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

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Review: The Answers

By Bigg Success Staff
December, 06 2007

Bigg Book Review

The Answers: All the Office Questions You Never Dared to Ask

Book by Lucy Kellaway

Lucy Kellaway is the “agony aunt” for the Financial Times. Her column, published every Monday, offers down-to-earth advice. Each week, she publishes an answer to a reader’s question, along with the question to be discussed the following week. That gives her readers time to offer their own suggestions to the questioner. Sometimes they’re brutally honest; at other times, they’re incredibly warm.

Now she’s compiled some of the most interesting situations submitted by her readers into a book called “The Answers: All the Office Question You Never Dared to Ask”. It’s a relatively easy read that you’ll find informative and thought-provoking.

If you’re looking for theory, you’re in the wrong place. This book gets to the down-and-dirty problems we all have from time to time. Kellaway has chosen questions about a variety of situations. Some won’t pertain to you, but we think you’ll find many interesting dilemmas.

You’ll learn about dealing with bosses, subordinates, and peers. At its core, this book is about people and cultural changes. More women in the workplace means more gender issues, including office romance. Technology creates its own challenges, like hitting “send” before you thought about it.

Reality TV is hot, because it plays to people’s voyeuristic tendency and makes them feel better about themselves by seeing some other pitiful creature. In this book, Kellaway highlights real-world experiences that you can learn from. They’re not planned, arranged, or rehearsed. It’s not about ratings – it’s just great advice!

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The Young And The Restless Seniors

By Bigg Success Staff
December 07, 2007

Success Stories

80_over_80_jpg30_under_30_jpg

What’s the best age to own your own business? That’s a tough question to answer judging by two recent profiles.

33 Success Stories
You’ll see that age is not an issue because Inc. focuses on octogenarians (and then some) in business with their profile of 8 business owners over 80. These entrepreneurs are about 87 years old, on average, although Jack Weil is the sage of the group at 106. He runs Rockmount Ranch Wear, which sells western apparel.

Business Week looked at the other end of the age spectrum in their third annual profile of 25 entrepreneurs under 25. On average, they’re just over 22 years old, with the youngest entrepreneur profiled being 16-year old Jasmine Lawrence. She is the founder and CEO of Eden Body Works, which sells all-natural personal care products.

So what can you learn from these 33 success stories?

  • You’re never too young to start your own business. You’re never too old, either!
  • If you’re too young to be trusted with major responsibilities, start your own business. Now that’s responsibility! If you’ve reached that age where no one will hire you, start your own business and hire yourself!
  • You have to take risk, but make it manageable. If you read between the lines, you’ll see most of the entrepreneurs in these two profiles started small, often from their home or apartment.
  • On a related note, you don’t need a lot of money to start a business. Let’s not kid ourselves – money may help. However, many of these entrepreneurs started businesses that required relatively little money or were in industries desirable to capital providers.
  • More people, of all ages, are launching their own business. Why not you?

Bonus: 30 more success stories
If you’d like to see more profiles of young people starting their own business, check
out 30 under 30: America’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs from Inc. While not as timely as the other two (it was released in July of this year), you’ll get even more ideas and inspiration from this slide show.

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Bigg Fun 1

12-03-07

Video of the week

Porta-Meeting

Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong place? Then, you’ll empathize with the people in this funny video.

Joke of the week

The Big Shot

A young man had just started his own business. He rented a beautiful office and had it furnished with antiques. A short time later, he noticed a man come into the outer office.

Wishing to appear like a big shot, the young man picked up the phone and started pretending that he was making a huge sale. He threw around huge figures and made giant commitments.

Finally he hung up and asked the visitor, “Can I help you?” The man said, “Yeah, I’m here to activate your phone lines.”

Sign of the week

Let’s hope they mean it!

drop your pants sign

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The Home Stretch

By Bigg Success Staff
December, 06 2007 

Work-Life Balance

We recently discussed how pushing yourself to your limits leads to your 7 peace of mind]. “Brazen Careerist” blogger, Penelope Trunk, wrote a related post recently called “Don’t get too comfortable at home after work.”

She cites the book, Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment written by Gregory Berns. Berns is a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Emory University and Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. Now that’s a title!

In his book, Berns discusses the mood-lifting chemical reaction that occurs in your brain when you stretch yourself. Trunk asserts that you won’t be happy if you only push yourself at work. You also need personal growth at home. Otherwise, you’ll feel a void. Her post is ripe with ideas. We think you’ll enjoy reading it. Here are some thoughts on how to begin.

Shake up your after-work routine
Start with little changes. Make it a habit. You’ll soon feel excited about your new routine. Then you’re ready for bigger and better things.

  • Instead of sitting, stand. When you would usually stand, walk.
  • If tonight is pizza night, order a Hawaiian pizza instead of pepperoni.
  • Instead of staying at home, go out. Instead of going out, stay in.
  • Watch an educational show instead of that show you normally would view.
  • Eat dinner at the table, instead of in front of the television.
  • Instead of surfing the internet, browse materials at your local library. You remember the library, don’t you?

Without balance, you can’t be whole. It’s analogous to taking elective courses. They round you out. You become a more interesting person because you expand your point-of-view.

Without growth, in all areas of your life, you won’t feel fulfilled. Begin with baby steps. Make stretching yourself, at work and at home, a habit. Start today!

Related link:
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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!