Just Quit It

“Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that shows up on snow days.

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

This week’s topic is QUITTING.

And how QUITTING can put you on the path to WINNING.

The Vibe: Just Quit It

In 1997, Steve Jobs took the reins at Apple for his second stint as CEO.

Apple was in bad shape. 

The company lost over $1 billion that year. 

On the verge of bankruptcy, many thought Apple was finished. 

Steve Jobs had a huge challenge in front of him. 

What was Jobs’ first move?       

He became one of the greatest QUITTERS in the history of business.   

Jobs cancelled 70% of Apple’s product line overnight.

Apple went from 17 products to only 4.  

Jobs FOCUSED Apple only on the few things it did best.

He QUIT everything else.

The result?

Apple went from a $1 billion loss to a $300 million profit in one year. 

Apple would go on to become the world’s most valued company.

And change life forever with the iPhone.

This Steve Jobs’ story destroys one of the greatest myths ever told…

“Winners Never Quit.” 

This quote looks great on Pinterest.

It’s found in grade school classrooms and gyms everywhere.

Just one little problem…

It’s total BS. 

In his book “The Dip”, Seth Godin writes, “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”

Sometimes our best move is to move on.

We need SELF-AWARENESS to realize what’s no longer working so we can move on to what will.

We all have HABITS and PROJECTS that no longer serve us.

They hold us back from being the best version of us.    

Maybe you check your phone every 2 minutes, all day long, even when you’re around family and friends.

Perhaps COVID got you spending way too much time on Netflix at night and it’s crushing your quality sleep.   

Or maybe that BIG project your business took on last year no longer makes sense.

We all have something we need to QUIT.

This is true if you are a legendary CEO, an Academy Award winning actor or a working parent just trying to get it right.

Reflect for a moment.  

How are you getting in your own way?  

What are you doing that no longer serves you?

Find the courage to JUST QUIT IT. 

In an interview before his death, Steve Jobs was asked what was his greatest accomplishment at Apple?

Job’s replied, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.”

It’s a new year.

Time for a fresh start.

We’re moving forward.

And only bringing the good stuff.

#JustQuitIt

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Take the Gold

“Within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday

New Year’s Eve 2020 was like that frat party in college where the kegs kicked and the police showed up at the same time.

Everyone wanted out.

And we dashed to the exits at midnight full speed.

Good riddance. 

2020 did an amazing job smashing most of our plans. 

But we survived.

Now it’s time to turn the page.

Before we drag 2020 out to the curb with our dead Christmas tree, we need to do one thing. 

TAKE THE GOLD with us.

There’s a saying from Ben Franklin, who was no stranger to challenging years, “The things which hurt, instruct.”

2020 was a fantastic teacher.

It did an incredible job of showing us our weaknesses. 

It tested our mental and physical health.

Punched our daily routines in the throat.

And tried it’s best to cross collar choke our businesses. 

It forced us to evolve or become irrelevant.

But OBSTACLES also have a positive side.    

They not only obstruct, they instruct.

Obstacles show us what we need to change

In The Obstacle Is the Way, Ryan Holiday writes that obstacles can teach us a better way.

“What impedes us can also empower us.”

When we are forced to find new ways of doing things, progress is not far behind.

Here are 3 GOLD NUGGETS I am bringing into the new year:

LESS COMMITMENTS

We stopped trying to be everywhere.

2020 crushed our superficial relationships.

Which is NOT a bad thing.

No driving an hour each way to that party you did not want to attend on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

There was less work travel because we found out that not all meetings need to be live. 

We got to hang out and spend quality time with our number one customer – our family.

We did less and learned to do it better. 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Fire pits on a Friday night with your friends.

Long hikes with your family on Christmas Day.

Outdoor bike rides in December.

These are no longer just for people in the OC. 

You may need to dress in 6 layers for the Philly winter, but 2020 showed us that the great outdoors is the gym that never closes and never charges a monthly fee.

BUY TIME BACK  

Time is our most precious asset.

No one ever has enough of it. 

2020 taught us that we can delegate out time drains like market trips and Costco runs.   

I never realized how much time was wasted going food shopping. 

Now the market gets dropped off at your doorstep with a few taps of your phone. 

If we save just an hour per week NOT going to the market, that’s over 2 full days you just bought back to do whatever you please in 2021.

