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Picasso on Personal Branding

picasso.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. There’s an old negotiating rule:

You get the set the price or the terms, but you don’t get to do both. So if you choose the terms of your life, bigg success will set the price.

We were talking about Picasso recently. We don’t talk about a painting by Picasso; we talk about “a Picasso”. His name is branded with his work. d do it.

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No overnight sensation

But Picasso paid a price for his bigg success. It didn’t happen overnight. It took years for Picasso to become … Picasso.

He started at the age of seven. His father was an art professor, so he had a mentor from a very early age.

In his adult years, he was so poor, at times, that he burned his own paintings to heat his living space. Now that’s expensive energy!

No matter what obstacles he faced, he kept painting. Painting was his obsession.

A drop out

He was admitted to a top school of art, but dropped out. Formal education wasn’t his thing. He was determined to live his life on his own terms. In fact, he often argued with his father over his paintings.

Picasso the brand

He didn’t always listen to his mother either. He said:

"When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

There have been lots of generals over the years. We’re on our 265th Pope. But there’s only ever been, and ever will be, one Picasso.

And there’s only, and ever will be only, one you!

Picasso had a different dream for himself than his mother had for him. He had a bigger vision. He was unique and he sought to prove it.

What would have happened if Picasso didn’t dream so bigg?

Would he have been a general who doodles? Fortunately, we’ll never know.

But we do know that we would have never known Picasso. The world would have missed out on his great talents.

That’s why it’s so important to define your own terms. There are times when you should listen to others. There are times when you should only listen to that still small voice inside yourself. Distinguishing which one to listen to, and when, is one of the keys to bigg success.

What is your voice telling you?

Please share that, if you want, by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for reading our post today.

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Financial advisors tell you to pay yourself first. Please join us next time when we say, “Play yourself first!” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Our source for much of the information about Picasso, along with the image we used in today's post was Wikipedia.

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70,000 dollars feeds 5,000 families

How $70,000 Delivered 5,000 Families from Drought and Hunger

70,000 dollars feeds 5,000 families

Bloggers from all over the world wide web are discussing poverty today in the hopes that conversation for a cause will lead to a cure. We’ll share how $70,000 had an impact on drought and hunger.

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marylynnWe chose to participate because we believe in the cause and we believe in the power of people working together with a purpose.

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georgeWe remembered an inspiring Wall Street Journal article [pdf] written by Roger Thurow. It highlights how seemingly small things can make a bigg difference in the developing world. We love success stories and this one is awesome!

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$70,000 feeds 5,000 families

A group of farmers in Ohio raised $70,000 and sent it to another group of farmers in Kenya. The project is part of the Foods Resource Bank, an organization that fights hunger by connecting churches here with groups in need around the world.

The Ohio farmers decided to send money, rather than food, so the farmers in Kenya could decide how to use it best. They spent the money to build a number of small dams and retention ponds to catch water in the rainy season so they would have water year-round. With that water, five thousand families have been delivered from hunger.

Everybody wins

Here’s an example of the impact made by just one project. The farmers in Ohio sent $3,000 to the farmers in Kenya, who hired an engineer. With the plan in hand, the Kenyan farmers built the dam with their own labor and materials.

Now their village has water – for themselves, for their cattle, and for growing crops. The women of the village used to walk about ten miles to get water. Now their time is being used much more productively.

With the water problem solved, the village switched its focus to better roads. These roads are the link to nearby markets where the farmers can sell their surplus produce. But they had deep ruts which made them nearly impassable.

It used to take two hours to get to the market by bike, which is the main form of transportation there. Bikes cost $6 to rent. With the improved roads, it only takes a half-an-hour now to get into town and bike rents have fallen to $3.

Talk about win / win! The farmers are paying 50% less to rent a bike. But the person who rents the bikes is making 100% more, because the bikes get returned so quickly. Everybody wins!

Farmer increases income over 400%

The article also highlights one Kenyan farmer. With the water nearby thanks to the dam, he was able to dig his own water retention pond, which he uses to irrigate his crops. His income has grown from less than $100 a year to $500 per year!

