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Mixing Work and Play

work-play.jpgFortune does a great job every year of compiling the 100 best places to work. They put out the list for 2009 a little while back. We found their top pick this year interesting.

NetApp, a data storage and management company, knocked Google out of the top spot for the first time in three years.

You can find a great video about NetApp on the Fortune site. NetApp invests time and money to create a culture where people want to work. The video shows people playing volleyball and working out in the company gym. It sure doesn’t look like work!

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They do more than encourage play time at work

NetApp has a program that pays employees to take time off to volunteer for something they’re passionate about. They’ve found that employees sometimes come together to work on a cause. So this program has helped build teamwork among their people.

You may be thinking …

“Well, this is great but it sure wouldn’t work in my business.”

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georgeI understand why someone might think that because it wouldn’t have worked in the businesses I was in before we started Bigg Success. Most of our people were in the field. We didn’t need a gym – the work was very physical so most of our employees got a great workout with their job. We were lucky to see most of our people for fifteen minutes a day. But the details of what NetApp does aren’t really important.

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marylynnYeah, it’s the idea behind what they’re doing at NetApp that we think is most interesting. Bigg success is life on your own terms. The leaders of the company are certainly doing that. They set out to build a great company by creating a great place to work. The founder says that they took a leap of faith and spent time and money to create this incredible environment for their employees.

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That’s three of the five elements of bigg success right there – growth, time and money! But they hit all five because they have found ways to let their employees play at work.

Now isn’t that an interesting idea? Work doesn’t have to be … work.

Something magical happens

In the interview, NetApp’s founder talks about energizing people. They think when people feel good – when they feel motivated – something magical happens.

That’s why we’re talking about them today. They are a great example of something that’s critical to living our lives on our own terms. It’s the bigg idea behind bigg success:

You create synergy between the five elements of bigg success by understanding the relationship between them and discovering ways to get them all working in sync.

Our lives are fuller when we’re able to do that.

We work to make money so we can afford to play. But what if you can work and play all at the same time. Isn’t that so much better?

What if you loved your work so much that it seemed like play? What if that work paid you enough to buy everything you really wanted?

NetApp took a leap of faith that’s paying off for them. Sure, they’re being affected by current economic conditions. But their market share has gone up in spite of it.

It can happen to you too. In your life. In your business.

Look for ways to blend the five elements for your benefit. That leads to bigg success!

Have you found ways to blend work and play?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for stopping by our site today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
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Bigg success is life on your own terms. Please join us next time as we discuss ramping up your savings one term at a time.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Related posts

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(Image in today's post by svilen001)

Profitable Passions – Part 1

career_renegade We are privileged to have a special guest on The Bigg Success Show today. Jonathan Fields is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and author of the recently released book Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

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marylynn
So Jonathan, you’re a renegade. That sounds so fun … so dangerous.

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jonathanWell you know I live my life all around danger. But the renegade side is just taking a different approach to how you earn a living. It’s almost like taking everything everybody says you can’t do and won’t succeed at and then somehow figuring out how to do it.

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The limitations of others

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georgeI think that’s a great point. It doesn’t matter if it works for anybody else. As long as it works for you, that’s all that matters.

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jonathanAbsolutely. And it’s funny … people think it’s age-dependent to a certain extent and I’ve had people who were 16 come to me and say, “Hey listen. I can’t get anybody to take me seriously because I’m 16 years old, but I have mad skills in the IT world.” And then I’ve had people come to me who are 55 and say, “I have this idea and nobody will take me seriously because I’m too old or I have too much on the line.” But the reality is that you make your own opportunities in life. When people say, “You can’t do that” what they’re really saying is, “I can’t do that. So who do you think you are to try?” You have to understand that and step outside that limitation. Realize that it’s their limitation and not yours. If there’s something you truly believe in, just do it.

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Becoming a renegade

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marylynnLet’s go back to your renegade story. You were a lawyer making good money and you decided to walk away to follow your passion. What motivated you to do it and how did you get past your fears and go for it?

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jonathanDepending on how you look at it, I had the good fortune or the bad fortune of having a bit of a health issue. I was actually not too deeply into my law career at the job and the career and the firm that everybody wants to be at making a great living. After working a three-week stint with very little sleep and very little downtime, my immune system essentially shut down. My body was, literally, physically rejecting my career. So I started making a list of things that I thought would be really cool to do, that I love to do, and that I could somehow figure out a way to make a living at.

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It’s not the hours

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marylynnDoesn’t being an entrepreneur take as much time? I hear a lot of people saying that they don’t want to be a business owner because of the time that it takes.

