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The Hero Within the Hero

reflection Today we wrap up our 3-part series on heroes. We started by discussing what makes a hero a hero. Last time, we looked at the heroes behind us, where we played off the Bette Midler song “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Well … the only way we could get that song out of our heads was to talk about another one. So today we’re going to look at Mariah Carey’s Hero.

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We love lyrics and Mariah Carey certainly has strung together some powerful words in this song. It’s particularly appropriate in the tough times we face right now.

We’ve all heard the song, but you may not have really thought about the words. So here we go …

Who are you?

It starts off …

“There's a hero if you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid of what you are”

We may feel a fear that if we show people our true selves they won’t like us. They won’t accept us. We might be embarrassed because we won’t succeed.

It’s ironic … in many cases, it’s this fear that keeps us from succeeding. Because each of us has something very unique to offer the world. It’s born in us. It’s our duty to develop it. To show the world our authentic selves.

The promise

The verse continues …

“There's an answer if you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know will melt away”

We just love this. There’s a promise if we reach within ourselves. We can do it. You can do it! Makes you think of an Adam Sandler movie, doesn’t it? We won’t go there!

You can find the answer to whatever problem you are facing. You and you alone have the solution.

Love begins with you

Then we come to the 2nd verse…

“It's a long road when you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
You can find love if you search within yourself
and the emptiness you felt will disappear”

We’ve talked about this before. It is impossible to truly love other people if you don’t love yourself. Love begins inside each of us. If we can’t see the beauty within us, we’ll never experience the beauty around us.

Finding the way

Now we come to the final verse …

“Lord knows dreams are hard to follow but don't let anyone tear them away
Hold on, there will be tomorrow, in time you'll find the way”

We have to stay true to our dreams even when they’re tested. We have to hold on. Martin Luther King had a dream. We’ve recently witnessed what happened!

We have to keep searching for the answer. But we know we will find it and we will achieve our dreams.

It starts with an attitude

Because when all of this is going on, when your problems seem insurmountable, when the world around you is nothing like the world you envisioned … 

“… then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside and you know you can survive”

It all starts with an attitude. You have to look within yourself – deep within yourself – with the confidence that you will find the answer. You know you’ll come back strong. You know you will survive.

Cue Gloria Gaynor? No, we’ll pass on that!

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A final thought

In a world that is looking for heroes, in a time when people are fearful and pessimistic, what should our response be?

“… when you feel like hope is gone look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth – that a hero lies in you”

We’re so grateful that you read our post today. Join us next time when we look at what to do if your employer stops matching your 401(k) contributions. Until then, here’s to your bigg success! 

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00315-012209.mp3

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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!  

 

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

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Are You Solving the Problem or Treating the Symptom?

diagnosis Picture yourself sitting in your doctor’s office. You feel terrible – so terrible that you finally went to get your doctor’s prognosis. Your doctor walks in, takes one look at you and tells you what’s wrong.

No questioning. No prodding. No poking. No cold stethoscope.

How much confidence would you have with your doctor’s diagnosis?

None at all, right?

Yet time and time again, we see this in the business world. Prescriptions are offered without a thorough diagnosis. So many times, we treat the symptoms of the problem, rather than solving the problem itself because we don’t take the time to discover the real problem.

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Ad hoc diagnosis cost this salesperson a client

We have a friend who sells television commercials. Recently, he told us about one of his new clients. This client had been running radio ads for his high-end grills. They didn’t work. So the radio salesperson put him on another station. That still didn’t work. So the guy switched to television.

Our friend produced a great ad showing people having fun around his client’s grills. Sales are booming! His client is thrilled!

But the radio salesperson missed an opportunity. By thoroughly diagnosing the situation, it could have been determined that the problem wasn’t the station, it was the message. Couldn’t you use sound effects to create a picture in the listeners mind? If you hear the sound of food on the grill, can you put yourself there? If you hear people having fun, do you want to join in?

The radio sales representative could have kept the client by thoroughly diagnosing the problem to come up with the right solution, instead of just trying something else (i.e. changing stations).

5 steps to diagnose the problem

With everybody looking for cost-effective solutions today, diagnostics are increasingly important. If you don’t get to the root of the problem when you prescribe a solution, you’ll damage relationships. So follow this simple five-step process to thoroughly diagnose the problem:

1. Ask probing questions

2. Listen
This is really part of the first step, but it’s so important that we felt it should be listed separately. Listen actively and attentively.

3. Clarify
Keep asking follow-up questions and making clarifying statements until you fully understand the issue. If your client offers a vague answer to your question, ask a question that digs deeper. Or repeat your client’s answer back in your own words. Now you’re ready to …

4. Define the problem

5. Offer the prescription
Now, and only now, are you ready to offer your solution to the underlying problem.

If you care about your clients, you will seek to build the relationship even if it’s not in your best interest today. Without question, it is in your best interest long-term.
 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
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Next time, we’ll talk about tapping into your creativity this Halloween to have some bigg fun. 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/00249-102208.mp3

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How to Deal with a Mean Person

balance We hear a lot about violence on television, in the movies, and in video games. When violence is discussed, it’s usually physical violence. USA Today cites a recent study at Brigham Young University that shows that seeing people being mean to others affects us as well.

