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5 Lessons from Baseball to Be a Hero in Business

birdie-tebbetts-time-coverWith Game 6 of the World Series upon us, we found a fascinating article from Time entitled Sport: A Game of Inches. It’s from July 1957.

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It’s about George Robert Tebbetts who gave 53 years of his life to Major League Baseball – first as a player, then a scout and, finally, the manager of the Cincinnati Redlegs (as the Reds were known at that time).

He is better known by his nickname: Birdie. How did he get his nickname?

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with the use of his middle finger!

The article says that his aunt observed that he had lips like a bird. Wikipedia says his aunt said he chirped like a bird.

We don’t know which source to believe, but they do both agree that his voice was irritating. According to the article, he got thrown out of a game because, as the umpire said, “I have a splitting headache and that voice of yours just kills me.”

Time awarded him the Manager of the Year honor in 1956 because of the way he had turned around his team. There are all kinds of lessons in this article about baseball, of course, but also about leadership, life and entrepreneuring.

There are also a number of great quotes by Birdie in this article. Quotes that make you think and quotes that make you realize how colorful he was.

Like his scouting report on a young pitcher, where Birdie said, “Major league stuff and a great arm. Screwy in the head. Eliminate head and I recommend. Get good surgeon.”

But our favorite quote is where the title of the article comes from:

“Baseball is a game of inches … a fellow gets up in the ninth and comes through with a liner between third and short — he's a hero. Two inches the other way and he's a bum because he hit into a double play.”

True in baseball. True in life. True in small business and entrepreneuring.

So here are 5 lessons from baseball about being a hero in business:

Prepare to be a hero
You select your bat. You practice … and practice … and practice some more. You have to know your competition almost as well as you know yourself.

Step up to the plate
You’ll never be a hero if you don’t put on your uniform. You’ll never be a hero if you don’t get out of the dugout. You have to step up to the plate. You have to risk striking out.

A lot of people never take their turn at bat. They have ideas but they never act upon them. They spend so much time preparing that they never get in the game.

Pick your pitch
You won’t be a hero if you swing at every pitch. You’ll strike out before the right one comes along.

Opportunities are all around you. Most of them aren’t worth your time.

There are prospects you could pursue. Pick the right ones for you, your products or services and your company.

There are projects you could initiate. Select the ones that will advance you the furthest toward your goals. Let the rest pass right by.

Don’t worry about the result
When you’re up to bat, you don’t know where the ball will go when you hit it. You can’t worry about that. You just have to focus on hitting it hard. 

You can’t make a prospect say “yes.”
You can give your prospect your best pitch.

You can’t force an employer to hire you.
You can give them every reason to put you on their roster.

Heroes know you can’t control results. You can only control your activity. So they focus on the activity and let the results take care of themselves.

You may not be a hero today but you can rest assured you will be a hero soon.

Inch your way forward.
Focus on getting a little faster, a little better, a little smarter every time you’re at bat.

Take away the lessons – from failure and success – to hit a grand slam the next time out! 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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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we discuss why you should beware of killing your customers with kindness. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00516-110509.mp3

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(Image in today's post from Time.com)

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Apologies – The Good

interactiveamy_dominos_crew.jpgToday on The Bigg Success Show, we were thrilled to welcome Amy Ravit Korin, also known as interactiveAmy. She’s a social media consultant to individuals, local businesses and Fortune 500 companies. We met Amy at SOBCon, the business school for bloggers. Amy has so much personality that, once you meet her, you’ll never forget her! So let’s get to the conversation …

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marylynnAmy, you told us this incredible story that we want you to share with our whole community. You recently ordered some pizza from Domino’s. But it took an hour to get the order to you and, when it arrived, it wasn’t right. What happened next?

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amyI called the store and they said they would send over another one. I’m also very active on Twitter – as a social media consultant it is one of my preferred methods of communicating. So I tweeted what had happened. I was just venting my frustration.

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georgeAnd that's when Ramon De Leon, who is the owner of the local Dominos stepped in, right?

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amyYes! He twittered me right away and asked which location I ordered the pizza from.

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Get in on the conversation

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marylynnThis is a good thing for local business owners to understand. Since you are a social media consultant, Amy, how did Ramon know that you had tweeted about him?

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amyThere are great tools out there that allow you to monitor the real time feed of what's being said on Twitter. Ramon probably had an alert set up for the word “Domino’s” or “Domino’s Chicago.” You can use any term that's relevant for you. In addition, you could also set up a Google Alert, which will alert you whenever your name, brand, or company is mentioned on the Internet. So Ramon said that he would remedy the situation and be back in touch when he had more information. I figured I was going to get a credit for free cinnamon sticks the next time I placed an order. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning, logged onto Twitter, and saw a tweet from @DPZRAMON. It said, "Amy, we want to make it up to you, please click on this link." The link took me to a video apology from Ramon, who is the owner of six Domino’s franchises in Chicago. He was standing there with Junior, who is the General Manager of the store where I ordered my pizza. They were offering an apology for what had happened that previous night.

