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Why My Way is the Wrong Way

music-lessons.jpgToday we introduced a new segment on The Bigg Success ShowMusic Lessons. You really might enjoy listening because we can’t fully replicate the experience in text!

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Bigg 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 growth.

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marylynnI took a lot of music lessons in my clarinet and saxophone playing days. But our Music Lessons are different. They’re about the things we can learn from songs.

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georgeI love the Rat Pack. One of the songs that Frank Sinatra is most known for is My Way. I’ve heard other people sing it, but never quite like Frank. It’s often thought of as his signature song, but I’ve read that he wasn’t really that fond of it.

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Most of you probably know the words. It’s about a man looking back on his life. He’s certain that he’s lived his life on his own terms. He has few regrets. He planned his life and lived it his way.

He persevered “without exemption” even when “he bit off more than he could chew.” He did it boldly and experienced all that life had to give through love, laughter and, yes, even tears. He concludes by saying he was true to himself. He “took the blows” and did it all his way.

From me to we

Paul Anka, who wrote the song, said it was inspired by all the publications he read. Wherever he looked, he saw “my this” or “my that”. It was the age of the “me” generation. That’s why this great song, which we love, just doesn’t go far enough.

We’re in the “we” generation. We need to move beyond my way to our ways.

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marylynnI still want to live my life on my own terms. That’s bigg success. But I’ll reach bigg success faster if I can help you live your life on your own terms. That’s moving “our ways”.

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georgePicture two roads running near each other for mile after mile. Every now and then they intersect. You’re on your path to life on your own terms. I’m on my path. If we can find those points of intersection, we can work together so we both reach bigg success faster.

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It only takes four little steps to work together for bigg success

Two winning attitudes
It begins with an attitude that we must possess – win / win or wait.

If we can’t work together so that we both benefit, let’s wait to work together. Our time will come.

An engaging conversation
Next, have an engaging conversation with each person with whom you would like to work. Discover what life on their own terms means to them. If they’re interested, share what life on your own terms means to you. If they’re not interested, you know you’re talking with the wrong person!

From this conversation, you’ll discover ways that the two of you might work together to reach bigg success faster.

A pilot program
Now you’re ready to do something together. Go for it and learn. What worked? What didn’t? What would you do differently next time?

Adapt and try again
“If at first you don’t succeed” doesn’t just apply to individuals. Figure out whether to zig or zag and give it another shot together.

Think our ways, not my way. Add value to your life by adding value to the lives of others. That’s how you reach bigg success faster!

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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!

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Please join us next time when we discuss the misperception that idols are overnight sensations.

Thanks for clicking our way today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00398-052009.mp3

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Quirks that Cost us Time

time.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on time.

Quirks. Call them peculiarities, idiosyncracies, habits, oddities, eccentricities …

Okay, we’ll end our tour of the Thesaurus!

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We all have quirks which, to some extent, make us who we are. But some of them get in the way of our bigg success. There’s way too many to cover in a short post, so we’ll discuss a few quirks that perfectionists sometimes exhibit.

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georgeAh … perfectionism. I have to admit to falling into this one, but I get it honestly – my Dad was a perfectionist. To this day, I have to fight the urge to get it perfect. It’s too high of a standard for most of the things we do. We’re only human; we need to accept it.

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The Compulsive Cleaning Quirk

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marylynnSomething that goes along with perfectionism is being obsessive about something. For example – the Compulsive Cleaning Quirk. No one could accuse me of this. Maybe the Compulsive Picking Up for the Cleaning Person quirk!

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We’re told from the time we’re kids that cleanliness is next to godliness. So Compulsive Cleaners clean … and clean … and clean. And they pick up … and pick up … and pick up. Obviously, clean and tidy are good things but there are limits. This quirk sweeps away your valuable time.

The Infomaniac Quirk

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georgeThis is a quirk I constantly fight. It’s the need to have all the information before you get started. News flash – it’s impossible! There’s just too much information available. There are too many options these days. This quirk deletes your productive time.

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The Minutiae Quirk

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marylynnPeople who fall into this trap get caught up in all the little details and lose sight of the bigg picture. It’s important not to get mired down in the bits and pieces and lose track of the cohesive whole. This quirk turns your activities into trivial pursuits.

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Perfectionism can hurt our productivity. So when you feel your quirkiness coming out, here are some little things that make a bigg difference:

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

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marylynnPerfectionists aren’t going to settle for anything less than stellar. You will still put out a high quality product or service, but remind yourself that you don’t have to get it perfect.

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georgeEven though my Dad was a perfectionist, he had this saying, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.” Of course, he usually said this when he was working on a project for himself! Remind yourself that sometimes good enough is good enough.