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jonathanAbsolutely. Being an entrepreneur takes as much time, if not more time. But it’s not so much the hours that you put in, as it is how you spend those hours, which determine your satisfaction with what you’re doing. I put in a lot of hours – between writing and running different businesses – but I have control over those hours. I’m a family person so there’s nothing more important to me than having time with my wife and my daughter. So I wrap those business hours around the time that I know I want to spend with my family. I make breakfast and lunch for my daughter. I hang out with her in the morning. I pick her up from school. And then I may work a little bit in the evening after everybody goes to bed. The flip side is that when I wake up, I can’t wait to work. I’m bummed when I can’t work because I love what I do so much. So when that’s how you define work, hours don’t really mean a whole lot anymore. The bigger challenge becomes balancing multiple passions so that you have enough time to intelligently honor whatever your commitments to those passions are.

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Is now the right time?

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georgeJonathan – it would seem like the objection a lot of people might have – there are times to start a business and there are times not to start a business. Like right now, is this a good time to be a renegade?

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jonathanThat’s a great question. In my mind, it’s a phenomenal time. Some of the biggest companies that are out there today were started during the last substantial recession. Within any time where there’s economic challenge, very often the people who are willing to take risks, when everybody else is awash in a sea of paralysis, are the people who end up being in a phenomenally better place once we emerge from whatever’s going on. They tend to be really well positioned to move forward aggressively. The challenge with what’s happening now is credit. A lot of people are saying, “Listen, I would be willing to take a risk.” Hundreds of thousands are out of a job. They’re saying, “I can’t go back to that job. If I had access to money, I actually might take the risk but I don’t.” But what’s really interesting is that there is a massive move to creating entrepreneurship online where you can swap work for money. It’s not so much that people don’t have the money anymore because you don’t need a whole lot. It’s that they don’t have the knowledge of what’s capable when you tap the online world. All you need for that is a broadband connection and a little bit of money to get going. You can literally transform a lot of knowledge that you have into monetizable businesses if you know how to do it.

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marylynnSo if your specialty is marketing, you can create your own brand online. Instead of just having your local clients, now you can have a shot at international clients.

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jonathanYeah. Being online opens up a worldwide market to you – whether it’s marketing or making kooky hats. There may be only 100 people in your town that would support a kooky hat store. But if you open up your market to online, maybe there’s thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands. You also don’t have to pay the rent for a storefront. You’re cutting a massive amount of your fixed overhead. I’ve been an entrepreneur, both online and in the brick-and-mortar world, so I understand the issues of overhead very well from both worlds.

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Learn more about Jonathan at his Career Renegade site.

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Thanks so much for stopping by our site today. Join us next time when we continue our discussion with Jonathan. He gives more great advice for all you career renegades who want to get a business going. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00319-012909.mp3

Related posts

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(Image in today's post by Career Renegade)

A Formula for the Blues

unhappy It’s Monday of the last full week of January. You know what that means? It’s Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, according to Dr Cliff Arnall, a Cardiff University psychologist.

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He devised a formula to find out when people are unhappiest. It’s based on many factors – the weather this time of the year in many parts of the developed world, Christmas bills coming in as we try to figure out how to pay them, our New Year’s resolutions starting to fall by the wayside, and more.

It’s been reported that fewer people went into debt this Christmas compared to prior years. So maybe it won’t be so bad this year. On the other hand, we get blasted daily with reports of layoffs, store closings and other bad news. Many people are feeling like they’re not in control of their own lives. So this may be a particularly blue Blue Monday.

Rock bottom up!

We can see the glass as half empty or half full. We could just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. Or we could look at it this way – if today really is the most depressing day of the year, then it can only be better for the rest of the year!

It reminds us of J.K. Rowling’s address to last year’s Harvard graduates. She said that, before her success with Harry Potter, she reached rock bottom. She found it very liberating because she knew she had nowhere to go but up.

Dreamin’ and schemin’

That’s what we call our formula for getting over the blues. It works for just about any situation that you’re unhappy about. So use this to get back on track with that New Year’s resolution, for financial problems, and just about anything else. Well, it won’t help with the weather!

Step 1: Allow yourself to mentally escape. For just a little bit, stop thinking about where you are. Instead think about where you want to be. Picture it as clearly as you can. Then write it down.

This has helped us innumerable times. By focusing on where we want to be for a short time, our motivation returns. We find we have new energy to return to the problem that got us down in the first place. Now we have the strength to return to the present and move to the next step.

Step 2: Schedule your steps. With your written description from your mental escape in Step 1 in front of you, think about your current situation. What will it take to get from where you are to where you want to be? Write down every step that you will need to take, focusing of course only on things you can control.

Step 3: Take the first step. This is really the most important step. Taking even the smallest step helps you lose that feeling of powerlessness. It gives you a reason to pat yourself on the back. It gets positive energy flowing to solve your problem instead of being frozen by it.

This is something that helps us get over the blues. What works for you?

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Oh, and if you’re feeling down today, hang in there. Dr. Arnall has also calculated the happiest day of the year. That happens in June!

