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Family Fun is No Trivial Pursuit

memories.jpgIs there a better way to spend your play time than spending time with your family?

We know … we know – it depends on the family!

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Family time is special time. It’s great to just hang out with people who you know really care about you.

The great thing about family time is that we can have fun without spending a lot of money. There are so many options, especially when the weather is nice. How much does it cost to go outside and play Frisbee?

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marylynnGeorge’s family has a bigg reunion every year. One of the festivities is a lively game of softball. His family is incredibly competitive, but it’s all good-natured fun.

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georgeWell, it’s usually good natured! You definitely have to be able to take some ribbing!

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Your Family’s Trivial Pursuit

Games and family go hand-in-hand. So how about creating a game that’s all about your family? Think of it as your own family’s Trivial Pursuit.

It may not cost a thing. It certainly won’t cost much unless you choose to make a really deluxe version. It can be as simple as sheets of paper with the questions written on them and a blank sheet of paper for scoring.

You may create a list of questions about your close family. It will be a walk down memory lane! You may extend it to the larger family. It’s a great way to help your kids learn more about your whole family.

Make the questions both interesting and fun. Obviously, you want to avoid embarrassing family members so that it remains a fun endeavor and doesn’t turn into the family feud!

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marylynnHere’s a question I would ask. George will know the answer right off the bat. This author was one of my mom’s favorites and is also one of my husband’s favorites. Who is he?

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george
Dashiell Hammett.

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marylynn
Extra points if you can spell it, George!

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georgeI had to look it up! I can think of an interesting question about my dad. I bet a lot of my family doesn’t know it or they’ve tried to forget it, but it made our local paper! My dad actually spent a night in jail! So that would be the focus of my question: for what did he spend the night in jail? Answer: It was a contract dispute. Dad lost the case. He said he would go to jail before he paid the money. The judge obliged! It only took one night before dad decided he’d had enough and paid the amount required.

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marylynnSo I guess George is suggesting that our game include a “Go directly to jail – do not pass “Go” – do not collect $200” card!

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That’s the beauty of this idea – you can create this game however you want. Have fun with it! It’s a creative endeavor. Sometimes we get more creative when we try not to spend money.

This simple game is an example. So have some fun with your family for free and work on your creativity skills all at the same time. Sounds like a bigg success to us!

What does your family do for fun?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today!

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Please join us next time as we talk about insurance … just for the health of it! Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00385-050109.mp3

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Making Change Work

change2 Entrepreneurs see a problem and immediately start trying to find a solution. That’s why entrepreneurship has been defined as the science of change. And there’s a new concept starting to take hold – that we are all entrepreneurs. We must all be innovative in finding solutions for the problems that we each face.

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There is real value in seeing ourselves as entrepreneurs and in looking at change as an opportunity rather than something to be resisted. We should welcome change!

That’s a bigg step for a lot of people. But if we don’t change, it means we’re standing still. There’s an old saying that a rut is nothing more than a grave with both ends knocked out. We have to get out of our ruts; we have to change – either as a response to the change we see coming or by creating the change that we see needs to be made.

We’ve been talking about change in our last couple of shows. We started by talking about the lost art of making change. Last time, we talked about how saving our change can lead to bigg changes in our lives.  It occurred to us that we can think about change in our lives by thinking about change – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

A penny for your thoughts

The change process begins with a penny for your thoughts. It’s important to generate ideas about where you want to go. Then check the validity of your idea to see if it plays to your strengths. If it passes that test, look at the customers (or employer) you plan to serve as well as the competition already serving them to see if this is a good opportunity.

If I had a nickel for every time …

But the idea itself isn’t worth much. It’s the actions that follow the idea that make it valuable. So think about the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time I (fill in the blank).” We’re usually making a joke or lamenting something we’ve done too many times to count when we say this.

But there’s some bigg wisdom in this little saying. It’s the key to moving the idea from inside your head to something tangible. It’s about inputs. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your actions.

So if you think about the actions necessary to bring your idea to fruition and then mentally think that you’re getting a nickel every time you act, you begin to see that your inputs create the output you want. The more you perform, the more you eventually get back.

A dime a dozen

As you come up with your ideas and begin to implement them, stand out. You don’t want to be a dime a dozen. You need to be unique. If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you can’t expect to be seen as outstanding. Find your niche. Entrepreneurs do it. So must we.

Two bits

One bit isn’t good enough. Have a back-up plan. If your tactics don’t work, what will you do next? This is the advantage of action. You learn. Notice that we didn’t say you fail. But you may not succeed bigg at first. You must adapt. Think about how you will need to adapt before you have to.

So there it is … the change process. Making change work leads to bigg success. 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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Thanks for taking time out of your day to read our post today. Please join us next time when we talk about the seven P’s of business success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00343-030409.mp3

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Game Date

games We’re sitting here on a cold winter’s night. It’s too cold to go out, but who needs to anyway?

The stereo’s cranking tunes in the background. The fireplace is going. We made hot chocolate. And we’re playing Battleship!

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It’s what people used to do in the “days of yore” (we couldn’t resist the cheesy reference) – invest a few bucks in a board game, spend time together as a family, and have some fun.

We don’t often think about it, but games aren’t just child’s play. They’re a great way to relax and refine crucial skills at the same time.

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marylynnLike Battleship. Obviously it’s a strategy game, but I find that it also helps me with concentration and memorization.

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georgeOr you can create a system. Like I use the pegs to record what I’ve said that was a direct hit. Just like the real world, learning to create systems helps make life easier.

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You can build up your vocabulary by playing Scrabble. We would say more about this but we’re at a loss for words!

