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Does Barack Obama’s Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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(Image by rollingstone.com)

Does Barack Obama's Favorite Music Make Him More Interesting?

Rolling Stone interviewed Barack Obama recently. He revealed his iPod play list, which included songs by:

  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Elton John
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Jay-Z
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder

He said Stevie Wonder is his musical hero. We learn more about him because he shared his musical taste. He’s in touch with the classics and brilliant musicians. He shows his age, yet he’s still in touch with artists of today. 


Mary-Lynn says …
When I think of Bob Dylan, I think of music with a message … that sense of activism.
When I think of Yo-Yo Ma or Stevie Wonder, I think of great musicianship.

And I think of the song, I Wish. How when I was working in radio, I was always excited when that song was coming up. I’d crank it when it was on and do my own boogie!

George replies … 
When I think of Stevie Wonder, I think about the Saturday Night Live skit where he was playing tennis! He got hit by a lot of balls!

Seriously, I think of Ebony and Ivory. I’m a lyrics guy. I can picture the keyboard with its ebony and ivory keys. And Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder singing it. It’s powerful!

Sharing opens up the conversation
So you see what’s happening here. Barack Obama revealed things about himself. Now we’re revealing things about ourselves. When you share, you open up the conversation because the other person finds things to be interested in. So they find you more interesting and get to know you better. And you connect with them.

So let’s take a page from the politician’s playbook – they look for every single way they can to connect with people.

George’s example:
I’m a husband, a business owner, a professor, a blogger, a podcaster, an alum of the best university in the world … the University of Illinois. And the list goes on. Kind of like Sonny & Cher’s beat!

It’s how people can relate to you, by finding things in common with you.

The more you share, the more you connect

That’s why one of our friends says that you should fill out your profile completely on social networking sites, when you join an organization, and at every opportunity. Share as much about yourself and your interests as you feel comfortable sharing.

We can learn a lesson from politicians on this – the more you share, the more you connect!

Mary-Lynn says …
As we prepared for this show, one of the things we talked about is how neither one of us has been listening to much music lately. This really surprises me about myself because I was a musician and a music disc jockey for many years. So music has been an integral part of my life.

George replied …
That begs the question, Mary-Lynn. Why aren’t you listening to more music now?

And I think I know the answer – you get to hear me sing in the shower! What more could you possibly need?

Mary-Lynn’s retort …
That’s not music to my ears, George!

I work at my computer a lot and whenever I am in the car they’re always playing the same songs on the radio. So I just flip to talk. 

Connect with yourself

Music is an opportunity to connect with others, but more importantly, it lets you connect with yourself. So make time for things that touch you deeply – in your mind, your heart, and your soul.
Whether that be music or something else.

What do you do to connect to others and yourself? Is there something you used to do that you need to reconnect with?

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

7 Ways to Tap into Your Creative Side

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

Stretch Yourself Anew

The Home Stretch

Make Your Daily Commute Productive

(Image by rollingstone.com)

Am I Paying My Salesperson Too Much?

Bigg Challenge
Max is a business owner. He hired a salesman about a year ago. Max put him on the same compensation plan that his other sales people were on (a small base salary with an incentive).

The guy has done a phenomenal job. Max’s company is showing record sales and profits, largely due to this sales person. But here’s the problem: this salesman is now making more money than Max.

Max wants to know if he should adjust his salesperson’s compensation.

Bigg Advice
What should you do about this, Max? Here’s what we think …

Nothing!

Here’s why …

Is it costing too much?
It is possible to over-compensate your people. You can’t design a system where a small number of top performers win bigg while the company loses money.

But that’s not the case here. You’re also making more money, Max. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Handle with care
We’ve heard of great sales people who were let go when a situation like this occurred. It does happen. But remember the nursery rhyme about the goose that laid the golden egg?

This sales person is the goose. Handle him with care. Like the old Proverb says,

“Kill not the goose that lays the golden eggs.”

Your bigg payoff
Don’t miss the bigg picture. The bigg payoff for owning a business often isn’t what you make each year. It’s what you make when you sell it.

You’re building an asset whose value is based on the income of the business, sometimes called owner’s cash flow. As your bottom line increases, so does the value of your asset. That’s your bigg payoff.

How you can get paid more
You’re making record sales and profits so you can probably afford to add another salesperson. Before you do, look at your infrastructure and capacity to make sure you can support an additional salesperson.

If you can, then go for it!

There’s a good chance, if you do that, you’ll be the highest paid employee of the company again!

Model this employee
We would suggest cloning, but okay … we won’t go there! 

So try to find someone with traits and characteristics similar to this salesperson. To do that, think about what you know about him.

