Get Ahead by Getting Out

step_outQuite a while ago, we heard an interview with Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of the members of the band Abba. He described how he came up with the idea for the song, Take a Chance on Me.

He said he was out jogging. The rhythm of his steps just kept screaming these words to him …

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance, chance, chance.

His time away turned into a song!

You just never know where a great idea is going to come from. Isn’t it funny how many times it will happen in a place that you’d least expect – like in the shower!



Mix it up

Sometimes it pays to vary your routine. If you always follow the same routine, you can get stale. The answer is simple – mix it up!

Take a different way to work. Get to work later. Take lunch at a different time. Hang out with a different group of people. Whatever it may be, variety can spark new ideas.

Get out

Mixing it up is a great preventive measure. But what do you do when you’re already stuck?

We’ve noticed that getting out is a great way to get unstuck. So try changing your scenery – go for a walk, move around – even if it’s just for a short time.

We’ve found even just a few minutes away – from our computers, from our desks – sometimes leads us to the answer for which we were looking.

Even Beethoven needed to do it

As incredibly creative as Beethoven was, even he would get stuck every once in awhile. To get ahead, he would get out. In the book, Beethoven: The Man And The Artist As Revealed In His Own Words, authors Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel quote the great composer:

“You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty; they come unsummoned, directly, indirectly, – I could seize them with my hands, – out in the open air; in the woods; while walking; in the silence of the nights; early in the morning; incited by moods, which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.”

If Beethoven were alive today, maybe he would add “at the coffee shop” to his list! 

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Build Your Brand By Promoting Others

helping_handsWe 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.

It’s now a great resource for you online. Check out 260 blogs on one page. While you’re there, check out Bigg Success … we’re Entry 114. We learned about a lot of great sites that we didn’t know about before. 

Benefit by promoting others

Liz’s creativity got us thinking about the benefit of promoting others. It shows your customers that you care about more than money. georgeBefore I sold my other service businesses, we encouraged our customers to call us first, no matter what their problem was. In many cases, we didn’t perform the service they needed. However, they really appreciated that we helped them find someone good. It paid off in the long term.


marylynn Here at Bigg Success, we try to do the same thing. We seek out professionals who are experts in their field. We invite them to be on our show to share insight and advice with you that we couldn’t do alone.


We try to find people who know more than we do … and that’s not hard to do! Seriously, they may have a deeper understanding of a subject or know something peripheral to it.

The point is – when you promote others, you also promote yourself because you’re the hub.

Benefit by promoting with others

Sometimes the people you promote are your competition, but that can pay off too. There’s a concept that’s been practiced for years, but not really talked about openly. It’s been given the name “coopetition”.

Not long ago, we spoke with a man who owns a restaurant. In our town, we have a campus area with about 40,000 or so students. We also have a downtown with a vibrant nightlife. His restaurant sits in a little cluster of restaurants in between the two areas.

He couldn’t afford to advertise in the college newspaper. But what he could do is band together with his fellow restaurateurs and advertise their restaurants as a group. They promote bringing your date to one of their restaurants on the way to going downtown to enjoy the nightlife.

Suddenly, he saw a way to reach a whole new market – a market that was unattainable on his own. So sometimes the best way to build your brand is by promoting with others. 

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The Power of Imagination

J.K. Rowling, best known as the author of the Harry Potter series, recently delivered an exceptional speech for the Commencement Ceremony at Harvard University.

It’s an amazing discussion of the power of failure and imagination. It’s definitely worth your time to read the full text, or watch the video. She said,

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we
need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Each of us has the power within us to change the world. Do you doubt it?

Steve Jobs didn’t doubt it.
He imagined a world where every person could have the same computing power that only large organizations had at that point. He dreamed of a world where computers were so user-friendly everybody could use them.

John F. Kennedy didn’t doubt it.
He had the vision that man could walk on the moon. He set forth his vision with the power of words to direct an entire country’s resources toward that mission. A short time later, Neil Armstrong uttered his famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Martin Luther King didn’t doubt it.

He had a dream that people would be judged solely by the contributions they made to society, not by the color of their skin. His dream led to a movement to bring equal opportunity to all.

You may say that you don’t have …

… the imagination of JK Rowling. To create a world that can inspire millions of young people to read again at a time when everyone thought that only video games could attract them.

 … the creativity of Steve Jobs. To see the possibilities for individuals to have access to technology at their fingertips.

… the vision of John F. Kennedy. To see the impossible as possible and to inspire an entire nation to get behind the effort.

… the oratory skills of Martin Luther King. To put the need for change front and center on the agenda of his country and to move people to effect that change.

