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Why Social Entrepreneurship is a Waste of Time

Every entrepreneur has to find money for BIGG SuccessToday we want to tackle a very controversial subject. More specifically, we want to take a position which may be controversial.

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We don’t mean to offend. We just want to make an important distinction.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. So we pay a great deal of attention to terms.

The term we want to talk about today is “social entrepreneurship”.

It’s a popular term, a buzz word even. People say with pride, “I’m a social entrepreneur” or “I want to be a social entrepreneur.”

Wikipedia defines a “social entrepreneur” as “someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.”

Let’s deconstruct just one part of that definition – the term “social” as an adjective.

Among other definitions, Merriam-Webster defines “social” as “tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others.”

The problem with social entrepreneurship

So here’s the problem – here’s why we say social entrepreneurship is a waste of time: It’s redundant.

  • ALL entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs.

  • ALL entrepreneurs exist to serve society.

  • ALL entrepreneurs must recognize a social problem – a problem affecting the welfare of a group of human beings.

  • ALL entrepreneurs must use entrepreneurial principles to solve that problem.

  • ALL Entrepreneurs add value in the lives of others to create value for themselves.

All entrepreneurs need money

Now, some entrepreneurs have a profit motive while others don’t. But they all have to find funding somehow.

Some entrepreneurs raise capital to get a venture going and then repay it from profits. Other entrepreneurs rely on donations of time and/or money to get a venture going. But they must find a steady flow of cash from somewhere.

But to describe one activity as social and the other as not is a mislabeling.

ALL entrepreneurs are social because ALL entrepreneurs try to help a group of people.

Profit is not a dirty word

Entrepreneurs who forget this basic tenet of entrepreneurship are the ones who fail. Novices often go into ventures only thinking about how they will make money. You have to think about the people and their problem.

Of course, you have to think about the money too – whether you’re starting up a for-profit venture or not. And don’t ever forget:

Profit is not a dirty word. Every entrepreneur – for profit or non-profit – has to find a money trail to sustain their operation.

But focus on the problem first. Then figure out your funding and your cash flows.

Once you know how to create value for yourself by adding value for others, you’re ready for BIGG success!

Do you think “social entrepreneurship” is redundant?

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The Logical Way to Rediscover Your Creativity

music-lessonsIn today’s Music Lesson, we want to look at Supertramp’s The Logical Song. It’s about a young adult looking back on his life. He’s lost and he’s trying to understand why. What led him here?

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Learning too much

His education taught him to be “intellectual, cynical”.

And he learned. So well, in fact, that he lost himself. “Please tell me who I am,” he says.

In the process, he became cynical. A certain amount of skepticism is healthy. When it crosses that fine line and turns into cynicism, it’s unhealthy.

Learning the wrong lesson

He says, “Watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical, liberal, fanatical, criminal. Won’t you sign up your name? We’d like to feel you’re acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable.”

We wonder … does that mean he’s a couch potato?

Bigg success is life on your own terms. However, the young man in this song has learned that the world doesn’t want you to live your life on your own terms.

Go along to get along.

That’s what we’re taught to do. We’re supposed to fall in line. We’re not supposed to think for ourselves. We shouldn’t be too “out there”. Don’t get “too creative.”

The logical end of creativity

We saw a great article on creativity from Scientific American Mind. In the article, the question was asked, “Why do so few people express creativity?”

Check out the answer by one of the experts:

He said that we all express creativity when we’re young. But by the end of the first grade, very few of us do so.”

That’s what made us think of The Logical Song in the first place. Can you hear it …

“But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, responsible, practical.”

The expert in the article said the reason we lose our creativity is because of socialization. We learn to “stay on task.” We’re told to “stop daydreaming.” “Stop asking silly questions.” The result:

“… the expression of new ideas is largely shut down.”

2 keys to rediscover your creativity and reconnect with yourself

  • Reconnect with your youth

“When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.”

Reconnect to your youth to rediscover your creativity. Think about another song – Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.

See the wonder in the world. See the miracles around you. See the beauty that is ever present. See the magic as it happens.

View the world like a kid again and marvel.                   

  • Reconnect to nature

“And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily, joyfully, playfully, watching me.”    

The first thing that jumped out at us was the very first word – “And”.

This second way to reconnect with yourself and your creativity is an extension of the first way. We must first get in touch with our child-like nature; then we can reconnect with nature.

Connect with nature personally. The young man in the song doesn’t just marvel at the birds singing. He hears them singing to him!

Of course, he turned into a radical!

Experts say creativity will be an increasingly valuable skill in the years ahead. There are a lot of opportunities to create the life you dream of living. Rediscover your creativity for bigg success! 