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The buzz begins

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marylynnLike a lot of people, we've watched that video. I really liked that the apology was very sincere!

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amyYeah, what's so crazy is, just this morning, I actually got a tweet from Ramon. He said that video has been embedded on over 30,000 websites! And this is not just 30,000 watching the video; this is 30,000 people who think it's noteworthy enough to feature on their website.

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Wow!

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marylynnAnd in this video, not only did Ramon apologize to you – and promise to make it up to you – he said that they were going to wow you! Now that's more than cinnamon sticks. So what did they do to wow you?

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amyFirst of all, I was totally wowed by this video apology. I had never seen or heard of anything like it. Well as it turns out, I'm also involved in the Social Media Club of Chicago. We hosted an event on Thursday, April 30th – the kick-off to SOBCon. It was a great event where we had all kinds of Chicago social media minds in addition to friends from all over the country. Independently of this video apology, Domino’s was already secured as an event sponsor. So if that wasn’t enough, Domino’s showed up with over 100 pizzas for our club. They also brought a personal pizza for interactiveAmy, with my name all over the box. Ramon delivered it himself.

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george
So he didn't delegate this!

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amyNo, he didn't! Not only was he there, he was really excited about it. He couldn't wait to meet everybody who had heard about him after the video apology. But he was most excited to come and meet me, which was really cool.

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george
And who can blame him, Amy? We know you!

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amyHe also brought some members of his team including Junior. And it was his day off! In addition to the personalized interactiveAmy pizza, Junior also brought me a dozen roses in my favorite color, fuchsia. See video of interactiveAmy with DPZRAMON and Junior.

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marylynnHow on earth did he know your favorite color? He must have visited your website where that color is so strong.

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amyThat's true. I don't know if he did his back end research or if he just took a guess that women like bright pink.

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marylynnWell, I am just wowed by all of this. It’s just incredible!

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interactiveAmy and DPZRAMON

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The conversation begins when a mistake is made

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amyI thought so too. Ramon and I are still in touch. He has become an example of what great customer service is and can be – how to take steps to forge relationships with your customers which is a huge opportunity. When somebody makes a mistake, it doesn't have to be the end of the conversation. It really should be the beginning.

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georgeThat's a great point, Amy. But you could have just said nothing and not gone back to Domino’s. Instead you said something – not even expecting a response – but he responded in such a magnificent way that you've talked about it ever since. Plus 30,000 bloggers have talked about it too!

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amyExactly. As the owner of my own social media company, this is definitely something I try to advise business on, from small mom & pops all the way up the Fortune 500 ladder. Take any opportunity to engage in a conversation about your brand, product or service. And listen – especially when someone says something that might not be the most flattering. It’s a great way to get insight and take steps to remedy the problem. So first you have to listen. Then you can engage. You can become part of the conversation and take the necessary steps to forge your relationship going forward.

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georgeThose are great points, Amy. Here’s what I’ve learned – if you need a case study for your social media consulting business, just be your own.

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amy
I think that's a lesson to all of us … go out there and make things happen!

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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!

___

Thanks Ramon for being a shining example of great customer service.

And thanks Amy for sharing your story with us.

And thank you for reading our post today.

Bigg Question

Have you been impressed with the response to a complaint? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444).

Please join us next time when we’ll continue on this thread. We’ll discuss bad and ugly apologies. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00392-051209.mp3

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Apologies – The Bad and the Ugly

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(Image in today's post provided by interactiveAmy)

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When Things Don’t Go Your Way

despairWe introduced a refined definition for bigg success last week. Bigg success is life on your own terms. It was our first real tweak to Bigg Success in the time we’ve been online.

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marylynnWe have a story to share with you about that launch. Sometimes bad luck and bad timing seem to conspire against us. We work ahead on our shows. We had five shows in mind to introduce you to life on your own terms. Our plan was to have them all fully done before the beginning of the week.

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Catching a bug

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georgeNow let’s go back about a month. I bragged that I hadn’t been sick for several years. Not even a cold. Well, you can guess what happened … within about a week, I got the flu. That really slowed us down!

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marylynn
Yeah, we got behind on our recording because George was so sick.

