A collection of links to the very best articles, tips and tools for personal, professional and business success.

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Hot Careers For 2008

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

Life Changes

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For a clue about the best jobs in 2008, look at what’s been newsworthy this year. So says Sarah E. Needleman, writing for the Wall Street Journal Online. She delves into this subject in her excellent article What the Major Headlines in 2007 Say About Next Year’s Job Market.

We’ll give you a summary here, but you should check out her full article for the details.

Rising gas prices means opportunities in alternative-energy. This field is so new that there are few players with direct experience. In other words, the door is wide open! With business exploding, these companies need professionals in all specialties.

The internet continues to create opportunities. More people access the internet through a mobile device. Social networking and user-generated content sites are proliferating. But there is a dearth of web developers skilled in developing applications for these technologies. Marketers who can plan and develop campaigns within a social network will also be in demand. Finally, sales pros are in demand for both online and mobile advertising.

The mortgage fallout is creating opportunities for specialists in risk-management at financial services companies. If you’re skilled at assessing credit risk, market risk, or operational risk, you’ll find ample opportunities. You’ll also see openings for quantitative finance professionals as well as compliance professionals.

Finally, the outbreak of problems with pet food and toys has led to new opportunities for professionals in supply chain management. Sourcing managers, who develop and maintain relationships with suppliers overseas, are expected to be in high demand. And retailers are hiring more quality control specialists.

You may not be interested in any of these fields. But you can learn a lesson from this list anyway. Here’s the lesson:

Change creates opportunities.

It’s interesting that three out of four of these fields involve negative events. You can turn a negative into your positive.  Look for change and you’ll find opportunity. It’s there – you just have to find it, prepare for it, and do it!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related Links:
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Hassle Me

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

Leading-edge applications

This Tool Helps You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Need help keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Hassle Me is a leading-edge tool that will remind you of your goals and “hassle” you at random times within pre-determined parameters.

But it will do more than that. It nags you so the ones you love don’t have to. Or to put it another way …

…. it nags the ones you love so you don’t have to!

Take out the garbage. Pick up your room. Do your homework. Go for a walk. The possibilities are almost endless.

Hassle_Me_Screenshot

Hassle Me was created by Chris Lightfoot and Etienne Pollard of mySociety, a non-profit organization that provides people with simple on-line tools to fulfill their civic duties and serve their communities.

They acknowledge that the concept of Hassle Me shouldn’t work. They used a similar application to encourage people to post to their blog, and it was successful! So they developed Hassle Me.

Set it up today so you’ll be ready for the New Year!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Relationship Building Blocks

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

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Timeless Principles

In the book, The Relationship Edge in Business: Connecting with Customers and Colleagues When It Counts, author Jerry Acuff and contributor Wally Wood list thirteen basic facts about people. Thoroughly understanding this list will help you with customers, employees, bosses, co-workers, business associates, friends, and even family! Here’s their list, along with our input along the way:

13 fundamental facts about human beings

  • In general, people have a desire to be important.
    You win people over by building them up, not tearing them down.
  • They want to be appreciated.
    Say “thanks” when they are helpful. Be grateful when you see them or hear from them.
  • They are not nearly as interested in you, your interests, or your concerns, as they are in themselves. Show more interest in their interests than your own.
  • Most people want two things out of life: success and happiness.
    Understand how they define success. Help them when you can – forward an article or introduce them to someone you know.
  • They want you to truly listen to them with your full attention.
    Listen attentively. With your ears and your mind.
  • People will connect with you only if they feel you sincerely value them.
    You can’t fake this one – you’ll be found out quickly. The only way to show them you sincerely value them is to sincerely value them!
  • Most people make decisions emotionally and defend them logically.
    Understand these dueling sides of our brains. They’ll like you, or they won’t, based on how you make them feel.
  • The average person’s attention span is very short.
    Keep your stories short and to the point. Respect their time.
  • People with common interests have a natural rapport.
    Find your common link. Chances are there is something you share that be discovered relatively quickly. Use that connection to, well, connect with them!
  • People want to be understood.
    Be empathetic – feel what they feel, see things from their point-of-view.
  • People are drawn to people who are genuinely interested in them.
    Demonstrate this in little ways. For example, remember their birthday. Congratulate them on a special accomplishment. Intentionally pay attention.
  • Most people love to teach.
    You’ll be surprised how much you can learn by discovering someone’s passions and interests. Let them teach you and you’ll both be happy!
  • People want to associate with others who they believe can help them in some aspect of their lives. Use your special talents and abilities to help them improve themselves. After all, you love to teach, too, right?

Of course, one-sided relationships don’t work. If you find that someone you want to connect with doesn’t reciprocate by following these basic tenets, move on to someone who will. You’re too interesting and important to do otherwise!