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we ask … what if Elvis were an entrepreneur. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Learn to Play to Learn

playing.jpg We recently did a show on the tradeoff between work and play. We said that it was important to make time for both productive play and pure play – things you do just for fun. We said it really is true – we do seem to get more done when we’re busy.

Ryan left a great comment on that topic. He’s one of our regulars and he often leaves comments. We love the feedback!

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Pre-paying for play plans improves productivity

He said that he’s learned that it’s good to keep busy with his downtime. So he goes to a sporting event or a concert just about every week. Because he’s paid for the ticket in advance, he feels compelled to go. That’s his secret – it forces him to work more efficiently to get his work done.

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georgeI had never thought of that little trick! We schedule fun activities of course. But I had never thought about purposefully and routinely scheduling an activity that I paid for in advance as a way to ramp up my time at work.

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marylynnIt’s a great suggestion. It’s easy to get so busy working that I fail to recharge myself by doing something that gets my mind off of work. By committing my money, I’m more likely to commit my time!

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georgeI’m one of those people who can go and go and go. But at some point, my body and my mind start saying, “Enough already! What are you doing to us? We need a break!” Ryan’s suggestion helps make sure that doesn’t happen.

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marylynnFortunately, and maybe unfortunately, George and I are very similar in that respect. I’m a bit of a workaholic myself. So we work very well together. But I agree – it would be helpful to schedule more time for fun knowing that I’ll be more productive at work.

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It’s about living with purpose on purpose. After all, we’re only human. We should live on human time! Plan something fun and pay for it in advance. You’ll be more likely to do it!

Ramp up your downtime

Ryan also said that when he was in college, he got better grades when he took eighteen credit hours than when he only had twelve in a semester. His personal observation sparked a thought for us …

… we should always be a student!

It pays bigg dividends to be curious about everything with which you come in contact, not just your area of expertise.

Since Ryan brought up sporting events, you can learn from studying the players – when they’re warming up, idle, in the middle of a play, or when the game’s on the line.

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georgeThis is something I do. It’s interesting to see the differences among players when the game’s on the line. I’ve learned a lot about operating under pressure by watching sports.

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marylynnAt concerts, there are a lot of details. The artist’s stage presence, the lighting, the way musicians play together, and even their hair! If it’s a symphony, study the conductor and how he or she leads. They’re masters of their craft and we can learn lessons that we can apply to our crafts.

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georgeOne of my favorite things to do is to be a student when I’m talking to people in social settings. I can read a book or an article, but there’s nothing like learning about someone’s occupation and interests first-hand. You get to ask questions and go deeper into a subject with a real person who is living it.

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marylynnWe have a friend who made a great suggestion that has forever changed how I watch movies. He said to think of yourself as a director. When the movie is over, ask yourself what you would have done differently. It gets my creative juices flowing and makes for great conversation afterwards.

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Always be a student. It helps keep your mind young. It expands your imagination. It will help you reach bigg success even faster!

Of what are you a student in your downtime?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Ryan for your thought-provoking comment. And thank you for reading our post today.

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Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we talk about how to get to the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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The Art of Knowing Yourself

questions In the movie, Pretty Woman, Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) and Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) go to an opera. Edward explains to Vivian that some people who go to an opera for the first time love it. He continues that others don’t love it; they may come to appreciate it, but they will never love it. At the end of the opera, Vivian is crying while Edward sits stoically watching her.

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There’s a great article, by Eriq Gardner over at Psychology Today, about what your choice in art says about you. He describes four 4 personality types:

#1 – Taste hunters
These people are always looking for new art and sharing their discoveries with others. If you visited their home, you’d find an eclectic mix of books, CDs, and DVDs. These people are more likely to become artists themselves.

#2 – Thrill seekers
These people are highly social, connecting with others at concerts, clubs & theaters. They crave sensory excitement, often consuming several media at once. They enjoy bold colors or themes of sex or violence.

#3 – Self-medicators

These people may be somewhat neurotic, evidenced by anxiety and sensitivity. They are highly creative and emotional. So they like art that depicts emotion – romantic movies and books, and music like rap and heavy metal. They use art to regulate their moods and validate their feelings.

#4 – Art as decoration
These conscientious people are dependable, focused, and task-oriented. They enjoy order and rules. So they like art about things they like in real life. They choose art for its aesthetics, often selecting it based on its market value. Conventional art is preferred over modern or abstract. Musicians who are technically accomplished are favored.

Which type are you?

Edward Lewis was definitely the “art as decoration” personality. He went to the opera to be seen by people who viewed as important. He chose the best seat because it made him look important. He consumed art in a very logical manner. He didn’t experience it fully, but he appreciated the craftsmanship that went into making it.

Vivian Ward was very extroverted, enjoying flashy clothes throughout the movie. She felt the opera deeply. This all steers us toward thinking she was a “thrill seeker”. But she was also very emotional, perhaps showing some tendencies of a “self-medicator”.

