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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take The Plunge

“You have two choices, control your mind or let your mind control you.” – Paulo Coelho

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There is a scene in the documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” where Tony Robbins jumps into a 57° plunge pool immediately after waking up.

Brrrr…

Robbins TAKES THE PLUNGE every morning to tell his mind that he is in charge of the day.

PROFESSIONALS get up and go to work.

AMATEURS wait to be in the mood.

Our brains are hardwired to keep us SAFE and COMFORTABLE.

They are not concerned about our SUCCESS.  

When our brain spots a PERCEIVED threat, it tells us to go in the other direction.

This worked great 10,000 years ago when we were being chased by saber-tooth tigers.

Not so much when this same FEAR crushes our present day CREATIVITY.  

Our minds will try to convince us not to:

  • Wake up EARLY.
  • WRITE that blog post.
  • Make that UNCOMFORTABLE sales call.

We can’t let our MOOD decide if we will execute or not.

There are ways we can PRIME ourselves to do the work that our minds are trying to keep us from doing.

4 WAYS TO TAKE THE PLUNGE:

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COLD

Want to create your mood the moment you wake up?

Cold shower.

Standing in a cold shower for 30 seconds is an incredibly effective way to tell your mind who’s in charge.

CREATE ROUTINES

Before each Jiu Jitsu class, I head to the pull up bar in the back of the academy.

I do a set of 10 pull ups.

This routine tells my BODY & MIND that it is time to train.

No matter what thoughts are bouncing around in my brain when I walk in, after I hit pull up #10,  I am totally focused on training.

FOCUS ON THE OUTCOME

Muhammad Ali said, “I hated every minute of training, but I loved being CHAMPION.”

For me, writing consistently is a struggle but I love having a WEEKLY BLOG.

I focus on how I will feel after I hit the PUBLISH button.

SCHEDULE & PROTECT

Each of us need to use some sort of calendar.

  • SCHEDULE what’s important.
  • PROTECT what we schedule.

If we don’t, life will eat our time for breakfast.

Robbins says, “When you train yourself to do it anyway, you will have a freedom that few people will ever find.”

There will always be things we HAVE TO DO that we don’t WANT TO DO.

Free yourself by taking MOOD out of the equation.

How will you tell your mind that YOU ARE IN CHARGE?  

Feel the fear.

Do it anyway.

#TakeThePlunge

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

Get Uncomfortable

“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  That’s how you break the plateau and reach the next level.” – Chalene Johnson

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How do you get to the next level?  

A mentor of mine told me I needed to become UNCOMFORTABLE

He said, “What do you think about that makes you uncomfortable?  That’s the project you should be working on.”

What makes me uncomfortable? 

Beside “Italian” chain restaurants, it’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and writing a weekly blog.   

That’s why I train as much Jiu Jitsu as possible and publish a blog every Monday morning. 

It’s called the Sales Vibe.

Sales Vibe explores tactics and strategies that help you succeed in SALES & LIFE.

You can read the Sales Vibe by going to www.SalesVibe.net. 

#GetUncomfortable

-Joe Ciccarone

 

 

 

 

Know When to Fold’em

“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 Rogers, The Gambler 

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Early in my SALES career I was looking to start a side business.

I did some research.

Somehow I landed on the idea of trading stock options.

I know…

I attended multiple weekend long seminars.

I even bought special software that was supposed to help me find the right stocks to trade.

But the more time I INVESTED, the less it felt right.

Thousands dollars and dozens of hours were sunk into my new options “business”.

What should I do?

Keep going?

Fight through the doubt?

Winners never quit, right?

Fast forward to 2015…

I hear and feel a LOUD pop in my knee while training Jiu Jitsu.

Always fun…

A few weeks later I’m standing in front of an orthopedic surgeon.

He tells me I need my knee reconstructed.

Was it time to RETIRE my GI?

Maybe time to buy my first pair of salmon colored pants and start golfing?

