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Treating If-Only Syndrome

prescriptionWhat do you do when things don’t go your way? You may feel discouraged. The events of life may just sap your strength of spirit. You lose your mojo!

It’s hard to live your life on your own terms when you’re feeling down, but it’s only natural for us humans to have down days.

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One cause of this is what we call If – Only Syndrome.

If only I had finished college.
If only I got a different degree.
If only I had taken that job.
If only I hadn’t quit that job.
If I had only done this instead of that, my life would be so different.
If only. If only. If only.

It’s easy to do. We start to beat ourselves up. We may even feel sorry for ourselves and mope a little.

As with many things, the right thing to do isn’t the easy thing to do.

Fighting these urges is hard.
Getting past the past is hard.
Lifting ourselves up is hard.
Fighting our natural urges is hard.

Focus matters

We get trapped on what might have been. What might have been doesn’t matter at all.

What does matter is what is and what can be.

You can be a bigg success. You can live your life on your own terms starting today.

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georgeI struggled with this when I was younger. I dropped out of college. I went on to start three businesses. But every time things got a little rough, I would beat myself up for not getting a degree. I thought that if I just had that degree, I wouldn’t have these problems. But I was wrong!

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The prescription for If – Only Syndrome comes in two parts. The first part of the cure is a healthy dose of …

So what?

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marylynnTo continue with George’s example, say you didn’t get a college degree. So what? How many people have succeeded bigg without a college degree?

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We don’t mean to diminish the importance of a good education. It does open up opportunities that may not be open otherwise. But it’s just one factor.

What about your experiences? They are irreplaceable.

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Now along with a healthy dose of “So what”, drink a little …

What can be?

Sticking with the college degree example, why don’t you get one now if it’s that important to you?

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georgeThat’s what I did; I went back to school. It’s not a path I would recommend. It was hard! I still had my three businesses, but I did go back and get a degree. It’s interesting … I then went on to get an advanced degree because I didn’t think I would ever go back to school again. Had I gone the traditional path, I doubt I would have ever gotten that advanced degree.

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What can be for you?

How can you make it happen? How will you find the time? How will you pay for it?

When you begin to focus on the actions necessary to move to where you want to be, you’ll feel energized. You’ll feel hope instead of discouragement.

What do you do when you feel discouraged?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks for checking in on us today. It means so much to us!

Please join us next time as we discuss one of the largest mistakes many people make when it comes to building their brand.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00363-040109.mp3

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10 Danger Signs for Business – Part 2

danger Last time, we discussed 5 of the 10 signs that your business may be heading for trouble. All involved looking at the structure of your top line, your sales. Now we want to move on to the next five signs.

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#6 – High employee turnover

When you lose employees, customers are affected – they deal with less experienced people who don’t know your business or the customer’s needs as well as long-time employees.

There’s a concept from Harvard Business School called The Service – Profit Chain. It says that employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction leads to revenue growth. And revenue growth leads to profit growth.

So the chain starts with employee satisfaction. High employee turnover is often a sign of unhappy employees. That is why this is such an important early warning sign. Plus the costs of training people so they’re fully productive are significant.

#7 – Costs rising faster than sales

Costs rise for a number of reasons. As your sales rise, so will your costs. If they don’t, why do you need that cost at all? So rising costs are expected. However, it’s a bad sign if costs are rising faster than sales. You have less and less profit on each dollar of sales.

#8 – Disproportionate purchases from one vendor.

Sign #5 was being too dependent on a single customer. We don’t want to be dependent on any vendor either. This applies not just at the enterprise level, but within product categories as well.

If you’re too dependent on any one vendor in any one category, your vendor may have too much leverage in your business. They can pass on cost increases to you that you may not be able to pass on to your customers.

So it’s important to diversify your vendor base or at least have a back-up plan for needed supplies. Maybe you still use your vendor, but you know who you would go to if need be.

#9 – Unwarranted increase in receivables

It’s great to make sales, but not if you don’t get paid! That’s worse than not making the sale at all because it costs you money to make a sale. Slow paying customers also create problems because you can’t pay your bills with receivables; you need cash!

