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Is Work Death

questionsWe have some questions about work – life balance. It sounds so nice at first. But when you really think about it, what exactly does it mean?

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Let’s start with the phrase itself. Work – life balance. It implies that work isn’t a part of life, doesn’t it?

So is work death?

And how do you figure out this whole balance thing. It seems like you would have to tightly define work and life.

So what is work?

For example, does work mean the time you spend making money? If so, a stay-at-home mom or dad doesn’t work! Yet we all know how hard their job can be.

What about other unpaid work? Are the chores you do at home part of work or part of life?

Here’s another scenario: Imagine you want to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So you take a temporary part-time job to pay for that trip. Is that work or is it part of life since you’re really only taking on the part-time endeavor to pay for something fun?

What if you turn your hobby into a part-time business? You think it’s great; instead of having to pay to do something you enjoy, you get paid to do it. Is that work or life?

Would it make any difference if that part-time business turned into a full-time opportunity? Would you be working at all or would your whole life just be … well, life.

And what is life?

Assuming you work in an office, do you consider the time you spend commuting work or life? Let’s assume that you consider it work. What if you choose to live some distance away from work? That’s definitely a life choice. So is the extra time counted as life or is it still work?

Does sleep count as life? It’s essential for life, but how productive are you at work after a sleepless night?

Even if you don’t get the sleep that’s recommended, it’s still a significant chunk of your day. So when you think about balance, do you just exclude sleep altogether?

What is balance?

Doesn’t balance imply an equal split between work and life? Is that what work – life balance really means? Are you supposed to spend half your time living and half dying (if work is death)?

If it’s not a 50 / 50 split, how can we call it balance? How many people ever achieve an even share of each? Is that even desirable?

Okay, we hear it … you want to know our point. Well, we have three of them:

No lines in the sand

The first one is that work – life balance is not only an outdated concept, we’re not sure it was a great concept in the first place!

Bigg goal-getters don’t draw a line in the sand. Work and life are integrated. They always have been. They always should be.

Work is a part of life. Life is a part of work. It’s best to accept that reality and find ways to make them work (or live) seamlessly together.

It’s a custom blend

Bigg success is life on your own terms. You decide the right mix of personal and professional. It’s your custom blend.

If you’re perfectly happy spending eighty percent of your time on personal activities, have at it. If you love your work and want to spend eighty percent of your time doing it, more power to you.

We’ll just share one caveat about working too much. Research has shown that experts can get too close to their subject and lose some of their creativity. You may not be well-rounded, but at least be a little rounded!

We’re preaching to ourselves in that last paragraph … we needed the reminder!

Look for synergy

Finally, don’t think zero-sum. Don’t accept that there has to be tradeoffs. Work doesn’t have to end so life can begin and vice versa.

If you think there has to tradeoffs, then you’re right. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, if you think it’s possible (better yet, probable) that you can find a solution that doesn’t require a trade-off, you’ll be more likely to try one.

That’s the bigg idea behind bigg success. There is synergy in the world. Strive to find ways to get your personal and professional lives working for each other instead of against each other. That’s bigg success!

What works for you?

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below, call us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mail us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for reading our little rant today.

Please join us next time when we begin a series of five posts on freedom. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00425-062609.mp3

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The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

light bulb for blog post titled the BIGG idea behind BIGG success

Last time, we introduced the five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today, we want to talk about the bigg idea behind our definition of bigg success, life on your own terms.

1 + 1 = 3

We saw an opinion recently that “synergy” is an outdated word. We disagree. When synergy exists, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

1 + 1 = 3. It doesn’t work in mathematics, but it does happen in our lives. With the right elements in place, a tiny spark can turn into a full-blown fire.

The BIGG idea

That’s the BIGG idea behind BIGG Success – finding ways to sync the five elements  to achieve life on our own terms, faster than we could otherwise.

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marylynnHere’s a very simple example of how these five elements come together. I want to take a course on CSS to improve my web design skills. That’s growth. It’s going to cost me a little bit of money. It’s also going to cost me quite a bit of time. But this new knowledge will allow me to get more work, which will help me make more money so I can travel more. That’s play! In the short term, it will cost me time but in the long term, it will me save time because I’ll be able to work more efficiently. That’s synergy!

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By thinking about the whole – all five elements together – and working on them all at once, we find solutions that we couldn’t, or at least didn’t, see before.

It empowers you

When you have a choice to make, you can use these five elements holistically to weigh how that choice impacts your vision of BIGG success, of life on your own terms.

It empowers you as the entrepreneur of your life.

