Competition

“No Pressure, No Diamonds.” – Thomas Carlyle

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Larry Bird had Magic Johnson.

Bill Gates had Steve Jobs.

Batman had The Joker.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

Eventually, someone (or something) will stand in your way.

They will want the exact same thing you do.

They will TEST YOU to your limits.

They will do everything possible to stop you.

“They” are the COMPETITION. 

COMPETITION is:

  • That swimmer who just beat your personal best.
  • That new drug that has your customer’s attention.
  • That Jiu Jitsu opponent who submitted you in the finals.

Anything that stands between you and your goal is your COMPETITION.

NO CURSING

Here a tip –

Never speak bad of your competition.

Respect them.

BE HAPPY they showed up.

Why?

COMPETITION will make you better.

They will force you to ELEVATE your game to higher levels.

Magic Johnson said in an interview, “My job was to kick Larry’s butt, and his job was to kick mine. I didn’t want Larry to like me. But we both respected each other.”

Think of your COMPETITION as a TEST.

It’s the test you have to pass to prove how bad you really want it.

MIND GAMES

Barbara Corcoran said, “The biggest challenge is not the competition, it’s what goes on inside your head.” 

Winning begins in your MIND.

REMARKABLE people rise up.

AVERAGE people crumble.  

Which one are you?

PERSONAL BEST

How do you beat the COMPETITION?

By NOT focusing on them.

Your path to reaching your goal will be decided by how good you want to be.

The goal is not to beat the competition.

It’s to be the best you can possibly can be.

Jeffrey Gitomer wrote, “Competition does not mean war. It means learn, it means prepare, and it means be your best.” 

The COMPETITION does not decide your fate.

You do.

#COMPETITION

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

 

 

 

Run Into The Zone

“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” – John Bryant

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It’s 5:30am and raining.

My sneakers are soaked.

A car swerves directly at me.

The driver recovers to miss me by 3 feet.

I see them wave “Sorry!” into the rear view mirror as they speed away.

Their phone still in their hand.

Every step of this RUN makes a statement.

My mood ELEVATES.

The MIND clears.

It’s the EARLY MORNING.

My favorite part of the day.

It’s the time when the new day decides what direction it will take.

This week my early morning routine faced a CHALLENGE.

I was 3 time zones away from home for a work meeting.

THE CHALLENGE

Anyone who travels for work knows it can be a grind.

2:30am wake up calls to catch 5am flights to the west coast are really fun.

Once you get to your meeting, every second is TAKEN.

There is ZERO free time.

Any time between 7:30am to 9:00pm is scheduled.

Without a PLAN, you will have a very AVERAGE week:

  • You will eat junk food like a 3rd grader.
  • You will drink more coffee than a CPA during tax season.
  • You will end each dinner with a desert the size of your ipad.

Weeks like this used to kick my ass. 

THE ADVANTAGE

There’s a huge ADVANTAGE that east coasters have when they travel out west  – they are WIDE AWAKE at 4am on the first day.

The TIME CHANGE can be your worst enemy or your best friend.

I’ve learned staying on east coast time the entire trip puts you back in control of your day.

That’s why I wake up at 4am each day of the trip.

This allows me to control the only part of the day I can – the EARLY MORNING. 

ENERGIZE 

Early morning exercise energizes your BODY and MIND. 

This ENERGY stays with you the entire day.

Double that for when you RUN past scenic mountains, signs that say you may be mauled by mountain lions and rain slicked freeways with distracted drivers.

MIND, BODY, SPIRIT

After a 4 mile run, my thoughts are overwhelmingly POSITIVE.

Fresh ideas start to flow.

The current challenges that seemed so SCARY the night before, now seem doable.

Your body is ENERGIZED.

Your mind is CLEAR.  

The day becomes EXCITING. 

After the run, I return to my hotel room and I break out my JOURNAL.

I write down anything that strikes me as interesting.

Some ideas are just random thoughts that go nowhere.

Some are personal REVELATIONS that I bring out into the day.

When your mind and body are ENERGIZED, you become OPTIMISTIC.

This early morning routine converts your ATTITUDE from seeing problems to finding SOLUTIONS.

Positive VIBES flow into your day.

The early morning is the time to ESCAPE AVERAGE and RUN towards REMARKABLE .

#RunIntoTheZone

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

This post was originally published March 2014 on Life Unbalanced.

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

 

 

Batter Up

“Every strike out brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

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The game of BASEBALL is an amazing teacher.