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A cold front

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georgeAfter about four days of the flu, I finally was feeling more normal. The next day, I noticed a really bad tickle in my throat. I tried to ward it off – Vitamin C, orange juice, Airborne – but I ended up with a full-fledged cold.

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marylynnThis all happened when we were coming up on our deadline for recording the five shows that we now call our Bigg Success Primer. We planned to have these shows as a feature for new visitors to Bigg Success.

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georgeI knew I sounded very nasally, but I also knew I couldn’t do anything about it. We just had to go ahead and record. So we decided to do it one day at a time, hoping it would get better show after show.

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marylynnSo here we were. It was Saturday. The first of the five shows needed to be posted before Monday. We wanted to get that first show done.

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george
I felt and sounded the best about an hour after taking my meds.

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We’re experiencing technical difficulties

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marylynnSo we’re ready to record, but we had technical problems with our wireless network. Neither of us could get online which meant I wouldn’t be able to post our new show. We tried working on it ourselves. We rebooted. We went through the troubleshooting procedures. We checked forums. Finally, we called for technical support. After a couple of hours, our network was working again.

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georgeBut by then, I was really drowsy – one of the effects of the meds I was taking. So we decided to push recording back to Sunday.

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marylynnSo on Sunday, we were all ready to record. We were able to get online, but the printer wasn’t responding. Déjà vu all over again! Once again, we tried everything we could think of before going online for support. It cost us a good hour, but we finally got up and running.

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At that point, we didn’t have a choice. We had to record if we wanted to stick with the plan of posting our show on Monday. So we did.

What an experience! In the process, we recognized that things just don’t go as planned much of the time.

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georgeI realized in all of this that we need to add a line to wedding vows. We say “in sickness and in health”. Maybe we should add “when technology works and when it doesn’t!”

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marylynnI think George might be onto something there. We dealt with sickness and technology that wasn’t working all at the same time. I’m glad to say that we made it through!

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As we discussed this whole situation, we realized something important …

Applying lessons learned can turn what could be a major event into just an annoyance.
Knowing what to do is one thing. Putting that knowledge to work is what counts. All of the things that happened to us could have been really stressful since we had the misfortune of having them all happen at once.

It takes two times as long as you expect to do just about anything.
We’ve heard this said over and over and it’s the first lesson we applied. We had allowed for extra time. So when all of these things happened, we had time. Good thing … we needed every bit of it!

You don’t have to change everything at once.
This is the second lesson that we applied. We heard this from three different people. Two relayed their personal experience to us: Wendy Piersall from Sparkplugging and  Taylor Caby at CardRunners. Another person, Holland Cooke with Holland Cooke Media, shared his observations. We can’t thank them enough for their nuggets of wisdom!

We have some planned changes in the near future. They’re relatively minor things, but they all take time. Because we listened and, even more importantly, applied our friends’ advice to our situation, we didn’t try to incorporate all of our planned changes all at once. Because of that, our stress levels were much lower in spite of the circumstances.

Have you had a situation recently where things didn’t go as planned? What did you do about it?
You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you for reading our post today. 

___

Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

We hear that saving has replaced spending in today’s economy. Please join us next time to find out what’s replacing saving.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00365-040309.mp3

Related posts

Get More Done by Finding Your Energy Source

(Image in today's post by clafouti)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

When Things Don't Go Your Way

despairWe introduced a refined definition for bigg success last week. Bigg success is life on your own terms. It was our first real tweak to Bigg Success in the time we’ve been online.

___

___

___

marylynnWe have a story to share with you about that launch. Sometimes bad luck and bad timing seem to conspire against us. We work ahead on our shows. We had five shows in mind to introduce you to life on your own terms. Our plan was to have them all fully done before the beginning of the week.

___

Catching a bug

___

georgeNow let’s go back about a month. I bragged that I hadn’t been sick for several years. Not even a cold. Well, you can guess what happened … within about a week, I got the flu. That really slowed us down!

___

___

marylynn
Yeah, we got behind on our recording because George was so sick.

___

A cold front

___

georgeAfter about four days of the flu, I finally was feeling more normal. The next day, I noticed a really bad tickle in my throat. I tried to ward it off – Vitamin C, orange juice, Airborne – but I ended up with a full-fledged cold.

___

___

marylynnThis all happened when we were coming up on our deadline for recording the five shows that we now call our Bigg Success Primer. We planned to have these shows as a feature for new visitors to Bigg Success.

___

___

georgeI knew I sounded very nasally, but I also knew I couldn’t do anything about it. We just had to go ahead and record. So we decided to do it one day at a time, hoping it would get better show after show.

___

___

marylynnSo here we were. It was Saturday. The first of the five shows needed to be posted before Monday. We wanted to get that first show done.