That’s the thing about these four personality types. Most of us probably fit into more than one. What type or types are you?

Consuming art can reduce your stress

The article also cites a study of office workers – one group looked at art, the other didn’t. It took five hours for the group that didn’t look at art to wind down after work. The group who looked at art achieved the same stress level in forty minutes!

It also helps you understand yourself better. By thinking about the type of art you like, you get to know yourself better.

It’s also a great way to get a conversation going. It helps you connect with others. By knowing what art a person consumes, you come to understand them better.
So take advantage of the upcoming weekend to take in some art!

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Next time, we’ll discuss smart investors in tough times. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Are Good Looks an Advantage or a Disadvantage at Work?

A lot of attractive people complain that people assume things about them without getting to know them. It’s assumed that they’re unintelligent, superficial, and even arrogant.

You’ve been given the gift of physical attractiveness, which has to mean you’re lacking in other areas. In the social world, you’re just the pretty boy or girl.

But does that perception carry over into the professional world? Is there a bias against people who are good-looking?

 

Green Without Envy
Economists Markus Mobius of Harvard University and Tanya Rosenblat of Wesleyan University did a study to see how looks affected the hiring process. They divided participants into five groups:

  • Two of the groups never saw a photo of the candidate or the candidates themselves
  • The other three either saw the candidate’s photograph or in-person.

The groups who saw the candidates were much more likely to hire the more attractive candidate, even though the less attractive candidate was just as qualified.

These employers predicted that the attractive candidates would be more productive, and would be rewarded for it with higher pay.

Even Greener Pastures
Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the economics of beauty. Dr. Hamermesh has focused on how beauty effects financial success in the workplace.

His research confirms the results of the study we just referenced – that beauty gains an advantage because the doors of opportunity open more frequently. So they make connections, learn skills, and grow professionally. Then they’re able to leverage that first opportunity into many more opportunities, which results in even higher pay.

He also offers little hope for the unattractive. His research has shown that spending money on things to enhance your looks is a waste. You’ll only get back about 15 cents in pay for ever dollar you spend.

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names,
but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”

The more colors you have, the more colorful your world can be.


Questions for you

Socially, we often hear pretty people complain that they’re discriminated against. But research seems to show that it works to their favor in the workplace.

From your experiences, do you think good looks are an advantage or a disadvantage?

Is there a difference between men and women? Are good looks more important in the workplace for men or for women?

How about age? Is this something you think affects young people more than older workers or vice versa?

What do you think of Dr. Hamermesh’s finding that it doesn’t pay to try to package yourself better? Do you think it makes a difference?

Share your thoughts by leaving a Comment.

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Pages

Are Face-to-Face Meetings a Thing of the Past?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-19-08

Career Builders

face_to_face

We live in a socially connected world. We develop and maintain relationships electronically. LinkedIn. FaceBook. Twitter. And hundreds of more ways to meet and greet people online.

We send text messages, instant messages, chat online or e-mail back and forth. These forms of communication have reduced the number of phone calls in which we engage.

And face time … well, it’s not gone the way of the dinosaur, but who really needs to meet face-to-face?

We all do!

All of the communication tools at our disposal are valuable. However, nothing can replace in-person conversations for richness. We can build higher quality relationships faster when we meet face-to-face.

When we meet in-person, we can see the whole conversation. Body language, facial expressions, vocal inflections. We get the entire dynamic.

We don’t have access to those things when our conversation is electronic. We even miss a lot of it with a phone call. Nothing replaces meeting in-person.

Of course, many of our conversations can be handled with the new methods of communication. But don’t be shy about meeting in person when the situation calls for it. You’ll probably find that you accomplish more than you can with any other means.

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

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A New Leadership Style Emerges

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Leadership Skills

leaders

If we’ve learned anything from the explosion of social media, it’s that people want to connect with other people. They want to be a part of something. They want to contribute. They want to build relationships with like-minded colleagues.

It calls for testing old leadership styles. Leaders still need the same skills they had, but they need to apply those skills in a different way.

At the risk of over-generalizing, men tend to charge in and demand the most (e.g. the cheapest price from their vendors, the most output from their subordinates).

If you’re doing a one-time deal, that may be fine. But if you seek a long-term relationship, men might learn something from women.

Women tend to collaborate. To seek a consensus. They want win – win.

This may be less fruitful in the short run, but in the long term, it often pays bigg dividends.

People don’t do business with people who have burned them. Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.

So creating an environment around collaboration, where everyone feels like they’re part of the team is productive. Building an organization that allows everyone to win is good business.

And “everyone” means employees, customers, vendors, and more!

It’s a very inclusive organization seeking to create the best opportunities for all the parties involved.

As more and more women obtain leadership positions, this style will become more prevalent. It behooves all of us, man or woman, to get on board the collaboration train!

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

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