5 Rules for Breaking the Rules

Rule Breaker Awards 2016 Winner Badge

Hear George & Mary-Lynn share5 rules for breaking the rules on The BIGG Success Show podcast. Click play to listen.

We are honored to announce that Mary-Lynn is a Rule Breaker Awards 2016 Winner! From over 2,000 businesses nominated, Mary-Lynn and BIGG Success are among the 7 winners selected.

The Rule Breaker Awards honor business owners who have forged their own path. They celebrate entrepreneurs for ignoring conventional wisdom, taking the path less traveled, and doing it the hard way.

Mary-Lynn was selected as the Rule Maker of the Year “for her innovative approach to promoting the Rule Breaker Awards contest on social media.”

Read more

Break the Rules to Be a Success

no rules | BIGG SuccessBIGG success is life on your own terms. You own your life.

You are the entrepreneur in charge. And sometimes you have to break the rules.

Today we’ll share four rules we are breaking in our pursuit of BIGG success. Conventional wisdom is often best ignored.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.

iPhone/iPad Podcast Player

[haiku url=”″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #733″]
Don’t marry your best friend

The rule is that love and friendship don’t go together.

We broke this one. We were best friends before we started dating. And we’re proud to report that it’s working out well.

It’s kind of like Harry and Sally. And there are a lot of us in spite of the rule!

Don’t go into business with your spouse

If the business sours, so will the relationship. Besides, who can stand spending that much time with their spouse?


We love being in business together. Partly for the time we get to spend together. But also because we get to see each other grow in a way we couldn’t if we weren’t in business together.

However, this is one of the comments we get most often. A lot of people just don’t think they could ever work so closely with their spouse.

It’s a BIGG bonus to us.

Don’t make your passion your business

Of course, a lot of people say that you should do this. But there’s also a choir that sings about not turning your passion into a business.

The thought is that you may come to hate your passion and your business. You need a hobby and a business, so the thinking goes.

But we’re very happy combining the two.


George KruegerI love to write. I love learning new things. I love helping others learn, too. BIGG Success is my outlet for all those things. The thought that maybe something we say may make a BIGG difference in someone’s life drives me.



Mary-Lynn FosterAnd I love audio production. Creating a high quality production. Bringing all the elements together to make it fun to listen to in addition to helping people reach BIGG success on their own terms.


Don’t mix business with pleasure

The rule is to keep your personal and professional worlds separate. We break this rule all the time.

We do business with friends. In fact, I prefer it that way. I think the social web is changing this rule for a lot of people.

When we travel – even if it’s just a day trip – we often carve out a little time for ourselves. For example, when we’re in Chicago, we’ll go for a walk along the shores of Lake Michigan.

There are more, but we’ll stop for now. The key thing is to remember this – no matter what anyone says, no matter what the rule is – if it works for you, it works.

That’s life on your own terms. That’s BIGG success!

What rules have you broken?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

tribes Seth Godin joined us on The Bigg Success Show today for the first of a three-part series to discuss his fantastic new book, Tribes. Seth is well-known to most of us, but here are some of the details: He is known as the most popular business blogger on the web. He also has written 10 best-selling books, including three of our favorites: Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, and The Dip. Here’s a recap of the first part of our conversation:




marylynnI have to tell you, Seth, that your book The Dip was very influential in my decision to leave radio to build my own brand. You talked about how the industry forgot they were in the relationship business, not just the radio business. That really helped take me over the top and I said, “Yes, I’m going to start Bigg Success!”



seth_godinI’m so glad to hear that and Tribes is going to help you even more because I talk a lot about the difference between having faith in a vision, faith in the future, or faith in the content about what you do and abandoning the rules or the religion of the status quo.


What is a tribe?


georgeWe love this book, Seth. We see some of the themes from your previous books and you pull it all together, which is fantastic. Why don’t you start by telling us what a “tribe” is?



seth_godinA tribe is a group of people that are connected by a common goal, a common language, and common rituals. Usually they have a leader and a movement – they’re trying to make something happen. A tribe is very different than a crowd. A crowd is just a bunch of people. A crowd is people coming to your Grand Opening Sale, people clicking through to your web site, or people looking at your ads on TV. Marketers love crowds, but they have to earn a tribe, which is a totally different thing.



Because a tribe interacts with each other and that’s what starts creating the movement.



seth_godinThat’s exactly right. Tribes are always bigger than the leader himself. We can look at some famous ones, like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. Clearly it was the movement and the tribe that made the difference, not the person at the front of the room. We see tribes in everything from marathon runners or triathletes all the way to the Red Hat Ladies, the fifty- or sixty-year old women you’ll see around the world at cafes or the women who have now taken up roller derby and do it in the evenings instead of watching TV.


