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Does Haste Still Make Waste?

speed Do you remember this old saying, “Haste makes waste?” It certainly rolls off the tongue. But we wonder – is it still true?

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We hear all the time that we have to move fast today to gain, and maintain, a competitive advantage. So it may seem that the old saying has become outdated.

But if we move too fast, we risk making more mistakes. Now this age-old saying may not be talking about high-level mistakes, but we wondered if it could be applied in that realm. We may squander precious resources if we don’t make the right moves in the right sequence.

Speed without direction gets us nowhere fast.

It doesn’t do us any good to go fast if we don’t know where we’re trying to go. Yet we often make this mistake. In our haste, we skip a step. Instead of “Ready, Aim, Fire”, we truncate it to “Ready, Fire.”

The result? We’re in perpetual motion, but the actions we take don’t move us toward the life we want to live. We waste a lot of time but see little advancement. We get tired, frustrated, and discouraged because we feel like we’re working our butts off but still not getting anywhere.

Direction without speed is no better.

Once we’ve decided where we want to go, we do need to move fast. Because we often miss a step here too. “Ready, Aim, Aim, Aim, Aim …” doesn’t work either.

We fail to take the first step because we get scared. So we don’t get anywhere. We allow our fears to paralyze us. Then someone gets where we need to be first and we miss our bigg opportunity.

Get where you want to be when you want to be there.

Speed and direction. We often have one without the other. But to succeed bigg, we need them both congruently.

  • Speed to direction.
    We need to move quickly to determine where we want to go. While we don’t need to move as fast here as we do once our destination is determined, it’s still important not to lollygag. We only have one life to live. So we want to discover where we want to take it as quickly as possible.

  • Direction with speed.
    Once we’ve done that, we want to get there as fast as we can. GO! FAST! Now is the time to move quickly and this is where the competitive advantage comes in.

Because as we move toward our destination, we learn about the environment we’re operating in. There may be a detour we have to take. There may be road construction we can avoid. By moving quickly, we spot these things before others so we’re able to stay ahead of them.

So speed to direction with speed for bigg success in your life! 

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Thanks so much for checking in on us today. Join us next time when we discuss the art of delivering value. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00337-022409.mp3

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You Can Avoid the Mistakes that Brought this Business Down

quote There’s a great post by Roger Ehrenberg on his Information Arbitrage site. Roger was an investor, board member and leader in Monitor110, a company that planned to become the internet version of Bloomberg. The team had impressive credentials, but ultimately the business didn’t make it.

Roger spells out the reasons why. We admire him for sharing these lessons because most of us don’t like to talk about our failures. These are mistakes that any of us could make, so he provides a great opportunity to learn from others. But even more than that, it’s the way he wrote about it that impressed us – he doesn’t cast blame; he just discusses the lessons he learned in the hopes that we may benefit. And we did!

That’s why we highly recommend that you read the whole post. We’ll hit his highlights here.
 

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7 mistakes that led to the demise of this business

#1 – No single leader
Monitor110 had two leaders – a technology person who was one of the founders and Roger, who was a business person. Roger said this structure just didn’t work.

This reminded us of the number of times we’ve seen two people start a business. It’s pretty common to split everything 50/50. But it’s a recipe for disaster. In almost all cases, there has to be someone who has the final say for a business to succeed.

#2 – The technology-side drove the business
This made us think of the number of entrepreneurs who start a business in their craft. They’re technically oriented. They love their product or service, but they ignore what the customer wants and needs.

#3 – Too much PR too early
Roger’s company was featured on the cover of the Financial Times. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, would you? But Roger says this raised the bar with everyone – customers, themselves, and financiers … which led to the next problem.

#4 – Too much money
Too much PR. Which led to too much money. Sounds like a company that’s been blessed. But Roger says the blessing turned into a curse.

  • Because of the great PR, expectations went up significantly.
  • Within the financial community, so money flowed in
  • With their customers
  • And most importantly – with the people of Monitor110.

With all these high expectations, they didn’t push a product to market because it needed to be just right. And that didn’t matter because they had a cushion of cash.

#5 – Not enough customer feedback

By now, you see how all of these mistakes were interrelated. Because of the great publicity, they were afraid to show the customers what they had. They didn’t want to disappoint them and be disappointed. But it wasn’t a problem at the time because they had plenty of money. One mistake was feeding another which was feeding yet another.

