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Reading

Back-to-SchoolIt’s Back to School season. Summer is about over. For the kids, it’s time to crack the books again. But they shouldn’t have all the fun!

So we’re going to focus on lifelong learning this week and next. Over the next three days, we’ll discuss the basics – the 3 R’s we learned in school. Today we’ll look at reading.

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Do you suppose that we read more today than we’ve ever read before? It sure seems like it as much as many of us read online.

Reading is great; comprehension is critical

We ran across a quote that has something to say about that. It comes from the book, Learning to Be A Sage: Selections from the Conversations of Master Chu, Arranged Topically. Chu Hsi said:

“In reading, the greatest failing is to strive for quantity. Don’t value quantity, value only your familiarity with what you’ve read.”

We see so much information every day. However, information isn’t necessarily useful; knowledge is. Physically reading something isn’t that special; mentally comprehending it is.

Create new worlds in your life

You may not read for comprehension. You may read for entertainment. You get a bigg pat on the back!

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georgeI used to only read non-fiction. I thought fiction was a waste of time. Then I took a short fiction course with one of the best professors I ever had. It opened my mind to a whole new world.

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marylynnGoing forward, creativity is one of the most essential skills. It stems, in part, from imagination. When you read fiction, you have to paint the pictures the author is creating in your mind.

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georgeOne of my favorite authors is Dashiell Hammett. I just love the way he describes characters.

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marylynnHe was one of my mom’s favorite authors as well. When I found out you were a Dashiell Hammett fan, George, it really endeared you to me.

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So don’t limit yourself to just reading non-fiction in your field. Don’t limit your reading to non-fiction in general. Read some fiction. Expand your mind. Force yourself to visualize new worlds in your mind. It will help you create new worlds in your life.

Terms in context

Bigg success is life on your own terms. On one level, terms means words.

People who read generally have larger vocabularies. They see the same term used in different contexts. So they come to fully understand the richness of terms.

By understanding that richness, they’re able to call upon terms to empower themselves. They’re able to pull out a term, which has a number of layers of meaning, to describe what they want to do with their life. That’s one of the keys to bigg success.

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There’s a new book out that you can’t miss. It’s Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It’s all about relationships. So it will put you at the hub of the action in business today. Get a copy for yourself and tell your friends!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we look at the second R: wRiting. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00461-081709.mp3

How to Chase Away Your Website Visitors

running_awayMost businesses and non-profit organizations have a web site by now. Good thing since more and more people are searching online for services instead of using the phone book.

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There’s a lot of advice about how your website should look. It’s important to pause to realize …

It's the experience that counts the most!

Just like in the bricks-and-mortar world, people value the experience.

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marylynnI've had two bad user experiences recently. The first one has to do with a local not-for-profit organization for which I volunteer. I produce the audio for the radio and television commercials that promote the event. The commercials mention a web address to get more information. However, that address takes you to the organization's national website. I spent ten minutes trying to find the page with information about our local event.

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george If memory serves, Mary-Lynn, you told me that you saw a link, “Find your local event.” But it directed you to sign up or log in to get more information.

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marylynnRight! It’s crazy. I shouldn't have to sign up to simply get information. Regardless, I finally recovered my user name and password. Then I logged in, but I still haven't found the local page. I ran out of time and will have to go back.

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george People who aren’t as invested as you probably wouldn’t put that much effort into finding the local information. Worse yet, they may never go back to the site.

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Tip #1: Create a landing page specific for what you are promoting.

Make it easy for people to find the information they want. For example, our local branch could have a page that ends with the name of our city. They could set up an address like this: nameoforganization.com/champaign.

That's a landing page. It’s the address you want to promote to people in your area for information about your local organization – especially when you’re using local TV, radio, or the newspaper.

Here's another example for a business: If you are promoting a deal, use a web address like one of these:

yourbusinessname.com/deal

yourbusinessname.com/summersale

Create your landing page in advance. It can reiterate the most important points of your advertisement and provide more information. Also provide links to your home page and any other pages that people interested in this promotion might find useful.

Integrating your offline marketing with online marketing makes all your marketing more productive. It’s a time-tested strategy. If visitors to your site get the information they want quickly, they’ll be more likely to take the time to visit other areas of your site.

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marylynnThe second bad experience occurred when I read an article online about a local tech series that is free and open to the public. The article was on our local newspaper's website. It gave details on the upcoming session and offered a link to the organization's website to get more information on all of the sessions in the series.

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george So you went to the website to find out more information, and I remember hearing a … how should I describe it … a frustrated sigh coming from you.