___

___

george
I felt and sounded the best about an hour after taking my meds.

___

We’re experiencing technical difficulties

___

marylynnSo we’re ready to record, but we had technical problems with our wireless network. Neither of us could get online which meant I wouldn’t be able to post our new show. We tried working on it ourselves. We rebooted. We went through the troubleshooting procedures. We checked forums. Finally, we called for technical support. After a couple of hours, our network was working again.

___

___

georgeBut by then, I was really drowsy – one of the effects of the meds I was taking. So we decided to push recording back to Sunday.

___

___

marylynnSo on Sunday, we were all ready to record. We were able to get online, but the printer wasn’t responding. Déjà vu all over again! Once again, we tried everything we could think of before going online for support. It cost us a good hour, but we finally got up and running.

___

At that point, we didn’t have a choice. We had to record if we wanted to stick with the plan of posting our show on Monday. So we did.

What an experience! In the process, we recognized that things just don’t go as planned much of the time.

___

georgeI realized in all of this that we need to add a line to wedding vows. We say “in sickness and in health”. Maybe we should add “when technology works and when it doesn’t!”

___

___

marylynnI think George might be onto something there. We dealt with sickness and technology that wasn’t working all at the same time. I’m glad to say that we made it through!

___

As we discussed this whole situation, we realized something important …

Applying lessons learned can turn what could be a major event into just an annoyance.
Knowing what to do is one thing. Putting that knowledge to work is what counts. All of the things that happened to us could have been really stressful since we had the misfortune of having them all happen at once.

It takes two times as long as you expect to do just about anything.
We’ve heard this said over and over and it’s the first lesson we applied. We had allowed for extra time. So when all of these things happened, we had time. Good thing … we needed every bit of it!

You don’t have to change everything at once.
This is the second lesson that we app
lied. We heard this from three different people. Two relayed their personal experience to us: Wendy Piersall from Sparkplugging and  Taylor Caby at CardRunners. Another person, Holland Cooke with Holland Cooke Media, shared his observations. We can’t thank them enough for their nuggets of wisdom!

We have some planned changes in the near future. They’re relatively minor things, but they all take time. Because we listened and, even more importantly, applied our friends’ advice to our situation, we didn’t try to incorporate all of our planned changes all at once. Because of that, our stress levels were much lower in spite of the circumstances.

Have you had a situation recently where things didn’t go as planned? What did you do about it?
You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thank you for reading our post today. 

___

Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

___

We hear that saving has replaced spending in today’s economy. Please join us next time to find out what’s replacing saving.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00365-040309.mp3

Related posts

Get More Done by Finding Your Energy Source

(Image in today's post by clafouti)

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Wealth is in the Eyes of the Beholder

santa-claus This is our twist on the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Many people are enduring a rough holiday season. We may not be spending as much as we normally would. We see that as a bad thing. We don’t want to disappoint our kids.

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Sometimes we forget how much we already have. As we get older, we put expectations on ourselves and judge ourselves based on what we have and the gifts we can give.

The cardboard box

Have you ever seen a little kid get his or her first bigg toy – the one that comes in the bigg cardboard box? Have you ever seen a kid put the real toy aside and start playing with that cardboard box? They turn it into a fort and have fun with it for hours, playing with their friends. Through the eyes of us adults, that cardboard box is extraneous. Through the eyes of a kid, the cardboard box is a valuable toy itself.

We develop our point-of-view from our experiences. Obviously, we want to learn from them, but we need to be careful not to take away the wrong lessons. So this holiday season, try looking at the world through the eyes of a child again. Look at things as if you were seeing them for the first time. Be innocent again.

Through the eyes of a child

We want to share a touching story comparing how we perceive things as adults to how we might see them through the eyes of a child. A rich dad wants to show his daughter how less fortunate people live. So he took his daughter out to the country, where they spent a couple of days and nights on a farm with a family most people considered very poor. Here’s the conversation as they drove back to the city …

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dad
How was the trip?

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girl
It was great, Dad.

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dad
Did you see how poor people live?

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girl
Oh yeah.

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dad
So, tell me, what did you learn?

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girlI saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them. We have a staff that serves us, but they serve others. Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.

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As you might imagine, the girl’s father was speechless. He thought he would teach his daughter a lesson … it turns out that it was he who needed to learn one.

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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!

___

We really appreciate you checking in on us today. Join us next time when we talk about the best present of all. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00291-122208.mp3

Related posts

How to Feel Rich Today

Where Are You If You Ain’t Where You Are

Back To The Future: Visualizing The Life You Want (Part 1)

(Image of the car by stOrmz,CC 2.0)

(Images of dad and daughter in today's post by stockbroke)