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Save the Holiday Party!

holiday We face many important issues in the coming months and years. So we decided to start a movement – to save the holiday party!

Okay, maybe that’s not the most important thing we could address, but we still think that many business owners are making a bigg mistake by eliminating this annual tradition.

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A recent survey by executive search firm Battalia Winston found that fewer firms plan to host a holiday party for their employees this year. In fact, it’s the lowest number in the twenty year history of the study. The primary reason cited is the poor economy.

We think this sends the wrong message. Leaders who portray gloom and doom create an environment of uncertainty. It scares people. People today are looking for signs of reassurance, not signals of impending disaster.

Holiday parties aren’t just about having a party. They’re a great opportunity to show your appreciation to your people. They can help build your team by getting together without the pressure of work. Yet people inevitably talk about work, recalling fun times together from the past year. This builds a sense of comradery which helps get things done at work.

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If last year’s party is beyond this year’s budget, get creative. There are ways to keep the party without busting the bank. Here are some thoughts:

Look for deals

With more companies cutting back, you might be surprised to learn that facilities are more aggressive in pricing deals for those people who still plan to hold an event. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!

Keep it on site

If you can’t find a good deal, consider having it on site if your facility will accommodate it. Then look for a good deal on catering. You might find that catering firms offer a good alternative since they’re not paying for the overhead of a facility.

Go potluck

If that’s still too expensive, have a potluck. Ask your employees to bring a dish. Consider making it a day-long event. People can “graze” and chat. Just for one day, accept a more relaxed environment full of impromptu conversations.

Make it fun

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marylynnSanta visited us at a radio station I worked at. The employees brought their kids in to tell him what they wanted. It was a lot of fun – all for the price of renting a Santa suit since our General Manager played Santa.

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There are many other ways to make it an event, even if it doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional holiday party. Give out awards. Have an employee who’s into such things produce a fun video or audio.

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marylynnAt one radio station, our production manager put together a fun audio of all of our commercial outtakes. As the disc jockeys recorded commercials, he kept the bloopers and played them at our annual holiday get-together. It was so funny!

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georgeWe gave out gag gifts at one of the companies I owned. They reflected something that an employee had done over the past year that made people laugh. It brought up the joke again and everybody loved it.

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Hold it after the New Year

A number of companies are turning their “holiday” party into an “annual” party. Instead of competing for space during the busy holiday season, they hold it after the New Year. A lot of people really like this because we’re all so busy at the end of the year.

We have friends who turned their annual holiday party into “Christmas in July.” We were fortunate enough to get invited. They had a Christmas tree and played holiday music. It made for a fun evening.

If you do end up doing something different, don’t present it as just the result of budget cutbacks. Tell your people that you want to try something different. Get them involved in finding a good solution.

What do you think? Does canceling the holiday party send the wrong message to your people? What are you doing this year for your people?

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Santa’s Helpers

Yesterday, Santa stopped by our studio and told us how he stays so jolly.  Today, we want to share a story about two of Santa’s helpers – you may or may not be familiar with it.

It all began 27 years ago. Larry Stewart was broke. He was also very hungry. He saw a little diner. He went in. He admits that he planned to order breakfast, and then when it was time to pay …. he planned to pretend that he’d lost his wallet. 

The owner of the diner must have had a sixth sense. As Stewart had finished eating, the owner came out from behind the counter and bent down to pick something up from the floor. “Here,” he said to Stewart, “you must have dropped this.” It was a $20 bill!

Stewart made a vow that day. He would help others whenever he could. He did just that. He started immediately. When he had some spare money, he would find someone in need and share his good fortune.

As time passed, Stewart started and succeeded in his own business. But every year, at Christmas, you could see him looking for people who needed a lift. He would give them cash … asking only that they help someone else in return. He became known as “the secret Santa.”

That’s because he did all of this anonymously. We only learned his identity last Christmas, as he realized it would be his last – you see, he was losing his fight with cancer. We lost Larry Stewart in January. During his life, he managed to give away about $1.3 million as the secret Santa.

But his legacy isn’t over. As Stewart lay dying in his hospital bed, a fellow businessman and friend promised Stewart that the mission would be carried on – the businessman vowed to be the next secret Santa. This year, he has crossed the United States going to thrift stores, laundromats, bus stations, and the like handing out $100 bills – maybe one, maybe more – to people in need.

By Christmas, he will have given out $75,000 of his own money. He says he gets a great return – the joy that it creates for him and the people who receive his gift. They know that they’ve received an unconditional gift – based on nothing more than one human being caring for another.

Here’s the secret Santa in action. A couple lost one of their four children to a rare form of cancer in November. They faced incredible medical bills. They warned their remaining kids that Christmas might not come this year.

One day, they heard a knock on their door. Standing there was the secret Santa. He handed them $1,000!

We thought it appropriate today to quote the new secret Santa. 

“Secret Santa lives in each and every one
of us, it’s just a matter of letting him out.”

