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Don't Solve Problems Dissolve Them

dissolveBigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on time with growth factoring in throughout.

It’s important to look at how you spend your time to determine how to save time. One question to look at is how much time you spend putting out fires.

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Pause and reflect

Certain jobs seem to require more reaction than others. The closer you are to the customer, the more you may respond reactively. If your direct charges are on the front line, you may spend more time reacting.

In those cases, you need to allow for more reactive time as you plan out your day. However, bigg goal-getters try to minimize the amount of time they spend reacting.

So if a large portion of your day is spent responding to situations, pause and reflect. Ask yourself what you can do about it.

It’s possible that nothing can be done about it, but in many cases there is more in your control than you might think. It’s about moving from a reactive mode to a proactive mindset.

That’s the higher order of personal leadership. As a bigg goal-getter, you want more in your tool kit than just problem-solving capabilities. You also want to be a problem dissolver. Here are three ways to do that:

Elimination

The best way to dissolve a problem is to never have it in the first place. Look ahead and try to discover potential problems. If you think it’s likely that you will encounter that problem, dissolve it by eliminating it in advance.

Many future problems can be handled this way. For example, leaders who establish clear expectations for their people eliminate many problems before they ever happen.

Preparation

The next best way to dissolve a problem is to have an answer in mind before you need it. You may have thought about these problems upfront, but it’s more effective to prepare for its eventuality than to eliminate it in advance.

A great example of this is contingency plans. You have a path you’re going down and you’ve determined in advance it’s your best path. However, as new evidence becomes available, you realize that you need to adjust. Planning that adjustment in advance helps you respond quickly if the time comes.

Prevention

Some problems just can’t be anticipated in advance. However, bigg goal-getters dissolve them by solving the problem now and preventing it from reoccurring in the future.

We have a tendency to rush to solve a problem, but oftentimes, with just a little more effort, we can keep it from happening again. Take time to figure out why it happened. Reverse engineer your process to see if you can prevent it in the future.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The best time to start prevention is right after you’ve found the cure. You’re motivated then!

Use that motivation to your advantage to shift your thinking away from solving problems to dissolving them. It leads to bigg success!

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Thank you so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we discuss an emotion that leaders must control. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00432-070809.mp3

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Believing is Seeing – Part 2

vision_boards.jpgToday on The Bigg Success Show, we continued chatting with Christine Kane about vision boards. Last time, Christine shared how vision boards helped her make a u-turn in her career. Now she teaches others how to use them through her retreats and coaching programs. Let’s get back to the conversation …

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marylynnChristine, you’ve identified three types of vision boards. The first one is the “I Know Exactly What I Want” Vision Board. Who should create that one?

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christine_kaneLeft-brained people who get wigged out a little bit by the whole idea of creativity. When they’re at my retreats, they’re the ones shouting, “Who has a picture of an Audi A3?” They’ll put a black dog on there. When you’re in this place – you want a new house or a new job, you want to eat healthy food – you go into the magazines and look for those images. It’s a great way to do it. Some people just throw it up there and that board is done in an hour-and-a-half.

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george
The second one you’ve identified is the “Opening and Allowing” Vision Board.

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christine_kaneThis is my favorite. As I said before, at my retreats, the whole first day is about intention. So women are getting clear on what they want more of. The second day we’re doing all those obstacles. By the time they sit down to do their vision board, they are just ready to speak to their soul – their deeper and wiser self. We know that still part of us. So you go through the magazines really slowly. You find yourself getting surprised at this image or that image. Even when I picked out that image of Celine Dion’s stage, I didn’t sort through magazines trying to find the perfect stage. I looked at it and thought, “Oh, that’s totally the feeling I want.” Some people will go, “Oh I love that car. Wow, I never realized I wanted a Prius but I just realized this speaks to me.” This puts you in touch with a deeper part of yourself. A lot of times our mental imaginings and our egos can run the show and think they know exactly what they want. A lot of times they lead us down paths that aren’t in alignment with who we really are. So the Opening and Allowing board is where you sit down and let the pictures come to you. Then you arrange them. It’s a softer process. Not everyone wants to do it this way. It’s great at my retreats because they’ve really had the time to get clear before we go for that.

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marylynn
I want to do that board. I’m ready!

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christine_kane
I love this board. It’s how I live my life!

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marylynn
Let’s talk about the third type. Christine, you call it the “Theme” Vision Board.

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christine_kaneYeah, like I’ve said, I do this on New Year’s Day. “Here’s my year, my 2009.” Birthdays are a good time to do that. What is the year ahead? The other thing would be if you want a different job or a new place to live or whatever. You make the entire board about that thing. Your marriage. Your family. It’s a great thing to do with anything in your life. You can apply both of the mindsets for the two other boards to this board.

