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Make a Note: Paying Attention Pays Bigg

By Bigg Success Staff
07-21-08

Bigg Success in Business

sharing_successOne of the greatest product success stories of all time has to be 3M’s Post-It Notes. You may or may not be familiar with the story of their development. In case you’re not, the year was 1968. Dr. Spencer Silver discovered the “secret sauce” – the special adhesive that makes Post-It Notes … well, Post-It Notes.

There was just one problem – Dr. Silver talked about it to anyone who would listen, but no one could figure out how to use it. 

That was until six years later … 

Art Fry sang in the choir at his church. He also worked at 3M. He used a bookmark in his hymnal so he could quickly find the next song. There was just one problem – the bookmark kept falling out.

He remembered Dr. Silver’s special adhesive. He tried it out. Sure enough, the lightly- glued note gripped well, but it didn’t tear the page when it was removed. It was the perfect solution!

So what’s the point, you ask?

Dr. Silver wasn’t looking for the glue that makes Post-It Notes possible. The product idea never entered his mind. However, when he discovered the glue, he was alert enough to realize how unique it was. So he started spreading the word.

Art Fry didn’t make the initial discovery. However, he did pay attention. He remembered Dr. Silver talking about his discovery. Now he had a problem for which it was the solution! By being alert to what was going on around him, he was part of the team that created the product we know as Post-It Notes!

What’s happening around you? 

Source
3M’s Post-It Note History 

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

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The Iron Man Dad

By Bigg Success Staff
06-10-08

Success Stories

hoyt_logo 

Dick Hoyt’s son, Rick, was born with cerebral palsy. Due to some complications at birth, the doctors told Dick that Rick would never talk or walk. That day, Dick found his passion – to make life for Rick as normal as possible.

Time passed and Rick graduated from high school. He went on college and earned a degree in special education. While there, he helped his school, Boston College, develop a computer system that enables people like him to communicate.

Here’s where the story gets even more interesting …
Rick heard about a fundraiser – a five-mile run to benefit a young man who was paralyzed. Rick told his dad that they had to help. So Dick pushed Rick in a two-wheel running chair.

That wasn’t enough for this dynamic duo!

They moved on to marathons – that’s over 26 miles! Then triathlons. Finally, they signed on for the Iron Man competition.

And Team Hoyt is a tough competitor!

Dick attaches a tow line around his waist and pulls Rick for the 2.4-mile swim. Then, using a specially built bike, Rick sits in a seat in front of Dick for the 112-mile ride. Finally, Dick pushes a three-wheel chair for the marathon portion of each event.

Now, nearly 1,000 races later, would you say Rick has a normal life? It’s extraordinary. Dick Hoyt set out to create a normal life for his son. He accomplished that, and inspired an entire world!

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

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(Image from teamhoyt)

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Training for Bigg Success

By Bigg Success Staff
04-27-08

Success stories 

Todd Pletcher is a dominant force in the horse racing world. He’s been selected as the outstanding Trainer of the Year for each the last four years.

He also holds the single season earnings record, set in 2006 with purse earnings totaling nearly $28 million. That same year, he broke a record set nineteen years earlier by the legendary D. Wayne Lukas – most stakes wins in a year.

Starting young
Todd found his passion early in life. You might say that training horses was in his blood. He began at the age of 7, working for his father. He continued working part-time all the way through college, spending summers training horses.

During that time, he worked for several legendary trainers, including the man whose record he broke in 2006, D. Wayne Lukas.

He went to work full time for Lukas after graduating from college in 1989. Six years later, he broke out on his own, winning his first race early in 1996.

Winning the bigg one
Today, at 40, Todd’s stable is considered the hottest in the industry. In great demand by horse owners, he dominates nearly every single race in which he competes.

Except for three. You see, for all his success, he has yet to win a single Triple Crown event. Nada. Nothing. A bigg goose egg. Zero.

No Kentucky Derby wins. No Preakness victories. No takes at the Belmont Stakes.

In fact, he also holds the record for the most Triple Crown losses without a victory.

Some people think he can’t be considered the greatest trainer in history if he can’t win the bigg one. After all, the masses may not know much about horse racing, but they do know about the Kentucky Derby.

Todd takes it all in stride. Sure, he’ll be happy when he gets a win under his belt and squelches the critics. But until then, he’ll just keep doing his job. He knows he can’t fully control the ultimate outcome of the race, but he can give it his best shot each and every time out.

So here’s our bet … Todd Pletcher will win the bigg one and those roses will smell better than he ever imagined!

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

Sources

Todd Pletcher Racing Stables web site  

Todd Pletcher page, Wikipedia

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Snowboarder Busts Into Business

By Bigg Success Staff
02-20-08

Success Stories

snowboarder 

Jason Flynn is high on life. He is living his dream. He followed his love and the money followed. The 29-year old started High Society Freeride Company, with friends Reggie Charles, Jay Morin, and Jeremy Rungi about four years ago.

