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Why People Get Divorced, Raise Bad Children, and Go to Jail

compartmentalizing your life | BIGG SuccessMany people fail to recognize an important natural law. By failing to see it, their lives are more complicated. They compartmentalize it because they don’t understand:

Your life is a system.

On The BIGG Success Show awhile back, we talked about why the concept of work – life balance misses the mark. Looking at your life holistically – and understanding how the pieces work together – is one of the secrets of BIGG success:

Don’t separate, integrate. It’s the first step. The second is to find ways for your professional life to add value to your personal life and vice versa. That’s systems thinking!

On this subject of thinking of your life as a systems, we found a great post by Clayton Christensen on the Harvard Business Review blog entitled How Will You Measure Your Life? It’s a great piece which we highly recommend to you.

He applies management theories to questions about happiness at work and home. It’s extensive so we’ll hit on a few of the highlights below including an explanation of why people get divorced, raise bad children and go to jail.

Your decisions shape your strategy

Christensen says some of his college classmates come to class reunions “unhappy, divorced, and alienated from their children.” He says:

“I can guarantee you that not a single one of them graduated with the deliberate strategy of getting divorced and raising children who would become estranged from them.”

However, that has been the result for a significant number of his classmates. Why does this happen?

In many cases, it’s because there’s a disconnection between their strategies and their purpose. It stems from a misallocation of resources.

“Your decisions about allocating your personal time, energy, and talent ultimately shape your life’s strategy,” he proffers. If you allocate your resources in line with your purpose, your results will be in line with it.

Your actions are a mirror

As humans, we often seek instant gratification. This means we forsake activities with the greatest long-term payoff in favor of activities that yield immediate results.

For example, you could invest more time today and make more money. The feedback loop is immediate and tangible.

Or you could spend the same time with your family. You may not know for years if your investment had any impact. You may never really know.

The key is to focus on your actions instead of just the results. Your actions are a mirror. They reflect who you are and, more importantly, who you are trying to become. When you think about your actions today, do you like the reflection you see?

Live with purpose, on purpose

Keep your purpose constantly in your mind. BIGG success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of BIGG success – money, time, growth, work and play. Money and time are your two resources. As you consider allocation decisions, ask yourself:

If I choose to invest my precious resources in this thing / activity, will it move me closer to life on my own terms? Why?

Then ask yourself “Why?” again. And again. It may take 5 Why’s to get to the underlying reason for this allocation decision. Once you’ve arrived at this point, ask yourself:

Is there a better option? Brainstorm for possibilities keeping your purpose at the forefront.

This simple process helps you invest your precious resources intentionally, instead of inadvertently. It helps you live with purpose, on purpose. It helps you think about the long-term impact.

Staying out of jail

Two of Christensen’s 32 Rhodes scholar classmates have done prison time (one being Enron’s former CEO, Jeff Skilling). “These were good guys – but something in their lives sent them off in the wrong direction,” says Christensen.

He talks about the theory of marginal cost. The marginal cost of going against your values “just this once” often seems very low. However, crossing the line one time makes it easier to rationalize the next time. The full cost of this course can be devastating.

He concludes, “It’s easier to hold your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold them 98% of the time.” It also keeps you out of jail!

Image in this post from danisman

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One Man’s Quest for Success in the New Economy – Part 1

Greg Hartle | BIGG SuccessWe were so thrilled today to chat with Greg Hartle on The BIGG Success Show. He’s hard to find in the real world but he can be found online anytime at Ten Dollars and a Laptop.

With this project, Greg plans to reconstruct his life from scratch while visiting all 50 states in the U.S. and interviewing 500 entrepreneurs about how to succeed in the new economy.

Listen to hear Greg’s fascinating story on The BIGG Success Show podcast. Click the player to listen.


iPhone/iPad Podcast Player
[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00703-053111.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #703″]
Here’s what you’ll hear in the first of our three-part series:

  • how Greg became a millionaire on paper by 22
  • the life changing event that cost Greg almost everything when he was 25
  • why his professional life never recovered
  • the lesson he learned from almost losing his life
  • the motivation for launching his project, Ten Dollars and a Laptop

Next time, we’ll talk with Greg about what he’s learned from the entrepreneurs to whom he’s been talking.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00703-053111.mp3

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Is the Way You’re Spending Your Time Costing You Money?

moneyGeoffrey Moore, in his book Living on the Fault Line, discussed the “Core versus Context Model” for businesses. Core activities are things which set you apart from your competition and context is everything else. For many businesses, this may include administrative activities, marketing activities, and the like.

