A Long Strange Trip

A Long Strange Trip

“What a long strange trip it’s been.” – Jerry Garcia

Welcome to The Vibe!

The blog that refuses to get a haircut until this whole quarantine thing is over.

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

This week’s topic is A LONG STRANGE TRIP.

The Vibe:  A Long Strange Trip

Last week I was standing in the produce aisle.

I looked up and saw a man quickly walk into the market. 

He was wearing a camouflage jacket, camouflage baseball hat, gloves and a black bandana pulled up over his face.

My first thought was “active shooter”.

I was ready to dive behind the avocado table.

But then the man grabs a shopping basket.

He starts examining the blueberries.

All good.

No threat.

Just a guy buying blueberries while rocking out his version of pandemic gear.    

The past 70+ days have been A LONG STRANGE TRIP.

Restaurants shutting down. 

No graduations parties.

No baseball. 

No jiu jitsu class.

Drive-by birthdays.

And the final insult…

Washing off your groceries (I hate you Covid-19). 

Not fun.

To say this summer may be different is like saying the next Pope may be Catholic.

A friend asked me a question that really made me think.

“Do you want your post-lockdown life to look more like it did before or now?” 

At first, I thought my friend may have had a high fever.    

But when I thought about it, it was a real POWER QUESTION

The past few months were rough.

An invisible virus shut down the entire planet. 

Everyone’s life changed overnight. 

But a crazy experience like this can be an amazing teacher.

What do we need more of in our lives? 

What do we need less of? 

Ben Franklin, no stranger to uncertainty, wrote, “Those things that hurt, instruct.”  

Look back over the past 2 months.

What are you going to bring with you?  

We need to take more out of this experience than just The Ozarks and White Claw.

3 Things I Learned from A LONG STRANGE TRIP: 

Prepare the Night Before

I started the quarantine wasting a ton of time.

The lockdown blew up everyone’s routines.

I was unfocused.

Everyone was home. 

Distractions were everywhere.  

A few days in I stole an idea from Jocko Willink.

Jocko calls it PRE-STAGING.

I started preparing for the next day the night before. 

It sounds simple (it is) but it’s also amazingly effective. 

Each night I charged my MacBook Air, placed it on my desk and opened it to the project I was working on.

The book I planned to read was put on the table with my journal and highlighter next to it.

I scheduled the next day’s workout in my calendar.  

My son and I confirmed a time for our BJJ session.

PRE-STAGING sets the tone for the next day.

It also makes the next morning way more FOCUSED and PRODUCTIVE.

Long Walks Are Magic 

There’s a great quote by Nietzsche that’s says, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

We never walked so much as family.  

Some were walks during sunset on way too chilly March nights.

Others were long, meandering walks through neighborhoods I never knew existed. 

Walking may be the closest thing to a magic pill.

It makes you feel better.

Walking makes you think better. 

The more we walk as a family, the more meaningful our conversations become.  

You get to hear what’s on everyone’s mind. 

You get to bounce ideas off each other. 

Long walks are here to stay. 

Work(out) from Home

It took a global pandemic to teach me that you don’t need to drive 20 minutes to the gym or yoga studio to get an awesome work out.

There are so many ass kicking workouts you can stream and rock out right at home. 

Saves time.

No traffic.

No parking problems.  

And you’re on no one’s schedule but your own.    

Namaste Covid-19 for shining the light on home workouts. 

Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts…But that’s okay. The journey changes you. You take something with you.” 

A long journey can make you see the world differently.

We return home a different person. 

We just have to be open to the lesson. 

Keep traveling…

#ALongStrangeTrip

Joe Ciccarone

www.SalesVibe.Blog

Think Like a Roman Emperor

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“The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t binge on Netflix.

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

This week’s topic is how to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR.

And how ANCIENT WISDOM can help us live a modern life.

Did someone say TOGA???

The Vibe:  Think Like a Roman Emperor  

The disease was rumored to have started in Asia.

It spread to every part of the world.

The virus wreaked havoc.

Travel was shut down.

Sporting events and parties were put on hold.

The economy tanked.

Everyday life was turned upside down.

By now you know what this is about…

The Antonine Plague of 165 AD.

A virus invaded the Roman Empire almost 2,000 years ago.

It caused one of the worst crisises in the empire’s 900 year history.

Ryan Holiday wrote, “This plague made Rome look more like a battlefield than a world power.”

