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How to Start a Business

green_light.jpgA lot of people have an idea for a business, but they don’t know how to turn that idea into a money-making enterprise. Bigg success is life on your own terms. If that means owning your own business, we encourage you to get started – even if it’s just part-time.

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Talk with potential customers to find out if your idea might make money. Tell them about your product or service.

Ask questions. What do they think about it? Do they like it? What would they change? Is it priced correctly?

The difference between “would” and “will”

Imagine yourself being asked these two questions: Would you buy this product? Will you buy this product?

There really isn’t a consequence if you say “yes” to the first question. However, your pocketbook will take a hit if you respond affirmatively to the second one.

As you talk with potential customers, keep in mind that you’re getting hypothetical answers. It’s play money. Once you launch, you’re looking for real money.

Research is great, but it’s important to understand its limitations.

We have a friend who was a very successful business person before he retired. He had a great solution to the question, “How do I get started in business?” He said:

“Find a customer.”

If you have a customer, you’re in business! What do you do next? Get another customer!

You don’t want to depend on just one to support your business. When you have two customers, get a third.

His advice didn’t end there. Would you like to know when to hire an employee? When you’re too busy to do all the work yourself!

We love it! He had reduced this complex subject down to its core.

So do you want to start a business? Find a customer.

However, there’s something you must find before you try to find a customer:

Find an unmet need

We’ll discuss three ways you might go about doing that:

  • Do you need something?
    This is one of the best ways to find unmet needs. If there’s a product or service that you could really use, you might have discovered an opportunity!

    You may have purchased a similar product or service, but it’s not quite right. You’ll deliver a product that completely meets the need that you’ve noticed.

  • Does someone you know need something?
    It’s the same idea as the first one. The trick here is to listen closely to what people around you are saying.

    You may hear them register a complaint or show dissatisfaction with a product or service. Your two ears may help you find your business!

  • Does your area need something?
    When you travel to other regions of the country or even to other countries, are there products or services there that aren’t offered in your area? There are a lot of examples of people who have done this successfully.

    We caution you to be careful – there are differences in tastes and preferences between regions and countries. However, the world is getting smaller all the time!

So do you want to start a business? Find an unmet need. Then find a customer.

Getting your bigg start really doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that!

If you’re already in business, how did you find your bigg opportunity?

Please share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for sharing your time with us today!

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Please join us next time when we’ll talk about fun time with family for free. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00384-043009.mp3

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Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play

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We love hearing from people in the Bigg Success community and recently, Rupa, one of our newsletter subscribers, sent us an e-mail with two great questions.

She said that Generation Y wrestles with the blurred lines between their private, public and professional lives. So colleagues in their professional world have access to personal information.

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Young professional

Which leads to Rupa’s first question is, “How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?

Rupa continues by saying that we’re now a very visible society and are encouraged to share our information online. But she’s not thrilled segmenting who can see what by setting up different privacy settings.

So her second question is, “Should we – as a collective society – consider redefining ‘professionalism’ as we've always known it? Is it outdated?"

In the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that we know Rupa. She is a very professional young person. That’s why her question carries even more weight with us.

Back in the day …

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use Facebook, the most popular social network right now. Generation Y users began using this social media service when it was just a place for Gen Y.

Back in those good old days, your boss wouldn't be on Facebook. Today, he or she may be. Back then, a colleague you met at an event would contact you via email. Today, that colleague may ask to friend you on Facebook.

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marylynnI think all active social networkers wrestle with this to some extent. I have a friend who holds a highly visible position in her community. We were talking the other day and she said that she originally got on Facebook to keep track of her kids. Her family joined her. It was mainly a personal space for her. But now she is getting a lot of requests from people she knows in the community and she worries about the same thing. I think you have to find a happy medium when using social media. Make it not too much personal and not too much professional.

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georgeWhen you create your profile on Facebook, they ask you to fill out all kinds of things. But you don’t have to. For example, I don't include my religious or political beliefs on my profile page. However, I also don’t walk around with those labels stamped on me when I network in person either. That’s something I only share with close friends.

