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Backyard Bliss

at_the_topWe both enjoy our work so we tend to work a lot. We feel fortunate that we get to work side-by-side. However, just because we’re physically near someone, it doesn’t mean you’re really “together.” So this past weekend, we took our own advice and had some bigg down time.

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marylynn I love garage sales because there are so many great bargains! So George drove, and I dragged him all over hitting garage sales.

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georgeAnd thanks to Mary-Lynn, we followed that up with … yet more shopping.

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We have these gorgeous, bigg, old trees on our lot, but that means there are a lot of limbs down after every storm. We had a fellow who mowed our yard and hauled the limbs away. But he had knee surgery this spring, and the gentleman who mows it now doesn’t do that.

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marylynn That’s right. But here’s the thing … I have a love for fire! So I thought … why not burn these limbs? So we bought a fire pit! But there was something about the fire pit we bought that George really liked.

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georgeYeah, I thought it was cool because it’s also a grill. Since I’m a purist, I like to cook with charcoal rather than gas. This way, we can cook on wood, which we get for free, and not spend money on charcoal!

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Even hassles don’t create angst

We also bought a chain saw. Now, don’t be alarmed … this chain saw is about the size of a blow dryer! But when we opened the box, there were pieces missing. So back to the store we went. Then we realized it didn’t come with the oil we needed. Back to the store again.

It proved the theory a friend of ours has – no home improvement project is complete until you’ve made at least three trips to the store!

But it was our day off! We weren’t in a rush so we enjoyed the time together in spite of it all.

Backyard bliss

So last Saturday night, we sat around our fire as we listened to music and grilled some hot dogs … and okay, a few marshmallows! It was so relaxing … all on our own back patio.

We had backyard bliss. (Don’t confuse it with the song “Ballroom Blitz”!)

So we caught up by slowing down!

Even if you work with your spouse or significant other – and maybe we should say, especially if you work together – it’s important to have “together time” that’s not associated with work.

We wish we could say that we planned to do this, but we would be lying. We’re good at planning our business and work activities, but sometimes we struggle with planning personal things.

But now that we have our fire pit, it will be easy to walk out the door and relax! Not long ago, we talked about why it’s good to spend time in nature. For many of us, nature is in our own backyard!

So you don’t have to do a lot of planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Stay at home and have some fun!

marylynn Don't forget the bug spray…that was our 4th trip to the store!

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The Secret to Action

Sharon Ayn joined us on the show today. She is the author of five books, including the newly released Create Your Own Reality: The Ancient Wisdom. Sharon has made many appearances on radio and television, including the nationally syndicated radio show, Minding Your Business, and an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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marylynnWhat inspired you to write your latest book?

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sharynI work with entrepreneurs and people who have been downsized, and I’ve found one thing that’s consistent. People know they could do better, work less, and make more money, but without someone stimulating their imagination, it’s very difficult to go through a change. So the book is designed to help people realize that, no matter what’s going on in their life, if they take one step or enroll one person at a time, they can change anything that isn’t the way they wanted it.

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georgeWhen we talked before our interview, you said that this book goes beyond where The Secret took us.

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sharynExactly. I love the fact that The Secret brought consciousness to so many people about staying positive, but the one thing people missed is being in action. You have to be in action. It's not enough just to think about it. You have to take a proactive role in your life.

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marylynnWhat do you think keeps people from taking action … what is it that holds people back?

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sharynSome people truly believe that they’re not entitled. Some people think it’s too much work to get what they want. Other people are too overwhelmed by what’s first, so they just stay at what they’re doing even if it’s not what they want.

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marylynnFor someone who feels that, what would be the one thing you would tell them to work on right now?

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sharynMake a list of all the things you want to change, but put it in the positive. I work with clients who want a better job. I get them to describe what it’s like to work at the company, what their tasks are, what the people are like that they work with. And then backtrack – how do we get to that point? So for anything that you want to change, what is the first step you can take to be in control? Because I think a lot of this is people feeling that they are out of control of their own lives.

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georgeThat is awesome … there’s a lot of practical advice that people can use right away in this book.

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sharynIt’s simple knowledge that most people don’t apply to their own life, even though they might be aware of it.

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marylynn Oprah calls it the “aha” moment. What do you call it?

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sharynIt’s the dawning of the day when, like in City Slickers, you get your “do over”. So don’t think, my life is just surrounded by quagmire, all my friends are always complaining and leaning on me, my relationship isn’t working … we’re fighting all the time, I hate my job, and all these things. Instead, think about every day being brand new. Every day, we get to reinvest ourselves.

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Sharon’s book comes with bonuses

You get an incredible $4,661 in bonuses when you buy Sharon’s wonderful book, including great material from:

  • Annie Jennings, who helps people who want to be authors or speakers, and get interviewed on the radio.
  • Dave Sheffield, who works with corporations, helping people take the first step to change what’s happening in their career.
  • Jim Bouchard, a good friend of ours, who helps people tap into their personal power. Jim’s material alone makes it a great deal to us!

Find Sharyn's book at createyours2.com

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How Dual Income Couples are Bucking Traditional Roles

man_womanThe Council on Contemporary Families published a summary of previous studies, looking at data over 30 to 40 years. Here are some highlights:

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1. Men’s share of household duties doubled as a percent of the total over last 40 years, from 15 percent to 30 percent of the total. The number of hours women spend on these same duties has declined over that period.

