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The Mommy Wars and Life On Your Own Terms

women and life on their own terms | BIGG SuccessA media frenzy occurred recently when Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen said on a news network that that Ann Romney, wife of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, never had to work to pay the bills and should not be her husband’s advisor on women and the economy.

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She was responding to a statement Mitt had made on the campaign trail about women telling Ann that economic issues are the ones they care about most. Rosen said: “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.” She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of women in this country are facing.”

After the backlash, Rosen apologized: “As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words were poorly chosen.”

Since BIGG Success is life on your own terms, we wanted to take on this subject and some of the arguments surrounding it.

Mitt is rich

It’s true that life on your own terms will have its limitations based on your circumstances. But what are you doing today to help you get to where you want to be? Maybe you can’t get exactly where you want, but how close can you get?

We don’t have complete control over what happens to us in life. A marriage falls apart. Your position at work is cut. Your health takes a turn for the worse. A career choice doesn’t pan out.

You can be angry at those who have what you don’t, but that’s not going to help you! What will help is to adapt and transform your vision.

She’s never had to work to pay the bills

We have chosen to work together here at BIGG Success. It is a partnership that helps us live life on our own terms. In both of our cases, our parents decided as a team that dad would work and mom would stay at home. That was life on their own terms. We know couples who have kids and both work. Like we’ve always said…if it works for you it works! And it takes work to make it work.

She can’t relate to working women

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Mary-Lynn FosterMy mom worked her tail off at home. Cooking, cleaning, being our “chauffeur”, taking care of the bills.

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George KruegerMom was the CFO and COO of the household…if not the CEO. Come to think of it, maybe my dad was just labor!

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Mary-Lynn FosterI chose to have a career outside of the home. But I could certainly still relate to my mom. I admire the sacrifices she made to live life on her own terms.

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Regardless of the decisions each of us make, there are commonalities that we all share.

Religious pressure and feminism

There are religions that encourage women to put family first. There were even societal pressures for a long time that did the same. Ultimately, a woman has to decide for herself what she wants.

The women’s movement of the 1960’s and 70’s sought and achieved equal rights and opportunities for women in their economic activities, in their personal lives, and in politics.

Women today can choose their direction in life. So why on earth would a woman insult and discount another woman for the choice she made? Doesn’t this contradict what the movement was all about?

The 2-g’s in BIGG stands for “goal-getters”. Goal-getters don’t let jealousy get the best of them. Goal-getters adapt when obstacles get in the way. Goal-getters surround themselves with people who can help them achieve their goals. Goal-getters don’t insult those who’ve walked a different path. Goal-getters learn from everyone’s experiences. Goal-getters are empowered by choice. Goal-getters don’t let anyone tell them what their terms should be. That’s BIGG Success.

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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

watchBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is growth, one of the five elements of bigg success.

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.

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Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!

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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are You Talking to the Right Person

talking.jpgWe each have a story about a wacky experience on the phone. Unfortunately for us, they’re true stories.

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marylynnI called Michael, our tech guy. I started talking about an issue with which we needed his help. Suddenly, the guy on the other end said, “Who is this?” I said, “It’s Mary-Lynn.” He said, “Oh, hey Mary-Lynn, how are things?” At that point, I didn’t know who was on the other end of the phone! It turns out I had called a different Michael, my old personal trainer.

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georgeI called my parent’s house. A woman answered the phone. I said, “Hey mom, it’s your son.” I asked how she was doing. She said, “Fine.” I asked if dad was there. She said, “Yes, I’ll get him.” A man came to the phone. I started to explain why I was calling. He said, “What are you talking about?” At that moment, I realized I was talking to a dad, but not my dad. Even worse – I had also talked to a mom, but not my mom in the same conversation!

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Consequential conversations

These conversations made us think about how important it is to talk to the right person. In our stories, there weren’t any repercussions. However, there are times when talking to the wrong person can have major consequences.

Nothing gets accomplished by talking to the wrong person. It’s a huge waste of time – for both you and the person to whom you’re talking.

If you’re talking to the wrong person, you may get misdirected. You could become discouraged. You might even lose your focus.

So we want to discuss three situations where it’s important to talk to the right person.

Are you talking to an expert?

A friend of ours says this best. If you want to make a million dollars a year, don’t talk to someone who’s making $999,999!

Don’t seek advice from someone who hasn’t achieved everything you’re trying to achieve. A lot of people like to give their opinions. They may be family or friends. We love them dearly, but they can’t help us if they haven’t done what we’re trying to do.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer. It just means you have to filter what they say.

Are you talking to the decision-maker?

This is particularly important when you’re trying to make a sale. By “sale”, we don’t just mean in the typical sense of the word. You may be trying to sell someone on giving you a loan. Can they make the decision? If not, find out who can and talk to them.

This also applies to buying. You may want to negotiate a better deal. Does the person you’re talking to have the authority to give you a better deal? If not, find someone who does.

Are you talking to the person who knows the person to whom you need to talk?

