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Set Goals Like Goldilocks

Set goals like Goldilocks for BIGG SuccessA friend of ours told us a funny story recently. Her son was sitting with her mother in front of his computer.

He called up Skype video. They were looking at themselves.

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Grandma said, “Oh, that’s a nice picture.”
Our friend’s son replied, “Grandma, that’s us right now.”
To which Grandma responded, “Oh, I look so old.”

Isn’t that exactly what we do to ourselves?

If we looked at ourselves like a stranger in a picture, we can be complimentary. But as soon as we realize we’re looking at ourselves, we become very critical.

When you look at yourself, what do you see?

This is a particularly important question this time of year as we shift from one year to another. Let’s talk about two mistakes you’ll want to avoid when you look back and two to avoid as you look forward.

Reflection mistakes

Reflection mistakes are common errors when looking back.

  • Hyper-Critics Condition

    Are you like Grandma? When you look back, are you too hard on yourself? It’s a mistake. We call it Hyper-Critic’s Condition.

    Filter yourself by pretending you’re evaluating a close friend. You’ll be more likely to see the good with the bad.

Plus, even when you see negatives, you’ll frame them in a positive way.

  • Underdog Disease

    Some people are the opposite of Grandma. They’re too easy on themselves.

    They see themselves as underdogs. So they don’t push themselves hard enough.

    You can diagnose yourself to see if you’ve been infected. Ask yourself a question:

    Did you accomplish everything you set out to accomplish this year?

    If not, why?

    Resist the urge to just give yourself a pass. Pretend you’re reviewing a subordinate who has under-performed.

    As his or her leader, your job is to discover the reasons for the shortcomings and then help coach them to improve performance. That’s what you’ll do with yourself.

Projection mistakes

These are common errors people make when looking to the future.

  • The Slacker Symptom

    Your goals – or your New Year’s resolutions – should be attainable. But not easily attainable.

    Easily attainable is boring. As humans, we don’t sustain activities that bore us.

    We need meaning. And meaning comes from growth, which comes from challenge.

    So set goals that push you a little bit beyond where you’ve gone before.

    Stretch goals aren’t boring. Stretch goals are challenging. Stretch goals are meaningful.

  • Superhero Syndrome

    Superheroes set unrealistic goals. Your goals must excite you.

    They must spur you on. But they have to be attainable.

    There are two risks from setting your goals too high. You may realize quickly that they aren’t attainable. So you abandon your plan without really giving it a chance.

    You may keep telling yourself you can do it. You’re a BIGG goal-getter. BIGG goals are great. But not if you burn out trying to reach them. It only leads to disappointment, despair, and maybe even depression.

    You aren’t able to push yourself to the next level. You keep hitting the wall. So you give up. And nothing changes.

Taking some time to reflect on the past year to find the lessons is a healthy exercise. Investing time to plan out the coming year, make some projections, and set some goals is also valuable.

But think like Goldilocks. When looking back, don’t be too hard or too easy on yourself. When planning ahead, set goals that are challenging, but realistic.

We tend to have a bias. Understand yours so you can guard against it and you’ll live happily ever after! That’s BIGG success!

Do you tend to be too hard on yourself or too easy? Do you tend to set goals are too challenging or not challenging enough?

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Successful Entrepreneurs are Voyeurs

voyeurWe talked recently about how unsuccessful people respond to mistakes. One thing successful entrepreneurs have in common in that they have made mistakes. A second thing they have in common is that they learned from them. A third is that they used this new knowledge to propel themselves forward.

However, there is a secret to reaching BIGG success faster. Successful entrepreneurs know it. Now you can too. Are you ready? The secret to reaching success faster is:

Make mistakes as a voyeur.

Watch others. Learn from their mistakes. Learn from their successes. Propel yourself forward.

Voyeuristic mistake making helps you reach BIGG success even faster. Are you watching?

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Apologies – The Bad and the Ugly

sorry.jpgYesterday we talked about how Ramon De Leon, the owner of six Chicago Domino’s franchises, responded to a complaint by Amy Ravit Korin on Twitter and created a video apology promising to “wow” her. You owe it to yourself to see how he did it.

When it comes to apologies, this is the good. Today we want to talk about the bad and the ugly and discuss three steps in the art of the apology.



