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Do Distractions Lead to Success?

We saw an article about distractions and success by The Wall Street Journal. A new study shows that students with attention-deficit disorder achieve more.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Memphis and the University of Michigan. Students with ADD were more likely to have won a prize at an art show or a science fair.

They were higher achievers across the board.

Hear George & Mary-Lynn discuss today’s post on The BIGG Success Show Podcast! Click a player to listen.


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Could it be that lack of focus is a competitive advantage?

Yes, according to another study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Harvard University. They gave students a short test and measured their ability to filter out background noise – like a nearby conversation or an air conditioning running.

The students who struggled to ignore the noise were more likely to be “eminent creative achievers” based on their previous performances.

Daydreamers are more creative

The article also cites research that shows a link between daydreaming and creativity. So instead of getting your head out of the clouds, maybe you should get your head into them!

Entrepreneurs ride an emotional roller coaster. And the highs are higher and the lows are lower. It’s part of the game. Daydreaming may help.

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George KruegerWhen I’m feeling low or I’m feeling a great deal of stress – which often come in one crushing package – I take time to daydream. Sometimes I do it at my computer, but most of the time I rely on the basic tools of pen and paper. As I do a mind dump, I can feel the energy coming back to me. I get that spark of creativity. I begin seeing solutions. It really helps.

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Embrace distractions

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Mary-Lynn FosterI don’t know if it’s my background as a radio DJ – talk about a business with a lot of things going on all at once – I can’t work without background noise. Quiet is a distraction to me!

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BIGG success is life on your own terms. If distractions help you, by all means, get distracted!

Other people are always telling us to focus. Our parents did it. Our teachers did too. Bosses expect it as well.

But sometimes, less structure may lead to better results. Do what works for you.

When you’re trying to think creatively, bring out the distractions! It leads to BIGG success!

Do you work better with distractions?

Thanks so much for spending some time with us today. Until next time, here’s to your BIGG success!

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Where Should I Stuff My Money?

mattress In days gone by, mattress stuffers hid all their money somewhere in or around their home – in the backyard, in cans, between the pages of books, in the walls, in a cookie jar, and even under a removable section of floorboards.

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A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talked about the new generation of mattress stuffers. People increasingly don’t trust anyone or anything, a response to falling home prices, crashing stock prices, bank troubles, and government ineptitude.

It’s something we don’t talk about much, but an increasing number of people are taking matters into their own hands to prepare for the next crash. Needless to say, these people aren’t optimists!

They’re pulling their money out of the stock market and stuffing their mattresses the 21st century way.

Stuffing money in treasuries

Instead of actually stuffing cash into their mattresses, they’re buying treasury bills, the safest of all investments. Most financial experts refer to these and other treasury securities as risk-free investments.

Stuffing money in gold

New generation mattress stuffers are also buying gold coins in record amounts. You may have noticed an increase in the number of ads on TV about gold. This flight to safety has been evident after just about every financial crisis, as people return to the gold standard.

Who is primarily driving this trend?

Many baby boomers have taken a huge hit to their portfolios just as they near retirement. They are the driving force behind this trend because they don’t have time to recover from the recent stock market losses before they retire.

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What if you’re not ready to retire?

If you’re not close to retiring, it’s crucial to think clearly about this new mattress stuffing strategy. There are definitely some pros and cons.

Pro: We should own a well-diversified portfolio.
Experts tell us to diversify, diversify, diversify. Typically, the more diversified we are, the better. A diversified portfolio might include stocks, bonds including treasuries, real estate, and perhaps some commodities like gold. Diversification generally delivers the best return given the overall risk.

Pro: Treasuries should be part of most diversified portfolios.
Until recently, a lot of people found treasuries kind of boring because they didn’t deliver enough return. That’s because they aren’t considered risky at all, which is also why they are an essential component of a fully diversified portfolio.

Pro: Gold may also be a wise investment as a small part of a diversified portfolio.
Gold and other tangible assets usually perform best in times of high inflation. So gold can serve as “insurance” against such times. The reason that people often flock to gold in times like these is that, historically, it has been an acceptable way to pay for things.

