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When Your Dream Becomes a Nightmare

turmoilWe hear a lot about developing contingency plans in case reality doesn’t live up to our expectations. But we don't often don't think about having a plan in place in case we succeed beyond our wildest dreams!

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It sounds funny to think about it that way, but your bigg dream can turn into a nightmare in both cases – coming up short or succeeding wildly.

Talent in triumph

We’ve recently seen an example of this with Susan Boyle. She walked out onto the stage of "Britain's Got Talent" as a middle-aged Scottish woman who said that she had never been kissed.

She had lived a very simple life, took care of her mother and sang at her local church. She dreamed of having a career in music for 23 years, even putting together a demo with no success.

Then she took a chance and auditioned for the popular TV Show. It was her bigg opportunity and she nailed it. Her life changed from the moment she began to sing "I dreamed a dream."

The whole world loved Susan!

Talent in turmoil

She became an international singing sensation overnight, going from obscurity to sudden celebrity. She couldn’t anonymously walk over to her local church any longer without a swarm of paparazzi tailing her.

No more quiet at home. Her phone rang off the hook. Everyone – from news outlets to fans – wanted to talk with Susan now.

It took a tremendous toll on her emotional state. Although she smiled for the cameras most of the time, she had a couple of incidents that made her appear unstable.

She was overwhelmed and exhausted by being thrust into the spotlight. In a recent interview on Today, Susan said, “[The] impact was like a demolition ball."

Before long, she started skipping scheduled appearances after her run on the show ended. People questioned her health. They wondered if she had what it took to be a star.

Her bigg dream had turned into a nightmare.

Crossing the line

There’s a dividing line when bigg success is at our fingertips. Will we accept it and move over to the new life of which we dreamed? Will we navigate the road less traveled and keep moving on to bigg success?

Or will we be afraid to cross into the unknown? Will we allow self doubt to hold us back? Will we tell ourselves we don't deserve this bigg success?

You have to plan for bigg success so you’re mentally prepared when you reach this point. How do you prepare?

Visualize it.

By picturing it clearly, you’ll be ready for bigg success when you reach it. You’ll also be more likely to get there! Use all your senses to experience it as if it had already happened.

Build a support network.

Surround yourself with people who care about you and believe in you. Associate with people at the level you’re trying to reach. Let them guide you on your way to your bigg dream and reach out a hand once you've made it.

That's what Susan Boyle finally did. As she said on Today, "I've got to be honest here. I guess I had to get my head around it, but through the guidance of a great team — and they are very good — I was able to see that in perspective and really turn that around.”

Bigg goal-getters work hard every day to achieve their bigg dreams. Make sure you also spend some time planning for that moment when you step into the limelight and shine. That's preparing for bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Next time we’ll discuss what a karaoke party has in common with social media. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You a Victim of Your Own Success?

(Image in today's post by xymonau)

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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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!

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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)

Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover

clover Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody! We hope you’re having a good one. We have to celebrate today with song!

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marylynn
Does that mean you’re going to sing, George?

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georgeI hope not. We want our audience to keep listening. I only put you through that torture, Mary-Lynn.

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We do like music here at Bigg Success as you may have noticed by all the songs and bands we talk about.

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marylynn
I’m more of a melody person and George is the lyrics guy.

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With it being St. Patrick’s Day, we started thinking about the song, I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover. What a happy little jingle, written all the way back in 1927 but, ironically, overlooked until Art Mooney popularized it in 1948.

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georgeThe song opens, “I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before.” And in the lyrics … see I am a lyrics guy … are three great lessons.

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Sunshine + Rain = Roses

The second part of the song goes, “One leaf is sunshine, the second is rain, Third is the roses that grow in the lane.”

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marylynnThis is the first lesson we see in this wonderful song and it seems particularly appropriate right now as we face tough times. Sometimes the sun shines. I just love sunny days. The sun represents the good times.

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Up until about a year or so ago, we were living in pretty good times, economically. We often aren’t thankful enough when we’re in the middle of them.

Then it rains. And we’re in the middle of a storm right now. But the thing is – if the sun was always shining, if it never rained – would we really appreciate the sunshine?

It’s the change of weather that makes weather more interesting. It’s the change in circumstances that makes life more interesting. And boy, are they interesting right now or what!