The bad

Domino’s, the chain, recently found itself making the news when two employees of one store posted a video on YouTube showing them mishandling food, to say the least. Domino’s President, Patrick Doyle, was featured in a video apologizing for the mishap and reassuring customers that this was an isolated incident.

There was backlash to this video because it didn’t seem sincere. We think that the apology itself seemed sincere. However, he wasn’t looking at the camera so it’s obvious he was reading from a script. He should have at least looked squarely at the camera when he said, “We’re sorry.”

The difference between this video and Ramon’s video is striking. Ramon is looking right at the camera and it’s obvious that he’s not reading from a script. There’s no question about his sincerity in the way he delivers his apology.

The ugly

You’ve probably heard about the free grilled chicken promotion by KFC. Unfortunately, KFC was not prepared for the overwhelming response to this promotion. Countless customers were turned away when they arrived at their local KFC to redeem their coupon. KFC’s President, Roger Eaton, issued a video apology.


georgeI’m a positive-thinking person who loves positive-thinking people. But he was too positive in light the situation.



marylynnI agree completely. He seemed happy. If I’m dissatisfied as your customer, I want to see that you’re unhappy about it. Show me that you’re empathetic to my terrible experience.



Show you know I’m as mad as a chicken on a hot tin roof?



No … as mad as a chicken in a frying pan!


The KFC apology focused too much on the success of the promotion and not enough on the debacle that followed. However, we’ll cut them some slack because they’re dealing with a more massive problem than the other two.

The art of the apology

Bigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Sometimes we experience the most growth when we’ve made a mistake.

No matter what medium you use to apologize – video, phone, e-mail, in person or some other way – there’s an art to it.

First, simply apologize.
Get it out of the way right upfront. Ramon, the Domino’s franchisee, gets right to it as does Patrick Doyle, the Domino’s President.

The KFC President, Roger Eaton, completely missed the mark. Instead of apologizing right away, he starts off talking about how successful the promotion was.

Second, talk about what you’re going to do about it.
Once again, Ramon nails this one. He told Amy that he was going to wow her. And wow her he did along with the rest of us. Patrick Doyle got this right too.

Roger Eaton eventually gets to the point – they’re going to honor the coupon and give you a free Pepsi product if you do a whole bunch more work. Instead of talking about how they will remedy the situation, the people who were affected have to follow-up to get what was promised to them in the first place.

Third, look to the future.
There’s nothing wrong with ending an apology on an upbeat note. Look to the future of the relationship. Ramon hit this one out of the park as well. We think the park was Wrigley Field!

Patrick Doyle closes strong. He thanks people for their support and says Domino’s will work to rebuild our trust. However, right before that, he says that “it sickens him that the actions of two individuals” could impact their brand. You could feel his emotion. This is where he should have started.

This is a mistake that’s easy to make – beginning and ending with an apology. Follow the process mapped out here to avoid doing that.

The President of KFC completely struck out. He apologizes right at the end of the video – the best apology in the whole video we might add. Fortunately, he didn’t close on that note; it appeared as if he would. He does end on an encouraging note.

Use this three-step process and deliver your message with sincerity the next time you have to apologize. We all make mistakes. When handled properly, even they can lead to bigg success!


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Please join us next time when we talk about out of this world communication.

Thanks so much for hanging out with us for a bit today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!


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3 Tips for Buying Health Insurance

memories.jpgToday we want to talk about insurance … just for the health of it!

Health insurance is a significant expense. If you’re fortunate enough to be part of a group, your company is probably paying a good portion of the cost. However, companies are increasingly asking their employees to bear a bigger share of the total cost.



Of course, if you’re self-employed, you have to pay it all. This really hits your budget in either case and, as we look to the future, it appears it will occupy an ever larger share.


georgeI used to sell insurance years ago so I’m familiar with that side of it. I also approved our group plans when I was in business before Bigg Success.



marylynnWhen we started Bigg Success, it was an eye opener for me. I went from being an employee with group insurance to being self-employed buying individual coverage. I saw the full cost, not just my share of it. I was amazed at the array of choices. And I couldn’t get some of the coverage I really liked under my group plan.


Obviously, your age and your health are two major factors in the cost. The other key factors are:

Your deductible. This is the first money that will be paid out. You pay it up to the deductible you choose.

Your co-pay percentage. Once the deductible is satisfied, you begin sharing the cost with your insurance provider. You may split it down the middle or some other arrangement.

Your stop loss. You don’t have to share costs forever. At a certain point, your insurance company will pay 100% of the covered costs.