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“How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?”

We think you can do one of two things:

  • When a professional colleague asks to friend you on Facebook, reply with: "I would prefer to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" and provide your link.  
  • If you do add them to your Facebook friends and you are concerned that they might see something you don’t want them to, then you don’t have a choice – you have to use privacy settings.

This can be done by creating a "Professional" friend list and applying specific privacy policies to that group. We found a fantastic article that lists some useful privacy settings for Facebook along with instructions on how to configure them.

Privacy settings allow you to present yourself in a youthful way to one set of friends and as a professional to another group. Don’t we do that, at least to some extent, in the real world as well? Imagine all of the people you know in one room together!

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george
I went too far with my privacy settings. Now, even I can’t see what I’m doing!

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Maintaining privacy settings may be a little bit of a pain but your efforts will give you peace of mind – especially if you are in Gen Y and used Facebook for its original intent but you’re now integrating your professional contacts too.

Is social media creating the need to change the definition of professionalism?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Acceptable behavior hasn’t changed. People still hold each other to pretty similar standards as before.

What is different, and Rupa said it clearly in her e-mail, is the visibility. In other words, you’re more likely to get caught, we say tongue-in-cheek!

Because of that visibility, you have to be more careful about how you portray yourself online. For instance, let's say you are having a bad day. As a professional, you wouldn’t yell out, “I hate my job,” for everyone in the office to hear.

By the same token, it might be wise not to post that sentiment on your Facebook status, especially if you have co-workers in your network of friends. If you want Facebook to be a place to share the "authentic you", and you friend co-workers and managers, then it’s best to set up some privacy settings!

Your brand image

The bottom line is to remember that you are a brand. Your brand consists of your personal life and your professional life. Social media allows you to share both sides of your life with people in a public arena. You have to control your public brand image.

Thanks so much, Rupa, for your thought-provoking questions and for giving us permission to use them!

What are your thoughts about Rupa’s questions?

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00350-031309.mp3

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Unwrapping Special Gifts

gifts The other night we saw an episode of According to Jim. Jim (played by Jim Belushi) was stressing because he had not had a good year – money was tight and it was Christmas time. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to buy his kids the gifts they wanted.

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His wife, Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith) pointed out to him that the kids had barely looked at the presents they got the year before. In fact, one was still in its original package – it had been unwrapped but never opened and played with!

Maybe that kid was just a collector at heart!

But this show made us think … sometimes we get caught up on getting something new and not reflecting on the gifts we already have. So today we want to unwrap some of our most special gifts.

If you want to listen to us open these gifts, just click the “play” button above. Otherwise, picture each package being opened …

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george
Why don’t you kick it off, Mary-Lynn?

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marylynnThis one is a real, real special one. It’s the gift of my Dad. He had a bit of a health scare going into the holidays. He’s fine – clean bill of health. So thank you, God. I love my gift this year! Alright George, it’s your turn.

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georgeMy gift is memories of Mom and Dad. Mom’s been gone a couple of years now so it’s still somewhat fresh, I guess. I think about the things I learned from them, the things that helped make me who I am, for better or worse – I can blame them! I had a very special Mom and Dad and I’m very thankful for that. Now, you’re up Mary-Lynn.

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marylynnOh, yes … we’ve had a cold winter here in Illinois. There have been nights when you just hear that wind outside howling and I am inside and toasty warm! So the gift of a nice warm house is something I’m very, very grateful for this year.

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georgeWe often don’t stop to think about the basics and how many people there are who don’t even have something as simple as that.

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marylynn
Exactly. Alright, George, tear into the next one.

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georgeOne of the features of our car is remote unlock. Man, as we’ve been out shopping in the cold, it’s really nice to be able to find your car quickly because it winks at us. And of course, to be able to get right in once you’re to it.

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marylynnThat’s a good one. Okay, I’ll open the next one. Ah, the gifts of our kitty cats – Fifi and Fraidy. We have original cat names, don’t we? Boy, they just give us gifts all year long … loving and purring.

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george
Yeah, and sometimes they leave us a little something on the floor!

