Talking About Practice

“If you don’t practice you don’t deserve to win.” – Andre Agassi 

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In 2002 NBA MVP & Future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson held one of the most famous press conferences in sport’s history.

Iverson was 3 days removed from his team being eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

Emotions were raw.

There were rumors he was on the outs with his head coach.

People around the team whispered he was giving less than 100% at PRACTICE. 

A.I. took his frustrations out with a rant about PRACTICE. 

The word PRACTICE was said over 20 times in a 5 minute period.

A.I. downplayed its importance.

He told the media as long he gave everything he had during the game, PRACTICE did not matter.

The press conference was immortalized with his famous quote:

“We’re talking about practice.”

With all due respect to THE ANSWER…

LET’S TALK ABOUT PRACTICE.

PRACTICE is a force multiplier.

It’s a DIFFERENTIATOR.

PRACTICE makes POTENTIAL reality.

It creates MOMENTUM.

From playing in the NBA to the world of SALES – PRACTICE matters.

PRACTICE can reveal a person’s true CHARACTER.

Many people claim to be “hard workers”.

PRACTICE proves it.

PRACTICE creates champions.

Muhammad Ali said, “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses…in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Want to see how much CONFIDENCE a salesperson has?

Just tell them you will video their PRACTICE session and play it back for their peers to critique.

I have seen experienced SALESPEOPLE crumble at the thought.

WHAT WE NEED TO PRACTICE:

SKILL BUILDING

This is the PHYSICAL side of PRACTICE. 

This is Old School practice.

This is the SALESPERSON writing down and rehearsing thought provoking questions before their BIG meeting.

This is the BJJ student drilling a new move dozens of times to ELEVATE their game.

This is the NBA star shooting hundreds of foul shots after practice to fix a problem.

You find something you need to get better at, then – REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT

PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE

This is the MENTAL side of PRACTICE.

This involves losing your EGO.

This is having the guts to try something new.

It brings about the possibility of you looking foolish doing so.

This is putting yourself out in the arena, again and again, to either succeed or fail.

This type of PRACTICE is far more rare.

It’s gettin knocked down, making adjustments, and having the guts to try again.

This is knowing you have to EVOLVE and having the COURAGE to do so.

This type of PRACTICE gives no guarantee.

Seth Godin writes, “This is doing things that might not work.”

PRACTICE IS A MINDSET

In Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET, she proves the greats in every field are MADE, not BORN.

How?

PRACTICE.

The world is filled with talented people who never ESCAPE AVERAGE.  

But not you.

You’re better than that.

Here’s THE ANSWER…

#TimeToPractice

-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

 

Just Start

“An object at rest stays at rest. An object in motion remains in motion.” – Newton’s 1st Law of Physics

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The worst part was not being able to TRAIN Jiu Jitsu for a full year.

Watching the students roll on the mat while I sat in a FULL KNEE BRACE was rough.

But the toughest part was yet to come.

I got the green light from my surgeon and PT to step on the mat again.

Then the MIND GAMES started:

  • Was my knee really fully healed?
  • What if I get hurt again?
  • These new guys are really BIG!

FEAR, DOUBT, & INSECURITY all showed up at the same time.

Good times.

These same emotions can also wreak havoc in our work.

They can hold us back when:

  • We don’t visit that ANGRY CUSTOMER because we think we have no value to offer.
  • We’re afraid to ASK FOR THE SALE after we served a customer well.
  • We don’t CHANGE CAREERS because we think we will fail.

We can’t make our emotions go away.

But we can make the room UNCOMFORTABLE when they show up.

Nothing crushes negative thoughts like ACTION.

When negative thoughts cause inaction, we have to learn to JUST START:

MAKE THE FIRST MOVE

The FIRST MOVE is the hardest.

It breaks our ENERTIA. 

When I stepped on the mat for the 1st time, it was a HUGE mental victory.

Confidence, that was barely present the day before, started to build.

Doing creates options.

Gary Vee likes to say, “It’s time to stop talking and START doing.”

It seems the universe rewards those who have the COURAGE to JUST START.  

FOCUS ON THE NEXT STEP

Thinking of the entire process is daunting.

I was only focused on who was next to me on the mat, not every challenge that lie ahead.

Many people PROCRASTINATE because they think they need to know all the steps.

Not true.

We just need to know the NEXT STEP.

We can ADJUST as we go.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

PERFECT is a lie.

Progress is our goal.

Forget PERFECTION.

Focus on shrinking the gap between where you are where you want to go.

CREATE DEADLINES

We need deadlines.

I have a deadline for my weekly blog.

7am each Monday I hit the “Publish” button on my blog.

Ready or Not.

It forces me to send my work out into the world.

1 published BLOG post is worth 5 that I am working on.

JUST DO IT

Nothing CRUSHES FEAR like doing what scares you.

From hitting the “Publish” button, to stepping on the Jiu Jitsu mat, nothing tells fear who’s in charge more than taking ACTION.

What project do you want to BEGIN?

What OBSTACLE do you want to take on?

START something BIG.

It may lead you to someplace great…

#JustStart 

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

12 Books That Will Jump Start Your Morning

These 12 books have influenced my attitude, career, & life.

In no particular order:

“The Compound Effect” – Darren Hardy

“The Art of Possibility” – Rosa Stone Zander

“Start: Punch Fear in the Face” – Jon Acuff

“The Power of Positive Thinking” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude” – Jeffrey Gitomer

“Think & Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill

“Break Out!” – Joel Osteen

“How to Stop Worrying & Start Living” – Dale Carnegie

“Ego is the Enemy” – Ryan Holiday

“Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive” – Harvey Mackay

“What To Do When It’s Your Turn…And It’s Always Your Turn” – Seth Godin

“Power Questions” – Andrew Sobel

What books would you recommend?

-Joe