2. The younger the couple, the higher the share of household duties performed by the man.

3. Time spent caring for children tripled for men and doubled for women over the same period. Couples are placing much more emphasis on spending time with their kids than they did 30 years ago.

4. The longer a woman works outside the home, the greater the percentage of household responsibilities assumed by the man of the house.

5. Men are working less and spending more time on family duties. Women are trending in the opposite direction.

6. When the woman of the house works more hours, earns more money, or has more education than the man, the man’s share of family duties increases.

7. About one of out three couples now has a woman who earns more than the man.

They pointed out that there had been an expectation of immediate change when women started working. That didn’t happen to the disappointment of many! However, over the span of a few decades, things have changed quite a bit and they predict this trend is here to stay!

The bigg payoff

Couples are redefining what it means to be the man or the woman, the father or the mother, in a relationship. This summary shows that the divorce rate is lower when couples divide up the duties more equally. In fact, it’s even lower than with the traditional relationship where one person is the breadwinner and the other person runs the house.

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georgeMary-Lynn and I both grew up in a traditional family that stayed together. But we’re pretty non-traditional.

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marylynnYeah, I remember that my mom was always in the kitchen. I determined long ago that wasn’t for me! She kept telling me “you’re going to have to learn how to cook, what are you going to do when you are out on your own?” I told her I would just meet a guy who knew how to cook and marry him. And that guy is George! And let me just add…he’s an AWESOME cook!!!
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Roles are getting redefined so don’t listen to what other people say. If it works for you, your spouse, and your family … it works!

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This week, our newsletter subscribers received a great article about how to get more flexibility at work so you can have more time at home. You can get it, too, click this link to subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Beyond Networking

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Melissa Giovagnoli. Melissa is an author, speaker, coach and entrepreneur. Of her 11 books, four have been on the best seller’s list and one was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is one of the world’s leading experts on networking and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and Fox. She was recently named the “best networker in Chicago” by Crain’s.


Networking vs. Networlding

We asked Melissa for her best networking tip. She says not to think of it as networking, but think of it as networlding, which is the title of one of her books. Networlding expands opportunities rather than limiting them.

As a networker, you might set a goal of meeting two people. If you’re a networlder, you would set a goal of meeting two people who you can form a long-term relationship with and build opportunities for you, for them, and for the greater good.

The “overstuffed Rolodex syndrome”

Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. You leverage your network by thinking about who would be good connections for you. Start with people who have complementary values. With the online world, you can have quality and quantity by being specific about what you ask for to create a vibrant exchange.

7 levels of support

Networking isn’t about taking. It’s also not about just giving. You can support people:  

  • Emotionally
  • By providing information
  • By providing knowledge (information plus experiences)
  • By promoting them
  • Through wisdom sharing (the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent)
  • By creating transformational opportunities
  • Community (creating the greatest good for the greatest number)

Links to Melissa’s sites

networlding2.org
This is Melissa’s most interactive community. The goal is for members to support each other in achieving their respective goals. You can create your own profile and build your own private circle around your special interest.

Networlding E-Learning
Here you’ll get six FREE lessons on networking for business and sales or networking for jobs.

Melissa will also help you with writing a book. If you’re really serious about it, contact her.

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Failure to Do This Harms Relationships

Have you ever had a service company just show up at your door even though they told you someone would call first?

Have you ever had a co-worker promise they would get information to you but then drop the ball?

Have you ever asked a sales person to get back to you on a proposal but then they never did?


What was your impression of that company, co-worker, or sales person when they didn’t follow-through?

It probably wasn’t favorable. You realize that you can’t count on them to do what they say they’ll do.
   
Follow-through: an essential element to building your personal brand.
A brand carries with it the promise of expected benefits. Every time a promise is not delivered, the brand suffers.

Promises are easy to make, but not as easy to keep. But if you want to build trust, you have to make good on your promises.

“Say what you’ll do, then do what you say.” Author unknown
 
This separates people who achieve bigg things from people who don’t. Even if it’s just a little thing, you risk leaving the impression that you don’t follow through.

We often have the best of intentions, but it’s impossible to judge someone on their intentions. So we do the only thing we can do – we base our opinions of people on whether they deliver on their promises.

Be careful not to over-promise.

If we surprise someone, we should surprise them in a good way – by doing more than we say we’ll do. It’s not good to disappoint them by doing less than what we say … or not doing it at all.

Today’s bigg action item – Develop a system to record every promise you make.

Do whatever works for you, whether that is an old paper system or something using new technology.

One simple way to do this is Jott. Whenever you make a promise, just call and leave a message about what you need to do. Jott will send you an e-mail or text message reminder. That coupled with your personal calendar can keep you on track. Here’s the best part – Jott is a FREE service.

There are two keys to making any system like this work:

  • Budget a little extra time after each activity.
    This will allow you to write down or record anything you promised.
  • Make it a habit.
    Really focus on using your system every day for the next two weeks.

Or you could do what George does. Mary-Lynn reminds him of his promises. Speaking of which, he has to go pick up the dry cleaning that was ready last week!

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