You can say “No” without guilt! If it’s not moving you closer to the BIGG success you dream of, just say no.

You can say “Yes” when you clearly see that it is taking you down the path you want to follow.

Don’t balance, blend your work and life

Our idea goes beyond work – life balance. The old way of thinking was to draw a line in the sand. That was how we tried to separate our personal and professional lives.

It’s great if it works for you. Most people have found this nearly impossible to do in the 21st century. We use technology prodigiously and that technology is live 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have responded in kind which has placed stress on the idea of work – life balance.

So we moved to integration. Don’t separate the personal and the professional. Keep them both live simultaneously and move seamlessly between the two worlds.

We found this concept helpful, but it doesn’t go far enough. There is little benefit to integration other than giving ourselves permission to not feel guilty if we’re working when we should be playing or playing when we should be working.

So the BIGG idea is synergy:

Our two worlds should not only blend, but benefit one another.

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georgeI spoke with an inventor recently about how he discovered his latest idea. He said that he was reading a book for pleasure one weekend. This book sparked a thought that became his BIGG invention. He wasn’t reading the book for any reason other than enjoyment, but he also kept his whole being, his whole mind, live. By not turning off his professional side as he read for personal reasons, he discovered his BIGG opportunity.

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So as you can see, you don’t have to be in work mode to find something that can help you professionally and you don’t have to be in play mode to find something you might enjoy personally. Keeping our whole person live all the time leads to BIGG success.

The age of interdependence

There’s a final element to this synergy, to what’s running throughout the five elements. Synergy goes beyond just ourselves. The 21st century is the age of interdependence.

We can’t succeed BIGG by ourselves. We must build relationships that build value. We add value by doing what we do best while working with others doing what they do best.

There’s the synergy; we create value together through interdependence. When we build together, we reach bigg success faster!

Let’s build BIGG success together

So what does life on your own terms mean to you?

What challenges are you facing right now in your quest for BIGG success?

How are you using synergy to reach it even faster?

You can share that with us by sending us a message.

We’ll take the most common challenges and do a show about them. We hope you will share your solutions to these challenges as well. Working together, we can all reach BIGG success even faster!

We’ll also highlight how people are living life on their own terms. In these stories are lessons for all of us. So share your story and get in on the fun!

Thank you for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

See the entire series

What is BIGG Success

Own Your Life

The Power of Defining Your Terms

The 5 Elements of Bigg Success

The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00360-032709.mp3

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Own Your Life

image of confident woman for the post Own your life
Last time, we talked about the definition of bigg success. We said that bigg success is life on your own terms.

You might wonder if we’re being redundant when we say “your” “own” terms. We can understand why you might think that, but we felt that it was important to convey ownership explicitly.

We’ve heard about Brand You. It’s useful to think about the brand image we present and how we market ourselves, but we think it doesn’t go far enough. When it comes to creating your dream life, you are an enterprise level manager, not a brand manager.

A new paradigm

A new paradigm about the role we play in our own lives is gaining traction. Our definition of bigg success – life on your own terms – encompasses this new mindset.

You are the entrepreneur of your own life.

We normally think being an entrepreneur means “I own my own business.”  We’re saying that, whether you’re employed or self-employed, you are an entrepreneur.

You own your life.

You run it as you see fit.

You create the life that you want to live. Life on your own terms.

You bring together the resources necessary to build that life. You put the structure that is needed in place to achieve your bigg dream.

That’s what an entrepreneur does.

Your life is your enterprise

It’s not just about the work that you do. Your life is about more than that.

Entrepreneurs don’t just sell a product or a service. They build a business, an entire enterprise.

Your life is your enterprise and you build the life you want. This encompasses both your professional and personal lives.

As the entrepreneur of your own life, it’s crucial to find ways to make all the parts of your life work together. Even more than that, find a way to get all parts of your life working in synergy –  with one part adding to another and vice versa. Now that’s bigg success!

CBS resisted, but Lucy insisted

Lucille Ball was the star of a popular radio show called My Favorite Husband. We’re not sure how many husbands she had, but this show was about her favorite one!

She played the wife of a bank vice president. With the advent of television, CBS wanted to move her show to the new medium. But Lucy wanted her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, to play her TV husband.

CBS resisted, but Lucy insisted.

The CBS executives eventually gave in and I Love Lucy became a bigg success.

Lucy was an entrepreneur! She lived her life on her own terms.

A unique solution for raising the kids

We know a couple who are divorced. They have young children.

