training Navy SEALS.  His Jocko Podcast is a weekly wave of leadership & life lessons.  Jocko tells stories from military history, modern day business, & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Willink inspires you to rise up when others fade away.

Tom Petty is the person from 2017 who I never met, but will miss.  Petty, who died this year at 66, has been part of the soundtrack of my life since high school.  His concerts were the best.  Petty’s, I Won’t Back Down”  inspired me through tough times. RIP Tom.  Your music made many “Feel A Whole Lot better.”

Books

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done was my favorite book of 2017.  Jon Acuff breaks down why starting is not the problem; finishing is.  Acuff writes about simple tactics to overcoming obstacles that keep us from finishing.  One of my favorite quotes from the book, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was my surprise book of 2017.  I had no expectations, but found myself completely engaged and not wanting it to end.  This book informs and entertains.  The first chapter drops more “F” Bombs than the bar scene in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas The F*cking premise of the book is that our time & energy are limited.  They are the greatest resources we have. We need to figure out who & what are most deserving of them and “not give a F*ck about everything else.”

Tools of Titans by Tim Feriss is a true gift.  Imagine having access to billionaires and world class performers like Brene Brown, Peter Theil, General Stanley McChrystal and Malcolm Gladwell.  Then imagine having them share their best habits, routines, and tactics.  Thanks to Feriss, we now do.  You can open this book to any page and get inspired.

Principles by Ray Dalio.  Ray Dalio is a self-made billionaire and a legend in the financial world.  Bill Gates and Tony Robbins go to Dalio for advice and council.  This book is filled with ideas and principles that lead to success in business and life.

Places

Our family’s most “Magical” week of 2017 happened in Disney World.  We took our first family trip to the Magic Kingdom.  Mickey did not disappoint.  I was skeptical going in.  Impressed on the way out.

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Happy holidays.

Wish you a REMARKABLE 2018!

– 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

 

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

 

 

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