#6 – Slow to adapt to the market
On a post not long ago, we talked about a military concept called OODA loops. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. The idea behind the concept is that by getting into the loop, you gain information. Then, by adapting to what you’ve learned, you gain a competitive advantage.

#7 – Disagreements about strategy
This stemmed from the technology side and the business side not being able to come to terms. It’s also an outflow of Mistake #1 – without a single leader, it’s hard to have a clear vision.

Just get started!

All of this made us think of the saying, “You don’t have to get it perfect; you just have to get it going. That’s one of the things that we did with Bigg Success. We talked to a lot of people who had all kinds of great ideas. Some diametrically opposed to each other! We could have easily just got caught in the quagmire.

Ultimately, we just launched. It wasn’t perfect – we knew that. We’ve learned a lot. There are things we would do differently if we had it all to do over again. But by launching, we were able to learn from the most important people of all – our community. We learned from you.

We’re happy to let you know that you’ll be seeing some bigg additions in the near future. So keep checking in and let us know what you think! We’re listening!

 

 

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Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better!

In Annie Get Your Gun, Annie Oakley and Frank Butler show their competitive sides as they sing the now well-known song Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.

With all due respect to Irving Berlin, the great writer of this song, we’re putting our own twist on it … anything I can do, you can do better!

A blooming mistake
Jim McCann was a social worker. He got a part-time job in a flower shop to make ends meet. A few years later, he started his own flower business. He made some money, but not that much. So he opened another shop. And then another.

Over ten years, he ended up with fourteen flower shops. One morning, he was listening to the radio as he got ready for work. He had a fresh idea – a nationwide flower service.

He found a bankrupt company which had stopped doing business several years earlier. Its only asset was a toll-free phone number – 1-800-FLOWERS. Now this was before the internet when ordering via telephone was huge.

He really wanted this phone number. So he agreed to buy the company and assume the debt. He figured their liabilities had to be pretty insignificant, since they hadn’t done any business for years.

After buying the company, he found out how wrong he was. It turned out they were $7 million in debt. His friends advised him to declare bankruptcy, but he pressed on. It took about five years to pay off the debt, but he did. And last year his little business sold over $750 million of flowers!

Learn from Your (and Our) Mistakes
So Jim McCann learned a valuable lesson about due diligence. But anyone who wants to buy a business can learn this lesson without having to go through a similar experience.

You can do anything better than me by learning from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them yourself. Learning from your mistakes is good; learning from mine is better. You’ll succeed faster!

Shared Success
With information so prevalent today, there’s another way our title applies. In many cases, it doesn’t make sense to hoard information, you’re better off sharing it.

The final step of mastering any craft is the desire and ability to mentor others. And an interesting thing happens as you do that … the people you’re mentoring may, at some point, start doing better than you.

Then the teacher begins to learn from the student. So the teacher performs better. And the student learns and performs better.

Anything we can do, we can do better! You both help each other grow.  

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Our bigg quote today is by the great Will Rogers, who said,

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading,
and the other by association with smarter people.”

It’s the smart thing to do!

Next time, we’ll discuss how to have the discipline to invest even if you don’t have the discipline to invest. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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Find Your Fortune Through Promiscuity

Don’t be alarmed – we just thought it was a catchy title. Nothing explicit here!

A lot of very successful entrepreneurs have multiple businesses. So today, we’ll look at starting the “other” business!

Benefits of the other business

#1 – Your Compensation
You have one business now. So you can draw one salary. When you have two businesses, you get two salaries!

Your current business pays for your company car. Why not have two businesses so you can have two cars? And two expense accounts. Two planes! You get the idea!

There may be better ways to do this, but that’s beyond the scope of today’s blog.

# 2 — Diversification
Basic financial theory says you should diversify – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!

If you have one business, you’re completely subject to the ups and downs of that one business. With two businesses, one may pull the other one up during times of adversity and vice versa.

#3 – Your Wealth
Entrepreneurs have most of their wealth tied up in a single asset, but they typically have more wealth than the average homeowner. So owning a business is a great way to build wealth. Why not double the pleasure and own two?

One reason not to do it
Obviously, there are many reasons NOT to do this, but space doesn’t allow a full discussion. Let’s look at one – how to maximize your opportunity while minimizing your complications.

Ask yourself this question – how much can you grow your existing business? If it’s still significant, stick with what you have. Growth consumes money, so keep it in your existing business to maximize that opportunity.

Why take on the complication of the other business if what you have now is satisfying you?

