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3 Reasons You Need to Get Away to Be a Success

getting away from work for BIGG SuccessJon Swanson, aka The Social Media Chaplain, recently had a couple of posts (titled Focus and Away) that really got us thinking. Thanks to Chris Brogan for introducing us to Jon.

No intent to convert here but just a warning – if you’re offended by the mention of Jesus (oops, that means we just offended you), you’re going to be offended (more)! Otherwise, continue reading.

Jon tells about a time when Jesus had been up all night healing people.

As dawn arrived, he walked away. He went to a secluded place.

But people came looking for him. They pressed him to continue his good work.

But Jesus said no. As Jon points out between the two posts, Jesus said no for three reasons:

1) Purpose

You have a reason for being. It’s your purpose.

You are meant to do something BIGG. It’s your destiny.

But there’s a magical word for keeping your life in balance – No! You must learn to use regularly if you’re going to fulfill your purpose.

It’s what Jesus did in this case. You will be well served to follow his example.

2) Decompress

You’re human. You need to rest. Even Jesus needed to rest.

Sleep – it’s what we sacrifice to maintain work-life balance. Or at least some semblance of it.

If you’re like us, you work and work and work. And you can’t shut it off like a light.

You quit for the day physically before you quit mentally. So in order to get a good night’s sleep, you need to spend some time decompressing.

3) Seclusion

Most of us work hard and long these days. You need to rest now and then. You have to know when to say when.

Jesus demonstrated this in this example. Sometimes you just have to stop and rest.

Just make sure you don’t fall into the trap with your free time. We often think craving seclusion is bad.

Being reclusive is a negative. It’s a sign of deep problems.

Spending time alone now and then is a plus. It will help you refuel and stay on course to your destiny.

Sometimes you just have to get away to be a BIGG success.

How do you know when it’s time to get away?

Image in this post from stock.xchng

5 Steps to Become a Star

starU2 is on tour again. They’re playing at sold-out stadiums and getting rave reviews. Before a crowd of 60,000 people in Norman, Oklahoma recently, lead singer Bono said something we found particularly interesting, “It took us 26 years to travel one mile.”

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He was referring to the band’s 1983 performance at the Lloyd Noble Center. There were four to five times as many people in the crowd this time compared to a quarter century earlier.

Becoming a star takes a lot of time and hard work

Is there another alternative?
We heard this story about U2 through a great post by Kris Dunn, the hr capitalist. He said that there is another way: instead of working your butt off, you can eliminate everything that doesn’t lead to bigg success. (Okay, we’ve paraphrased what he said a little bit!)

The problem with the second choice is that it’s often hard to know, in advance, what will ultimately lead you to the success of which you dream. You may unwittingly eliminate the thing that will put you over the edge.

And we’re not talking about The Edge from U2!

Overnight success is a misperception
Internationally best-selling author Chris Brogan (we love adding that tag to his name) has a great series of posts on being an overnight success. He says in the first one:

“Overnight success doesn’t sleep in. Overnight success doesn’t watch a lot of TV. Overnight success doesn’t have a whole lot of hobbies right now.”

We live in a society where we think overnight success is a reality. The problem is that it’s almost always a misperception. We need to look behind-the-scenes where bigg success is created.

Let’s shed some light on becoming a star:

Find your delight.
Bigg success is life on your own terms. So set your terms and get started on the path to bigg success. But remember that, since you’re setting the terms, bigg success will set the price. Paying the price is much less of a burden if you’re doing what you love. 

Keep your eyes on your lighthouse.
Fair weather or foul, light or dark, you have to keep going. In your darkest moments, the only consolation you may have is that you can still see your lighthouse. Your vision of success can’t be taken away from you. Keep focusing on it to keep going.

Work by candlelight.
There’s one simple difference between people who reach bigg success and people who don’t. People who reach bigg success are willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Yes, you have to be willing to work hard. Yes, you have to be willing to work in the face of opposition. Even if the power goes out, you’ll light some candles so you can keep on keeping on!

Highlight what’s most important every day.
It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to waste time. It’s easy to go nowhere.

It’s hard to focus all your efforts and energy exclusively on what’s most important today to move you closer to your dream life. It’s hard to keep it in front of you. It’s hard to get right into your next task or project when you complete one.

Relight your torch every day.
Bigg success is a long journey. You have to fuel your fire. You may get your daily mojovation here at Bigg Success. You may meditate. You may listen to great music while you work out.

If it works for you, it works. Just do something – anything – to keep your torch burning.

