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Overstepping Stones

steppingstones We’re sure you’ve heard of stepping stones. Today we want to talk about overstepping stones.

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We’re proud residents of the State of Illinois. We’re dismayed, however, that our great state has been getting some bad press recently because of the actions of our Governor, Rod Blagojevich. While he hasn’t been convicted yet of any wrongdoing, it appears that he’s in deep trouble.

A state of dissatisfaction

It’s rumored that he felt he had reached a stalemate in his career. He wanted to make more money. He even had aspirations of running for President. But even before this scandal broke, his approval rating was incredibly low (the last number we heard was 4%). If you look at the state of our State, you can understand why.

He looked at every opportunity for a stepping stone, which culminated in what appears to be illegal activity. That got us thinking – we all need stepping stones to help us get to the next level of success.

Overstepping the bounds

But there’s a fine line between a stepping stone and what we’ll call an overstepping stone.

We abuse our stepping stones when we overstep our bounds. It appears our Governor did this on at least three levels:

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Beyond Networking

Today on The Bigg Success Show, we welcomed Melissa Giovagnoli. Melissa is an author, speaker, coach and entrepreneur. Of her 11 books, four have been on the best seller’s list and one was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is one of the world’s leading experts on networking and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and Fox. She was recently named the “best networker in Chicago” by Crain’s.


Networking vs. Networlding

We asked Melissa for her best networking tip. She says not to think of it as networking, but think of it as networlding, which is the title of one of her books. Networlding expands opportunities rather than limiting them.

As a networker, you might set a goal of meeting two people. If you’re a networlder, you would set a goal of meeting two people who you can form a long-term relationship with and build opportunities for you, for them, and for the greater good.

The “overstuffed Rolodex syndrome”

Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. You leverage your network by thinking about who would be good connections for you. Start with people who have complementary values. With the online world, you can have quality and quantity by being specific about what you ask for to create a vibrant exchange.

7 levels of support

Networking isn’t about taking. It’s also not about just giving. You can support people:  

  • Emotionally
  • By providing information
  • By providing knowledge (information plus experiences)
  • By promoting them
  • Through wisdom sharing (the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent)
  • By creating transformational opportunities
  • Community (creating the greatest good for the greatest number)

Links to Melissa’s sites

networlding2.org
This is Melissa’s most interactive community. The goal is for members to support each other in achieving their respective goals. You can create your own profile and build your own private circle around your special interest.

Networlding E-Learning
Here you’ll get six FREE lessons on networking for business and sales or networking for jobs.

Melissa will also help you with writing a book. If you’re really serious about it, contact her.

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Related posts

Relationship Building Blocks

5 Laws of Stratospheric Success

3 Keys to Effective Networking

The Two Most Powerful Words You Can Use

The Other Pause that Refreshes 

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part 2

Yesterday, we discussed why defining your core values helps you live your dream life. You won’t have peace of mind if your life isn’t consistent with your values. Knowing your values invigorates you. You see the bigg picture – your current situation may not be all you dream of, but you can see how it’s getting you where you want to be.

We’re working toward a written statement of values. Having your values in writing makes them more tangible. It keeps them in front of you. You’re forced to analyze them more thoroughly than if you just keep them in your head.

Let’s look at two techniques you can use to discover your core values – yours, not someone else’s. Whichever technique you use, you’ll want to find a place that’s conducive to creative thinking.

  • The List
  • Select the ten things you think are most important from our list of values. It’s not easy, but that’s the point – discovering what you value the most. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. Feel free to add your own values.

    Once you’ve done that, up the ante. Choose the five values that are most important to you. Then four … three … two … one. You’ve just created an ordered ranking of your five most important values!

  • The Blank Sheet
  • Start with a blank sheet of paper (or a blank word processing document, if you prefer to type). Write “What’s most important to me?” at the top. Now brainstorm.

    Write freely – don’t analyze. Anything and everything that comes to mind. Now get away from it. Come back to it again. Don’t worry if a couple of days pass.

    When you return, look at your list. Do you want to add anything? Cross something off? Have at it – it’s your list.

    Next, look at each word. Ask yourself what it means to you. For example, maybe your wrote down money. Money can mean income, wealth, freedom, security …. what does it mean to you? You’ll often find that what you value is underlying the word you wrote. Dig deep.

    Now, start eliminating values so you end up with an ordered ranking.

You may find that combining the two techniques works best. Start with the first. Look over the list. Then get away from it. Return to a blank sheet and start brainstorming.

Visualizing your dream life, free of constraints, helped you uncover your passions. Now we’re bringing beliefs to those passions, which defines your values. That’s the life you want. In a couple of weeks, we’ll bring in the constraints; we’ll assess where you are. Then we’ll develop strategies to link the two together.

Our quote today is by the French writer and philosopher Michael de Montaigne.

“The value of life is not in the length of days, but in the use
we make of them; a man may live long but yet very little.”

So seize today. Value your life and live your values.

Next time, we’ll talk about success snake oil – know when you’re getting scammed. We’ll recount some recent experiences. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Live Your Dream With Purpose – Part I

About thirty days ago, we asked you to visualize the life you want. Specifically, we asked you to remove the two constraints – time and money – and answer this question:

If neither time nor money was an issue,
how would you spend your time and money?

Mary-Lynn said that, as a long-time broadcaster, her dream is to develop her own content that helps people. She’s doing that with Bigg Success. George says his dream is to travel more, especially spending more time on the beach.

