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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00438-071609.mp3

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Simply Living Simply

simple_houseBigg success is life on your own terms. Today we’ll focus on money, one of the five elements of bigg success. There’s a tendency to define bigg success as having more money.

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But is it possible to have too much money?

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georgeI remember Donald Trump being asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.”

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marylynn
Some people don’t need a bigger boat. Other people don’t need a boat at all!

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georgeThat reminds me of something one of my mentors once said, “There are two good days in the life of a boat owner. The day you buy it and the day you sell it!”

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marylynnToys are the fun side of money. It’s the side we usually think about. But more money also means more responsibilities – more legal issues, more accounting hassles, more management headaches even if it’s just managing your portfolio.

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A lot of people think you can just hire someone to do those things for you, but you have to be careful how much you delegate. No one will look out for your money like you will.

A simple choice

While our society often seems to equate bigg success with bigg money, it’s important to determine what you want. Bigg success is life on your own terms. Live the life that makes you the happiest.

For some people, there is such a thing as too much money. They choose a different path to bigg success.

We can reduce this to a simple choice:

  • adjust your lifestyle to your wealth or …
  • … accumulate enough wealth to support your lifestyle.

Now don’t think it’s a rags or riches mentality. You don’t have to live like a pauper if you choose to adjust your lifestyle.

Many people are perfectly content simply living simply, but comfortably. They have a nice house, drive nice cars, and take nice vacations. Of course, you get to define nice.
 

Simply pick your number

Let’s look at the difference between these two choices. First, let’s say you can live life on your own terms with an income of $100,000 a year. Financial planners tell us we can draw down our portfolio at the rate of 4% a year when we retire. So that means you would need $2.5 million of assets to support your lifestyle.

Now, what would it take if you wanted to live large? We hear a $250,000 a year income is now considered “rich” here in the States. So let’s use that as the magic number.

Then you would need a portfolio of $6.25 million.

Quite a difference, huh? You don’t have to stress about accumulating such a large portfolio if you adjust your lifestyle to your wealth.

Some people enjoy a higher quality of life by choosing to simply live simply yet comfortably.

They worry about money less because they have less money.

It’s life on your own terms. You pick the path that makes you the happiest. That’s bigg success!

What about you? Are you happy living simply or do you want to accumulate wealth?

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 so much for simply spending your time with us today!

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Please join us next time when we’ll talk about the one-minute layoff. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00436-071409.mp3

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Becoming An Entrepreneurial Employee

employeesBigg success is life on your own terms. Work is one of the five elements of bigg success. That’s our focus today.

Just a generation or so ago, entrepreneurs weren’t highly regarded. The thought was that they were people who no one else would hire.

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Now it seems that most people want to be an entrepreneur. People think that climbing the corporate ladder robs you of your individuality. You become a mindless worker bee.

People associate owning your own business with freedom. It can be liberating. Picture your typical day owning your own business …

You’re the last one in every morning. It’s not like anyone’s going to fire you. Of course, you’re the first one out the door at the end of the day. You’re the boss! You take long lunches. Most days, when the weather’s nice, you’re out on the golf course.

If only it were true!

The reality for many entrepreneurs – especially those with an early stage business – is you’re the first to arrive in the morning and the last one out the door at night. If you take lunch at all, you may eat it at your desk while you keep working. You’re not out playing golf most afternoons. In fact, you’re doing well when you can squeeze in a little play time over the weekend.

Do you remember the BTO song, Takin’ Care of Business? They said that self-employed people “work hard at doing nothing all day. Obviously they had never spent time with a start-up entrepreneur!

It can be very stressful, particularly when you take on employees and have to meet payroll. You have fixed costs to cover every month. There are so many hats to wear, so many things to do, so much to keep up on. It’s easy to feel like you’re buried in work.

Not exactly the fairy tale we often think about.

We’re purposefully painting a bleak picture. Owning your own business definitely has its upsides, but it isn’t for everyone. Some people are much happier keeping their day job.

However, we think there are synergies between the two. Here are six tips to become an entrepreneurial employee:

Select the right career

Bigg success is life on your own terms. It starts internally. Think about the three P’s – passions, preferences and proficiencies. We have a great personality test in The Bigg Success Store that will help you with this. It’s free!

Now you’re ready to look outside yourself. Entrepreneurs look at 2 C’s – customers and competitors. As an entrepreneurial employee, your customers are potential employers. Your competition is other people who do what you do. You’re looking for a mismatch – too many employers and too few potential hires.

Add value

Don’t settle for being average and ordinary. Set yourself apart from all the other potential hires by becoming an expert in your chosen field. Consistently deliver superior results and you’ll become invaluable.

Solve problems

Take on projects that no one else wants. Be positive. See solutions where others see only problems. If you solve problems, money will follow.

Work!

Entrepreneurs work long hours, especially in their early days. Entrepreneurial employees do the same. If you can’t work a little longer, work a little harder. Spend less time chatting and more time being productive.

Embrace change

Change creates opportunity. So welcome change. Continually reinvent yourself. Think about yourself at this time last year. If you don’t have any new skills, if you can’t add anything more, if you aren’t producing better results … why should you get paid more?

