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Picasso on Personal Branding

picasso.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. There’s an old negotiating rule:

You get the set the price or the terms, but you don’t get to do both. So if you choose the terms of your life, bigg success will set the price.

We were talking about Picasso recently. We don’t talk about a painting by Picasso; we talk about “a Picasso”. His name is branded with his work. d do it.

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No overnight sensation

But Picasso paid a price for his bigg success. It didn’t happen overnight. It took years for Picasso to become … Picasso.

He started at the age of seven. His father was an art professor, so he had a mentor from a very early age.

In his adult years, he was so poor, at times, that he burned his own paintings to heat his living space. Now that’s expensive energy!

No matter what obstacles he faced, he kept painting. Painting was his obsession.

A drop out

He was admitted to a top school of art, but dropped out. Formal education wasn’t his thing. He was determined to live his life on his own terms. In fact, he often argued with his father over his paintings.

Picasso the brand

He didn’t always listen to his mother either. He said:

"When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

There have been lots of generals over the years. We’re on our 265th Pope. But there’s only ever been, and ever will be, one Picasso.

And there’s only, and ever will be only, one you!

Picasso had a different dream for himself than his mother had for him. He had a bigger vision. He was unique and he sought to prove it.

What would have happened if Picasso didn’t dream so bigg?

Would he have been a general who doodles? Fortunately, we’ll never know.

But we do know that we would have never known Picasso. The world would have missed out on his great talents.

That’s why it’s so important to define your own terms. There are times when you should listen to others. There are times when you should only listen to that still small voice inside yourself. Distinguishing which one to listen to, and when, is one of the keys to bigg success.

What is your voice telling you?

Please share that, if you want, by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Financial advisors tell you to pay yourself first. Please join us next time when we say, “Play yourself first!” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Our source for much of the information about Picasso, along with the image we used in today's post was Wikipedia.

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Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play

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We love hearing from people in the Bigg Success community and recently, Rupa, one of our newsletter subscribers, sent us an e-mail with two great questions.

She said that Generation Y wrestles with the blurred lines between their private, public and professional lives. So colleagues in their professional world have access to personal information.

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Young professional

Which leads to Rupa’s first question is, “How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?

Rupa continues by saying that we’re now a very visible society and are encouraged to share our information online. But she’s not thrilled segmenting who can see what by setting up different privacy settings.

So her second question is, “Should we – as a collective society – consider redefining ‘professionalism’ as we've always known it? Is it outdated?"

In the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that we know Rupa. She is a very professional young person. That’s why her question carries even more weight with us.

Back in the day …

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use Facebook, the most popular social network right now. Generation Y users began using this social media service when it was just a place for Gen Y.

Back in those good old days, your boss wouldn't be on Facebook. Today, he or she may be. Back then, a colleague you met at an event would contact you via email. Today, that colleague may ask to friend you on Facebook.

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marylynnI think all active social networkers wrestle with this to some extent. I have a friend who holds a highly visible position in her community. We were talking the other day and she said that she originally got on Facebook to keep track of her kids. Her family joined her. It was mainly a personal space for her. But now she is getting a lot of requests from people she knows in the community and she worries about the same thing. I think you have to find a happy medium when using social media. Make it not too much personal and not too much professional.

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georgeWhen you create your profile on Facebook, they ask you to fill out all kinds of things. But you don’t have to. For example, I don't include my religious or political beliefs on my profile page. However, I also don’t walk around with those labels stamped on me when I network in person either. That’s something I only share with close friends.

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“How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?”

We think you can do one of two things:

  • When a professional colleague asks to friend you on Facebook, reply with: "I would prefer to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" and provide your link.  
  • If you do add them to your Facebook friends and you are concerned that they might see something you don’t want them to, then you don’t have a choice – you have to use privacy settings.

This can be done by creating a "Professional" friend list and applying specific privacy policies to that group. We found a fantastic article that lists some useful privacy settings for Facebook along with instructions on how to configure them.

