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2 steps to guide you to BIGG Success

2 Steps to Success

2 steps to guide you to BIGG Success

He was considered one of the leading statistics professors in the entire world. Respected by his fellow scholars, his work was always on the leading edge.

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 5:18)

He advised governments and large corporations. His students became disciples.

He preached the importance of statistical significance. If it wasn’t statistically significant, it didn’t matter. It was an outlier. Don’t worry about it.

The professor had a great life. He was living the American Dream – born to a poor family, he excelled in the classroom and was rewarded with scholarships to the top schools in the world.

He had it all – a beautiful wife, two wonderful kids (a boy and a girl), a dog and a cat, an incredible home, vacations, you name it – life couldn’t get any better.

Then one day, as he left his office and walked to his car, he was struck by a meteor. His colleagues rushed to his aid. They called 9-1-1. The ambulance was there in minutes and rushed him to the hospital.

He was declared dead on arrival. “Accident” – that’s what the death certificate said. It was a bitter irony – the highly unlikely event which killed this statistics professor was incredibly statistically insignificant!

Obviously, this fictional story was inspired by the recent meteor that exploded over Russia.

From this story about the professor, we just want to highlight a significant principle of BIGG success – YOUR results are all that matter.

Statistics may tell you the odds are against you.

It doesn’t matter if you defy the statistics.

For example, statistics say most businesses fail. Yet that didn’t stop [insert the name of your favorite entrepreneur] from giving it a whirl.

Don’t pay attention to naysayers. If it works for you, it works.

Work to make a decision and then make your decision work. That’s the two steps to BIGG success!

It may have never worked for anyone before.

It doesn’t matter if it works for you this one time, when you need it to.

We can’t think of a better example of this than Fred DeLuca, the founder of Subway.

He had just graduated from high school. He needed a way to pay for college and he knew a minimum wage job wasn’t going to cut it.

So he got a BIGG idea – he would open a restaurant!

He got a family friend to provide the financing and he opened his first shop. But his enthusiasm soon turned anxiety – he was losing money.

So he started a second store. Now he had two restaurants losing money.

Did he give up? No!

He had made his decision. Now he was going to make his decision work.

He opened a third restaurant. In just a short time, all three stores were making money.

The reason? They were close enough together, so he could advertise for all of them together. It lowered his advertising cost per store enough to put him in the black.

We would never even consider doing what he did.

We would never suggest it to a coaching client.

We don’t know of any professional advisor who would.

But it worked for Fred Deluca.

Now it may not work for us. It may not work for you. It may not work for him if he tried it again.

But it doesn’t matter – it worked when he needed it to. That’s all you need.

So make a decision and then make your decision work. It leads to BIGG success!

We’re going to make a BIGG announcement this coming Tuesday. So check in with us so you’re one the first people to hear all about it!

Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

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Is Getting a Job Riskier Than Starting a Business?

Play at your own riskWe were recently walking through the retail business area of our campus – our campus “downtown” you might call it. In the middle of the main block, two storefronts in a row were boarded up.

It’s a reminder that small businesses fail. The dreams of two or more entrepreneurs were unrealized. Lives were disrupted. Money may have been lost.

The most cited number is misinterpreted

Like us, you’ve probably heard it over and over again. It usually goes something like this:

“Starting a business is risky. Ninety percent of all entrepreneurial ventures fail within the first year.”

Some people say two years or five years. It doesn’t matter; the number is daunting.

We think the origin of this number stems from The State of Small Business: A Report to the President for the year 1994. We got it via Entrepreneurial Finance by Janet Kilholm Smith and Richard Smith.

The 90% number so often quoted is a misinterpretation of the data. The research actually showed that nearly 91 businesses ceased operations for every 100 startups, on average for the five years from 1990 to 1994.

To understand the misunderstanding, let’s say 100 new jobs were created in the past year while 91 people got laid off. Would we say we had a 91% job loss rate? Or would we say the net gain is 9 jobs?

When it comes to jobs, net gains are reported. When the subject is startups, the failure rate is cited. Why the difference?

The actual failure rate of startups

Scott Shane takes a different approach in his excellent book, The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By. His data shows that, if 100 entrepreneurial ventures were started today, the expected number of failures each year would be:

failure rate chart

While his numbers look a whole lot better, the odds are still stacked against startup entrepreneurs. But statistics are funny things.

The failure rate for employees

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released the results of a long-term study on labor market mobility. You can go to their news release if you want the details. In general, they showed that if 100 people started a new job today, only 67 would still hold that same job in a year. In five years, only 32 will hold the same position in five years.

So the survival rate for jobs is lower than the survival rate for startups!

We can hear the chorus of objections.

Some of these employees may have been promoted.

Others may have elected to take another job – maybe even a better one.

Of course, some were involuntarily let go.

Even then, many of them may have been eligible for unemployment.

In any case, they didn’t have money at risk like entrepreneurs do.

The number rarely discussed

Well said! However, it also highlights what we often ignore when we cite statistics about the failure rate of startups:

Some of the startup entrepreneurs may have ceased operations for a better opportunity – as an employee or an entrepreneur.

And then there’s the statistic we haven’t talked about yet. In fact, almost no one ever talks about it. Its source is the same as the 90% statistic mentioned earlier.

Only 9% of startups cease operations with unpaid obligations, on average.