Sound familiar?

The Romans looked to one person to guide them through this crisis – their Emperor -Marcus Aurelius

Marcus is considered one of the greatest emperors in Rome’s history.

To deal with all the wars, plagues and problems of running an empire, Marcus wrote notes to himself.

These notes were reminders of how to live with high CHARACTER and VIRTUE.

By luck, his personal diary still exists.

The diary, which was never meant for anyone but Marcus, is now considered one of the greatest books ever written.

It’s called MEDITATIONS.

Author Tyler Cowen calls MEDITATIONS “a quake book,” because it shakes your view of the world upside down.

US Presidents, Prime Ministers, and Generals have relied on MEDITATIONS to help them through tough times.

Could an ANCIENT DIARY help us navigate through our current CRISIS?

You bet your chariott  it can.

Here are 3.5 ways to THINK LIKE A ROMAN EMPEROR:

1) Shut off the News

Marcus wrote, “Stop allowing your mind to be a slave, to be jerked about.” 

It’s time to give ourself a break from the noise.

We all know what to do:  6 feet away, self-distance, and wash our hands until our skin almost falls off.

Anything else is speculation and gossip.

No need to fill our minds with unactionable information.

Shut it off.

Free your mind.

2) Less Is More

Marcus wrote, “Let your deeds be few.  Limit yourself to what is essential.” 

Plagues have an amazing ability to FOCUS us on what’s important.

It’s time to cut out the MENTAL and PHYSICAL clutter in our lives.

Time to simplify our homes and lifestyles.

And carry that simplicity with us when things open up again.

Simplicity is liberating.

3) Help Others

Marcus wrote, “Avoid all actions that are purposeless.  Let every action aim solely at the common good.” 

NHL great Wayne Gretzky liked to say that it was not how great we are, its how great we can make others.

Times like this are an amazing opportunity to help someone.

Maybe drop some supplies off to a neighbor or make a donation to a great cause.

3.5) Keep Calm & Roll On

Marcus wrote, “Bear in mind that all of this has happened before, and all will happen again.  The same plot from beginning to end.”

Plagues and natural disasters are nothing new.

Lucky for us we get to take on this plague with wifi, Whole Foods delivery, and on demand Yoga classes.

Life is going to test us.

It will throw OBSTACLES at us until the day we die.

Just KEEP CALM and  ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES.

Ryan Holiday said,“We might not be emperors, but the world is constantly testing us. Can you get past the things that fall in our way. Will you stand up and show us what you’re made of?”

Adversity reveals character.

Let’s show how much we have.

Stay well.

#ThinkLikeARomanEmperor

Cura ut valeas…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

Groundhog Day

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“What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same?” – Bill Murray (Groundhog Day)

Welcome to The Vibe!

The most sanitized blog you will touch all day.

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

This week’s topic is GROUNDHOG DAY.

And how we can turn a crisis into an OPPORTUNITY. 

Good vibes only…

The Vibe: Groundhog Day

What day is it?

This week I had to ask.

It was Saturday.

True story.

Week #3 in progress.

These are surreal times.

Seth Godin wrote, “In the course of just a few weeks the life of every single person on Earth has changed.”

Wow.

Some of our jobs are on the line.

All of us are trying to figure this thing out as we go.

It’s like we’re all Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.  

Have you seen the movie?

Just awesome.

Bill Murray plays Phil Connors.

Phil is a weatherman.

He wakes up on Groundhog Day in Punxsutwaney, PA.

Phil has just three problems.

He hates Punxsutwaney.

He hates groundhogs.

And no matter what he does, he can’t make it out of February 3rd.

Every time Phil wakes up, the same day keeps repeating itself.

Sound familiar?

There are some lessons we can learn from Bill Murray as we go through our own version of GROUNDHOG DAY over the coming weeks.

Adapt

After realizing he was repeating the same day over and over, Bill Murray’s character started to adapt.

He decided to use the CRISIS he was in to his advantage.

There was a girl he wanted to impress.

There was a piano he wanted to play.

There was that annoying insurance guy that needed to be punched.

Phil decided to stop fighting the fact that he was stuck in GROUNDHOG DAY. 

He started FOCUSING on what he could control.

He learned 17th century French poetry to impress the girl.

He taught himself how to be an ice sculpter.

He even tried to teach the groundhog to drive.