Retain earnings

Save means safe so save and invest. Entrepreneurs retain earnings to fund growth. You’ll save to give yourself the liberty to get out of a bad situation as a last resort. And to help you survive through the inevitable downturns and associated layoffs.

You can choose to be entrepreneurial in the traditional sense or by going the corporate route. You choose because bigg success is life on your own terms.

Do you think employees can be entrepreneurial?

Let us know by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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Thanks for reading today’s post. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss a new trend that may affect your retirement. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00434-071009.mp3

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Leaders Must Control This Emotion

angryBigg success is life on your own terms. Growth, one of the five elements of bigg success, is our focus today.

If we’re going to succeed bigg, we must learn to control our emotions. Otherwise, they will control us. This is particularly true for leaders. One of the emotions leaders must control is their anger.

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Anger works against communication

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george I know from first-hand experience because I used to have a temper. Over time, I learned to control it because I realized it was counter-productive. People don’t respond well to it.

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marylynnThat’s the point. It seems that, in most cases, people either withdraw or they get defensive. Neither one is conducive to productive communication.

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Getting it under control

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george What helped me the most in controlling my anger was taking a step back – not necessarily physically, but mentally. Although, I have physically taken a step back when someone got too aggressive. It kept the situation from escalating.

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marylynnOf course, sometimes it pays to remove yourself from the environment altogether. Literally move to another space and relax for awhile before you respond.

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Responding like Goldilocks

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george I’ve coached a lot of people on just that issue. This is another Goldilocks principle. You want to get your response just right. There’s a tendency to respond too quickly – on the spot – and with anger.

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marylynnYou may win the battle but lose the war. The person retreats but the relationship is damaged. Or the other person comes right back and the conversation escalates to an even higher level of anger.

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george Exactly. The other side of it is leaders who don’t respond quickly enough. You have to get back to the person in a timely manner or you’re essentially rubber stamping their behavior. As a young manager, I probably responded too quickly. As I got older, I may have been too slow at times. Hopefully, in my advanced years, I’m getting closer to a good balance.

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How you say it

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marylynnKnow the purpose of your follow-up communication. Understand that how you say it is just as important as what you say. If you want to build the relationship, talk in the third person as much as possible. This is not the time for you-view. Try to frame the discussion like a reporter. Remove the personalities to diffuse the situation.

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Controlled anger can be a tool if brought out under the right circumstances:

Focus on the situation

When you express controlled anger, your people know you’re serious. You have to be careful with this one, but it’s okay to express anger about a situation.

This is an important distinction – be angry about the situation, not the person. You will keep things moving in the right direction with this mental shift.

Use it infrequently

This tool isn’t productive is used regularly. It has to be the exception. Otherwise, you’re the boy who cried wolf! If you only pull it out once in a while, it can serve a useful purpose.

The bottom line is to be yourself. It’s okay to let your anger show now and then. Just keep it under control and keep your purpose in mind when you respond.

Then you’ll build relationships rather than tear them apart. You’ll build your people up rather than bring them down. That’s bigg success!

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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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Thank you so much for checking in with us today. Please join us next time when we discuss reasons why you should keep your day job. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00433-070909.mp3

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Don't Solve Problems Dissolve Them

dissolveBigg 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 time with growth factoring in throughout.

It’s important to look at how you spend your time to determine how to save time. One question to look at is how much time you spend putting out fires.

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Pause and reflect

Certain jobs seem to require more reaction than others. The closer you are to the customer, the more you may respond reactively. If your direct charges are on the front line, you may spend more time reacting.

In those cases, you need to allow for more reactive time as you plan out your day. However, bigg goal-getters try to minimize the amount of time they spend reacting.

So if a large portion of your day is spent responding to situations, pause and reflect. Ask yourself what you can do about it.

It’s possible that nothing can be done about it, but in many cases there is more in your control than you might think. It’s about moving from a reactive mode to a proactive mindset.

That’s the higher order of personal leadership. As a bigg goal-getter, you want more in your tool kit than just problem-solving capabilities. You also want to be a problem dissolver. Here are three ways to do that:

Elimination

The best way to dissolve a problem is to never have it in the first place. Look ahead and try to discover potential problems. If you think it’s likely that you will encounter that problem, dissolve it by eliminating it in advance.

Many future problems can be handled this way. For example, leaders who establish clear expectations for their people eliminate many problems before they ever happen.

Preparation

The next best way to dissolve a problem is to have an answer in mind before you need it. You may have thought about these problems upfront, but it’s more effective to prepare for its eventuality than to eliminate it in advance.

A great example of this is contingency plans. You have a path you’re going down and you’ve determined in advance it’s your best path. However, as new evidence becomes available, you realize that you need to adjust. Planning that adjustment in advance helps you respond quickly if the time comes.

Prevention

Some problems just can’t be anticipated in advance. However, bigg goal-getters dissolve them by solving the problem now and preventing it from reoccurring in the future.

We have a tendency to rush to solve a problem, but oftentimes, with just a little more effort, we can keep it from happening again. Take time to figure out why it happened. Reverse engineer your process to see if you can prevent it in the future.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The best time to start prevention is right after you’ve found the cure. You’re motivated then!

Use that motivation to your advantage to shift your thinking away from solving problems to dissolving them. It leads to bigg success!

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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!

___

Thank you so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we discuss an emotion that leaders must control. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00432-070809.mp3

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