Your maximum coverage. It will look like a large number (e.g. $2 million) but it can be used up fairly quickly if there’s a serious health problem.

Your maximum out-of-pocket. This compiles the first three factors. Your maximum out-of-pocket equals your deductible plus your maximum co-pay amount. It only considers covered costs so just be aware that your actual out-of-pocket could be higher.

So now we want to talk about three mistakes that people often make when buying health insurance.

Pushing too much risk onto the insurance company. Being too conservative is very costly. For example, the higher your deductible, the less you’ll pay.


marylynnBut George, I know when I’ve been light on money, it’s scary to think about a large hospital bill. Even a doctor’s bill of $300 – $500 can be a burden when you’re really strapped for cash.



georgeI understand that, Mary-Lynn. But I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. A couple we know has over $50,000 in the bank, yet they insist on having a deductible of $500. They could save a lot of money by being a little less risk averse.


Not shopping around. As we’ve said, this is a major expense. Like most major expenses, it’s worth your time to try to save some money. So get two, or even better three, quotes.

Make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples. The plans from two different insurance companies probably won’t be exactly alike.

Settling in. Shop carriers at least every other year. You may be surprised at how much you can save by switching plans.


georgeThis is something I learned the hard way. I liked my insurance company, but when I finally shopped coverage, I was astounded at how much I could save.



marylynnThis really boils down to personal preferences. It’s nice to only pay a small amount of money when you go to the doctor. But make sure you’re weighing that convenience against the actual cost.


The key question to ask yourself is, “How much risk can I afford?

The general rule, in a financial sense, is to assume risks that are small, frequent, and inexpensive. You cover large, infrequent and expensive costs.

But also consider the emotional costs. If it’s going to keep you up at night knowing that you’re bearing a larger share of the burden, then push more risk off on the insurance company.

Think about the impact on your finances and your personal preferences to help you make this bigg decision.


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Please join us next time when we talk about bright, shiny objects.

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


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Treating If-Only Syndrome

prescriptionWhat do you do when things don’t go your way? You may feel discouraged. The events of life may just sap your strength of spirit. You lose your mojo!

It’s hard to live your life on your own terms when you’re feeling down, but it’s only natural for us humans to have down days.



One cause of this is what we call If – Only Syndrome.

If only I had finished college.
If only I got a different degree.
If only I had taken that job.
If only I hadn’t quit that job.
If I had only done this instead of that, my life would be so different.
If only. If only. If only.

It’s easy to do. We start to beat ourselves up. We may even feel sorry for ourselves and mope a little.

As with many things, the right thing to do isn’t the easy thing to do.

Fighting these urges is hard.
Getting past the past is hard.
Lifting ourselves up is hard.
Fighting our natural urges is hard.

Focus matters

We get trapped on what might have been. What might have been doesn’t matter at all.

What does matter is what is and what can be.

You can be a bigg success. You can live your life on your own terms starting today.


georgeI struggled with this when I was younger. I dropped out of college. I went on to start three businesses. But every time things got a little rough, I would beat myself up for not getting a degree. I thought that if I just had that degree, I wouldn’t have these problems. But I was wrong!


The prescription for If – Only Syndrome comes in two parts. The first part of the cure is a healthy dose of …

So what?


marylynnTo continue with George’s example, say you didn’t get a college degree. So what? How many people have succeeded bigg without a college degree?


We don’t mean to diminish the importance of a good education. It does open up opportunities that may not be open otherwise. But it’s just one factor.

What about your experiences? They are irreplaceable.


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Now along with a healthy dose of “So what”, drink a little …

What can be?

Sticking with the college degree example, why don’t you get one now if it’s that important to you?


georgeThat’s what I did; I went back to school. It’s not a path I would recommend. It was hard! I still had my three businesses, but I did go back and get a degree. It’s interesting … I then went on to get an advanced degree because I didn’t think I would ever go back to school again. Had I gone the traditional path, I doubt I would have ever gotten that advanced degree.


What can be for you?

How can you make it happen? How will you find the time? How will you pay for it?

When you begin to focus on the actions necessary to move to where you want to be, you’ll feel energized. You’ll feel hope instead of discouragement.

What do you do when you feel discouraged?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at

Thanks for checking in on us today. It means so much to us!

Please join us next time as we discuss one of the largest mistakes many people make when it comes to building their brand.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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