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Freedom Or Security – Which Do You Choose?

Let’s start with some definitions of what we’re talking about when we say freedom and security.

When we talk about security here, we’re talking about things like your personal financial security or job security. Freedom means financial freedom and career freedom.

Many experts say that it’s a trade-off – you have to choose one or the other. We want to examine that today.

So here are a few questions –
Given the definitions above, when we say “security”, what do you think?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking things like “a regular paycheck”, “an annual salary increase”, and “no fear of losing my job.”

What do you think when we say “freedom?”
You might say “creative control”, “no money worries”, “set my own schedule”, and “be my own boss.”

Which one is more fun to think about?
Freedom, of course! In fact, most people tend to smile when thinking about freedom. Thinking about security doesn’t yield the same emotions.

If that’s the case, why do we spend so much time worrying about security and so little time planning for freedom?
That’s a good question, isn’t it? Of course, you might say it’s because you have bills to pay and a family to take care of.

What if you could have both freedom and security?
Isn’t that ideal? Before we offer some suggestions on how to make that happen, we want you to think about how secure that job truly is.

Think about two scenarios –
Scenario 1: You’re an employee with an employer.
Think of your employer as your customer. Think of the services you provide to your employer as your business. Now, look carefully at that … isn’t that what a job really is?

How many customers do you have?               One.
What happens if you lose that customer?      You lose all your income.
How secure is that?                                            It’s not.

Scenario 2: You’re self-employed.
Now picture yourself in your own business with five customers. To keep it simple, assume that each of these customers gives you exactly the same amount of business.

What happens if you lose one?                        You only lose 20% of your income.

So which one is more secure?

Ah, but you protest – with your job comes unemployment insurance and/or a contract with severance pay!

That’s true. However it doesn’t change how you will feel when you realize that your job is being eliminated or you’re being let go for any number of reasons. Wouldn’t you rather live a life free from that concern? To do that, you need more than one source of income … you need multiple “customers.”

2 ways to get started having both freedom and security:

#1: Start a business part-time.
Your part-time business may be related to what you already do, or it may not. If it’s related, make sure you’re not violating any company policies.

How do you get started in business? Get a customer! Now, you’ve diversified your income. Then get another … now you’re even better off!

Hopefully, the income from your part-time business grows to exceed your full-time salary. Now you’re free and secure!

#2: Invest aggressively.
You don’t have to start your own business to have the freedom we’re talking about. Start setting aside money each month into your “freedom fund.” Invest it wisely and over time, you’ll see your passive income start to grow.

When your passive income equals your salary from your full-time job, you’re free and secure. If this strategy interests you, check out 38 Getting Aggressively Passive].

Considering a career change?
Subscribe to the FREE Bigg Success Weekly newsletter to help you plan it and inspire you to go for it. Sign up now and get the Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook. It’s FREE, too!

Our Bigg Quote today is by Alan Cohen, the great author.

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

Don’t let a false sense of security hold you back. Ultimately, true security comes from the freedom you find when you pursue your dreams with passion.

Next time, we’ll answer a question from one of our listeners. She’s doing most of the work, but getting little of the credit. We’ll discuss how to get the credit you deserve.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Hot Businesses For 2008

By Bigg Success Staff
12-28-07

Home Office

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Some overriding trends still drive the list of hot businesses for the coming year. There’s an excellent article from Entrepreneur entitled 2008 Hot List. If you’re looking for a business, you’ll find this article helpful.

The article, written by Lindsay Holloway, Amanda C. Kooser, James Park, Laura Tiffany, Nichole L. Torres and Sara Wilson, provides insight into a number of industries that are ripe for aspiring entrepreneurs.

We’ll provide our own summary here, but you owe it to yourself to check out the full article.

Upscale food and drink
If food or drink is your forte, there’s plenty of opportunity if you can find a micro-niche. With alcoholic beverages, the bottom line is premium is hot. People are drinking less, in general, but when they do, they’re choosing higher quality pours.

There’s also increasing opportunities in enhanced beverages, as the twenty somethings look to liquid refreshments as a near cure-all. Look to Asia for the latest taste trends

As consumers get more and more selective in their food, micro-niches are expected to grow. Organic foods are hot. Now people are looking for even more specialization such as allergen-free, gluten-free, and low glycemic foods. While you’re pondering the possibilities, don’t forget about dessert – consumers with special needs still have a sweet tooth.

