Roll With The Punches

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“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Welcome to The Vibe!

The weekly blog that shows up in your inbox while respecting your social distance.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of ROUTINES.

If you think this post is VIRAL in a good way, please forward to a friend.

Just Purell your keyboard afterwards.

Let’s scrub in…

The Vibe: Roll with the Punches

There is a haunting Chinese blessing that doubles as a curse.

“May you live in interesting times.”  

A fitting phrase for the present moment.

Schools closed, communities self-isolating and our daily ROUTINES KO’d like an early opponent of Mike Tyson. 

Not to mention we have to watch that guy in jean shorts carry nine cases of toilet paper out of Costco.

Interesting times.

Epictetus said the most important thing in life is to separate the world into two categories:

1) What we control.

2) What we don’t.

The next few weeks will give us a chance to put this wisdom into action.

We don’t control that this virus is here.

We don’t control our communities are shut down.

We don’t control what that guy wearing jean shorts buys at Costco.

But we have 100% control of our own actions. 

We all have some BIG time family bonding on our hands.

A great way to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES is to establish new ROUTINES.

We are all products of our daily ROUTINE.  

Routines create the rhythm for our lives.

Our routines establish our habits. 

Our habits determine who we become.

It’s time to create some new ROUTINES for times like these.

Here are 3.5 ROUTINE IDEAS that may help:

1) Take Long Walks Outside

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts…if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.” 

Long walks outside clear our mind.

They get the blood flowing.

Walks connect us with nature.

Some of our best family conversations happen during walking.

2) Establish a Reading Practice

There has never been a better time to be a reader.

There are some mind blowing, perspective changing books out there.

Gather your crew and have them read for an hour in the same room.

Then have each person share one idea from the book they are reading.

Amazing conversations will follow.

3) Declutter

Use this unexpected time together to liberate your house of all that clutter.

Use your free time to free your home (and your mind).

You’ll BE HAPPY you did.

3.5) Be Kind

Everyone is out of their routine.

This is NOT business as usual.

George Raveling wrote, “This is a good time to be good to one another.”

There is never a need to distance ourselves from KINDNESS.

Ryan Holiday said that the version of you who steps out of this quarantine can be a better version than entered it.

Creating new ROUTINES like these can make that happen.

Finally…

BIG THANK YOU to all the healthcare care workers holding down the front lines.

To all the SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS that have people relying on them for their paychecks.

Stand tough.

This too shall pass…

#RollWithThePunches

Keep fighting…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Set Yourself Free

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“The more things you own, the more they own you.” – Unknown

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t require hand sanitizer.

Each week we discuss ONE IDEA that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is CLUTTER and how getting rid of the PAST makes room for the FUTURE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Just remember to wash your hands after you do.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Set Yourself Free

Gretchen Rubin had a revelation.

While doing research for “The Happiness Project” she noticed something.

She was HAPPIER and CALMER when her surroundings were in order and clutter free.

When she created OUTER ORDER it calmed her mind.

The idea resonated so much that she wrote a book on the subject – “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

The Hidden Cost

It’s so easy to fill our basements (and lives) with “stuff”.

Kindergarten art projects, holiday gifts from Aunt Betty, clothes you haven’t worn since Gangnam Style was on the radio, or those boxes in the basement that you don’t even remember what’s inside.

Stuff piled on stuff.

Space disappears.

It feels like your house is shrinking.

Then the anxiety builds.

There is a hidden cost to all that accumulating.  

Rubin writes that CLUTTER can cause ANXIETY and increase the STRESS levels inside your home.

Ugggh…

But clearing clutter is NOT easy.

The process can be exhausting.

It can even get emotional.

The process makes you say goodby to the past so the future has space to enter.

I have learned that cleaning out requires HUMILITY.

You have to admit you were wrong.

That there was never a good reason to store all that sh*t in the first place.

We no longer needed it the moment we put it in a box in our basement.

We just did not have the guts to make the tough call and SET IT FREE.

Make Room for the Future 

Here are 3.5 ways to SET YOURSELF FREE:

1) Don’t Get Organized.

