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

 

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

 

 

 

Be Bold

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“Freedom lies in being bold.” –

Robert Frost

2,500 years ago, the Greek philosopher Democritus wrote, “Boldness is the beginning of action. But fortune controls how it ends.”

At first glance, this sounds like a copout.

Be bold…

But know that the final outcome is out of our control.

Do we control our own destiny?

Or does fortune?

Yes, to both.

We have the power to take BOLD ACTION.

But we don’t control the ending.

We can throw a perfect pass, but the WR can drop it.

We can have our best year ever, but be beat by someone who had a better one.

You can execute an amazing sales call, but can’t force the customer to take action.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “We control the beginning of things, but not the reciprocation. We can make the pitch…but fortune controls whether its accepted.”

So, no need to be a control freak.

Just take the NEXT STEP.

Make it BOLD.

Handle your end of the bargain.

The rest takes care of itself.

#BeBold

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

The Next Step

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“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” – William Drayton

Anxiety mocks us.

Vivid images of our future demise play out inside our heads.

We play tense.

This tension keeps us from doing our best work.

Anxiety reloads.

How do you stop this cycle?

Take the NEXT STEP.

You don’t need to leap the entire staircase.

You just need the courage to take the NEXT STEP.

The NEXT STEP starts the process.

The NEXT STEP lays the foundation.

The NEXT STEP changes the momentum.

Anxiety is an IMAGINE DRAGON.

It’s a beast, only in our minds.

How do you slay a fake DRAGON?

One STEP at a time.

Your move.

Step, step, step…

#TheNextStep

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Finish

“Much of the stress people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.” – David Allen

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The most tiring work are the projects we never complete.

Pick one thing, no matter how small, and close it out.

Make something happen today.

Watch the momentum carry over to other parts of your life.

Author Jon Acuff writes, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.”

Finishing is a mindset.

For me?

I just hit the “publish” button for the first time in over a month.

#Finish

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Get Back Up

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” – Bruce Lee

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Jim Kelly knows something about the power perseverance.

Kelly, a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, played 11 seasons in the NFL.

He led the Buffalo Bills to a record 4 straight Super Bowl appearances.

The Bills lost all of them.

Kelly’s son Hunter died in 2005 from a rare disease.

In 2013, Kelly was diagnosed with jaw cancer.

After beating back cancer, Kelly was diagnosed with MRSA.

In early 2018 Kelly underwent surgery after his cancer reappeared.

In the Summer of 2018, Jim Kelly won the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY’s.

Standing next to John Elway and Dan Marino, two of his former rivals, Kelly gave one of the all time great acceptance speeches.

His message?

“Never give up…Keep fighting…Get up.  You’ll be alright.”

Let’s think about that the next time we think we’re having a rough day.

#GetBackUp

-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

 

 

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

 

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)

Edit, Edit, Edit

“Pare down to the essence.” ― Leonard Koren

move1.jpgWe’re moving.

After years of casually (and at times not so casually) looking to move, we finally found a house.

We made an offer.

Offer accepted.

We were even fortunate enough to sell our current house in under a week.

Buying a house before selling your existing home is a high wire act.

At times, it felt like we were trying to pull off our own version of the PHILLY SPECIAL.

Somehow, it worked out.

But that’s a story (and a blog post) for another day.

Now the fun beings…

Packing.

Ugggggh.

There’s a quote I read this week, “Moving was a great idea until I started packing.”  

It’s a 30-day sprint to BOX UP, CLOSE OUT, and LEAVE the place our family called home for more than a decade.

The packing / moving process is eye opening.

It makes you realize how much unnecessary stuff we have in our lives.

CLUTTER accumulates everywhere:

  • Our Homes.
  • Our Schedules.
  • Our Minds.

MOVING has taught me a BIG lesson.

EDIT, EDIT, EDIT

I am now in EDIT MODE in all areas of my life.

What I’m EDITING:

Personal Possessions

I am no longer holding on to things for Future Me.

If I don’t wear it or use it, it’s donated or thrown away.

No more things saved for “someday”.

If I don’t LOVE IT,  it’s gone.

Future Me can either buy a new one or figure out how to live without when the time comes.

EDITING is liberating.

The MENTAL benefits may be greater than the physical ones.

Our home actually feels lighter.

Less physical items lead to less mental clutter.

Schedule

Moving is a great reason to EDIT what goes on your calendar.

Time is ticking.

There’s a ton to get done.

One of my favorite quotes is by Jim Collins, “If you have more than 3 priorities, you don’t have any.”

What are your 3 priorities right now?

If the event you just committed to is not related to those priorities, why is it on your schedule?

Ryan Holiday wrote, “What’s your main thing?  Ok… So why are you doing all of these other things?” 

I’ve found SAYING NO takes courage, but is LIBERATING.

This frees up an incredible amount of time to INVEST in WHO and WHAT matter most.

PEOPLE

It’s never a bad time to EDIT the negative people out of your life.

  • Who are the people that bring too much drama?
  • Who drains you energy?

It may be a good time to start EDITING them out.

MOVE ON UP

We all heard that “Less is more.”

It’s not just a quote.

It’s a philosophy that helps us live a REMARKABLE life.

Think of all that stuff you have jammed into BOXES and BINS.

Look at those commitments on your SCHEDULE. 

Is all that really making your life better?

Or is it just weighing you down?

It may be time to start Movin On Up…

#EditEditEdit

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net