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Know when to say “when”

Give yourself a deadline – be it thirty minutes or thirty days – to accomplish something. This will help you focus on moving ahead without getting caught up in trying to make something perfect.

Make a decision

Take comfort in the amount of information you have. Remind yourself that you can adapt as new information hits your radar.

Remind yourself that “the devil is in the details” but the destination is the direction. Don’t just begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey taught us; keep the end in mind. Everything should move you closer to your destination.

A law and a question

The law of diminishing returns underlies this whole discussion. You reach a point where it’s just not worth your time to do anymore.

So how do you know when you’ve reached that point? Ask yourself about materiality.

If you press on, what material difference will you make to the finished product?

If it’s material, press on. If not, move on. It’s a key to bigg success.

Have you battled perfectionism? What have you done to get past it? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We think it’s just perfect that you read our post today. Thank you so much!

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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!

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Frank Sinatra did it “his way.” Please join us next time when we’ll talk about why Frank wouldn’t make it today. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00397-051909.mp3

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Coaching Kids to be Clever Consumers

word_money.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on money.

Here’s a bigg challenge faced by a lot of people – you’re trying to save money. You’ve done everything you know to do. You may even have your spouse on board, but what about the kids?

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Smart savers

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georgeMy mom was a dedicated saver. She taught me about saving when I was young. I had this fun little coin machine where you could watch the money going down into the appropriate slot. I just loved to watch the coins pile up!

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marylynnMy mom took my sister and me to the bank so we could open our own savings accounts. I just loved watching the money accumulate in that account! And to earn interest – I thought that was the greatest thing in the world!

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Play money

If you have kids in grades K – 8, check out the money section of kids.gov. They have some fun games, virtual tours and all kinds of other ways to help your kids understand money better. We wish they would have had it when we were kids!

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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!

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Clever consumers

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marylynnWhen I was a teenager, I had my own job so I had my own money. The popular jeans at that time were Guess jeans. All the cool kids had them and I wanted a pair. My mom wasn’t too thrilled that I was buying designer jeans. They cost a lot more than the regular old jeans. I did buy one pair but Mom’s reaction made me think twice the next time.

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georgeI can remember the day when I learned the difference between real money and play money. I was in the fourth grade. My teacher was one of the best teachers I ever had. He was always talking about the Guinness Book of World Records. I was with my Mom … shopping. She told me that, if I was good, I could pick out a toy. I found this air-powered toy gun. When we got up to the check-out counter, I noticed they had the Guinness Book of World Records on sale. I wanted it too! Mom said I couldn’t have both; I had to choose. It was a hard decision, but I finally chose the book. I never regretted it!

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We both benefited from our parents forcing us into making spending choices early in life. With the right coaching, kids can learn to be clever consumers and smart savers. It’s one of the best gifts any child could ever receive.

What did your parents do to teach you about money? Or what have you done with your kids to teach them? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks for reading our post today.

Please join us next time when we’ll look at quirks that cost us time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00396-051809.mp3

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Should I Pay Down My Mortgage or Make Home Improvements

bigg_question.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today our focus will be on money.

One of our listeners, Bob, called us with a bigg question. He and his wife have some extra money and they are wondering whether they should use it to pay down their mortgage or make some home improvements.

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Both options are very illiquid

You can’t get your money back once you spend it with either option. So make sure you have enough extra cash to cover between six to twelve months of living expenses before you do either one.

A guaranteed return

Paying down your mortgage is one of the safest investments you can make. It’s a guaranteed return equal to your mortgage rate.

For example, if your mortgage rate is 6% and you pay it down early, you’re essentially earning 6% on your money guaranteed!

That’s a decent rate of return right now.

Returns on home improvements are often more sketchy. Start by asking yourself this question:

How does the value of your home compare to other homes in your neighborhood?

If you’re one of the most expensive homes already, making improvements probably won’t do you a lot of good financially. However, this is your home. It’s more than just an investment. So ask yourself a second question:

How long do you plan to live there?

The longer you plan to stay put, the higher the emotional returns – an important point to consider because money isn’t everything. What types of improvements yield the best financial returns? Most major outlays don’t return much if anything. Cosmetic improvements usually show a better return – paint, new floor coverings, landscaping, and those sorts of things. Remodeling the kitchen or bath can yield a reasonable return, particularly if they look a little outdated, as long as you don’t go over-the-top.

Weighing your options

Determine how much it will cost for your desired improvements. Then ask a Realtor or an appraiser to find out the expected increase in your home’s value. Now calculate your return:

Return = (Increased Value – Cost of Improvements) ÷ Cost of Improvements

Compare that to your mortgage rate. If the return for making the home improvements is significantly higher, you might consider making the improvements instead of paying down your mortgage.