That’s an increase of over 400%!

Now he’s plowing his extra profits back into his business. He bought a generator and mechanical pump to double his cultivated land. He also planted 400 mango trees.

Entrepreneurship at its finest!

How it started

All of these wonderful things started with the vision of one man – the pastor in the village. Originally, he reached out for food from the large international agencies. But he feared that his people would become dependent.

So he formed a development group that created a list of needs – water was number one on the list. He sent that list to a number of organizations, including the Foods Resource Bank. They got the farmers in Ohio involved.

Takeaways

We found this story so inspiring because it shows that a small amount of money with a large amount of focus can accomplish bigg things.

We liked how farmers here supported farmers there. We can all use our passion, knowledge, and skills to help people like us in other parts of the world.

It also shows the resourcefulness of people. Get resources to people on the scene. They will find a way to overcome their biggest obstacles with their ingenuity and industriousness. The accomplishments can be phenomenal!

You, too, can make a difference. Donate money or make microloans to people in need with good ideas. Reach out to organizations that have the infrastructure in place to help people in need.

It only takes one person.
Each of us can make a bigg difference in helping other people around the world be a bigg success.

Next time, we’ll talk with a man who left a high-paying job with a prestigious law firm to do his own thing. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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how $70,000 saved 5,000 families|Blog Action Day 2008

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Put Your Cocktail Napkin To Good Use

Last time, we talked about Ben Franklin’s system for not just setting goals, but actually getting them. We’ve also posted an article on Ben’s thirteen virtues and a PDF file of the form he used to track his progress.

New Year’s Eve is just days away. That got us thinking about parties, confetti, horns, cocktails … and cocktail napkins.

We have a suggestion for how to put your cocktail napkins to good use.

Before we talk about that, though, let’s quickly discuss mission statements and vision statements. Companies have them. So should you. After all, you are the CEO of the most important organization in the world: You, Inc.

As we’ll define it here, your mission statement describes how you serve those around you, how you touch the people in your world. For example, the mission statement of a business might describe how it serves its customers, its employees, and its shareholders.

A vision statement is a concise declaration of your purpose, your reason for being here, how you make your mark. For example, Google’s vision statement is “Google provides access to the world’s information in one click.” Short. Simple. Yet powerful.

So a mission statement is a longer, detailed version of your vision statement. It fills in the blanks. It flows from your vision statement. Your vision statement is the biggest of the bigg picture …

…. which brings us back to the cocktail napkin.

A vision statement is simple and concise. So concise that you could write it on a cocktail napkin! That’s right … your cocktail napkin is a tool. Because it’s small, it forces you to define and refine your vision statement to keep it short.

Why is it so important to keep your vision statement short? We’re glad you asked! A short, simple vision statement paints a vivid image of your desired future. It’s memorable. So you make better decisions because your vision statement gets into your subconscious mind. It inspires you to reach for this future you picture.

It’s constantly with you. You know what you’re trying to accomplish. Your purpose is etched in your brain!

To show that we aren’t all talk and no action here at Bigg Success, show co-hosts George and Mary-Lynn shared what they wrote on their cocktail napkins.

George:      To make a real, positive difference in people’s lives.
He said that originally he didn’t include the word “positive” in his statement. Then someone made a difference in his life – in a bad way. He realized he should add the word “positive”. Your vision statement will also likely evolve over time.

Mary-Lynn:      To bring out the best in myself and others.
When she thinks of “best”, words such as “ability”, “talent”, “personality”, “attitude”, and “relationships” come to her mind. Your vision statement will likely include powerful words with more than one meaning to you. These rich words are why your vision statement packs so much punch!

Our Bigg Quote today is a challenge from Helen Keller.

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but no vision.”

So put that cocktail napkin to good use – ring in the New Year with a vision!

Next time, for New Year’s Eve, we’ll discuss what we learned about Bigg Success this year. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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!

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