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3 Questions for a Brighter Future

questions You and you alone create your future. You are the only person, place or thing with that power. With that being the case, it's up to you to create the future of your dreams.

One way to do that is to look back so you can look forward. Reflecting upon the past and pulling lessons away so your future is bigger and brighter. With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to review last year so next year lives up to its promise for you.

There's a simple three-stage framework for performing this exercise. It involves asking yourself three questions:

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What?

Start with the actual events of this year. What happened? Describe major events in your life. As you record your answers, test your perceptions to make sure they reflect the reality of the situation. If it helps, pretend that you are a reporter objectively recording the facts of the event.

So what?

At this stage, you move from reporting to understanding, from logic to emotion. That's why it was so important to get the facts right in the first step. What did this experience mean to you? How did it make you feel? Why did you feel that way? What have you learned?

Now what?

The previous two questions lead to this one. How will you apply the lessons you learned? What specific actions will you take as a result of the events you've outlined?

These three simple questions serve as a great outline to review major events in your life and develop forward-thinking plans to be a bigg success.

Let’s look at a couple of examples, using events from 2008.

Example: Volatile stocks

What?
The stock market can be very volatile.

So what?
I can lose money if I don’t understand the risk and how to manage it.

Now what?
I will learn more about investing and asset allocation. I won’t invest money in stocks that I will need in the next ten years. I will pay closer attention to my quarterly reports to make sure I maintain the proper asset allocation given my age and goals.

Example: Layoffs

What?
Times are tough at work; layoffs are possible.

So what?
It makes me nervous. I think I could lose my job.

Now what?
I will look for ways to help my company save money. I will make sure my boss is aware of the projects I complete successfully. I will look for opportunities to add additional skills so I’m more competitive.

Solid goals

In our examples, the “Now what’s” are a little bit fuzzy. You really want to refine them to turn them into solid goals. For instance, looking at the second example, instead of saying “I will look for ways to help my company save money,” turn that into “I will find one way to save my company $X (you pick a relevant amount) in the next 30 days.”

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Would you like more help turning your thoughts into concrete goals? Get our FREE Goal-Setting Workbook when you subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE too!

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We really appreciate you taking the time to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at the most important people of 2008. We think you’ll be surprised at our choices! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00297-123008.mp3

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Top Threats to Your Career and Finances in 2009

By Bigg Success Staff
12-17-08

caution

We’ve all heard plenty of bad news recently, but the bad news now is that there is more bad news to come. While we must think about the opportunities in front of us, it’s also important to consider the threats to our careers and our finances so we can prepare appropriately.

Recession

Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and governments, all over the developed world, are learning a hard lesson about leverage. We will climb our way out of this recession but it will take some time. Before it’s through, it will be one of the, if not the most, severe recession since the Great Depression. 

Layoffs will continue. In most recessions, layoffs occur mostly at the bottom of the earnings / education spectrum. Expect this recession to be more evenly distributed, if not hitting higher end jobs harder.

Outsourcing

Companies will continue outsourcing, but here’s the difference. Manufacturing jobs have been getting shipped overseas for some time now. As fuel prices rose, there actually seemed to be a resurgence in companies bringing manufacturing jobs back on shore.

Now more white-collar jobs are at risk thanks in part to technology that allows information to be shared instantly from any place in the world with internet access. We found a great article that discusses the characteristics of jobs that can now be easily outsourced and jobs that can’t. It also lists what you can do to make yourself less vulnerable and provides a list of jobs by their level of risk to offshoring.

Deflation

Expect deflation to continue as everybody keeps a tight lid on spending, the credit markets remain relatively tight, and inventories of everything from housing to cars remain comparatively high. The good news is lower prices will remain, but …

Inflation

Governments in the developed countries have poured money into the world economy at unprecedented rates. At some point, once the credit markets loosen up and demand returns, inflation could become a problem.

We’ve just witnessed prices on everything from gas to groceries rising quickly. We could see it again. It will take wise leadership to know when to slam on the brakes on economic stimulus without tightening so much that another recession ensues.

If this happens, that cash stash will quickly lose its value. Investments in hard assets have typically performed well in times of inflation.

Delayed retirement

A number of retirees are being forced to look for work after the freefall of their portfolios. Even more people who planned to retire soon are putting those plans on hold because they need to bulk up their assets again before they stop working. This will create even more competition in already tight job markets.

Benefits

Employers are under intense pressure to cut costs. It’s reasonable to expect them to cut benefits. Even if it’s promised now, don’t count on having health insurance provided to you as a retiree. Even while you’re working, expect to cover a greater share of the premiums.

Also don’t be surprised if your employer cuts back or eliminates the matches on your 401(k). These aren’t the only benefits at risk, but they’re two of the most significant ones.

Access to credit

It won’t show up on your personal balance sheet, but your credit score will be an incredible asset. Cash will be king as long as prices remain in a deflationary state. At some point, cash along with the ability to access credit will open doors for opportunities that most of us will never see again in our lifetimes. 

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE too!