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Stepping Up To The Plate

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

Success Stories

Jamie_ McCourt_jpgBabe Ruth, the legendary home-run hitter, would occasionally point his bat at the spot where he planned to hit the next pitch. Similarly, Jamie McCourt predicted where she would be now over forty years ago.

At the age of nine, she informed her parents that one day she would buy a baseball team. That little girl’s dream became reality, when she and her husband purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004.

Today, Jamie is the Vice Chairman and President of the organization. She serves on numerous Boards in the Los Angeles area. She is the highest ranking female in baseball, and considered one of the most powerful women in all of sports.

Play ball
Even as a young girl, Jamie was competitive. She was a gifted athlete, who could show the boys a thing or two. The tomboy developed confidence in herself from these early experiences. Confidence in her ability to do anything she wanted to do – regardless of her sex.

Player – coach
Her father owned a chain of appliance stores. He was an off-the-wall promotional hypester. So retail is in her blood. She learned from her father and has taken his lessons to a new level. When it comes to hawking your goods, there are few venues as large as your own ball park.

Warning track
Jamie’s educational credentials are top-notch. A Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown. A diploma from La Sorbonne at the University of Paris. A University of Maryland law degree, and a Master’s from the MIT Sloan School of Management, which she completed at the ripe young age of 39.

While there, she couldn’t find a single professor to sponsor her proposed thesis. She wanted to research the economics of buying a baseball team or building a ball park. They warned her that she would be better served by focusing on Wall Street.

But the little girl, who by now was a woman, was not discouraged. She was about to step up to the plate.

Striking Out
Jamie started her career in 1979 as an attorney in New York City. She moved to Boston and opened her own practice. In 1994, she became the Vice President and General Counsel at The McCourt Company, a real estate development firm started by her husband.

Seven years later, Jamie’s opportunity presented itself. She and her husband tried to buy the Boston Red Sox in 2001. But it was not meant to be – she struck out. 

Grand Slam
The greatest players never give up. Jamie is a great player. She and her husband learned the Dodgers were for sale. They purchased the Dodgers at the highest price ever paid for a professional ball team.

The little girl had a dream. As a woman, she had stepped up to the plate and struck out. Then she tried again … and hit a grand slam.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Sources:
Los Angeles Dodgers official site
MIT Sloan School of Management Alumni Profiles
“How One Woman Went To Bat in Pro Baseball”  by Francesca Donner, WSJ Online
“McCourt brings ideas, hectic pace to L.A.” by Jill Lieber, USA Today

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Finding Balance At Work

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

Work-Life Balance

woman balances on chairsSirota Survey Intelligence, specialists in attitude research, just released the results of a survey on work – life balance. They report that 73% of employees view their work – life balance positively. 

“Work-life balance is almost an afterthought to people who feel their employers are meeting their end of the deal by being fair, providing interesting and meaningful work, and recognition or rewards for a job well-done,” said Douglas Klein, President of Sirota Survey Intelligence. “Work-life balance becomes a real issue when employees feel that their employers aren’t holding up to their part of the partnership.”

We find Mr. Klein’s last sentence the most striking. Employees must believe their employers are responsive to their wants and needs. But what Mr. Klein doesn’t state here, and what needs to be stated, is that employers must feel the same thing – that their employees are meeting their wants and needs.

It’s about people.
Relationships. Two people learning to trust each other. It’s personal – one-to-one. It’s the only way to succeed personally and professionally. But many managers forget that there’s a person on the end of the problem du jour. Many employees don’t think enough about their manager’s goals.

It’s about people communicating.
So it begins with a desire to form a relationship, on both sides. That kernel grows to trust. Now you’re ready to communicate. To put the wants and needs of both of you on the table. To understand each other. To get what both of you want. To meet all of your needs and wants.

It takes a two-way commitment.
Both the employer and the employee have to commit to this process. It’s easy to get too busy to pay attention to the relationship. But you’ll find that a small investment of your time will yield big dividends in the future. It’s all about being effective.

For example, for employers, the Sirota research shows that 81% of the employees who say they have the “right amount of work” are satisfied at work. Only 69% of employees who report having “too much work” are satisfied with their jobs. A strikingly low 44% of employees who state that they have “too little to do” are happy about it. 

So if you can strike the “Goldilocks’ balance”, you’ll have a far more productive staff.

Now, for employees, understand that if you’re a producer, if you’ve got a great attitude, if you’re a team player, you make it almost impossible to not support you, both professionally and personally. As Klein said, “The key, then, is to balance company and personal demands within a partnership culture and a spirit of win – win.”

Focus first on delivering what your boss needs so it’s easier for your boss to give you what you need.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

More Work – Life Balance

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(Photo by Brent and MariLynn)