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Network Like a Cat

catBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is work, one of the five elements of bigg success.

You may have heard about this. As cat-lovers, we found it fascinating. Researchers have identified a special purr – they call it the “solicitation purr” – which cats use to get attention.

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The researchers say the solicitation purr is a combination of a regular purr and a sound that resembles a crying baby. While cats purr with each other, it appears they really ramp up their solicitation purring when they communicate with us humans to get our attention.

Almost all the people who listened to cats purring identified the solicitation purr as more urgent. So we have trouble resisting it.

It made us think about networking. We’ll talk about the three networking cats:

The cat that meows

As soon as you meet them, whether in the real world or online, they pounce. They’re in your face making as much noise as they can. They want your attention and they want it now!

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georgeI remember getting a friend request in Facebook. I accepted. The next thing I knew, my new friend sent me a message that said, “George, do you have any health problems?” It turns out he was involved with a business that sold a product to improve your health. But isn’t that a strange way to greet a new friend?

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marylynnYet we see it all the time. I think it happens more with social networking. For some reason, it’s as if people don’t think they’re communicating with another person. They think they’re communicating with an object – a picture or a computer. But there’s a real person there.

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Being too aggressive too quickly may occasionally produce results. But most of the time, we avoid these cats. If we do encounter them, we get away as quickly as we can.

The cat that purrs

These cats sit around purring, mostly keeping to themselves. They’re content to let people come to them. They don’t make an effort to meet new people or to extend their social circles.

Because they’re so content just living in their own world, these cats miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t expand their network or it expands very slowly.

The cat with the solicitation purr

These cats want attention but they’ve learned there is a better way to get it than meowing. They’ve also learned that their regular purr doesn’t get results either. So they’ve evolved by creating a new purr. It has a sense of urgency along with a sense of calm.

Think about attraction, not the law of attraction but what attracts one person to another. People aren’t attracted to people who seem desperate. This is true in romantic encounters, but it’s also the case for professional encounters.

However, people also aren’t attracted to people who seem aloof. Cats who just sit around purring may be perceived as snobbish.

So evolve. Be the cat with the solicitation purr. Exhibit calm and urgency at the same time and you’ll network your way to bigg success.

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about bigg water. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. 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:
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Getting to Know You – Part 2

personalitytype_logoToday on The Bigg Success Show, we continued our conversation with Paul Tieger, who is an expert on personality types, creator of PersonalityType, and author of the best-selling book “Do What You Are”. Last time, we discussed how personality types can help you understand who you are and see your natural strengths and blind spots. Now let’s get back to the conversation …

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marylynnNow Paul, George and I both took your free assessment. Then I went ahead and paid for the full complete profile. So I have my Career Profile here. When I look at the career paths that would make me happy, they all make sense because they’re in line with my natural preferences. I like how you list what my weaknesses are – those blind spots for which I need to be on the lookout. Again as I’m reading through it, I’m shaking my head in agreement.

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paul_tiegerThis report has your work-related strengths and your possible weaknesses. Another piece that’s very important is your career satisfiers. There’s a list of ten career satisfiers for each type. These are the things you need in a career to be juiced by it. The report never says that this is 100 percent true for you. What it does is say, “Okay, out of these ten things, which is most true for you?” You might find five of those things as most important, but knowing that is very helpful when it comes time to evaluate one job versus another.

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marylynnAnd even if you’re feeling a sense of dissatisfaction with where you are, to be able to look at this and say, “Well, that’s why. I don’t have this going on or I don’t have that.” I think this is so timely right now, especially as people are losing their jobs and being forced to find something new.

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paul_tiegerYou raise a great point because a lot of the jobs that people have now are never coming back. So even if it’s a job you love and even when the economy turns around, that opportunity may not be around in any company. So in this report, we give you many categories – probably about seventy or eighty jobs – that you can look at and say, “That’s something I never thought of before.” But they’re all things that are going to make sense to you based on the research we’ve done over many years. The other piece, that I’m really proud of and that really resonates with people, is that this report helps people approach a job search using their strengths and blind spots. I’m not a fan of generic advice. Everybody says in the career world that you have to go network. That’s true, but networking is a natural activity for extroverts but not for introverts. So we give introverts things to do that work much better for them. It’s a real customized approach to career counseling.

