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4 Secrets for Learning New Tricks

dog_daysToday’s post is the second in a five part series on Dog Days. There’s an old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” If that’s true, then one secret to learning new tricks is …



Don’t be an old dog!

Of course, we can’t control that in a physical sense. But that’s of less importance than keeping ourselves young in mind and spirit.

We must rediscover that sense of wonder we had when we were young.

Before we were afraid to try new things.
Before we were scared of taking risks.
Before we worried about being embarrassed.

When we were fascinated by new things.
We were captivated with new experiences.
We were curious about the world around us.
We made new discoveries day by day.

Then we grew up and became old dogs.


I told George to speak for himself on that one!



george Boy, I inadvertently insulted myself on two fronts … in a single sentence I managed to call myself “old” and a “dog”. My point is that sometimes we learn the wrong lessons.


Picture this: A dog goes for a walk and steps on a bee. It hurts. But instead of watching out for bees when he goes for walks in the future, he refuses to walk at all.

Let’s bring it back to human terms. Maybe you stuck your neck out on an opportunity that didn’t work out the way you planned. So now, when a new opportunity presents itself, you roll over and play dead!

It’s time for some new tricks. Experience is a great teacher, but it’s curiosity that leads to innovation.

The dog trainer

Trainers can work wonders with dogs. The same is true for us humans.

Look for a coach or mentor who has done what you’re trying to do. Someone who has walked the path you want to go down.

Your coach can teach you the tricks you need to get where you want to be. From his or her experience, combined with your own, you can discover how to reach bigg success faster.

A doggy treat

Dogs get a treat when they learn new tricks. Likewise, give yourself a reward every time you learn a new trick or reach a new plateau.

Bigger tricks deserve bigger treats. Sounds kind of like Halloween, doesn’t it? Only here it’s trick for treat.

When you really move that proverbial needle, when you stretch yourself and accomplish something significant for your bigg success, give yourself a treat that has particular meaning for you.

The dog and pony show

Don’t get stuck doing that same old dog and pony show. Stretch your mind by exploring new things. Study things outside your area of expertise.

You’ll find that you bring new perspectives back to your main area of expertise by exploring outside of it. You’ll discover new solutions to old problems.

So we think you can teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, an old dog has to learn new tricks to reach bigg success!

If you’d like to learn more new tricks, subscribe to our FREE newsletter, The Bigg Success Weekly. It’s free!

Thanks for sharing your time with us today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss relationships in a dog eat dog world. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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5 Reasons for Lack of Progress

dog_daysHere we are in the middle of the Dog Days of Summer. So today we start a five-part Dog Days series.

Of course, the term “Dog Days” refers to this time of year when it is hot and humid in much of the developed world. It goes back to a time before we had air conditioning, when it was just plain hard to get motivated to get much done.



But the term has also come to mean times when there isn’t much progress. That’s what we’ll focus on today – identifying five common reasons behind slowed progress. It’s a problem we all face from time to time.

Dogging it

One reason we may not accomplish more is simply that we’re dogging it. It could just be laziness. However, we doubt that’s a problem in our community of bigg goal-getters.

It’s more likely a result of one of two other things:

  • You set your goals high, but didn’t reach them. Now you’re discouraged. That’s understandable. But you have to get back in the race. Give yourself some time to lament. While you’re doing that, set a very short-term goal that stretches you just a little bit. Then chase it with all you have! It will get you back on track to bigg success.
  • The flip side is that you did reach your goal. You feel good and good for you! You should. Take a little bit of time to celebrate. Then set a new goal. We grow as humans by striving for more. So push yourself by setting a new goal that gets you excited again.

Dog toys

Lack of progress can also come from too many dog toys. We play with one toy for a while; then we play with another one. But we never really make any progress because our attention is directed in too many directions.

Focus is crucial for bigg success. You only have so much time to push yourself forward. So pick a toy that will take you to bigg success and keep playing with it!

Doggy paddle


marylynnWe may be swimming in stuff; we’re disorganized. So all we can do is doggy paddle. Research has shown that the average American loses almost an hour a day due to disorganization. What could you accomplish with an extra hour every day?


Dog eared


george Sometimes my students turn in a paper that is dog eared instead of stapled. They’ve just folded the top pages over together. It shows that they waited until the last minute. It makes a bad impression. Preparation leads to bigg success.


Dog tricks

The final reason we may feel stuck on a plateau is that we lack knowledge or know-how. We need to learn some new tricks. That’s the thing about bigg success: we put everything we have into reaching our goal. Then we need to learn new things to get to the next level of success. It’s a never ending journey that makes life exciting. And it’s that excitement that propels you to bigg success!


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Thanks for checking in today. You made our day!

We talked a little bit about new tricks today. But we’ve heard that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Please join us next time when, doggone it, we’ll take on this saying.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Can Social Networking Help You Live Longer

facebookResearchers have observed an effect on longevity in families. Specifically, children of parents who lived 100 years or more tend to live longer too.

A recent study at the Boston University School of Medicine explored possible reasons for this. Is it just in the genes or do these people possess qualities that help them live longer?



They found that, among other things, children of centenarians are very social. They build friendships. They feel that their friends serve as safety nets in times of need.

A while back, a group of Australian researchers at Flinders University found that people with strong friendship networks were more likely to live longer. They divided the group into thirds based on the number of friends in their network. They discovered that people in the top third of friends were 22% less likely to pass away before the decade-long study concluded than people in the lowest third.


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So we wonder: Will we live longer thanks to online social networking?

