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Get a Brand Over – Part 1

brandoverWe were pleased to have John Tantillo, The Marketing Doctor, as our guest on The Bigg Success Show today. John has over twenty years experience in the marketing industry and is the President of Marketing Department of America. He’s also a behavioral research psychologist who you may have seen on Fox News, Fox Business News or heard on a radio station somewhere around the country. Let’s get to the conversation …

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marylynnJohn, your mantra is “Go Brand Yourself” using the principles that companies use to create your personal brand. So many people today are trying to do that. What are some of the tips you give them?

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johnFirst and foremost, you have to be yourself. I just dislike this concept of a makeover. I believe in brand-overs. With a makeover, you conform yourself to what others think you should be. A brand-over is finding out who you are, what your strengths are, and then promoting the heck out of that. Go brand yourself! That’s really the secret. I guess that’s the psychologist in me.

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marylynnWhen you were talking about that, I immediately started thinking about Susan Boyle. She’s had a huge makeover. What do you think about that?

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johnIt’s obvious that it was a makeover and not a brand-over. All the handlers were telling her to do this and do that. That’s the worst case scenario. I’ll give you a good example of this. When I first went on Neil Cavuto’s show about two years ago, the geniuses were telling me that I couldn’t wear a bow tie. You can’t wear a hat. You have to make a decision between wearing a bow tie and a hat. I looked at them and said, “You’re crazy. You’re all nuts. That’s my signature, That’s my brand! Those are my brand characteristics.” So fast forward two years to a week ago, I met Neil Cavuto in the hall. He said, “We have to get you back on the show.” I said, “Sure, Neil, anything you say.” Here’s the point: I get back to my office and I get a call from The Strategy Room where I appear regularly at Fox. They were telling me that people from Neil Cavuto’s show had called wanting to know about the guy who wears the bow tie and the hat! But that’s me. Now if somebody would suggest to you, George, that you wear a bow tie and a hat, you might not feel comfortable. That would be a makeover. It wouldn’t be sincere. Figure out what you want to communicate and then promote the heck out of it.

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georgeCome to think of it, John, I could use a complete brand-over! So how do you find your brand?

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johnIf you wanted to do what I call a brand-over, George, you would ask Mary-Lynn, “What do you think my brand is? What are my positive attributes?” Then you go to the next ring – your friends. You ask them what they think your brand is. The last group is your colleagues. Based on that data, you begin to shape your brand. Is there any discrepancy between the brand others see you as and the brand you see yourself as. If there is, do you want to make the change if you’re not being successful with your present brand?

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marylynn
It seems pretty simple, but it’s not.

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johnNo, it’s not, because sometimes we don’t want to hear what people are going to tell us. But it’s the best way to make yourself a better professional. It’s not just listening. It’s also evaluating whether they are realistic and whether you can integrate their suggestions into your brand.

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Please join us next time when we continue our discussion with John. Among other things, he’ll tell us the advantage individuals have over institutions today.

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Reading and wRiting

Back-to-School on chalkboardIt’s Back-to-School and we’re doing a ten-part series on lifelong learning. We’re kicking it off with three shows on the 3 R’s – Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

Last time, we talked about reading. Today we’re going to get into the second R – writing.

A note on note-taking

Read more

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How to Get Out of the Dog House

dog_daysThis is the fourth show in our five-part Dog Days series. Sometimes, no matter how hard you might try, no matter how good you think you’re being, you still might find yourself in the dog house. So let’s talk about how to get out!

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Accept being in the dog house

Depending on how much barking was done, and who did the barking, you may want to accept being in the dog house for a short period of time.

After a heated discussion, the best prescription may be a cooling off period. Just stay in the dog house until you and the other person are both calmed down. Then you can broach the subject again.

Puppy dog eyes

When you do broach the subject, be sure to flash your puppy dog eyes. Let them see how sad you are that you upset them. In other words, approach them with humility.

You won’t get very far if you come back from the dog house barking. In fact, you’re likely to end up right back there!

If you come back with humility, you’ll be more likely to have a productive conversation.

Lick their face!

Figuratively … not literally.

Start the conversation with two of the strongest words in relationship building:

“I’m sorry.”

You may not feel like you’ve done anything wrong. That doesn’t matter if you made the other person feel something they didn’t like.

It may have been unintentional. That doesn’t matter either. It still happened.

Apologize for making them feel that way. Then ask questions so you can avoid the dog house in the future. At least for this offense!

If they start barking …

Don’t make them defensive. If they start barking, step back a bit. Usually not much gets accomplished if everyone involved is barking. So take a step back mentally – even physically, if it helps – and try again.

It’s amazing how productive a conversation can be when no one cares who was at fault. You can’t control the other person. You can only control yourself.