Word.

Years like 2020 show us what we need to change.

They show us a better way. 

The new year is in front of us.

Time to turn the page.

Just TAKE THE GOLD with you.

#TakeTheGold

Wish you an amazing 2021!

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

The 2020 Book List

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

2020 was the kind of year that sent you to the wine store or the book store.  

Sometimes both on the same day.  

It was a year of milestones.

It was a year we had to think differently. 

Our homes became our offices.

Outside became the new gym.  

We all had to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.  

One of the silver linings of the pandemic was the opportunity to read and listen to some incredible books.

Each year I share the very best of what I came across.  

You can check out the best of lists I shared in 2019, 2018, 2017, & 2016.

BOOKS

These books made me think.

They changed my mind.  

Some got under my skin.

But that’s what great books do.

They help you see the world in a different way.

Can’t Hurt Me (By David Goggins): One of the most powerful stories of self-transformation you will ever read.  Goggins turns a childhood filled with racism, depression, poverty and abuse into a future with the US Special Forces. Goggins is the only person in history to complete the training of the Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Air Force Tactical Air Controllers.  Get the audio book.  It’s one part book, one part podcast where Goggins riffs the backstory of each chapter and drops more “F” bombs than the bar scene in Goodfellas.  

Eleven Rings (By Phil Jackson):  This book is a master class on leadership.  Phil Jackson has won more championships than any coach in the history of pro sports.  He is the winningest coach in NBA history.  Known as the “Zen Master”, Jackson reveals his unconventional leadership style that brought out the best in superstars (Jordan, Kobe), unpredictable personalities (Dennis Rodman) and the average role player.  Favorite Quote:  “Things never get solved, they just come together and then fall apart again, then the process starts over.” 

Shoe Dog (By Phil Knight):  If it is possible to earn an MBA from studying a single book, this would be it.  Phill Knight borrowed $50 from his dad in 1963 and turned it into the $30 billion monster called NIKE.  The stories Knight tells are amazing.  The struggles and obstacles Knight had to fight through were incredible. One of the best memoirs I ever read. 

Greenlights (By Matthew McConaughey):  This book caught me by surprise.  I had low expectations and was blown away.  McConaughey tells the funny and candid stories that led him from a blue-collar family in Texas to one of the most famous people in Hollywood.  The stories resonate with you long after you put the book down.  The audio book is killer.  Narrated by McConaughey, it gives you the feeling of being bellied up to a bar with the actor as he tells stories while you share a bottle of whiskey.

Lives of the Stoics (By Ryan Holiday):  Holiday examines the lives of the most influential philosophers of the ancient world. The book is made up of 26 mini biographies that synthesizes a modern day lesson of each philosopher’s life.  No one is better at making ancient wisdom relevant to the modern world than Holiday.  

The Practice (By Seth Godin):  This little book will challenge you to show up each day to do your best work and share it with the world.  Godin, who has the most read business blog in the world, has a way of getting under your skin and inspiring you at the same time.  

PODCAST

Tim Ferris Show: Brene Brown (#409 – Feb 04, 2020) Striving versus Acceptance, Saving Marriages, and More.  Every time Ferris talks to Brene Brown I learn something about relationships, how to better interact with people, and myself.  An amazing 90 minutes on how to make relationships work while being your authentic self.  

Thank you for reading my blog.

Wish you a remarkable 2021!  

#InspireSomeone

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Greenlights

“Eliminate who we are not first, then we will find ourselves where we need to be.” – Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that shovels the driveway after hitting the “publish” button.  

Each week we share ONE IDEA that helps you live a better life.

This week’s topic is FOCUS.

And why doing less gives us the GREENLIGHT to become more. 

The Vibe:  Greenlights

Do fewer things better.

Walk away from the unessential.  

Go all in on what matters most. 

Doing this will lead you to what Academy Award winner and now best-selling author Matthew McConaughey calls a GREENLIGHT.

In his memoir, GREENLIGHTS, McConaughey tells funny and candid stories that led him from a blue-collar family in Texas to one of the most famous people in Hollywood.  

Greenlights is a book that resonates with you after you put it down.  

The audio book is killer.  

McConaughey does the narration himself.  

Think south Texas meets Dennis Hopper.  

The audio book gives you the feeling that you are drinking beers with McConaughey at a bar in Austin as he tells stories.  

