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Can Happiness Buy Money

golden_eggWe’ve heard it again and again … money can’t buy happiness. According to the Beatles, it can’t buy love either!

But what if the order is reversed? Can happiness buy money?

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The latest research supports the notion that happiness can buy money[PDF]. It comes from a team effort with researchers from the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, and last but certainly the most, the University of Illinois. Okay, we’re biased but at least we admit it.

Happiness buys an extra $8,263 a year!

The researchers surveyed incoming freshmen at 25 elite colleges. We’re not sure how they defined “elite”, but we’re pretty sure it’s the schools we attended!

The participants reported their cheerfulness. 19 years later, when the participants were about 37 years old, the researchers asked them to report their annual income.

On average, the participants in the highest 10% on the cheerfulness scale earned over 15% more than those in the lowest 10%. In 1995 dollars, this was a difference of $8,263 a year, on average ($62,681 vs. $54,318).

Attitude to altitude

That’s a bigg difference. So not only can happiness buy you money, it can buy quite a bit of it! Apparently attitude does determine altitude!

That’s one of the bigg takeaways here. If we approach the days of our lives with the right attitude, we’ll be more productive. We’ll show more initiative. We’ll get more opportunities.

More money, less risk

We also found it interesting that the most cheerful participants were one-third less likely to ever be unemployed than the least cheerful. It appears that being of good cheer not only helps you be more prosperous, it reduces your risk as well. That’s a slam dunk!

And it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. We learn in business school that you have to take more risk to make more money. But as this study shows, you can make more money and actually have less risk with the right attitude!

That’s the bigg idea behind bigg success – to get all areas of our lives working harmoniously by finding synergy like what we see here.

Being too happy is costly

Here’s a surprising twist from this study: People who were moderately cheerful (above average on the researchers scale but not in the top 10%) earned the most on average.

They made almost 6% more than those in the top 10% and about 22% more than the bottom 10%. In 1995 dollars, that means they earned $3,563 and $11,826 more than the highest and lowest deciles respectively.

So being really happy leads to much better income than being really unhappy. But being happy instead of really happy is even better yet!

It turns out that Droopy had it right. He never said, “I’m really happy.” Just “I’m happy.”

Bigg Success is the community of bigg goal-getters. People who are usually happy, but never content. This research supports the notion that this “happy, not content” attitude leads to bigg success.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today. You can get more tips and tools to be a bigg success by subscribing to our free weekly newsletter.

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what entrepreneurs have that MBAs don’t. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00446-072709.mp3

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(Image in today's post by Mattox)

The Surprising Thing Others Expect from You

ug_of_war.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. When we talk with people about their biggest challenge in living their lives on their own terms, one of the most common responses involves work – life balance in one way, shape or form.

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The tug-of-war

For many of us, it’s a perpetual tug-of-war. We love our family. We thoroughly enjoy our time with friends. We relish time to ourselves.

But we also love the work we do. We take pride in our accomplishments. Rightly so.

But we’re only human. We can’t be two places at once.

The result? We’re not as happy as we should be. We’re not completely fulfilled.

It may cause feelings of guilt. Depending on where the knot is in the tug-of-war we’re playing – which side is getting more attention – we may feel guilty about not giving enough attention to the other side.

When we’re at work, there are times when we may feel guilty about not being home. When we’re home, we may feel guilty at times about not working. It seems like a no-win situation!

The sacrifice

Research shows in our effort to have it all we’re sacrificing something that’s very important to our well-being: sleep.

So we end up dragging at work. Or we’re spent before we get home. By the time we get there, have dinner and do some household chores, we only have enough energy to crash on the couch.

But we keep pushing. Day after day, we push to the point of exhaustion until, finally, something inside of us says, “Enough!”

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The surprising thing

Stewart Friedman is a Professor at Wharton and the author of a fantastic book on leadership. It’s called Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life.

In his research, he has uncovered an answer to this work – life balance problem. It has to do with a surprising thing others expect from you. They expect … drum roll please …

Less!

Dr. Friedman’s research shows that other people expect a lot less of us than we think they do. In many cases, they’re not the ones putting the pressure on us. We’re putting undue pressure on ourselves!

You are the entrepreneur of a very important enterprise – your life. Just like any entrepreneur, communication with your key stakeholders is crucial.

  • Talk about expectations. Great entrepreneurs have these conversations with their employees. They talk about expectations with their investors. Follow that example – have a conversation about expectations with the key stakeholders in your life.
  • Discuss options. Ask for their help in discovering options so you meet their expectations.
  • Reach an agreement about respective participation in each other’s lives. Think of it as a service level agreement.