Instead of fighting over custody, they have chosen to add on to their house so they can each go on with their lives and their children can be with both of them every day.

This is a unique solution that is working for them. What else matters? Some people think it’s kind of strange, but why should these two people care?

They are entrepreneurs, living their life on their own terms.

A merger that works

We decided we wanted to work together, to merge our professional lives as well as our personal lives. We created Bigg Success to allow us to do that.

We travel together. We work together. We live together. We see each other all the time.

It wouldn’t work for many couples, but it works for us. We’re living our lives on our own terms.

How about you?

What does life on your own terms mean to you? How are you taking ownership of your life?

Leave us a message.

Thank you for sharing your time with us today.

Join us next time when we’ll talk about the “terms” of life of your own terms.

See the entire series

What is BIGG Success

Own Your Life

The Power of Defining Your Terms

The 5 Elements of Bigg Success

The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00357-032409.mp3

What is BIGG success

What is Bigg Success?

What is BIGG success

When you study anything, it’s important to understand the definitions. So today, we’re happy to announce that we have refined the definition for bigg success:

Bigg success is life on your own terms

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marylynnI just love that because it is so empowering. Who else can tell us how to live our lives?

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georgeIt’s not about money or material possessions. Or it can be. It’s not judgmental. If it works for you, it works!

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Your terms, not others

We don’t always live our lives on our own terms. We live by the terms set by others.

Our families and friends, with all good intentions, have their thoughts about how we should live.

Society sets expectations of us. Hollywood and Madison Avenue paint a picture of how our lives should look. Teachers, bosses and others guide us to the life they want us to live.

Sometimes we even place demands upon ourselves that aren’t congruent with what we really want.

Taking charge

Enough is enough. We must take our lives back. We must claim the most precious gifts that we have been given.

To choose who we are and who we become.

To live the life we dream of living.

To find our path to happiness without regard for what others think.

To feel in control no matter what situation we face.

When we feel that we have power over our own lives, we can relish in every moment even if things aren’t going exactly as planned.

Not a selfish endeavor

Life on your own terms sounds selfish, but it’s not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

It means figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be for the benefit of yourself and the people you care about.

How we’re doing it

We understand this definition well because we’re living it.

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marylynnI worked in the corporate world. I had outgrown the place where I was working and I didn’t want to move for two reasons: I was engaged to George and the industry I worked in was experiencing troubles so I thought a move would be risky.

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georgeI’ve been a passionate business owner for years and teach entrepreneurship at our local University. I saw the internet as a great place for learning and a way to combine those two passions. I also have a passion for a certain young lady named Mary-Lynn and working together seemed like a slam dunk!

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So we created an opportunity for ourselves – Bigg Success – to be partners both personally and professionally. It works for us, but it doesn’t work for everyone. It’s how we’re living life on our own terms.

People in transformation

We’ve designed Bigg Success to be the place for goal-gettin’ go-getters … bigg goal-getters as we like to call you. That’s the reason for the second “g” in Bigg!

Bigg goal-getters don’t just talk the talk. We also walk the walk. Because we’re positive thinking, fun-loving people.

We’re people in transformation. Usually happy, but never content. Always striving to grow. Always looking to expand. Always in search of our next bigg opportunity.

So from two bigg goal-getter to another, welcome to Bigg Success! We look forward to getting to know you better. To growing together. To seeing you reach your bigg goals while we attain ours.

Reach BIGG success in your life even faster

Bigg success is, and always will be, a developing concept. That’s the nature of bigg success!

It’s still about personal and professional development. We think by defining bigg success the way we have, we can have a richer conversation.

We will discover new things which we’ll share with you. We hope you will share your knowledge with us and the entire Bigg Success community.

Because all of us know more than any of us.

Start by telling us what life on your own terms means to you.

You can share by sending us a message.

When you share, whether by writing it or speaking it, you get the ideas out of your head. So you learn and so will everyone else in the community.

By all of us sharing, we learn from each other so we all reach bigg success in our own lives even faster!

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

You’ve probably heard of Brand You. You may have heard that you’re the CEO of your own life. We don’t think either one is correct. Join us next time as we dive deeper into the definition of bigg success to find out why.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

See the entire series

What is BIGG Success

Own Your Life

The Power of Defining Your Terms

The 5 Elements of Bigg Success

The Bigg Idea Behind Bigg Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00356-032309.mp3

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Is it Time to Buy a House?

home_sales The national news is full of bad news about our economy – rising unemployment, stocks hitting ten-year lows, and the value of our homes falling. We wanted to get an inside perspective so we turned to the experts – the National Association of Realtors. We were fortunate to be joined by Jed Smith, their Senior Economist, on The Bigg Success Show today. Here’s a recap of our conversation:

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marylynnWe’re hoping for some rainbows and butterflies from you, Jed. Are there markets where home prices are actually rising?

