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What the Car You Drive Says About You

porsche_cake.jpg It’s not what you make that really counts; it’s how much you keep. We base that on studies that show how millionaires became millionaires. Sure, they’re always trying to earn more, but they really watch what they spend. That’s one of their secrets to success in many cases.

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Only you know your terms

We were recently at a birthday party for our friend, Tim. His wife had a really cool cake for him. It’s the picture you see with this post.

We were talking with Tim about his Porsche. He’s one of our regulars here at Bigg Success and he commented about how we’re always talking about frugality. A Porsche may not be consistent with that mindset.

But bigg success is life on your own terms. If your terms include having a Porsche parked in the garage, then more power to you!

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georgeThat’s one of the things we love about our definition of bigg success – it’s not judgmental. I can’t tell you what’s best for you. Just like you don’t know what’s right for me. Heck, sometimes I don’t even know what’s right for me!

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marylynnThat’s the beauty of life on your own terms. When you’re living it, you don’t judge other people because you think, “Oh, that’s life on their own terms.”

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We try to report what works – what research shows helps you get to that next level of success in your life. But we can’t tell anyone what the right choice is for them. You decide because you’re the one who lives with it.

We hope we provide some additional insight to help you with your decisions, but ultimately you’re the entrepreneur of your life. You’re in charge.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
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Your car is an expression

Money is one of the two resources we have; the other one is time. One way you express yourself is by how you spend your money and how that affects your play.

So what does all this have to do with a car?

You may choose to have a really cool sports car like our friend Tim. You feel good when you get it out on the road. It’s a reward for all the hard work you do. It may have even been an incentive you gave yourself for achieving something important for your bigg success.

Instead, you may choose a cheaper form of transportation. You would rather express yourself in some other way. For example, you may have a passion and you spend your play time and your money on that hobby.

Or you may choose to drive a hybrid. You’re genuinely concerned about the environment. It’s one of your causes. You feel like you’re contributing to a better world with that choice.

It’s life on your own terms. You choose it. You enjoy it.

The only caution is to make sure your choices really do help you live life on your won terms. Only you will know.

To help you with your choice, think about what’s going on with the five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. How does this decision affect them?

Life on your own terms is holistic. It’s a 360 degree view. Seeing the bigg picture leads to bigg success!

What does your car say about you?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you so much for sharing some of your time with us today.

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss how your play time can make you more productive.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

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Is Passion Overrated?

quote For our discussion on passion today, we talk with one of the most awesome people we’ve met since we started BIGG Success: Jim Bouchard. He’s a black belt turned motivational speaker. He does a great job helping you get in touch with your personal power. Recently, Jim turned the table on us – instead of us being the interviewers, we were the interviewees!

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take the opportunity to send a few questions Jim’s way – we love to hear his fantastic insight! So today we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you.

Let’s check into the conversation as we talk with Jim about passion …

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jimThere’s a lot of rhetoric about getting into a business that expresses your passion. The business I’ve been involved with for a long time is the martial arts business. Most martial artists will go into business – start a school – because it’s our passion, but it’s not always the best way to make money. I think that’s a very important, and often overlooked, factor when entering an entrepreneurial life. Passion is necessary, but it’s not the only ingredient that’s necessary.

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georgeThat’s a great distinction. It’s the old story – I have a hobby I love that I turn into a business. Now I don’t love my business or my hobby. Think about your hobbies, but also reflect on the elements of that hobby that you really enjoy. Teaching has been my hobby, because I had my businesses full-time. What I got out of it was the joy of helping people and seeing the light bulb come on. Bigg Success fulfills me in the same way.

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jimThat’s what people really need to look at. When you open these doors, you find passions that you never knew existed. I didn’t set out to get into the speaking business. I did always have the ambition to write a book at some point, but I never thought I’d go out into the speaking world. Like you, George, I found it was just a natural extension of the teaching that I liked to do – in my case within the martial arts world.

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marylynn You’re such a great presenter, Jim. How did that happen for you … that you ended up getting into the speaking business?

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jimThat’s a great question – it actually came from some of my martial arts students. I was sharing the martial arts philosophies that helped me create an anchor and a sense of value and worth in my life. They found themselves applying these philosophies to their business and personal life. A few of them encouraged me over the years to take my message to a different audience – not everybody wants to learn how to punch and kick, but everyone wants to learn how to develop their personal power, their capacity to act effectively. That’s how it got started. Then one of my mentors told me that I was already presenting every day anyway – I went on the floor and taught! So for me, it was a very natural transition. But I’m going to mark it this way … one of the greatest gifts that I learned from the martial arts was the idea of beginner’s mind. The whole world is open as a learning experience for us and we should never stop to pat ourselves on the back too long. Perfection is not a destination … it’s a never ending process. So I’m going through the same process as a speaker that I went through as a martial artist. I want to learn, I want to grow, and I want to be a better presenter every day. And I know you guys feel the same way!