Engagement comes from quality, not quantity


georgeOne of the things in your new book goes back to the crowd theme. It’s the quality, not the quantity, that matters.



seth_godinExactly. What we’re seeing is there’s a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk, who has his own TV show about wine. Gary has a tribe. It’s only a couple of hundred thousand strong, so it’s tiny compared to what any TV network would want. But Gary has benefited enormously, both in terms of revenue and public appearances but also in terms of his impact on society and the people he wants to reach. It’s far more effective than if he had a spot on The Today Show.



marylynnIn your book, you point out something about Gary that I thought was very interesting. What he does is narrate his tribe’s passion. He doesn’t push it on them; he just leads the passion.



seth_godinThat’s right. Almost every tribe was there before you got there to lead it. Almost all the things that human beings want to do, they’ve already figured out. What they’ve been waiting for is someone to connect them and give them a voice. My friend, Jacqueline Novogratz, runs the Acumen Fund, a very important philanthropic venture out of New York. She has trouble finding people who all along believed there was a better solution to the developing world. Once she finds them, all she has to do is point them in the right direction and they’re eager to get on board. It’s not about persuading the undecided; it’s about connecting the committed.


Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with Seth. We’ll learn what pushed Seth to become a tribe leader. He’ll also tell us about the power of one. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:

Related posts

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3


Business Owners Must Be Duplicitous

By Bigg Success Staff

Bigg Success in Business


You may get conflicting messages about being in business. You hear that you need to be passionate about what you do. You’re also told to approach every business decision rationally.

So which is it – love or logic?

As an entrepreneur, you need to love what you do. If you don’t love it, you won’t be able to make it through the inevitable tough times. So get into a business about which you have a passion.

  • Then take pride in your accomplishments. Celebrate them like you’ve just won the Super Bowl. Be human in defeat. Learn from it and then move on. Practice the 24-hour rule – give yourself 24-hours to enjoy victory or recover from a loss. Then move on.
  • Be stubborn about what matters. There are things that are important to your success. They are your core values and purpose. Don’t ever agree to compromise on the things that are important, but be quick to concede if a better idea comes along that’s not in conflict with these core values and your purpose.
  • Finally, don’t fear the fear. As a business owner, you will face fearful times. That’s okay. Successful entrepreneurs have faced the same fears; they just overcame them. You’ll need to do the same. Press on.

Emotion clouds your judgment. You have to get beyond your emotions in order to succeed in business. You have to be calculating, weighing the pros and cons of a given strategy against your goals and the pressures of the market.

  • Separate your ego from your business. Entrepreneurs often get in trouble when they start creating monuments to themselves with the resources of their businesses. Don’t make that mistake! Every business decision should move you one step closer to your dream life.
  • Admit your mistakes. If you don’t admit them, you’ll never learn from them. Unsuccessful business owners often devote even more resources trying to turn a bad decision into a good one. It rarely works. Admit your mistake and move on.
  • Aim before you fire. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re not acting emotionally. Get ready … aim … fire. Business owners who fail often get caught up in the moment and forget this crucial step.
  • Focus on results. Measure everything you accomplish against your goals. Have you exceeded them or fallen short? Why? Answering those questions along the way will take you a long way toward the success of which you dream.


An example of love and logic at play is to remember why you got into business in the first place. You had a goal in mind. You had a plan on how to achieve it. Along the way, you gained new insight and information. You changed your plan, but the goal is still the same. You’re practicing love and logic at the same time!

The bottom line is that it pays to be emotional and unemotional at the same time about your business … be irrationally rational!

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

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

Growth: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Danger: 10 Warning Signs of Trouble Ahead for Your Business

It’s Safest To Stick To What You Know

Plant the Seed This Spring for Your Bigg Success

Don’t Make This Costly Mistake

Lessons Learned From A Bankrupt Business Owner

(Image by eocs)

Sam Walton’s Rules for Building a Business

By Bigg Success Staff

Bigg Success in Business


Sam Walton built the world’s largest retailer from a single store. He says that he wasn’t much of a rule-follower, but in the end, there were things that he did that he felt made him successful.

In his autobiography, Made in America, he described ten things that worked for him.

#1 – Commit to your business.

#2 – Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners.

#3 – Motivate your partners.

#4 – Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners.

#5 – Appreciate everything your associates do for the business.

#6 – Celebrate your successes.

#7 – Listen to everyone in your company.

#8 – Exceed your customers’ expectations.

#9 – Control your expenses better than your competition.

#10 – Swim upstream.

And his unstated bonus rule … #11 – Break all the rules!

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

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

Related posts 

Believe in What You Sell to Succeed in Sales

5 Things To Love About Your Business

How Do You Learn To Be An Entrepreneur?

Don’t Make This Costly Mistake

Lessons Learned From A Bankrupt Business Owner