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marylynn
We don’t like those gifts at all!

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georgeOkay, let’s open the next one. It’s for both of us, Mary-Lynn. Let’s see what it is … ah, it’s our families. You have a great family, Mary-Lynn. Love your dad and your sister.

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marylynnYou have a great family, too. Your sisters are all so fun – listening to all of the siblings laughing together. It’s just so nice!

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georgeYes, and the in-laws aren’t so bad either. A cool group of nephews and now, one little niece. And Mary-Lynn, while we’re on family, I have to say that I’m also very thankful for you.

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marylynn
Ah, that’s so sweet. I’m thankful for you too. You’re a special man!

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georgeIt brings up the point, though. I think sometimes those closest to us are the people we most take for granted. We often don’t show them the appreciation we should.

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marylynn
Yeah, I forget about you all the time, George.

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george
I know you do!

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marylynn
George, I’ve got to tell you … I think we scored this Christmas.

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georgeI’m with you on that – but Mary-Lynn, I just noticed something … over there in the corner, it looks like there’s another bigg present for us.

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marylynn
Alright, let’s open it up … ah yes, of course. This is something we’re really grateful for.

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georgeWe’re grateful for you! The fact that you spend time with us like you do – you share your insights, you listen to our show, you read our blog posts. However you spend time with us, we’re just so thankful.

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marylynnYou are the reason that we get to do what we love to do! That is such an amazing gift and we thank you so much.

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So to you we say, whatever your chosen holiday at this time of year, we wish you and yours the very best. For us, it’s Christmas … so Merry Christmas!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00294-122508.mp3

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A Visit with Santa

santa-claus We had a very special guest on The Bigg Success Show today. Straight from the reindeer farm at the North Pole, we welcomed Santa Claus! Here’s a summary of the conversation:

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marylynn
Welcome to The Bigg Success Show, Santa.

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santa_tiny
Oh, thank you Mary-Lynn. It’s always a pleasure visiting with you.

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george
We’re so happy that you make time for us. We’re amazed at that actually.

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santa_tiny
Well I try to make time for all my favorite fans.

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marylynn
Are you on schedule? Is everything going according to plan?

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santa_tiny
We are right on schedule. We will be ready on the 24th.

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george
Alright, that’s what we wanted to hear. All the boys and girls will be very happy.

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marylynn
How do you stay awake all night?

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santa_tinyWell, Mrs. Claus would tell you it’s all the coffee. However, there are a few chocolates that kind of keep me buzzed up too … especially dark chocolate!

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georgeSo chocolate is the key! We have that straight from Santa’s mouth. Now, Santa … do you ever confuse the reindeer droppings for chocolate?

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santa_tiny
Not yet … it hasn’t happened in hundreds of years. Ho! Ho! Ho!

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marylynn
And Santa, how do you avoid getting a cold at this time of year?

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santa_tiny
Lots of Vitamin C – a glass of juice every morning.

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marylynn
Yeah, because you can’t be drowsy from Sudafed when you’re out delivering toys!

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santa_tinyNo, I have one elf who is responsible for squeezing all my fruit drinks – lemonade and orange juice – every morning.

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marylynn
That sounds like maid service.

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santa_tiny
Well you don’t need to tell him that. Ho! Ho! Ho!

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george
So that elf really can make lemonade out of lemons!

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santa_tiny
Oh absolutely, and there have been plenty of those this year.

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georgeLast year, you taught us how to be jolly and I have to tell you it really has come in handy in 2008.

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santa_tinyOh, I’m glad to hear that. Finding ways to stay jolly is an excellent thing to do in these times.

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marylynnWell, what is your message to people this year – who are going through tough times, who are finding it hard to stay jolly?

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santa_tinyThat’s a difficult thing. There are financial problems; the entire world is suffering really. But if you keep in mind the simple things, the things that matter the most – your family and friends – that will help get you through.

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marylynn
I can’t think of any better advice than that.

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georgeNow Santa, we always hear about Rudolph’s red nose, but I notice that your nose is often red too.

