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

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Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Work

An increasing number of people have given up on the balancing act. They have found that it’s impossible to draw a line in the sand and divide their lives into two parts.

We only have one life to live, so why complicate it by trying to reach our goals in two separate worlds as if one doesn’t have anything to do with the other one?

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You might find that it pays to NOT try to balance your life!

Thus the emerging trend of work life integration. This concept is still in its early stages, but more and more people are finding that it works better for them than trying to keep things in balance.

Work life integration is all about flowing seamlessly from one area to the other. Your spouse may say something that helps you at work. Your co-workers may give you insight for things at home.

Pay attention to all the important people and priorities in your life all the time, rather than thinking that you need to segment them.

A paradigm shift

That’s the essence of work life integration. It requires a paradigm shift … thinking about your life a different way. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to be great in two separate areas of your life, focus on doing your best in your single life. Remove the limitations that you’ve placed on yourself.

Limitation #1 – Place
Work only occurs at the office; personal only occurs at home. We shouldn’t mix the two. It’s how we’ve been trained to think. The problem is … it doesn’t work!

Limitation #2 – Time
Many people think they of work as the activities they do during certain times of the day (e.g. 9 to 5). Then they live their personal lives. It may make sense for you to adjust your schedule, depending upon the flexibility your employer allows.

A recent study by Hudson, a leading international recruiting firm, showed that nearly one-third of the people surveyed ranked flexibility as their #1 priority in considering a new job offer.

Limitation #3 – Daily reconciliation

We think that we need to achieve balance every day. In reality, sometimes work demands more of us; at other times, our personal life needs the most attention. Give yourself permission to focus on what’s most important. Don’t worry about whether everything is balanced every day.

If you think about it, work – life balance is sort of an unnatural expectation. Work – life integration is more congruent with how most of us actually live. It’s just more natural.
How we use work – life integration

Here at Bigg Success, we understand this concept very well because we live it. We work together, often at home. We play together. We often get to travel together, combining some pleasure with the primary purpose of the trip. We also find that a lot of personal conversations lead to ideas like the one you’re reading now.

Of course, not all spouses can (or should) work together. Do what works for you. The good news is that, according to the Chartered Management Institute, there will be a blurring of boundaries between work and family because more and more of us will be working virtually.

Our bigg quote today comes from Karl Weick.

“Simply pushing harder within the old boundaries will not do.”

So pull yourself together … integrate your lives.

Next time, we’ll discuss four things to pay attention to that pay off. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Success Building Blocks: Competitive Greatness

By Bigg Success Staff
09-17-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden, arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball, developed the Pyramid of Success.  It’s a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve discussed four rows of his Pyramid.  Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. The third row, which sits right in the middle of the Pyramid, includes  Condition, Skill and Team Spirit.

The fourth row, which is also the second from the top, is made up of Poise and Confidence

This week, we’ll look at the single block that sits at the top of the Pyramid.

Competitive Greatness

This success building block sits atop Poise and Confidence. Without these two, Wooden asserts you won’t achieve Competitive Greatness. But it goes beyond that – this block sits at the top because it is the result of all the rest. Putting in place all the other attributes helps you achieve this one.

The great performers bravely step forward when others are afraid. They thrive when others wither. So they want to be the point person in attacking the bigg challenge. After all, who is better suited to lead the cause? They believe it is up to them. This is their opportunity to shine … and they do! 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

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Success Building Blocks: Confidence

Success Building Blocks: Confidence

By Bigg Success Staff
09-11-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

We count ourselves among the many people who believe that John Wooden was the best coach in the history of college basketball. But his contributions go far beyond the court. He developed an incredible tool called the Pyramid of Success that will help you succeed in any endeavor you choose.

We’ve completed our discussion of three rows of his Pyramid.  Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. The third row, which sits right in the middle of the Pyramid, includes  Condition, Skill and Team Spirit.

We’ve also looked at one of the two blocks that form that fourth row – Poise. This fourth row is also the second row from the top, right below the apex of the Pyramid. This week, we’ll look at the block that makes up the other half of this row. 

Confidence

Wooden points out that, if you don’t have all three blocks in the middle row of the Pyramid – Condition, Skill and Team Spirit – in place, you’ll never have Confidence. Confidence and Poise are closely related, but Wooden felt the need to include both in his Pyramid.

When we’re confident, we respect the task at hand but we don’t fear it. We know we’re prepared. That’s why the three blocks in the middle row – Condition, Skill, and Team Spirit – are so vital. We know the fundamentals of our craft. Even beyond that, we know that we know them. That’s not a subtle difference!