How about Operation? It will help you focus on your manual dexterity. Trivial Pursuit is a great way to build up your knowledge, but you will also find some great conversation starters, or conversational continuers. Just don’t turn into another Cliff Claven … constantly spouting off things nobody cares about!

Yes, we’re spending an evening together – enjoying the competition and the relaxation – but we’re not spending any money! So make a game date – it’s an economical way to refine your skills while relaxing and having fun with your family and friends!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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We’re so thankful you chose to spend some time with us today. Join us next time when we talk about a controversial issue – should you and your spouse have separate accounts? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00325-020609.mp3

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Marketing in Tough Times: Part 2

marketing2 Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continue our conversation with John Jantsch, the Duct Tape Marketer. Last time, John talked about the importance of getting closer to customers and strategic partnerships to build business. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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georgeJohn, one of the businesses I used to own was a plumbing company. In that business, I learned that many times there are ways to work with competitors – especially if they aren’t direct competition. Even within an industry, people may have specialties and you may find people that you can partner with that are better at something than you are.

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johnThe way to really look at that is, “How can you become more valuable to your customer?” Look at it that way as opposed to, “Who can I go to who will refer business me to me?” That’s the mistake that a lot of people make. They reach out to people and say, “Hey, why don’t you send me some business?” And even though they may be capable of doing so, what’s the motivation in that? If the motivation can be, “How can I help you grow your business? How can I provide more value to my customers?” Building a strong network around everything that your customers might need, with you being the go-to person to recommend other people to them, is a great marketing and business strategy. Your customers will become much more loyal if they can see you as somebody who cares about their success as opposed to somebody who is just there to sell them something.

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marylynnIt’s all about being real – now more than ever. Going back to what’s been going on in 2008, some of the big guys have fallen and so has trust. People want to feel like they can rely on you.

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johnRight. In fact, my book starts out with my definition of marketing for the small business: finding someone who has a need and getting them to know, like, and trust you. That’s the real business that every small business is in. Well, frankly any business, but certainly the small business who can’t “buy” know, like and trust. If you keep that as the focus, it becomes the filter for every decision that you make that has a customer impact in your business.

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georgeIt seems to me, John, that you’re saying we need to focus on the relationships and not so much on the revenue. The revenue will come.

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johnI certainly believe that. I’m the first to acknowledge that sometimes you have to put food on the table. There is a lot of pressure to actually make the sale. But long-term, the companies that will survive this economic storm will focus on adding value, differentiating, and building a brand that can be trusted. In some cases, these companies won’t experience any downturn and may even find it to be an opportunity. Because people who haven’t been doing things right – not treating people very well, not doing good work, but the phone keeps ringing because people need stuff done – will be the first to go. If you’re in there doing things right in good times and bad, a shakeout in your industry may be an opportunity.

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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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We’re so grateful that you took time to read our post today. Join us next time when we wrap up our conversation with John. You’ll hear about the one thing you have to embrace to keep your business from being left behind. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00309-011509.mp3

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Marketing in Tough Times: Part 1

marketing1 Today on The Bigg Success Show, we begin a discussion with John Jantsch. John is the author of the great book, Duct Tape Marketing – The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide. Forbes chose his Duct Tape Marketing blog as one of their favorites and Harvard features it on their marketing site. He also writes a monthly column and does a podcast for Entrepreneur magazine.

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marylynn
That’s a long intro and it’s not even everything!

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john
That’s good … we wouldn’t want to bore people right off the bat!

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marylynnJohn, I have to tell you. You’re the guy we wanted to come to because with everything going on with the economy, small businesses are struggling right now. A lot of the money that they might have had for advertising and marketing just isn’t there right now. So we want to talk with you about how to promote yourself on a shoestring budget.

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johnA lot of small business owners have done that. The headlines are that the Dow is down. Big companies are cutting back all kinds of jobs. The newspaper industry is in turmoil because of losing advertisers. But the typical small business owner is not putting out hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. In many cases, they have gotten to where they’ve gotten because they worked on a shoestring anyway. I wrote a column this week for a publication and talked about the natural competitive advantages of small business. I think that we can have this tendency to get in this “the sky is falling” mode and quite frankly, my experience at least is, that it’s not falling on the small business owner. The small business owner is now finding that the market momentum, sheer momentum, is perhaps not carrying them and that they have to get better at doing some of the things that maybe they should have been doing anyway. But my current soap box right now is to say, “Hey, everything is okay. Let’s just buckle in and do some things right.” So that was my long-winded intro to answer your question. Right now is the best time ever to get closer to your customer.

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george
So what are some customer-building strategies that don’t require spending a lot of money?

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johnYour customer, whether it’s a business or an individual, is feeling some of this economic pressure as well. This is a great time to huddle up and say, “What more can we be doing with you, for you? How can we get together and help each other?” Strategic partnerships have always been a great way to go for folks who are strapped for making the phone ring. Go out and find other people that have your ideal customer in mind. Find ways to co-brand some of your marketing materials, put workshops on together, or maybe just literally pass out each other’s materials. One of the greatest partnerships I ever put together was a plumbing contractor. They were going into people’s house every day. So we said to them, “Let’s find an electrical contractor, a roofing contractor, and three or four other people who treat their customers the way you like. Why don’t you all start going in and recommending each other?” You know how that happens – once you develop trust with a customer, they’ll ask you for every resource you can give them! So doing things like that – things people should be doing, good times and bad. It really does put the spotlight on them now if you haven’t been doing them.

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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 for reading today’s post. Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with John. He discusses ways to add value for customer loyalty. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00308-011409.mp3

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