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The Worst Addiction for Entrepreneurs

erase-addictionAddiction comes in many forms – drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling to name a few. But they aren’t the worst addiction for entrepreneurs.

Any of these addictions can destroy your life, to be sure. They can be so destructive that other people see it. They see you screwing it all up. They see you throwing your life away.

If you’re lucky – if they love you enough – they step in. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” King David said in Proverbs.

The invisible addiction
The worst addiction makes the top of the list because no one sees it. You may have this addiction and not even realize it.

But it’s there – lurking inside your head. If left unchecked, this addiction grows like a cancer inside you and eventually consumes you.

It drives your thoughts. It runs your life. Yet you’re not even aware of it.

You think you’re being prudent. You’re thinking you’re being wise. But you’re addicted. You’re hooked on your past mistakes!

This addiction manifests itself in one of two ways:

You stop taking risks
Anybody who does anything will make mistakes. As an entrepreneur, you do much more than “anything” – you turn nothing into something. You create value in the process, for yourself and others.

You will fail from time to time. When faced with failure, the average person stops trying. They give up. They get hooked on the mistake and it drives their life from that point forward.

They don’t take any risk. They get stuck in mediocrity. They never reach BIGG success.

The cure
So many people think, “I wish I had …” or “I wish I wouldn’t have …” when things don’t turn out as planned. And things never turn out as planned.

Successful entrepreneurs think, “Next time, I will …”

So forget about your mistakes and remember the lesson. Bring your experience into your next decision. You’re stronger and wiser now. You’re better prepared for BIGG success!

You double down
Some people do the opposite. When faced with a loss, they double down.

They desperately try to “get their money back.” They stop investing and start gambling and scrambling. They’re afraid of failing. They worry they’ll be embarrassed. They will do just about anything to try to “rescue” their investment of time and money.

The funny thing is – in some cases, this turns out to be the best response. You’re not a failure until you give up. However, you may be better off focusing your resources on something else.

The cure

Remove the emotion from the situation. Seek help from people who have been there. It’s tough to know whether to push on or move on. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Let logic rule and, one way or another, you’ll reach BIGG success!

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Save the Holiday Party!

holiday We face many important issues in the coming months and years. So we decided to start a movement – to save the holiday party!

Okay, maybe that’s not the most important thing we could address, but we still think that many business owners are making a bigg mistake by eliminating this annual tradition.

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A recent survey by executive search firm Battalia Winston found that fewer firms plan to host a holiday party for their employees this year. In fact, it’s the lowest number in the twenty year history of the study. The primary reason cited is the poor economy.

We think this sends the wrong message. Leaders who portray gloom and doom create an environment of uncertainty. It scares people. People today are looking for signs of reassurance, not signals of impending disaster.

Holiday parties aren’t just about having a party. They’re a great opportunity to show your appreciation to your people. They can help build your team by getting together without the pressure of work. Yet people inevitably talk about work, recalling fun times together from the past year. This builds a sense of comradery which helps get things done at work.

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If last year’s party is beyond this year’s budget, get creative. There are ways to keep the party without busting the bank. Here are some thoughts:

Look for deals

With more companies cutting back, you might be surprised to learn that facilities are more aggressive in pricing deals for those people who still plan to hold an event. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Keep it on site

If you can’t find a good deal, consider having it on site if your facility will accommodate it. Then look for a good deal on catering. You might find that catering firms offer a good alternative since they’re not paying for the overhead of a facility.

Go potluck

If that’s still too expensive, have a potluck. Ask your employees to bring a dish. Consider making it a day-long event. People can “graze” and chat. Just for one day, accept a more relaxed environment full of impromptu conversations.

Make it fun

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marylynnSanta visited us at a radio station I worked at. The employees brought their kids in to tell him what they wanted. It was a lot of fun – all for the price of renting a Santa suit since our General Manager played Santa.

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There are many other ways to make it an event, even if it doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional holiday party. Give out awards. Have an employee who’s into such things produce a fun video or audio.