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santa_tiny
Oh yes … it’s frequently very cold outside.

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george
So that’s the reason?

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santa_tiny
Of course, are you insinuating something?

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george
Santa, I would insinuate nothing with you! That wouldn’t be nice!

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santa_tiny
Ho! Ho! Ho!

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marylynnOf course, if you need a little jolt on Christmas Eve, you can stop by the Bigg Success Studio. We’ll leave something special out for you!

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santa_tiny
I will certainly make an effort to stop by there!

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marylynnSanta, thank you so much for joining us on The Bigg Success Show. We know how busy you are and how crazy things are this time of year. But boy, it makes us jolly just to be able to talk with you!

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santa_tiny
It’s always a pleasure, Mary-Lynn and George … always a pleasure.

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george
Well, we’ll look forward to seeing you on Christmas Eve!

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santa_tiny
I will see you even if you don’t see me!

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marylynn
We’ll be tracking you on the Santa radar!

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santa_tiny
Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00290-121908.mp3


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4 Secrets to Having All You Really Want

happiness Today we want to talk about the choices we make and the sacrifices that go along with them. Some people say that’s an outdated concept – choices and sacrifices. We disagree. As long as a person only has 24 hours in a day, trade-offs will continue to exist.

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We have a friend who was talking about the choice she and her husband made to have kids. She said that she really wanted to stay home with them when they were young. So she suspended her career which meant that less money for her family.

You can’t have it all, but you can have all you really want.

It starts with a realistic assessment. To continue with the choice about having kids, you may choose to have kids and continue working. But there are still trade-offs – not as much time with your spouse, money spent on child-care, and less sleep to name a few.

When faced with an important decision, ask yourself these two questions:

  • To get what you want, what will you have to give up?
  • Are you willing to do that?

These two questions help you weigh the relative importance of your options. They will also help you later – when the reality of what you sacrificed comes to fruition – you can remind yourself that you are doing what you want.

It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing” all of the time.

It’s important to not under-estimate the sacrifices that will be necessary to make something happen. However, it’s also crucial to not over-estimate them. We have a tendency to look at things in an “all or nothing” manner.

Even major decisions, like having kids, often have phases. Our friend went back to work after her kids went to school. Then she and her family were able to live more comfortably.

Since then, she has continued working at her primary career, as has her husband, although they really want to own their own business. However, they’re postponing that until their youngest finishes college. They feel more comfortable with the security of two regular paychecks.

So to have all you really want, the key is to know what you really want.

That sounds so simple, but it isn’t with all the options we have presented to us. We came up with 4 secrets to finding what you really want:

Secret 1: Avoid the “grass is greener” syndrome.

If you’re not happy with your current situation, don’t just jump at something new. Make sure it’s really important to you and your long-term future. If you don’t do this, you may end up just as unhappy with a whole new commitment.

Secret 2: Make sure it’s really is your choice.
Sometimes we do things for the wrong reasons. It’s your time – you should choose how you spend it. Someone else may think it’s the best thing for you. Another person may want something for you that you don’t want for yourself. Choose to make your choices for your reasons.

Secret 3: Test it in advance if you can.

If there’s a way to “dip your toes in the water,” by all means do it! For example, if you’re considering a career change, you might do similar work on a volunteer basis for your favorite charity. Or see if you can “shadow” someone as they do that job you think you want.

If your career change requires going back to school, start off with one class to see if you really do like it. Back to our original example – having kids – offer to babysit for a weekend for a friend or a relative. If you’re still as excited at the end of the weekend as you were at the beginning, you might be ready!

Secret 4: Once you’ve decided, focus on what can be, not what might have been.

Once you’ve made your decision, put all your energy into making it work for you. Don’t keep thinking about what you gave up. That’s a recipe for being miserable. Instead, focus on what you have now by choosing this path.

You can’t have it all, but you can have all you really want. Decide what that is and go for it!

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You made a choice to read our post today and we thank you so much. Join us next time when we talk with a college graduate whose search for the American dream led him to a homeless shelter. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00277-120208.mp3

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