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Career Advancement - Launch into BIGG Success

Career Advancement: The Simplest Way to Fast-Track Your Career

Career Advancement - Launch into BIGG Success

Career advancement can be simple! You only have to do two things. Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn share what they are on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.

Career advancement can prove difficult. Some conclude it’s just a matter of luck. Others think it’s about sucking up. Still others believe you have to sell out.

They’re all mistaken. However, there’s a hard way and a simple way to advance in your career. A while back, we shared the simple secret to a successful career:

Do your best doing what you do best.

Doing your best is part of our favorite definition of success. It comes from the late great John Wooden. But it’s hard to push yourself to give your all if you’re not good at it. It’s much easier if you know your strengths. Then it’s just a matter of matching your strengths to a career opportunity.

The power of this simple saying (Do your best doing what you do best) is that it puts career advancement into your own control. You only have to do two things.

#1) Rocket ships launch career advancement
There’s just one problem with our simple secret to career success. It ignores the marketplace.

In a speech at Harvard, Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg recalled meeting with Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt. It was early in her career and she had a job offer from Google.

She had serious reservations; Google wasn’t Google yet. They were still really young. Few people saw much potential. She expressed her concerns to Schmidt.

He said, “Don’t be an idiot. Get on a rocket ship.”

In slow growing companies, careers stagnate. But in a fast-growing company, your career will take care of itself.

He concluded: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.”

You see, you can do your best and run right into a brick wall. You can play to your strengths and find it doesn’t pay. You get laid off. Opportunities for career advancement dry up.

Unless you’re on a rocket ship.

#2) Career advancement depends on the company you keep
You may be familiar with the old saying, “You’re only as good as the company you keep.” If you’re like us, you’ve probably always thought it was talking about human relationships.

Of course, that was its original intention. However, there’s a lot of wisdom to applying it to career advancement.

We’ve talked before about the three influencers of career success: your occupation, your industry and your company.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. It’s about taking control to design and build the life of your dreams.

Sometimes, the best way to take control is to accept what you can’t control. Stop bucking the trends and hop aboard a rocket ship, whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur.

Where there’s growth, there’s opportunity. It leads to BIGG success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00900-091714.mp3

Image in the post from Flickr

The Need to Lead – Part 2

career_opportunities On The Bigg Success Show today, we continued our discussion with Douglas E. Welch, host of the popular Career Opportunities, podcast. Last time, we discussed why Douglas has declared 2009 the “Year of the Leader.” Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeOne of the challenges we face is getting started. You’ve talked about inertia – we tend to remain inanimate unless we really push ourselves. One of your quotes that I love is that we need “leadership over laissez-faire.”

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douglasThere’s the old phrase that the only person who likes change is a wet baby. I see that every single day. It is so important. Newton had it right – objects at rest tend to remain at rest; objects in motion tend to remain in motion. I find that if I can get someone in motion, making the smallest step, the next step becomes all the easier. There is something about momentum and forward movement that builds on itself. Unfortunately, inertia builds on itself too. We can become really sedentary in our lives in a variety of ways – both physically and mentally. That’s part of the reason I write the column. Sometimes when I write, I picture myself giving that stone just a little bit of a push downhill. If I can get it to roll a quarter of a rotation, maybe it will start to roll a little bit further. That’s something we need to do in our own life and also cultivate in others.

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marylynnLeaders are admired for their ability to keep pushing, taking all the steps necessary to keep progressing toward goals. Does your knowledge in this area stem from a time when you didn’t push yourself enough?

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douglasI have to admit that I face this problem every day. I think we all do. There are days when we just want to sit down and do nothing. We just want the world to go spinning around us and not have to worry about whether we have groceries in the house or if that check has come in from that client. It just gets a little overwhelming to us. I grew up in a very small town – a rural town – in Ohio of about 2,000 people. Frankly, in a town that small, there’s a lot of inertia. There’s not a lot of push to go on. I found out very early, though, that I get bored very easily. If I don’t have a constant set of stimulus coming in, I can very easily settle down and just let the world go by me. So as part of learning about myself, I realized I have to have a new book to read, something new to watch, a new place to go to, a new area to go for a walk. I have to constantly have that new input so that I can continue to create the output that I do create such as my column, my podcast, and the other stuff that I do.

