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Starting from Scratch – Part 2

scratch_beginnings

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we continued our discussion with Adam Shepard. Adam is the author of the book Scratch Beginnings, which describes his year-long real-life experiment to see if the American Dream is still alive. Last time, Adam told us about the initial stages of his experiment and what it took to begin his path toward independence. Let’s get back to the conversation …

georgeAdam, have you ever thought about becoming a Wall Street investment banker, losing all your money and turning to the government for help?

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adam_shepard
I have not.

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It's Your Choice

thanksgiving

Today we want to discuss preferences – making the right choices for ourselves – and how our preferences affect our relationship with others and with ourselves.

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marylynnI was talking with my dad the other day. He’s really looking forward to Thanksgiving Day because he is going to cook all day. My dad is the make-everything-from-scratch kind of guy. He just can’t wait. For him, it’s going to be super-relaxing and he’s excited about it. I, on the other hand, would hate that. I can’t see how cooking and doing dishes all day is fun and relaxing.

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georgeAs we were talking about this, we realized that we assess other people, and what they’re doing, based on our own preferences.

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marylynnObviously, I don’t think what my dad’s doing is wrong. I’m happy for him that he’s excited. It’s just that it’s not what I would want to do.

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georgeI’m closer to your league, Mary-Lynn. If we were doing this whole thing ourselves, there would be a lot of semi-homemade cooking – out of the box with modifications stuff.

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marylynnI’m all about the Stove Top stuffing and getting a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, so you don’t have to carve it. I guess what I’m saying here is that my choice is to be lazy!

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georgeWhich works fine on Thanksgiving Day for you. But I think sometimes we look at other people and wonder why in the world they’re doing what they’re doing. Like with what your dad’s doing – it works for him and brings him joy.

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The perfect meal

Then sometimes we make choices for ourselves based on what we think other people expect from us. We put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Let’s keep the Thanksgiving theme going. We think we have to have the perfect meal – we have to serve the dinner on the china, the stuffing has to be homemade, we have to make the pies from scratch.

It’s what we’ve always done

We put all these pressures on ourselves because we think that’s what our guests expect. Those expectations may be based on tradition – this is what we’ve always done. Just because we’ve “always done” something doesn’t mean we should necessarily feel pressure to keep doing it every single time, or any time for that matter! There should be a good reason for it. 

Guilt

If you are strapped for time, if you are tuckered out, why put yourself through all of this extra work? You could just get a store-bought pie or call someone and ask them to make one or pick one up.

But if we do that, we feel guilty. Because we’re not doing what’s always been done, because our family’s going to expect that everything is going to be perfect – we’re going to have the homemade pie, the stuffing is going to be made from scratch, the turkey will be nice and golden, fresh out of the oven, ready to carve.

Who really expects it?

We do all of these things because we feel these expectations even though the people around us may not. We place all of this pressure on ourselves!

We may do this because we want everything to be perfect. That’s fine as long as it’s really your choice and you’re not doing it because you feel guilty if you don’t do it.

Conscious choices

Maybe if you really thought about it, and you talked with your loved ones, you might decide that the best solution is to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. Or have spaghetti with turkey meatballs!

That’s the point – it doesn’t matter what you do if you consciously make the choice. If it works for you and the people you care about, then it works! And this doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving dinner!

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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!

___

Today we give thanks to you for joining us here. Next time, we’ll look at close encounters of the rude kind. 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/00272-112508.mp3

Related posts

Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

Putting The Giving In Thanksgiving

(Image by bjearwicke)

It’s Your Choice

thanksgiving

Today we want to discuss preferences – making the right choices for ourselves – and how our preferences affect our relationship with others and with ourselves.

___

___

___

marylynnI was talking with my dad the other day. He’s really looking forward to Thanksgiving Day because he is going to cook all day. My dad is the make-everything-from-scratch kind of guy. He just can’t wait. For him, it’s going to be super-relaxing and he’s excited about it. I, on the other hand, would hate that. I can’t see how cooking and doing dishes all day is fun and relaxing.