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jedThere are a few. Right now, the market is in a process of stabilizing, which means that prices are down but sales activity is up in quite a few markets. Just to give you a few examples, prices are actually rising a little in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mobile, Alabama, Stamford, Connecticut; and Amarillo, Texas. It varies around the country depending on a lot of local conditions. However, right now, we’re particularly interested in the level of sales. Obviously, a good level of sales can lead to an overall price rise in the future and, as your listeners probably know, both sales and prices have been declining for awhile. We’d sure like to see those level out and there’s some reason to believe that we’re getting to the bottom of the market.

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george
Real estate is still a local game, right?

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jedYes. Every market is local. To give you an example, prices are way down in Prince William County, Virginia. That’s a suburb of Washington. Just across the way, up the street in Washington, D.C., prices are stable; and in Arlington, Virginia, prices are actually starting to rise a bit. So it varies from region to region.

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georgeSo, while we may be hearing doom-and-gloom about national real estate prices, it’s possible – depending on your local market – that the dream house you want to buy is getting more expensive.

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jedWell, prices right now are down. As I said, they are starting to turn a little bit in a few markets. Most markets are either declining a little or holding steady while they’re getting ready to turn. But I think if you’re thinking about a house right now, I don’t think you want to think about a short-term flip. There was a lot of flipping a few years ago during the rapid run-up in prices in 2006 and 2007. Right now, as measured in terms of affordability, taking into account interest rates which are at an all-time low coupled with reasonable prices, housing is actually a very good buy. If you’re not buying it to flip it, but rather to hold it for five or six years, I think you’ll be very pleased with the ultimate result.

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georgeOn average, Jed, how much have house prices fallen back nationally from their peak?

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jedWell, that will vary from area to area. I think we want to talk in terms of the last year. They’re down about 15 percent in the last year, probably down about another 10 percent above that from the peak. That’s not true everywhere. That’s just a national average, like my head’s in the furnace and my feet are in the Artic, so I’m comfortable on average.

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george
I like the way you explained that!

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jedWe think that with the forthcoming recovery – there’s a lot of spending going on, a lot of economic stimulus, and a lot of effort to stop foreclosures – we project that prices will start to level out, certainly, by the fourth quarter of this year. That’s why, when prices are in good shape and you can get that $8,000 tax credit, right now is a good time to consider buying a house if you don’t own one.

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marylynnWe’ve been hearing that prices in areas like Detroit are just astoundingly low. Is it wise to go into an area that has been beaten up and buy some property there?

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jedThat depends on the long-term outlook for the area. Let’s put this into a little broader perspective than Detroit. Much of California, Arizona and Nevada have had prices that have been beaten up pretty thoroughly. Yet we all know that those areas are going to have vibrant job growth over the next four or five years and, right now, we see buyers flocking out to purchase property in that area. The prices are low, but the number of buyers showing up is substantial. I think for the longer term, these folks are getting a good buy.

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marylynnFor people who are thinking about buying in some of those areas, do you have any recommendations for finding an area that is beat up but has long-term growth potential? How do people get that information?

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jedThis is the type of information – specific market characteristics – that a Realtor would know. A Realtor could give you an idea of the outlook for jobs, income, population in a specific area, and how prices compare to the overall market for that area. That’s why we would recommend working with an expert – a Realtor – to understand the market because there are some good buys out there.

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george
And you probably know a Realtor or two, don’t you Jed?

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jed

I probably do.

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georgeI think you’re absolutely right. I have found in my life that it pays to turn to the professionals and let them help guide you through the process. With a Realtor, you know it’s win – win all the way through.

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jedWe think that Realtors bring a real value-added to the market because they live in the community, they know the community, and they’re part of the community. They’ve been there for a long time and they’ve done a lot of transactions. They can guide you – just like a doctor or a lawyer does with their professional services – in making your largest purchase.

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Thanks Jed so much for sharing your time and wisdom with all of us! And a special thanks to Hilary Marsh and Sara Weis, Jed’s co-workers at the National Association of Realtors, for helping us arrange our conversation with him.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell your house, the National Association of Realtors is a great resource. Check out their tips for home buyers and sellers.

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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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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time as look squarely at the four-leaf clover on St. Paddy’s Day! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00351-031609.mp3

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