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Spot The Fake Smile

By Bigg Success Staff
Novemeber 25, 2007

Test Yourself
smile jpg

Most people are bad at spotting fake smiles. Would you like to know if you can? BBC has a fun test that determines if you can tell if a person’s smile is real or fake. It will only take you about ten minutes. You’ll be shown a face. Vote whether it’s real or fake. Then, move on (there are twenty faces) until you’re done. Finally, see the results!

Want a little hint before you start?

According to the BBC, different parts of the brain are used to create a real or a fake smile. Real smiles are automatic (i.e. unconscious brain) whereas fake smiles can be done on-demand (i.e. conscious brain). With fake smiles, the mouth moves outward. With real smiles, the mouth moves, but the eyes also crease up and the eyebrows dip slightly.

We put our hands together for BBC making learning fun!

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Honing In On Home-Based Businesses

By Bigg Success Staff
Novemeber 25, 2007

Home Office

If you’re in business, or thinking of starting one, you should check out StartupNation’s first annual Home-Based 100. They chose ten winners in ten categories: best financial performers, most innovative, highest vote-getters, boomers back in business, greenest, yummiest, wackiest, grungiest, worldliest, and most slacker-friendly.

Kudos to StartupNation for this unique list, which highlights the growing trend of people choosing to work from home, as well as large companies marketing to those people. In fact, three large companies sponsored this study – Microsoft Office Live Small Business, Dell, and Southwest Airlines.

Here’s five things you can learn from this group:

    • Be passionate about what you do.

As one might expect from people who combine work space with personal space, the Home-Based 100 often don’t separate who they are from what they do. This helps fuel their success, rather than detracting from it. You may find that the best way for you to balance your work life and your personal life is to combine them!

    • Embrace change.

Most of the Home-Based 100 are baby boomers who had succeeded in Corporate America, but wanted out for various reasons. Some were just ready for a change. Others couldn’t find the time to execute the idea they had, while still working for someone else. Yet others just wanted more family time and saw working at home as a sure-fire way to get that.

    • Use technology extensively.

Technology allows you to work at home with others who work at home. Your whole workforce can be home-based! This is one of the most interesting things pointed out by Startup Nation’s study. Home-based doesn’t mean solo! You may choose to work without employees, but you don’t have to do so.

    • Outsource extensively.

You can’t do it all yourself. Nor should you. The Home-Based 100 outsource extensively. Stick with what you know and do well. Pay someone else to do the rest.

    • Go for it, now!

If you have the desire to work from home, go for it. Don’t let the 13 fear of failure ]stop you. The people in the Home-Based 100 didn’t. Look where they are now. You can do it, too! Don’t hesitate – do something today!

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Leadership Lessons From Fallen Leaders

By Bigg Success Staff
Novemeber 25, 2007

Career Builder

We’re told to learn from our mistakes. It’s even better to learn from the mistakes of others. Recently, there’s been a slew of turnover in senior-level positions in Corporate America. Here are six lessons in leadership that you can learn from their very public departures.

  • Deliver daily
  • Doing your job well is the first step to earning the respect of others. If you want to be a leader, you have to show people that you’re a goal-getter, not just a goal-setter. Otherwise, how can you expect them to do otherwise?

    You can’t rest on your laurels, but you also shouldn’t get discouraged if you fall a little short of the mark. Seek to win every day, but remember to 7 get over today tomorrow.]

  • Hold yourself to the highest standards.
  • Nobody respects a phony. You can’t expect others (especially subordinates) to behave differently than you. You have to walk your talk.

    Many people do the opposite. They hope nobody sees them breaking the rules. They think that nobody will notice if they cut corners. It doesn’t work. You will certainly destroy people’s trust if you fail to apply this lesson.

  • Show respect to get respect.
  • You can’t expect anybody to respect somebody who treats him or her like a nobody. People won’t follow people they don’t respect. Genuinely value the unique talents and personalities of those around you.

    Develop a deep appreciation for skills you don’t have. You need people with those abilities more than someone with your own expertise.

  • Take a genuine interest in others.
  • You have to take an interest. And it must be genuine. Otherwise, it’s worst than not showing interest at all.

    This is a basic lesson in human interaction. Show people that you’re interested in them. Listen. Relate. They will support you because they like you. Now they want to see you succeed.

  • Connect at different levels.
  • Strive to connect with people above and below you in your organization. Get to know your boss. Really understanding his or her challenges helps you make an impact. Ditto for you subordinates. Serve them by understanding.

