Leaving 2017 Inspired

“Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it.” – Anonymous

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Below are the PEOPLE, BOOKS, & PLACES that inspired me in 2017:

People

Ryan Holiday is my favorite author.  Holiday’s writing draws modern day wisdom from ancient philosophy.  His latest book, Perennial Seller shows how to create perennial success by basing your work on timeless principles.  His other book,  The Daily Stoic , is the book I give to others the most.

Seth Godin has the greatest blog on the planet.  He has published a daily blog post for over a decade without fail. His blog is the first thing I read each morning.  Godin challenges people to stop hiding and leap. He is known for asking, “Would they miss you if you were gone?”  The answer is up to you.

Jocko Willink spent 20+ years leading & training Navy SEALS.  His Jocko Podcast is a weekly wave of leadership & life lessons.  Jocko tells stories from military history, modern day business, & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Willink inspires you to rise up when others fade away.

Tom Petty is the person from 2017 who I never met, but will miss.  Petty, who died this year at 66, has been part of the soundtrack of my life since high school.  His concerts were the best.  Petty’s, I Won’t Back Down”  inspired me through tough times. RIP Tom.  Your music made many “Feel A Whole Lot better.”

Books

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done was my favorite book of 2017.  Jon Acuff breaks down why starting is not the problem; finishing is.  Acuff writes about simple tactics to overcoming obstacles that keep us from finishing.  One of my favorite quotes from the book, “Starting is fun, but the future belongs to finishers.”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was my surprise book of 2017.  I had no expectations, but found myself completely engaged and not wanting it to end.  This book informs and entertains.  The first chapter drops more “F” Bombs than the bar scene in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas The F*cking premise of the book is that our time & energy are limited.  They are the greatest resources we have. We need to figure out who & what are most deserving of them and “not give a F*ck about everything else.”

Tools of Titans by Tim Feriss is a true gift.  Imagine having access to billionaires and world class performers like Brene Brown, Peter Theil, General Stanley McChrystal and Malcolm Gladwell.  Then imagine having them share their best habits, routines, and tactics.  Thanks to Feriss, we now do.  You can open this book to any page and get inspired.

Principles by Ray Dalio.  Ray Dalio is a self-made billionaire and a legend in the financial world.  Bill Gates and Tony Robbins go to Dalio for advice and council.  This book is filled with ideas and principles that lead to success in business and life.

Places

Our family’s most “Magical” week of 2017 happened in Disney World.  We took our first family trip to the Magic Kingdom.  Mickey did not disappoint.  I was skeptical going in.  Impressed on the way out.

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Happy holidays.

Wish you a REMARKABLE 2018!

– Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Be Happy

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama

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What’s THE SECRET to happiness?

I had no idea.

That was until an amazing little gift changed my perspective.

Now I pay attention to what makes me happy on a DAILY BASIS.

My wife, who I’m not permitted to mention by name (but will say she is an amazing blog editor) bought me one of my favorite presents for our last anniversary.

It’s called the The Happiness Project: One Sentence Journal.

The journal is based on a great book by Gretchen Rubin. 

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It asks you to WRITE ONE SENTENCE on what made you happy that day.

  • That’s 7 happy thoughts each week.
  • 30 happy moments each month.
  • 365 happy memories each year.

You will have 1,826 moments written down that made you HAPPY at the the end of this 5 YEAR PROJECT,

To quote a line from the Lord of the Flies, “The greatest ideas are the simplest.”

I’ve brought this journal to every SALES MEETING and family vacation for 2 years.

My HAPPINESS PROJECT has traveled with me to California, New York City, and many stops in between.

The journal has visited more Jersey beach towns than Snookie.

One of my favorite things is looking back to what made me happy exactly 1 year to the day.

Studying your past is a great way to CREATE YOUR FUTURE.

So, what has this project taught me about HAPPINESS?

WRITING HAS POWER

Writing one sentence daily can keep GREAT MEMORIES alive.

It’s pretty awesome to have all your best memories captured in one place.

Like the old saying goes, “A sentence is worth a 1,000 words.”

Happiness starts with GRATITUDE.

Gratitude crushes rough days.