Obviously, these researchers aren’t studying online social networks. When they talk about social networks, they’re talking about our physical network of friends. However, given this research, we think active online networkers may fare pretty well for these four reasons:

  • Thanks to online social networks, we connect more often these days than we did before they existed. It’s just easier to keep up with friends.
  • We also connect with more people. Because the communication is concise and streaming, it’s easier to make new friends and keep up with them.
  • We connect with a more diverse group of people. It’s so interesting to learn about all the different interests people have. There’s such an array online. Research has shown that brain activity helps reduce the likelihood of dementia as well. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your online friends. And offline too, for that matter!
  • We connect with people who are more geographically dispersed. We learn about new cultures and new things. Once again, it’s all mind-expanding and that’s a good thing.

So when we’re old and gray, we’ll still be actively involved in social networking. In fact, count us in for the golden tweetup!

Do you think that people who are active social networkers will be more likely to live longer?


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When Your Dream Becomes a Nightmare

turmoilWe hear a lot about developing contingency plans in case reality doesn’t live up to our expectations. But we don't often don't think about having a plan in place in case we succeed beyond our wildest dreams!



It sounds funny to think about it that way, but your bigg dream can turn into a nightmare in both cases – coming up short or succeeding wildly.

Talent in triumph

We’ve recently seen an example of this with Susan Boyle. She walked out onto the stage of "Britain's Got Talent" as a middle-aged Scottish woman who said that she had never been kissed.

She had lived a very simple life, took care of her mother and sang at her local church. She dreamed of having a career in music for 23 years, even putting together a demo with no success.

Then she took a chance and auditioned for the popular TV Show. It was her bigg opportunity and she nailed it. Her life changed from the moment she began to sing "I dreamed a dream."

The whole world loved Susan!

Talent in turmoil

She became an international singing sensation overnight, going from obscurity to sudden celebrity. She couldn’t anonymously walk over to her local church any longer without a swarm of paparazzi tailing her.

No more quiet at home. Her phone rang off the hook. Everyone – from news outlets to fans – wanted to talk with Susan now.

It took a tremendous toll on her emotional state. Although she smiled for the cameras most of the time, she had a couple of incidents that made her appear unstable.

She was overwhelmed and exhausted by being thrust into the spotlight. In a recent interview on Today, Susan said, “[The] impact was like a demolition ball."

Before long, she started skipping scheduled appearances after her run on the show ended. People questioned her health. They wondered if she had what it took to be a star.

Her bigg dream had turned into a nightmare.

Crossing the line

There’s a dividing line when bigg success is at our fingertips. Will we accept it and move over to the new life of which we dreamed? Will we navigate the road less traveled and keep moving on to bigg success?

Or will we be afraid to cross into the unknown? Will we allow self doubt to hold us back? Will we tell ourselves we don't deserve this bigg success?

You have to plan for bigg success so you’re mentally prepared when you reach this point. How do you prepare?

Visualize it.

By picturing it clearly, you’ll be ready for bigg success when you reach it. You’ll also be more likely to get there! Use all your senses to experience it as if it had already happened.

Build a support network.

Surround yourself with people who care about you and believe in you. Associate with people at the level you’re trying to reach. Let them guide you on your way to your bigg dream and reach out a hand once you've made it.

That's what Susan Boyle finally did. As she said on Today, "I've got to be honest here. I guess I had to get my head around it, but through the guidance of a great team — and they are very good — I was able to see that in perspective and really turn that around.”

Bigg goal-getters work hard every day to achieve their bigg dreams. Make sure you also spend some time planning for that moment when you step into the limelight and shine. That's preparing for bigg success!


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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Next time we’ll discuss what a karaoke party has in common with social media. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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a chess game which has similarities to having to think like an entrepreneur

Think Like an Entrepreneur

a chess game which has similarities to having to think like an entrepreneur

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” ~ Ancient Proverb.

“Begin with the end in mind. Then put first things first.” Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People*.

In business school, we’re taught to define our goals, given our available resources, and then find the critical path to reach them. This is called causal or predictive reasoning, according to Saras Sarasvathy.

She teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia and is the author of Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise* and recently released an updated version of this book in paperback.

She says that successful entrepreneurs don’t think like MBAs. In fact, they do the opposite. They use effectual reasoning. Entrepreneurs who reach bigg success use the resources available to them. They let goals manifest themselves over time given their creativity, direction and connections.

Entrepreneurs think differently than MBAs

There’s a great article on Harvard Business  site about Dr. Sarasvathy’s research. It asks if MBAs or entrepreneurs are better suited for today’s business realities. Bill Taylor, the author, says it simply:

  • MBAs focus on the upside; entrepreneurs focus on the downside.
  • MBAs assume it’s a zero-sum game; entrepreneurs think win – win.
  • MBAs thrive on certainty; entrepreneurs thrive on uncertainty.


george I’m even more confused than usual. I just don’t know what to think since I sort of fit into both categories!



Do you feel like you’re getting pulled in both directions at once, George?



I feel like I’m getting stretched like Stretch Armstrong!



marylynnWell, there is an answer. You just have to know when to use causal reasoning and when to think effectually.


We define bigg success as life on your own terms. You are the entrepreneur of an incredible enterprise – your life – whether or not you’re an entrepreneur in the traditional definition of the word.

That’s why we think this research is so fitting not just for business owners, but for everyone:

When things are uncertain, think like an entrepreneur.

It appears that, in the years ahead, we need to expect more of the unexpected. Entrepreneurs don’t bother trying to predict the future; they create it.

How do they do that?

They act and adapt.

They use the resources they have to try something. If it doesn’t work, they take the knowledge they gained and try something else.

If it does work, they keep pushing it. As their enterprise grows, when there is more at stake, they may switch to more causal reasoning. Or they may jump ship and start the whole thing over!

Because to many entrepreneurs, the journey is the reward. That mindset often leads to bigg success.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we discuss when the dream becomes a nightmare. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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