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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One-Up Yourself for Bigg Success

one When the phrase “one-up” is used, it’s usually referring to the competition. We had an interesting discussion after working out recently.

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marylynnI was on the treadmill and noticed that I was running slower than others around me. I’m competitive but I just can’t sustain the higher speed that other people can.

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That led to today’s show topic … one-up yourself!

Think one percent better or one percent more. Self-improvement requires patience. A little bit of improvement over time makes a bigg difference.

1% a week leads to a 50% improvement

For example, let’s say you walk two miles in thirty minutes. If you can just do one percent more the next time out, you would walk 2.02 miles in thirty minutes or you might stick with the two miles and plan to do it in 29 minutes and 40 seconds. Either way, it’s a one percent improvement. If you do that every week, over the course of the year, you would have improved over fifty percent!

It’s easy to get discouraged if we don’t see results right away. We’re bigg goal-getters so we always shoot high. However, shooting too high is a recipe for de-motivation. Take baby steps rather than a leap that you can’t sustain!

There are five steps to one-up yourself:

Find the baseline. Measure where you are now so you compete only with yourself, not others. It doesn’t matter what that point is; it’s just important to know it because it’s your starting point.

Set your initial one-up goal. You may want to go faster or longer. Are you in a sprint or a marathon? Are you trying to improve quantity or quality?

Determine the time frame. Do you want to improve one percent every time, each week or some other period? Specify a time frame for your incremental improvement.

How will achieve it? What specific activity will get you that extra 1%? Let’s look at an example, using a savings goal:

Assume you have a base line, how much you’re saving now, of $500 a month. You want to save more money in the same time (each month). In other words, you want to go “faster.” So next month, you plan to save $505 next month.

Okay, so you want to save $5 more next month. How will you do it? You decide that you’ll pack your lunch one more day.

See how easy that was!

As you do it, analyze your results. If you hit your one-up goal, congratulate yourself. But then set your next one-up goal and go get it.

If you didn’t hit your goal, analyze why. Then try, try again. Don’t get down on yourself for missing your goal one time. You’ll one-up yourself next time!

One-up leads to bigg success

There are things in our lives that are sprints; others are marathons. Set your goals accordingly and one-up yourself for bigg success!

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Did you know that you can get our free Bigg Goal-Getters Workbook
when you
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly you'll get the
tips and tools you need to be a bigg success! And it’s FREE too!

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We thank you so much for spending your time reading our post today. New research shows that there is a fountain of youth. Join us next time when we tell you where to find it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00283-121008.mp3

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A Wii Bit of Fun

employee Our friends Paul and Stephanie bought a Nintendo Wii not long ago. They invited us to their home recently and we played games. It was so much fun! It was great to hang out with good friends. And we got a work out!

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We boxed, played tennis, took in a few rounds of golf, and did some bowling. It was a blast!

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george
For the record, Mary-Lynn kicked my you-know-what when we boxed.

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A small investment leads to bigg fun

Part of the reason our friends bought the Wii is that they have a wee little girl. So they don’t get out as much as they used to. They made a small investment in this game system. They get to have some fun, and some couple time, when little Ellie goes to sleep. And whenever they have friends over, everyone can join in the fun!

We’re not bigg gamers, but this was really a blast. There may be a Wii in our future. It’s definitely an investment – by the time you buy all the accessories – but you can entertain yourself at home instead of going out and spending money.

It doesn’t require any investment

Our local movie theater has an air hockey table. So whenever we go see a movie, we play some air hockey. And to let you in on a little secret, sometimes we don’t go to the movie!

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marylynn We’re both pretty competitive. The puck often flies off the table! The sad thing is, what really gets my goat, I have yet to win an air hockey match against George. I don’t understand because I’m pretty good!

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georgeWe’re lucky because we have a park down the street with a basketball court. So we’ll go play a round of H – O – R – S – E. And you know, if I could spell “Horse”, I’m pretty sure Mary-Lynn has beaten me!

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There are a lot of games you can play, from the ones we talked about to board games, that allow you to bring out that fun, little competitive nature and bond at the same time.

We played Wii tennis and it was fun. But we also play tennis at a local park from time to time. It’s a great way to have some fun outdoors.

These are all cheap ways to have some fun, compete, and connect. With couples being so busy, so strapped for time, it’s important to connect in some way every day. If you can do it with a game, so much the better!

I just don’t want Mary-Lynn to keep connecting with me in boxing. Even though it’s a Wii game, it still hurts … my pride!

How do you connect?

 

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together

Build Your Brand By Promoting Others

together
We started Bigg Success about eight months ago. In that time, we’ve met some incredible people – listeners of our show, readers of our blog, and colleagues at conferences. One of the most amazing people we’ve met is Liz Strauss.

She’s known as the “queen of blogging.” She’s also the queen of conversation – her blog has more comments than just about any other blog. She’s also an SOB – her label for Successful and Outstanding Blog!

A one-of-a-kind show that’s an incredible resource

Liz recently held a Blog Fair. Think of an auto show, where you have all these cool cars lined up. Liz decided to do this with blogs, allowing other people to promote their sites on her site.

Read more