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georgeNow Paul, I’d like to take our conversation in a different direction. Mary-Lynn’s an ESFP (Extrovert, Sensor, Feeler, Perceiver) and I’m an INTP (Introvert, iNtuitive, Thinker, Perceiver). Now is there any hope at all for us working and living together? The question really is – does this help you fill in gaps on your team if you’re a leader?

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paul_tiegerAbsolutely. My core business is called Speed Reading People. It’s a company that travels around the world training leaders – how to lead and manage – and sales people – how to sell and influence. We offer very prescriptive and practical advice about how to approach a person based on personality type. For example, if you are an INTP, you’re much more theoretical than Mary-Lynn is and you like to make connections. That was very clear to me from your first question. You weren’t talking about what is; you were talking about what might be. You were connecting and linking ideas. That’s what intuitive people do. So if I was talking to you about something and I said, “Let me tell you about my product.” If I gave you every detail that was on my spec sheet, your eyes would close and you would start to doze off within five or six seconds. Because that’s not what you want to know. You want to know the high concept. You want to know why it works and how you can apply it. So if I know that about you, that’s what I’m going to talk about. On the other hand, if I was talking to a very strong sensing type who really did want to know about all that stuff, then I would march them through the facts, the specifics, why it’s worked and where it’s worked in the past. It’s really about speaking the other person’s language. So that’s what speed reading people allows you to do.

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georgeThat’s really awesome. Especially since today, we have four generations in the workforce. As their leader, you have to get down to that individual level and relate to them one-on-one.

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marylynn
We didn’t really touch on this … what is your definition of speed reading people, Paul?

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paul_tiegerSpeed reading people is quickly understanding a person’s core values and motivations based on observable clues like their demeanor, energy level, vocabulary, and body language. The goal is speed reaching people – understanding how to communicate with that person on their level. I just gave an example of this based on the detail-person versus the high-concept person. People are motivated by different things. If you, Mary-Lynn, are a feeling-type and George is a thinking-type, then you’re motivated by very different things. If you do a good job, Mary-Lynn, and I thank you and tell you how much I appreciate it, that’s going to mean something to you. What will make George happy is telling him that his brilliant idea really helped move the ball forward. In other words, people like to be reinforced for what their gifts are. The gift of an ESFP is somebody who is helpful in practical ways. That’s what they want to be reinforced for. It’s very powerful. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and I still have insights every day.

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marylynn
We can’t let you go without finding out what personality type you are.

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paul_tiegerThat’s way too personal! I’m an Extrovert – Intuitive – Feeling – Perceiving type. So you and I, Mary-Lynn, are similar in Extrovert, Feeling and Perceiving. People connect on dimensions with which they’re similar. That’s why the more similar people are, the easier the communication. The more different, the more challenging the communication. I didn’t say they don’t have a shot; they can really balance themselves out very well but it’s more challenging. So that’s my type and it’s really kind of a very entrepreneurial, counseling, artsy kind of person. And that’s what I do in my life.

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marylynn
No wonder it’s been so easy talking with you!

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george
I found it very challenging!

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paul_tieger
I found you very challenging!

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george Well, Paul, I have to say that out of all you’ve said, the thing I was most glad to hear was that you could give a quick definition of speed reading people!

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george You did fantastic. Because if you can’t give a quick definition of speed reading people, then we’d have to start questioning you!

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paul_tiegerYou are such a perfect example of your type! Which you don’t like to hear, because you guys like to be independent. So you don’t like to hear that there’s anybody else out there like you, but there are. Well, not quite like you.

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george
Thank goodness for them!

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What is your personality type?

You can find out by taking the free Personality Type Assessement we discussed today.

*Special Offer: To get a 10% discount on your full career report, use promo code: biggsuccess

We thank Paul so much for sharing his time and wisdom with all of us. And we thank you for the gift of your time today.