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

Tomorrow, we’re inaugurating a new President here in the United States. He’ll swear that he will “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Join us next time when we ask, “Does your organization need a Constitution?”

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!  

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00311-011909.mp3

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One-Up Yourself for Bigg Success

one When the phrase “one-up” is used, it’s usually referring to the competition. We had an interesting discussion after working out recently.

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marylynnI was on the treadmill and noticed that I was running slower than others around me. I’m competitive but I just can’t sustain the higher speed that other people can.

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That led to today’s show topic … one-up yourself!

Think one percent better or one percent more. Self-improvement requires patience. A little bit of improvement over time makes a bigg difference.

1% a week leads to a 50% improvement

For example, let’s say you walk two miles in thirty minutes. If you can just do one percent more the next time out, you would walk 2.02 miles in thirty minutes or you might stick with the two miles and plan to do it in 29 minutes and 40 seconds. Either way, it’s a one percent improvement. If you do that every week, over the course of the year, you would have improved over fifty percent!

It’s easy to get discouraged if we don’t see results right away. We’re bigg goal-getters so we always shoot high. However, shooting too high is a recipe for de-motivation. Take baby steps rather than a leap that you can’t sustain!

There are five steps to one-up yourself:

Find the baseline. Measure where you are now so you compete only with yourself, not others. It doesn’t matter what that point is; it’s just important to know it because it’s your starting point.

Set your initial one-up goal. You may want to go faster or longer. Are you in a sprint or a marathon? Are you trying to improve quantity or quality?

Determine the time frame. Do you want to improve one percent every time, each week or some other period? Specify a time frame for your incremental improvement.

How will achieve it? What specific activity will get you that extra 1%? Let’s look at an example, using a savings goal:

Assume you have a base line, how much you’re saving now, of $500 a month. You want to save more money in the same time (each month). In other words, you want to go “faster.” So next month, you plan to save $505 next month.

Okay, so you want to save $5 more next month. How will you do it? You decide that you’ll pack your lunch one more day.

See how easy that was!

As you do it, analyze your results. If you hit your one-up goal, congratulate yourself. But then set your next one-up goal and go get it.

If you didn’t hit your goal, analyze why. Then try, try again. Don’t get down on yourself for missing your goal one time. You’ll one-up yourself next time!

One-up leads to bigg success

There are things in our lives that are sprints; others are marathons. Set your goals accordingly and one-up yourself for bigg success!

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We thank you so much for spending your time reading our post today. New research shows that there is a fountain of youth. Join us next time when we tell you where to find it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Who Gets Your Leftovers?

leftoversYesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. So today, many American families are eating leftovers.

That’s the motivation for our post. Only we’re not thinking about leftover food. We want to talk about YOU – your time, your attention, and your love.

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A time trap
This is an easy trap to fall into. See if you can relate to this:

You get up and get ready for work. You grab a cup of coffee for the road and get into your car to drive to the office. Finally, you get to work. Next thing you know, it’s time for lunch. You eat at your desk while you keep working. You look at the clock. Where did the day go? Time to go home. You rush out to your car and hit the road.

At home, you grab a quick dinner. Then you’re off for that committee meeting for your favorite charity where you volunteer. You drive home again and sit down at your computer to check your e-mail. You read that report for tomorrow’s meeting.

It’s late. You’re tired. Better get to bed.

Leftovers and scraps

You may have a different scenario, but is the net result the same? We unintentionally take for granted the people who are closest to us.

Our family often gets our final burst of energy, if we have any energy left at all. They get our leftovers.

But there’s yet another party that we haven’t considered. We may only have scraps left for this party. It’s …

You.

3 tips to give your best to the best in your life

Put it on your schedule
Treat family time like any other important activity – put it on your schedule. When you put it on your schedule, it becomes a priority. If it’s not on your schedule, it’s likely that it will get pushed aside to more urgent, but perhaps less important, activities.

Plan an activity
Now it’s on your schedule. But if you don’t have anything planned, it is easier to push it off to another date and time. So plan to do something, anything. Go to the movies. Play games. Attend a concert. Go to a museum. It doesn’t matter – if you have an activity planned, you’ll be less likely to let the day’s events get in the way of this important time together.

Make it a regular event
Now schedule a regular event every week. For example, a couple could schedule a “date night.” You and your spouse may decide that you’re going to go out on a date every Thursday evening. It may not always happen on Thursday. So “make it up” on Friday. By having it planned regularly, it’s more likely to happen sometime during the week.

We don’t intentionally neglect our loves ones or ourselves. The problem is that we don’t intentionally make time for them. The result ends up being the same.

Instead of giving our leftovers to the most important people in our lives, we should give them the main course by planning time with them just like we do everything else that’s important to us.

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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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We really appreciate that you stopped by today! Join us next time as we offer up a great reality check for your spending decisions. 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/00275-112808.mp3

Related posts

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(Image by Marshall Astor, CC 2.0)