What industry did he come from, if he came from outside your industry?

What experience did he have?

What education?

Are there any other clues you can get from his background?

If you did a personality assessment as part of your hiring process, what did his look like?

And ask your sales person if he knows anybody who might work out well. Bigg goal-getters know bigg goal-getters.

Thanks Max for sending us your bigg challenge. We wish you bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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Ben Franklin Got It Wrong

Change. A word that sparks fear in many people.

We work to get to that comfortable spot, and we want to stay there.

“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
Ben Franklin

We think he got it wrong, not in the message, but in the semantics. We think he should have explicitly included change as something that is certain, rather than making it implicit in his quote.  


Will you lead or follow?

Even when it’s change that we’re creating ourselves, it can be scary. But it’s especially frightening when it’s a surprise.

For example, picture Jane telling her boss that she’s accepted a new position. She’s going to experience change. But isn’t that more comfortable than Jane’s boss telling her that her job is being eliminated?

It’s better to be a leader of change than a follower.

Who’s in control?
However, you can’t always control change. What you can control all the time is how you choose to respond to it.

You can also try to anticipate it. For example, as technology continues to develop, change is occurring more and more rapidly. Isn’t it safe to assume that this will continue?

So you have a choice to make. You either develop the skills to anticipate change so you get ahead of it or you just respond to it, after the pain becomes too great to do anything else.

Bigg action item – Separate the change into fads and trends
There are fads and there are trends. Fads come and go, so don’t worry about them. Trends are long-term. Get on board with them.

Divide a sheet into two columns – one called “Fads” and the other called “Trends”.  In your chosen career, think about the things affecting your industry. Now start putting those changes into the appropriate column.

What will affect your future income? Something will – for good or for bad!

Is it a short-term phenomenon? Or is it likely to continue? You can position yourself properly by seeing the change coming.

What opportunities will be created? What skills will be important? Do you have them? Can you get them?

Develop a plan for what you need to do to position yourself to take advantage of the trends.

Where do I get this information?

We’ll look at two examples. Search for the name of your industry followed by the word “association”. For example, “beauty salon association” yielded a half-dozen or so associations in Google.

You can also subscribe to magazines for your industry, or just about any industry you’re interested in following. They’re often free, supported by the advertisers. Amazon has an excellent resource that lists magazines by industry. It’s an extensive list!

So there are a number of ways to get the information you need so you can embrace change rather than begrudge it.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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Are They Hearing What You Are Saying?

On the show, George recalled a teacher who made him write a report on what he wanted to be when he grew up. This was junior high; George didn’t know what he wanted to be. Maybe a major league baseball player?

So he did his report on being a bricklayer. His dad was a bricklayer, with his own business. When his teacher saw the title of his report, she said, “You mean with your brain, you’re going to be a bricklayer?”

George could have taken that comment as an insult about his dad. But his dad was good with his hands and his head. He said he did initially think that he wouldn’t get a good grade. But over time, her comment resonated with him. It helped him, as a young person, be more confident in his mental ability.

4 ways to get a message across
The statement and the delivery are both important parts of communicating a message. You can’t necessarily control what your message is, but you can control how you deliver it.

#1 – Negative statement, negative delivery
Without question, this is the worst way to communicate a message. If someone says something negative to you, in a negative way, they lose a lot. You’re not going to feel better. The relationship won’t be enhanced. You may get defensive or even angry.

"Speak when you are angry – and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.”
Dr. Laurence Peter


#2 – Negative statement, positive delivery

Sometimes the message isn’t positive, but we still need to get the message across. How you say it becomes incredibly important. A good example might be Donald Trump on The Apprentice. He’s said things like, “I love you; I think you’re a great guy, but you’re fired.”

Negative messages have to be delivered. However, you can choose to frame them in a positive way.

#3 – Positive statement, negative delivery
You risk diminishing the real message you’re trying to get across when you have negative overtures. George took away a positive from his teacher’s comment, but he could have just been insulted. 

#4 – Positive statement, positive delivery
Obviously, this is how you want to frame as much of your communication as you possibly can. This draws people to you.

How you respond to messages
You also can control how you respond to other people’s messages, no matter how they deliver it. Let’s take the worst one. Someone may hit you with a negative statement and deliver it in a negative way.

Pause before you respond. The conversation can go into a tailspin and be completely unproductive or you may be able to turn it around with the right response.

And we can be inspired, no matter what the message is or how it’s delivered. We have a friend who remembers being told that he was too small to make the high school football team. That “negative, negative” inspired him to go for it. Not only did he make the team, but he was a starter!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

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