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Success as an Entrepreneur Takes More Than One Year

BIGG Success 5th AnniversaryWe launched this site and The BIGG Success Show on November 12, 2007. So BIGG Success is now five years old!

And what a five years it has been.

Listen to this post! Hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 5:27)

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Like all entrepreneurs – especially in this economy – we’ve had our ups and downs. When we say – entrepreneuring is the greatest roller coaster ride you can imagine – you can know we speak from personal experience.

After all, we’ve survived the Great Recession. Our business was less than a month old when it started.

[George] I’ve been an entrepreneur for three decades and, for nearly twenty years now, I’ve taught entrepreneurship at the best school in the world – The University of Illinois. But I feel like I’ve gotten an advanced degree in entrepreneurship these last five years.

That’s because so much is changing.

The way we start businesses has changed. So has the way we run them. From how we finance them to how we market them to our facilities and the workforce – everything, including how we plan, is changing dramatically.

It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur!

And we want to say a special thanks to you for riding this crazy ride with us.

But enough about our business, we really want to share one thought with you today. We recently saw a great quote that we saved for this anniversary post. Perry Marshall quoted Glenn Livingston who said:

“Most people greatly OVER-estimate what they can do in one year. And they greatly UNDER-estimate what they can do in five years.”

Do you relate to that? We sure do.

Year after year, we set BIGG goals. And we’re often disappointed at what we don’t accomplish. But here we are – five years in – and I can’t believe how much we have accomplished!

[Mary-Lynn] For example, many of you know that a one-minute version of our podcast got picked up by a national radio syndicator. I was in radio for nearly two decades and never got an opportunity like this! But we were able to do it by building our own brand online.

And that’s the point we want to make to you – we live in an incredible time. Yes, it’s tough at times. You have to learn to live with more uncertainty.

But there are opportunities now like we have never seen in our lifetimes and probably won’t see again. Now is a great time to be an entrepreneur.

But you have to think in terms of five years. Sure, you’ll want to break that down into annual goals. Just don’t be too disappointed if you haven’t hit all your targets.

You’re a BIGG goal-getter. You expect a lot of yourself. And that will pay off in the long run.

Give it your all for five years. See what you can do. You just might find BIGG success!

When you look back five years, are you amazed at what you’ve accomplished?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

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Boost Your Confidence to Be a Success

build up self-confidence | BIGG SuccessIf you want to reach the heights of your career, you have to build confidence.

You develop confidence, or lack thereof, from childhood on. Every experience builds upon the next.

Today, we thought we’d share some links to posts on boosting your confidence to reach BIGG success.

Want to be more attractive?

People are attracted to confident people. So if you want to be a leader, you have to exude confidence. We found a great article by John Wesley on the Pick Your Brain site. He offers ten tips to build your confidence. We loved it!

Confidence killers

We found a great resource from the greatest school on the planet – the University of Illinois. Okay, we’ll admit our bias on that one! If you don’t read the whole thing, at least check out the self-defeating thought patterns.

Get to the top of your game

Confidence makes all the difference in reaching BIGG success. It’s one of the secrets of peak performers! In this post, we share ten ways to be more confident so you get to the top of your game.

The confidence game

Many people hear a little voice inside their head when they move on to bigger and better things. It can paralyze you. We share some advice on how to get past self-doubt.

Self-confidence worksheet

We created a worksheet to help you build up self-confidence. It’s in question-and-answer and fill-in-the-blank format. So it’s easy to work through but generate to get you thinking about how awesome you are.

Learn how to build upon your success and defeat destructive thought patterns so you can win the game you choose to play! That’s BIGG success!

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A Super Bowl Champ Lays it on the Line Part 1

laying-it-on-the-line-bookcoverToday we begin our three-part series with Howard Griffith, two-time Superbowl winner, Studio analyst for Big Ten Network, co-host for ESPN Radio Chicago, entrepreneur, speaker & author of the book Laying it on the Line.

Howard is regarded as one of the NFL’s best blocking backs, “the Human Plow” and he holds the NCAA record for most touchdowns in a game. In fact…he’s made a career out of breaking records!

His book Laying it on the Line charts his football and life journey from Chicago’s south side to the Super Bowl and it’s a fascinating story!

Listen to Howard talk with George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show podcast! Click the player

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During our interview in this podcast segment:

  • Howard talks about his struggle in high school being able to play the position he wanted to play…which wasn’t fullback!
  • Howard tells us how and why his attitude changed about the position he would play after getting drafted out of the University of Illinois in to the NFL. He offers great lessons in life and personal growth.
  • Also, find out how you need to shift your thinking to excel in your career.