No surprise, McConaughey is a phenomenal storyteller.   

And his stories are surprisingly relatable.    

McConaughey says the biggest trap he falls into is OVERCOMMITTING.  

He takes on too many projects.

He puts too much on his schedule.  

This lack of FOCUS leads him to “Make B’s, not A’s”.  

McConaughey says that at one point he was running 5 different companies.  

Then one day his phone rang.

It was his own production company.

He unexpectantly found himself not wanting to pick up the phone and talk to his own employees.  

McConaughey had no idea why.

The people calling were his people.

They were calling about projects being run by his own company. 

Faster than you can say, “Alright, Alright, Alright.”  McConaughey had a revelation.  

He realized he lost FOCUS.

He was OVERCOMMITTED.

This caused him to produce average work. 

McConaughey says he was tired of making B’s in five things.  I wanna make A’s in three things.”  

McConaughey made a decision to FOCUS only on his top THREE PRIORITIES:  Making movies, his foundation, & his family.  

He gave himself the GREENLIGHT to walk away from everything else.  

On the spot, he picked up the phone, called his attorney and shut down his production company and music label. 

FOCUSING on less, helped him become more.

We may not be making movies.  

But each of us are writing the next chapter of our life.

That story is written by what we give our FOCUS and ENERGY to each day.

We are at the end of an ass kicking year.

Some of us will try to make RESOLUTIONS in an attempt to make our next chapter better.  

Stop.

REDLIGHT!

No need to add anything to your already full schedule.

The magic is in the SUBTRACTION.   

Pick ONE THING that no longer fits the story you are trying to write.  

Just let it go.

No need to be DAZED and CONFUSED.

FOCUS on the few things that mater most.

McConaughey writes, “Get rid of the excess in our life that keeps us from being more of ourselves.” 

This takes SELF-AWARENESS.

This takes COURAGE.

But it’s so worth it.  

Do it for your BUSINESS.

Do it for your FAMILY.

Do it for YOU.

Less B’s.

More A’s.

Giddy up…

#Greenlight

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Burn the Boats

“Without commitment, nothing happens.” – T.D. Jakes

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that is already standing in line for the vaccine.

Each week we share ONE IDEA that can help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is COMMITMENT.

And why sometimes we have to go ALL IN.

The Vibe:  Burn the Boats

In 1519, the explorer Herman Cortes sailed from Cuba to Mexico.

Cortes was looking to get himself and his native Spain rich by looting the “new world”.

But Cortes had one little problem.

His crew was nowhere near COMMITTED to this mission as he was.  

They were far from home. 

The conditions were bad. 

The natives were unfriendly. 

The crew couldn’t even get into any of the good nightclubs in downtown Veracruz. 

No sooner did they land in Mexico there was talk of a mutiny. 

Some of the crew spoke openly of stealing the boats and sailing back to Cuba without Cortes.

Trouble was brewing. 

Cortes faced an incredible test of his COMMITMENT to this mission.     

How could he accomplish the most important mission of his life under these circumstances?  

Did Cortes give a speech?

Did he round up the conspirators?

Or maybe take everyone to Cancun for a team building weekend? 

Nada.

Cortes did one of the most legendary actions in history.  

He BURNED THE BOATS.  

All gone.

Bye Bye.

Now there would be no way home but through. 

BURNING THE BOATS changed the game.  

It left Cortes and his crew no other option.

Succeed or die trying. 

Cortes showed everyone he was not just INTERESTED in this mission. 

He was dangerously COMMITTED.

We may not be 16th century Spanish explorers.

And most of us are at least a vaccine away before we start EXPLORING foreign lands again.  

But each of us has a MISSION in our lives that needs our full COMMITMENT.

Maybe you are trying to save your business. 

Or you need to repair a broken relationship.

It could be that you are facing a health problem that has no easy answer.  

Whatever challenging MISSION you are up against, it’s going to take everything you got.  

We won’t succeed if we are just interested.

We have to prove that we are full on COMMITTED.

Our commitments test us to see what we are really made of.      

Our commitments show the world who we really are.

What’s the ONE THING you need to dangerously commit to? 

Seth Godin asks“What would you still try even if you knew you would fail?” 

That’s your MISSION.

Time to go ALL IN.

An amazing journey will follow.

#BurnTheBoats

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog