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Is Your Status Costing You Money?

balance We all experience trade-offs. One of the most significant ones is time and money. If we have money, we can use it to buy services that give us more time. Another trade-off is status and money.

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Status at work

We may ask our boss for more money, but he or she tells us that it’s not in the budget. So instead, we’re offered a title – it gives us more credibility but it doesn’t line our coffers.

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marylynn When I was starting out in my radio career, I helped out quite a bit in the production department putting together commercials. I eventually became the go-to person when the production director wasn’t available. When I asked for more money, I was told it wasn’t in the budget but they gave me the title of Assistant Production Director. This helped me negotiate for a higher salary when I left for a different market.

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So sometimes the title can lead to more money. If that’s the case, great! But we need to go into it with eyes wide open because status without money usually doesn’t do us much good in the short- or long-run. We may have to work more hours because of our new title. We may be held more responsible. So we have to weigh the benefits.

Bringing it home

We also often fall into the status trap personally. We buy things, such as cars or houses that we don’t really need or want. We do it to keep up with our friends and neighbors.

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georgeTwo of my friends are best friends. They don’t do this anymore but, when they were first starting out, it was almost comical to watch them compete with each other. One bought a new car; within a month or so the other got a new car. One of them bought a new house; the next thing you knew the other one had his house on the market and was buying a new one. One got married; soon the other was engaged. One had a kid; soon the other one was an expectant father!

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The point is to recognize when you’re about to do something solely to increase your status. It may hurt you financially! Which means, in the long run, you’ll have less status than you would like.

It’s funny … what often keeps us from getting rich is acting like we’re rich before we are rich!

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Next time, we’ll discuss one more thing to add to your schedule to keep you on schedule. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Couples Today are Rethinking Traditional Roles

By Bigg Success Staff
07-15-08

Work – Life Balance

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If you’re half of a dual-income couple with kids, working out your work – life balance involves negotiating at home and at work. First, you and your spouse need to discuss how household duties as well as child care responsibilities will be divvied up. Who does what when?

The best solution is what works best for you, not what society has traditionally expected. If it works for the two of you and your family, it works!

Redefining roles

According to the Council on Contemporary Families, working couples have seen some significant change in responsibilities over the last 30 years. Men are assuming more duties at home and with the children.

This evolution has been a logical response. If a woman has greater career potential than a man, it may make sense for the man to shoulder more family duties. This is now the case about one-third of the time.

So if a couple decides that’s the best trek for them, the next step involves negotiating at work. For men, this can be difficult because society still often regards household chores and child-rearing as the woman’s role.

Pay vs. flexibility

One of the most effective ways to get the flexibility you need is during a review. Especially if your employer is not able to offer you the pay raise you feel you deserve. Perhaps you can negotiate greater flexibility in lieu of the full pay raise you might like.

Balance your costs with your gains. You may not make as much money as you like, but you may also lower your costs. You can spend more time with your kids rather than paying someone else to do it. That difference may almost offset the lower pay raise.

Pay vs. telecommuting

A question to ask yourself (and your boss) is – can you do more work from home? Save both the time and money of commuting. With today’s high gas prices, you’ll save a lot of money. It doesn’t even have to be every day. Any day you don’t have to drive is a plus.

Once again, it may be best to bring this item up as part of a discussion of pay raises. Perhaps a concession to accepting less of a pay raise is to let you telecommute at least some of the time. You can quickly figure out if your savings equals what you had hoped to earn in additional income. And don’t forget – more income gets taxed, saving money on fuel doesn’t. So compare the after-tax income to the savings from not driving as much.

1100 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]

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Are You a Born Leader or a Born Boss?

By Bigg Sucess Staff
06-26-08

Leadership Skills

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Some people seem born to lead; others appear born to boss. It’s not necessarily innate; it is also shaped by attitudes, perceptions, and experiences.

Some people think that they are leaders because of their position. However, by definition, you can’t be a leader if no one willingly follows.

That’s what bosses don’t get. Barking out orders doesn’t accomplish much in the long run. Especially in a tough labor market.

Leaders make requests because they can. They don’t demand because they don’t have to. Their people willingly follow them because of a clearly communicated vision coupled with mutual respect. And you can’t expect others to show you respect if you don’t show respect to others.

Remember the old saying, “People join companies; they leave bosses.” You may have heard that quote with the word “managers” substituted for “bosses”. But note that you’ve never heard “leaders” instead of “bosses”.

Do you suppose there’s a reason for that?

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

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Moving On to Move Up

By Bigg Success Staff
06-13-08

Life Changes

At some point in your career, you may decide that you’ve reached a plateau with your employer. You realize that you can’t advance the way you’d like without a change.

You have to move on in order to move up.

Making a decision like this is (or should be) a logical process, but actually acting upon it can be very emotional. Especially when you’re leaving people with whom you’ve had a long-term relationship.

One of those people may be your boss. That boss who has been more than just a boss. There could be many words to describe the role he or she has played in your career.

Mentor. Cheerleader. Coach. Supporter. Trainer. Advisor.

Your boss may have become almost a surrogate father or mother to you. Your relationship has gone past the professional; you have become friends.

How do you tell this person about your decision? 

Be upfront and honest

If you truly value your boss, he or she deserves to know why you’re leaving. Let them know that you feel it’s time to move on. Tell them what you plan to do and what your timetable is.

Be appreciative
Thank them for what they’ve taught you. Let them know how glad you are that you got to work with them. Offer to help train someone to take your place. Let them know that they can contact you should a question arise once you leave.

Fulfill your obligations

Honor the commitments you made as part of your employment agreement. For example, if you signed a non-compete agreement, don’t compete with your former employer during the agreed-upon time frame. It’s that simple.

Keep the door open

If you handle it right, your former employer may be a tremendous resource in your new career. Just because you leave the firm doesn’t mean the relationship has to end altogether. Let your boss know that you would like to stay in touch.

Be prepared to go
If you’ve done all of the above, you’ve handled your separation in the most professional manner. That doesn’t mean your boss will do the same. Be prepared to leave the moment you tell your boss your plans.

Different companies and different people have their own ideas on how to handle a departing employee. Even if you do it all the right way, they may still proceed aggressively.

That’s okay, though, because you can look at yourself in the mirror knowing that you did it in style. You’ve moved on to move up!

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

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Finding The “Good” In Good-Bye

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I May Have to Fire an Employee. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Rick has been a manager now for about six months. He has an employee who is under-performing. Rick thinks he may need to fire this employee, but he’s never done that before. He says he would welcome any suggestions we can provide.

Bigg Advice
Do you remember the Cheers episode where Norm Peterson became the executive’s executioner – his job was to fire people. So he took them out for drinks and, by the time it was done, the employee who was being fired felt sorry for Norm. Because as Norm once said,

“It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.”

So there’s one option, but not one that we necessarily recommend for the real world!

Company procedures
Look to your company’s policy manual for guidance on how to proceed.  Also, discuss this with your boss so you fully understand company protocol and precedents.

No surprises

Except for the most egregious situations, you’ve done something wrong if it’s a surprise. To make sure they’re not surprised, you should follow a process. For example, issue a series of warnings with repercussions for not correcting the performance deficiencies

Round and round we go

Sit down with your employee and explain the problem. Discuss what needs to be done to correct it, tell him or her when you’ll review performance again, and outline the consequences if it’s not corrected (e.g. a 3-day suspension without pay).

At the scheduled time, repeat this process. This time the ramifications have to be greater. (e.g. termination of employment). So if you reach this review and the situation hasn’t improved significantly, the result should be obvious to your employee.

You’re giving them a chance to improve their performance and also covering your liability because you’ll document this entire process and have them sign off each step of the way.

An example

George said that in his early days in business, he was managing his field staff. They worked without direct supervision because they performed work at the customer’s home or office. George had hired a young man who just couldn’t work without ongoing oversight.

George went through the rounds outlined above with little improvement. Finally, he let the employee go. He recommended that this young man get a job in a place where someone could watch over him.

He encouraged the young man come back and reapply for employment once he got used to working in a supervised environment. That never happened because the young man found that he liked working with supervision better.

Firing someone doesn’t have to be negative. Offer any help you can provide. Make suggestions. And realize that sometimes it’s just not a good fit – it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, or that they couldn’t be helpful to any employer. It just means it’s not working out for both of you here.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your bigg challenge. We’re sure you’ll handle it just fine.

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