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Reading

Back-to-School on chalkboardIt’s Back to School season. Summer is about over. For the kids, it’s time to crack the books again. But they shouldn’t have all the fun!

So we’re going to focus on lifelong learning this week and next. Over the next three days, we’ll discuss the basics – the 3 R’s we learned in school. Today we’ll look at reading.

Do you suppose that we read more today than we’ve ever read before? It sure seems like it as much as many of us read online.
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Are You Talking to the Right Person

talking.jpgWe each have a story about a wacky experience on the phone. Unfortunately for us, they’re true stories.

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marylynnI called Michael, our tech guy. I started talking about an issue with which we needed his help. Suddenly, the guy on the other end said, “Who is this?” I said, “It’s Mary-Lynn.” He said, “Oh, hey Mary-Lynn, how are things?” At that point, I didn’t know who was on the other end of the phone! It turns out I had called a different Michael, my old personal trainer.

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georgeI called my parent’s house. A woman answered the phone. I said, “Hey mom, it’s your son.” I asked how she was doing. She said, “Fine.” I asked if dad was there. She said, “Yes, I’ll get him.” A man came to the phone. I started to explain why I was calling. He said, “What are you talking about?” At that moment, I realized I was talking to a dad, but not my dad. Even worse – I had also talked to a mom, but not my mom in the same conversation!

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Consequential conversations

These conversations made us think about how important it is to talk to the right person. In our stories, there weren’t any repercussions. However, there are times when talking to the wrong person can have major consequences.

Nothing gets accomplished by talking to the wrong person. It’s a huge waste of time – for both you and the person to whom you’re talking.

If you’re talking to the wrong person, you may get misdirected. You could become discouraged. You might even lose your focus.

So we want to discuss three situations where it’s important to talk to the right person.

Are you talking to an expert?

A friend of ours says this best. If you want to make a million dollars a year, don’t talk to someone who’s making $999,999!

Don’t seek advice from someone who hasn’t achieved everything you’re trying to achieve. A lot of people like to give their opinions. They may be family or friends. We love them dearly, but they can’t help us if they haven’t done what we’re trying to do.

It doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to offer. It just means you have to filter what they say.

Are you talking to the decision-maker?

This is particularly important when you’re trying to make a sale. By “sale”, we don’t just mean in the typical sense of the word. You may be trying to sell someone on giving you a loan. Can they make the decision? If not, find out who can and talk to them.

This also applies to buying. You may want to negotiate a better deal. Does the person you’re talking to have the authority to give you a better deal? If not, find someone who does.

Are you talking to the person who knows the person to whom you need to talk?

You may not know the person to whom you need to speak. Do you know a person who knows him or her? Do you know The Connector?

If there’s more than one person between you and the person with whom you want to have a conversation, it’s tough. It will probably be more productive to get a direct referral to the person who can help you reach bigg success!

Do you have a funny story of talking to the wrong person?

We sure hope we’re not alone!

Please share your story with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

We thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Next time, a member of our community shares what life on his own terms means to him. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Merge Your Networking Worlds

balancingWe were recently invited by Jon Gatrell to be guest posters on his Spatially Relevant blog. We wrote about networking – both online and offline.

What sparked our post is a friend of ours who says she thinks social media is a waste of time. We can see her point – she has a stable job in a city she’ll probably never leave. She’s active in her community so she does do plenty of networking. She also cares for a young family at home.

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She’s not alone in her opinion. There’s no doubt that online networking benefits some more than others. But we think everybody should at least dip their toes into the water.

Online networking makes it easy to find people that you may not have talked with in some time. Like that colleague at your first job who’s now the President of a company.
You can catch up, keep up, and meet up.

We have another friend who said that if he hadn’t talked to someone in twenty years or so, he didn’t need to talk to them now! 

