Drop the ‘F’ Bomb

“Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” – Unknown

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It was July 9th 1997.

Steve Jobs was leaving his “personal wilderness”.

This was the day Jobs returned to the company that fired him.

Jobs retook the role of Apple’s CEO.

It was a dark time for Apple.

The company was almost bankrupt.

Apple’s customer base (and Wall Street) were jumping ship.

Apple had lost its way.

The pressure was on Jobs to deliver.

What was Jobs’ FIRST MOVE as CEO?

Did he lay off 30% of Apple’s workforce?

Did he travel the country making promises to analysts?

Did Jobs try to sell the company?

None of the above.

Jobs first move was so SIMPLE that it shocked many inside and outside of Apple.

Jobs dropped the “F Bomb”.

He FOCUSED Apple.

Jobs stripped Apple down to only four core products.

Apple would discontinue everything else.

All of Apple’s resources would be FOCUSED on its best products.

Job’s said in an interview, “It means saying ‘No’ to the hundred other good ideas. You have to pick carefully…Innovation is saying ‘No’ to 1,000 things.”

Jobs gives us a powerful one-word SUCCESS STRATEGY:

FOCUS. 

He shows us a killer TACTIC to execute this strategy:

SAYING “NO”.

It means saying “No” to:

  • Low value meetings and conference calls.
  • Invitations to events with marginal friends that gobble up your time and money.
  • Being constantly distracted by social media.

Where there is no FOCUS, distraction reigns.

DISTRACTION has killed more careers than any recession ever could.

The irony is not lost that one of the universe denting products Job’s FOCUS strategy helped Apple create was the iPhone.

Which may be the greatest distraction device in human history.

But that’s a subject for another day.

Seth Godin wrote, “If it’s going to distract you from the work that truly matters, pass.”

Take pass on what’s no longer relevant.

Lean in to what really matters.

BLOW UP your distractions.

Dent your universe.

#DropTheFbomb

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

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Say No

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“Half of the troubles of life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings

It’s one of the shortest words in the English language.

It has the POWER to free your day.

And clear your mind.

It’s also one of the hardest to say:

“No.”

Want more FREE TIME?

“No, I can’t make it.”

Want to be less BUSY?

“No, I am not available.”

Want to FOCUS more on what matters most to you?

“No, I have something else scheduled.”

Ryan Holiday wrote, “The more you SAY NO to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.”

Saying “No” takes COURAGE.

It may even get some people ticked off at you.

That’s fine.

Why?

Because SAYING NO lets you live life on your terms.

No better way to start a new year than doing that.

#SayNo

-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

 

 

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

 

Stand Guard

“Stand guard at the door of your mind.” – Jim Rohn

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To live a POSITIVE life we have to feed our minds positive thoughts.

We have to protect our thinking from negative influences.

Negativity is constantly knocking.

It’s searching for a way in.

We have to make a conscious decision to keep it out.

In a interview, Tony Robbins said learning to deal with negative thoughts was one of the greatest lessons he learned from his mentor Jim Rohn.

“Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle.” Robbins said, “Every day, STAND GUARD at the door of you mind.  You alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life.  For these thoughts will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

In our 24/7 connected world, that’s no easy feat.

Negative is everywhere.

It’s waiting for us each time we log into social media.

Negative is on overdrive on cable news.

We have to curate the information we allow to influence us.

So much of what we are exposed to are sensationalized events that have nothing to do with us.

  • The tragedy 8 time zones away.
  • The celebrity that got arrested.
  • The shady politician screaming into the camera.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL.

Everyday we all have important work to do.

Our job is to FOCUS on what we can control and ignore the noise.

Vince Vaughn said, “Don’t give a voice to things you’re not able to change.”

We have to STAND GUARD.

Keep all that useless, negative information from souring our thoughts and attitudes.

When we allow negative influences into out mind bad things happen:

  • Our attitude sours.
  • We get distracted.
  • We lose focus from the things that really matter.

If we pay attention to uncontrollable, negative events long enough, our thinking becomes negative.

Negative starts to follow us around all day long.

We have to feed our minds a healthy diet of positive information.

THINK ABOUT IT.

The information you allow into your mind affects what you think about.

  • What you THINK about creates your MOOD.
  • Your MOOD creates your ATTITUDE.
  • Your ATTITUDE influences your ACTIONS.
  • Your ACTIONS determine your OUTCOMES.
  • Your OUTCOMES become your LIFE.

