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The Best Way to Think Outside the Box

inside_the_boxThere’s a cliché of which we’ve grown quite tired. “Think outside the box.” When we heard it said yet again the other day, we had an epiphany.

It’s a way to make sure that you never have to worry about not thinking outside the box. Here it is:

If you always want to think outside the box, don’t get in the box in the first place!



Refuse to accept things at face value. Stand firm against group think. Resist the urge to just go along.

The way you do that is to … expose yourself!

It’s the naked truth!

Allow us to clarify what we mean here. We’re saying to make sure you have plenty of diversity in your life.

The more ways you can look at an issue, the more likely you are to come up with the solution you seek. You can look at an issue from more directions when you expose yourself. 

Let’s get to the bare facts. Here are five things to which you can expose yourself to think innovatively. 

Expose yourself to new people.
This one sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? We don’t mean this in a weird way. Just make sure you don’t just meet people just like you.

Reach out to people in different fields. Get to know people in different areas of the world – it’s easier than ever to do that these days with social networking.

Expose yourself to new opinions.
You will accomplish this, in part, by making friends with a diverse group of people. You can also do it by watching, listening or reading that you don’t usually tune into.

Expose yourself to new places.
This can be as simple as trying a different restaurant instead of the old stand-by. If you usually go downtown, go out to the country or vice versa. Go somewhere else on vacation this year.

Expose yourself to new activities.
Try something you’ve never tried before. Take a class in something you have an interest in but you’ve never really explored. It could even be as simple as taking a different route to work.

Expose yourself to new tools.
If you usually use a fork, try chopsticks. If you have never texted a message, give it a whirl.

You get the idea. Try something different with someone different somewhere different.

When it comes to our finances, we invest in a diversified portfolio of assets to maximize our returns and minimize our risk. Well, it’s safe to assume you’ll think outside the box if you make sure you have variety in your life. It’s the spice that leads to bigg success!

How do you make sure you think innovatively?
Share that with us by leaving a comment below, sending us an e-mail at or leaving a voice mail at 877.988.BIGG(2444).

We thank you so much for checking in with us today!


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Please join us next time when we’ll talk about the next new thing. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Can Social Networking Help You Live Longer

facebookResearchers have observed an effect on longevity in families. Specifically, children of parents who lived 100 years or more tend to live longer too.

A recent study at the Boston University School of Medicine explored possible reasons for this. Is it just in the genes or do these people possess qualities that help them live longer?



They found that, among other things, children of centenarians are very social. They build friendships. They feel that their friends serve as safety nets in times of need.

A while back, a group of Australian researchers at Flinders University found that people with strong friendship networks were more likely to live longer. They divided the group into thirds based on the number of friends in their network. They discovered that people in the top third of friends were 22% less likely to pass away before the decade-long study concluded than people in the lowest third.


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So we wonder: Will we live longer thanks to online social networking?

Obviously, these researchers aren’t studying online social networks. When they talk about social networks, they’re talking about our physical network of friends. However, given this research, we think active online networkers may fare pretty well for these four reasons:

  • Thanks to online social networks, we connect more often these days than we did before they existed. It’s just easier to keep up with friends.
  • We also connect with more people. Because the communication is concise and streaming, it’s easier to make new friends and keep up with them.
  • We connect with a more diverse group of people. It’s so interesting to learn about all the different interests people have. There’s such an array online. Research has shown that brain activity helps reduce the likelihood of dementia as well. It’s amazing how much you can learn from your online friends. And offline too, for that matter!
  • We connect with people who are more geographically dispersed. We learn about new cultures and new things. Once again, it’s all mind-expanding and that’s a good thing.

So when we’re old and gray, we’ll still be actively involved in social networking. In fact, count us in for the golden tweetup!

Do you think that people who are active social networkers will be more likely to live longer?


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Network Like a Cat

catBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is work, one of the five elements of bigg success.

You may have heard about this. As cat-lovers, we found it fascinating. Researchers have identified a special purr – they call it the “solicitation purr” – which cats use to get attention.



The researchers say the solicitation purr is a combination of a regular purr and a sound that resembles a crying baby. While cats purr with each other, it appears they really ramp up their solicitation purring when they communicate with us humans to get our attention.

Almost all the people who listened to cats purring identified the solicitation purr as more urgent. So we have trouble resisting it.

It made us think about networking. We’ll talk about the three networking cats:

The cat that meows

As soon as you meet them, whether in the real world or online, they pounce. They’re in your face making as much noise as they can. They want your attention and they want it now!


georgeI remember getting a friend request in Facebook. I accepted. The next thing I knew, my new friend sent me a message that said, “George, do you have any health problems?” It turns out he was involved with a business that sold a product to improve your health. But isn’t that a strange way to greet a new friend?



marylynnYet we see it all the time. I think it happens more with social networking. For some reason, it’s as if people don’t think they’re communicating with another person. They think they’re communicating with an object – a picture or a computer. But there’s a real person there.


Being too aggressive too quickly may occasionally produce results. But most of the time, we avoid these cats. If we do encounter them, we get away as quickly as we can.

The cat that purrs

These cats sit around purring, mostly keeping to themselves. They’re content to let people come to them. They don’t make an effort to meet new people or to extend their social circles.

Because they’re so content just living in their own world, these cats miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t expand their network or it expands very slowly.

The cat with the solicitation purr

These cats want attention but they’ve learned there is a better way to get it than meowing. They’ve also learned that their regular purr doesn’t get results either. So they’ve evolved by creating a new purr. It has a sense of urgency along with a sense of calm.