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We highly recommend that you get Christine’s Get Inspired, Live Creative Triple Pack, that includes her e-book (The Complete Guide to Vision Boards), her most requested song (Right Outta Nowhere), and a subscription to her e-zine (Live Creative: Make Your Life a Masterpiece) for more success and creativity tips. It’s all FREE!

Thanks so much, Christine, for sharing your time and wisdom with all of us! And we thank you for reading our post today!

Please join us next time when we share a note from Hank Williams, Jr. We’ll discuss family traditions! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00404-052909.mp3

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(Image in today's post from Christine Kane)

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Believing is Seeing – Part 1

vision_boards.jpgWe were thrilled to visit with Christine Kane on The Bigg Success Show today. Christine has sold over 100,000 CDs and her songs have been sung by a number of Nashville stars. She was recently featured in First magazine for her innovative strategies for taking life to the next level. If you listen to the show, you can hear part of her great song, “Right Outta Nowhere.

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georgeWe heard you perform live at SOBCon a couple of years ago and I have to tell you … you rocked the boat!

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christine_kane
Or the boat rocked me!

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georgeIt was a little breezy in the Windy City that night.

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What is a vision board?

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marylynnOne of my favorite girlie magazines is First magazine. So, when I saw your picture in the March 30 issue, I said to George, “Look, Christine is featured.” You were talking about how vision boards have helped you achieve your dreams. So, let’s start with, what is a vision board?

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christine_kaneVision boards got really popular after The Secret. I’ve been doing them forever. In the late 90s, a friend of mine was trying to change her career around. I was trying to uplevel my career in music. So the two of us and another friend did them. I ended up getting the house I put on my vision board. It was completely effortless. Then I noticed that, after my shows, I’d end up having a circle of women, and sometimes men, around me asking how to follow their dreams. So I started doing women’s retreats to answer that call. The first day we work on intention. The second day we look at what blocks our intention – the little patterns that come up. So by now they’re deeply connected with who they are, what they want and all their old patterns. After that, we do vision boards. We just take poster board and a huge stack of magazines – I have hundreds of them at these retreats. They grab photos that speak to them. Sometimes they speak to your soul and you don’t know why. Sometimes they are totally in alignment with what you want, like a new house or a new car. I tell them not to get uptight about it. You tend to know which image is right for you. I don’t give huge instructions because I think our creative side – that’s my songwriter side – knows where you’re going to put those images and how you’re going to lay out that board. I like to have people put a picture of themselves in the middle of it. Then you put that board above the desk in your office, your walk-in closet, in your bedroom behind the door. You just let those images be with you every day. The idea behind it is you’re welcoming in new images from a new paradigm that you want to create. That’s the power of our subconscious. As a creative person who has created a songwriting career out of nothing, I believe in the power of these kinds of tools. I don’t put everything on the idea of a vision board, but it’s one of the many ways that we can create better things in our life.

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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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Blocking out mental blocks

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marylynnChristine, let me go back to something you said early on – we have those “blocks.” As you were creating your vision board to help you take your career to a new level, what was a block that you recognized and what was something you put on your vision board to get past that block?

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christine_kaneThat’s a really great question. You have to take this to your own career. For my career, there’s a point where every songwriter, artist, or entrepreneur gets to where they have let the original people who showed them the ropes give them all the “here’s how it is in your business” or “here’s the only way you’ll be able to do it.” I had that and a lot of it was very negative. I was playing at bars. Sometimes I was at a festival playing on a rickety stand. I truly had this mindset that it was the best I could get. I was lucky to be an artist. I sat down by myself to do my vision board on New Year’s Day, which I do every year. Now this was not my first vision board; this was when I had been doing them and really got it. I pulled out the image of Celine Dion on stage in Vegas.

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marylynn
That was quite a stage!

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christine_kaneIt didn’t mean that I wanted to be Celine Dion because I don’t. It represented that I wanted to start playing on stages that are substantial, that didn’t smell like spilled beer, that weren’t a pile of wood thrown together for some make-shift festival that someone put on.

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marylynn
That weren’t rocking!