You’ll come away with a clear understanding of the expectations the most important people in your life have of you. Then you can focus on scheduling your days to meet those expectations. Or better yet, exceed them. After all, this is the community for bigg goal-getters!

Thanks so much for the gift of your time today.

We’ve heard over and over again that money can’t buy happiness. Please join us next time when we ask, “Can happiness buy money?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00445-072409.mp3

Related posts

Flipping Work Life Balance

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(Image in today's post by KevinKLuu)

Artificial Dissemination – A Tool for Bigg Success

spinToday we’ll wrap up our discussion about artificial dissemination. Last time, we talked about three dangers of misstatements and exaggerations.

There’s another side to artificial dissemination. It can also be a tool if used carefully and properly. We’ll look at two ways to do that.

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Honest vs. Kind

Sometimes we face a battle. It’s not a battle between good and evil. It’s a battle between two competing forces for good. Should we be honest? Or should we be kind?

Picture this … your best friend just had a baby. He’s so proud that the buttons on his shirt are popping. He takes you to see the little guy. Now, the little guy is the ugliest baby you’ve ever seen. He’s so ugly you’re not even sure he’s human!

So your friend turns to you and says, “Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?”

Panic sets in. What do you say? Beads of sweat start forming on your forehead. Do you tell the truth? Or should you be nice?

Artificial dissemination can be used as a tool for kindness.

Authentic vs. “Fake it until you make it”

Now we want to talk about telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

That’s another battle which we must fight every day. We often hear that we should be authentic. Yet we also hear people say that you have to “fake it until you make it.”

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george I’m authentic every day … when I first get up. If I wanted to be authentic, I would never shave!

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marylynn
I wouldn’t wear any make-up!

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It is important to be true to yourself. People can spot a fake. But “fake it until you make it” doesn’t necessarily mean being someone you’re not.

Artificial dissemination can be a tool for casting yourself in the best light.

We’ve talked before about the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride. But people like to do business with successful people. When you’re at the bottom of the ride, you don’t have to tell the world. Just confide in a few close friends or trusted advisors and project an image of success to the rest of the world.

The whole world doesn’t have to know the whole truth. In many cases, with most people, part of the truth will suffice just fine! You’re not on the witness stand for crying out loud!

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marylynnI think with social media we sometimes broadcast things about ourselves, not remembering that hundreds or thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of people are going to see it.

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george
You have to manage your reputation just like companies manage their reputations.

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marylynnI remember seeing a tweet from a person I follow. She had just lost her job. I don’t remember what she said, but it was something that would have been better left unsaid.

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george The stories you tell about yourself shouldn’t be fiction. But occasionally, you may think of them as part of a docudrama. You can put a positive spin on things. Sometimes that leads to bigg success!

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Authentic or fake it until you make it. Where do you come down in the debate? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

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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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Please join us next time when we’ll discuss a surprising thing that others expect from you. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00444-072309.mp3

Related posts

Artificial Dissemination – 3 Dangers

How Honest Should You be with Your Employees?

Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play

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(Image in today's post by clix)

Artificial Dissemination – 3 Dangers

lieWe value honesty and integrity. We’re taught to tell the truth. Yet when we’re tested in the real world, sometimes we use artificial dissemination.

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A friend of one of our friends lied on his resume. He said he had graduated from college. The company found out that, while he was close, he hadn’t actually done all of the work to earn his degree. They fired him.

That’s one of the dangers of artificial dissemination. It can come back and bite you.

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george My dad used to say, “Son, always tell the truth. Then you won’t have to try to remember what you said.”

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marylynn
I understand his point. One lie often leads to another.

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Have you ever met someone who you came to know better over time? At some point, you realize they’re just full of bull caca. But what comes next is even more amazing …

You realize that they’ve told that old story so many times that they actually think it’s true themselves!

That’s the second danger of artificial dissemination: you start to believe it yourself.

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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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The next form of artificial dissemination is more subtle. In most cases it’s not an outright lie. It usually doesn’t start out as artificial dissemination.

Instead, it’s a failure to deliver on promises.

This can take two forms:

First, it may result from over-promising. Hyperbole, even (think Snagglepuss)!

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marylynnIt’s important to be excited about what you do, but sometimes in our excitement … we overstate how well we do it!

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george Or we over-commit. And I know whereof I speak. I came by this one honestly because my Dad was the same way. Do you ever think you’ve suddenly been turned into some sort of super human who can do way more than you, the human, can actually get done? You stuff your schedule full and then … oh,oh … there’s no way you’re going to get it all done.

