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How to Drive Your Life Through Bad Weather

We’ve had a lot of snow this winter in our area of the world. We aren’t setting records, but it sure seems like it’s been white for a long time. And another storm’s a coming.

Which wheels do you use?
Some cars are front-wheel drive; others are driven by the rear-wheels; still others by all four wheels.

In life and business, the front wheels represent others. The rear wheels represent you.

When the weather’s good, it doesn’t matter which wheels drive your car. But, when bad weather comes, it’s easy to get stuck.

Front-wheel drive vehicles perform better than rear-wheel drive cars in bad weather. You need the help of others to help keep you from getting stuck.

Of course, all-wheel drive does the best of all. While you may get help from others, you also have to rely on your own ingenuity and innovativeness to keep you going down the road.

Even today – when we don’t have to leave the house to make and maintain connections – a lot of people isolate themselves. The threat of a storm keeps them from going anywhere.

BIGG goal-getters connect and learn. In many cases, they’re able to do both simultaneously. When bad weather comes, they’re ready for it!

How good are your tires?
Even if you all-wheel drive, you need to check your tires from time to time. Do they have enough tread?

If you just drive and drive and drive, the tread on your tires will wear thin. You need to take some time out just for you. And you need to invest time in others.

Retread yourself by reading a great book, going for a run, reaching out to an old friend. Do those things that get you ready to get back on the road.

Are your wheels balanced?
You need to make sure your wheels are balanced. Otherwise, you’ll feel the vibrations. Your trip won’t be nearly as smooth.

We don’t think work–life balance works. However, there’s no denying that we all perform best when we have a blend of both the personal and the professional.

Are you integrating both worlds into your life? You need to find the custom blend that works best for you. 

We must confess this is still one of our biggest struggles. We’re getting better but still can’t claim to have mastered it.

We love our work but we also know that we need more personal time. It’s the combination that makes the trip more enjoyable.

Have you aligned your wheels?
If you don’t align your wheels, your car will veer off to one side or the other. You need a crystal clear vision of where you’re headed.

You don’t need to know all the details. The world changes too fast these days to map out the route. There will be detours along the way. And you will run into bad weather that may require a course correction.

But you still know where you want to go. And you’ve got an all-wheel drive vehicle to take you there.

Just one more thing … don’t forget your emergency kit.

(Image in today’s post by Mattox)

If You Want to be a BIGG Success …

Act like a BIGG Success

Act like a BIGG success.

We’ll grant you, it’s a short-term solution. In the long-term, you have to do more. You have to do those things which lead you to your destiny.

But today – make that right now – act like a
BIGG success.

It’s easy to let our feelings dictate our activities. As a BIGG goal-getter, you can’t afford to do that. Act like a BIGG success to snap yourself out of whatever feelings are holding you back.

So if you’re sitting right now, sit up and smile.
When you get up, stick out your chest and walk with confidence.
Give a hearty “Hello” to the next person you see.
Reach out to that person you really want to know.
Tackle that BIGG project with fervor.

Act! Now!

Just one caveat:
If riches are part of your definition of BIGG success, don’t spend now like you’ve already made it. Living rich, before you are rich, is one sure way to never be rich.

Image in this post from LilGoldWmn

Marketing in Tough Times: Part 1

marketing1 Today on The Bigg Success Show, we begin a discussion with John Jantsch. John is the author of the great book, Duct Tape Marketing – The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide. Forbes chose his Duct Tape Marketing blog as one of their favorites and Harvard features it on their marketing site. He also writes a monthly column and does a podcast for Entrepreneur magazine.

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marylynn
That’s a long intro and it’s not even everything!

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john
That’s good … we wouldn’t want to bore people right off the bat!

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marylynnJohn, I have to tell you. You’re the guy we wanted to come to because with everything going on with the economy, small businesses are struggling right now. A lot of the money that they might have had for advertising and marketing just isn’t there right now. So we want to talk with you about how to promote yourself on a shoestring budget.