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georgeThat’s a great way of looking at it. Look at the inputs – the actions that you take – and then the results will come at some point.

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douglasThat comes from an artist coach that I had become friends with many years ago. I worked at Walt Disney Imagineering for five years as an IT professional in the computer department. One of the biggest perks I got at that job was that I had access to all of the art coaches that all the creative people did. One of the things we discussed was that you cannot output art or other great things in life unless you have enough input coming in. Those are the raw materials that you use for your creation. I really took that to heart and have lived that particular philosophy for a long time now.

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georgeAnd if you can’t afford a coach, find that friend who may be a little bit ahead of you in life or in their career. I have a friend who I meet for coffee. We would always say we needed to get together more often, but it never happened because we didn’t make it happen. So we finally said that we would meet at a particular time every month. That’s what made the difference – getting it pre-planned.

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douglasI started a whole new event here in Los Angeles specifically for that reason. It’s LA Friday Coffee. It is coffee and casual conversation between work and dinner. We meet at various coffee places all around the city. But at its essence, that is my attempt to get myself out on a Friday night to meet and talk to people that I don’t see often enough.

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marylynn
And boy you just can’t beat coffee!

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george
Unless it’s a martini!

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douglas
Anyone who follows my Twitter stream knows that I’m into coffee!

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george
We have to be, doing what we do. Right?

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douglasIt’s weird. I’m a geek in all things. When I find a new interest, I geek out on it as much as I geek out on technology or anything else I’m interested in. So I’ve read up on roasting coffee, how to make coffee, and the perfect espresso shot. My wife’s family is Sicilian and we’ve been to Sicily so I’ve tasted real coffee. That whole geekness kind of filters into my whole life as well.

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george
I’ll bet you make a mean cup of coffee though. When will it be ready? We’re on our way!

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Thanks Douglas for sharing your thoughts with us. He has started a free online resource called Career Camp where members of his community can share their expertise. We highly recommend it to you!

And thank you for taking time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00333-021809.mp3

Related posts

The Need to Lead – Part 1

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Are You a Leader or the Leader

Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

The Need to Lead – Part 1

career_opportunities We are thrilled today to talk with Douglas E. Welch on The Bigg Success Show. Douglas is the host of Career Opportunities, a fantastic podcast where he helps people build the career they deserve. He is also a writer and computer consultant with articles published in Wired, MacWorld, and the Los Angeles Times. As if that’s not enough, he also conducts seminars on podcasting for schools and businesses.

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marylynnOne of the things we wanted to talk with you about today is that you have declared 2009 “The Year of Leadership.

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douglasThis year was a definite conscious decision to choose a theme. It started about three years ago when I decided that, working alone in my home office, I had really become disengaged from my community – both the tech community that I work in and the community in general. So for my own personal decision, I decided to make that year the Year of Reconnecting and Getting Out. In 2008, I stumbled across the idea of the Year of Visibility, which I also think is very important. It’s about people making visible what they do and how they do it. So when 2009 rolled around, I realized that this was getting to be a great idea for each year. I was already working on a column and a podcast on leadership. If there’s ever been a year in my lifetime when I really needed to exercise leadership and get that out of other people as well, this is the year. We’ve simply been lacking leadership in a lot of ways across the entire world.

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georgeI love that you said you need to do this. When you announced this on your show, you were really clear that it was about personal leadership leading to engaging a community and getting other followers.