In the food service arena, there’s plenty of opportunity as well. English pubs that serve high-quality food, known as gastropubs, are showing great promise.

Upscale dessert shops also hold promise. Whether it is cupcakes or frozen desserts, there’s plenty of opportunity for a sweet business.

Baby boom
The baby boom is nearing retirement age. With that come incredible opportunities to serve them.

As the boomers exit the job market, they’re also creating demand for staffing services that can fill their jobs from the shrinking pool of qualified candidates. On a related note, medical staffing firms are expected to thrive given the growing shortage of medical professionals combined with the aging population.

Seniors want to remain in their homes as long as they possibly can. This is creating huge demand for concierge services that coordinate home health care, financial planning services, non-medical care, and more.

Tweens and teens and twenty somethings
They have more money to spend than any group this age in history. And they’re used to spending it. They want the latest and greatest of everything. Their short attention spans may just create an opportunity for you.

Content is king and this group demands a lot of it – right on their mobile devices. Mobile content, web applications for social networking sites, and online games all have huge market potential.

Educational services are expected to grow. Consultants who help families steer through the college entrance process are expected to be in demand. So are providers of online tutoring as well as developers of courses that can be delivered via the web.

Green movement
Green is starting to produce green. There are an abundance of opportunities developing for entrepreneurs who want to do well by doing good.

High energy prices are creating opportunities in alternative energy, such as solar products. Home automation is hot, partly because of the savings, but also from consumer’s increasing desire for new technology.

Consultants are in demand to help firms with their environmental initiatives.

Shopping
The desire to shop ‘til you drop hasn’t changed. There are plenty of opportunities to open your own retail business – either online or the old-fashioned way.

The hottest categories are accessory items, like sunglasses, handbags, and specialty shoes. Consumers are on-the-lookout for that special something that makes them stand out.

Home party sales, of just about everything you can think of, are raising the roof! And good news if you’re crafty – homemade goods are hotter than ever!

Finally, don’t forget the pets – demand for pet products is expected to continue to rise as consumers pamper their pets as much as they indulge themselves.

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

(Image of package by majiscup, CC 2.0)

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When A Co-Worker Bad Mouths You

We received an e-mail from David. He recently overheard one of his employees make some very negative comments about his management abilities.

He wants advice on how to approach this long-time employee of the company, who is about ten years older than David.

We have three recommendations for David:

  • Know your purpose before you start.
  • You want to have a conversation, not a confrontation. You want to find out if there is an underlying reason for your employee’s comments. Behave accordingly.

  • Report on what you heard.
  • Try to use the word “you” as little as possible. As in, “You said …” Instead, say “It was said …” You’ll accomplish far more by not backing him into a corner. Be as objective as possible so you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

  • Role play.
  • We talked about 24 role playing] a couple of weeks ago. David’s situation is a great example of an interaction where role playing in advance is beneficial. As part of your role playing, come up with the possible scenarios. For instance, He cops an attitude This is a bad sign. However, as nicely and unemotionally as you can, let him know that you want a discussion, not an argument. Tell him again that you’re more concerned about why it was said than what was said. Keep in mind, though, that he may have become the proverbial “bad apple”. You may need to let him go. If you do, your remaining employees will likely ask you what took you so long. He denies he said it This is probably the most frustrating. Remind him that you heard it first-hand; it’s not hearsay. Ask him if he agrees with you that effective relationships, at work or anywhere, rely on honesty. If you can’t communicate honestly, it’s going to be hard to work together. He becomes overly apologetic He may have just been having a bad day and you got the brunt of it. Then move on … we all have bad days. However, it’s possible he’s not being sincere; he just wants to get you off his back now. Only you can judge that. He admits it and tells you what’s wrong This is the desired result. Hopefully, it’s the only scenario you encounter, but you may take a detour through one of the others. Regardless, thank him for his candor. Then demonstrate what a great manager you are by working with him to solve the underlying problem!

Our quote today is by Ayya Khema.

“Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most .”