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It’s an honest mistake, but it has the same result. Artificial dissemination.

Second, we may not follow up. There are a number of reasons this may happen. It may be what we just said … we over-committed upfront.

It could be that we’re not organized. We need to record the promises we make. Then we need to schedule whatever actions are necessary to follow-up within the time we promised. We need a system!

Because without a system, we forget. Or we never get around to doing the things needed to deliver on our promise. And the result is the same …

It’s the third danger of artificial dissemination: people stop trusting you.

We’ll stop here for now … please join us next time when we’ll look at the other side of artificial dissemination. And this may surprise you. We’ll tell you how to use it as a tool for your bigg success!

Thank you so much for checking in with us today. We really appreciate it and that’s no lie! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00443-072209.mp3

Related posts

Artificial Dissemination – A Tool for Bigg Success

Overstepping Stones

Close Encounters of the Rude Kind

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(Image by karindalziel,CC 2.0)

How to Chase Away Your Website Visitors

running_awayMost businesses and non-profit organizations have a web site by now. Good thing since more and more people are searching online for services instead of using the phone book.

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There’s a lot of advice about how your website should look. It’s important to pause to realize …

It's the experience that counts the most!

Just like in the bricks-and-mortar world, people value the experience.

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marylynnI've had two bad user experiences recently. The first one has to do with a local not-for-profit organization for which I volunteer. I produce the audio for the radio and television commercials that promote the event. The commercials mention a web address to get more information. However, that address takes you to the organization's national website. I spent ten minutes trying to find the page with information about our local event.

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george If memory serves, Mary-Lynn, you told me that you saw a link, “Find your local event.” But it directed you to sign up or log in to get more information.

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marylynnRight! It’s crazy. I shouldn't have to sign up to simply get information. Regardless, I finally recovered my user name and password. Then I logged in, but I still haven't found the local page. I ran out of time and will have to go back.

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george People who aren’t as invested as you probably wouldn’t put that much effort into finding the local information. Worse yet, they may never go back to the site.

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Tip #1: Create a landing page specific for what you are promoting.

Make it easy for people to find the information they want. For example, our local branch could have a page that ends with the name of our city. They could set up an address like this: nameoforganization.com/champaign.

That's a landing page. It’s the address you want to promote to people in your area for information about your local organization – especially when you’re using local TV, radio, or the newspaper.

Here's another example for a business: If you are promoting a deal, use a web address like one of these:

yourbusinessname.com/deal

yourbusinessname.com/summersale

Create your landing page in advance. It can reiterate the most important points of your advertisement and provide more information. Also provide links to your home page and any other pages that people interested in this promotion might find useful.

Integrating your offline marketing with online marketing makes all your marketing more productive. It’s a time-tested strategy. If visitors to your site get the information they want quickly, they’ll be more likely to take the time to visit other areas of your site.

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marylynnThe second bad experience occurred when I read an article online about a local tech series that is free and open to the public. The article was on our local newspaper's website. It gave details on the upcoming session and offered a link to the organization's website to get more information on all of the sessions in the series.

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george So you went to the website to find out more information, and I remember hearing a … how should I describe it … a frustrated sigh coming from you.

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marylynnThat’s a good way to say it. I was frustrated because I couldn't find anything about the series. I clicked on several page links, including their events link. Nothing. I used their search tool to search for the name of the event. Still nothing. Finally I went to their calendar and typed in the exact date. The first session in the series came up. It contained the same information that was in the article. Nothing further about the entire series. I was planning to put all of the dates on my calendar. I guess I’ll have to call them.

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Tip #2: Make it easy to find the information you promote.

If you want people to know about your events, make it easy to get that information. Especially if your event is getting press!

Create a page like we suggested above. If you prefer to link people to your home page, create a link and highlight it so people can find it quickly and easily. For example, in the case we mentioned above, you could highlight it this way:

"Tech series starting in August"

Make it very visible on your site. When people click on that link, it will take them to the page you've created with all the information about that event.

Your site is an excellent tool to compliment your other marketing efforts. But if you don't make it easy for people to find what you’re promoting, they won't participate in your sale or event.

Prepare your web site for visitors before you advertise or send out a press release. That will help make your campaign a bigg success!

Do you have any tips from your bad user experiences? Or maybe a good experience combining your web site with traditional media? Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss artificial dissemination. Yes, you read that right! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00442-072109.mp3

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