There’s a rising call for developed countries to track happiness, rather than just income and wealth. Economists say that the goal of a “rational actor” is to maximize his or her “utility” – their fancy term for happiness – over the course of his or her life. Perhaps governments are trying to catch up with the economists!
Leicester University in England has tracked happiness for the past 30 years. Consistently, Denmark – not Disneyland – has topped their list as the happiest place on earth.
We wondered why … why are the people in Denmark so darn happy?
Is it the weather?
Average temperatures in Copenhagen are about 68 degrees in the summer and around zero in the winter. We don’t know about you, but that’s not our idea of great weather!
Is it the taxes?
Like her sister Scandinavian countries, Denmark has some of the highest taxes in the world. Now, granted those taxes are matched with some of the highest benefits for any citizenry.
Is it their lifestyle or their habits?
Danes are some the heaviest drinkers and smokers in the world?
Is it their diet?
One of the staples of the Danish diet is herring – this is a country that eats a lot of herring!
So it can’t be the diet, because … maybe it’s just my personal taste, but ick!
Now there a lot of theories about what makes the Danes so happy. One of my theories is that they drink so much, they don’t remember whether they’re happy or not!
Seriously, theories are fine, but we thought we should look at what the research shows is driving this happiness.
Professor Kaare Christensen at the University of Southern Denmark found that Danes have low expectations. Because of this culture of expecting less, the people are happy when good things happen.
This made us think of something Tony Robbins said – if you’re not happy, you have a choice. You can either change your conditions or your expectations. But what if you don’t want to change your expectations?
Tal Ben-Shahar, who teaches the most popular class at Harvard University, found that the single most significant predictor of happiness is close relationships with friends and family. We found it interesting that 92 percent of Danes belong to some sort of social club.
Maybe that’s why social media has become so bigg! What do you think?
(Image by nookiez)
By Bigg Success Staff
Bigg Success in Business
We’re told that diagnosing a medical condition early greatly increases the chances of successful treatment. The same is true for your business – seeing the warning signs early gives you the opportunity to solve minor issues before they become major problems.
Cash to a business is like blood to our bodies. It has to continue flowing or we won’t survive. The bottom line is that you can’t run out of cash. So you have to know how to diagnose and treat the source of the ailment before it spreads.
With that in mind, here are ten signs that your business may be heading for trouble:
#1 – Lost market share
Your sales may be growing, but your share of the market may be falling. Market share is precious – among other things, it provides leverage to raise prices as your costs increase. As competitors enter your market, you have to work even harder to maintain (and hopefully increase) your share or your business may get into trouble.
#2 – Declining customer counts
Your sales may be holding steady, but fewer and fewer people are making purchases. Your remaining customers are spending more, possibly because of price increases. You have to find a way to attract new customers or your business is headed for trouble.
#3 – Low repeat and referral business
You need a healthy percentage of repeat business because it’s much less expensive to keep a customer happy than to get a new one. It also shows that your product or service is still meeting the needs of a core base of people who will refer other people to you. If your customers aren’t coming back, your business may face trouble.
#4 – Declining sales
If your sales are falling, you’re definitely headed for trouble. It may have nothing to do with you – it may be your industry that is experiencing trouble. Isolate whether it’s a problem with your business or the industry as a whole to know your best strategy.
#5 – Disproportionate sales to a small group of customers
Picture this extreme situation – all of your sales come from one customer. You’re totally at the mercy of that customer. It’s like being an employee without the safeguards that go with employment! Generally speaking, if more than ten percent of your sales are to one customer, you may face trouble at some point.
#6 – High employee turnover
When you lose employees, customers are affected – they deal with less experienced people who don’t know your business or the customer’s needs as well as long-time employees. The costs of training people so they’re fully productive are also significant. If you can’t retain employees, your business will likely face trouble.
