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Real Men Don’t Try for Work Life Balance

work-life conflict | BIGG SuccessA new study on the work-life conflict
by the Families and Work Institute shows that 60% of men are feeling extreme stress from trying to balance their personal and professional lives.

In fact, more men now experience work-life conflict than women!

Isn’t that a startling revelation?

The blurry worry

They’re feeling what we call “the blurry worry.” Our roles and our worlds have both been blurred.

In ancient times, men hunted while women gathered. In more modern times, men provided; women cared.

Now, both sexes do all of the above. The roles have been blurred.

And our personal and professional worlds are blurry as well. Technology is making us accessible at all times to everyone on either side of our lives.

Real men

So what is a man to do?

BIGG success is life on your own terms. Real men today want BIGG success throughout their life – in their careers and as a breadwinner, husband, father, son, friend, etc.

But they are increasingly frustrated because society crams an old paradigm down their throats: work-life balance.

So real men view their life as a system. Sure, the system has its components, but they are all part of one life.

Real men don’t buy in to work-life balance. It doesn’t work in an age of dual income couples, raising kids while caring for parents, increasing demands at work and home, and technology that puts us in touch 24/7.

Instead, they seek life sync. Sync means harmony, “a pleasing combination of elements in a whole” according to The Free Dictionary. Real men create life sync through discovery, design, and development.

  • Discovery

    Discovery starts with you. It begins internally before reaching out to other people. What do you want your life to look like? What’s your vision? What’s most important to you?

    Once you determine what you want, it’s time for conversations. But not just conversations – conversations with a purpose.

    Find what is expected of you at home and work. Go beyond expected to what is hoped for.

    Share your vision and values with the people closest to you. Find common ground.

  • Design

    Now you know what you want and what the most important people in your life want. It’s time for design.

    You want to design the life that fits you perfectly. It meets the needs and wants of the people who matter at work and at home.

    Once you think you have the right design, you’re ready for more conversations with a purpose. Get feedback from the people who will be affected by your design.

  • Development

    You think you have the ideal design. The key term in that last sentence is “think”.

    It’s time to build your life. This isn’t like building a building. It’s like building a business.

    That’s the reason we don’t say you’re the architect of your life. We believe you’re the entrepreneur of your life; building a life is more like building a business.

    So you start by testing. Test an idea. See if it brings you more harmony throughout your whole life.

    If it does, keep doing it. If it doesn’t, try something else.

    Keep testing to build the life that fits you perfectly. That’s BIGG success for real men (and women)!

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The Surprising Thing Others Expect from You

ug_of_war.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. When we talk with people about their biggest challenge in living their lives on their own terms, one of the most common responses involves work – life balance in one way, shape or form.



The tug-of-war

For many of us, it’s a perpetual tug-of-war. We love our family. We thoroughly enjoy our time with friends. We relish time to ourselves.

But we also love the work we do. We take pride in our accomplishments. Rightly so.

But we’re only human. We can’t be two places at once.

The result? We’re not as happy as we should be. We’re not completely fulfilled.

It may cause feelings of guilt. Depending on where the knot is in the tug-of-war we’re playing – which side is getting more attention – we may feel guilty about not giving enough attention to the other side.

When we’re at work, there are times when we may feel guilty about not being home. When we’re home, we may feel guilty at times about not working. It seems like a no-win situation!

The sacrifice

Research shows in our effort to have it all we’re sacrificing something that’s very important to our well-being: sleep.

So we end up dragging at work. Or we’re spent before we get home. By the time we get there, have dinner and do some household chores, we only have enough energy to crash on the couch.

But we keep pushing. Day after day, we push to the point of exhaustion until, finally, something inside of us says, “Enough!”


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The surprising thing

Stewart Friedman is a Professor at Wharton and the author of a fantastic book on leadership. It’s called Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life.

In his research, he has uncovered an answer to this work – life balance problem. It has to do with a surprising thing others expect from you. They expect … drum roll please …


Dr. Friedman’s research shows that other people expect a lot less of us than we think they do. In many cases, they’re not the ones putting the pressure on us. We’re putting undue pressure on ourselves!

You are the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. Just like any entrepreneur, communication with your key stakeholders is crucial.

  • Talk about expectations. Great entrepreneurs have these conversations with their employees. They talk about expectations with their investors. Follow that example – have a conversation about expectations with the key stakeholders in your life.
  • Discuss options. Ask for their help in discovering options so you meet their expectations.
  • Reach an agreement about respective participation in each other’s lives. Think of it as a service level agreement.