This part of the song wraps up talking about the roses that grow in the lane. And here’s where the lesson comes in. Without the sunshine and the rain, those roses wouldn’t grow. Without the rain, those roses wouldn’t bloom into their full beauty.

So it is with us. It takes sunshine and rain, good times and bad, for us to reach our full potential. Because in the down times, when the challenges may be the greatest, we gain wisdom, strength, and skills that we would never have otherwise. And those things carry us to greater heights than we could have ever imagined when the good times come. 

The fourth leaf

The song continues, “No need explaining, the one remaining is somebody I adore.” St. Patrick’s Day is all about luck. The fourth leaf of a four-leaf clover is often associated with luck. And how lucky we are if we have someone to adore! That’s the second lesson from this song.

Isn’t it interesting that the song doesn’t talk about having somebody who adores us? It’s showing us that to give our love, our adoration, is so very important. Because we can’t really love someone else fully unless we love ourselves enough to have some love to give, some extra capacity. Then we can experience the joy of giving love.

Let’s not overlook the third lesson

Believe it or not, that’s the whole song … it’s like the whole song is a chorus.

So you may be saying, “Wait a minute. They said there were three lessons in this song and so far they’ve only talked about two of them.”

Good catch. The third lesson is in the first part of the song. “I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before.”

Since we view four-leaf clovers as a sign of good luck to come, we wonder …

How often do we overlook the good luck that is right in front of our faces?

We have wonderful people in our lives. We have the basic necessities we need. We have so much and we often fail to stop and be thankful for it. Yes, today is a day to realize how lucky we are. Our stocks and the value of our houses may be down. But we shouldn’t overlook how fortunate we are.

We feel fortunate that you spent time with us today. Thank you so much. 

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If we don’t have enough of this one thing, we’ll fail. If we have too much of it, we’ll fail. Join us next time to find out what this one thing is … and exactly how much you need of it to succeed bigg. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00352-031709.mp3

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(Image in today's post by woodsy)

6 Great Ways to Keep a Conversation Going

conversationWhen you meet someone for the first time, the hardest part is usually just getting the conversation started. But sometimes it’s also hard to keep it going.

We did some research and found a lot of articles on the internet about starting a conversation, but few about keeping it going. We also found that many suggestions for conversation starters would probably be better conversation “continuers”.

So we thought we’d focus on that part of the conversation today. 

With some people, it’s tough to keep the conversation going. They may be extremely shy or you might just not “click” with them. In those cases, you may just have to resign yourself that it’s not going to happen and move on.

6 ways to keep the conversation going

One simple way to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. Don’t get too personal. Keep it light-hearted. Also, don’t fire them off so rapidly that the other person starts to feel like they’re being interrogated. We use this one a lot, particularly early in a conversation. But here are six of our favorites ways to keep it going:

#1 – “What’s the best book you’ve read recently?”
Variations could be best movie, TV show, or music they’ve heard.

#2 – Offer up some interesting trivia.
Just don’t go Cliff Claven on them! If you’ve heard something that intrigued you, and it’s germane to the conversation, share it!

For example, we heard not long ago that 80% of all men said they would marry the same woman all over again. However, only 50% of all women said they would marry the same man. Can you see an interesting conversation coming out of that tidbit?

#3 – “If you could trade places with one celebrity, who would it be?”

Variations could be favorite actor, or you could limit it to favorite living actor, etc.

#4 – “If you could do college all over again, what would you get your degree in?”

This question also has many interesting variations. For example, you could ask them what’s the one class they would like to take now.

#5 – “What are you working on that’s fun?”

We heard this one from our friend Chris Brogan. It makes “What do you do?” seem boring, doesn’t it. We loved this question the first time we heard it.

#6 – Create a game.

We like to come up with a word of the night or phrase of the day. It’s an interesting word that naturally came up in the conversation. Ideally, it’s a word or phrase with a double meaning of some sort. Then see how many times it can be worked into the discussion.

What’s your favorite way to keep a conversation going?

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Famous People Who Succeeded by Not Listening

image of an ear There’s a great page on the Emory University site called They Did Not Give Up. It shows things that were said to, or situations that were faced by, a number of famous people.

Some examples

Read more