Believing that we are unaffected by what we let into our mind is like saying what we eat does not matter.

Shut the door on the PEOPLE, EVENTS, & STORIES that try to pull you down and drain your energy.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Cut the negative strings that pull your mind.”

Shut out the negative.

Protect your mind.

Improve your life.

#StandGuard

-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

The Clouds & The Dirt

“I spend all my time in the clouds or in the dirt. That’s why I’m successful.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

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Fall is here.

Just walk inside a Starbucks.

Holy pumpkin everything…

I find fall the best time of the year to make CHANGES.

No need to wait for the chaos of the holidays to disappear.

We can get a head start by BEGINNING NOW.

When the conversation at Aunt Nelly’s holiday dinner turns to New Year’s resolutions, we’ll have 3 months of progress to show.

How cool is that?

Besides, I have an awful track record with resolutions.

I don’t do them.

From learning to trade stock options to trying to be less sarcastic, I’ve failed at most of them.

Instead, I now focus on DAILY ACTION.

DAILY ACTION is the secret to accomplishing BIG GOALS.

Gary Vee calls this concept – “The Clouds and The Dirt.”

THE CLOUDS

THE CLOUDS are your goals.

They are the places you want to take your life.

What BIG IDEA do you want to achieve?

  • Create a $1 million customer?
  • Lose 10 pounds?
  • Write a blog post every Monday?

We’ll all have different answers to this question.

But THE PROCESS is the same.

The 1st step is DECIDING what we want to accomplish.

For me, I want to be a more consistent writer.

I’d love to be 2 to 3 weeks ahead with blogs posts.

Waking up Monday at 4:30am to finish this week’s post is not a long term strategy.

THE DIRT

THE DIRT is how you get there.

It’s the DAILY GRIND.

The DIRT are the SMALL DAILY ACTIONS we need to take that make the CLOUDS possible.

THE DIRT is the journey.

It’s the gritty path that leads to our GOALS.  

DECIDE

Decide on 1 daily action you can do that gets you closer to your GOAL.

For me, I need to write more.

My DAILY ACTION:

  • Write 200 words each morning before 7am.

BE SPECIFIC

The SECRET is to be specific.

My goal is NOT to “Write every day.”

That’s too vague.

Our ACTIONS need to be:

  • Simple.
  • Actionable.
  • Accountable.

JUST SAY NO

TIME and ENERGY are limited resources.

We have to be intentional where we invest them.

Gary Vee said, “I don’t spend any time on things that don’t matter.”

This means sometimes saying “No” to people.

Saying “No” is tough.

We think we are letting people down.

But when we don’t say “No” to distraction, we are only letting ourselves down.

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

When you look into THE CLOUDS what do you see?

Keep your eyes on the CLOUDS

But your hands in the DIRT.

Our thoughts are with our friends in TEXAS & FLORIDA this week.

#StayStrong

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

The Main Event

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” – Steven Covey

priority.pngBrazilian Jiu Jitsu is a microcosm of life.

When you:

  • Don’t execute the BASICS, bad things happen.
  • Lose FOCUS, trouble follows.
  • Get DISTRACTED, you get hurt.

It doesn’t matter if you are training Jiu Jitsu or negotiating in a customer’s office, you have to PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST or pay the price.

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

Habit #3:  Put First Things First

Let’s roll…

There is an amazing disconnect between what we say is IMPORTANT and our actions.

At times we act like a General Manager of an awful sports team.

We trade high value assets for low value items:

  • We give our ATTENTION to Instagram when our family is right in front of us.
  • We give away our HEALTH when we pass the gym to get “caught up” on email.
  • We let people steal our TIME because we are afraid to say “No”.

Take back control by putting first things first.  

It all starts by eliminating distraction.

A few weeks ago I found myself losing focus.

My phone pinged all day.

I was reacting, not initiating.

The iphone was stealing my attention away from what was right in front of me.

This was happening more often than I would like to admit.

It was time to put first things first.

I made 3 changes:

  • Removed all social media apps from my iphone.
  • Turned off all notifications for everything.
  • Limited email to 2 times per day.

The result?

More focus.

Less stress.

A game changer.

There is more white space during my day.

But the biggest benefit has been PRESENCE.

I’m more AWARE of what’s going on in front of me.

200 years before Covey wrote the 7 Habits, Goethe said:

“Things Which Matter Most Must Never Be at the Mercy of Those That Matter Least.”

Maybe it’s time we start acting that way.

#PutFirstThingsFirst

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net