Privacy settings allow you to present yourself in a youthful way to one set of friends and as a professional to another group. Don’t we do that, at least to some extent, in the real world as well? Imagine all of the people you know in one room together!

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george
I went too far with my privacy settings. Now, even I can’t see what I’m doing!

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Maintaining privacy settings may be a little bit of a pain but your efforts will give you peace of mind – especially if you are in Gen Y and used Facebook for its original intent but you’re now integrating your professional contacts too.

Is social media creating the need to change the definition of professionalism?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Acceptable behavior hasn’t changed. People still hold each other to pretty similar standards as before.

What is different, and Rupa said it clearly in her e-mail, is the visibility. In other words, you’re more likely to get caught, we say tongue-in-cheek!

Because of that visibility, you have to be more careful about how you portray yourself online. For instance, let's say you are having a bad day. As a professional, you wouldn’t yell out, “I hate my job,” for everyone in the office to hear.

By the same token, it might be wise not to post that sentiment on your Facebook status, especially if you have co-workers in your network of friends. If you want Facebook to be a place to share the "authentic you", and you friend co-workers and managers, then it’s best to set up some privacy settings!

Your brand image

The bottom line is to remember that you are a brand. Your brand consists of your personal life and your professional life. Social media allows you to share both sides of your life with people in a public arena. You have to control your public brand image.

Thanks so much, Rupa, for your thought-provoking questions and for giving us permission to use them!

What are your thoughts about Rupa’s questions?

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00350-031309.mp3

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Improve Your Strategic Decision-Making Skills with this Simple Game

which_wayAnita Bruzzese is the author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy. We were fortunate to meet her at a conference we attended a few months back. She had a great post recently, where she discussed a game she played with her kids called, “Which would you rather?”

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georgeWith this game, you present your fellow players with a choice. For instance, I asked Mary-Lynn which she would rather give up for a month – chocolate or her cell phone.

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marylynn That was a tough question, but I would give up chocolate. My phone is my mobile device; there’s no way I could live without it for a month!

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georgeHmmm … Mary-Lynn with no chocolate. I’d plan to be away that month!

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A fun way to keep a conversation going

When we discussed conversation continuers recently, we said that games are one way to keep a conversation going. This is a great example of a game you could play to do that. For example, you could ask … 

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marylynn Who would you rather work for – a boss who’s super-demanding or a boss who’s never around? Anita posed more great questions in her post.

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georgeIf you check out her post, you can see how I answered the questions she asked.

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A fun way to improve strategic decision-making

Decision trees are a great way to visualize possible business strategies, since a business can be thought of as a series of either / or options. Sounds like a ramped-up version of “Which would you rather”, doesn’t it? Question 1 leads to Question 2 and so on.

For example, let’s say you plan to start a restaurant. Play “Which would you rather?”

  • Which would you rather open – a big restaurant or a small restaurant? Let’s say you choose bigg … with two g’s of course!
  • Which would you rather be – part of a franchise system or an independent? You really want to create your own brand, so you want to be independent.
  • Where would you locate – in a strip center or a free-standing building? You could do some research to determine which one seems to work better for restaurants like the one you plan to start.

We could keep going, but you get the idea. The reason you create the decision tree is to see the impact of your choices. For instance, if you chose “franchise” for the second question, they may specify whether you’re inline or free-standing.

A fun way to teach your kids critical entrepreneurial skills

Play this game with your kids and help them develop critical entrepreneurial skills! Just add the “decision tree” dimension one question at a time. So instead of asking your kids to think of one question, ask them to think of three – the initial question and a follow-up question for each of the possible answers. They’ll be thinking like an entrepreneur in no time!

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Next time, we’ll examine a highly-touted way to pay off your mortgage early. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by sundstrom)

3 Action Items to Increase Your Productivity

In a new study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a group of researchers surveyed 58 random people in a shopping mall. These researchers asked the participants to recall the decisions they had made that day. Then the researchers asked the participants to solve some simple math problems. They found that the more decisions a participants had made, the less likely they were to solve the problems.