From my earliest memories of playing tee ball to walking off the field for the last time in college (knowing it was the end, I actually kissed home plate on my way off the field) the game of baseball taught me many life lessons.

Baseball requires the same skills we need to succeed in SALES and LIFE:

  • Preparation.
  • Awareness.
  • Hustle.

But for my MONEYBALL, the most important concept the game teaches is how to deal with FAILURE.

The past 2 years I have been part of the coaching staff for my son’s travel baseball team.

It’s a REMARKABLE learning experience.

What’s the toughest lesson?

Teaching the kids (and sometimes us coaches) how to to respond to FAILURE. 

The best baseball players are not the ones with the STRONGEST arms, the FASTEST times to first base, or the most EXPENSIVE bats.

It’s the players who learn how to bounce back from FAILURE the quickest who have the most success.

Baseball mimics life.

To succeed you have to condition yourself to:

  • Fail.
  • Adapt.
  • Move On.

FAILURE

Think about hitting.

You can FAIL at the plate 7 out of 10 times.

That’s a 70% FAILURE rate.

If you can manage to FAIL at 70% for an entire decade, you will go in the HALL OF FAME when you retire.

Wow.

That’s a lot of FAILURE. 

It’s easy to lose your composure.

It’s even easier to dwell on that bad play you just made.

A good baseball player has a SHORT MEMORY. 

They never let the last play ruin the next one.

ADAPT

Baseball is a game of CONSTANT ADJUSTMENTS. 

The game forces you to pay attention.

  • Where did they hit the ball last time?
  • What does this pitcher like to throw with two strikes?
  • What do I need to adjust?

ADAPT or lose to someone who does.

MOVE ON

In baseball, it’s all about the next play.

Not everything will go our way.

That’s a good thing.

Failure can be the spark that forces you to GROW and become better.

The best players learn from their mistakes, then MOVE ON to the next play.

Baseball is the ultimate HEAD GAME.

It’s all about MINDSET.

Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

Did you just make a mistake?

Did your ERROR allow the other team to take the lead?

Good.

Make some adjustments.

Jump back into the batter’s box.

Time for a two out rally…

#BatterUp

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Simplify

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

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There are 3 certainties in life:

  1. Death.
  2. Taxes.
  3. And people COMPLICATE their lives as much as possible.

My version of COMPLICATED looks like this:

  • OVER SCHEDULED weekends.
  • Saying “Yes” when I should Say “No”.
  • Getting DISTRACTED 

It’s so easy to COMPLICATE our lives.

The more we complicate, the harder it is to succeed.

Tony Robbins said, “Complexity is a mortal enemy of success.”

HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL life is based on SIMPLICITY.  

SIMPLIFYING is about:

  • Knowing your PRIORITIES.
  • ELIMINATING the unnecessary.
  • Having the COURAGE to make changes.

HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE:

KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES

A SIMPLIFIED life starts by knowing your PRIORITIES.

SIMPLICITY is about spending our limited time on the people and things we VALUE most.

It’s knowing what is important and eliminating the DISTRACTIONS that get in the way.

ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY

A SIMPLIFIED life is about ELIMINATING the unnecessary from our lives.

Clutter crushes SIMPLICITY. 

It must be eliminated.

The other day I DELETED all of my texts.

It felt LIBERATING. 

It makes my iphone feel 10 pounds lighter.

What do you need to ELIMINATE? 

This will make more room for what matters most to you.

SIMPLICITY REQUIRES COURAGE

It’s having the COURAGE to say “No” to an offer that steals your time.

“No” is LIBERATING.

“No” makes SIMPLE possible.

When you say “No” you eliminate distractions and have the time to focus on your priorities.

It’s not easy to tell Aunt Irma that you won’t be at her holiday dinner.

But sometimes it’s necessary.

SIMPLICITY IS POWERFUL

James Altucher wrote, “To live a SIMPLE life is to live a GOOD life.”

What do you need to SIMPLIFY in your life?

It’s a SIMPLE question that can lead to a REMARKABLE place.

#SIMPLIFY

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

 

Halftime

“Do your job.  Finish.” – Bill Belichick, Halftime at Super Bowl 51

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The 4th of July…

With the amazing weather and trips to the beach comes a wake-up call.

July 1st is the halfway point of the year.

It’s HALFTIME of 2017.

A good time to pause and reflect.

How’s 2017 going?

Did you make any big RESOLUTIONS?