So don’t reflect blame right back. Try to reword it in a way that is more conducive to taking the relationship forward.

Try not to use the word “you” in a negative way. Look at two ways the same thing can be stated:

“You said blah.”

“When blah was said, it made me feel …”

Which one would make you more defensive? Obviously the second one keeps the conversation moving forward.

Oh … just one final point … when you do finally get out of the dog house, be sure to wag your tail!

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We thank you so much for the gift of your time today.

Please join us next time as we look at what it takes to be a bigg dog. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00454-080609.mp3

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(Image in today's post by mioawee)

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Can Social Networking Help You Live Longer

facebookResearchers have observed an effect on longevity in families. Specifically, children of parents who lived 100 years or more tend to live longer too.

A recent study at the Boston University School of Medicine explored possible reasons for this. Is it just in the genes or do these people possess qualities that help them live longer?

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They found that, among other things, children of centenarians are very social. They build friendships. They feel that their friends serve as safety nets in times of need.

A while back, a group of Australian researchers at Flinders University found that people with strong friendship networks were more likely to live longer. They divided the group into thirds based on the number of friends in their network. They discovered that people in the top third of friends were 22% less likely to pass away before the decade-long study concluded than people in the lowest third.

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So we wonder: Will we live longer thanks to online social networking?

Obviously, these researchers aren’t studying online social networks. When they talk about social networks, they’re talking about our physical network of friends. However, given this research, we think active online networkers may fare pretty well for these four reasons:

  • Thanks to online social networks, we connect more often these days than we did before they existed. It’s just easier to keep up with friends.
  • We also connect with more people. Because the communication is concise and streaming, it’s easier to make new friends and keep up with them.
  • We connect with a more diverse group of people. It’s so interesting to learn about all the different interests people have. There’s such an array online. Research has shown that brain activity helps reduce the likelihood of dementia as well. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your online friends. And offline too, for that matter!
  • We connect with people who are more geographically dispersed. We learn about new cultures and new things. Once again, it’s all mind-expanding and that’s a good thing.

So when we’re old and gray, we’ll still be actively involved in social networking. In fact, count us in for the golden tweetup!

Do you think that people who are active social networkers will be more likely to live longer?

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00450-073109.mp3

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25 Ways to Meet People and Build Your Personal Brand

Little Adults, Bigg Kids: What We’re All Missing Out On

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(Image in today’s post by basykes,CC 2.0)

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The Surprising Thing Others Expect from You

ug_of_war.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. When we talk with people about their biggest challenge in living their lives on their own terms, one of the most common responses involves work – life balance in one way, shape or form.

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The tug-of-war

For many of us, it’s a perpetual tug-of-war. We love our family. We thoroughly enjoy our time with friends. We relish time to ourselves.

But we also love the work we do. We take pride in our accomplishments. Rightly so.

But we’re only human. We can’t be two places at once.

The result? We’re not as happy as we should be. We’re not completely fulfilled.

It may cause feelings of guilt. Depending on where the knot is in the tug-of-war we’re playing – which side is getting more attention – we may feel guilty about not giving enough attention to the other side.

When we’re at work, there are times when we may feel guilty about not being home. When we’re home, we may feel guilty at times about not working. It seems like a no-win situation!

The sacrifice

Research shows in our effort to have it all we’re sacrificing something that’s very important to our well-being: sleep.

So we end up dragging at work. Or we’re spent before we get home. By the time we get there, have dinner and do some household chores, we only have enough energy to crash on the couch.

But we keep pushing. Day after day, we push to the point of exhaustion until, finally, something inside of us says, “Enough!”

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The surprising thing

Stewart Friedman is a Professor at Wharton and the author of a fantastic book on leadership. It’s called Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life.

In his research, he has uncovered an answer to this work – life balance problem. It has to do with a surprising thing others expect from you. They expect … drum roll please …

Less!

Dr. Friedman’s research shows that other people expect a lot less of us than we think they do. In many cases, they’re not the ones putting the pressure on us. We’re putting undue pressure on ourselves!

You are the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. Just like any entrepreneur, communication with your key stakeholders is crucial.

  • Talk about expectations. Great entrepreneurs have these conversations with their employees. They talk about expectations with their investors. Follow that example – have a conversation about expectations with the key stakeholders in your life.
  • Discuss options. Ask for their help in discovering options so you meet their expectations.
  • Reach an agreement about respective participation in each other’s lives. Think of it as a service level agreement.

You’ll come away with a clear understanding of the expectations the most important people in your life have of you. Then you can focus on scheduling your days to meet those expectations. Or better yet, exceed them. After all, this is the community for bigg goal-getters!

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today.

We’ve heard over and over again that money can’t buy happiness. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can happiness buy money?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00445-072409.mp3

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Flipping Work Life Balance

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(Image in today's post by KevinKLuu)