___

___

georgeAs we were talking about this, we realized that we assess other people, and what they’re doing, based on our own preferences.

___

___

marylynnObviously, I don’t think what my dad’s doing is wrong. I’m happy for him that he’s excited. It’s just that it’s not what I would want to do.

___

___

georgeI’m closer to your league, Mary-Lynn. If we were doing this whole thing ourselves, there would be a lot of semi-homemade cooking – out of the box with modifications stuff.

___

___

marylynnI’m all about the Stove Top stuffing and getting a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, so you don’t have to carve it. I guess what I’m saying here is that my choice is to be lazy!

___

___

georgeWhich works fine on Thanksgiving Day for you. But I think sometimes we look at other people and wonder why in the world they’re doing what they’re doing. Like with what your dad’s doing – it works for him and brings him joy.

___

The perfect meal

Then sometimes we make choices for ourselves based on what we think other people expect from us. We put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Let’s keep the Thanksgiving theme going. We think we have to have the perfect meal – we have to serve the dinner on the china, the stuffing has to be homemade, we have to make the pies from scratch.

It’s what we’ve always done

We put all these pressures on ourselves because we think that’s what our guests expect. Those expectations may be based on tradition – this is what we’ve always done. Just because we’ve “always done” something doesn’t mean we should necessarily feel pressure to keep doing it every single time, or any time for that matter! There should be a good reason for it. 

Guilt

If you are strapped for time, if you are tuckered out, why put yourself through all of this extra work? You could just get a store-bought pie or call someone and ask them to make one or pick one up.

But if we do that, we feel guilty. Because we’re not doing what’s always been done, because our family’s going to expect that everything is going to be perfect – we’re going to have the homemade pie, the stuffing is going to be made from scratch, the turkey will be nice and golden, fresh out of the oven, ready to carve.

Who really expects it?

We do all of these things because we feel these expectations even though the people around us may not. We place all of this pressure on ourselves!

We may do this because we want everything to be perfect. That’s fine as long as it’s really your choice and you’re not doing it because you feel guilty if you don’t do it.

Conscious choices

Maybe if you really thought about it, and you talked with your loved ones, you might decide that the best solution is to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. Or have spaghetti with turkey meatballs!

That’s the point – it doesn’t matter what you do if you consciously make the choice. If it works for you and the people you care about, then it works! And this doesn’t just apply to Thanksgiving dinner!

___

Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Today we give thanks to you for joining us here. Next time, we’ll look at close encounters of the rude kind. 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/00272-112508.mp3

Related posts

Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving

Putting The Giving In Thanksgiving

(Image by bjearwicke)

Are You a Victim of Your Own Success?

stress You’ve made it! You’ve arrived! You’ve reached that next level of success! You’ve achieved your dream!

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But you’re swamped. Now, you have a seemingly endless list of things-to-do. And it all just keeps coming. Minute after minute, day after day, week after week. It’s sheer chaos.

You find yourself busier than ever. You’re more successful than ever. But are you happier than ever?

It seems that you’re a victim of your own success – too much to do, too many clients, too many constituents. So what can you do about it?

Congratulate yourself

Take a deep breath and a little pause. Enjoy it for a bit!

Get away from it all for a day

We know … you’re too busy. But here’s the thing – you’re too busy not to get away because, on your day away, you’re going to contemplate. What’s most important? What’s least important?

After you’ve thought about those two things:

Hire an assistant, outsource, partner, joint venture … you get the idea

Delegate – in some way, shape or form – those things that aren’t most important.

You might be asking, “Can I afford to hire someone?” But you’re asking the wrong question. The question really is, “Can I afford not to?”

Because the most important things – the people who are most important for you to spend time with, the projects that only you can and should do – will get pushed aside by the less important things if you don’t take this step.