As we discussed his model, we realized that this works in our personal lives as well. You want to do more of the things you’re really good at and less of everything else. Usually, we really like to do what we’re good at so by focusing on just those tasks, we can advance in our careers.

Like for us, our strength is working on content for Bigg Success. At least we’d like to think so … or more importantly, we hope you think so!

For us, the contextual activities would be everything else. So for a couple of examples, we outsource our house cleaning and the yard work. Instead of spending time on these things, we can work on our business.

You’re getting a glimpse into how integrated our personal and professional lives are. Since we often work from home, all of these decisions are floating around together. We don’t think we’re alone on this – a lot of people are finding it pays to integrate their work life and their professional life.

By outsourcing your contextual activities, you save time and you open up the opportunity to make more money. It comes back to the time vs. money conundrum …

If you don’t have money, you have to invest more time.

.
georgeFor example, if you start a business that is well-capitalized, you will be able to spend your time differently than if you start on a shoestring. With limited capital, you may have to take care of the janitorial work – a lot of business owners have done that. I’ve done that!

.
At first, you may have to do it yourself because there’s no money. But you want to contract it out as soon as you can because it’s definitely a contextual activity, unless you happen to be the owner of a janitorial service.

Thinking about core vs. context helps you focus on where you want to spend your time and where you want to spend your money. You think twice about spending money because there’s something else that will let you spend more time on your core.

You may find that you spend your money on things that save you time, rather than cost you time.
.

marylynnI want a bigg screen TV, but we would rather spend that money on a web person. Right now, I handle our web site. So when there are changes that need to be made, I get to work. But there are better uses of my time.

.
Because we know that’s not in our core. Bigg Success is still in its early stages, so as soon as we can we’ll outsource this activity. Another example is publicity – right now, we do it ourselves. We want to contract with someone who is better at it than we are and can accomplish more than we can on our own.

So although we don’t have HDTV, we do have goals for that money!

It boils down to thinking about how much your time is worth. You may find that by contracting out certain activities, it costs you less than what you can make by spending your time working in your core.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success

Related posts

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part I)

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part II)

(Image by penywise)

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Is the Way You're Spending Your Time Costing You Money?

moneyGeoffrey Moore, in his book Living on the Fault Line, discussed the “Core versus Context Model” for businesses. Core activities are things which set you apart from your competition and context is everything else. For many businesses, this may include administrative activities, marketing activities, and the like.

As we discussed his model, we realized that this works in our personal lives as well. You want to do more of the things you’re really good at and less of everything else. Usually, we really like to do what we’re good at so by focusing on just those tasks, we can advance in our careers.

Like for us, our strength is working on content for Bigg Success. At least we’d like to think so … or more importantly, we hope you think so!

For us, the contextual activities would be everything else. So for a couple of examples, we outsource our house cleaning and the yard work. Instead of spending time on these things, we can work on our business.

You’re getting a glimpse into how integrated our personal and professional lives are. Since we often work from home, all of these decisions are floating around together. We don’t think we’re alone on this – a lot of people are finding it pays to integrate their work life and their professional life.

By outsourcing your contextual activities, you save time and you open up the opportunity to make more money. It comes back to the time vs. money conundrum …

If you don’t have money, you have to invest more time.

.
georgeFor example, if you start a business that is well-capitalized, you will be able to spend your time differently than if you start on a shoestring. With limited capital, you may have to take care of the janitorial work – a lot of business owners have done that. I’ve done that!

.
At first, you may have to do it yourself because there’s no money. But you want to contract it out as soon as you can because it’s definitely a contextual activity, unless you happen to be the owner of a janitorial service.

Thinking about core vs. context helps you focus on where you want to spend your time and where you want to spend your money. You think twice about spending money because there’s something else that will let you spend more time on your core.

You may find that you spend your money on things that save you time, rather than cost you time.
.

marylynnI want a bigg screen TV, but we would rather spend that money on a web person. Right now, I handle our web site. So when there are changes that need to be made, I get to work. But there are better uses of my time.

.
Because we know that’s not in our core. Bigg Success is still in its early stages, so as soon as we can we’ll outsource this activity. Another example is publicity – right now, we do it ourselves. We want to contract with someone who is better at it than we are and can accomplish more than we can on our own.

