The Power of We Begins with Me

Blog Action Day | BIGG SuccessWe’re thrilled to participate in another Blog Action Day. Bloggers and podcasters like us from around the world and across the internet all post about a single subject.

And fittingly, this year’s theme is “The Power of We.”

Now that’s a theme we can get behind. In fact, our biggest challenge has been to filter through all of our BIGG ideas about this subject!

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.
(Duration 5:00)


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The first Blog Action Day was in 2007. BIGG Success wasn’t around when they did it so we first participated in 2008. The theme that year was poverty.

Collaboration across continents

We bring this up because we talked about collaboration across continents that year. It was about a group of farmers in Ohio working with a group of farmers in Kenya to end poverty in a village of 5,000 people.

The power of we!

This amazing feat was started by the vision of one man – the minister in the village in Kenya. He didn’t want his people to be dependent on outsiders supplying food and other essentials.

Now we want to share two stories:

The Women Roofers

The Women Roofers are professional women – in the Rutherford County, North Carolina area – who voluntarily ban together to help people who can’t help themselves.

The power of we!

When a recent widow with no money found herself with a leaky roof, she made one phone call. The Women Roofers showed up in days, according to a story on CBS News.


Nell Bovender is the driving force behind the group. She arranges for donations of supplies and organizes the volunteers, who – in most cases – have never hammered a nail in a single shingle.

That doesn’t slow this group of BIGG goal-getters down one bit! They saw a problem and they’re fixing it one rooftop at a time.

Code for America

Code for America is also known as “The PeaceCorps for Geeks”. Tech stars take a year off to work here in the States, helping government use technology to solve persistent problems.

Founded by Jennifer Pahlka, this group built an app for the city of Boston that made a game out of keeping fire hydrants clear of snow. Citizens adopted a fire hydrant.

They could name it. They could paint it. But they had to shovel the snow away from it or risk losing their beloved hydrant.

It went viral – Honolulu now uses it to make sure their tsunami sirens have good batteries in them. Seattle uses it for storm sewers. In total, nine cities are using this app today.

They can do it faster and cheaper than government. In Jennifer’s TED talk, she offered another example – software to help parents decide which public school was best for their kid.

Through normal channels, this would have taken two years and $2 million dollars. Three people from Code for America only required two-and-a-half months.

The power of we!

The power of we begins with me!

But we haven’t told you the rest of the story. Jennifer closes her TED talk by saying we need to lend more than a voice. We need to lend a hand.

The power of we begins with me! To fully capitalize on the tremendous power of collective action, we must all take individual responsibility.

  • We can’t look at a situation and just complain. We have to be willing to take action as well.
  • We can’t wait for someone else. We have to be the one. In all the stories we shared here, there was one individual who inspired other individuals.

The power of we begins with me!

You can’t take on the problems of the world. But you can take on a problem in your corner of it. That’s BIGG success!

What are your experiences with the power of we?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00832-101512.mp3

How to Identify Threats to Your Business and Career

identify threats to your business and career for BIGG SuccessMillennials don’t wear watches. A friend of ours recently said he doesn’t either. And he’s a boomer.

They don’t wear watches because they don’t need them. They use their smartphones.

The trend in watches may not be important to you. But it serves as a great example.

If you’re an entrepreneur, take note. But even if you aren’t, you can learn from this example.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 4:20)


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The mistake we make too often

When we think about competition, we tend to think too directly. We only think about other businesses in our industry.

We go “head to head.” We “duke it out.”

It makes for great drama. But all the while, we may have a larger problem:

As strange as it sounds, your greatest competition may not come from your competitors. It may show up in the form of substitutes – smartphones replacing watches.

Sure, you should think about your competition. You should understand what they’re good at and what they’re not.

But as you consider the future of your business or your career, think long and hard about the threats to your livelihood.

3 important questions to ask

You need to think about more than just who your customer might use instead of you. You also need to ask:

  • What might a customer use instead of your product or service?

    In this example, a customer could replace their watch with their smartphone.

  • Why might it be different this time around?

    It’s not like smartphones are the first time we’ve had access to a clock other than a watch.

    Our cell phones had clocks on them. But they didn’t make this impact.

    So why is it different this time around? Because our smartphones are command central for most of us.

    We check our e-mail. We surf. We text. We take pictures. We play games. The phone is the least important part!

    If they’re not in our hand, they’re on the desk or table in front of us. They are ever present. We connect with the world through them.

    So why have a watch when you can just refer to the device you refer to for everything else? It’s just as easy (if not easier) to check the time on your smarthphone.

  • How might this new use affect your business or career?

    So smartphones may turn out to be a destructive technology to watch manufacturers and a disruptive technology to jewelry stores.

    If you’re in one of those businesses – as an owner or an employee – you would have to think about the effect it will have in the coming years.

    But don’t stop there. Figure out how you will respond now.