Great success on the first two ideas.

Not so much on the third.

Never Waste a Crisis

Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  

Hidden in between all of our conference calls, home schooling sessions, and hand washing we have an opportunity.

This CRISIS gives us the chance to hit the RESET BUTTON.   

It gives us the time and space to figure out what’s really important to us.

Author Mark Manson wrote, “… if you’ve ever wished you had time or opportunity to pursue some endeavor—a better body, start yoga, declutter your home, learn another language – this is the time to do it.”

The Chinese symbol for CRISIS is the same symbol used for OPPORTUNITY. 

We have an OPPORTUNITY.  

We can emerge from this CRISIS as better versions of ourselves.

The fact that we are stuck at home is out of our control.

But how we spend our time?

That’s 100% on us.

The writer Haruki Muarakami wrote, “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.”

Our job is to make sure the version of us that walks out of this mess is better than the one that entered.

How?

Maybe it’s keeping that family dinner going.

Maybe it’s time to get serious about our health.

Maybe it’s a chance to get rid of that HABIT that no longer serves us.

A crisis can be an amazing teacher.

We just have to be open to the lesson.

#Groundhog Day

Stay healthy,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Roll With The Punches

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“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa

Welcome to The Vibe!

The weekly blog that shows up in your inbox while respecting your social distance.

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

This week’s topic is the power of ROUTINES.

If you think this post is VIRAL in a good way, please forward to a friend.

Just Purell your keyboard afterwards.

Let’s scrub in…

The Vibe: Roll with the Punches

There is a haunting Chinese blessing that doubles as a curse.

“May you live in interesting times.”  

A fitting phrase for the present moment.

Schools closed, communities self-isolating and our daily ROUTINES KO’d like an early opponent of Mike Tyson. 

Not to mention we have to watch that guy in jean shorts carry nine cases of toilet paper out of Costco.

Interesting times.

Epictetus said the most important thing in life is to separate the world into two categories:

1) What we control.

2) What we don’t.

The next few weeks will give us a chance to put this wisdom into action.

We don’t control that this virus is here.

We don’t control our communities are shut down.

We don’t control what that guy wearing jean shorts buys at Costco.

But we have 100% control of our own actions. 

We all have some BIG time family bonding on our hands.

A great way to ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES is to establish new ROUTINES.

We are all products of our daily ROUTINE.  

Routines create the rhythm for our lives.

Our routines establish our habits. 

Our habits determine who we become.

It’s time to create some new ROUTINES for times like these.

Here are 3.5 ROUTINE IDEAS that may help:

1) Take Long Walks Outside

Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “Every day, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts…if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.” 

Long walks outside clear our mind.

They get the blood flowing.

Walks connect us with nature.

Some of our best family conversations happen during walking.

2) Establish a Reading Practice

There has never been a better time to be a reader.

There are some mind blowing, perspective changing books out there.

Gather your crew and have them read for an hour in the same room.

Then have each person share one idea from the book they are reading.

Amazing conversations will follow.

3) Declutter

Use this unexpected time together to liberate your house of all that clutter.

Use your free time to free your home (and your mind).

You’ll BE HAPPY you did.

3.5) Be Kind

Everyone is out of their routine.

This is NOT business as usual.

George Raveling wrote, “This is a good time to be good to one another.”

There is never a need to distance ourselves from KINDNESS.

Ryan Holiday said that the version of you who steps out of this quarantine can be a better version than entered it.

Creating new ROUTINES like these can make that happen.

Finally…

BIG THANK YOU to all the healthcare care workers holding down the front lines.

To all the SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS that have people relying on them for their paychecks.

Stand tough.

This too shall pass…

#RollWithThePunches

Keep fighting…

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

 

Set Yourself Free

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“The more things you own, the more they own you.” – Unknown

Welcome to The Vibe!

The only weekly blog that doesn’t require hand sanitizer.

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

This week’s topic is CLUTTER and how getting rid of the PAST makes room for the FUTURE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Just remember to wash your hands after you do.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Set Yourself Free

Gretchen Rubin had a revelation.

While doing research for “The Happiness Project” she noticed something.

She was HAPPIER and CALMER when her surroundings were in order and clutter free.

When she created OUTER ORDER it calmed her mind.

The idea resonated so much that she wrote a book on the subject – “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

The Hidden Cost

It’s so easy to fill our basements (and lives) with “stuff”.