What type of PROGRESS have you made?

Are you still excited about the NEW YEAR?

Or has frustration set in?

Our best intentions can easily get pushed aside by our daily grind.

Life happens.

Regardless, we’re still in a great spot.

It’s only HALFTIME.

There’s still time to accomplish great things in 2017.

Andy Andrews wrote, “There is nothing less important than the score at halftime.”

Just ask the Atlanta Falcons…

Bill Belichick may not show up in our kitchen to give a motivational speech.

Lady Gaga probably won’t set up a stage in our back yard.

But this week is a great OPPORTUNITY to put on our own HALFTIME show.

3 Ways to Rock Out HALFTIME:

ASSESS

Each year I choose 3 words to guide my decision making in the year ahead.

As I look back on what I wrote, I see progress and missed chances.

Take a moment.

Look back at the GOALS you made going into 2017.

Where are you?

What’s working?  What needs to change?

Define what part of that process you can control.

That’s where your energy needs to go the rest of the year.

ADJUST

The greatest NFL coaches are known for their halftime adjustments.   

They observe the strengths & weaknesses of their opponent during the 1st half.

Then they make ADJUSTMENTS.

General Ike Eisenhower said, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”

Unexpected things happen.

AVERAGE people fold to circumstances.

REMARKABLE people learn how to adapt.

Be remarkable.

FINISH

The second half is CRUNCH TIME.

The second half is where LEGENDS are made.

Focus on actions that move the needle.

One of my mentors once asked me, “What makes you uncomfortable when you think about it? That’s what you should be working on.”

Decide what’s your #1 PRIORITY for the rest of the year.

Commit to taking DAILY ACTION on that goal.

Move the ball forward a little each day.

The concept of HALFTIME is bigger than 2017.

It’s always HALFTIME in some aspect of our life.

We are always entering the midpoint of some important phase:

  • Our kids living at home.
  • Our career.
  • Our marriage.

It doesn’t matter the phase or the current score:

  • Pause.
  • Make adjustments.
  • Execute.

Come out of HALFTIME swinging.

Do your job.  Finish.

When you do, the best part is yet to come…

#HalfTime

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

The Secret Ingredient

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view – until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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My grand mom was a KILLER cook.

Her chicken cutlets were incredible.

The cutlets were so good, they caused arguments before Sunday dinners.

A constant stream of cousins would walk by and grab the cutlets as they came off the frying pan.

Everyone would downplay how many they swiped.

There would be none left to put on the table.

This cutlet heist played out over decades.

The early bird gets the cutlet…

One day I asked my my grand mom to teach me how to make them.

My version was average at best.

The cutlets all made it to the table.

Something was missing.

Years later I learned I forgot her “secret ingredient” that tied everything together.

The art of COOKING & SALES share the same principles.

Leaving out 1 ingredient can separate AVERAGE from REMARKABLE.

In SALES, that secret ingredient is EMPATHY.

Empathy is defined as the ability to step into someone else’s shoes & experience emotions from their perspective.

In his new book, Sales EQ, Jeb Blount writes, “Empathy is the most important of all the Sales Emotional Intelligence traits.”

The BIGGEST communication problem in SALES is we tend to listen to reply, not understand.

This habit can crush opportunities and destroy relationships.

Your EMPATHY must precede your advice.

If your customer doesn’t feel you UNDERSTAND them, you have zero chance of INFLUENCING them.

People like to think they’re special.  This mindset carries over to their perceived problems.

It doesn’t matter how simple the customer’s problem is to fix.

It doesn’t matter how amazing your solution is.

Your solutions (and sales) will go unheard if your customers don’t feel you understand them.

3 Ways To Bring More Empathy to Your Sales Game:

Never Interrupt or Correct

  • Give your customer your full attention.
  • Listen.  Then listen some more.
  • Let them say everything they need to say.

ReState Their Position Back to Them

  • After they finish speaking, say, “If I hear you correctly, you feel that…”
  • Then list each of their points back to them 1 by 1.
  • This will make your customer feel heard.
  • This will make them receptive to what you have to say.

Show How Your Can Help

  • Only after you do the above, offer your ideas.
  • Be Concise.
  • Be Relevant.

Empathy is a key ingredient for success in SALES and LIFE.

Empathy will increase your influence.

Empathy will help you close the sales that feed your family.

Will that food make it to the table?

Depends who’s cooking…

#LeadWithEmpathy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net