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Own Your Life

life on your own termsLast time, we talked about the definition of bigg success. We said that bigg success is life on your own terms.

You might wonder if we’re being redundant when we say “your” “own” terms. We can understand why you might think that, but we felt that it was important to convey ownership explicitly.

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We’ve heard about Brand You. It’s useful to think about the brand image we present and how we market ourselves, but we think it doesn’t go far enough. When it comes to creating your dream life, you are an enterprise level manager, not a brand manager.

A new paradigm

A new paradigm about the role we play in our own lives is gaining traction. Our definition of bigg success – life on your own terms – encompasses this new mindset.

You are the entrepreneur of your own life.

We normally think being an entrepreneur means “I own my own business.”  We’re saying that, whether you’re employed or self-employed, you are an entrepreneur.

You own your life.

You run it as you see fit.

You create the life that you want to live. Life on your own terms.

You bring together the resources necessary to build that life. You put the structure that is needed in place to achieve your bigg dream.

That’s what an entrepreneur does.

Your life is your enterprise

It’s not just about the work that you do. Your life is about more than that.

Entrepreneurs don’t just sell a product or a service. They build a business, an entire enterprise.

Your life is your enterprise and you build the life you want. This encompasses both your professional and personal lives.

As the entrepreneur of your own life, it’s crucial to find ways to make all the parts of your life work together. Even more than that, why not find a way to get all parts of your life working synergistically with one part adding to another and vice versa? Now that’s bigg success!

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

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CBS resisted, but Lucy insisted

Lucille Ball was the star of a popular radio show called My Favorite Husband. We’re not sure how many husbands she had, but this show was about her favorite one!

She played the wife of a bank vice president. With the advent of television, CBS wanted to move her show to the new medium. But Lucy wanted her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, to play her TV husband.

CBS resisted, but Lucy insisted.

The CBS executives eventually gave in and I Love Lucy became a bigg success.

Lucy was an entrepreneur! She lived her life on her own terms.

A unique solution for raising the kids

We know a couple who are divorced. They have young children.

Instead of fighting over custody, they have chosen to add on to their house so they can each go on with their lives and their children can be with both of them every day.

This is a unique solution that is working for them. What else matters? Some people think it’s kind of strange, but why should these two people care?

They are entrepreneurs, living their life on their own terms.

A merger that works

We decided we wanted to work together, to merge our professional lives as well as our personal lives. We created Bigg Success to allow us to do that.

We travel together. We work together. We live together. We see each other all the time.

It wouldn’t work for many couples, but it works for us. We’re living our lives on our own terms.

How about you?

What does life on your own terms mean to you? How are you taking ownership of your life?

Share your story with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

By typing it or saying it, you will learn even more about yourself. Everyone else in the Bigg Success community learns too. The more we share, the more we all learn. Then we can reach bigg success even faster!

Thank you for sharing your time with us today.

Join us next time when we’ll talk about the “terms” of life of your own terms.

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00357-032409.mp3

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2 Tips for More Effective Project Status Reports

pm411_logo We visited with Ron Holohan today on The Bigg Success Show. Ron is a Certified Project Management Professional and is currently the Director of Program Management at Shure in Chicago. Ron also hosts a weekly project management internet radio show called The pm411.org Project Management Podcast, which has consistently been one of the top four project management shows on iTunes.

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marylynn We all know that project management can be a stickler. So we asked Ron to share two tips with us to create more effective project status reports.

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ronThe first tip is to focus only on the exceptions. What I mean by that is that you don’t want to throw everything in the kitchen sink into your status reports. No one wants to read all that. They want to be able to look at your status report and pull out just the information they need. So focus on the exceptions – those issues that have changed since your previous report. Your audience only gets the information they need so your status report is short and concise.

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georgeI think that’s a bigg one. It seems that you often see status reports that look like a “mind dump.” You see all the activity that’s happened since the last report. You get bored with it so you’re not able to help them. might call it stubborn.

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ronThat’s right. If someone wants to go back, they can always look at one of your previous reports for more information.

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marylynn Cut the fat … get to the meat. What’s another tip?

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ronAnother tip is to make your report as easy as possible to read. This is the same kind of ideas as Tip #1. You want to allow your audience to easily scan for details that interest them the most. One way to do that is by using something called “Stoplight Reporting” – you communicate progress by using different colors. A bullet point in green may mean this item is going according to plan. Yellow means that particular item needs to be watched. Red means action is required because that item is starting to go off track. You can actually use blue as well to indicate that particular item has been resolved or completed.

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marylynn Can you put a “Don’t Walk” in there?

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ronThat would be nice! Use short bullet points. You don’t want to write a paragraph; this isn’t going to win you a Pulitzer Prize. You’re just trying to convey simple facts to your audience. Also, use tables where you can. They’re great for listing things like milestones, budget information, or product material cost.