So although we don’t have HDTV, we do have goals for that money!

It boils down to thinking about how much your time is worth. You may find that by contracting out certain activities, it costs you less than what you can make by spending your time working in your core.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success

Related posts

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part I)

Your Personal SWOT Analysis (Part II)

(Image by penywise)

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25 Tips to Take Control of Your Life

By Bigg Success Staff
05-13-08

Work – Life Balance

25 

Most people find that achieving balance between their personal and professional lives is one of the biggest challenges they face. In this article, we summarize five articles that help you get in control. Each article includes five tips, which he have highlighted here, along with the link to each article so you can explore the topic more if you want.

5 Burnout-Busting Tips

#1 – Combat boredom.

#2 – Avoid focusing too much on your job.

#3 – Avoid office politics.

#4 – Avoid overworking.

#5 – Better manage your time.

Get the full details on these tips to bust job burnout from this great article by Dr. John M. Grohol at PsychCentral. And now for some more on office politics …

5 Pointers on Office Politics

#1 – Don’t try to change or resist company culture.

#2 – Practice self-awareness.

#3 – Manage your stress levels.

#4 – Be approachable all the time.

#5 – Network before you need to network.

This is a fantastic post by Penelope Trunk, The Brazen Careerist and author of the fantastic book, The Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success. Read the entire post for all the details of her five tips to survive politics at work.

5 Time Management Tricks

#1 – Tame the e-mail beast.

#2 – Eliminate unnecessary meetings.

#3 – Put up boundaries.

#4 – Find your rhythm and schedule around it.

#5 – Say no.

Marci Alboher did a great job with this article for the New York Times. Read her full description of each of these five tips and you’ll have time on your hands!

5 Tips to Set Boundaries Even if You’re a Workaholic

#1 – Choose flow-inducing hobbies that engage you and pull your mind away from work.

#2 – Set goals in your personal life just like you do in your professional life.

#3 – Schedule dates with people for non-work activities.

#4 – Use technology to separate your professional and personal lives.

#5 – Decide in advance when you want to say no.

These suggestions come from the blog of Tim Ferriss, author of the great book, The 4-Hour Workweek.  This was a guest post by Anne Zelenka, editor at large of Web Worker Daily. Check out her full article on five boundary-setting tips for people who are obsessed with work

5 Tips to Make Your Next Family Vacation a Bigg Success

#1 – Try something different.

#2 – Do your homework.

#3 – Leave work at home.

#4 – Plan for anxiety.

#5 – Make time to bond.

You can read all that Dr. Edythe Harvey has to say about making the most of your next family vacation in this great article from Newswise.

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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(Image by Lincolnian,CC 2.0)

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10 Laws of Survival and Success

By Bigg Success Staff
03-17-08

Bigg Book Review 

book_cover

It all started as a speech. The speech was received so well that Mark Amtower wrote a book from it – Why Epiphanies Never Occur to Couch Potatoes.

Mark, a noted consultant, speaker, radio host, and author, thinks that everyone experiences epiphanies that help us understand reality. However, not everyone recognizes them for what they are – nuggets of wisdom that will make a difference in your life.

We highly recommend this book to you, especially if you’re the leader of an organization. However, it is a great read for anyone who wants to take the high road through life.

At its essence, this book is about adopting an ethical standard for living. That standard, which leads to survival and success, springs from these ten laws: 

#10 – The Law of Tithing
The more successful you are, the more you must contribute to your community.

#9 – The Law of the Food Chain

You must accurately define your market position to maintain momentum.

#8 – The Law of Communication
Simply and truthfully state who you are and what you do.

#7 – The Law of Fidelity

Be loyal to people with influence in your personal and professional life or you may be viewed as unstable and untrustworthy.

#6 – The Law of Divine Right to Attention
You will receive the amount of attention you deserve, base on the value you deliver.

#5 – The Law of Spontaneous Generation
You gain both mindshare and market share incrementally, not instantly.

#4 – The Law of Market Ownership

Market share is rented, not owned. Remain humble and continue to learn.

#3 – The Law of Creation

Epiphanies are worthless without action. Action creates more epiphanies.

#2 – The Law of Leverage
If you live in accordance with the previous eight laws, you’ll be hard to move.

#1 – The Law of Gravitational Pull
If you’re in harmony with the previous nine laws, people will be pulled to you and your chosen niche.

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

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