Con: If you put all of your assets in treasuries, your returns will be much lower.
This lower return is not unjustified. After all, you’re investing in an asset that’s considered to be risk-free. The problem with this strategy is that you may not end up with as much money as you need for your retirement.

Con: It’s dangerous to put a significant percentage of your assets into gold coins.
If experts recommend gold at all (and many more are these days) as part of your portfolio, most suggest keeping it to around five percent of your total assets. Unlike treasuries, gold carries risk – its price goes up and down. One other tidbit – gold has underperformed most other assets historically.

Con: There’s no cash flow with gold.
Treasuries pay interest at regular intervals. You don’t earn any money on a gold bar or a gold coin. The only way to make money by holding gold is to sell it at a price higher than what you paid for it.

Next time, we’ll take this discussion a step further. We’ll apply some real world numbers to help you with your diversification decisions.

We are so thankful that you took the time to read our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Related posts

Mania in the Market and Rising Above the Crowd

When It Comes to Investing, Time is on Your Side

Squirrels, Nuts and Business Cycles

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Get More Information in Less Time

info Best-selling author Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post called The growing productivity divide. He described some must-haves for your tool kit in today’s knowledge-based economy.

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We recommend you check out his full list to see how you stack up. Today, we’re going to highlight three tools for getting the information you need.

Your daily reading regimen

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georgeReading is so important. Warren Buffett says so. I remember one of the patriarchs of the venture capital industry telling me that he was aghast that many of his young staffers read only The Wall Street Journal every day. He told them they needed to expand their horizons and read at least one additional daily paper.

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Seth Godin suggested that you should read at least five blogs a day. There are so many resources online to keep up with content that’s important to you. Don’t get stuck in either the real or the virtual world. Read online and offline!

RSS

He also asked if you have an RSS reader. We might ask an even simpler question – do you understand what an RSS feed is? If you don’t, don’t feel bad … but learn what an incredible tool it is. 

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marylynnThere are a lot of sites I like to keep up with. What I love about RSS feeds is the content comes to me; I don’t have to go to it. With my RSS reader, they’re all in one location so I can easily scan the headlines. It saves me a lot of time.

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Lee Lefever of Common Craft fame has a great video tutorial that explains RSS in Plain English.

Problogger  Darren Rowse also has a great explanation of RSS on his site if you prefer to read about it.

Alerts

Do you know how to set up a search for a certain word, phrase, or subject? Alerts help you collect information without having to go get it. We have an article that provides a number of applications to set up alerts.

One great way to test out alerts is to set one up for your web site or your name. For example, we have an alert set up for biggsuccess.com and bigg success.

Subscription

You can get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success by subscribing to The Bigg Success Weekly – it’s free!  And when we say “weekly”, we mean it. We don’t abuse the privilege you’ve trusted us with. Subscribe now and get our free Bigg Goal-Getters Workbook!

Search for the information you need

Seth Godin also emphasized that you must be effective at searching the internet. You can use some shortcuts to get to the content you’re really looking for.

For example, quotation marks around the phrase you’re searching helps refine the search. If we type bigg success, Google will search for every instance of the word bigg and the word success. When we tried this yesterday, Google returned 20,500,000 pages.

By typing in “bigg success” with the quotation marks, Google searches for that phrase as one term. So it only returns instances where the two words are together. That search “only” returned 19,500 pages.

The Smartest Searcher has a post that discusses even more techniques to refine your search further.

You can get more information in less time if you know how to use technology to keep up with the content that’s important to you. It’s an essential skill in today’s knowledge-based economy.

Next time, we’ll discuss leadership in crisis. Until then, here’s to your bigg success! 

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From Merchant to Mogul

By Bigg Success Staff
09-04-08

Success Stories

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Gary Vaynerchuk is one of the best examples of personal branding we’ve ever witnessed. He “brings the thunder” to his online video show, Wine Library TV. He also hosts a show about personal development.