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marylynnAt one radio station, our production manager put together a fun audio of all of our commercial outtakes. As the disc jockeys recorded commercials, he kept the bloopers and played them at our annual holiday get-together. It was so funny!

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georgeWe gave out gag gifts at one of the companies I owned. They reflected something that an employee had done over the past year that made people laugh. It brought up the joke again and everybody loved it.

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Hold it after the New Year

A number of companies are turning their “holiday” party into an “annual” party. Instead of competing for space during the busy holiday season, they hold it after the New Year. A lot of people really like this because we’re all so busy at the end of the year.

We have friends who turned their annual holiday party into “Christmas in July.” We were fortunate enough to get invited. They had a Christmas tree and played holiday music. It made for a fun evening.

If you do end up doing something different, don’t present it as just the result of budget cutbacks. Tell your people that you want to try something different. Get them involved in finding a good solution.

What do you think? Does canceling the holiday party send the wrong message to your people? What are you doing this year for your people?

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Interviewing Tips For The First-Time Manager

dog_in_tie

Bigg Challenge
Adam just got promoted into his first management position. He has a position that needs to be filled. He would like some tips on interviewing so he makes a good hiring decision.

Bigg Advice – 4 Tips For Interviewers

#1 – Set the tone upfront.
Create an environment that will put your candidate at ease. Start off the interview by saying something like …

“I just want to chat with you today so we get to know each other better. I have some questions for you. But I also want to answer all your questions, so you know if this is the right job for you.”

#2 – Remain neutral throughout the interview.
Novice interviewers often make the mistake of making leading questions or statements. For example, let’s say you’re interviewing someone who tells you that he left his previous job because he couldn’t make it to work by 8 AM every day.

You should NOT respond, “That’s not a very good reason for leaving a job, is it?”

Because if you do, your candidate will edit his answers from that point on. You won’t uncover the real person.

Another thing you don’t want to do is sell the candidate on the job UNTIL you know you want to offer it to them. You want to explain, not sell, throughout most of the interview.

#3 – Find out what the candidate DID do rather than what the candidate WOULD do.
It’s easy to give hypothetical answers. But you’re not learning about the candidate’s ACTIONS; you’re learning about his or her INTENTIONS. It’s easy to make New Year’s resolutions. It’s much harder to keep them.

#4 – Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
Ask a question. Listen attentively. Then follow-up. Keep drilling down to learn all you can about the real person underneath the candidate.

A sample portion of an interview
On the show, George played the role of an interviewer and Mary-Lynn played the part of the interviewee to illustrate some of these concepts.

George: Why are you thinking about leaving your current job?

Mary-Lynn: I’m looking for a more positive environment.

George: A more positive environment?

Mary-Lynn: Yeah, where people want to work together and help each other be more productive.

George: And that doesn’t happen where you work now?

Mary-Lynn: No, there’s a lot of office politicking there.

George: Could you give me an example of that?

Mary-Lynn: My boss has a few favorite people. They get all the cushy assignments. All the rest of us get the leftovers.

George:
So what have you done to try to resolve that?

At this point, Mary-Lynn may describe exactly what she did. Or maybe she didn’t do anything – leaving is her answer. Isn’t it good to know she solves problems by running from them?

She may say something more about her supervisor. As you inquire about other supervisors, you may find that she has never had a supervisor she liked. If you hire her, you’ll be the next supervisor she can’t work for!

Notice that George never commented, positively or negatively, about anything. And he kept following up to learn exactly what Mary-Lynn meant.

He asked four follow-up questions – that’s what it took to learn something significant about Mary-Lynn in this role playing exercise. That’s the way it works – you have to keep following up until you’re satisfied.

Thanks, Adam for sharing your bigg challenge with us. We wish you bigg success!

Are you facing a bigg challenge? E-mail it to us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.”

So take the time to hire right so you don’t waste time on the wrong hire.

Next time, we’ll discuss some simple tips to get rid of clutter and save an hour a day. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

(Image by My Boy Dodger, CC 2.0)