These 2 scenarios raise a Timeless question:

When should we QUIT?

When should we KEEP GOING?

Seth Godin writes in The Dip, “Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

Motivational quotes like “Winners never quit. Quitters never win.” can be hazardous to your wallet.

This is FAKE NEWS.

New projects we take on START the same:

  • Excitement when we begin.
  • Then it gets hard.
  • We have to decide to keep going or quit.

This plays out from our New Year’s Resolutions to starting a new SALES position.

Every project has a BIG fat MIDDLE that is not fun.

We have to figure out if that JOURNEY is worth taking.

3 Questions – Hold’em or Fold’em?:

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?

What is your gut telling you?

Do you still believe in what you’re doing?

The first person we have to convince is ourselves.

WHAT ARE YOU MISSING?

When we say “Yes” to something, we are saying “No” to something else.

Everytime I train Jiu Jitsu or write this blog, I am saying no to something. (Especially teeing off wearing those salmon pants…)

And I am OK with that tradeoff.

IS IT TIME TO CHANGE DIRECTION?

Knowing when to pivot is a true sign of a professional.

There may be a better use of your TIME and TALENT.  

John Wooden said, “Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”

Changing course may not be a failure.  It can be a step towards something better.

After asking myself these 3 questions, I knew:

  • It was time to RETIRE as a stock trader.
  • Jiu Jitsu and I were just GETTING STARTED.

Know when to HOLD’EM.

Know when to FOLD’EM.

#TheGamble

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

Take It Back

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn

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My house cleaning career was short lived.

I thought cleaning the house myself would be a great way to save some cash.

So I cancelled our cleaners.

Instead it was a great way to kill a beautiful Saturday and smell like Windex the rest of the day.

Fast forward a few weeks…

It was past 1am when I hit the “Send” button on Turbo Tax.

After spending hours trying to figure out if the day camp my kids went to 6 months earlier was deductible, I finally finished our tax return.

Painful.

Who in their right mind would ever go into accounting?

Oh, never mind…

But at least I saved money by not hiring a CPA, right?

Wrong.

Our time is so valuable.

Time vanishes faster than Chriss Angel at a pool in Vegas.

It seems like we never have enough to give to our favorite people and hobbies.

Steve Jobs said, “It’s really clear that the most precious resource we have is time. Your time is limited.  Don’t waste it.”

No one is going to give us more time.

We have to TAKE IT.

How?

BUY IT BACK.

Trading our TIME for MONEY is a bad deal.

I have been experimenting by flipping that trade around.

Now I trade MONEY for more TIME.  

I pay a CPA to do our taxes and hired cleaners to clean our house.

This trade off has been a game changer.

HIRE A SPECIALIST

We all have a specialty.

What’s yours?

Mine is SALES.  

I also have a 2 side hobbies:

  • Training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
  • Writing this weekly blog.

These are the places where I invest my time.

Everything else I hire out.

Hire out the grunt work, the complicated repairs, and jobs you have no interest doing:

  • Yard word.
  • House Cleaning.
  • Tax Prep.
  • Home repairs.

This has freed up an incredible amount of time so I can focus on my family, work & personal goals.

I found there’s an added bonus.

The specialists I hire do a way better job than I ever could.

KNOW THY SELF

Everyone is wired differently.

I know people that LOVE taking care of their lawn.

Yard work is where they find their ZEN.

It helps them RESET.  

I’m definitely not in that group, but understand.

If you love it, keep doing it.

But if you don’t, call in the specialist.

Time is disappearing.

Tick, tick, tick…

#TakeItBack

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SaleVibe.Net

 

 

 

It’s Your Turn

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu

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The jiu jitsu mat resembled a blue slip & slide.

It was 95 degrees outside, hotter inside.

I was testing for my purple belt.

After about 10 rounds I was pulled off the mat.

I tried to walk back on.

My instructor told me to sit down.

It had something to do with me not making sense when I tried to speak.

The scariest part was yet to come…

A few weeks later, I walked past my instructor.