It’s difficult to see a difficult situation as an opportunity to grow. But if you do … you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss intuition – it’s not just for women anymore, you know! Until then, here’s to your big success!

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The Communication Debate: E-mail, Phone, Or Face Time?

Surgeons have a number of tools available to them. They choose the right tool for the circumstances. Think of surgeons the next time you need to communicate with someone. Consider all the tools available and choose the right ones.

There are three things you should mull over before you select your communication tool.

  • Know your audience.
  • All of us have our own preferences, including the person, or persons, you plan to contact. If possible, use their favorite method to connect with them. Too often, we do what’s most convenient for us. You should make it easy for them.

  • Consider the subject.
  • Are you trying to convey a simple message? Or is it complex? Does the subject lend itself to “one-way and wait” dialogue, or would real-time two-way conversation be more productive? The answers to these questions may dictate your method of contact.

  • Think effectiveness.
  • As with any interpersonal communication, effectiveness is more important than efficiency. What’s the best way to deliver your message so it’s understood? Focus on achieving your desired result, not how fast you can get it done.

Here are some examples:

  • If you need a response, but you can wait … just e-mail me.
  • If you need an immediate response … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to present a very complex idea … let me see your lovely face.
  • You want to follow-up on a meeting or an interview … just e-mail me.
  • You need to discuss a delicate situation … let me see your lovely face.
  • I’m very busy and you need to get answers fast … let me hear your sexy voice.
  • You need to negotiate a deal … let me see your lovely face.

Of course, you may determine that more than one method of contact is appropriate. For example, you might e-mail me to schedule a face-to-face meeting.

As a fallback, e-mail is great because it is the least invasive. Obviously, face-to-face is the most invasive. But meeting in person is the richest form of communication. E-mail is at the bottom of that list.

Our quote today comes from Lee Iacocca.

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get
them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

So get it right – use the right communication method at the right time for the right crowd in the right way.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what to do when a co-worker bad mouths you. How should you confront this difficult situation? Until then, here’s to your big success!

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Turn Misfortune Into Fortune: Tips for Starting Over

Last time, we talked about Todd, a young real estate entrepreneur, whose triumph turned to tragedy. Todd’s story comes from an article, in the New York Times, by John Leland, entitled A Real Estate Speculator Goes From Boom To Bust. We discussed some lessons you can learn from Todd’s misfortune.

Today, we want to go beyond the lessons and offer some advice on how to recover from a devastating turn of events.

Keep your dream alive.
Stay positive. Reach out to people close to you. People love helping people. Let them.

You should also be thankful for your misfortune. Yes, we do mean that. It means you’re one step closer to success! History is ripe with examples of people who failed before they succeeded bigg. Plan on your name being added to that list!

Here’s the first step to starting over:
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re not going to repeat the past, you have to learn from it. That’s how you 13 fail forward]. Learn from it and then forget about it – move on.

In Todd’s case, it’s obvious he is a dynamic young man. His banker said he performs. That’s a striking compliment coming from a banker who has foreclosed on him. It appears that Todd is good with Operations and Sales. Management, particularly financial management, is his weakness. This is common among entrepreneurs.

You want to build on your strengths and get around your weaknesses. For example, Todd may take in a partner with strong financial skills to complement his abilities.

What if you’ve declared bankruptcy (or are deep in debt)?
We’re not attorneys, or financial planners, or anything else worthy of giving you information for your specific situation. Keep that in mind.

A successful business person referred a friend, who had just declared bankruptcy, to a banker. The bank turned him down. The business person called the banker and explained that his friend was a better risk than he was.

“How can that be?” the banker asked. “You have stellar credit.”

The business person replied, “Because if you lend me the money, I can declare bankruptcy tomorrow. My friend can’t do that for seven years.”

We’re not sure if that’s still the case, but the point is to find ways of turning your liabilities into assets. Todd has changed from a merchant-model (i.e. he buys it, then sells it), to a broker-model. Now he makes money without having to invest any capital. Brilliant!

Our quote today comes from the great Dig Hammarskjöld.

“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top.
Then you will see how low it was.”

Keep climbing. You’ll find that many of your mountains were really just mole hills.

Tune in next time to see what people regret the most, according to a recent study. Until then, here’s to your big success!