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Reading and wRiting

Back-to-School on chalkboardIt’s Back-to-School and we’re doing a ten-part series on lifelong learning. We’re kicking it off with three shows on the 3 R’s – Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.

Last time, we talked about reading. Today we’re going to get into the second R – writing.

A note on note-taking

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The Lost Art of Making Change

change We don’t pay with cash too often, but one of our brother-in-laws does. A pet peeve of his is that people can’t (or don’t) make change properly anymore. You know, the way it used to be done. Starting with the amount of the sale and counting back the change up to the amount you gave them.



It seems like retail clerks either count out how much you have coming back or they just dump the change in your hand. Couldn’t they at least hand us the bills and the change separately? Or have one of those cool machines that spits out the change automatically?

So making change seems to be a lost art. Which made us wonder … what does that say about us?

That we can’t do math?

Because that really is what change-making, the old-fashioned way, requires of us. We depend on computers today, so we don’t have to do the math ourselves.


georgeMy first real at-risk business was a retail store. We’re going back over 20 years here. I hired a woman in her 50s as a clerk. She hated the new-fangled cash registers we had. But she was brilliant. She could figure out how much change the customer had coming back faster than the cash register!



marylynnI wonder what percentage of retail clerks could do that today. Here’s another example – have you ever given a clerk the dollars plus some change so you get an even amount back? And they get confused about why you’re giving them extra money!


Practice makes perfect

We found a fun game to practice your change making skills and we have a link to that site on our site today. You get to see the change accumulating in your little piggy bank every time you get an answer correct.

What counting back change properly says

We’re losing some of our skills while gaining others. That’s part of the evolutionary process, but we need to make sure we’re not losing something in the process.

As we talked about this, we realized that there is a very important reason to count back change the way it used to be done. It has far bigger implications than you might think.

But today, we suspect that many people don’t see the benefit of the custom and it’s a pretty important benefit. By counting back change properly, the customer is reassured that we’re giving them the correct amount of change back. It highlights our honesty and integrity.

So whether we use a computer or not, that’s the reason to do it – it builds trust.

That’s why we’re talking about this today. We have a zest for new technology and that’s good. We are on a quest to be more productive. That’s good. But we have to make sure that we’re not throwing out customs that build our relationships.

It’s one thing to lose a skill that can be done by a computer; it’s a totally different story if we stop doing something that enhances our relationship with people. So, here at Bigg Success, we’re reviewing our practices to make sure we aren’t neglecting actions that solidify our relationships with the people we depend on for our success.

Sometimes the old way of doing things is the right way to do them. Because we rarely distinguish ourselves by some bigg accomplishment. We set ourselves apart by things that seem insignificant. Bigg success often comes from little actions.


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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we continue on this thread but twist it in a different direction. We’ll talk about making change count. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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(Image in today's post by kraziness)

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Age Matters: Bridging The Generation Gap


Today’s show was inspired by an episode of the television show Monk, called Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy.  In case you’re not familiar, Monk is the “defective detective”. He has an amazing gift to see details that don’t fit, but those same traits lead to his idiosyncrasies.

During this episode, Monk and his team are at the murder scene of a young woman when they get called to another case – the gruesome murder of a young man. It’s believed that the two murders are unrelated.

However, there’s a serial killer on the loose who will kill again in 36 hours, according to the note he left on the young man’s body. The mayor immediately calls on the FBI. They send in a very high-tech unit staffed with young techno-savvy agents.

A tug-of-war ensues between Monk’s team and the young agents. They think Monk’s methods are outdated. Monk thinks they are missing something.  In the end, he puts the pieces together and realizes that the two murders are related.

So here are 5 lessons we can learn from Monk and the young agents.

#1 – Just because “we’ve always done it this way” doesn’t make it right.
For example, there’s a lead on the case. The young agents, using their technology, find the fastest way there. Monk and his team dismiss it because of all the red lights. The young agents, using their technology again, turn all the red lights green.

Lesson: Don’t resist change. If there’s a better way, don’t be stubborn – adopt it.

#2 – Just because it’s new doesn’t make it better.
The young agents could profile suspects with their technology. Unfortunately, that led them to a totally innocent person. Meanwhile, Monk solves the case with old-fashioned methods – getting inside the mind of the killer.

Lesson: Focus on getting the right result. Then find the most efficient way there, whether that’s old or new.

#3 – Speed is good but only if you already have direction.
See the bigg picture before you dive into the details. Then you’re ready to move fast!

#4 – Don’t view each other as competition.
The two sides felt that they had something to prove – that there way was better. Had they worked together, they could have solved the case faster. Appreciate the differences – your respective strengths and weaknesses. Focus on how you complement each other because there are lessons to be learned on both sides.

#5 – Age doesn’t matter when learning new ways, even if they’re old ways.
Some wisdom is timeless. There may be leading-edge ways to use that timeless wisdom. But remember this, they’re both valuable!

Speaking of technology, can you imagine trying to explain to Monk how to subscribe to our RSS feed?

It’s an easy way to quickly browse our daily show topics. Click on the link at the bottom of today’s blog to subscribe. There you go – technology made simple!

Our bigg quote comes from J.B. Priestly, who said:

“There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age – I missed it coming and going.”

You may be a young gun or you may be an old fart. Just don’t let the age difference keep you apart.

Or you can bridge the generation gap … and be young at fart!

Next time, we’ll discuss the seven step system to solve any problem. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by Jeff Kubina, CC 2.0)