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5 Lessons From a Kickoff Return for Your Business or Career

football field | BIGG SuccessOne lonely person stands with his back against his own goal line. The ball is placed in a tee sixty yards or more away.

The opposing team’s kicker and his cohorts stand ten yards or so behind the line of scrimmage. Suddenly they rush toward the line.

The kicker approaches the ball. He swings his leg. The ball flies up in the air, turning end over end.

The receiver on the other team positions himself to catch the ball. Then he looks for openings created by his blockers.

And then it happens…

The runner cuts across the field. He’s running and running and running. But he’s not making any progress.

He’s going against the traffic. The players all try to shift quickly in the other direction.

And all of a sudden, the runner sees an opening.

The crowd rises to their feet in a collective mass. You can feel the excitement as they begin to cheer.

He’s moving away from the crowd. No one can catch him. The only people around him are his own players.

Touchdown!

The crowd roars.

Success!

BIGG success is life on your own terms. It’s all about entrepreneuring your life – taking control to design and build the life that fits you perfectly.

You may or may not be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense of the word. However, you are the entrepreneur of an incredibly important enterprise – your life.

Will you score a touchdown? You will if you understand five lessons about making the BIGG play:

1) Catch the ball

You can’t score a touchdown if you’re not in the game. And you won’t score a touchdown if you don’t have the ball.

The game is your job or business. The ball is a strategy to make the BIGG play.

But beware: once you’re in the game with the ball, people will be trying to tackle you.

2) Respond to the situation on the ground

Entrepreneurs know they can’t predict the future. So they don’t try.

They formulate a strategy and then start running. And they watch. They analyze.

They shift in this direction or that. They respond to the situation on the ground to make the BIGG play.

3) You may have to go against the traffic

To make a BIGG play, you may need to get away from the crowd.

You may have to go against conventional wisdom. You may have to try things, even though people say they won’t work.

You must be willing to risk getting tripped up or tackled by someone you didn’t even see coming.

It’s okay. There will always be another play. You’ll get your chance again.

4) You may spend some time going nowhere

There will be times when you need to make a lateral move if you want to make the BIGG play.

You will be running hard. But you may feel like you’re going nowhere.

Remind yourself that you’re setting up for a BIGG play. You’re buying time to observe the field of play.

All the time, you’re learning. This knowledge will help you find your BIGG break.

5) You must constantly look for an opening

Finding an opening among the masses is the key to finishing your BIGG play.

You have to find your space – a place where you can leave the crowd behind.

You may take your existing product or services to a new market. Or you may introduce a new product or service to your existing customers.

You may take on a project that no one else will touch. You will differentiate yourself somehow to break through the crowd.

Take these lessons to heart and reach BIGG success!

Image in this post from hectorir

Improve Your Strategic Decision-Making Skills with this Simple Game

which_wayAnita Bruzzese is the author of 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy. We were fortunate to meet her at a conference we attended a few months back. She had a great post recently, where she discussed a game she played with her kids called, “Which would you rather?”

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georgeWith this game, you present your fellow players with a choice. For instance, I asked Mary-Lynn which she would rather give up for a month – chocolate or her cell phone.

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marylynn That was a tough question, but I would give up chocolate. My phone is my mobile device; there’s no way I could live without it for a month!

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georgeHmmm … Mary-Lynn with no chocolate. I’d plan to be away that month!

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A fun way to keep a conversation going

When we discussed conversation continuers recently, we said that games are one way to keep a conversation going. This is a great example of a game you could play to do that. For example, you could ask … 

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marylynn Who would you rather work for – a boss who’s super-demanding or a boss who’s never around? Anita posed more great questions in her post.

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georgeIf you check out her post, you can see how I answered the questions she asked.

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A fun way to improve strategic decision-making

Decision trees are a great way to visualize possible business strategies, since a business can be thought of as a series of either / or options. Sounds like a ramped-up version of “Which would you rather”, doesn’t it? Question 1 leads to Question 2 and so on.

For example, let’s say you plan to start a restaurant. Play “Which would you rather?”

  • Which would you rather open – a big restaurant or a small restaurant? Let’s say you choose bigg … with two g’s of course!
  • Which would you rather be – part of a franchise system or an independent? You really want to create your own brand, so you want to be independent.
  • Where would you locate – in a strip center or a free-standing building? You could do some research to determine which one seems to work better for restaurants like the one you plan to start.

We could keep going, but you get the idea. The reason you create the decision tree is to see the impact of your choices. For instance, if you chose “franchise” for the second question, they may specify whether you’re inline or free-standing.

A fun way to teach your kids critical entrepreneurial skills

Play this game with your kids and help them develop critical entrepreneurial skills! Just add the “decision tree” dimension one question at a time. So instead of asking your kids to think of one question, ask them to think of three – the initial question and a follow-up question for each of the possible answers. They’ll be thinking like an entrepreneur in no time!

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Next time, we’ll examine a highly-touted way to pay off your mortgage early. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You a Leader or the Leader

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles. They three-peated – winning three championships in a row in 1991, 1992, and 1993. That hadn’t been done for about thirty years. After that run, because of the unfortunate death of his father, Michael stepped down from the game he loved.

Now Scottie was the leader of the team. The Bulls did well during the regular season, but weren’t able to win the bigg prize. In the spring of 1995, Michael announced he was coming out of retirement. The Bulls and their fans were elated. Perhaps no one was happier than Scottie.

The Bulls didn’t win the prize that year, but they were fully ready by the next season when they won the first of three more titles in a row – the repeat three-peat in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Scottie struggled at times as the leader, as #1, but he thrived when he followed Michael’s lead. Sometimes it pays to be #2. Because after Michael returned, Scottie reached the height of his game again and became one of basketball’s all-time greats.