The bottom line is this:
Lightweights don’t ever get to step into the spotlight.
You have to work hard and smart to become a star.
You have to persevere if you want to be center stage.
And isn’t this ironic … you have to risk failure to reach bigg success. 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. You light up our life! Can you believe we’ve gone from U2 to Debby Boone in one short post?

Next time, we’ll discuss two things you should know about your customers. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00518-110909.mp3

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(Image in today's post by srbichara)

Idols are Not Idle

american_idol.jpgLast night was the Grand Finale of this season’s American Idol. Once the votes were counted, Kris Allen was crowned the new Idol.

He’s a great singer and seems like an all-around nice guy. He really came into his own over the course of this season. There were so many really good singers in the group, including Adam Lambert who seemed to be the odds-on favorite.

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The ten-year rule

One of the challenges we have in reaching bigg success is thinking that it happens overnight. American Idol certainly gives that impression. After all, how many people had heard of Kris Allen five months ago?

Not many. However, he did a lot of work out of the spotlight to get to this point. He’s had formal training and been singing for about sixteen years.

So although it may seem that he’s an overnight sensation, a lot of blood, sweat and tears led to his crowning achievement.

That’s usually the case in any field. In fact, psychologists talk about the ten-year rule: it takes roughly ten years to develop the skills needed to reach bigg success in any endeavor.

The cost of thinking it’s a gift

While the debate rages on – is it natural talent or developed skills – there’s more and more evidence that hard work, with focus, over a span of time, is what usually produces the extraordinary successes we see.

In our culture, we see people like Kris who become media darlings overnight. So there’s a tendency to think he just has that certain something.

The problem with buying into that thought-process is that you lose your resiliency in the face of adversity. If you think that bigg success just happens, you’ll be more likely to give up when things don’t come easy. And you know it don’t come easy!

There’s more than one 3 o’clock in a day

We recently attended SOBCon, the business school for bloggers, and met Jon Haydon. Jon had a great blog post about seeing his social media idol, Chris Brogan, speak at the conference. Chris is an idol to a lot of people including us.

For those of you who don’t know who Chris is, first of all – he’s a super person. Second, he has reached the heights of influence in social media circles everywhere you look – from Ad Age to Technorati and beyond.

Jon’s post was fantastic. He got a number of great comments. We found one particularly revealing. It was by Lewis Howes, who we also met at SOBCon. Lewis commented about a conversation with Chris, who said that “he stayed up until 3:00 every morning for four years to get to where he is!”

At SOBCon, we heard Chris asked about how he got started. He said it goes back ten years to the early days of chat rooms.

Lewis added in his comment, “He didn’t just pop up out of no where and ascend to the heavens … No! He worked his butt off every day and didn’t let others hold onto his string.”

Well said! Bigg success takes time and hard work. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It won’t be easy. Just keep the faith and keep on plugging … you will be a bigg success!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we discuss a fun way to clear out the clutter. 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/00399-052109.mp3

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(Image in today's post from American Idol)

Thanks to You, Bigg Success is One Year Old!

birthday Hey it’s party time! We’re celebrating the first birthday of Bigg Success. We’re so excited to have come this far. We weren’t sure we would make it!

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Seriously, though, we want to take this opportunity to say one simple thing …

Thank YOU!

We couldn’t do this without you. There would no reason to keep doing it if you didn’t visit us. So whether you check in every day or every now and then, we thank you so much.

It wouldn’t be any fun to do this if you weren’t here. We feel fortunate that more people are discovering Bigg Success. From site visitors to subscribers – in iTunes, in Zune, our newsletter, and our RSS feed – we’re seeing more people every month in every category. We thank you so much for sharing Bigg Success with your friends and business associates!

We also check page views and show downloads and we see that you’re consuming our content faithfully. We’re just thrilled that you take time out of your busy schedule – and we know how busy you are – to check in on us like you do.

You got here early so you’re a leader in the Bigg Success community. We appreciate everything you’ve already done to help us build this community of bigg goal-getters. We just ask this one thing – if you have any feedback, if you have any questions – please reach out to us. If you want to keep it private, send us an e-mail (bigginfo@biggsuccess.com,) or call us on our toll-free number (888-455-BIGG). If you can share it with everyone, just leave a comment. We want to get to know you better in the days and months ahead.

Special thanks

We would be remiss if we didn’t take the time to thank those people who have been a bigg help to us as we launched Bigg Success and throughout our first year.