Few entrepreneurs actually walk away owing money. They may have lost what they invested. However, no one else did. Suddenly, entrepreneuring doesn’t sound quite as risky as we are led to believe by popular lore

Freedom or security is the age old argument. It turns out there are risks in both employment and entrepreneuring. Successful entrepreneurs are masters at risk mitigation.

You can reduce the risk of leaving your job with a little advance preparation. Test yourself against these 10 signs you’re ready to quit your job and start a business. And check out The Entrepreneur Equation by the amazing Carol Roth.

Image in this post from nosheep

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Blame, Blame Go Away

never_give_up Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, recently showed his sense of humor before a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. He said that one of his predecessors gave him three envelopes when he took the office. He was to open the first when things got bad, the second when the situation got even worse, and the third if they ever got critical.

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So a while back, he opened the first one. It said, “Blame your predecessor.” Obviously Tony Blair wasn’t the person who gave him these envelopes!

Before long, the situation worsened. So he opened the second envelope. It said, “Blame the statistics.”

Recently, as things continued to get worse, he finally succumbed and opened the third one. It said, “Start writing three envelopes to your successor.”

Fortunately, he was joking. But it raises a serious point – the way in which a lot of people respond in crisis. First, fix the blame. If that doesn’t work, run!

Bigg winners respond differently.

Bigg winners say blame, blame go away. They focus on fixing the problem, not the blame. So much energy is spent trying to find out who’s responsible. Leaders focus on what the problem is. Fix that. Then worry about who should be held accountable.

Also, when faced with a serious problem, bigg winners don’t worry about what happened yesterday. We get so focused on who did what to whom. Today is what matters. What are you doing today … right now … to find a solution to your problem? That solution lies in the present, not the past.

But finding a solution is just the beginning. Don’t stop there. You have to act to make your solution work – the sooner the better. But be prepared … you may not have found the right solution yet. That’s okay. Test your solution. See what happens. If it doesn’t work, test another one.

Which brings us to perhaps the most important thing bigg winners do when faced with a problem – they don’t ever give up. As long as you’re still trying, you’re not a failure. Press on! See that wall that lies before you? Climb over it, dig under it, go around it, or plow right through it!

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We really appreciate that you took time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with us. Join us next time when we discuss how to be a career renegade. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00318-012809.mp3

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Close Encounters of the Rude Kind

rude Does anything bring out rude behavior more than the holiday shopping season? People cutting you off in traffic, stealing your parking spot, talking on their cell phone while being checked out, leaving their garbage in stores, and even being physically aggressive on Black Friday!

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Oprah recently did a show on rude behavior where she highlighted these statistics:

  • Eighty percent of Americans think rudeness is a serious national problem.
  • Yet ninety-nine percent say that they themselves are not rude.

So we can only conclude from these results that all of the rudeness must stem from one percent of all the people! Evidently, most of us think that almost everyone else is rude, but we’re not.

Test yourself

To see how you stack up, she provides a quiz. Here are a few of the questions:

Are you chronically late? 

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georgeI would have to say n…yes. I want to say “no”, but there may be some people who would disagree with me! Too often I think I can squeeze in one more call or answer one more e-mail before heading off to that next appointment.

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marylynnOprah answered the same way. I know I need to work on this … I tend to be five minutes late to meetings.

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Have you ever interrupted a face-to-face conversation to take a non-urgent cell phone call?

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george
I can’t ever recall a time when I’ve done this. Hey, that means I got one right!

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marylynn
I’m good at ignoring the phone when I’m talking to someone face-to-face.

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Have you gone through a supermarket 10-item express lane with more than 10 items?

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georgeWell, that depends on how you define the word “item”. If I have multiples of a single item that does only count as one, doesn’t it?

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marylynn
I’m guilty by association because I go to the store with you, George.

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george
Oh thanks, Mary-Lynn, for blaming it all on me! That’s rude!

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These questions made us think – things that we don’t necessarily think are rude may be perceived as rude by others.

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georgeI get annoyed with oblivious shoppers. When it’s December 24th and I’m starting to shop for Christmas, it’s just rude for people to wander around like they don’t have anything to do. They get in the way of us serious shoppers!

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marylynnFor me, it’s rude drivers – they don’t use their turn signal. They don’t get over when I’m trying to merge even though there’s plenty of room. Drivers who don’t pay attention are inconsiderate!

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What rude behavior is a pet peeve for you?

3 rules of civil behavior

During her show, Oprah talked with Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.

He says our society is structured to encourage rudeness. We’re stressed, fatigued, and in environments with a lot of people we don’t know. For example, we may be one of hundreds of people in a store or traffic jam. His book points out three rules to behave more civilly:

Pay Attention
Without attention, no meaningful interaction is possible. When we relate to the world as if we were on automatic pilot, we can hardly be at our best in our encounters with our fellow human beings.

Acknowledge Others

Acknowledge others' existence, their importance to you, their feelings, and the things they do for you. A simple "Good morning" as you walk past a co-worker in the hallway is a perfect example.

Think The Best
When we approach others assuming that they are good, honest, and sensitive, we often encourage them to be just that. Yet from the results of this study, it appears that we assume the worst in others while thinking the best of ourselves. Sometimes it is dissatisfaction with ourselves that makes us judge others unfairly.

Finally, Dr. Forni also says being polite is a healthier way to live. Going through life behaving rudely can make you physically sick. 

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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We really appreciate that you took the time to read our post today. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. We’re going to put a different spin on it and talk about thanksgetting. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00273-112608.mp3

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(Image by Abdulic Monkey, CC 2.0)