You’ll come away with a clear understanding of the expectations the most important people in your life have of you. Then you can focus on scheduling your days to meet those expectations. Or better yet, exceed them. After all, this is the community for bigg goal-getters!

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today.

We’ve heard over and over again that money can’t buy happiness. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can happiness buy money?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Flipping Work Life Balance

work-life-flip.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on play, along with a heavy dose of time and work.



Work – life (im)balance

We were talking about how we schedule ourselves. Work then play. If you’re like us, work – life balance means work and work and work and work. Life gets the remains.

We’ve told you before that this is one of the things we struggle with the most. We’re entrepreneurs; we love our work. Most of the time it feels like play. But it’s still important to live a full life.

We got to thinking – if bigg success is life on our own terms, maybe it’s counter-productive to schedule ourselves the way we do. Perhaps we could have a higher quality of life by doing things differently.

We realize that this won’t apply to everybody. However, it’s worth everyone’s time to think about what we’re about to say. We feel that it works particularly well for business owners and others who have more control of their time.

Flip work – life balance to life – work balance

So here’s our bigg idea …

Financial planners will tell you that, when it comes to managing your finances, you should “pay yourself first.” Our thought is that, when it comes to managing your work – life balance, you should “play yourself first!”

Instead of work – life balance, let’s make it life – work balance. Flip it 180 degrees.

Put life first. We call it flippin’ life. Go ahead … say it with some attitude. It’s fun!

Think about how you schedule your time. If you’re like us, we always put work appointments and tasks on our calendars. But we don’t always schedule our personal time.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stop scheduling all of our work first and then fitting our personal lives around it. We’re going to schedule our play time first and then work around that! We’re flippin’ life!

We encourage you to join us. Let’s schedule our days, weeks and months so we put the right first things first.

Let’s flip it!

Let’s place health before wealth. Let’s focus on getting healthier. Making sure we eat properly. There are days when we get so caught up in our work that we forget to eat. It’s dinner time and we still haven’t had breakfast! No more!

We’ll also make sure we get that exercise we need. We’ll get plenty of sleep. We’ll nourish our minds and souls as well.

Flip it.

Let’s position people before profit. Let’s make relationship-building a priority. We’ll plan time with our family and friends. We’ll schedule time to meet new people. Sure this may help us at work as well, but that’s not our goal. We’re focused on the people, not the payoff.

Flip it.

Let’s put experiences before earnings. We want to have experiences, perhaps in synergy (the bigg idea behind bigg success) with improving our health and building relationships, which allow us to live a full life. Through these experiences, we’ll discover new things about ourselves and our world.


Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


Is this just a pipe dream?

We can hear you now. You think we’re flippin’ crazy!

We say, “Flippin’ no!”

Honestly, we don’t know if this will work. However, we’re going to give it our best shot because we have a suspicion …

By scheduling our play first, we’ll be more focused at work because we’ll have to be!

We’ll have to get just as much done, but we’ll have less time to do it. However, we think we’ll be even more productive. Why, you ask?

We think we will play more because we scheduled it first.

No flippin’ duh, you say. Okay, we understand your skepticisim, but here’s where it starts to get good …

We think, because we play more, we will have even more energy for our work when we work.

We also will know more people and have better relationships with the people we know. We’ll be more effective at finding the right people to work with when it’s in everybody’s best interest.

And because we will have more experiences to draw upon, we will find new solutions to old problems.

In short, it’s synergy! There’s that word again! The bigg idea behind bigg success!

If you want to get on board with us, here’s what we suggest …

Get out your Blackberry, your Planner or whatever you use for scheduling. Start making appointments for all those personal things you want to do. Then fit work into the remaining time instead of the other way around. You’re flippin’ life!

Putting life first. What a flippin’ concept! That’s definitely life on your own terms. That’s bigg success!

What do you think of this idea? Have you ever considered putting play first?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at

Thanks so flippin’ much for reading our flippin’ post today! There’s it out of our flippin’ (oops) system now.

If you’re a business owner, there’s one cost-cutting measure that really costs you. Please join us next time when we discuss it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

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Clutter Contest

cluttered_desk.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on play, but like many of the subjects we talk about there is overlap. Time is definitely part of today’s topic.



In our corner of the world, it’s finally starting to feel like spring. And here we are almost at the beginning of summer!

We’ve been busy cleaning up outdoors. Washing the windows. Cleaning out the gutters. Trimming the bushes. Picking up sticks in the yard.

Sometimes homeownership feels like work!


marylynnPicking up sticks has its own reward because we bought a fire pit last year. I just love sitting around a fire and smelling the burning wood! It’s fantastic on those cool nights.



georgeWe had a lot of great evenings last year relaxing around the fire. I’d say it’s already paid for itself. Plus it keeps your fire burning in a contained area, Mary-Lynn!


