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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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

 

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

 

 

The Power of Habits

“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.”  – John Dryden

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Name the 1st book that changed the way you think?

For me, it was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The 7 Habits changed the way I conducted business.

It changed the way I approached life.

Each habit called me out.

The Habits are simple concepts that separate the REMARKABLE from the AVERAGE.

The Vibe will cover each habit over the next few weeks.

Let’s go…

 Habit 1:  Be Proactive

You can’t wait for things to happen.

Nothing starts until you do.

To live our best life, we need to LEAN FORWARD.

We can’t wait for perfect circumstances or the mood to strike us.

We must create the mood with ACTION.

One of my mentors in Gracie Jiu Jitsu told me “If I only trained when I was in the mood or had the time, I would train 3-4 times a year.”

Tony Robbins said, “Great concepts don’t just appear, they must be pursued.”

Being PROACTIVE means stop negotiating with your mind.

Your mind is wired for survival, not success.

Your mind will tell you to:

  • Stay in bed.
  • That’s too hard.
  • You’re not qualified.
  • It’s too cold.
  • It’s too hot.
  • You’re too old.
  • You’re not good enough.

All lies.

Being PROACTIVE means moving the ball forward a few yards each day.

Proactivity starts with changing your MINDSET.

When we are proactive, we no longer blame outside circumstances.

We become the circumstances.

Think of all the VIP’s in your life:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Customers
  • Coworkers
  • Managers

How can you be more PROACTIVE in their world?

Go there.

How can you be more PROACTIVE in your world?

  • Get proper sleep
  • Limit distractions
  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Read a Weekly Blog J

Where do you need to step up?

Start that habit today.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.net