Dreaming is great, but we all have responsibilities. Money is limited. Time even more so. How does it help to dream without considering that fact?

Understand that this is a process. We’ll bring the two constraints back in … but not just yet. First, find your passions by dreaming about the life you want. But you won’t have peace of mind if you’re not living your values.

And, if you remember, we defined success as peace of mind. You’ll never feel successful without it. So, now we want to define our core values.

What’s most important to you? You’ll find your core values at the point where your passions and your beliefs intersect. They’re the combination of what you want and what you believe (i.e. your morals).

Everyone lives according to a set of values. Sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously. We have all sorts of values … our own, things our parents taught us, influences of our society …

The question is NOT, “Are you living by a set of values?”
The question is, “Are you living by YOUR core values?”

Many people default to a subconscious set of mostly external values. Defining your core values should be extremely personal. What is most important to YOU? If you don’t live your life in line with your answer to that question, you’ll never achieve peace of mind. You’ll experience frustration, stress, burnout … all things diametrically opposed to peace of mind!

If you’re like a lot of people, you may say that your core values interfere with pursuing your passions. For example, supporting your family may be an overriding value of yours. You’re not happy but you have to do what you have to do, right? 

Keep in mind that seeing the big picture – aligning your core values with your passions – energizes you. You may come to see your current situation as a stepping stone to the future of which you dream. Doesn’t that change how you look at things as they are now?

We’ll revisit this topic next time. Between now and then, think about what’s most important to you, given your passions and beliefs. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about two techniques that will help you discover your core values so you can live your dream life with purpose. 

Our quote today is by Steven Covey. 

“Personal leadership is the process of keeping your vision and your
values before you and aligning your life to be congruent with them.”

So values your values and your vision … and live your life with purpose, on purpose.
Next time, we’ll continue on this track. You’ll get two techniques to discover your core values so you can live your dream life with purpose. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Destination Peace of Mind: These 4 Things Insure Success

Yesterday, we discussed our favorite definition of success. It came from the book
They Call Me Coach by the great John Wooden. To paraphrase:

Success is peace of mind which is the result
of giving your all
to reach your full potential.

Today we’ll look at the four things you must do daily for your peace of mind.

  1. Always value your values.
    We almost didn’t include this, because it seems so obvious. It should be an unstated assumption, right? Then, we remembered what happens when you assume. Remember that old saying?

If your actions conflict with your core values, you definitely won’t have peace of mind! You have to respect the person you see in the mirror.

  1. Get over today tomorrow.
    If you feel good about today, congratulations! Revel in it … tonight. If you feel lousy about today, lick your wounds … tonight.

But when you wake up in the morning, it’s a new day! So wipe the slate clean and get on getting on to all you know you can become.

  1. All you can do is all you can do, but all you can do is what you must do.
    Let’s dissect this sentence. The first half is your comfort. The second half is your challenge.

Take comfort even if you fell short of your mark. You can’t possibly give more than “all”. You should feel good about your effort. But wait!

The challenge is giving your “all” because success does comes with a price. “All” is a pretty high bar! Only you know if you truly did give everything. The worst person to lie to is yourself. That’s a recipe for perpetual failure.

Did you give your all today? If the answer is yes, congratulations. If no, tomorrow is a new day. You get to try again.

  1. Take it to the limit.
    Most of us have an inherent desire to grow. Otherwise, we get bored. Growth occurs at the point where what you know intersects with what you don’t know. As you push yourself beyond that point, you grow. And with growth comes meaning. You feel fulfilled. You are at peace.

Our quote today is by the legendary baseball player George Moriarty.

“Who can ask more of a man, than giving all within his span?
Giving all, it seems to me, is not so far from victory.”

So give your all today, for your peace of mind.

By the way, if you listen to today’s show, you’ll hear our friend “Ted” reading this quote. We think you’ll find success quotes are much more fun (that’s bigg fun!) this way. You may even want to get in on the act! Check out our Bigg Quotes page for details.

In our next blog, we’ll take a new approach to finding your dream. It’s a two-part series that will take you back to the past, and then look forward to your future.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Pages

Review: Geek Gap

By Bigg Success Staff
November, 25 2007

Bigg Book Review

The Geek Gap: Why Business And Technology Professionals Don’t Understand Each Other And Why They Need Each Other to Survive

Book by Bill Pfleging and Minda Zetlin 

Technology and business pros (“geeks” and “suits”, respectively, in this book) often find working together to be a challenge. Bill Pfleging, self-proclaimed geek, and Minda Zetlin, representing the suits, have written this insightful book to help you understand the other side.

As the use of technology continues to proliferate, you’ll find that knowing how to close the gap between the two worlds is a critical skill.

First, seek to understand
In this book, you’ll find a specific example of Steven Covey’s general principle – “seek first to understand” – as discussed in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The authors assert that geeks like to solve problems, while suits rely on influencing people. Through numerous examples, you’ll come to understand the other side, so they can understand you.

Then, learn to value
Suits view technology as a tool to accomplish their goals; geeks see technology as a “living, breathing thing.” These diverse points-of-view strengthen your organization.

Whether you’re a geek or a suit, you’ll find practical suggestions to help you learn to value the complementary skill sets of your co-workers. That’s a skill that will help you advance in your career.

Final note
While this book reports to be about geeks and suits, it’s really a book about working with people who think differently than you. If you want to improve your ability to communicate with others, we think you’ll find this book useful.