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Starting from Scratch – Part 2

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Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continued our discussion with Adam Shepard. Adam is the author of the book Scratch Beginnings, which describes his year-long real-life experiment to see if the American Dream is still alive. Last time, Adam told us about the initial stages of his experiment and what it took to begin his path toward independence. Let’s get back to the conversation …

georgeAdam, have you ever thought about becoming a Wall Street investment banker, losing all your money and turning to the government for help?

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I have not.

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4 Secrets to Having All You Really Want

happiness Today we want to talk about the choices we make and the sacrifices that go along with them. Some people say that’s an outdated concept – choices and sacrifices. We disagree. As long as a person only has 24 hours in a day, trade-offs will continue to exist.

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We have a friend who was talking about the choice she and her husband made to have kids. She said that she really wanted to stay home with them when they were young. So she suspended her career which meant that less money for her family.

You can’t have it all, but you can have all you really want.

It starts with a realistic assessment. To continue with the choice about having kids, you may choose to have kids and continue working. But there are still trade-offs – not as much time with your spouse, money spent on child-care, and less sleep to name a few.

When faced with an important decision, ask yourself these two questions:

  • To get what you want, what will you have to give up?
  • Are you willing to do that?

These two questions help you weigh the relative importance of your options. They will also help you later – when the reality of what you sacrificed comes to fruition – you can remind yourself that you are doing what you want.

It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” all of the time.

It’s important to not under-estimate the sacrifices that will be necessary to make something happen. However, it’s also crucial to not over-estimate them. We have a tendency to look at things in an “all or nothing” manner.

Even major decisions, like having kids, often have phases. Our friend went back to work after her kids went to school. Then she and her family were able to live more comfortably.

Since then, she has continued working at her primary career, as has her husband, although they really want to own their own business. However, they’re postponing that until their youngest finishes college. They feel more comfortable with the security of two regular paychecks.

So to have all you really want, the key is to know what you really want.

That sounds so simple, but it isn’t with all the options we have presented to us. We came up with 4 secrets to finding what you really want:

Secret 1: Avoid the “grass is greener” syndrome.

If you’re not happy with your current situation, don’t just jump at something new. Make sure it’s really important to you and your long-term future. If you don’t do this, you may end up just as unhappy with a whole new commitment.

Secret 2: Make sure it’s really is your choice.
Sometimes we do things for the wrong reasons. It’s your time – you should choose how you spend it. Someone else may think it’s the best thing for you. Another person may want something for you that you don’t want for yourself. Choose to make your choices for your reasons.

Secret 3: Test it in advance if you can.

If there’s a way to “dip your toes in the water,” by all means do it! For example, if you’re considering a career change, you might do similar work on a volunteer basis for your favorite charity. Or see if you can “shadow” someone as they do that job you think you want.

If your career change requires going back to school, start off with one class to see if you really do like it. Back to our original example – having kids – offer to babysit for a weekend for a friend or a relative. If you’re still as excited at the end of the weekend as you were at the beginning, you might be ready!

Secret 4: Once you’ve decided, focus on what can be, not what might have been.

Once you’ve made your decision, put all your energy into making it work for you. Don’t keep thinking about what you gave up. That’s a recipe for being miserable. Instead, focus on what you have now by choosing this path.

You can’t have it all, but you can have all you really want. Decide what that is and go for it!

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You made a choice to read our post today and we thank you so much. Join us next time when we talk with a college graduate whose search for the American dream led him to a homeless shelter. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00277-120208.mp3

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Play at Work

play child’s play: something that’s easy to do.

We often don’t think about it, but play is actually child’s work. It’s all we had to do as kids and we learned essential skills by doing it.

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Then we grew up. Work becomes work. Play is what we do after all the work is done.

We see it as a trade-off. We work at our jobs. We get home and work on our chores. Maybe we’ll get some time to just have fun this weekend … or next … or when we take a vacation … but who has the time to do that these days? Oh well. That’s life.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We have a choice. We can integrate our work and play.

We can hear the objections already …

  • I need more play time. I don’t need to try to make work fun.
    Here’s where we need to learn a lesson from kids. If you can make your work feel like play, then you can play all the time.
  • No way. I can’t have fun at work. It’s just a job, not my dream job.
    We all have the power to choose. When we were kids, if we got tired or bored with whatever activity we were doing, we would do something else.
  • Times are tough. I’m happy just to have a job.
    This is a good point. As adults, we have responsibilities we didn’t have as kids. But just because we can’t change our situation instantly doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in it for the rest of our lives.

3 tips to make work seem like play

  • Love what you do
    We hear this all the time. You should do what you’re passionate about. We agree – it’s great if you can get paid to do what you love. That’s the ideal way to integrate work and play.

But we also think that passion is overrated. Instead, you may love why you do what you do. Perhaps your job gives you the income and the time away to pursue what you’re truly passionate about. You can still love your work because it’s the means to do what you really love.

  • Love who you work with
    Kids don’t play with kids they don’t like. Why should we? You may be in the right job in the right industry, but you’re in the wrong place. So change departments. Or companies. Granted you may not be able to make this happen overnight. But you can love what you do while you look for the right group to do it with.

  • Love the process
    This may be the main lesson we can learn from child’s play. They’re not worried about the result. They enjoy the process. In that process, they learn. They express their creativity. They socialize. They have fun. We put so much focus on the result that we forget the journey is the part that’s fun!

If you don’t love what you do, who you do it with, and the process of doing it, then how can you ever be happy? How will you grow? Where will you find meaning in your life?

If you do love what you do, who you do it with, and the process of doing it, then your work is your play. What could be better than playing all day? Better get back to it … another kid’s eyeing your toys!

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We really appreciate you spending some time with us today. Join us next time when we’ll discuss mania in the markets and rising above the crowd. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00270-112108.mp3

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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3

tribes
On The Bigg Success Show, we’ve been talking with Seth Godin about his incredible new book, Tribes. So far we’ve discussed:

Part I: what a tribe is, what the leader does, and why quality trumps quantity

Part II: why Seth became a leader, the power of one, and the importance of leverage

Today we wrap up our conversation. Let’s get to it!

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Change and chaos creates opportunity

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Finding Your Passion One Week at a Time

at_the_topToday, we welcomed Sean Aiken to The Bigg Success Show. Sean graduated from college a little over a year ago but didn’t know what he wanted to do. So he decided to work a different job one week, every week,  for one year. In the process, he raised over $20,000 for charity. His journey has been covered by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, The New York Times, Good Morning America, Radio France, The Australian Radio Network, and too many more to mention.

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