The key is to keep your eyes and ears open. Get outside your industry. Watch the trends.

Most of the things you see will have little or no impact on your business or your career. But once you in a while, you may something that will.

We’ve talked about this in a defensive way. But as you look and listen, you may discover an opportunity that leads to BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00826-090612.mp3

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Should Entrepreneurial Leaders Manage by Consensus?

Does managing by consensus lead to BIGG SuccessWe saw a great study about Millennials [PDF] and how they would run the business of tomorrow. The researchers had two teams create a model company.

Neither of them selected a CEO. They chose to run the company by consensus.

No one person was in charge; ideas were. The best ideas ruled.

Great concept. Too bad it won’t work.

Entrepreneurial leaders should not manage by consensus.

Should you get your people involved in every way you can? Yes.

Do you want to listen to your people’s ideas? Of course.

Should every person in your organization have a voice? Absolutely.

But management by consensus is no different than management by committee. The name may have changed but the results remain the same.

In the worst case, decisions don’t get made. So the organization flounders.

Only slightly better – when decisions do get made, it takes longer. It’s the death knell in today’s fast-changing world.

The buck has to stop somewhere. All the kumbaya has to end. Someone has to take all the information and make a decision.

The process can be democratic but the decision-making can’t.

Your people should be given the opportunity to offer their input. They should know it is heard. It may even be acted upon. When it is, they should be given recognition.

Entrepreneurial leaders should focus less on reaching consensus. It takes too long.

Focus more on building consensus. Help your people understand the “why” behind the things you do in your organization. It leads to BIGG success!

How do you build consensus?

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Entrepreneurial Leadership and Power

how a true leader finds power for BIGG SuccessThere’s a misunderstanding about power by many new entrepreneurial leaders. They come by this view honestly.

Leaders are often depicted barking out orders. Willing subordinates eagerly jump at every bark. They run out and bring the ball back to the leader.

It doesn’t work that way anymore. Did it ever?

Maybe at one time – when people were relegated to a monotonous job, stamping out item after item.

All brawn, no brain. Just do, don’t think.

Success today comes from thinking and doing. You may need your people’s muscles too. But you definitely need their minds.

You need them to believe in you and your vision. You need them fully engaged. Then you’re powerful.

So one sign of power for an entrepreneurial leader is:

You don’t have to demand. You can ask.

You’re even more powerful if you don’t have to ask. They volunteer.

Real power isn’t about about squeezing every ounce of humanity out of your people. It’s not hand-to-hand combat. It’s not about conquering. It’s not warfare.

True power comes when you win hearts and minds. There’s an old saying that we just love, although we’re not sure of its origin. We keep it posted in our office so we see it every day.

Touch my mind – you have my thoughts.
Touch my heart – you have my love.
Touch my soul – you have my passion.
Touch all three and you have me.

Great entrepreneurial leaders appeal to all three. That’s how they get their voluntarily pushing to achieve the shared vision.

It’s because it’s more than a vision. It’s a cause. And it leads to BIGG success!

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A Sign It is Time for a Career Change

A sign you need a career change for BIGG SuccessHow do you know when it is time to change careers? We found the answer thanks to a friend.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 3:34)


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He worked his way up in a small retail business. Now he’s a manager.

He’s an industrious person. So he started a service business on the side.

It’s been pretty demanding. But he’s made it work. Until recently…

His part-time business is doing very well. He’s attracting more clients and making more money from it.

The sign

But he’s also unconsciously demonstrating one sign that it’s time for a career change. He gets frustrated easily with his full-time job.

The hours bother him. They never did before. He doesn’t have the same patience for his co-workers. Customers irritate him more, too.

However, it goes beyond just a little frustration and irritation. He admits he has felt hurt by upset customers and employees. The things that used to roll off of him just don’t roll so fast anymore.

In those times when he’s with close friends, he expresses anger.

What it means

Subconsciously, he’s trying to rationalize his move to working his business full-time.

And he’s scared.

He’s scared because he feels like he’s setting sail and the world may be flat. It’s the great unknown.

But it really isn’t. He’s been working his business part time. It’s growing nicely. It should grow even faster when he devotes more attention to it.

And you know what? If he sees he may be a little short on cash, he can always get a temporary gig.

He could work part-time for a while if need be. And if things really don’t work out, he can always get a job.

Heck, he could probably even get his current job back.

We tend to think it’s all-or-nothing. We tend to overemphasize the risk. We tend to limit our options. We tend to think we can’t go back.

But you can probably walk back over the same bridge as long as you don’t burn it.

When you’re traveling down a road, you’ll probably see a sign if the road is closed ahead. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way with your career.

But there are signs. They’re usually just more subtle. It’s a feeling – or the lack thereof – that used to be there.

Ignore them to your own detriment. Pay attention to them for your BIGG success!

What signs you have you noticed when you changed careers?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00824-082312.mp3

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