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georgeAbsolutely, Jim! The thing that strikes me from your story – you said some of your students made a suggestion. With that one little suggestion, and you listening carefully and then processing it, you found this opportunity. That’s something we all need to be aware of – opportunity doesn’t hit you like a train. In most cases, it’s very subtle. But that’s where you’ll find that thing that you really want to do!

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Do You Know Too Much?

When George told his dad that he was going to get his Master’s degree, his dad said, “Be careful, son … you don’t want to get so educated that no one can use you!”

Is your knowledge a blessing or a curse?

The curse of knowledge
It seems that as our knowledge and experience increase, our creativity and innovation decrease. When you become an expert in a field, you risk losing the innovation that probably got you there. That’s the curse of knowledge!

That leads to some strange things … for example, why do you have to go to “start” to shut off your computer? Techies understand that. However, to the average person, it doesn’t make sense at all.

Group think often results when experts collaborate. As long as you only involve people just like yourself, you end up with things like going to “start” to finish.

The sign of the curse
Have you tried reading a book written by an expert in a field new to you? Or gone to a web site that’s outside your area of expertise? What did you see? Perhaps it was like reading a foreign language. It was jargon – the sign of the curse.

Maybe you’ve sat in a room of people, all speaking jargon. At some point, you asked a question! Gasp! Do you remember the looks? You don’t know it all! Gasp (again)!

If you find that your speech is full of jargon, you may know too much!

New discoveries
Something interesting happens as novices ask questions. The experts are forced to explain their subject simply – from the perspective of a newbie. In the process, the experts often discover new ways to look at the same old problems.

So why do so many people only hang out with people just like them? Because it’s comfortable. It’s good for your ego to feel like you’re part of such a prestigious group. Your input is valued when you’re in your area of expertise talking with other experts.

A good problem within limits
We’re certainly not suggesting that you don’t want to be an expert in your chosen field. In fact, the opposite is true – seek first to be an expert!

Then you can have the problem we’re talking about here – it’s a good one to have! But recognize that your creativity and innovative tendencies are often limited when you’re an expert.

So how can you remain creative when you’re an expert?

  • Make some new friends, outside of your field.

Or reconnect with some old friends, outside of your inner circle of experts like you. People you don’t converse with much anymore because you’re too busy! Mingle with people who have a variety of experiences. You’ll learn things from them that that will help you be more innovative again.

  • Get a hobby, especially a creative one.

We wrote an article recently, Does Your Hobby Work For You It highlights a study of Nobel laureates. That’s a pretty innovative group, wouldn’t you say? The researchers found that about one percent of all scientists claimed some leisure pursuit. They were surprised to learn that over fifty percent of the Nobel Prize winners had a serious hobby! So get out of your “lab” and get your creative juices flowing again.

Sometimes, it pays to listen to novices

Cynthia Barton Rabe wrote a book called The Innovation Killer: How What We Know Limits What We Can Imagine… And What Smart Companies Are Doing About It. She tells the story about an executive who was with Ralston Purina when they bought out Eveready. Eveready had successfully marketed flashlights for years, but now the business was very mature.

This was the mid-1980s. Eveready sold their flashlights through hardware stores and lumber yards. They offered two colors – red and metal. The transferred executive suggested new colors – pink, light blue, and light green. These colors would appeal to women, she argued. Gasp! The experts only looked at her with dismay.

She suggested that the flashlights be distributed through grocery stores! Gasp! Fortunately, she sold the decision-makers on her idea. The result – bigg sales! You’re the expert.

Keep in mind that sometimes that’s a curse. Be open to new ideas, even from novices!

Our bigg quote today comes from William Shakespeare.

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

If you know at all, you’ll know that you don’t know it all.

Next time, we’ll discuss climbing the stairway to … success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
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Network Your Way to the Movers and Shakers

By Bigg Success Staff
05-21-08

Personal Branding

indy_race 

Why are race car drivers able to drive so fast? Because they’re all professionals who have been trained to drive their cars that way. So they can pretty much count on every other driver to behave in a certain way.

If you want to move up fast in your career, you need to learn how other people rose to their position. The best way to do that is to get to know them so you can find out first hand how they did it.

So how do you get to know these movers and shakers? Network your way to them!

How do you do that? Here’s a six-step plan to meet the right people.