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douglasEverything starts at home. Sometimes I think we forget that. I could see in myself areas where I needed to lead more – whether that’s in my business, in my podcast, in my column or whatever. I think a lot of people have gotten the idea that leadership only exists “out there” somewhere. It’s something that takes place in the executive suite, in the boardroom, or in higher levels of government. The fact is that leadership is a fundamental aspect of our lives that we exercise – or should exercise – every single day.

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marylynnIn your Year of Leadership, what are some of the steps that you’ve been taking? What challenges have you faced?

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douglasI remember when I worked in a corporate office and lunch time would roll around and the question came up about where we were going to go for lunch. And no one would decide! It’s kind of a joke, but kind of not. One of the simplest things you can do is start making decisions. Too many of us abdicate our decision making. We don’t decide and face problems with that down the road. So most fundamentally, it’s just stepping up and making decisions. Now I realize why we don’t make decisions. We’re scared – scared of failing, scared of making the wrong decisions. The fact is there is no wrong decision because each decision you make brings you closer to what you need. If something doesn’t work, you say, “You know what, that didn’t work. We’re going to try this now.” The point is to keep moving forward and to keep making those decisions so you don’t suffer what I’ve heard described as “analysis paralysis.” You spend all your time looking at all the different options out there and never end up doing anything.

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marylynnI think one of the scariest things when you’re trying to step up your leadership role is that you might have to challenge the existing leadership. How do you tip toe around that?

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douglasOne of the ways is what we’ve already discussed. You start making decisions for yourself. It’s a relatively non-threatening way of pushing those decisions up the silo. One of the best things we can do as a human being is set a good example by our actions. As people see you making decisions, it helps them to take the reins as well and move forward.

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for checking in on us today. Join us next when we continue our conversation with Douglas. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00332-021709.mp3

Related posts

The Need to Lead – Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

Are You a Leader or the Leader

Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

Warren Buffet's Single Piece of Wisdom

A bigg salute to Josh Whitford, who writes the Unconventional Marketing blog, for inspiring today’s post.

Josh read the The 4-Hour Workweek, written by Tim Ferriss, and decided to accept the challenge to contact a famous person. Josh chose Warren Buffett.


He wrote a letter to Buffett asking him for “his single piece of wisdom” and sent it along with a self-addressed, stamped postcard. To Josh’s surprise, the Oracle of Omaha responded a couple of weeks later. Buffett simply said,

“Read, read, read.”

A typical Buffett answer – short and to the point!

It’s interesting advice because a poll by the Associated Press – Ipsos showed that one in four Americans hasn’t read a single book in the last year. At least, that’s how the news reported it – we look at that and see that three out of four Americans did read a book last year!

In fact, the last Gallup poll that we saw on this subject showed that over half of all Americans have read more than 5 books in the last year!

Read, read, read … for the sake of your career (and finances)

We hear about the “haves” and the “have nots”. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts [pdf] showed the impact of reading on a person’s well-being – reading less leads to lower reading proficiency which leads to fewer (and lower quality) career opportunities.

For example, according to the study, “Proficient Readers” are 2.5 times more likely than “Basic Readers” to earn at least $850 each week. This study also showed that 44% of Basic Readers lack a full- or part-time job, two times the percentage of Proficient Readers.

So, Warren Buffett said it well … read, read, read.

Read, read, read … to expand your imagination

"When I was young … okay I’d like to think I’m still young … so when I was younger, I used to just read non-fiction, and specifically books on business and investing. Then I took a literature class with a phenomenal professor – a short-story class. It made me use my imagination in a way I didn’t do when I just read books that I thought were more practical."

And as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than intelligence.”

What’s nice about reading, rather than watching, is that you are the director. You create a vision of the story – the characters, the setting. 

 

"Just think about how many times you’ve read a book that gets turned into a movie. So you get all excited and go see the movie … and it’s not as good as the book! For me, a great example is Stephen King’s book, It. I scared myself more reading that book than watching the movie!"

It’s much more interactive mentally and the skills carry over to your professional life. 