Know your own strengths.
You may be perfectly suited to top management, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be #1.

Know how you complement other people on your team.
We’re talking about Michael and Scottie as if they were the whole team. The Bulls didn’t become one of the greatest teams of all time just because of these two players. It was the whole team and the coach that accomplished this great feat.

Realize that you may achieve greater success by being #2.

Scottie didn’t win any championships without Michael. Of course, Michael didn’t win any championships without Scottie, either. Being #1 doesn’t mean being the only one. They were both successful on their own, but together they achieved bigg success.

Sometimes the best way to insure your own bigg success is to work with someone who drives you to step up your game because they play at such a high level. Then the two of you both become more successful than you could ever be on your own.

Scottie was a leader, too
Scottie was a leader even when Michael was around. That’s part of the reason Michael was able to do as well as he did. Michael even commented one season that Scottie was the best player in professional basketball.

But when Michael wasn’t there, Scottie wasn’t his same old self. His demeanor was different. He didn’t seem as focused. Michael lifted some of the weight off of his shoulders so he could excel at what he did best.

So we’re not saying that you shouldn’t be a leader. It’s just that some people are better off not being the leader. 

We'd like to be part of your team and complement your strengths!
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Our bigg quote today comes from Donald H. McGannon:

“Leadership is action, not position.”

So no matter what your number is in your organization, take action to be a leader.

Next time, we’ll discuss how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Building a Winning Team – Lessons from Two Great Coaches

Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better! 

(Image by Esparta, CC 2.0)

Building a Winning Team – Lessons from Two Great Coaches

Here in the United States, March Madness is winding down. The Final Four NCAA basketball teams will play tomorrow with the winners meeting Monday for the championship.

That got us thinking about how great coaches build winning teams. So we decided to compare the style of two of the greatest – Bobby Knight and John Wooden.

Bobby Knight spent most of his career at Indiana and recently retired from Texas Tech. He won more games than any other coach in the history of college basketball. He also made more NCAA tournament appearances than anyone else. He won three championships (tied for third) and was selected the coach of the year four times.

John Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, spent most of his career at UCLA. While there he won a record ten championships, including an amazing seven in a row. He holds the record for most games won in a row (88) and most undefeated seasons (4).

Bobby Knight’s way – Build your playbook and recruit the best talent for it.
Bobby Knight was known for his “motion offense” and aggressive man-to-man defense. Knight only recruited players that fit his model. He had a system; his players had to mold themselves to it. This is the most common way to build your team.

Design your playbook. Determine the duties of each position and recruit people to fill it. Then hold them accountable.

John Wooden’s way – Find the best talent and build your playbook around them.
Wooden played the game based on who he had. Some years, that meant great guards; at other times, he built around a big man in the middle. Sometimes he played man-to-man; sometimes he played zone – it all depended on his players.

This isn’t as commonly practiced in business as Knight’s strategy. In basketball, you have seasons. In business, you don’t. But you do have phases.

In each phase, you’re trying to accomplish certain things so you can move on to the next phase. That’s where Wooden’s strategy works – think about what you need to accomplish in this phase and who would best help you accomplish it. Then go get your players!

Jake’s Take – Top 5 reasons your team didn’t make the Final Four

#5 – Your players stayed up too late catching the midnight showing of "Horton Hears a Who."

#4 – Your coach went a little too far with the motivational tools he picked up at Guantanamo Bay.

#3 – Your team was too pre-occupied with midterms and grad school applications to focus on silly things like sports.

#2
– They did the right thing by losing and thus avoiding the inevitable riots and on-campus arson incidents that happen when teams win the national championship.

#1 – At least by losing, they can finally get those cheerleaders and the pep band to shut the heck up.

Our bigg quote today is by Jean-Claude Kelly:

“The best and fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.”

So learn from these champions to build your winning team.

Next time, we’ll discuss a key component that gets people to buy into your personal brand. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Pages

Confidence Boosters

By Bigg Success Staff
09-11-08

Life Skills

boost 

If you want to reach the heights of your career, you have to build confidence. We develop our confidence, or lack thereof, from childhood on. Every experience builds upon the next. Learn how to build upon your success and defeat destructive thought patterns so you can win the game you choose to play!

Want to be More Attractive?

People are attracted to confident people. So if you want to be a leader, you have to exude confidence. We found a great article by John Wesley on the Pick Your Brain site. He offers ten tips to build your confidence. We loved it!

Confidence Killers

We found a great resource from the greatest school on the planet – the University of Illinois. Okay, we’ll admit our bias on that one! If you don’t read the whole thing, at least check out the self-defeating thought patterns.

The Power of Doing What You Do Best

The judges of the reality show, Britain’s Got Talent, got quite a surprise when this young man showed up to sing opera. After all, when’s the last time an opera singer reached the masses? See how the audience and the judges responded to one person doing what he does best. 

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Share Your Goals for Bigg Success

By Bigg Success Staff
06-05-08


Life Skills

share 

Setting a goal is easy. Getting it is much harder. There’s a very simple technique you can employ to make getting them much more likely …

Share your goals.

When you tell other people about your goals, your “skin in the game” increases. Now other people can watch your progress.

You’ll feel some pressure that you may not feel otherwise. That’s the point. By sharing your goals, you run the risk of failing. More importantly, you run the risk of failing in front of others.

It’s a mental thing. We’re okay if we don’t live up to the commitments to make to ourselves. But we don’t like to let other people down. We want their respect. So we work harder to gain it, and keep it.

So if you want to succeed bigg, stick your neck out … share your goals with other people. People who you know will help you reach them.

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

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