This is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses right now. Their customers are paying slower, which means receivables are growing. Make sure you’re the squeaky wheel – you have to keep after them, make some noise, so you stay high on the list. Consider offering a discount for early payment or, even better, change your terms to cash-on-delivery if possible. And best of all, ask for prepayment. But that’s a whole other show!

If you can’t afford to offer a discount, make sure you’re charging a late fee and notifying your customers regularly of their balance due. Get on the phone and call them. See when they will pay and then follow-up if they don’t.

#10 – Unjustifiable inventory build-up

Depending on your business, inventory may be even less liquid than receivables. First, you have to sell it; then you have to collect on the sale.

Inventory that’s not turning over is dead-weight. So if your inventory is building up too fast, your business will likely experience a cash crunch at some point. Get slow moving inventory out the door, even if you have to give it away!

How does that help, you ask? Because space is costly for any business. And shelf space is an incredible asset for retailers. Having a product sitting there as dead weight costs any business a little bit; it costs retailers a lot!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we ask, “Do we need to take the social out of social media?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00349-031209.mp3

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Making Change Work

change2 Entrepreneurs see a problem and immediately start trying to find a solution. That’s why entrepreneurship has been defined as the science of change. And there’s a new concept starting to take hold – that we are all entrepreneurs. We must all be innovative in finding solutions for the problems that we each face.

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There is real value in seeing ourselves as entrepreneurs and in looking at change as an opportunity rather than something to be resisted. We should welcome change!

That’s a bigg step for a lot of people. But if we don’t change, it means we’re standing still. There’s an old saying that a rut is nothing more than a grave with both ends knocked out. We have to get out of our ruts; we have to change – either as a response to the change we see coming or by creating the change that we see needs to be made.

We’ve been talking about change in our last couple of shows. We started by talking about the lost art of making change. Last time, we talked about how saving our change can lead to bigg changes in our lives.  It occurred to us that we can think about change in our lives by thinking about change – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

A penny for your thoughts

The change process begins with a penny for your thoughts. It’s important to generate ideas about where you want to go. Then check the validity of your idea to see if it plays to your strengths. If it passes that test, look at the customers (or employer) you plan to serve as well as the competition already serving them to see if this is a good opportunity.

If I had a nickel for every time …

But the idea itself isn’t worth much. It’s the actions that follow the idea that make it valuable. So think about the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time I (fill in the blank).” We’re usually making a joke or lamenting something we’ve done too many times to count when we say this.

But there’s some bigg wisdom in this little saying. It’s the key to moving the idea from inside your head to something tangible. It’s about inputs. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your actions.

So if you think about the actions necessary to bring your idea to fruition and then mentally think that you’re getting a nickel every time you act, you begin to see that your inputs create the output you want. The more you perform, the more you eventually get back.

A dime a dozen

As you come up with your ideas and begin to implement them, stand out. You don’t want to be a dime a dozen. You need to be unique. If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you can’t expect to be seen as outstanding. Find your niche. Entrepreneurs do it. So must we.

Two bits

One bit isn’t good enough. Have a back-up plan. If your tactics don’t work, what will you do next? This is the advantage of action. You learn. Notice that we didn’t say you fail. But you may not succeed bigg at first. You must adapt. Think about how you will need to adapt before you have to.

So there it is … the change process. Making change work leads to bigg success. 

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Thanks for taking time out of your day to read our post today. Please join us next time when we talk about the seven P’s of business success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00343-030409.mp3

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Are You a Shopoholic?

shopping_mall There is a group that is suffering more than most during these tough economic times. Unfortunately, their agony is not covered much in the major media. They are all around us. Yet we seldom see the turmoil that they are experiencing. They have chosen to largely endure it on their own, not talking about it to anyone.

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Who are we talking about?

Shopoholics!

This economy has really made an impact on this group of people. There are a lot of people who claim to be shopoholics. But most people who call themselves shopoholics probably don’t really have a problem that borders on an obsession.