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss celebrating others’ bigg success. 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/00419-061809.mp3

Related posts

Getting to Know You – Part 1

Bigg Success Primer

Stop Trying to Fit into the World

Making Change Work

(Image in today's post from PersonalityType.com)

Apologies – The Good

interactiveamy_dominos_crew.jpgToday on The Bigg Success Show, we were thrilled to welcome Amy Ravit Korin, also known as interactiveAmy. She’s a social media consultant to individuals, local businesses and Fortune 500 companies. We met Amy at SOBCon, the business school for bloggers. Amy has so much personality that, once you meet her, you’ll never forget her! So let’s get to the conversation …

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marylynnAmy, you told us this incredible story that we want you to share with our whole community. You recently ordered some pizza from Domino’s. But it took an hour to get the order to you and, when it arrived, it wasn’t right. What happened next?

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amyI called the store and they said they would send over another one. I’m also very active on Twitter – as a social media consultant it is one of my preferred methods of communicating. So I tweeted what had happened. I was just venting my frustration.

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georgeAnd that's when Ramon De Leon, who is the owner of the local Dominos stepped in, right?

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amyYes! He twittered me right away and asked which location I ordered the pizza from.

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Get in on the conversation

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marylynnThis is a good thing for local business owners to understand. Since you are a social media consultant, Amy, how did Ramon know that you had tweeted about him?

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amyThere are great tools out there that allow you to monitor the real time feed of what's being said on Twitter. Ramon probably had an alert set up for the word “Domino’s” or “Domino’s Chicago.” You can use any term that's relevant for you. In addition, you could also set up a Google Alert, which will alert you whenever your name, brand, or company is mentioned on the Internet. So Ramon said that he would remedy the situation and be back in touch when he had more information. I figured I was going to get a credit for free cinnamon sticks the next time I placed an order. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning, logged onto Twitter, and saw a tweet from @DPZRAMON. It said, "Amy, we want to make it up to you, please click on this link." The link took me to a video apology from Ramon, who is the owner of six Domino’s franchises in Chicago. He was standing there with Junior, who is the General Manager of the store where I ordered my pizza. They were offering an apology for what had happened that previous night.

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The buzz begins

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marylynnLike a lot of people, we've watched that video. I really liked that the apology was very sincere!

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amyYeah, what's so crazy is, just this morning, I actually got a tweet from Ramon. He said that video has been embedded on over 30,000 websites! And this is not just 30,000 watching the video; this is 30,000 people who think it's noteworthy enough to feature on their website.

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Wow!

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marylynnAnd in this video, not only did Ramon apologize to you – and promise to make it up to you – he said that they were going to wow you! Now that's more than cinnamon sticks. So what did they do to wow you?

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amyFirst of all, I was totally wowed by this video apology. I had never seen or heard of anything like it. Well as it turns out, I'm also involved in the Social Media Club of Chicago. We hosted an event on Thursday, April 30th – the kick-off to SOBCon. It was a great event where we had all kinds of Chicago social media minds in addition to friends from all over the country. Independently of this video apology, Domino’s was already secured as an event sponsor. So if that wasn’t enough, Domino’s showed up with over 100 pizzas for our club. They also brought a personal pizza for interactiveAmy, with my name all over the box. Ramon delivered it himself.

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george
So he didn't delegate this!

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amyNo, he didn't! Not only was he there, he was really excited about it. He couldn't wait to meet everybody who had heard about him after the video apology. But he was most excited to come and meet me, which was really cool.

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george
And who can blame him, Amy? We know you!

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amyHe also brought some members of his team including Junior. And it was his day off! In addition to the personalized interactiveAmy pizza, Junior also brought me a dozen roses in my favorite color, fuchsia. See video of interactiveAmy with DPZRAMON and Junior.

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marylynnHow on earth did he know your favorite color? He must have visited your website where that color is so strong.

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amyThat's true. I don't know if he did his back end research or if he just took a guess that women like bright pink.

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marylynnWell, I am just wowed by all of this. It’s just incredible!

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interactiveAmy and DPZRAMON

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The conversation begins when a mistake is made

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amyI thought so too. Ramon and I are still in touch. He has become an example of what great customer service is and can be – how to take steps to forge relationships with your customers which is a huge opportunity. When somebody makes a mistake, it doesn't have to be the end of the conversation. It really should be the beginning.