#1 – Who are they?
You may know this already. If you don’t, it’s the first thing you’ll want to do – determine who you should get to know. Who has succeeded at what you want to do? Who are the people at the top of your chosen craft?

#2 – Do some research
What can you learn about the person you want to meet? What has been written about them? Have they written anything about themselves? What is their particular area of expertise? What are their concerns about the industry? Where do they see the opportunities? What are their strategies? How did they get where they are?

The internet is a wonderful tool for finding the answers to these questions. But don’t stop there – check out trade magazines and other industry sources that may not be fully archived on line.

#3 – Who do you know who knows them?
Once again, the internet comes into play. Are they on any social media sites? If so, do you have any common connections? If this doesn’t work, ask the people you know. Be patient and keep networking.

#4 – Ask for an introduction

Once you find someone who knows them, ask them to introduce you to the person you want to meet. This can be done in any number of ways, but most likely it will be in some form of electronic communication. Of course, if you can meet them in person (e.g. at a conference), that’s even better.

Bonus tip #1: Industry functions are a great way to meet movers and shakers. They’re leading discussions or are participating on panels about the important issues faced by your industry. Approach them after the session and exchange business cards.

#5 – Follow-up

Now you’re ready to contact them. Here’s what you want to do with this initial communication …

Ask them a good question.

Make it a question about something in which you know they’re interested. Ask for their advice. Keep it short. Make sure it doesn’t require a lengthy answer, but does beg for something more than a “yes” or “no”. By doing this, you start a conversation that can be ongoing.

#6 – Impress them
When they respond to you, the most important thing you can do is to thank them for their help. Then give it some time and report back on what you’ve learned by taking their advice or studying the issue you questioned some more.

Once again, keep it short. And ask them another question to keep building the relationship.

Bonus tip #2: If there is something you learn they’re interested in
(e.g. their hobby) and you find an interesting article, pass it on to them.
And keep it at that … no business on this go-around.

Want to be a mover and shaker? Then get to know the movers and shakers in your field.

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

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Are You Burned Out?

By Bigg Success Staff
01-25-08

Test Yourself
 

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Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually caused by unrelieved, prolonged stress.

It’s important to recognize the signs of burnout early because it’s difficult to fight once you’re in the middle of it. It’s much better to address it early so you can avoid it altogether.

The good people over at iVillage offer a quick test to see if you’re burned out. Just answer thirty very short questions, which will take you less than ten minutes, and you’ll know if you’re burned out. Check it out!

Just in case you need it, here are some bigg resources to help you avoid burnout:   

Learn to say “no”             

Set realistic goals      

Take time for yourself        

Consider a career change    

Shake things up   
           

Take up a hobby             

Be grateful                   

Give for a cause         

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

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07

Work – Life Balance

woman_drawing_jpg

Like most of us, you face pressure to meet deadlines at work, fulfill family commitments, give back to your community, and so on and so on …

With all that going on, it’s easy to forget about yourself. However, you need to renew your spirit. One of the best ways to do that is to take up a new hobby or rekindle an old one. Something that demands your complete concentration and captures your soul.

Finding your flow
When you do that, you enter into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced “chick-sent-me-high-ee”) dubbed a “flow state”. You completely lose your sense of time as you enjoy the task at hand with effortless concentration.

Csikszentmihalyi, a Professor of Psychology and Management at The Drucker School at Claremont University, wrote an excellent book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. He says that flow occurs when you have clear goals that require appropriate responses.

That’s where your hobbies come in. When you’re doing something you love, you enter into a self-contained universe. So your hobby is a great way to develop flow, which you can use at work also.

Hobbies of the winners
Robert Root-Bernstein, a professor of physiology at Michigan State University, conducted a study on the hobbies of Nobel Prize winners. He compared them to a group of members of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

He found that more than half of the Nobel laureates had a long-standing hobby. By contrast, less than one percent of the Sigma Xi members claimed to have a hobby. He also looked at what the Nobel winners’ hobbies were. 25% were musicians. 18% painted or sketched. Writing and poetry were also common hobbies.

Dr. Root-Bernstein has written a book, with his wife Michele, called Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People. It’s a great book; we think you’ll find it interesting.

Your 5-minute hobby
The best way to make time for your hobby is simple – schedule it. You may think that you’re too busy to fit one more thing into your already-too-busy life. That’s the beautiful thing about the hobbies of the winners – you can steal a moment here and there and get your flow going.

When you do that, you’ll find you come back to your work reinvigorated. You’ll bring a fresh perspective to your challenges. So go ahead – play a tune, draw a picture, or write in your journal. It’s five minutes that will work wonders for you!