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johnA lot of small business owners have done that. The headlines are that the Dow is down. Big companies are cutting back all kinds of jobs. The newspaper industry is in turmoil because of losing advertisers. But the typical small business owner is not putting out hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. In many cases, they have gotten to where they’ve gotten because they worked on a shoestring anyway. I wrote a column this week for a publication and talked about the natural competitive advantages of small business. I think that we can have this tendency to get in this “the sky is falling” mode and quite frankly, my experience at least is, that it’s not falling on the small business owner. The small business owner is now finding that the market momentum, sheer momentum, is perhaps not carrying them and that they have to get better at doing some of the things that maybe they should have been doing anyway. But my current soap box right now is to say, “Hey, everything is okay. Let’s just buckle in and do some things right.” So that was my long-winded intro to answer your question. Right now is the best time ever to get closer to your customer.

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george
So what are some customer-building strategies that don’t require spending a lot of money?

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johnYour customer, whether it’s a business or an individual, is feeling some of this economic pressure as well. This is a great time to huddle up and say, “What more can we be doing with you, for you? How can we get together and help each other?” Strategic partnerships have always been a great way to go for folks who are strapped for making the phone ring. Go out and find other people that have your ideal customer in mind. Find ways to co-brand some of your marketing materials, put workshops on together, or maybe just literally pass out each other’s materials. One of the greatest partnerships I ever put together was a plumbing contractor. They were going into people’s house every day. So we said to them, “Let’s find an electrical contractor, a roofing contractor, and three or four other people who treat their customers the way you like. Why don’t you all start going in and recommending each other?” You know how that happens – once you develop trust with a customer, they’ll ask you for every resource you can give them! So doing things like that – things people should be doing, good times and bad. It really does put the spotlight on them now if you haven’t been doing them.

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Thanks for reading today’s post. Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with John. He discusses ways to add value for customer loyalty. 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/00308-011409.mp3

Related posts

Marketing in Tough Times: Part 2

Marketing in Tough Times: Part 3

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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

(Image in today's post by duchessa)

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

tribes Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Seth Godin about his great new book Tribes. Last time, Seth told us what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why the quality of a tribe is more important than its quantity.

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Why Seth became a leader

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marylynnSeth, you said that a leader connects the tribe and gives them a voice. Obviously, you’re the leader of a tribe. What motivated you to be a leader?

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seth_godinWhen I see things that are broken or aren’t the way they should be, when I see wasted resources and talent, it bothers me. I want to do something about it. I want to talk about it. I want to point it out. I want to help people see that there’s a different path. What I discovered, mostly from my blog over the last six or seven years, is that there are other people like me who are itching to make a difference. All I do is tell people stuff they already knew. All I do is give names to things that are already out there. But by giving it a name, by talking about it, I’m allowing people to say, “That’s right. The emperor has no clothes.” I’m allowing people to go to their boss and talk about remarkable products in a clever way or go to their boss and talk about treating people with respect instead of spamming them. By giving people this ammunition, what I’ve discovered is that I thought they were doing something for me, by letting me influence the discussion. They’re actually doing something for themselves because they, even more than I, want to see these things fixed and improved so they reach their potential.

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The Power of One

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georgeWell Seth, you’re being very humble when you say that you’re just saying things that other people have said. I think you say them in a way that cuts through and clarifies so we all understand. One of the things you talk about in Tribes is the power of one.

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seth_godinHere’s the bad news – there’s all this leverage. There’s all this opportunity. If it doesn’t cost any money to find and lead and connect a tribe, if you can start your own online radio or TV show, if you can have your own blog, if you can use Meetup to connect people in 500 cities, if it’s all available and then you don’t do it, you can’t blame anybody else. That’s your choice. The punch line of the book is this is now an obligation. It’s an obligation – for anyone who cares, for anyone who wants to see change happen – for them to go make that change. One person is all that it takes to change the agenda, to keep people out of poverty, to change the way your school district works, or to get elected. One person is able to now leverage the work and enthusiasm and passion of hundreds or thousands of people.