The unique power within you.
You do have the power to imagine a better world and make a difference in your own life and the life of others. Your imagination flows from your unique genetic make-up and your personal experiences.

No one else – who has ever walked on this earth, is here now, or ever will be – can duplicate what you have and who you are. You are one of a kind!

It’s up to you to live up to the potential that is within you … just imagine! How will you leave the world a better place? What are you doing now to make a difference in the lives of others?

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How Do I Find My Passion?

Bigg Challenge
Amy knows she’s not passionate about her career, but she doesn’t really know what she would love to do. She wants to know how to discover her passion.

Bigg Advice
We recommend that you get a notebook to write down your thoughts and answers to the following questions, Amy.

These things all revolve around one simple theme –

Look to the past to discover your future.

#1 – What did you want to be when you grew up?
Now you may think that’s a silly question to ask at this point in your life, but it’s not. Because it leads to the more important question …

Why? Why did you want to do that one thing when you grew up?

Mary-Lynn wanted to be a singing star. She wanted to be like Cher – up on stage performing in front of an audience with a microphone. Unfortunately, she couldn’t sing!

But today, she does perform in front of an audience with her very own microphone. It’s not exactly what she envisioned as a kid, but the elements are there.

#2 – What classes did you really enjoy?

You probably thrived in these classes. What were they, from grade school all the way up through college? And more importantly …

What about that particular class did you enjoy so much?

George loved philosophy – learning how to think logically and debate a subject. He’s used those skills his entire career. He has found that the work that’s most enjoyable to him often has to do with problem-solving.

#3 – What extracurricular activities did you love?

And more importantly, what did you love about that activity?

Mary-Lynn loved music. She loved being in the pep band and going to competitions. These additional benefits were a bonus to learning to play an instrument well. It appealed to her competitive nature and fulfilled her social needs.

#4 – What jobs or roles have given you the greatest satisfaction?
More importantly, what common themes were there?

George has been an entrepreneur and a teacher. As his career as a business owner advanced, he found that teaching and inspiring others was what he really enjoyed. He got great feedback about meetings he conducted. He also got positive reviews from his students. Today, Bigg Success gives him that outlet to share knowledge with others.

#5 – What is, or was, your favorite hobby?

What do you, or did you, do for free?

Mary-Lynn has loved writing since she was a kid. It taps into her creative side. That desire to be creative has guided her throughout her career. She once left a job because it didn’t offer creative freedom. Her need for creative control in her job spills over from her hobby. Being in touch with what you naturally do, even without pay, can help you discover your passion.

So as you ponder these five questions, think about the elements of the activity, rather than the activity itself, to discover your passion.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing your bigg challenge with us. We’re confident you’ll discover your passion soon!

If you have a bigg challenge, e-mail it to us at
What advice do you have for Amy? Click on the Comment link below

Our bigg quote today is by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who said,

“Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”

So find your passion to uncover your greatness.

Next time, we’ll discuss what to do if working harder isn’t working anymore. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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7 Ways to Tap into Your Creative Side

george_krueger_jpgYou are your own brand and it’s important to convey what your brand stands for to the world. Understanding the role of design in that message is essential.

So tap into your creative side.

You may feel burned out.

Tap into your creative side.

You want to get in touch with your inner self.

Tap into your creative side. Here are seven ways to do just that:

#1 – Read a magazine
You may not have time to ready a book, but you can certainly devour an article or two. Pay attention to the magazine’s design and layout. Also study the words and the writing style.

#2 – Go shopping
Pay attention to how manufacturers package their products. How retailers display them. How they promote special deals and new items. The way they group products together. Where things are located in the store.

#3 – Visit an art museum
Study a particular work. What is the artist saying? How does he or she convey it? What colors and textures did they use?

#4 – Spend time with kids
See the world through their eyes. Learn how to explore like they do.

#5 – Listen to great music
What does it make you feel? How do the lyrics and the music fit together? If it’s classical music, listen closely to the crescendos. If you’re listening to jazz, take in the improvisational solos and the crispness of each note.

#6 – Go to a nice restaurant
Look at how their menu is designed. How the staff presents the entrees. How they display the food on your plate. The design of the restaurant itself.

#7 – Write
Taking a note from the excellent book, The Artist’s Way, write down anything and everything that comes to your mind. Get in touch with yourself. Don’t edit or analyze. Just write whatever you think, whether it’s good or bad.

Consider going somewhere with a lot of activity. Use your senses to write down what you see, hear, feel, and smell. 

Our bigg quote today comes from Arthur Koestler.

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the
teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.”

Now, you should be able to get a good grade in that class!

Next time, we’ll discuss five places to find cash for your business now. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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