You may not know the person to whom you need to speak. Do you know a person who knows him or her? Do you know The Connector?

If there’s more than one person between you and the person with whom you want to have a conversation, it’s tough. It will probably be more productive to get a direct referral to the person who can help you reach bigg success!

Do you have a funny story of talking to the wrong person?

We sure hope we’re not alone!

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

We thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Next time, a member of our community shares what life on his own terms means to him. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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How to Form Better Opinions and Make Better Decisions

On the show, George recalled a college class where one of his professors debated, all by himself, if CEOs were overpaid for an hour-and-twenty minutes. George said, at the end of class, he had no idea where his professor stood on the issue, but he understood executive compensation better than he ever imagined.

There’s a relatively new concept called “integrative thinking”.   It was developed by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and author of the book The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking.

A lot of people form an opinion and then look for evidence that they’re right. Scientists do the opposite – they go into an experiment with a hypothesis and try to prove it wrong.

You know you fully understand the subject at hand when you can argue all sides of the issue equally well, like George’s professor did. You could be on the debate team and win the contest no matter which side you argued.

3 possible outcomes

#1 – You may stick with what you originally thought.
Only now it’s not an uninformed, or slightly formed, or narrowly formed, opinion. You can have full confidence in it.

#2 – You may decide that you had it wrong.

Upon investigation, you discover the best alternative is the other side. You’re truly a scientist at decision-making – you disproved your original hypothesis!

#3 – A third alternative
The most likely outcome is some combination of the other two. That’s the point of integrative thinking – finding the best option by building upon two diametrically opposed positions.

A simple example

Picture yourself out to dinner with a friend. Everything has been spectacular. Your server brings over the dessert tray. That internal debate begins – should you have dessert? The debate might go something like this:

Ooh, that looks delicious …. I want it.
Oh, I can’t have dessert tonight.

I really do have a sweet tooth tonight.
Man, that’s going right to my hips.

I haven’t treated myself for a long time.
It’s so bad for me.

I’ve been dieting & exercising, so it’s okay.
I’ll have to work out twice as hard tomorrow if I eat that.

I’m still a little hungry.
I don’t need to spend the money.

Hey, I wonder if my friend would like to split a dessert with me!

There it is … the third alternative! You started out on one side or another – you should have dessert … or … you should skip dessert. By fully thinking through the issue in this admittedly simple example, you arrived at an option that wasn’t considered when you started.

Usually the best decision is one we haven’t previously thought of because it builds upon our prior thoughts. And the result isn’t a compromise, it’s an improvement.

Our bigg quote today comes from Joseph Joubert:

“It is better to debate a question without settling
it than to settle a question without debating it.”

Debate it now so you won’t question your decision later.

Next time, we’ll discuss why anything we can do, you can do better! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Is It Lonely at the Top of Your Own Business?

By Bigg Success Staff
07-29-08

Bigg Success in Business

at_the_topIf you believe the statistics, an overwhelming majority of people dream of owning their own business. For many, it’s because they have a romantic view of working for themselves. Owning your own business means answering to no one. You’re the man (or woman)!

But that’s the problem for many … being THE one. It really can be very lonely at the top.

Staying on course may mean changing the course!

You’ll hear all kinds of opinions about your business and your plans. You have to develop an intestinal fortitude like never before. You need to have the courage of your convictions, to press on even when others tell you that you’re crazy.

At the same time, you have to learn when it’s time to change your strategy based on new evidence. To abandon what you thought was the right course for some new direction.

Many entrepreneurs succeed in a business they didn’t start!

They adapt. As they gain new market information, they respond to their customer’s needs and wind up in a completely different business.

But there’s another pitfall. Does the opportunity align with your passion? There’s a reason you started a business in the first place. If the required strategy takes you into an area in which you have no interest, you might be better off with a regular job.

Are you ready to go out on your own?

If this discussion dissuades you from going out on your own … good! It’s better to learn now than after you’ve invested time, money, and emotions in a new venture. Starting a business is tough for everyone, but it’s much harder on anyone who’s not fully committed to it.

On the other hand, if it excites you even more, you may be ready to start your own business. So it’s time to take the important first steps.

The first most important step is …

… get started. A lot of people TALK about starting their own firm, but that’s as far as it goes. Nothing will ever happen unless you get started. Even if getting started means doing more research, then get going!

The second most important step is …

… get a support network. This includes your professional advisors. However, you also need people who have lived what you are going through – fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches. They will help you when the load seems unbearable and keep pushing you when things are going well. 

The next most important step is …

… your next step! Every day in an entrepreneur’s life is a challenge with all the noise. You have to filter through it all to do what’s most important to move your business one more step ahead.

Focusing all your energy every day on what’s most important doesn’t guarantee success. However, it does make the odds a little bit better. 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Why are You Afraid to Consider the Other Side?

ByWynn Bigg
Bigg Success Contributor
04-24-08   

Wynn Bigg Today

wynn_bigg 

I was talking to one of my good friends the other day when she said something I found intriguing. She is very politically active, and she told me that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine.