Set the expectations for the people in your life

You need to establish boundaries for all your people. You may set certain times when you’re available to employees, vendors, and even customers. We think customers can’t be trained, but even they can. 

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georgeIn one of my early businesses, my second biggest customer was constantly calling with demands for immediate service. Finally, I presented them with an option – they could work within our time frame for the price we negotiated or I could offer them quicker turnaround for a higher price. They chose the better price!

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Finding your model

Now you’re only working on the most important things and you’ve communicated your boundaries to the most important people in your life. You’re ready to do those things you do in the most efficient way possible.

So let’s look for a model. Think about a manufacturer’s assembly line with products coming down it. What are your products?

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marylynnFor us, it is shows to produce. Articles to write. E-mails to return. People to reach out to. Products to create. Services to deliver.

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Your production cycle may flow over an hour, a day, a week, or a month. Think about all of the important things you do – that’s your product – and engineer your processes to move that product down the line in the most efficient manner possible.

Engineer your processes

What is the best way to do it? Think about it logically. Step back and look at it again. Walk yourself through the whole process, step-by-step as it exists today. Now, start looking for ways to save little bits of time.

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georgeOne of the guest speakers for my class became a billionaire by turning his little business into a Fortune 500 company. One of his secrets was finding ways to get more done with the same people. For example, they discovered a way to change how they labeled packages for shipment. It saved them 55 seconds. That’s time they could spend on something else!

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So if you find yourself a victim of your own success, start with effectiveness – make sure you’re doing the right things. Then work on efficiency – doing those things the right way.

Doing the right things the right way … before you know it, you’ll be an even bigger success without being victimized by it!

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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!

___

Next time, we ask, “Are you afraid of success?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

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One More Thing to Add to Your Schedule

(Image by brainloc)

How to Get Better Results When You Train Your Employees

loveFor anyone starting a business, we highly recommend reading Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth. In the book, he tells a story that goes something like this …

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The Master Baker

There’s a young woman who loves to bake cakes. Her friends raved about her cakes; they told her that she should go into business. So she opens a little shop. She mixes each cake with tender, loving care. She is meticulous about her craft. And her customers love it!

So they tell their friends who tell their friends. Before she knows it, she has more orders than she can handle! So she hires her first employee. She shows her employee how to make the cakes. Then she turns her new employee loose.

Freedom! Now she has time to work on more important things. But it doesn’t last. Before long, she’s getting complaints from her customers about the quality of her cakes. That never happened before. She’s hearing from her customers that they’re not getting the same kind of service she gave them.

So she steps in and starts closely supervising her employee. But she still has her own work to do. Now she’s busier than she was when she didn’t have an employee. This just isn’t working out like she planned.

Show and tell doesn’t work

So it goes with many of us when we hire someone for the first time. We hire them because we’re so busy. We often find that we spend more time once we have them.

We’re all familiar with on-the-job training. The new employee watches as someone else performs a task. We expect that they’ll just pick it up, almost by osmosis.

There’s a Chinese proverb that says:

“Show me and I’ll forget; tell me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”

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Want to be a BIGG success?
Get the tips and tools you need by subscribing to
The Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

Use this 5-step process

Step 1 – Tell them what they need to do. Explain to them how to do the task, step-by-step.

Step 2 – Show them how to do it. You perform the task step-by-step, talking about it as you progress.

Step 3 – Review and repeat as needed. Keep repeating Steps 1 and 2 until your trainee says he or she completely understands it.

Step 4 – Involve them. This is the part we often forget or pass over. We assume Steps 1 and 2 are sufficient. But they’re not. You want your trainee to actively participate.

So have them tell you how to do it, step-by-step. Then have them do actually do it, step-by-step, explaining the process as they go through it.

Step 5 – Review and repeat as needed. Discuss what went well and what didn’t. Then repeat Step 4 until you’re satisfied that your trainee knows how to do it.

But there’s something you should do before you do any of these steps. We’ll discuss that next Thursday! Come back and see us again!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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