A simple commitment to reading that’s worked better than a college degree
We have a friend who worked his way up in a small business. In fact, he ended up buying the business from the owner. After he bought it, he wished he would have gotten a college degree. But he didn’t have the time – he had a business to run!

So he made a commitment to himself – to read one business book every week. He reads the best sellers and he talks to friends for recommendations. He has that done for years now. He knows more about business than just about anybody we know.

Do-it-yourself knowledge … that’s what Warren Buffett is talking about.

What are you reading? 

Related posts

The Fastest Way to Learn (Re-learn)

Read a Business Book Every Week

(Image by lusi)

Warren Buffet’s Single Piece of Wisdom

A bigg salute to Josh Whitford, who writes the Unconventional Marketing blog, for inspiring today’s post.

Josh read the The 4-Hour Workweek, written by Tim Ferriss, and decided to accept the challenge to contact a famous person. Josh chose Warren Buffett.


He wrote a letter to Buffett asking him for “his single piece of wisdom” and sent it along with a self-addressed, stamped postcard. To Josh’s surprise, the Oracle of Omaha responded a couple of weeks later. Buffett simply said,

“Read, read, read.”

A typical Buffett answer – short and to the point!

It’s interesting advice because a poll by the Associated Press – Ipsos showed that one in four Americans hasn’t read a single book in the last year. At least, that’s how the news reported it – we look at that and see that three out of four Americans did read a book last year!

In fact, the last Gallup poll that we saw on this subject showed that over half of all Americans have read more than 5 books in the last year!

Read, read, read … for the sake of your career (and finances)

We hear about the “haves” and the “have nots”. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts [pdf] showed the impact of reading on a person’s well-being – reading less leads to lower reading proficiency which leads to fewer (and lower quality) career opportunities.

For example, according to the study, “Proficient Readers” are 2.5 times more likely than “Basic Readers” to earn at least $850 each week. This study also showed that 44% of Basic Readers lack a full- or part-time job, two times the percentage of Proficient Readers.

So, Warren Buffett said it well … read, read, read.

Read, read, read … to expand your imagination

"When I was young … okay I’d like to think I’m still young … so when I was younger, I used to just read non-fiction, and specifically books on business and investing. Then I took a literature class with a phenomenal professor – a short-story class. It made me use my imagination in a way I didn’t do when I just read books that I thought were more practical."

And as Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than intelligence.”

What’s nice about reading, rather than watching, is that you are the director. You create a vision of the story – the characters, the setting. 

 

"Just think about how many times you’ve read a book that gets turned into a movie. So you get all excited and go see the movie … and it’s not as good as the book! For me, a great example is Stephen King’s book, It. I scared myself more reading that book than watching the movie!"

It’s much more interactive mentally and the skills carry over to your professional life. 

A simple commitment to reading that’s worked better than a college degree
We have a friend who worked his way up in a small business. In fact, he ended up buying the business from the owner. After he bought it, he wished he would have gotten a college degree. But he didn’t have the time – he had a business to run!

So he made a commitment to himself – to read one business book every week. He reads the best sellers and he talks to friends for recommendations. He has that done for years now. He knows more about business than just about anybody we know.

Do-it-yourself knowledge … that’s what Warren Buffett is talking about.

What are you reading? 

Related posts

The Fastest Way to Learn (Re-learn)

Read a Business Book Every Week

(Image by lusi)

Pages

Hot Businesses in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-17-08

2009_hot

It’s not easy to succeed in your own business even in good times. So why would anyone consider starting a business now?

You might be surprised to know that many people think it is a good idea. They learn they can’t easily replace the income earned from a lost job and decide to try their hand at self-employment. In addition, after losing a job, a person might want to feel a stronger sense of control over his or her own life. Being your own boss may be the answer.