He asked someone if they wanted to lead a weekly beginner’s class.

I looked behind me to see who he was speaking to.

Nobody was there.

What business did I have leading a BJJ class?

It didn’t matter what I thought.

It was MY TURN

Leading that class taught me an amazing lesson…

We need the COURAGE to LEAP when opportunity shows up.

We have to walk past our FEAR and JUMP towards what scares us.

To live our best life, we have to TAKE OUR TURN.

Fast forward a few months…

I’m at a SALES seminar.

The presenter challenged everyone in the room to START A BLOG.

He told us having the guts to WRITE SOMETHING and SHIP IT OUT for others to judge will make you better.

A few days later I wrote my 1st post.

I hesitated pushing that “Publish” button for the 1st time.

I was scared.

But it was time to run head first into my little FEAR.

Life is at its best when we TAKE OUR TURN.

3 Ways To Take Your Turn:

Choose Yourself

Don’t wait to be “selected”.

You don’t need anyone’s permission.

  • Write that blog.
  • Start that Youtube channel.
  • Put yourself out there for the world to judge.

Create White Space

Free up creative time each week.

Ryan Holliday wrote, “Cut out all the needless things that make you busy.”

“Busy” is a great place to hide from doing work that scares you.

CREATE something.  Share it with the world.

What project has been on your mind but scares you?

That’s the project you should be working on.

Get Uncomfortable

Putting yourself out there is scary.

People will judge you.  Some will laugh.

Good!

Seth Godin wrote, “Dance with your fear.  Seek out what triggers the resistance and makes you uncomfortable.”

Get comfortable being UNCOMFORTABLE.

Amazing things happen outside our comfort zone.

“The Resistance” tells me all the reasons I should not write this blog.

Every week I have to quiet those voices.

What fear will you overcome this week?

What opportunities will you SEIZE?

I’ll start by hitting this PUBLISH button.

#ItsYourTurn

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Enemy Within

“We have met the enemy and it is us.” – Walt Kelly

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I was training Jiu Jitsu with a less experienced partner.

I fooled myself into believing I was better than I really was.

My “less experienced” partner caught me in an arm bar.

Instead of tapping, I tried to fight my way out.

My EGO refused to be submitted.

Big mistake.

I did tap, after I heard something pop in my elbow.

Not fun.

Lesson learned the hard way.

Our worst enemy lives inside our mind.

Our EGO.

Ego is:

  • the false story of our own greatness.
  • the unhealthy belief in our own importance.
  • thinking we are better than we really are.

Ego is arrogance and entitlement.

“The first principle” Richard Feyman wrote, “is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

It’s the polar opposite of CONFIDENCE.

Confidence is earned.

Ego is not.

Ego is the Enemy within each of us.

Ego has caused BIG crashes everywhere from politics, to sales deals gone bad, to personal relationships.

Nothing will hurt you faster than your own ego.

3 Ways to Keep Your EGO in Check:

Have a Student Mindset

Commit to something hard.

Train Jiu Jitsu.

Take up a musical instrument.

Do something that exposes the massive amounts of skills you do NOT currently possess.

It’s hard to have a huge ego when you are getting smashed on the mat or can’t play Jingle Bells.

Ho, Ho, Ho…

Get Natural

Walk by the ocean.

Look up at the stars.  Get lost in the mountains.

Nature has a way of keeping people grounded.

Know Your History

Look at history.

Chester Arthur, Marcus Aurelius, & Genghis Khan were 3 of the most powerful and famous people on earth.

Now they’re not.

We all do important work.

Value the work you do but stay humble.

There is a sign that hangs over the entrance to our Jiu Jitsu academy.

It’s both a welcome & a warning.

The sign reads,

“Please leave your EGO and SHOES at the door.  Enter with a Beginner’s Mind.”

This is a fantastic mindset to bring on the mat.

It’s even better to bring into your life.

#EgoIsTheEnemy

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net