There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. Peak performers get right up to the line, but they don’t cross over it. We don’t strive to be cocky, but it can happen over time. We have to guard against it by keeping all of the other success building blocks in mind.

With that in mind, we won’t succeed bigg if we aren’t confident. We have to win mentally to win physically. We must think we can win or we won’t. We must believe we can succeed or we won’t. When we have this mindset, we’re ready to take action. We’re ready to succeed bigg! And we can’t wait to get going! 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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Success Building Blocks: Poise

By Bigg Success Staff
09-04-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden was arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball. His contributions to success literature, though, possibly exceed his accomplishments on the court. He developed the Pyramid of Success, a wonderful tool that will help you succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose. 

So far, we’ve discussed three rows of his Pyramid.  Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. The third row, which sits right in the middle of the Pyramid, includes  Condition and Team Spirit.

Now we’ll move to the fourth row, which is also the second row from the top. It consists of two blocks. We’ll look at the one on the left this week.  

Poise

This success building block sits atop Condition and Skill, but Wooden points out that it also comes from Team Spirit. You’ve worked hard to master the fundamentals of your craft so you know you’re ready to execute.

You’ve practiced every situation so you will be at ease when you’re playing the game. Even when things get tough, you’ll exhibit grace under pressure. You’ll just be yourself, because you know you’re ready! This leads to a calm, cool exterior because you’re calm and cool on the inside. That intimidates rivals who aren’t as prepared as you.  

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

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Success Building Blocks: Initiative 

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Success Building Blocks: Team Spirit

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Success Building Blocks: Skills

By Bigg Success Staff
08-26-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

In our minds, John Wooden was the best coach in the history of college basketball. Even more than that, though, we love what he contributed to the field of personal success. Perhaps his greatest gift has been his Pyramid of Success, a wonderful tool that will help you succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.  

So far, we’ve discussed the bottom two rows of his Pyramid.  Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. We’ve now covered two of the three blocks that sit in the middle of the Pyramid –  Condition and Team Spirit.

Now we’ll move to the success building block that sits at the heart of the Pyramid, above Alertness and Initiative. 

Skills

The science of peak performance has come a long way. Wooden hits on the “flow” concept with this building block – body and mind working effortlessly, completely immersed in the moment, to accomplish some task.

He felt that his athletes needed to know the fundamentals so well that they didn’t have to think about them. They could just execute instinctively given the situation.

Just like great athletes, we need to know the fundamentals of our game so well that we can quickly pull them out when they’re needed. We’re prepared to deal with any situation because we’ve practiced it over and over again. We know what to do without thinking about it and we’re able to perform at our highest level at every moment.

We’re in the flow, or the zone. We know what we know so well that we don’t have to think about it. When we see it in others, we admire it. When we feel it ourselves, it’s one of the greatest experiences we can have!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

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Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

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Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

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4 Steps to Achieve Your Goals More Easily

By Bigg Success Staff
07-16-08

Career Builders

dry_erase_board

Sometimes a long-term goal can seem elusive. You know it’s important to you, but you can’t get too excited about it because it seems so bigg and distant. Obviously, the solution to this problem is to break it down to daily activities. But with really bigg goals, that can seem difficult, so we often just don’t do it.

Sometimes thinking more short-term helps you get the focus you need for the long-term. It helps you unclutter your mind so you move even faster to the life of which you dream.

So here’s a remedy – with the picture of your ultimate destination clearly in your mind, ask yourself these four steps:

Step 1: What do I want to accomplish in the next 90 days?
By zeroing in on the next quarter, you relieve yourself of the vagueness and the distance of the long-term goal. You focus on what has to happen in the near-term. This often gets your juices flowing and ramps up your progress toward your ultimate goal.

Step 2: Where do I want to be at the end of the first month?
Now that you have your 90-day goal clearly set, determine what you can (and will) get done in the first 30 days. Obviously, you would like to knock off about one-third of your long-term goal. You may even consider front-loading it a little so you give yourself a little break (i.e. reward) toward the end of the 90 days.

Step 3: What needs to be done this week?

With that done, you’re ready to break it down further. Look at what you want to accomplish this month and break it down by the week. Once again, consider front loading your scheduled activities a little bit and giving yourself a little break toward the end of the week.

Step 4: What’s important today?

Finally, break it down by day. With your weekly plan in front of you, set goals for each day of the week. Give yourself a little breathing room for those unexpected situations that demand your time.

Of course, at the beginning or ending of each day, you’ll want to review what needs to be accomplished for the week and plan out your day. Ditto for each week and month. Then just repeat this process every 90 days until you’re sitting on that beach in the Caribbean!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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