Whether you’re considering starting your first business or adding to your empire, it pays to think about what will be hot in the near future. Here are our picks for the best businesses to be involved in for 2009:

Repairs

Consumers and businesses are expected to cut back on their major purchases in 2009. So rather than replace their old do-hickey, they will repair that old do-hickey. This will create tremendous opportunities for repair businesses.

As an example, shoe repair shops are reporting incredible demand. This is a highly fragmented industry with lots of possibilities. How about a service that picks up and delivers shoes that need to be repaired? A good place to start your investigation would be the Shoe Service Institute of America

Reports are that more people are staying home more often. So home repairs of any kind should do well in the coming year since people will be home to see, hear, or smell the problems they may not notice in good times. For example, handyman services were booming even before the recent financial storm. They are expected to continue to thrive in the current economy.

These are just two examples of repair businesses that are likely to thrive in 2009. It is impossible to list all of the possibilities. So think about your own repair skills or find a partner who can do the repairs while you run the business. Then research the industry to see if the service you’re thinking about is experiencing growth right now.

Used

Consumers and businesses are also expected to purchase “used” more often in 2009. In fact, used may become chic in a world where frugality is a status symbol. So look for opportunities in industries that offer lower-priced second-hand products rather than something new.

If you have a flair for fashion, consider starting a resale clothing business. There are many possibilities even within this category. In most cases, these businesses are racking up sales almost as fast as they can get clothes on the rack. 

Beyond clothes, there are many more businesses that sell second-hand items that are reporting boom times. From books to office furniture, if there’s been demand for new products in the past, there is probably demand for used items now.

Think about what you like to buy and then do some research to see where it’s being offered second-hand. Don’t be discouraged if you see some competition. Instead, think about what you could do differently (and better).

Seniors

The baby boom is starting to retire. This will create demands for products and services for seniors like never seen before. Many of these businesses will thrive in spite of economic conditions.

Start a senior service business to and help seniors do things that they don’t know how to do, don’t want to do, or can’t do. There are a number of ways to service this large and growing market including starting a(n):

  • adult day-care center
  • relocation service
  • home health-care service
  • concierge service

You could also think about combining opportunities. By this we mean, you could target seniors with your new repair business or think about used items that would be useful to seniors.

Free agency

Here’s something to ponder – if you have a job, you essentially have one customer. What kind of security does that offer? We think it’s possible to have freedom with security.

The overwhelming majority of small businesses are micro-businesses, often consisting of a single person. We think more people will continue jumping on this free agency bandwagon in the years ahead.

So instead of going for a new job, why not try to land two customers that pay you what you would expect to earn from a single job? Take that special skill you have and market yourself as a specialist rather than an employee.

Like any business, it’s usually not easy to get started. While start-up costs can be minimal, you still need the financial resources to weather times with little income or you can start part-time. However, many people find the lifestyle of a free agent very rewarding.

Consider a franchise

Franchisors often state that, when layoffs occur, they get more prospective franchise buyers. So expect franchise sales to do well in the coming year. Another piece of good news is that many franchisors will be more likely to help with the upfront financing, directly or indirectly, in light of the credit markets.

In addition to that, when you think of investment alternatives (e.g. stocks, real estate), a franchise may seem like a good option. Many people may prefer to invest in something over which they feel they have more control after the volatility of the last year. 

Many franchisors offer a proven business model. They are often less risky than a new franchise system. However, there may be more opportunity in a new franchise system. You have to determine what is best for you. Start by learning how to buy a franchise.

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Beware of scams

One word of warning – in tough economic times, scam operators come out in full force. Kiplinger has a great quiz that tests your ability to spot a scam. They present you with eight business opportunities, some which are legitimate and some which aren’t. See how you do!

Then apply this to the real world. With any opportunity you consider, trust your own instincts and do your own research. Prove to yourself that it is the right opportunity for you and the right time for the opportunity.

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

Related posts

Hot Careers for 2009

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Top Threats to Your Career and Finances in 2009

(Image in this article by -MISHA)