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georgeOne of my sisters can shop all day long and never buy anything. She just seems to love being in a shopping arena … she’s a gladiator among shoppers!

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marylynnBoy, I’m not one of those people. I like to get in and out. I have an aunt who likes to do all-day shopping ventures. It gives me a headache and makes me dizzy.

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Problems experienced by compulsive buyers

We’ve taken a light-hearted approach so far, but this problem is more serious than we realize. A recent study, conducted jointly by researchers at the University of Richmond and the University of Illinois, found that true shopoholics comprise a larger percentage of the population than is generally assumed.

About nine percent of the participants were found to be “compulsive buyers” according to this study. True shopoholics feel better when they buy things, tend to hide purchases, have more family arguments, and are more likely to have maxed out their credit cards.

Test yourself

Perhaps the most interesting item to come out of this research is the test they used to determine if someone is a shopoholic. The researchers asked participants to rate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with these six statements.

They used a 7-point scale, which we haven’t seen but can imagine it looked something like this:

1 = Strongly disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Somewhat disagree
4 = Neutral
5 = Somewhat agree
6 = Agree
7 = Strongly agree

See how you do:

  • My closet has unopened shopping bags in it.

  • Others might consider me a "shopaholic."

  • Much of my life centers around buying things.

  • I buy things I don’t need.

  • I buy things I did not plan to buy.

  • I consider myself an impulse purchaser.

Participants who scored 25 or more were considered compulsive buyers by the researchers. If your score places you in this group, you’re at the first step to overcoming it – you’re aware it is a problem. The next step is to get professional help.

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How ironic

This economy is really crimping the style of “casual” shoppers – people who really like to shop and spend money, but who aren’t really compulsive buyers.

And isn’t it ironic that many of us are being forced to cut back when everything seems to be on sale? From cars to electronics to travel, now is a great time to shop if you have the money.

But of course, that’s the reason these deals exist. People are saving their money at a higher rate now instead of spending it. We’ve learned some valuable lessons in the last few months.

Conspicuous consumption is out; frugality is in. So are we going to hear about “save-a-holics” in the coming years? That remains to be seen.

Well, we better wrap it up for now … it’s time to go shopping!

Thanks for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00331-021609.mp3

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Blame, Blame Go Away

never_give_up Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, recently showed his sense of humor before a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. He said that one of his predecessors gave him three envelopes when he took the office. He was to open the first when things got bad, the second when the situation got even worse, and the third if they ever got critical.

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So a while back, he opened the first one. It said, “Blame your predecessor.” Obviously Tony Blair wasn’t the person who gave him these envelopes!

Before long, the situation worsened. So he opened the second envelope. It said, “Blame the statistics.”

Recently, as things continued to get worse, he finally succumbed and opened the third one. It said, “Start writing three envelopes to your successor.”

Fortunately, he was joking. But it raises a serious point – the way in which a lot of people respond in crisis. First, fix the blame. If that doesn’t work, run!

Bigg winners respond differently.

Bigg winners say blame, blame go away. They focus on fixing the problem, not the blame. So much energy is spent trying to find out who’s responsible. Leaders focus on what the problem is. Fix that. Then worry about who should be held accountable.

Also, when faced with a serious problem, bigg winners don’t worry about what happened yesterday. We get so focused on who did what to whom. Today is what matters. What are you doing today … right now … to find a solution to your problem? That solution lies in the present, not the past.

But finding a solution is just the beginning. Don’t stop there. You have to act to make your solution work – the sooner the better. But be prepared … you may not have found the right solution yet. That’s okay. Test your solution. See what happens. If it doesn’t work, test another one.

Which brings us to perhaps the most important thing bigg winners do when faced with a problem – they don’t ever give up. As long as you’re still trying, you’re not a failure. Press on! See that wall that lies before you? Climb over it, dig under it, go around it, or plow right through it!

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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 took time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with us. Join us next time when we discuss how to be a career renegade. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00318-012809.mp3

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