Borrow a page from bigg business – feed what’s growing. It’s evolutionary. But as its growth winds down, get revolutionary – find the other business!

How to know you’re ready
Let’s assume that you’ve taken your business as far as you can. It’s still a good business, but it’s hit a plateau. There are two sides to knowing if it’s time for you to move on:

  • Your head – Is your baby ready for you to leave?
  • Your heart – Are you ready to leave your baby?

Here’s a great technique to listen to your head and your heart – take an extended vacation!

For you workaholics, this may require baby steps. If you haven’t been on a vacation for awhile, take an extended weekend. Then get away for a week. After that, make it two. Work yourself up to at least a month away.

You’ll find out if you’re emotionally ready to leave. You’ll also learn how your business functions without you. Who calls? Why? What are the problems?

If no one calls, you’re probably ready to go for it. The worst case scenario is that you’ll come back with the knowledge you need to get ready.

If you’re interested in pursuing a second business, get our FREE special report, Don’t Make These Mistakes When You Start Your Second Business.

You’ll learn important lessons that often trip up second-time entrepreneurs, even those who have succeeded wildly the first time out.

Just e-mail us: bigginfo@biggsuccess.com
Type “2nd business report” in the subject line.

Our bigg quote today is by Michael Gerber, the great author and entrepreneurial guru.

“The entrepreneur is our visionary, the creator in each of us. We're born with that quality and it defines our lives as we respond to what we see, hear, feel, and experience. It is developed, nurtured, and given space to flourish or is squelched, thwarted, without air or stimulation, and dies.”

So if you’re getting the itch, it may be time to pursue the “other” business.

Next time, we’ll discuss why women can’t win. Things could get heated on the show! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Don't Make This Costly Mistake

Which is better – a $100 decrease in costs or $100 increase in income?

It’s always good to increase our income, but more people get in trouble on the cost side. This applies to your business as well as your personal finances.

Your business
Assume that you own a retail store. Every product in your store sells for $100 and costs $40. So you keep $60 every time you sell a product.

Now let’s say you’re able to cut your expenses by $100. You get to keep all of it!

So, which is better? Cutting expenses by $100! That yields $40 more!

Now, you may ask, how do you do that? Here’s something we have learned …

As you get busy running your business, it’s easy for costs to creep in that aren’t increasing sales like you thought they would. Get rid of these costs!

One of the biggest complaints bankers have about small business people is that they are too focused on their top line (sales) and they don’t spend enough time thinking about the bottom line (profit).

In the long run, your profit can only grow as fast as your sales. But in the near-term, your bottom line will grow much faster if you keep a close eye on costs.

Your personal finances
This is the same story, but for a different reason. It’s all about taxes.

Let’s assume that you will pay 30 percent on your next $100 of income. So, if you make $100 more, you get to keep $70 after taxes.

But if you can spend $100 less, you’re $100 ahead because you’ve already paid the taxes on that money!

Let’s say you get a $5,000 a year pay raise. You decide to celebrate by buying a new house … you upgrade! Your mortgage payment is now $4,800 a year higher than it was before. But hey, you have $5,000 more income, so you’re still $200 ahead, right?

That’s BEFORE TAXES.

Once we factor in 30 percent for taxes ($1,500), you’re $1,300 behind!

And the bad news has just started. This new, bigger, more expensive house probably has higher property taxes; it costs more to insure; it requires more repairs and maintenance.

Before you know it, you’re $5,000 in the whole!

What should you do with the raise?

Once again, your specific situation will determine what you should do. Consider giving yourself a SMALL reward – you’ve earned it! Then, if you have any debt – particularly credit card debt – pay that off because your return will exceed almost any investment. And it’s a guaranteed return!

Once you have that debt paid off, the money becomes yours! Now you can invest it in things that will jump start your passive income.

The bottom line is this – you have complete control over your expenses. You have to convince someone to say “yes” to make a sale or get a raise. It’s much easier to control your costs!

Where have you cut costs in your biz or personal life?
Share your tips with us!

You’ve probably heard our bigg quote today, but it was so fitting that we used it anyway. Here’s Ben Franklin –  

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

And we bet that, if ole’ Ben Franklin was around today, he’d think about the taxes he was paying and modify his quote to – A penny saved is BETTER than a penny earned!

Next time, we’ll continue the money talk, but with a twist. Comedic writer Jake Novak joins us to share his “Top 5 Signs You're Managing Your Money Like Wall Street.” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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