Kindergarten art projects, holiday gifts from Aunt Betty, clothes you haven’t worn since Gangnam Style was on the radio, or those boxes in the basement that you don’t even remember what’s inside.

Stuff piled on stuff.

Space disappears.

It feels like your house is shrinking.

Then the anxiety builds.

There is a hidden cost to all that accumulating.  

Rubin writes that CLUTTER can cause ANXIETY and increase the STRESS levels inside your home.

Ugggh…

But clearing clutter is NOT easy.

The process can be exhausting.

It can even get emotional.

The process makes you say goodby to the past so the future has space to enter.

I have learned that cleaning out requires HUMILITY.

You have to admit you were wrong.

That there was never a good reason to store all that sh*t in the first place.

We no longer needed it the moment we put it in a box in our basement.

We just did not have the guts to make the tough call and SET IT FREE.

Make Room for the Future 

Here are 3.5 ways to SET YOURSELF FREE:

1) Don’t Get Organized.

Rubin writes, “Your first instinct should be to get rid of stuff.  If you don’t own it, you don’t have to organize it.”

“If you need to buy things to store other things, you have too many things.”

Take that Container Store.

Set it free.

2) Do I LOVE this?

Before you buy anything, ask yourself “Do I LOVE this?”  

Not like.  Not want.

But LOVE.

No love, no buy.

3) If I did not already own this, would I buy it again? 

This question is for all the stuff in boxes and bins in our basement.

If you did not own it, would you buy it again?

If no, it goes.

3.5) Store Things at the Store 

No need for a 5 year supply of tooth paste.

Rubin writes, “The best place to store things is at the store.”  

Don’t stockpile.

Just buy enough for now.

Set It Free 

DECLUTTERING is a simple concept.

But it’s not easy.

So go at your own pace.

Try to make progress every day.

Your future self will thank you.

The philosopher Lin Yutang wrote, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” 

So what’s stealing you peace of mind?

What do you need to SET FREE?

Clear that SPACE.

Clear your MIND.

#SetYourselfFree

Until Next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.Net

 

Listen Up

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“The most successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” – Bernard Baruch

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the power of LISTENING and how listening is the fastest way to connect and INFLUENCE another person.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Listen Up

We all lead something.

Some of us coach our kid’s sports teams.

Others run companies that hundreds of people rely on for their livelihood.

While some are the CEOs of their families.

No matter the situation, LEADERS need the ability to connect and gain INFLUENCE to be effective.

No influence, no nothing.

What’s the fastest way to influence another person?

By LISTENING to them.

Learning to Listen

A few years after I graduated college with an accounting  degree, I realized something.

I was possibly the worst accountant in the state of Pennsylvania (but that has never been verified).

That career path was just not for me.

After deveopling some SELF-AWARENESS and building up COURAGE, I changed careers.

I jumped into SALES.

Overnight I went from struggling accountant to clueless salesperson.

My livelihood now depended on my ability to sell.

Just one problem…

I had never sold anything to anyone ever.

Things were really looking up.

So I decided to read every book and article on SALES I could find.

I attended every sales training course that came through Philly with the urgency of someone who’s career was suddenly in the balance.

Because it was.

What did I learn?

To be great at SALES you need to posses a SUPERPOWER.

That superpower is LISTENING.

Sales, like LEADERSHIP, is an art.

Rock star SALES PEOPLE, like great LEADERS, all have different styles.

But they have ONE THING in common.

They are awesome listeners.

They have the ability to CONNECT with people by asking meaningful questions, then thoughtfully listen to what that person says.

Asking questions and listening shows you care.

Listening forms a bond between you and the other person.

You get bonus points for not interrupting someone speaking, even when you know what they are saying is off base.

Listening is hard work.

It takes PATIENCE and POISE.

But guess what?

It’s worth it.

And LISTENING works.

Listening may be the most powerful way to connect with another human being.

George Raveling wrote, “What people need most is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.” 

There is no better time to build your INFLUENCE.  

Someone out there needs you to LISTEN.  

And they want you to LEAD.  

#ListenUp

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight the Resistance

 

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“Fear is a lie.” – Steve Maxwell

Welcome to The Vibe!

Each week we discuss one idea that will help you live a better life.

This week’s topic is the RESISTANCE and how FEAR of FAILURE keeps us from sharing our best work.