Think about attraction, not the law of attraction but what attracts one person to another. People aren’t attracted to people who seem desperate. This is true in romantic encounters, but it’s also the case for professional encounters.

However, people also aren’t attracted to people who seem aloof. Cats who just sit around purring may be perceived as snobbish.

So evolve. Be the cat with the solicitation purr. Exhibit calm and urgency at the same time and you’ll network your way to bigg success.


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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about bigg water. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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The Single Biggest Waste of Time

time.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on time.



There are a lot of ways to waste time. We want to focus on the single biggest one of all time. It might surprise you when you hear what it is.

It’s not reading this post! At least we hope you don’t think that.

It’s not watching TV.

It’s not surfing the internet.

It’s not forwarding silly e-mails to your friends.

It’s not texting.

It’s not social networking.

It’s not useless conversations.

It’s not even inane meetings. 

So what is the single biggest time waster of all time?

It’s doing the wrong thing.

The wrong thing is anything that doesn't move you closer to your dream life.

A lot of the productivity literature focuses on efficiency. That’s great if you’re doing the right thing. So here are 5-steps to moving in the right direction:

Decide on your destination. Where are you going? What’s your bigg dream?

Plot your course. How do you plan to get there? Determine how your journey is expected to progress.

Gather the necessary resources and provisions. Fuel up by getting the knowledge you need. Pick the vehicle that will take you to your destination. Get the help you need – be it a coach, a mentor, a partner, or a virtual assistant.

Go! At some point, you have to take off. You can expect to run into some detours along the way. That’s alright. Keep going. Focus on the road right in front of you.

Don’t forget to rest & replenish.
Take care of your physical self by getting needed sleep, food and exercise. Also feed your mind & soul. We hope Bigg Success is one way you do that every day.

Performing the wrong task, no matter how well you do it, is a complete waste of time. The right tasks move you closer to life on your own terms. That’s bigg success!


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Thanks so much for the gift of your time today. Please join us next time when we ask, “Are you the lead wolf or a lone wolf?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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Social Networking – The Line Between Work and Play


We love hearing from people in the Bigg Success community and recently, Rupa, one of our newsletter subscribers, sent us an e-mail with two great questions.

She said that Generation Y wrestles with the blurred lines between their private, public and professional lives. So colleagues in their professional world have access to personal information.



Young professional

Which leads to Rupa’s first question is, “How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?

Rupa continues by saying that we’re now a very visible society and are encouraged to share our information online. But she’s not thrilled segmenting who can see what by setting up different privacy settings.

So her second question is, “Should we – as a collective society – consider redefining ‘professionalism’ as we've always known it? Is it outdated?"

In the interest of full disclosure, we should tell you that we know Rupa. She is a very professional young person. That’s why her question carries even more weight with us.

Back in the day …

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use Facebook, the most popular social network right now. Generation Y users began using this social media service when it was just a place for Gen Y.

Back in those good old days, your boss wouldn't be on Facebook. Today, he or she may be. Back then, a colleague you met at an event would contact you via email. Today, that colleague may ask to friend you on Facebook.


marylynnI think all active social networkers wrestle with this to some extent. I have a friend who holds a highly visible position in her community. We were talking the other day and she said that she originally got on Facebook to keep track of her kids. Her family joined her. It was mainly a personal space for her. But now she is getting a lot of requests from people she knows in the community and she worries about the same thing. I think you have to find a happy medium when using social media. Make it not too much personal and not too much professional.



georgeWhen you create your profile on Facebook, they ask you to fill out all kinds of things. But you don’t have to. For example, I don't include my religious or political beliefs on my profile page. However, I also don’t walk around with those labels stamped on me when I network in person either. That’s something I only share with close friends.


“How do we uphold our ‘professionalism’ while still enjoying our youth?”

We think you can do one of two things:

  • When a professional colleague asks to friend you on Facebook, reply with: "I would prefer to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" and provide your link.  
  • If you do add them to your Facebook friends and you are concerned that they might see something you don’t want them to, then you don’t have a choice – you have to use privacy settings.

This can be done by creating a "Professional" friend list and applying specific privacy policies to that group. We found a fantastic article that lists some useful privacy settings for Facebook along with instructions on how to configure them.

Privacy settings allow you to present yourself in a youthful way to one set of friends and as a professional to another group. Don’t we do that, at least to some extent, in the real world as well? Imagine all of the people you know in one room together!


I went too far with my privacy settings. Now, even I can’t see what I’m doing!


Maintaining privacy settings may be a little bit of a pain but your efforts will give you peace of mind – especially if you are in Gen Y and used Facebook for its original intent but you’re now integrating your professional contacts too.

Is social media creating the need to change the definition of professionalism?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Acceptable behavior hasn’t changed. People still hold each other to pretty similar standards as before.

What is different, and Rupa said it clearly in her e-mail, is the visibility. In other words, you’re more likely to get caught, we say tongue-in-cheek!

Because of that visibility, you have to be more careful about how you portray yourself online. For instance, let's say you are having a bad day. As a professional, you wouldn’t yell out, “I hate my job,” for everyone in the office to hear.

By the same token, it might be wise not to post that sentiment on your Facebook status, especially if you have co-workers in your network of friends. If you want Facebook to be a place to share the "authentic you", and you friend co-workers and managers, then it’s best to set up some privacy settings!

Your brand image

The bottom line is to remember that you are a brand. Your brand consists of your personal life and your professional life. Social media allows you to share both sides of your life with people in a public arena. You have to control your public brand image.

Thanks so much, Rupa, for your thought-provoking questions and for giving us permission to use them!

What are your thoughts about Rupa’s questions?


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