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georgeThat's a great point, Amy. But you could have just said nothing and not gone back to Domino’s. Instead you said something – not even expecting a response – but he responded in such a magnificent way that you've talked about it ever since. Plus 30,000 bloggers have talked about it too!

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amyExactly. As the owner of my own social media company, this is definitely something I try to advise business on, from small mom & pops all the way up the Fortune 500 ladder. Take any opportunity to engage in a conversation about your brand, product or service. And listen – especially when someone says something that might not be the most flattering. It’s a great way to get insight and take steps to remedy the problem. So first you have to listen. Then you can engage. You can become part of the conversation and take the necessary steps to forge your relationship going forward.

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georgeThose are great points, Amy. Here’s what I’ve learned – if you need a case study for your social media consulting business, just be your own.

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amy
I think that's a lesson to all of us … go out there and make things happen!

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Thanks Ramon for being a shining example of great customer service.

And thanks Amy for sharing your story with us.

And thank you for reading our post today.

Bigg Question

Have you been impressed with the response to a complaint? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444).

Please join us next time when we’ll continue on this thread. We’ll discuss bad and ugly apologies. 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/00392-051209.mp3

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(Image in today's post provided by interactiveAmy)

Are You Talking to the Right Person

talking.jpgWe each have a story about a wacky experience on the phone. Unfortunately for us, they’re true stories.

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marylynnI called Michael, our tech guy. I started talking about an issue with which we needed his help. Suddenly, the guy on the other end said, “Who is this?” I said, “It’s Mary-Lynn.” He said, “Oh, hey Mary-Lynn, how are things?” At that point, I didn’t know who was on the other end of the phone! It turns out I had called a different Michael, my old personal trainer.

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georgeI called my parent’s house. A woman answered the phone. I said, “Hey mom, it’s your son.” I asked how she was doing. She said, “Fine.” I asked if dad was there. She said, “Yes, I’ll get him.” A man came to the phone. I started to explain why I was calling. He said, “What are you talking about?” At that moment, I realized I was talking to a dad, but not my dad. Even worse – I had also talked to a mom, but not my mom in the same conversation!

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Consequential conversations

These conversations made us think about how important it is to talk to the right person. In our stories, there weren’t any repercussions. However, there are times when talking to the wrong person can have major consequences.

Nothing gets accomplished by talking to the wrong person. It’s a huge waste of time – for both you and the person to whom you’re talking.

If you’re talking to the wrong person, you may get misdirected. You could become discouraged. You might even lose your focus.

So we want to discuss three situations where it’s important to talk to the right person.

Are you talking to an expert?

A friend of ours says this best. If you want to make a million dollars a year, don’t talk to someone who’s making $999,999!

Don’t seek advice from someone who hasn’t achieved everything you’re trying to achieve. A lot of people like to give their opinions. They may be family or friends. We love them dearly, but they can’t help us if they haven’t done what we’re trying to do.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer. It just means you have to filter what they say.

Are you talking to the decision-maker?

This is particularly important when you’re trying to make a sale. By “sale”, we don’t just mean in the typical sense of the word. You may be trying to sell someone on giving you a loan. Can they make the decision? If not, find out who can and talk to them.

This also applies to buying. You may want to negotiate a better deal. Does the person you’re talking to have the authority to give you a better deal? If not, find someone who does.

Are you talking to the person who knows the person to whom you need to talk?

You may not know the person to whom you need to speak. Do you know a person who knows him or her? Do you know The Connector?

If there’s more than one person between you and the person with whom you want to have a conversation, it’s tough. It will probably be more productive to get a direct referral to the person who can help you reach bigg success!

Do you have a funny story of talking to the wrong person?

We sure hope we’re not alone!

Please share your story with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We thank you so much for reading our post today!

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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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Next time, a member of our community shares what life on his own terms means to him. Please join us. 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/00382-042809.mp3

Related posts

Moving Beyond Personal Productivity

Relationship Building Blocks

5 Laws of Stratospheric Success

(Image in today's post by VOdesigner)