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The future is about leverage

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georgeWe’ve gone through this recent financial crisis. Partly it’s a result of too much leverage. So in a financial sense, we can look at leverage as perhaps a bad thing. But you talk in your book about leverage and how leverage as a leader can help you impact change for the good.

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seth_godinWell, let’s be really clear though. Leverage isn’t good or bad. Leverage is the way tools work. If you have bad intent, if you have selfish intent, if you have non-transparent intent, you can do all sorts of horrible things with tribes. We’ve seen racism and all sorts of other things amplified by this sort of leverage. The problem in our financial community is not because of leverage. The problem in our financial community is that selfish individuals made short-term decisions in the dark without telling everyone what they were doing. Leverage is the only thing that’s going to get us out of this financial problem and it will. Our future is now all about leverage. Our future is about the fact that one person in Tucson can have a clever idea and have it designed by someone in India, built by someone in Guatemala, and sold by someone in Buenos Aires. That’s extraordinary because we can do that in two weeks instead of two years. If we have good intent, if we’re willing to stand behind what we’re doing, then I’m incredibly optimistic.

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marylynnHere’s another thing that’s really exciting about this day and age. As you say in the book, marketing used to be about advertising which is expensive. Now to get the word out about that product you created in two weeks, it’s about engaging your tribe. So that makes it less expensive and easier.

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seth_godinIf you look at the most popular blogs in the world, almost all of them did not come from the mainstream media. The people who had all the money, all the access, and all the power, they all failed. Nobody’s going to CBS, The Today Show, or NBC online to hear unique, honest voices. They’re visiting real people, or groups of people – like the “Huffington Posts” of the world – because great ideas win. Great ideas attract enthusiasm and passion. So corporate money doesn’t work the way it used to.

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Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll wrap up our conversation with Seth. He talks about how change and chaos are creating opportunities for all of us today. We’ll also learn what keeps Seth going. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00254-103008.mp3

Related posts

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

Why Your Brain May Not Be the Best Money Manager

Morningstar, one of the most respected names in financial information, recently held their annual investment conference.

There was a great deal of discussion about the volatility of the market and how jittery it’s making many investors. Jittery investors like to do something, but the problem is they don’t make the best decisions in troubling times.

 

We have met the enemy!

One of the speakers was Jason Zweig, who is also the author of Your Money and Your Brain. Our brains can be our own worst enemies when it comes to investing. He said there are two parts of our brain – the reflexive (emotional) part and the reflective (logical) part. The emotional side is ever-present; we have to consciously call upon the logical part.

Obviously, we want to buy low and sell high. The problem is, with the emotional part of our brains running rampant, we may tend to buy high and sell low!

So don’t get in a hurry to sell in times like these. Stay the course if your investment horizon is five or more years, because research shows that a broad portfolio of stocks tends to go up as long as you hold them for five years or more. If you need the money (e.g. you plan to retire or send a kid to college) within the next few years, talk to your investment advisor to determine your best move.

You can make money with a stock that goes nowhere!

Let’s say that you have $100 to invest each month. You decide to invest it in a broad index fund (e.g. the S&P 500).

NOW: Assume that shares of that fund are selling for $20 right now. So you buy 5 shares.

Month 1: Assume the price falls 50% to $10 per share. But you keep investing. You buy 10 more shares with your $100 monthly contribution. So you’ve invested $200 total and your 15 shares are worth $150. You’re in the red. But you don’t care – you’re in it for the long-term!

Month 2:
Assume shares of this fund are now selling for $20 again. With your $100 monthly investment, you buy 5 more shares bringing your total to 20 shares, worth $400. But you’ve only invested $300. You’re $100 ahead, even though the share price is the same as it was when you started!

Reacting logically may mean not reacting at all!

It’s very difficult (if not impossible) to predict what the stock market will do. However, research has shown time and again that staying the course is usually the most profitable path for most people.

It’s understandable that you might be worried right now with the market being so turbulent. But don’t panic – react logically … which may mean not reacting at all!

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(Image by woodsy)