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Participants responded just as aggressively, no matter what type of aggression they had encountered – be it physical aggression or relational aggression, as the study defined it.

We’ll call the latter mental aggression – seeing people being mean to other people.
We all deal with mean people, or at least people who can be mean from time to time. 

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marylynn Prime example – when I was a Production Director, which means I oversaw commercial production for a group of five radio stations, I implemented a new procedure that some of the sales people didn’t like. I was back in the sales area, with all the sales people in their cubicles, and one decided to call me out. He was rude and confrontational.

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georgeI remember someone we were grooming for management. He seemed to have all the right characteristics. However, when he faced a situation where someone was angry or upset, he only made it worse. As a leader, you have to learn how to diffuse situations, not inflame them.

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How to diffuse a situation

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marylynn Back to my story of being confronted by a sales person in front of the sales staff – it caught me off guard, but I stopped and collected my thoughts. Then I said, “I’d be more than happy to talk with you about this my office. But your sales manager signed off on this procedure. So if you really have a problem with it, I’d suggest you talk to him.

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Get away

When you feel your blood start to boil, get away before you say the wrong thing. If you’re face-to-face, suggest you take up the issue again in a little bit. If you’re on the phone, excuse yourself and let the other person know you’ll need to call them back. Even with e-mail, refrain from being too quick to reply.

Talk it out

Tell a friend, a colleague, or your spouse how upset you are. Get it off your chest, as they say. Let it all out. By talking to someone, you get to say what you’d like to say. Now you can start focusing on how to say it productively.

Write it down

If no one is available to talk to, write it down so you get the cathartic release you need. Don’t do it as a “Reply” just in case you hit the wrong key and the message gets sent!

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georgeWhen I get really upset, I feel sorry for my keyboard. I’m pounding away, but it gets it out of my system rather quickly. Then I get away for awhile. When I come back to it, I’m ready to construct a response that will move things forward.

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Report what happened

Show the other person that you understand their concerns. State it back to them in the way in which they should have stated it. When they know you have heard their concerns, they’re more likely to listen to your response.

Focus on resolutions

A great leader has to meet confrontation head-on, but also must always keep the bigger purpose in mind. Find a way to respond that doesn’t make the other person defensive. Move the conversation’s focus to solutions, not problems. 

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A recent study shows that eighty percent of all employed people want to start their own business. Next time, we’ll see if we can talk you out of it.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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5 Steps to Make an Unhappy Customer Happy Again

love We’ve all heard the basic rules of customer service. But they deserve repeating before we discuss how to resolve a customer complaint.

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Rule #1: The customer is always right.

Rule #2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule #1.

These two rules are sufficient most of the time. However, sometimes we must realize:

Rule #3: The customer may not always reasonable.

You must know your boundaries in dealing with an unreasonable customer. If you’re a leader, you must communicate these boundaries to your people so they are effective when customers complain.

5 steps to make an unhappy customer happy again

Step #1 – Let the customer vent.
Before you can attempt to resolve the situation, you must understand it. Find out exactly what is troubling your customer. 

Step #2 – Listen attentively.
While this is really part of Step #1, it is so important that it bears special emphasis. Pay attention to what your customer is and isn’t saying. What are his or her specific objections?

#3 – Restate the complaint or complaints.
Wait until he or she has completely “unloaded”. Then, repeat back to your customer the complaints he or she has registered.

You may say, “Please let me make sure I completely understand your concerns.”  Then restate the complaint.

Step #4 – Assure them.

This is not to say that you agree with him or her. It simply lets your customer know that you recognize how they feel.  There is a difference!    You may say things like:

* “I can understand why you might feel that way.”
* “I can see your point.”
* “I can appreciate that.”

#5 – Find out what they want.

Everything has led to this point.  Simply ask the customer this question: “What would you like me to do?”

If you have handled yourself correctly up to now, you will find they will usually ask for less than you would expect.  If so, give it to them! If not, offer them a reasonable option to resolve the issue. 

Let them decide how they can be happy again.  It will be rare when you can’t find a good solution that makes both of you happy.

Complaints are an opportunity

Good things can come from a customer complaint. You can learn how to improve your procedures.

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georgeI once owned a carpet cleaning business. I remember a customer complained because we didn’t get the furniture put back exactly where she had it. We had a chair misplaced by about an eighth of an inch. From that day on, we asked every customer to look at the room before we left to make sure we had everything in the right place. Our customers were thrilled at this simple change in process!

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Remember this, if a customer is unhappy, they’ll usually do one of two things:

Take their business elsewhere or complain. Which do you prefer?

Research shows that customers, who have had problems resolved to their satisfaction, produce three times the revenue of a customer without a problem. On top of that, they are much more likely to recommend you to their friends and family.

Sounds like a good reason to try to make unhappy customers happy again!
 

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Want more tips to help you be a BIGG success?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll discuss what you have to do BEFORE you hire an employee. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

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