Chris Brogan You helped us build our confidence when we didn’t know if we could put out content worth anything to anybody. You have also generously shared time with us that we know you didn’t have.

Liz Strauss
You helped us think outside the box and develop a framework for Bigg Success in the coming years. We so appreciate your guidance.
 
Jim Bouchard You have unknowingly been a model for us and you continue to be an inspiration. Our conversations with you always make us think bigger!

Shwen Gwee Is there anyone you don’t know? You’ve been so helpful in introducing to people who have made such a difference in how far we’ve come.

Chris Christensen You’ve always been willing to take time to answer our questions, especially when we were as green as green can be. You’ll know never how much your advice has meant to us.

Denny Birt You’ve been helpful for years in other businesses and now you’re helping us make Bigg Success a bigg success.

Liz McMillen We feel so lucky that you share your graphic design genius with us to give Bigg Success the right look and feel. You’re incredible!

Michael Bailey What would we do without you? You’ve always been there when we faced technological challenges that we didn’t know how to handle. You’re amazing!

Keith Kravitz You’re a fantastic marketer and you’ve helped steer us through the rough waters of launching a site. We just wish you had a little more energy!

Lon Ray That bigg voice. Thanks for introducing us on every Bigg Success Show!

Jerome Ritchey You’re one of the most talented people we know. We love all of your character voices and are so glad you share them with us. This one is our favorite.

Dana Mancuso
You’re so good at taking great lessons away from real life situations. Thanks for sharing your gift of writing with us.

Jake Novak You’re one of the funniest people we’ve ever met. We know you’ll make it bigg in Hollywood someday. Thanks for the laughs!

Paul Faraci You were there when this was just an idea. We thank you so much for all the promotion you’ve given us. You’ve also shared so many resources that have been great show topics. Keep ‘em coming!

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georgePat Drake Mary-Lynn and I can’t thank you enough for both your moral support and all of the advice you’ve given us. We always know you’re listening. I couldn’t find a better sister if I picked her out myself!

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marylynnSue Foster You’re not just my sister; you’re my best friend. Thanks for encouraging in my bigg step from the corporate world to life as a business owner. George and I are so grateful for all your help this year, including your great work on our soon-to-be released DVD.

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We’re very happy with the results of Year 1. We look forward to Year 2 and many more to come. We’d like to virtually share a piece of birthday cake with all of you. It’s totally non-fattening!

Join us next time as we look at a natural experiment that shows how isolation impacts innovation. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by PinkCakeBox, CC 2.0)

6 Great Ways to Keep a Conversation Going

conversationWhen you meet someone for the first time, the hardest part is usually just getting the conversation started. But sometimes it’s also hard to keep it going.

We did some research and found a lot of articles on the internet about starting a conversation, but few about keeping it going. We also found that many suggestions for conversation starters would probably be better conversation “continuers”.

So we thought we’d focus on that part of the conversation today. 

With some people, it’s tough to keep the conversation going. They may be extremely shy or you might just not “click” with them. In those cases, you may just have to resign yourself that it’s not going to happen and move on.

6 ways to keep the conversation going

One simple way to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. Don’t get too personal. Keep it light-hearted. Also, don’t fire them off so rapidly that the other person starts to feel like they’re being interrogated. We use this one a lot, particularly early in a conversation. But here are six of our favorites ways to keep it going:

#1 – “What’s the best book you’ve read recently?”
Variations could be best movie, TV show, or music they’ve heard.

#2 – Offer up some interesting trivia.
Just don’t go Cliff Claven on them! If you’ve heard something that intrigued you, and it’s germane to the conversation, share it!

For example, we heard not long ago that 80% of all men said they would marry the same woman all over again. However, only 50% of all women said they would marry the same man. Can you see an interesting conversation coming out of that tidbit?

#3 – “If you could trade places with one celebrity, who would it be?”

Variations could be favorite actor, or you could limit it to favorite living actor, etc.

#4 – “If you could do college all over again, what would you get your degree in?”

This question also has many interesting variations. For example, you could ask them what’s the one class they would like to take now.

#5 – “What are you working on that’s fun?”

We heard this one from our friend Chris Brogan. It makes “What do you do?” seem boring, doesn’t it. We loved this question the first time we heard it.

#6 – Create a game.

We like to come up with a word of the night or phrase of the day. It’s an interesting word that naturally came up in the conversation. Ideally, it’s a word or phrase with a double meaning of some sort. Then see how many times it can be worked into the discussion.

What’s your favorite way to keep a conversation going?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed. 

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(Image by whitebeard)