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georgeWhat’s interesting about this to me is that some people are good with words or numbers, but other people are very visual. So you’re giving your report in a way that allows your audience to consume it the way they prefer.

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marylynn I prefer stick figures!

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georgeIt’s a great system that you’ve outlined with the different colors. You instantly can see what’s going on. Now I assume what you talk about are the “yellows” and the “reds”.

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ronThat’s right. So if I was reading the report, my eyes would naturally look for those yellow and red bullets that need my attention the most.

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Ron’s freebie!
Ron has a free status report template available for you, complete with a Stoplight along with other great templates.

Thanks Ron for sharing your fantastic tips with us!

 

 

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I May Have to Fire an Employee. Any Suggestions?

Bigg Challenge
Rick has been a manager now for about six months. He has an employee who is under-performing. Rick thinks he may need to fire this employee, but he’s never done that before. He says he would welcome any suggestions we can provide.

Bigg Advice
Do you remember the Cheers episode where Norm Peterson became the executive’s executioner – his job was to fire people. So he took them out for drinks and, by the time it was done, the employee who was being fired felt sorry for Norm. Because as Norm once said,

“It’s a dog eat dog world and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.”

So there’s one option, but not one that we necessarily recommend for the real world!

Company procedures
Look to your company’s policy manual for guidance on how to proceed.  Also, discuss this with your boss so you fully understand company protocol and precedents.

No surprises

Except for the most egregious situations, you’ve done something wrong if it’s a surprise. To make sure they’re not surprised, you should follow a process. For example, issue a series of warnings with repercussions for not correcting the performance deficiencies

Round and round we go

Sit down with your employee and explain the problem. Discuss what needs to be done to correct it, tell him or her when you’ll review performance again, and outline the consequences if it’s not corrected (e.g. a 3-day suspension without pay).

At the scheduled time, repeat this process. This time the ramifications have to be greater. (e.g. termination of employment). So if you reach this review and the situation hasn’t improved significantly, the result should be obvious to your employee.

You’re giving them a chance to improve their performance and also covering your liability because you’ll document this entire process and have them sign off each step of the way.

An example

George said that in his early days in business, he was managing his field staff. They worked without direct supervision because they performed work at the customer’s home or office. George had hired a young man who just couldn’t work without ongoing oversight.

George went through the rounds outlined above with little improvement. Finally, he let the employee go. He recommended that this young man get a job in a place where someone could watch over him.

He encouraged the young man come back and reapply for employment once he got used to working in a supervised environment. That never happened because the young man found that he liked working with supervision better.

Firing someone doesn’t have to be negative. Offer any help you can provide. Make suggestions. And realize that sometimes it’s just not a good fit – it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, or that they couldn’t be helpful to any employer. It just means it’s not working out for both of you here.

Thanks, Rick, for sharing your bigg challenge. We’re sure you’ll handle it just fine.

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(Image by w00kie, CC 2.0)

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A Great Way to Track Your Goals

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08 

Leading-Edge Application

goals 

There’s a great online application to track your goals simply and easily over at Joe’s Goals. They’re still in limited testing. Right now, you can test it out for FREE, although they have a suggested donation of $12.

With Joe’s Goals, you can add as many goals as you want. You can create and manage a to-do list. They also allow you to develop a scoring system for each goal so you know how you’re doing. You can get reports on your progress. You can even share your goals with other people.

Joe’s Goals is a great tool to help you visually see how you’re progressing toward your goals. Check it out!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

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

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Mothers Possess the Single Most Important Leadership Ability

By Bigg Success Staff
05-07-08

Leadership Skills

The single most important leadership skill is the ability to determine what’s most important. Managers focus on doing things right; they are into efficiency. Great leaders focus on doing the right things; they concern themselves with effectiveness.

Because of all the demands on them, mothers learn to prioritize. They quickly separate what’s most important from what’s not important. Then they put all of their energy into what they have determined is essential.

They constantly process new information and responding accordingly. Along the way, they realize that priorities may change. So they adjust – tending to a sick child is more important than cleaning house, demands at work may take precedence over a home-made dinner.

They realize that sometimes some things have to give. So carry-out will allow the family to still be together at dinner without requiring preparation time. That special dinner she was going to make can wait until tomorrow. Being together matters; what’s for dinner tonight doesn’t.

So mothers, like great leaders, set priorities knowing full well they’re priorities will change as they receive new information. When that happens, they’re ready to adjust as necessary to keep working on what’s most important.

By constantly focusing on what’s most pressing and spending all their valuable time working on just those things, moms provide an essential lesson for anyone wanting to be a great leader.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

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

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Teacher Turns $3,000 into a $700 Million Business

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(Image by veralu)