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You’ve Heard of the Purple Cow, but Have You Seen The Purple Tree?

One of the most frequent questions we get is how we come up with show topics. So we thought we’d give you a peak behind the curtain and show you how we arrived at today’s show idea.

We were eating!

That’s why today’s show topic is really … I can’t believe I ate that whole thing! Plop … plop … fizz … fizz!

Mary-Lynn recalled …
We were at a family diner. I started reminiscing about when I was a kid. There was this restaurant that we would go to when we went to visit my grandma. It was called the Hen House. The outside looked like a big red barn. The inside had a country décor and a fun little gift shop that my sister and I would always visit after eating. They had games and books and candy …

George added …
We’re showing our roots here. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it (which is likely most of you), the Hen House was a Midwestern chain. Sort of a smaller version of Cracker Barrel.

I have a book by William Dooner, the guy who started the Hen House chain. And to me, the most memorable thing from his book is when he talks about the purple tree in the forest.

Hence the subject of today’s show!

The Purple Tree

Dooner says to picture yourself walking through a lush green forest. In the middle of it, you come upon a tree that is painted purple. You keep walking, but you can’t get that purple tree out of your mind. Most likely, your impression is negative … because it doesn’t fit. Why someone would paint that tree that color?

Mary-Lynn …
When I heard this story, I wondered if this is where Seth Godin got his idea for The Purple Cow. Because I’d never heard this purple tree story before, but I’d definitely heard of the purple cow.

We can’t speak to Seth Godin’s inspiration, but they are different concepts. William Dooner said to look for something that stands out because it doesn’t fit. It probably leaves a negative impression. Seth Godin encouraged us to purposefully not fit in so that we stand out. By doing that, we make a positive impression.  

In either case, purple tree or purple cow, you remember it.

So, as it applies to real estate, the purple tree in the forest means properties that may be run-down, out-of-the-way, unused, underused … that sort of thing. What Dooner did with the Hen House chain is a perfect example (see, we’re about to make it all fit … you were starting to doubt us, weren’t you?).

The $10 million purple tree

He saw this vacant land next to gas stations along the interstate. It was ugly, smelly, littered with junk, no landscaping. A purple tree. 

This land had never been used commercially. At that point in time, there often wasn’t any place to eat when you stopped to fill up with gas. So Dooner had a bigg idea – he invested $15 thousand to start a restaurant chain on that unwanted and unused land. He later sold that chain for $10 million!

Beyond real estate

We highly recommend Dooner’s book. It’s called How to Go from Rags to Riches in Real Estate. It’s a must read if you’re interested in real estate investing, but this purple tree concept goes beyond that.

Think about customers nobody wants to serve, employees nobody wants to hire, jobs nobody wants to do. Maybe one of those is your purple tree! So look around today … where do you see purple trees?

 

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The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster Ride

When you own your own business, you have your highs and you have your lows. And it seems like you rarely have any in-betweens.

George said  …
I never talked about this for years. I thought it was just me. Then I got up the nerve and mentioned it to my sister, who also owns businesses.

She said she knew exactly what I was talking about! So that encouraged me to ask other business owners about it. So far, every single person I’ve ever talked to about this knows exactly what it means. You can see it on their face as soon as you bring it up.

But it’s something I think a lot of entrepreneurs don’t talk about.

Mary-Lynn added  …
With Bigg Success, I’m experiencing business ownership for the first time. And I feel like I’m on a roller coaster. There are days where I feel exhilaration from the ride and there are days when I feel sheer terror and want to get off the ride.

Entrepreneurial terror

If you’ve never experienced it, count yourself lucky, but most people in business have.

You can feel terrified at times even with a job. You may fear you’re going to lose yours when you see other people’s jobs getting cut. But it’s still different for business owners.

George …
I remember one of the guest speakers for my class who talked about the number of mouths he had to feed now. A lot of the most successful business owners I know take personal responsibility for their people. They don’t look at just putting bread on their table; they worry about their employees as well.

That can keep you up at night!

Inc. published an article (way back in February 1987) called Entrepreneurial Terror. A portion of it has been republished on Wachovia’s Small Business site.

It was written by Wilson Harrell, a serial entrepreneur and author of For Entrepreneurs Only. He said:

“… the ability to handle terror, and to live with it, is the single most important
– and, yes, necessary – ingredient of entrepreneurial success.”

This company doesn’t love misery

He says that you shouldn’t share your lows with your friends and loved ones, because you’ll just pass the worry on to them. Unless they’re your partner in business.

He adds that you should always share your highs, though.

How highs turn to lows

The way you spend your time and money when you’re on a high often has a lot to do with how low you go. Let’s look at two examples:

  • Too busy for marketing
    When you’re so busy, you may even be running at capacity, and you know your business couldn’t crank out any more volume no matter how much you wanted to. So you slow down – or even stop – your marketing efforts.

    George …
    I’ve done this! It’s easy to do – there’s no time! But that insures the next down cycle because you’re not doing those things that you did to get to the up cycle.

  • Being careless with money
    A lot of times cash flow is at its peak during an up cycle. That’s part of the reason you’re on an emotional high. So you make that major expenditure. Or you add to your overhead. The next thing you know you’re on a low because business and cash flow have slowed down and you have little or no cash reserves.

You may not be able to avoid the highs and lows. What you can do is conduct business so that your lows are higher … and your highs are higher!

It may not feel any different, but you know it is. You’re reaching ever higher levels of success! Now that’s bigg success!

 

 

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Beyond Networking

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Melissa Giovagnoli. Melissa is an author, speaker, coach and entrepreneur. Of her 11 books, four have been on the best seller’s list and one was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is one of the world’s leading experts on networking and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and Fox. She was recently named the “best networker in Chicago” by Crain’s.


Networking vs. Networlding

We asked Melissa for her best networking tip. She says not to think of it as networking, but think of it as networlding, which is the title of one of her books. Networlding expands opportunities rather than limiting them.

As a networker, you might set a goal of meeting two people. If you’re a networlder, you would set a goal of meeting two people who you can form a long-term relationship with and build opportunities for you, for them, and for the greater good.

The “overstuffed Rolodex syndrome”

Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. You leverage your network by thinking about who would be good connections for you. Start with people who have complementary values. With the online world, you can have quality and quantity by being specific about what you ask for to create a vibrant exchange.

7 levels of support

Networking isn’t about taking. It’s also not about just giving. You can support people:  

  • Emotionally
  • By providing information
  • By providing knowledge (information plus experiences)
  • By promoting them
  • Through wisdom sharing (the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent)
  • By creating transformational opportunities
  • Community (creating the greatest good for the greatest number)

Links to Melissa’s sites

networlding2.org
This is Melissa’s most interactive community. The goal is for members to support each other in achieving their respective goals. You can create your own profile and build your own private circle around your special interest.

Networlding E-Learning
Here you’ll get six FREE lessons on networking for business and sales or networking for jobs.

Melissa will also help you with writing a book. If you’re really serious about it, contact her.

 

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Does Barack Obama's Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

 



Related posts

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(Image by rollingstone.com)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Does Barack Obama’s Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

 



Related posts

462]

98]

34]

32]

260]

(Image by rollingstone.com)