Thank you for reading The VIBE.

If you think this post is helpful, please forward to a friend.

Let’s do this…

The Vibe: Fight the Resistance

After writing and sharing over 200 blog posts, the RESISTANCE showed up out of nowhere and started to rear naked choke my courage to write.

The RESISTANCE is that mysterious force author Steven Pressfield claims acts against human creativity by raising the voices of FEAR and DOUBT inside our heads.

The RESISTANCE has one goal: to keep things the way they are.

It does this by crushing our courage to be creative.

Every time I came across a new idea to blog about, the RESISTANCE told me a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t…

“Your writing sucks.”

“No one is going to read this.”

“No one cares what you think.”

“Who are you to write anything?”

I was afraid to show up and look foolish.

So I stopped blogging for 2 months.

It felt safer to play it safe.

But safe is BORING and AVERAGE.

Keeping the status quo is a waste of time.

No need for any of these.

We have to keep walking past our FEARS and DOUBTS.

At some point, that walk is going to get uncomfortable.

We have to learn learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

This takes time and practice (PS – Jiu Jitsu helps).

But the RESISTANCE is a persistent enemy.

It keeps showing up.

Seth Godin likes to say that FEAR and DOUBT will never fully go away,  but we can learn to dance with them.

My 2-month sparring session with the RESISTANCE taught me two great lessons.

  1. Action crushes fear.
  2. Fear is a liar.

Rosa Parks said, “Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

We all have things we want to do.

We all have projects we know we should do, but that FEAR VOICE in our heads keeps holding us back.

What project are you holding off on?

What conversation have you been avoiding?

It’s time to PUNCH that fear in the throat and take a step forward.

I may not be the best writer.

My blog does not have a million followers.

All good.

Hey RESISTANCE

Guess what?

F*ck You!

I just hit the publish button.

#FightTheResistance

Until next week,

Joe Ciccarone

http://www.SalesVibe.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nearsighted

“Do not dwell on the past.  Do not dream of the future.  Concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

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It easy to fall into the FUTURE TRAP.

“Here’s our 5-year plan…”

“This is what 2021 will look like…”

Just a quick reminder…

The future will bring us a thousand unexpected variables we can’t control.

That’s fine.

We can deal with them when they get here.

In the meantime…

Want this to be an AWESOME YEAR?

Focus on the PRESENT MOMENT.

Be fully engaged with WHAT and WHO is in front of you.

Seth Godin likes to say, “It’s not about what’s next, it’s about what’s now.”

Own the moment.

The future will follow.

#Nearsighted

-Joe Ciccarone

 

 

 

 

Be On Alert

“Find out something personal.  Do something memorable.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

No access, no nothing.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your 1st week or 10th year.

Your goal is the same:

  • Get invited in.
  • Get invited back.

The Vibe will jump start 2017 by focusing on strategies & tactics that increase our most valuable asset…

Access.

To have access to our top customers, we must be perceived as having the 6 B’s dialed in:

  • Be engaging
  • Be valuable
  • Be prepared
  • Be trustable
  • Be brief
  • Be gone

The best way to ENGAGE a hard to access customer is to focus on their interests.

You have to do your homework.

  • What’s new in your customer’s world?
  • What has their attention?
  • What do they do in their free time?

Enter Google Alerts.

Google alerts can be your secret weapon for new customer information.

Google Alerts scans the web.

It delivers a report to your inbox each week about anything new that hit the web about your customer.

  • Did your customer just win an award from some obscure society?
  • Did an alumni newsletter just do a feature story on your customer?
  • Was your customer just interviewed on a podcast?
  • Did your customer just complete their 1st Iron Man?

If it hit the web, Google Alerts keeps you in the know.

So how does this increase your access?

Glad you asked.

Imagine writing your customer a hand written note congratulating them on finishing their 1st Iron Man.

Then you follow up a few days later with an email asking them to meet to discuss a new idea that may help streamline their reimbursement processes?

You just tripled your chances of meeting a previously non-responsive customer.

Or combine this with “Before we get started…” for a killer way to expand your time with a transactional customer:

  • “Dr Meredith – I have a new idea for that resident training we discussed. But before we get started… I listened to that podcast you were on.  How did that come about?”

Find ways to create and expand access.

Or lose to someone who does.

-Joe Ciccarone