The journey to his start-up was a long ride.

Finding his love
Jason grew up in Michigan. As a kid, he loved sports – football, baseball, and especially hockey. He played them all!

He was never particularly good at skiing, so a friend suggested he try snowboarding. His first time out was rough, but he absolutely fell in love with it. He soon gave up all his other extracurricular activities so he could snowboard more.

He got a job at a local resort in the equipment rental department. As an employee, he got a pass so he could snowboard even more. You get the idea? He loved it!

After he graduated from high school, he went to college. He continued working at the resort. He also got a part-time job selling jam and fudge, of all things.

That job required some travel. One of his trips took him to Denver. After he finished his work for the day, he decided to drive to Aspen. He immediately knew that he had found his place in the world.

When he got home, he quit both of his jobs. Six weeks later, with all of his worldly possessions, he headed for Aspen to begin his new life.

Discovering the idea
He quickly got a job at a ski shop. After some time, he and his future partners were sitting in the backroom looking at a pile of snowboards that had been returned. They just weren’t built to withstand the rigors that good snowboarders put them through.

That’s when they had their epiphany – they would build a snowboard that would last!

They did some research over the next week. They realized that, between the four of them, they had the right connections to make it work.

They designed a product and cajoled a friend in New Zealand to manufacture them in his garage factory. They tested and tested their snowboards. They asked their friends to test them.

They tweaked their design until they had it just right. Now they just needed the money to launch their venture.

Finding the money
Once again, the four young men pulled together. They all worked multiple jobs over the next two years to scrape together enough money to get started.

The High Society Freeride Company officially launched in 2003. It is unique because it is owned and operated entirely by riders. They embrace skiing and snowboarding!

They focus on making the highest-quality products for the best skiers and snowboarders. They limit the production of their product to insure that quality remains high.

Their strategy is working. They now sell through over 25 dealers in nine countries. The High Society Freeride Company is riding high!

Owning a business means wearing many ski hoods …
Because they’re still a relatively small company, Jason and his partners do it all. They design the product, oversee the production process, make the sales, insure delivery, and more. They’re even the janitors!

They are committed to giving back to their community. They donate a portion of all their sales to local charities. Many of these donations are made to organizations suggested by their customers.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – Jason still takes time out of his busy schedule to snowboard four times a week! You have to have your priorities!

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

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

Sources:

Snowboarder carves out a career, freep.com, Janis Campbell

High Society Freeride web site

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Stepping Up To The Plate

By Bigg Success Staff
December 14, 2007

Success Stories

Jamie_ McCourt_jpgBabe Ruth, the legendary home-run hitter, would occasionally point his bat at the spot where he planned to hit the next pitch. Similarly, Jamie McCourt predicted where she would be now over forty years ago.

At the age of nine, she informed her parents that one day she would buy a baseball team. That little girl’s dream became reality, when she and her husband purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004.

Today, Jamie is the Vice Chairman and President of the organization. She serves on numerous Boards in the Los Angeles area. She is the highest ranking female in baseball, and considered one of the most powerful women in all of sports.

Play ball
Even as a young girl, Jamie was competitive. She was a gifted athlete, who could show the boys a thing or two. The tomboy developed confidence in herself from these early experiences. Confidence in her ability to do anything she wanted to do – regardless of her sex.

Player – coach
Her father owned a chain of appliance stores. He was an off-the-wall promotional hypester. So retail is in her blood. She learned from her father and has taken his lessons to a new level. When it comes to hawking your goods, there are few venues as large as your own ball park.

Warning track
Jamie’s educational credentials are top-notch. A Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown. A diploma from La Sorbonne at the University of Paris. A University of Maryland law degree, and a Master’s from the MIT Sloan School of Management, which she completed at the ripe young age of 39.

While there, she couldn’t find a single professor to sponsor her proposed thesis. She wanted to research the economics of buying a baseball team or building a ball park. They warned her that she would be better served by focusing on Wall Street.

But the little girl, who by now was a woman, was not discouraged. She was about to step up to the plate.

Striking Out
Jamie started her career in 1979 as an attorney in New York City. She moved to Boston and opened her own practice. In 1994, she became the Vice President and General Counsel at The McCourt Company, a real estate development firm started by her husband.

Seven years later, Jamie’s opportunity presented itself. She and her husband tried to buy the Boston Red Sox in 2001. But it was not meant to be – she struck out. 

Grand Slam
The greatest players never give up. Jamie is a great player. She and her husband learned the Dodgers were for sale. They purchased the Dodgers at the highest price ever paid for a professional ball team.

The little girl had a dream. As a woman, she had stepped up to the plate and struck out. Then she tried again … and hit a grand slam.

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

Sources:
Los Angeles Dodgers official site
MIT Sloan School of Management Alumni Profiles
“How One Woman Went To Bat in Pro Baseball”  by Francesca Donner, WSJ Online
“McCourt brings ideas, hectic pace to L.A.” by Jill Lieber, USA Today