She said she had grown tired of it because she didn’t agree with its point-of-view.

We’re pretty close, so I asked her a disturbing question …

“Why are you afraid to consider the other side?”

She looked stunned, but didn’t reply.

So I continued. I told her that if she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she would gain more confidence in her positions.

If that wasn’t the case, I could only conclude that she didn’t want to hear the other side because she was afraid she’d find out that she was wrong. So then I asked her another question …

“Which do you think is worse – admitting you’re wrong or living your whole life actually being wrong?”

Still no response from my friend. But she didn’t appear upset, so I kept going.

I said that, it seemed to me, it would be a tragedy to live your whole life fearing that you’re wrong. The best way to make sure you’re right is to continually test your opinions against all the information available.

I would rather discover I’m wrong and admit it. So I read everything I can, trying to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before I arrive at a conclusion. Even then, I continue testing that opinion with any new evidence I can find, pro and con.

That’s the best way I can think of to have confidence in my opinions.

Time to go now … my wife wants to know my opinion of her new outfit. Guess that’s an opinion I’ll keep to myself!

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Stop The Silliness

Stop The Silliness

By Wynn Bigg
Bigg Success Contributor
02-07-08

Wynn Bigg Today

pill_bottles

We recently received news that Heath Ledger died from an overdose of prescription drugs. What a shame – a young man who will never share all of his latent talent with the world.

There’s a new anti-drug campaign about young people taking prescription drugs. Its point is that they don’t need a drug dealer anymore – they have our medicine cabinets.

I say … Stop the silliness!

It’s time we lead by example.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He told me that he was taking a great new drug to keep his cholesterol in check. So he doesn’t have to worry about what he eats anymore. The drug would take care of it.

I say … Stop the silliness.

It’s time that we stop taking drugs so we don’t have to do what we should do.

Sure, some of these behaviors are hard to change. But in the challenge comes the victory! By developing the skills to get past ANY problem we face, we build our strength for EVERY problem we will face.

I’m not suggesting that we stop cold turkey. We shouldn’t go against the advice of our medical experts. We may need to be on a program while we develop a program of good behavior!

Because good behavior pays bigg benefits!

I saw a news piece not long ago about a recent sleep study. It turns out that getting the proper sleep can actually help you maintain a healthy weight.

Now don’t rush out to buy sleeping pills! They won’t help you get the right kind of sleep – the sleep that helps your body and mind recover from our vigorous days.

My point is this – perhaps if we “just said no”, our kids wouldn’t have so much trouble “just saying no”.

Now, don’t get me wrong … I believe each one of us has to take full and complete responsibility for all of our decisions. That’s true of us old farts … it also goes for you young whipper-snappers!

Two young men grow up with a father who’s an alcoholic. They see its effect on him and their family.

One son grows up to be an alcoholic. “How can I be expected to do anything else?” he asks.

The other son never touches a drink. “How can I, when I see what it did to my father,” he says.

So here’s my solution – for us and the generations to follow:

Solve the real problem you face … no matter what it takes!
Stop looking for the easy way out.
Stop the silliness!

We recently received news that Heath Ledger died from an overdose of prescription drugs. What a shame – a young man who will never share all of his latent talent with the world.

There’s a new anti-drug campaign about young people taking prescription drugs. Its point is that they don’t need a drug dealer anymore – they have our medicine cabinets.

I say … Stop the silliness!

It’s time we lead by example.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. He told me that he was taking a great new drug to keep his cholesterol in check. So he doesn’t have to worry about what he eats anymore. The drug would take care of it.

I say … Stop the silliness.

It’s time that we stop taking drugs so we don’t have to do what we should do.

Sure, some of these behaviors are hard to change. But in the challenge comes the victory! By developing the skills to get past ANY problem we face, we build our strength for EVERY problem we will face.

I’m not suggesting that we stop cold turkey. We shouldn’t go against the advice of our medical experts. We may need to be on a program while we develop a program of good behavior!

Because good behavior pays bigg benefits!

I saw a news piece not long ago about a recent sleep study. It turns out that getting the proper sleep can actually help you maintain a healthy weight.

Now don’t rush out to buy sleeping pills! They won’t help you get the right kind of sleep – the sleep that helps your body and mind recover from our vigorous days.

My point is this – perhaps if we “just said no”, our kids wouldn’t have so much trouble “just saying no”.

Now, don’t get me wrong … I believe each one of us has to take full and complete responsibility for all of our decisions. That’s true of us old farts … it also goes for you young whipper-snappers!

Two young men grow up with a father who’s an alcoholic. They see its effect on him and their family.

One son grows up to be an alcoholic. “How can I be expected to do anything else?” he asks.

The other son never touches a drink. “How can I, when I see what it did to my father,” he says.

So here’s my solution – for us and the generations to follow:

Solve the real problem you face … no matter what it takes!
Stop looking for the easy way out.
Stop the silliness!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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