The good news is that this idea is catching on. More and more people are contacting the new secret Santa. Even interning with him to see how he does it. You can see too in this special report from CBS.

Next time, we’ll discuss the timeless secret for overcoming all the odds … for making your star shine bright.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Santa's Helpers

Yesterday, Santa stopped by our studio and told us how he stays so jolly.  Today, we want to share a story about two of Santa’s helpers – you may or may not be familiar with it.

It all began 27 years ago. Larry Stewart was broke. He was also very hungry. He saw a little diner. He went in. He admits that he planned to order breakfast, and then when it was time to pay …. he planned to pretend that he’d lost his wallet. 

The owner of the diner must have had a sixth sense. As Stewart had finished eating, the owner came out from behind the counter and bent down to pick something up from the floor. “Here,” he said to Stewart, “you must have dropped this.” It was a $20 bill!

Stewart made a vow that day. He would help others whenever he could. He did just that. He started immediately. When he had some spare money, he would find someone in need and share his good fortune.

As time passed, Stewart started and succeeded in his own business. But every year, at Christmas, you could see him looking for people who needed a lift. He would give them cash … asking only that they help someone else in return. He became known as “the secret Santa.”

That’s because he did all of this anonymously. We only learned his identity last Christmas, as he realized it would be his last – you see, he was losing his fight with cancer. We lost Larry Stewart in January. During his life, he managed to give away about $1.3 million as the secret Santa.

But his legacy isn’t over. As Stewart lay dying in his hospital bed, a fellow businessman and friend promised Stewart that the mission would be carried on – the businessman vowed to be the next secret Santa. This year, he has crossed the United States going to thrift stores, laundromats, bus stations, and the like handing out $100 bills – maybe one, maybe more – to people in need.

By Christmas, he will have given out $75,000 of his own money. He says he gets a great return – the joy that it creates for him and the people who receive his gift. They know that they’ve received an unconditional gift – based on nothing more than one human being caring for another.

Here’s the secret Santa in action. A couple lost one of their four children to a rare form of cancer in November. They faced incredible medical bills. They warned their remaining kids that Christmas might not come this year.

One day, they heard a knock on their door. Standing there was the secret Santa. He handed them $1,000!

We thought it appropriate today to quote the new secret Santa. 

“Secret Santa lives in each and every one
of us, it’s just a matter of letting him out.”

The good news is that this idea is catching on. More and more people are contacting the new secret Santa. Even interning with him to see how he does it. You can see too in this special report from CBS.

Next time, we’ll discuss the timeless secret for overcoming all the odds … for making your star shine bright.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Santa Shares Some Jolly Good Tips

Today we have a very special guest at Bigg Success…Santa Claus! Tis the season for stress and the winter blues, and we thought we’d find out from the man, who is the busiest of all of us this time of year, how he keeps a smile on his face.

We can’t really do this justice in type. We highly recommend you click on the play button above (just click the arrow), or, if you are viewing this in a reader, just click the mp3 button. You’ll definitely get a good laugh, which is just one of Santa’s secrets.

Here’s what else Santa told us:

  • You can be happy without being jolly, but you can’t be jolly without being happy
  • Happiness is a mindset. If you are happy, you become jolly. Happiness comes from the inside, and jolliness is what everyone sees on the outside as a result of your happiness.

    So, you’re jolly on the outside because you are happy on the inside.

  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • If you are having a less-than-jolly start to your day, think about something that makes you laugh, which leads to bigger and bigger laughs, and eventually a big belly laugh! Now you are jolly again.

  • Work up a big Santa belly laugh
  • Studies have shown that belly laughs actually improve your health!

    Here’s how Santa does it. Take a big, deep breath. Really fill up your lungs with lots of air. As you exhale, push all that air out with a big Ho-Ho-Ho! Now you are smiling, and those around you are too!

  • Santa’s secret to happiness
  • If you don’t feel jolly, then act jolly. Put motion to your emotions. Think happy thoughts, smile and laugh, and soon you’ll be jolly!

Our quote today is by author and scholar, Carolyn Birmingham.

“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.”

Again, we encourage you to listen to today’s Bigg Success Show, where you are sure to work up a bigg (with two g’s) belly laugh!

Next time, we’ll talk about Santa’s helpers. One man’s legacy of giving and how it’s being carried on. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are you like Santa … or Scrooge?

By Bigg Success Staff
12-20-07 

 Test Yourself

tug_of_war

Find out if you’re a giver or a taker with this fun little quiz. You’ll know in less than two minutes!  The give-or-take test, developed by the good people at Queendom, helps you know how you’re likely to do in your relationships. 

Healthy relationships require give … and take. Imbalance leads to dissatisfaction. You can’t just give and give and give. However, you do have to come through when people really need you.

You can’t be comfortable with others, until you’re comfortable with yourself. That’s the starting point. Then recognize your own needs and wants, as well as the needs and wants of the people you care about. Now you can judge the situation and weigh your needs and wants with the needs and wants of the person involved.

We think you’ll like this quick quiz – we did!

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(Photo by: destinelee)