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Take Me Out to the Free Ball Game

george_marylynn_baseball.jpbA one. A two. A three. Take me out to the ball game …

We can hear Harry Carey singing it right now! (We’ll warn you: If you listen to our show today, you can hear why we could never be on American Idol!)

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Bigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on play.

If you’re a regular reader, you know we’ve confessed that play is the thing we struggle with the most. We love our work. We’ve found that thinking about the five elements of bigg success helpful because we make sure we schedule some play time.

We love baseball, but going to a Major League Baseball game can be a real budget-bender. By the time you buy the tickets, pay for parking, and grab a hot dog, you can spend some serious smack!

You don’t have to throw your budget a curve ball to have fun at the old ball game

We feel fortunate to live in a University town. We have some bigg time sporting events, including a baseball team that is doing very well this year. Go Illini!

Last year, we kept talking about going to a game but never made it. They start early when it’s too cold for us to watch a game outside.

This year we made a commitment to go, so we were keeping an eye on their schedule. Lo and behold, they ran a bigg promotion – you could get into the game for free (it normally costs $5) and you could even get free food.

Now that’s a bigg deal!

And the promotion was a bigg success! They had a record attendance. In fact, so many people showed up, we decided it was worth buying food from the concession stand instead of waiting for the free stuff.

It was a great game. We had lots of fun and some good time together as a couple (see pictures on our Flickr page). That’s the best part. The second best part was that Illinois came back to win in the ninth inning!

But what if you don’t have a University team in your area? Can you still take in a ball game on the cheap? Baseball, you bet!

Summer college baseball leagues. College baseball players finish their collegiate schedules early. They want to keep playing without jeopardizing their amateur status. So college leagues have sprung up. We have a team about thirty miles from us (ticket prices are $6 – $9). Check the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball site for the team closest to you.

Minor leagues. Future professional baseball players have to train somewhere. There are minor league teams all over the country. We have a AAA team fairly close to us ($6 – $10 for a ticket). If you don’t know of one in your area, check out the Minor League Baseball site.

Amateur leagues. We have several teams in our area like this. You can take in a game for a few bucks plus any food and drinks you may want.

Little Leagues. We love watching the Little League World Series on television. Check out the raw talent in your area to a Little League game. You can’t beat the price and there are games all over. We have a field within walking distance of our house.

So what’s the bigg idea? Tap into your local community and have a bigg day out at the ball park!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we discuss how some friends of ours taught their teenage daughter the value of money. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00395-051509.mp3

Related posts

Taking Time Off to Get More Done

The Work-Play Tradeoff

(Image in today's post from our Flickr page our Flickr page)

Are You a Shopoholic?

shopping_mall There is a group that is suffering more than most during these tough economic times. Unfortunately, their agony is not covered much in the major media. They are all around us. Yet we seldom see the turmoil that they are experiencing. They have chosen to largely endure it on their own, not talking about it to anyone.

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Who are we talking about?

Shopoholics!

This economy has really made an impact on this group of people. There are a lot of people who claim to be shopoholics. But most people who call themselves shopoholics probably don’t really have a problem that borders on an obsession.

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georgeOne of my sisters can shop all day long and never buy anything. She just seems to love being in a shopping arena … she’s a gladiator among shoppers!

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marylynnBoy, I’m not one of those people. I like to get in and out. I have an aunt who likes to do all-day shopping ventures. It gives me a headache and makes me dizzy.

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Problems experienced by compulsive buyers

We’ve taken a light-hearted approach so far, but this problem is more serious than we realize. A recent study, conducted jointly by researchers at the University of Richmond and the University of Illinois, found that true shopoholics comprise a larger percentage of the population than is generally assumed.

About nine percent of the participants were found to be “compulsive buyers” according to this study. True shopoholics feel better when they buy things, tend to hide purchases, have more family arguments, and are more likely to have maxed out their credit cards.

Test yourself

Perhaps the most interesting item to come out of this research is the test they used to determine if someone is a shopoholic. The researchers asked participants to rate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with these six statements.

They used a 7-point scale, which we haven’t seen but can imagine it looked something like this:

1 = Strongly disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Somewhat disagree
4 = Neutral
5 = Somewhat agree
6 = Agree
7 = Strongly agree

See how you do:

  • My closet has unopened shopping bags in it.

  • Others might consider me a "shopaholic."

  • Much of my life centers around buying things.

  • I buy things I don’t need.

  • I buy things I did not plan to buy.

  • I consider myself an impulse purchaser.

Participants who scored 25 or more were considered compulsive buyers by the researchers. If your score places you in this group, you’re at the first step to overcoming it – you’re aware it is a problem. The next step is to get professional help.

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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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How ironic

This economy is really crimping the style of “casual” shoppers – people who really like to shop and spend money, but who aren’t really compulsive buyers.

And isn’t it ironic that many of us are being forced to cut back when everything seems to be on sale? From cars to electronics to travel, now is a great time to shop if you have the money.

But of course, that’s the reason these deals exist. People are saving their money at a higher rate now instead of spending it. We’ve learned some valuable lessons in the last few months.

Conspicuous consumption is out; frugality is in. So are we going to hear about “save-a-holics” in the coming years? That remains to be seen.

Well, we better wrap it up for now … it’s time to go shopping!

Thanks for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00331-021609.mp3

Related posts

Rich Dad, Wise Son

Your Emotions and Your Money

Is Your Status Costing You Money?

(Image in today's post by Vincitrice)

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)

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)

Regrets…Had A Few?

Last time, we talked about starting over to turn misfortune into fortune. Today, we want to discuss a study about regrets. The study was done by Dr. Neal Roese, professor of psychology, and Amy Summerville, graduate student researcher, at the University of Illinois.

In What We Regret … and Why, they assert that the biggest regrets that people have revolve around their education (cited by 32 percent of participants) and their career (selected by 22 percent of participants).

What about you? If you could do it again, would you get a different degree? Choose a different career? Study harder?

The good news is we have more choices today than ever before. The bad news is more choices mean more things to bemoan. The authors discuss two types of regret:

    • Action regrets.

These are regrets from things we did. If we lament something that’s relatively insignificant, we’re usually able to get past it with relative ease. If something was done that goes against our character, it’s tougher to get over it.

It’s not productive to beat yourself up. Apologize if need be. Learn from your mistakes. Resolve to do better next time. Then move on.

    • Inaction regrets.

According to the authors, these regrets are harder to overcome. They involve our imagination. We keep thinking about what might have been if only …

But that’s also a waste of our energy. Don’t think about what might have been. Focus on what might be. You can always make a U-turn on the Bigg Success Highway! Take action! Do something about it!

Mission accomplished! The longest college career in history ends happily.
Nola Ochs started college in 1930, but she didn’t finish. Life got in the way. She always wished she had been able to complete college.

Last May, she graduated from Fort Hays State University at the ripe young age of 95. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Nola is the oldest person to complete their college degree.

She’s a living testament that you’re never too old to achieve your dreams.

Regrets … we’ve all had a few. But the best way to get over them is to take action! That gets you focused on how to achieve, rather than thinking how you failed.

Our quote today was made by Alexander Graham Bell.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Walk through your open doors and you may just find … room for improvement. Nola Ochs did it … so can you!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at why twenty somethings are getting a bad rap. Do they deserve it? Or is it just a generation gap? Until then, here’s to your big success!

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