Rubin writes, “Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff.  If you don’t own it, you don’t have to organize it.”

“If you need to buy things to store other things, you have too many things.”

Take that Container Store.

Set it free.

2) Do I LOVE this?

Before you buy anything, ask yourself “Do I LOVE this?”  

Not like.  Not want.

But LOVE.

No love, no buy.

3) If I did not already own this, would I buy it again? 

This question is for all the stuff in boxes and bins in our basement.

If you did not own it, would you buy it again?

If no, it goes.

3.5) Store Things at the Store 

No need for a 5 year supply of tooth paste.

Rubin writes, “The best place to store things is at the store.”  

Don’t stockpile.

Just buy enough for now.

Set It Free 

DECLUTTERING is a simple concept.

But it’s not easy.

So go at your own pace.

Try to make progress every day.

Your future self will thank you.

The philosopher Lin Yutang wrote, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” 

So what’s stealing you peace of mind?

What do you need to SET FREE?

Clear that SPACE.

Clear your MIND.

#SetYourselfFree

Until Next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Listen Up

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“The most successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of LISTENING and how listening is the fastest way to connect and INFLUENCE another person.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Listen Up

We all lead something.

Some of us coach our kid’s sports teams.

Others run companies that hundreds of people rely on for their livelihood.

While some are the CEOs of their families.

No matter the situation, LEADERS need the ability to connect and gain INFLUENCE to be effective.

No influence, no nothing.

What’s the fastest way to influence another person?

By LISTENING to them.

Learning to Listen

A few years after I graduated college with an accounting  degree, I realized something.

I was possibly the worst accountant in the state of Pennsylvania (but that has never been verified).

That career path was just not for me.

After deveopling some SELF-AWARENESS and building up COURAGE, I changed careers.

I jumped into SALES.

Overnight I went from struggling accountant to clueless salesperson.

My livelihood now depended on my ability to sell.

Just one problem…

I had never sold anything to anyone ever.

Things were really looking up.

So I decided to read every book and article on SALES I could find.

I attended every sales training course that came through Philly with the urgency of someone who’s career was suddenly in the balance.

Because it was.

What did I learn?

To be great at SALES you need to posses a SUPERPOWER.

That superpower is LISTENING.

Sales, like LEADERSHIP, is an art.

Rock star SALES PEOPLE, like great LEADERS, all have different styles.

But they have ONE THING in common.

They are awesome listeners.

They have the ability to CONNECT with people by asking meaningful questions, then thoughtfully listen to what that person says.

Asking questions and listening shows you care.

Listening forms a bond between you and the other person.

You get bonus points for not interrupting someone speaking, even when you know what they are saying is off base.

Listening is hard work.

It takes PATIENCE and POISE.

But guess what?

It’s worth it.

And LISTENING works.

Listening may be the most powerful way to connect with another human being.

George Raveling wrote, “What people need most is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” 

There is no better time to build your INFLUENCE.  

Someone out there needs you to LISTEN.  

And they want you to LEAD.  

#ListenUp

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight the Resistance

 

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“Fear is a lie.” – Steve Maxwell

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the RESISTANCE and how FEAR of FAILURE keeps us from sharing our best work.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Fight the Resistance

After writing and sharing over 200 blog posts, the RESISTANCE showed up out of nowhere and started to rear naked choke my courage to write.

The RESISTANCE is that mysterious force author Steven Pressfield claims acts against human creativity by raising the voices of FEAR and DOUBT inside our heads.

The RESISTANCE has one goal: to keep things the way they are.

It does this by crushing our courage to be creative.

Every time I came across a new idea to blog about, the RESISTANCE told me a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t…

“Your writing sucks.”

“No one is going to read this.”

“No one cares what you think.”

“Who are you to write anything?”

I was afraid to show up and look foolish.

So I stopped blogging for 2 months.

It felt safer to play it safe.

But safe is BORING and AVERAGE.

Keeping the status quo is a waste of time.

No need for any of these.

We have to keep walking past our FEARS and DOUBTS.

At some point, that walk is going to get uncomfortable.