 

There appears to be a price to making decisions – we become less productive as we make more decisions. And boy, do we have to make a lot of decisions today!

A six item grocery list
Picture yourself in a grocery store holding a list with six items – orange juice, bagels, Philadelphia cream cheese, Crest toothpaste, Coke, and lettuce.

In 1970, with that list you would have had a choice of 50 items. By 1998, you would need to filter through 250 different products just to get all the items on your list.

This comes from the spectacular book, Simplicity Marketing: End Brand Complexity, Clutter, and Confusion by Steven M. Cristol and Peter Sealey.

Think about it – that was 1998. Do you think it’s any better now?

3 bigg action items to simplify decision making

#1 – Make a list that’s specific.

So specific in fact, that you could send someone else and get exactly what you want. Studies show that people who shop with a list don’t buy as many impulse items so they tend to spend less money.

More importantly, it saves you time and mental fatigue as the studies showed.

#2 – Set a time limit when you’re making a major decision.

Before you begin doing research for a bigg decision, set a time limit. Once you’re satisfied with your findings or once you reach your time limit, make a decision.

As an example, we recently set up the web site for Bigg Studio, a sister company to Bigg Success, for audio production services. We needed to decide on the design for the site. There were an endless number of possibilities. We chose one that fit our criteria and moved on.

Here’s another tip that we love – get out your magic 8 ball. Ask it if you made the right decision. Look at its answer and see how you feel about it. This taps into your intuition about the decision which makes getting to the decision you’re most comfortable easier.

If you like this idea, here are a couple of links you might find helpful:

#3 – Become a partner in stress relief for the important people in your life.
Get to know the preferences of the people who depend on you, like your customers, your co-workers, your boss, and your significant other. Weed through all the options and present them with just a few.

The authors of Simplicity Marketing make the point that

“the next generation of positioning successes will belong to those brands that relieve customer stress.”

So there’s a significant opportunity in the future for people and companies who are able to simplify things. This applies not just to your company brand, but also to your personal brand.

This is one of the things we try to do here at Bigg Success. We try hard to sort through all the information out there and deliver to you those few things we’ve found to be the most important.

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7 Ways to Tap into Your Creative Side

george_krueger_jpgYou are your own brand and it’s important to convey what your brand stands for to the world. Understanding the role of design in that message is essential.

So tap into your creative side.

You may feel burned out.

Tap into your creative side.

You want to get in touch with your inner self.

Tap into your creative side. Here are seven ways to do just that:

#1 – Read a magazine
You may not have time to ready a book, but you can certainly devour an article or two. Pay attention to the magazine’s design and layout. Also study the words and the writing style.

#2 – Go shopping
Pay attention to how manufacturers package their products. How retailers display them. How they promote special deals and new items. The way they group products together. Where things are located in the store.

#3 – Visit an art museum
Study a particular work. What is the artist saying? How does he or she convey it? What colors and textures did they use?

#4 – Spend time with kids
See the world through their eyes. Learn how to explore like they do.

#5 – Listen to great music
What does it make you feel? How do the lyrics and the music fit together? If it’s classical music, listen closely to the crescendos. If you’re listening to jazz, take in the improvisational solos and the crispness of each note.

#6 – Go to a nice restaurant
Look at how their menu is designed. How the staff presents the entrees. How they display the food on your plate. The design of the restaurant itself.

#7 – Write
Taking a note from the excellent book, The Artist’s Way, write down anything and everything that comes to your mind. Get in touch with yourself. Don’t edit or analyze. Just write whatever you think, whether it’s good or bad.

Consider going somewhere with a lot of activity. Use your senses to write down what you see, hear, feel, and smell. 

Our bigg quote today comes from Arthur Koestler.

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the
teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.”

Now, you should be able to get a good grade in that class!

Next time, we’ll discuss five places to find cash for your business now. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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