Know When To Quit

“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 Rodgers

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The more things I quit, the better life becomes.

I’ve learned the secret is figuring out what to quit and where to DOUBLE DOWN.

Here are the 3 best things I ever QUIT:

  • TV
  • Golf
  • “To Do Lists”

TV

Want to talk about a TV series or the news?

I am not your person.

The non-stop barrage of violence, scandals, and bias news kills my positive vibe.

I’ve cut the TV cord.

(Eagles games NOT included).

Call it purposeful ignorance.   

GOLF

Golf and I were in a bad marriage.

Our problems were beyond counseling.

I would spend hours on the links, shoot my weight, and come home frustrated.

As that Andrea Bochelli’s song goes, it was “Time to say goodbye…”

QUITTING golf was liberating.

No more searching for my drive in the woods.

No more watching grown men walk around in plaid pants.

This gives me time to concentrate on more important things – like being choked unconscious on a sweaty jiu jitsu mat.

“TO DO” Lists

I used to write out daily “To Do” lists.

I’d spend the day running around, crossing items off my list.

A false sense of accomplishment would surround me like one of those cheap Today’s Man suits I wore after graduating college.

I was busy, but far from relevant.

I learned focusing on my “Not To Do” list was way more productive.

Steve Jobs said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

Knowing what NOT to spend your time on is liberating.

TOUGH QUESTION

Think about your priorities.

What are you willing to quit to make those priorities a reality?

That’s the question.

Answer that and everything else becomes much easier.

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.NET

(The article was originally published in March 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)

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Adversity, Knee Braces, & Attitude

“If the road is easy, you’re likely going the wrong way.” Terry Goodkind 

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ADVERSITY enters our lives when we least expect it.

How we respond defines who we become.

While training in jiu jitsu, I heard a loud pop in my knee.

Yikes!

Not the background music I was hoping to listen to while training.

2 weeks later…

I’m standing next to an orthopedic surgeon.

He looked at the MRI and explained my injury –a full width tear of the ACL”.

Fun times.

A knee injury brings a level of adversity into your life.

I am firm believer that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond.

Jeffrey Benjamin said, Adversity always hides a gift.”  

Our job is to find it.

Here are 4 Gifts I learned by tearing my ACL:

STAY CALM

Fear thrives in adversity.

Expose yourself to enough stories of the worst possible outcome, and your mind will start to believe them.

One way to empty the fear out of our minds and fill it with positive vibes is to BREATHE.

As soon as I heard that “POP” behind my kneecap, I focused on my breathing:

  • Slow, deep breaths.
  • In my nose.
  • Out my mouth.

It’s amazing how FOCUSED BREATHING calms your mind.

Focused breathing is one of the true GIFTS I learned by training jiu jitsu and practicing yoga.

EMBRACE CHANGE

Take a page out of Charles Darwin’s play book.

Learn to ADAPT to your environment.

My energy comes from being active:

  • Playing sports with my kids.
  • Training jiu jitsu.
  • Traveling with my wife.

But with a knee as strong a Kardashian marriage, I needed to make adjustments.

I had to watch class instead of train.

To stay in shape, I had to trade my jiu jitsu Gi for the elliptical machine at LA Fitness.

There wasn’t a trade that bad since the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

But they served their purpose.

THE POWER OF COMMUNITY

Adversity puts fear in your head.

Speaking with friends who went through the same situation crushed that fear.

Discussing rehab options with a top physician & awesome PT’s created a game plan and built confidence.

Never underestimate the power of community.

KEEP MOVING FORWARD

Life moves on.

The world stops for no one.

An injured knee was not going to stop me from living my life.

A few days after I got hurt, I was scheduled to chaperone a Class Trip for my son’s 2nd grade class.

I bought my 1st knee brace ever and jumped (more like limped) onto the school bus.

It was an awesome day –  Kardashian knee and all.

Call it my Kirk Gibson moment.

Getting injured is AVERAGE.

Living life in the face of adversity feels REMARKABLE.

#FindTheGift

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

This article was originally published in June 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Break Away

“My only requirement for life is that I don’t get stuck in a rut.” – Malin Ackerman

Break Away

It was time for a break:

  • No blogging.
  • No city traffic.
  • No hustling 5 people out the door by 7am.

Time to reset.

Time to BREAK AWAY.

We had an opportunity to take a vacation.

I booked our family’s first flight together.

Traveling with 3 young kids is no joke.

But it was time to roll the dice.

Time to create some memories.

The anticipation of a BIG event is sometimes better than the event itself.

Not this time.

“Best week of my life.” – our 8 year old said on the plane ride home.

BIG words from a little one.

  • We snorkeled over coral reefs.
  • Hiked in a rainforest.
  • Kayaked to an island where one of our kids’ favorite movies was filmed.

All accomplished while keeping a non-stop 3 year old entertained.

This family vacation taught me 3 life lessons:

When you have an opportunity to create a memory, seize it.

Memories just don’t happen.

They must be created.

Family vacations take:

  • Time.
  • Energy.
  • Cash.

All 3 can easily be allocated elsewhere in your life.

A new car or dining room set will NOT create the memories that walk with you through the rest of your life.

Creating special moments with your family will.

Shared experiences bond people together.  

Hiking over a narrow bridge 100 feet above a valley (while carrying your chatty 3 year old) bonds a family together.

There’s a special closeness that forms when you experience uncommon situations together.

The more experiences shared, the closer the bond.

Sometimes you have to dive in head first.

There was a moment when I came face to face with a childhood fear.

I never fully conquered my phobia of swimming in the ocean.

Double that fear when snorkeling.

Watching Jaws a dozen times as a child probably did not help.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

I have no problem jumping on the jiu jitsu mat with a 25 year old looking to choke me unconscious.

But putting on snorkel gear has me focusing on my breathing.

This trip brought me face to face with a snorkel swim that checked every box on my phobia checklist.

Yikes…

It was time to PUNCH fear in the face.

My 8 year old son and I put on our snorkel gear.

We looked down over a coral reef.

And…

Dove in.

Getting caught in a rut is AVERAGE.

Diving into life head first feels REMARKABLE.

#BreakAway

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

(This post was originally published April 2015 on http://www.JoeCiccarone.com)

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

 

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