    If you’re not a senior-level manager, try to understand their point-of-view. Doing so helps you understand the big picture. If you’re not on the front-line, be sure to make some friends there, too. You’ll understand the challenges faced by the people on whom everyone else depends for their job.

  • Feed the feedback.
  • Seek advice from anywhere and everywhere you can get it. Welcome people’s suggestions. Thank them each and every time they offer one.

    People love to feel like they’re a part of something bigger. Eventually, you’ll find a few who have particularly valuable insight. Let them know. Give them credit. Watch them support you even more!

    Find at least one mentor – inside or outside the organization, or both. You want someone to whom you feel accountable. Someone who can bounce ideas off without worrying about any repercussions.

There are lessons to be learned from fallen leaders. Expect more from yourself than you expect from others. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Be the role-model for others you want for yourself! Make these six lessons a part of your daily life and you’ll find people lining up to follow you.

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What Kind Of Tater Are You?

In our last blog, we discussed 24 the role of role playing ]– practicing to be perfect, professionally and personally.

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., we want to ask you a question:

What kind of ‘tater are you?

You don’t want to be a:

Spectator – These people sit on the sideline, never getting in the game. They just sit and watch you do all the work.

Hesitator – These are people who talk about their ideas and dreams, but never do anything to reach them.

Commentator – People who find fault with the people playing the game. Never get in the game. Never take risk. Never 13 fail forward]. Never succeed.

Imitator – These people are so unhappy with themselves, they have to pretend to be something they’re not.

Dictator – Bossy people. They’re not confident that they can sell others on their ideas, so they have to try to bully them.

Agitator – Perhaps the worst of all. These people like to stir things up. They’re only happy when they’re unhappy. They try to unite people as a negative force.

You want to be a:

Facilitator – These people are always looking for a solution. They bring out the best in others by making work easier.

Sweet ‘tater – These humble, likeable, nice people will do just about anything for anyone. They genuinely like people. The get respect because they treat people with respect.

We challenge you to be a facilitator and a sweet ‘tater. Our quote today is by John Cassis, the former baseball player who became a motivational speaker.

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Nice is a nice way to be. Tomorrow, we’ll put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Role Of Role Playing

In our last blog, we told the story on storytelling. We discussed finding the right yarn and offered tips on telling your tall tale well. 14 Hear the story.]

Today, we’ll discuss how to use role playing, both professionally and personally.

We’re not pretending to be the have all and be all of role play discussions here. We’re talking about a specific use of it. So let’s define what we mean when we say role play:

Practicing human interaction before you actually do it.

Rehearsing in your mirror is better than nothing, but it’s not role playing. With role playing, you’re going to have a mentor, a peer, or a buddy. When done right, it’s a much richer experience than simply rehearsing.

Practice makes perfect.
Imagine an athlete who never practiced. Or an actor who never rehearsed. Would you expect them to rise to the top of their profession?

So why do we think it’s any different for us? It’s not. By role playing, you’ll enter situations with more confidence, because you’ve been there before. You’ll face less stress and perform better. You’ve made the unfamiliar familiar.

Simulate the situation.
Create the exact same environment. Come as close as you possibly can to setting up the same circumstances you will face in the actual situation. This really needs to be done with you and another person face-to-face. You can role play over the phone (especially a phone call), but it’s much better in person. Let’s look at some examples of situations that you might want to role play.

Annual review / ask for a raise
Are you going to be sitting or standing? How about your boss? Most likely, you’ll both be seated around a desk. So when you role play, sit around a desk (or something you can pretend is a desk).

Sales call
You’ll probably be standing, at least at first. Practice your greeting while standing. Practice down to the handshake. You want a handshake Goldilocks would like – not too hard, not too soft.

Service call at homeowner’s residence
Practice ringing the door bell. What if the door bell doesn’t work? Practice knocking. Where will you stand as the homeowner opens the door? What will you say?

You can use these same techniques personally. For example, if you’re a parent, you may want to role play an important conversation with one of your kids. Personally or professionally, role playing is a great preparation method. Practice it, then do it.

Our quote today is by the great tennis player, Arthur Ashe.

“One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

Willingness to prepare helps you succeed. Role play your way to a great day.

Tomorrow’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the U.S. So we’re going to talk about ‘taters. We’ll ask, “What kind of ‘tater are you?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!