#7 – Costs rising faster than sales (declining profit margins)
Costs rise for a number of reasons. As your sales rise, so will your costs. If they don’t, why do you need that cost at all? So rising costs are expected. However, costs that rise faster than sales means you will face trouble at some point because you’ll have less and less profit for each dollar of sales.
#8 – Disproportionate purchases from one vendor
You don’t want to be dependent on any vendor for purchases in any category. That gives that vendor too much leverage in your business. They’ll be able to pass on costs to you that you may not be able to pass on to your customers. If you don’t have a diverse base of vendors (or at least a back-up plan), your business will probably face trouble sometime.
#9 – Unwarranted increase in receivables
It’s great to make sales, but not if you don’t get paid! That’s worse than not making the sale at all because it costs you money to make a sale. Slow paying customers also create problems because you can’t pay your bills with receivables. If you don’t control your receivables, your business may be headed for trouble.
#10 – Unjustifiable inventory build-up
Depending on your business, inventory may be even less liquid than receivables. First, you have to sell it; then you have to collect on the sale. Inventory that’s not turning over is dead-weight. So if your inventory is building up too fast, your business will likely experience a cash crunch at some point.
Rich is a very rich word. It’s commonly defined as “wealth”, but “rich” has many meanings.
It means “quality” – “That’s a rich idea.”
It implies “fullness” – “I have a rich life."
Another meaning is “fruitful” – “He farms rich soil.”
Rich goes way beyond the common perception.
Conditions vs. Expectations
If your current conditions equal or exceed your expectations, you’re happy. If you’re happy, you can feel rich.
If your conditions don’t meet your expectations, then you’re unhappy. In that case, you can either change your conditions or change your expectations.
3 ways to change your conditions
#1 – Change your attitude.
It all starts with you. If you think you can’t do something, you can’t. It’s that simple.
#2 – Change your self-talk.
Keep telling yourself that “you can do it”. Yes, we know about the Adam Sandler movies!
Say it over and over until you really, truly believe it. Every time you tell yourself something negative, you’re actually two steps behind. You’ve taken a step back because of this self-doubt, and you could have taken a step forward.
#3 – Emulate successful people.
You may not FEEL like doing something. Do it anyway. Fake it. Force it. Do what successful people do long enough and you’ll be successful.
3 ways to change your expectations
#1 – Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’.
It’s your life, not theirs. What difference does their opinion make? You’re the one who has to be proud of you.
#2 – Set goals that are achievable.
If you set the bar so high that all you do is work toward that goal, you won’t have a rich life. Set goals that stretch you, but don’t break you as you try to achieve them.
#3 – Look at what you have, not what you don’t have.
Savor your accomplishments before you move on. Look at your relationships and all the things for which you can be happy.
A man who changed his conditions
A friend of ours got in with a group at work that complained about everything – their conditions, their boss, and the company. They also never gave an ounce more than they needed to in order to keep their jobs.
One day, our friend got assigned to a project with a guy who was a bigg goal-getter. This guy only said good things about work, their boss, and the company. He did little things that made him stand out. Our friend emulated him. Before long, he got a promotion with a bigg raise.
A woman who changed her expectations
Sarah Susanka is an architect who has written ten books, including The Not-So-Big Life. She was a busy professional, but she was unhappy. She was so busy, though, that she couldn’t spare the time to figure out what to do about it.
After some time, she learned that she had breast cancer. While going through treatment, she didn’t have much energy, but she had time to think. She realized that quality, not quantity, is what matters. She says to focus on your comfort, not what impresses other people.
|The Bigg Goal-Planners Workbook is a great resource to determine what’s most important to you. It’s FREE when you subscribe to our
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Our bigg quote today is by Oscar Wilde, who said,
are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.”
All the things money can buy comes with a price tag. All the things money can’t buy. Priceless.
There’s our nod to VISA … but you won’t have to use your VISA!
With spring here tomorrow, we’ll discuss three steps to make your success grow. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!