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marylynnThat’s a good way to say it. I was frustrated because I couldn't find anything about the series. I clicked on several page links, including their events link. Nothing. I used their search tool to search for the name of the event. Still nothing. Finally I went to their calendar and typed in the exact date. The first session in the series came up. It contained the same information that was in the article. Nothing further about the entire series. I was planning to put all of the dates on my calendar. I guess I’ll have to call them.

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Tip #2: Make it easy to find the information you promote.

If you want people to know about your events, make it easy to get that information. Especially if your event is getting press!

Create a page like we suggested above. If you prefer to link people to your home page, create a link and highlight it so people can find it quickly and easily. For example, in the case we mentioned above, you could highlight it this way:

"Tech series starting in August"

Make it very visible on your site. When people click on that link, it will take them to the page you've created with all the information about that event.

Your site is an excellent tool to compliment your other marketing efforts. But if you don't make it easy for people to find what you’re promoting, they won't participate in your sale or event.

Prepare your web site for visitors before you advertise or send out a press release. That will help make your campaign a bigg success!

Do you have any tips from your bad user experiences? Or maybe a good experience combining your web site with traditional media? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss artificial dissemination. Yes, you read that right! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00442-072109.mp3

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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00438-071609.mp3

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Getting to Know You – Part 1

personalitytype_logoToday on The Bigg Success Show we visited with Paul D. Tieger. Paul is the author of the million copy best-selling book “Do What You Are” along with four other books. He is an internationally recognized expert on personality type and has created a personality assessment, Personality Type, which has been rated “extremely” or “very” helpful by over 40,000 people.

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marylynnPaul, we define bigg success as life on your own terms. Knowing who you are is implicit in that definition. There are a lot of personality tests. Why yours?

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paul_tiegerYou’re right. There are a lot of personality tests and I think they all try to do the same thing. The one that we’ve developed is the gold standard. It’s based on the Young – Myers model of personality type that a lot of people know about. Our test really identifies the key aspects that are critical to finding work that they’ll find intrinsically satisfying and being able to succeed in those jobs based on the insights they get on their personality type.

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georgeI have to tell you, Paul. I took your free test. It’s only four questions. It took me about five minutes. It sounds easy, but I may have failed!

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paul_tieger
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You can’t fail a personality test!

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georgeI marked “not confident” on two of the four questions, which meant I got more information about that particular aspect. It’s fantastic. But, for instance, I ended up saying I was an introvert. But everybody I talk to says that I’m an extrovert. When I look at the descriptions you have, which were very helpful, it seems like I’m about fifty -fifty.

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paul_tiegerHere’s the thing. There’s no psychological instrument that is 100 percent accurate. That’s why you have that cool little drop down box when you’re “not confident” that helps you figure it out. Nobody is exclusively an extrovert or an introvert, but everybody is primarily one or the other. Sometimes it takes a little digging. What happens when you take this personality assessment is that you come up with a personality profile. If it turns out that it doesn’t hit the nail on the head, then you can look at other profiles. It’s really rare that a person has to do this more than two times to find their true type.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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marylynnI found out that I’m an “ESFP” which means I’m an Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, and Perceiver. It says that only four to nine percent of the population is this type of person. I’ve always felt that I was different and this just verified it for me!

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paul_tiegerThere are sixteen different personality types. Every type has its strengths and its blind spots. Every person is unique. You can be in a room with a hundred other ESFPs and you’ll have a lot in common. You’ll have a great time because ESFPs do like to have a good time.

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marylynn
That’s me!

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paul_tiegerBut you’re all different – different backgrounds, parents, experiences. You live in different parts of the country. It’s a very individualized thing, but learning about your type is really your home base. It’s the essence of who you are. For ESFPs, these are people who really live in the moment. They’re very resourceful. They like to enjoy what they’re doing. They’re very social people. They like to take care of other people and make sure everybody gets what they need.

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marylynn
Going back to what George was saying, I also have some introverted qualities but you’ve already answered that when you said that we all are introverts and extroverts.

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paul_tiegerIt’s really a preference. It’s like handedness. Some people are born righties; some people are born lefties. I believe that, after having done this for about 25 years now, people really are born with a personality type preference. You grow and you learn as you get older. But you’re either a righty or a lefty. Let’s say you’re a right-handed person by nature. You can learn to use your left hand if you work at it, but it’s never going to be your natural, default setting. It’s the same thing with personality type. If you’re a sensing type, then you’re a person who’s pretty realistic and practical, sees the details, and focuses on what’s going on in the moment. It doesn’t mean that you have no imagination or that you can’t be creative. It just means that’s not your first mode. Somebody else might be very creative and that’s where they go automatically.