Just keep in mind, this is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Paying down your mortgage offers a guaranteed return. Making home improvements does not.

Choosing between improvements

If they go with the improvements, Bob wants to replace the windows. His wife wants to remodel the kitchen. Which would be better for the money?

We wonder why you want to replace the windows, Bob. Is it for cosmetic reasons or are you thinking about energy-efficiency? Perhaps it’s both.

Stimulus for you

We hate to disappoint your wife, but right how is a great time to replace windows or make other energy-efficiency improvements. The Economic Stimulus Act extended and improved the tax credit for these types of repairs.

You get a 30% tax credit up to a $1,500 limit. So you can spend up to $4,500 on qualified improvements.

A tax credit is better than the deduction you’re used to getting on Schedule A. Deductions reduce your taxes by the amount of your marginal rate. Credits reduce your taxes dollar for dollar.

So $1,500 of your new windows could be paid for by the government!

The one cash outlay that pays you back year-after-year

However, it doesn’t stop there. It’s amazing how much air can leak out through poor windows. You’ll save money on your utility bills for years with the right windows.

Your returns for making any energy-efficiency improvements aren’t guaranteed but they’re close. They may also be higher than the returns on a lot of other investments these days. Improving your energy-efficiency is a cash outlay that pays you back year after year!

Thanks for your bigg question, Bob!

Do you have a bigg question?

Please share it with us by calling us 877.988.BIGG(2444) or sending an e-mail to bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Please join us next time when we talk about two recent examples of saying, “We’re sorry.”

Thank you for sharing your time with us today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00391-051109.mp3

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Free Food and Fun with Friends

clown.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on play.

As the song says, “Girls just want to have fun.” So do bigg girls and bigg boys.

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Spending time without spending money

One of the greatest joys in life is spending time with close friends. These days we’re being careful with our money which can sometimes create a challenge in spending time with friends.

For example, do you stay in or go out? If you go out, are you excluding some friends by going to a certain restaurant or choosing a specific activity? One or more of your friends may not be able to afford it.

The great thing about spending time with friends is that you don’t have to spend any money at all if you don’t want. It’s about spending time together.

A pantry potluck

One of our friends had a great idea. You can have some fun with friends and clean out clutter – in your cabinets and freezer – without spending any money. How’s that for a killer combination?

Organize a “pantry potluck.” Here’s how it works – Plan a date to get together. For your meal, everyone prepares at least one dish from ingredients they already have in their kitchen.

Get creative. Dig deep in your freezer. Check the back of your cabinets.

It’s essentially a free meal for everyone because the money’s already been spent!

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marylynn
I think it would be hard not to spend money on something new.

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george
I’m not surprised to hear you say that, Mary-Lynn!

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marylynnWell, off the top of my head, I’m just thinking about what we have. Fritos but not even a full bag. Cake mix but no frosting.

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georgeBoy, Mary-Lynn, I can tell I do most of the cooking around here. I think we have a lot of things that would be perfect for a pantry potluck.

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marylynnSo we checked out our freezer. We have a bag of French fries but, just as I suspected, there was only about a third left.

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georgeYeah, but we also have a full bag of meatballs. They would be great for a potluck. And there’s a lot of chicken. In our cabinets, there’s a cream of mushroom soup can – that would be good with the meatballs. Oh, and cream of chicken and herb soup – I’m thinking chicken casserole of some sort. There’s marinara sauce so we could do the meatballs two ways.

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marylynnI also see a can of tuna and some tuna helper. I guess you were right, George. We do have a lot of options for the pantry potluck.

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georgeSince Mary-Lynn was worried about frosting for the cake, I remembered that we had cream cheese in the refrigerator. So we looked up a recipe for cream cheese frosting; it turns out that we have everything we need – butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

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marylynnI’ve never made cream cheese frosting before. I sure hope our friends don’t mind being the guinea pigs!

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Ramp it up

Now here’s the bigg idea. If you want to ramp up the fun even more, have a contest. You may vote on the most original dish, the tastiest, the most home-made or any other category you might like.

You can even up the ante by choosing a theme and asking everyone to bring a dish that goes along with that theme. Now your creativity will get pushed even more but it might make it more fun.

That’s the whole reason we’re talking about this. You can have fun with your friends, clear out clutter and not spend any money all while improving creativity skills. That’s a lot of synergy. That’s bigg success!

What’s in your pantry now that you could take to a potluck?

Thank you so much for reading our post today.

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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!

___

Please join us next time when we discuss a bigg question from one of our listeners. He wants to know if he should pay down his mortgage or make some home improvements.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00390-050809.mp3

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