We have to learn learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

This takes time and practice (PS – Jiu Jitsu helps).

But the RESISTANCE is a persistent enemy.

It keeps showing up.

Seth Godin likes to say that FEAR and DOUBT will never fully go away,  but we can learn to dance with them.

My 2-month sparring session with the RESISTANCE taught me two great lessons.

  1. Action crushes fear.
  2. Fear is a liar.

Rosa Parks said, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

We all have things we want to do.

We all have projects we know we should do, but that FEAR VOICE in our heads keeps holding us back.

What project are you holding off on?

What conversation have you been avoiding?

It’s time to PUNCH that fear in the throat and take a step forward.

I may not be the best writer.

My blog does not have a million followers.

All good.

Hey RESISTANCE

Guess what?

F*ck You!

I just hit the publish button.

#FightTheResistance

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add & Subtract

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“The process of change is made up of addition and subtraction. Taking something off and then putting something on. – Creflo A. Dollar

We all fall into ruts.

Somewhere there is a COMFORT ZONE we need to escape. 

Because at some point, our Comfort Zones turn into our DANGER ZONES.

Here are two KILLER QUESTIONS from Brian Tracy to ask yourself that can help get us unstuck:

  1. What’s the ONE THING I could START doing today, if done consistently, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?
  2. What’s the ONE THING I could STOP doing right now, if I never did it again, would have the BIGGEST IMPACT in my life?

Major overhauls are rarely needed.

We don’t need another technique or life hack.

What we need is to ask ourselves a few TOUGH QUESTIONS.

Add a little self-awareness.

Then have the COURAGE to take consistent action on what we find.

Decide what’s missing.

Add it.

Figure out what needs to disappear from your life.

Subtract it.

Life can be that simple.

It’s just not easy.

#Add&Subtract

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

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

Don’t Look Over

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“I am more afraid of our own mistakes than our enemy’s schemes.”  – Pericles

You can see it when a swimmer glances over to the next lane.

You see it when a jiu jitsu competitor lets their opponent dictate the pace of the match instead of executing their game plan.

You can see it when a SALESPERSON focuses more on what their competition is doing than bringing value to their customers.

When you FOCUS on things outside of your control, BAD things happen.

You start reacting instead of initiating.

Momentum disappears.

You fall behind.

Instead of dictating the pace, you are playing catch up.

Elite competitors FOCUS only on what’s in their control.

They DON’T LOOK OVER to see what their competition is doing.

They take care of their responsibilities.

Then ADAPT and ADJUST to anything outside of their control.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “Very few empires are destroyed by external forces.  They are undone by their own hubris….We should be far more concerned with our own ego and our own inadequacies than what someone else may do to us.”

Over the next 12 weeks, the rest of the year will play out.

Your FOCUS needs to be on executing your GAME PLAN.

Show up prepared.

Lean forward.

No reason to hold anything back.

If you feel the need to look somewhere…

Look in the mirror.

Because that’s your REAL COMPETITION.

Word.

#DontLookOver

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

The Hard Part

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“The hard part is to just keep going.” – Shunmyo Masuno

It’s easy to start.

It’s fun to make RESOLUTIONS.

You join that new gym.

You start a blog.

You take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Goals are set.

Excitement builds.

Then it happens….

The Achilles’ heel of human nature shows up.

Inconsistency.

Your new project is no longer fun or easy.

The excitement of the start fades like the Phillies playoff hopes in September.

Welcome to the THE HARD PART

Darren Hardy said, “Consistency is doing what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Consistency creates your reputation.

Consistency separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

An Amateurs waits for the mood to strike them.

A professional shows up when it’s inconvenient.

Consistency will make you relevant.

What does consistency look like?

It’s the writer who writes 200 words a day no matter how busy their day was.

It’s the parent who makes the baseball game coming from the airport.

It’s the runner hitting the pavement at 5am when its dark and drizzling.

Keep showing up.

Do the work.

Especially when you don’t feel like it.

Because that’s where the MAGIC happens.

It won’t be easy.

But will be totally worth it.

#TheHardPart

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net