Visit to get your copy of the great book,
Laying it on the Line

Next time, Howard tells us about how we can apply “The Drill” philosophy in our career and business, how self-discipline is key to achieving your goals, and how preparing for the Super Bowl is different than preparing for any other game.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:

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Can Happiness Buy Money

golden_eggWe’ve heard it again and again … money can’t buy happiness. According to the Beatles, it can’t buy love either!

But what if the order is reversed? Can happiness buy money?



The latest research supports the notion that happiness can buy money[PDF]. It comes from a team effort with researchers from the University of Virginia, Michigan State University, and last but certainly the most, the University of Illinois. Okay, we’re biased but at least we admit it.

Happiness buys an extra $8,263 a year!

The researchers surveyed incoming freshmen at 25 elite colleges. We’re not sure how they defined “elite”, but we’re pretty sure it’s the schools we attended!

The participants reported their cheerfulness. 19 years later, when the participants were about 37 years old, the researchers asked them to report their annual income.

On average, the participants in the highest 10% on the cheerfulness scale earned over 15% more than those in the lowest 10%. In 1995 dollars, this was a difference of $8,263 a year, on average ($62,681 vs. $54,318).

Attitude to altitude

That’s a bigg difference. So not only can happiness buy you money, it can buy quite a bit of it! Apparently attitude does determine altitude!

That’s one of the bigg takeaways here. If we approach the days of our lives with the right attitude, we’ll be more productive. We’ll show more initiative. We’ll get more opportunities.

More money, less risk

We also found it interesting that the most cheerful participants were one-third less likely to ever be unemployed than the least cheerful. It appears that being of good cheer not only helps you be more prosperous, it reduces your risk as well. That’s a slam dunk!

And it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. We learn in business school that you have to take more risk to make more money. But as this study shows, you can make more money and actually have less risk with the right attitude!

That’s the bigg idea behind bigg success – to get all areas of our lives working harmoniously by finding synergy like what we see here.

Being too happy is costly

Here’s a surprising twist from this study: People who were moderately cheerful (above average on the researchers scale but not in the top 10%) earned the most on average.

They made almost 6% more than those in the top 10% and about 22% more than the bottom 10%. In 1995 dollars, that means they earned $3,563 and $11,826 more than the highest and lowest deciles respectively.

So being really happy leads to much better income than being really unhappy. But being happy instead of really happy is even better yet!

It turns out that Droopy had it right. He never said, “I’m really happy.” Just “I’m happy.”

Bigg Success is the community of bigg goal-getters. People who are usually happy, but never content. This research supports the notion that this “happy, not content” attitude leads to bigg success.

Thanks so much for checking in on us today. You can get more tips and tools to be a bigg success by subscribing to our free weekly newsletter.

Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what entrepreneurs have that MBAs don’t. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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A View that Leads to Bigg Success

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

We tend to avoid information that’s not consistent with our beliefs. There’s been a long-running debate between psychologists:

Do people actively avoid contradictory information or is it a more natural process? For example, it may be that we don’t hear opposing views because we hang out with people like us.



Some new research [PDF] (led by a psychology professor at the best school in the world, the University of Illinois) has answered that question.

If you seek opposing views, you’re in the minority

The research confirms that people do avoid ideas that disagree with their own. They did this study to “see … to what extent people are willing to seek out the truth versus just stay comfortable with what they know.”

The researchers found that two-thirds of us choose information that supports what we already think. However, the more interesting part of their research to us was this:

They found that two types of people are more likely to listen to alternative points-of-view:

People who are confident in their own beliefs

We were out with a friend right after we read this research. The timing was perfect. She’s very politically active – politics is one area the researchers cited that we’re particularly reluctant to consider the other side.

Our friend told us that she no longer subscribed to a certain magazine. She said that she found she always disagreed with their point-of-view. After further discussion, it was clear that she’s not confident in her opinions.

If she had confidence in her opinions, it wouldn’t bother her to read the other side. In fact, by reading the other side, she might gain confidence in her positions. Or she might change her mind, but be more confident in her new opinion.

The best way to confirm your opinion is to continually test it against all the information available. Talk with people who hold counter opinions. Read everything you can. Try to balance opinions on all sides of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.

Even then, continue testing that opinion with any new evidence you find, both pro and con. Then you’ll have confidence in your opinions.

People who have to defend their ideas in public

It’s interesting that the researchers cite the much-maligned politicians here. Politicians constantly have to defend their point-of-view.

They serve as an example to us. Don’t keep your opinions to yourself; defend them.

We should point out two things here:

  • You have to be careful discussing certain subjects with certain people.
  • We’ve talked about things here in very black-and-white terms. Obviously, many if not most issues are full of grey. That’s what makes for interesting discussion!

When you do discuss your ideas, you will hear other points-of-view that you can synthesize with your own. Your ideas will sharpen and grow. So will your confidence in what you believe.

That’s bigg success … as long as you agree with us!


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Thanks for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss what we can learn from cats about communication. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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