It’s hard to go to bed in a bad mood when you write down HAPPY MOMENTS that you were lucky enough to be part of.

PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION

Happiness is about MAKING PROGRESS, not everything being perfect.

We have to focus on our gains, not on the things that went wrong that day.

From helping a new customer treat their 1st patient to learning a new technique on the jiu jitsu mat – HAPPINESS is all about progress.

TAKE CHARGE

We’re in charge of our own happiness.

If you don’t like something, CHANGE IT.

If you can’t change it, change THE WAY YOU THINK about it.

Don’t wait for someone else to make you happy.

That almost never happens, except in John Hughes movies.

Helen Keller wrote, “Happiness is not out there, it is in us.”

Happiness is the ultimate INSIDE JOB.  

It’s hidden in plain sight.

Our job is to notice it.

And maybe even WRITE IT DOWN.

#BeHappy

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

The Resistance

“There is nothing more fatiguing than the projects we never get to.” – William James

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One of my weekly goals is to write a blog post.

Write it.

Ship it out.

Move on.

But it’s never that easy.

Each week is a battle.

Something as simple as writing takes all of my willpower.

My brain hits me with a 1,000 reasons why I should be doing something else.

Author Steven Pressfield calls this force “The Resistance”.

Pressfield writes, “The Resistance is the universal force that acts against human creativity. The Resistance’s sole mission is to sabotage aspirations.”

The resistance is POWERFUL.

The resistance will tell you anything to keep you from making progress:

  • No one’s going to read it.
  • It’s too early.
  • You should clean up your email.
  • When’s the last time you called your college roommate?
  • Did you just get a text!

It’s so easy to put things off until tomorrow.

The problem is that tomorrow never comes.

The ability to take action separates the AMATEURS from the PROFESSIONALS.

A professional doesn’t negotiate with their mind.

Professionals create routines, not decisions.

An amateur has a million plans and they all start tomorrow.

Professionals slay the Resistance.

3 Ways to Slay The Resistance:

Use the 5 Second Rule:

  • When you get an impulse to act on a goal, physically act within 5 seconds.
  • Countdown from 5 and take action when you say 0.
  • If you don’t act, your brain will soon kill the idea.
  • This technique has helped me to get up earlier and write consistently.
  • Here’s a link to a fantastic TedX talk on the 5 Second Rule.

Practice the Daily Dose:

  • Create 20 minute blocks in your schedule.
  • Shut off your phone.
  • Do your important work.
  • Rinse & Repeat.

  Think 5 Years Out

  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • What work do you need to do to make this a reality?
  • Take 1 step in that direction right now.

Humans have been battling the “The Resistance” since time began.

2,000 years ago the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote, “Today – this day – will achieve what no tomorrow will fail to speak about.  I will lay siege to the gods and shake up the world.”

Your best work is trying to get out.

Do The Work and share it with the world.

What have you been putting off?

It’s time to punch the resistance in the mouth.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

#TakeAction

-Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

2 Ears & 1 Mouth

“A wise old owl sat on an oak.  The more he knew the less he spoke.  The less he spoke the more he heard.  Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Ernest Hemingway

 

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Early in my sales career I worked for a VP that would personally lead our training sessions.

Her philosophy for a “successful” sales call was for the team to spew out the amazing facts about our product.

We were NOT encouraged to ask questions.

She thought asking questions gave up control of the conversation.

She believed we had a much better chance of connecting and influencing by making strong statements and doing all the talking.

Yikes…

Would you be shocked to learn that despite having some of the most talented, energetic people I ever worked with, this team never hit their quota?

Shocking.

No question, this was a bad idea.

This week we continue with our series on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Habit #5:  Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood.

What’s one of the worst characteristics of sales people?

For me, it’s listening to respond rather than listening to understand.

The fastest way to connect with another human is by LISTENING.

Listening will separate you from the masses.

3 Killer Phrases to Understand, Before Being Understood:

  • “So what you’re saying is…”
  • “From your perspective, you feel that…”
  • “So what I am hearing is that you think…”

2,000 years ago the stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

It takes courage to stand up and speak.

It takes even more to keep quiet and listen.

Listen.

Understand.

Connect.

-Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Net