He took over the family business when he was 19 – a single liquor store – with annual sales around $5 million. He taught himself everything he could about wines and then turned the family business into a wine store. Then he gambled bigg with a full-page ad in The New York Times, bringing a flood of new customers to his store.

Now he’s doing over $45 million in business thanks in no small part to his show about wine. He’s become one of the world’s foremost authorities on wine, with a reported 60,000 people checking out his daily shows. He’s been given credit for helping the entire wine industry attract consumers that weren’t there before.

He’s also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, GQ, and Time. He’s been on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien where he got the late-night comedian to taste grass, a cigar, and more to help him “develop his palette.”

Now, he’s the only wine merchant in the country with his own Hollywood agent! He’s garnering bigg speaking fees. He’s living his brand.

We were fortunate to see him speak recently. He emphasized how important it is to know your own DNA – what makes you … you. He said he has succeeded bigg (okay, he didn’t say it that way, but we had to put our “bigg” spin on it!) because he has remained true to himself.

He says we’re in the “gold rush of personal branding.” Gary Vaynerchuk has found his mine … and it’s a bigg one!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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More Success Stories

The Iron Man Dad

Teacher Turns $3,000 into a $700 Million Business

Training for Bigg Success

The Man Who Turned a Part-Time Job into a Blooming Business

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25 Ways to Lead Your Organization Through Good Times and Bad

By Bigg Success Staff
05-14-08

Leadership Skills

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Leadership is challenging under any condition. In this article, we’ll offer some tips to survive the bad times and to let the good times keep rolling! We discuss five great tips from each of five great articles along with the links to the original articles themselves.

5 Tips to Keep Your Organization’s Knowledge in Your Organization

#1 – Don’t let your best people leave.

#2 – Establish a mentoring program for new employees.

#3 – Share best practices.

#4 – Share lessons learned.

#5 – Document, document, document.

This is a fantastic article on The Providers Edge site. Check out the entire article to learn how to reduce knowledge loss in your organization. *Note that this link will open a PDF file.


5 Key to Overcoming a Crisis

#1 – Keep in mind that business without risk is business without growth.

#2 – Work with the facts. Listen to the market, not your ego.

#3 – Act quickly and decisively. Delay makes things worse, not better.

#4 – Be a proactive leader and clearly communicate your decisions.

#5 – Be resilient and continue to innovate. Success is not forever, nor is failure.

These great tips come from Atsutoshi Nishida, CEO of Toshiba. He was discussing his company’s decision to pull the plug on HD DVD with Yukari Iwatani Kane of The Wall Street Journal. Check out the full interview for detail on overcoming a crisis in your organization.

 

5 Tips to Get the Best Results from Your Employee Training Programs

#1 – Remember that training is an investment.

#2 – Make sure the training is targeted and really needed.

#3 – Establish measurable returns.

#4 – Work with vendors that truly understand your needs.

#5 – Make sure the training is flexible and customized.

Chris Young wrote this excellent post on his Maximizing Possibility blog. You owe it to yourself to check out his complete explanation of his five tips for improving employee training and development during a recession or economic downturn.

… but we’re not done with training yet …


5 Pointers to Train Your People to Up sell / Cross sell

#1 – Tell your people what’s in it for them.

#2 – Give them clear objectives.

#3 – Create a non-threatening environment for role playing.

#4 – Assign them structured skill improvement activities.

#5 – Schedule a follow-up workshop about a month after the initial session.

This is an oldie, but a goody written by Brian J. Geery for BNET. He specifies it as sales training, but these tips are helpful for training for any human interaction. Read details of his five tips to ensure successful up selling / cross selling training.


5 Tips to Keep the Momentum Going

#1 – Reset greater challenges.

#2 – Review individual efforts.

#3 – Re-energize.

#4 – Rewind.

#5 – Recognize and reward.

Understanding these concepts is so important because momentum is such a precious thing. Check out the details on CareerBuilder’s top five tips for maintaining momentum.  

 

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