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georgePaul, I write left-handed. Most things I do right-handed. The first ball glove my Dad bought me was a left-handed glove. But I’d take the glove off and throw with my right hand. So, related to personality types, if there are things that you admire about an extroverted personality, is it possible – or is it good – to try to move yourself in that direction?

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paul_tiegerIt’s a good question. I found that the people who are the most successful in any of their endeavors are really the people who have the most balance. That doesn’t mean they’re androgynous – that they’re equally both – because I believe that people have a natural in-born preference for each of these categories. But if you are so extroverted that you have to be with people 24 / 7 – you can’t be alone or you can’t read a book – that’s not good. If you’re so introverted that you can’t look somebody in the eye or you can’t do anything with other people, that’s not good. So fortunately, all of us have a balance but there really is a natural preference from where you get your energy. The key is to understand who you are because that’s really the key to your career satisfaction. Then build on your strengths while being aware of your blind spots so you can compensate for them.

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georgeThat is really helpful. I want to take the test again now, thinking about my natural tendency but also keeping in mind that’s it’s not all I’m going to be.

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paul_tieger
Well, I think your Dad screwed you up with that left-handed glove!

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george
And that’s just one of the many ways!

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What is your personality type?

You can find out by taking the free personality test we discussed today.

*Special Offer: To get a 10% discount on your full career report, use promo code: biggsuccess

Tomorrow we’ll continue our discussion with Paul. Please check back to discover how knowing your personality type will help you find new opportunities in today’s tough job market.

Thanks so much for putting up with our goofy personalities today! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00418-061709.mp3

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(Image in today's post from PersonalityType.com)

When Your Definition of Success Changes

questioning_terms.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. That’s how we define it. We were talking a few days ago …

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marylynnI said that we should make something clear about life on your own terms. I could be going through a mid-life crisis. Does life on my own terms mean getting a fancy new sports car, spending money like crazy, going clubbing, shirking my responsibilities, and walking away from relationships, all in an attempt to get my youth back?

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Life on your own terms is not a license for poor behavior

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It should be an ideal that we strive to live up to. It’s about finding our purpose for being here and then deploying all of our resources to live up to that promise.

Because of that, it’s not a selfish thing. We can’t reach bigg success without the help of others. In this age of interdependence, we are able to live our lives on our own terms by helping others live their lives on their own terms.

Life on your own terms is also not a passing fancy

It’s a direction, not a point. It’s very emotional because it is so personal, but it’s not based on one’s feelings at this moment.

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georgeI may feel depressed right now. Does that mean life on my own terms means being depressed? Of course not.

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marylynnFeeling down from time to time is something we all experience, but we have to respond to it, not just accept it or give in to it. Going to the mid-life crisis example, maybe I’m not feeling as young as I used to. Is the answer really to blow a bunch of money and waste a lot of time?

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georgeBigg goal-getters accept that there are some things that we can’t change. No amount of money is going to make me any younger physically. We recognize the realities of our situation and respond positively to keep moving toward our bigg goals – where we want to go, what we want to achieve, who we want to be known as.

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Each day we write another page of our autobiography. We show the world who we are by how we live our lives.

Life on your own terms is dynamic, not static

While it’s not a passing fancy, it does evolve over time as we discover more about ourselves and the world around us.

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georgeI remember when I was in my early twenties – life on my own terms then meant being in the Forbes 400. I wanted to get rich in my own business. Then I heard Donald Trump asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.” I realized then that I didn’t need a bigger boat!

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marylynn
So how did that change your terms?

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georgeI decided it wasn’t worth my time to work that hard to make the extra money. If all I was going to get out of it was a bigger boat, I wasn’t interested. Don’t get me wrong; money still helps! But life on my own terms evolved to building quality relationships and sharing experiences.

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marylynn
Your desire to own your own business didn’t change?

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george
Oh no, that desire definitely stayed the same.

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marylynnSo life on your own terms changed as a result of this new information. You realized there were more important things to you than the money you thought you wanted. But you still wanted to be in business for yourself.

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georgeYou may decide that less is more like I did. Or you may realize that you’ve been selling yourself short and you want more.

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It’s life on your own terms. It’s not a license for poor behavior. It’s not a passing fancy. But it is dynamic; it may change over time as you gain knowledge about yourself and your environment.

How has your definition of life on your own terms changed over time?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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New research shows that a promotion may be good for your wealth, but not necessarily your health. Please join us next time to find out why.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00373-041509.mp3

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