Planning for a rainy day

We know what we’re going to do the next time we have a rainy day on the weekend. We’re going to have a Clutter Contest!


You win, George. You have the most clutter!



georgeThe idea is to get rid of the clutter, Mary-Lynn. But thank you for pointing out my clutter!



marylynnWe’re going have a contest between the two of us – the person who clears out the most clutter wins. Can you tell that we’re competitive?


The prize


georgeSince it’s just the two of us, we can cater the prize however we want. So, if you win Mary-Lynn, I’ll give you a back massage.



marylynnOoh, I love massages. That will be great. I’ll tell you what, George, since you do most of the cooking … if you win, I’ll cook you dinner!



I’m not sure that’s such a good prize!


We’re really trying to highlight that you don’t have to spend money (hey there’s another one of the elements of bigg success) on prizes. They can be personal.

For your family, the prize could be the winner’s favorite home-cooked meal. He or she could choose the next movie to watch or game you all play. It’s completely customizable.

You can have more the one prize. For example, you might have a prize for the person who donates the most. You get stuff out of the house and a favorite charity gets goods they can sell. How’s that for win/win?

Even if you’re not a clutter bug, there may be someone in your house whose clutter drives you crazy. They’ll be more likely to clean it out if they can win a prize they really want. And think about it … they should be the odds-on favorite to win because they have the most stuff!

Household chores aren’t the most exciting way to spend our time off. However, this is one thing that can really ramp up your productivity. Studies show that the average American could save about an hour a day if they cleared out their clutter!


marylynnWhen I heard that statistic, it really made me think about how to get more organized.



georgeIt made me realize that it was time to clear out my clutter. Now I need to go get the ladder so I can start looking through that pile on my desk!


Thanks so much for the gift of your time today!


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

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss saving for (and allowing yourself to spend on) bigg ticket items. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Opportunity is Like a Flower

flower_tulip.jpgWe’ve all seen it. A prodigy comes along. We’re in awe of his or her talent. It just seems so natural. Yet before long, their flame burns out.

Many reasons have been cited for this. We think that among those reasons, an important principle is highlighted …



Our choices lead to bigg success.

They are way more important than any innate ability we may have. One of the biggest obstacles is not making a choice at all – indecision.

What causes indecision?


Fear of not knowing enough. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of standing out. Fear of making a mistake.

How do you overcome it?

Make a decision! Any Decision.

Like every other skill, it’s acquired.

Decide what you’re doing for lunch. Decide what you’ll wear. Decide what you’ll do this weekend.

You get the idea. These decisions have little consequence. So why spend too much time fretting over them?

However, some choices can be difficult. For example: choosing to change careers, start a business, get married, or start a family.

If you think about it, not making a decision is a decision in itself!

Is it the choice you really want? Are you willing to bear the consequences?

Putting off a decision may hold you back or even worse. Indecision may lead to the failure that is feared.

Having it all yet having nothing


georgeWe talked with one of my former students recently. He and some friends have a great idea for a business.



marylynnThese guys really impressed me. They had done their research. They asked us a lot of questions. Then they went back and did even more research. They’ve proven out the opportunity. Obviously, there are no guarantees but they seem to have an idea that could make money. They have it all, but yet they have nothing!



georgeAs I talked to my former student, he told me how much they love this idea. But for some reason, they just can’t pull the trigger – they’re just not willing to start.



marylynnI think this happens with a lot of people. You know, George, think about how long it took us to think of our idea for Bigg Success and actually launch it. But we did start – it’s easy to analyze and analyze and analyze and never get to actually launching.


The biggest regret

By postponing indefinitely, you never really know what could have happened. Which reminds me of a quote by John Greenleaf Whittier:

“Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these – it might have been.”

At some point, your fear of not knowing overcomes your fear of failure. It drives you crazy inside. You have to do it because you can’t accept not trying. So you make the decision to go.

Falling in love with an idea

The danger in not launching is that you fall in love with the idea. You build up these romantic visions in your head.

But you never ask it out for a date!

Is that fear of commitment? We say that with our tongues planted firmly in our cheeks!

When you postpone, competition may enter. The market may change. The opportunity may pass.

But you don’t notice it. You’re still in love with the idea of the business.

Opportunity is like a flower that buds and blooms before it wilts. You must be ready to make a decision when your bigg opportunity presents itself.

How do you overcome indecision?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at

Thanks so much for reading our post today.


Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!


Please join us next time when we’ll talk about clowning achievements. That’s not a typo!

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

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