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The Happiness Battle of the Sexes

happy
What makes you happy?

We now know what makes our Australian friends happy thanks to a recent study by The Leading Edge, a marketing consulting firm, based in Sydney.

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It’s interesting to look at the similarities and differences between men and women.

Entertainment was the #1 choice for men and the #2 selection for women. Rest and recreation was the opposite – women selected it as #1 and men said it was #2.

One bigg difference was where they ranked sex. Women would rather enjoy a family meal, play with their children, or even play with their pets, than have sex according to the study.

But before you guys snicker too much – more men would rather surf the internet than make love! Read the study … we’re not making this up!

In fact, surfing the net ranked #3 with men, but barely made the list at #10 for women. This was the single biggest disparity in the top 10 list between men and women – followed by sex, which was #5 for men and #9 for women.  

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marylynn
I wonder … if men spent less time surfing the net, would their women be more interested in sex?

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georgeWell, maybe the women should pay less attention to their pet and more attention to their man!

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Both sexes agreed on the joy of spending quality time with their partner. It ranked #4 on both lists. Ah … isn’t that sweet?

Only thirty percent of the women ranked shopping as the single activity that made them the happiest, which was lower than the researchers expected. Of course, men ranked shopping far down on their list, living up to expectations.

The conclusion from this research, as you look at the full list of responses by men and women, is that happiness is not about acquiring material goods or even accomplishments. It comes from good relationships and great experiences.

Your own survey

As we carve out our time for play, it’s important to set aside time for just you, for just your spouse, and for your immediate family. Of course, you’ll also plan to spend time with friends and your extended family from time to time.

As we talked about this survey in Australia, we realized that it would be good to conduct our own survey of our own loved ones. Ask your spouse what makes him or her happy. Ask your kids what they would think would be fun.

Then compare notes and develop an activity plan to make sure that everyone in your family is getting their share of chosen activities.

The best recipe for bigg fun is creating great experiences with the ones you love. 

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We’ve heard a lot of talk recently about toxic assets. Next time, we’ll discuss toxic debt. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Natural Way to Save Money

You may especially enjoy listening to today’s show. We had some fun with sound effects throughout, most which can’t be translated to print!

"We recently saw a study that showed that nature-based recreation in the US has declined about 25% in the last 20 years, after increasing in the 50 years before that."

 

"So we did our show today in the middle of nature – we camped out! We recorded the show in front of a nice fire while we roasted marshmallows."

 

Nature comes with benefits

Studies have shown that being outdoors has some incredible health benefits. In fact, even just SEEING the outdoors is beneficial. A little while ago, we saw a study that showed that hospital patients with a window recover much faster from surgery than those without. Isn’t that amazing?

This same study cited numerous sources that showed that spending time outdoors can lower stress and decrease mental fatigue.

Born to be wild

We’ve been talking about the benefits of being outdoors. Now let’s look at what the outdoors can do for one specific group of people – kids.

This same study we mentioned earlier showed that kids who spend more time outside pay attention better and are less demanding. It’s even been shown to reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit – Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

But going back to where we started, Americans are spending less time outdoors. Miracle-Gro, the garden fertilizer company, just conducted a survey. Nearly 70 percent of the parents who responded said their kids spend less time outdoors than they did when they were kids.

"My parents wouldn’t let my sister and me inside until it was dark. They wanted us to run off all that energy!"

 

"Now I know why Mary-Lynn brought me out here!"

   

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Couples Today are Rethinking Traditional Roles

By Bigg Success Staff
07-15-08

Work – Life Balance

family

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.

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

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Who Should Stay-at-Home with the Kids – Dad or Mom?

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Who Should Stay-at-Home with the Kids – Dad or Mom?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08

Work – Life Balance

dad

Young couples often both work to make ends meet. Once children enter the scene, many couples decide that one of them should stay-at-home and raise the kids.

More and more of these couples are bucking tradition. There’s an increasing trend toward "dad" being the one to stay-at-home rather than "mom". According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 143,000 stay-at-home dads in 2005 compared to 98,000 in 2003.

Assuming you decide that one of you should stay-at-home, how do you logically decide which one it should be? Here are 4 questions to ask:

Can either of you work from home?
If one of you can work from home, this makes the decision easier. That doesn’t necessarily make getting the work done easier! If you can work at home, you may be able to juggle family duties and work duties, particularly as your kids get older.

Who makes the most money now?

It makes sense for the person who is earning the most money to keep working while the other person stays at home. Don’t look at just actual pay, though. You should also consider health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits.

Who has the best chance for advancement?

It’s possible that one of you makes more money now, but the other spouse is primed for take-off. You should consider the longer term in addition to today. If one spouse’s pay will greatly outpace the other, you should factor that into the equation.

Who will be affected least by an extended leave?

With some careers, you can pick up right where you left off. With others, you may practically have to start over. Look to other people who have reentered the work force in your career as models of what you might expect yourself.

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

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5 Tough Questions to Ask if You Plan to Pass Your Business on to Your Child

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Bigg Success in Business

sanford and son 

We don’t see it as often as we used to, but do you remember when business names included “and son”? As in Sanford & Son?

Or daughter.

Businesses are illiquid assets. Before you get into a business, you should know how you’re getting out of it.

You need an exit plan.

One strategy is to pass it on to your children. You may want to keep the business “in the family.” To have the legacy carried on. There are five questions you should ask yourself if this is your plan:

Is one (or more) of your children interested?

This seems so obvious, but it’s amazing how many times a parent has a dream which isn’t shared by any of his or her children. You want the best for your kids. That means letting them live the life of their dreams, not the life of yours. This isn’t easy, but an open and honest conversation is called for to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Is your child qualified?

It’s hard to be objective about your own children. Okay, it’s impossible. You may want to elicit an outsider’s opinion. There are few things more frustrating to both a parent and a child than taking on a task that shouldn’t be taken on. There may be some deficiencies (that’s the reason for the next question), but you need to make sure the basic talents are there.

How will you train your child?
In answering the previous question, you likely uncovered some shortcomings. If these are things that can be taught, develop a program to get your heir up to speed. How did you learn the business? Chances are that’s the best way for your child to learn it as well. It probably means working from the ground up.

How will you determine a price?
This may or may not be an issue. However, if one of your children is going to be involved in the business and the others aren’t, it surely will be. You’ll want to discuss this with your CPA. You should also consider having the business valued by a certified valuation specialist. Here are two links you may find useful for this:

Find a certified valuation analyst

Find a certified business appraiser   

How will your child pay for it?
Assuming that you don’t want to give your child your business, you’ll have to figure out how you will cash out. This may be your most significant retirement asset. Can the business be financed with traditional capital sources, like a bank? Or will you need to offer financing? If that’s the case, there’s another list of questions you’ll want to think about, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

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

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(Image from Sanford and Son Wikipedia page)