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christine_kaneExactly! If you’ve ever walked backstage at a great theater, you know what it feels like. You feel those spotlights come on. That image of her stage was the center of my vision board. Literally within six months of doing that board, I got an invitation from a ballet company. They had seen me at a showcase and fallen in love with my music. They choreographed a ballet to my songs. They wanted me to tour with them. The tour lasted for three years. From that point, I was on those stages. We were around the country at performing arts centers. Those spotlights. That strong sturdy stage. After that, a lot of the performing arts centers that I went to with the ballet company had me back as a solo artist. So my career literally did a u-turn. I got more money. I really got what it felt like to have imagined that thing on my board. It required that I get really deeply in touch with what that picture represented to me. It wasn’t just, “Hey I want to be Celine Dion and do cool things.” It was, “What does this stage mean to me?” It means no longer saying “yes” to anything that is less than this image. I really got what that felt like inside of my body.

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Don’t know what you want? Do you know what you don’t want?

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georgeThat’s such a great story, Christine. This was part of the article from First magazine. And by the way, may I say that I’m man enough to read Mary-Lynn’s girlie magazine! One of the things that jumped out at me reading that, and now hearing it again, is that sometimes we get to what we want by, first, knowing what we don’t want.

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christine_kaneOh yeah. You know it’s funny – my retreats have become so popular that I created an online course and then it turned into a coaching program called The Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program. It’s a seven-week program. One of the exercises in the first week is about getting in touch with what you want. So many people say they don’t know what they want. So we start with writing down what they don’t want. That is a perfectly valid place to start. That’s what has to start turning around. That awareness that I didn’t want to play at places where people were drinking. That was my first thing.

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Learn more about Christine and download her free vision board e-book by visiting her site, christinekane.com. Also check back tomorrow when Christine tells us about the three kinds of vision boards.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00403-052809.mp3

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(Image in today's post from Christine Kane)

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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.

Your car is an expression

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I Just Got Laid Off – Part 1

work This is the start of a three-part series on what to do if you get laid off. On the show today, we discuss what to do today before you leave the building. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll discuss Part 2 – what to do in the next couple of days and then move to Part 3: moving on – going for your next job. So please check back in!

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Getting laid off is one of the most stressful events anyone goes through. So before we get into details, take a deep breath. You can expect to feel a whole range of emotions, even if you weren’t completely surprised. It’s a grieving process. Psychologists have identified five stages that we go through when we lose something or someone:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These stages don’t necessarily happen in sequence. You may feel more than one at the same time. You may jump around. You will feel it how you feel it. What’s important is to understand what’s going on within you. It’s only natural.

Your job may have been taken from you, but your talents haven’t been

Your unique skills are still yours. You still have that great personality. You’re still an incredible person. And you know it!

With that mindset, and knowing that you will bounce back, here are some things to do, and things not to do, before you leave the building today.

Don’t burn bridges

Life is funny. Things change quickly. If you show class, it will be remembered. So filter what you say.

There may be a temptation to lash out. Resist that urge, because nothing good can come from it. Sure, you may feel better at the moment, but that feeling will quickly fade into regret. It’s much better to conduct yourself very professionally.

COBRA

You will have to decide whether or not to extend your health insurance with the company. But you have 60 days to make this decision so don’t make it today. Talk to two or three insurance brokers who sell individual insurance. In almost all cases, you will find that you can get similar coverage for less money.

If you have one or more pre-existing conditions, it might make sense to sign up through COBRA. But first, check out comparable policies with several insurance brokers and get their advice.

Your 401(k)

Here’s another decision you don’t have to make today. In fact, there really isn’t much of a time limit on making this decision. A lot of people still have money in an account through an employer they haven’t worked for in seven years!

Resist the urge to cash out. You may feel stressed about money. We’ll talk about that more in an upcoming show. The Wall Street Journal reported that 40% of workers in their 20s and 30s cashed out their 401(k) when they changed jobs. As we discussed this on a previous Bigg Success Show, this may be a costly decision.

Before you decide what to do with your 401(k), you’ll want to investigate your options. Find a plan that offers the right combination of options and low fees. One thing you should find out, when the subject of your 401(k) comes up, is if there are any exit fees. This will be useful in your decision making process.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
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Your final paycheck

If you get your final check today, be sure to verify everything. For example:

  • Were you paid the correct amount for the time you’ve worked since your last check?
  • Did you get the severance pay that you should have?
  • Were you paid for the vacation days you haven’t used?
  • Is everything in accordance with your agreement with your employer?

Other issues

You may be asked to sign releases and other documents. You don’t have to sign anything right away. Read the documents carefully. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you’re not satisfied with the answer, seek professional guidance from an attorney if need be.

Reach out

Finally, if you can muster the emotional strength, reach out to the people you worked with. Make sure you have their contact information. You never know when it might come in handy.

Thanks for reading our post today. We hope you’ll check in again tomorrow. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00324-020509.mp3

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Coping With Life Change

(Image in today's post by hisks)