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marylynn I disagree. A prime example – I’m catching up with some of my old high school classmates. It’s interesting to see what businesses they’re in now. Some of them are in similar businesses to what we’re doing here at Bigg Success. So we can talk and help each other with some of the ins and outs of the business.

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georgeIt’s easier for me to keep up with people using social media. I know me – I’m not going to write a letter. I’ve probably lost their phone number years ago. Their e-mail address may have changed and I forgot to note it. Social media is just a great way to stay in touch.

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It’s also important to build relationships offline as well. We’ve learned this – Bigg Success is, of course, an online business – but we found that it’s vital to meet people offline as well.

In fact, we met Jon, and his wife Emily, at a conference. We liked them instantly! Since we met them offline, we got to know their full personalities in a way that wouldn’t have been possible online. However, we’ve been able to keep in touch with them because of the online world.

The power comes from merging the two

When we hear about a merger in the corporate world, the word “synergy” usually comes up – the whole is greater than the parts. We think the same thing happens when you merge your networking worlds.

To take this one step further, think about marketing principles. You don’t just use one form of marketing in a campaign; you use a combination to create better results.

And networking is marketing – at least that’s part of the reason we all network. By putting the two together, the results will be better than if you just use one forum. You have two hands … why wouldn’t you use them both?

The bottom line – online or off – it’s all about people and building relationships. 

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12 Ways to Make Your Next Meeting Your Worst Meeting

Studies show that we spend about 15 percent of our work week in meetings. If you’re lucky, right? Many of these meetings are a huge waste of time … and money.

We thought we’d list some ways to make sure the next meeting you run is a bad one:

#1 – Call a meeting even if you don’t have anything to discuss.
Better yet, just call a meeting on the fly because an important issue has come up for you, and you need answers now! It’s important to you so it must be the most important thing for everyone else.

#2 – If in doubt about whether someone should attend the meeting, invite them.

Or just call an all staff meeting, even if it only affects a small percentage of the group. It may be peripheral to their jobs, but they should hear it anyway!

#3 – Make your agenda so vague that no one knows what the meeting is about.

Don’t distribute it in advance so people can come to the meeting prepared. Keep them in the dark about what’s going to be discussed. The best way to do this – don’t have an agenda at all.

#4 – Don’t start the meeting on time.
Or up the ante … don’t be on time for your own meeting. It doesn’t matter if everyone is waiting for you. Your time is more valuable than theirs.

#5 – Kick off the meeting on a negative note.
Tell everyone how bad things are. Look for scapegoats – call them out in front of their peers. People just love that.

#6 – Don’t stick to the schedule.
Or don’t have a schedule at all. Who really cares when this meeting will be over? Nothing is more important than your meeting. Nobody else has anything to do.

#7 – Don’t ever defer a conversation to a later date.
Even if a point of discussion starts eating into precious time, keep it on the table. It was on your agenda, so it must be dealt with today. The meeting can either go long or you can just give the other points less attention.

#8 – Do most of the talking.
Don’t plan for participation. People love to hear you talk. Dominate the conversation. There’s no need for you to listen during a meeting. That’s certainly won’t help solve any problems.

#9 – When someone presents an idea, be quick to shoot them down.
There will be no free flow of ideas in your meeting! You’re in control. Who do they think they are anyway?

#10 – No matter how long your meeting runs, don’t take any breaks.
People love to just sit and sit and sit. It’s best to introduce new ideas to your staff or try to find the solution to an ongoing problem after they feel lethargic from a lack of activity. And of course, no one needs to use the restroom.

#11 – Let that guy (or gal), who loves to hear himself (or herself) talk, go on and on.
Don’t cut them off. Don’t bring the meeting back to its focus.

#12 – Make sure nothing gets accomplished.
When the meeting is finally over, there should be no plans for action, no decisions should have been made, no issues should get resolved, and no follow up should be scheduled. People love sitting around in meetings that don’t accomplish anything.

Our bigg quote today is by Steve Kaye:

“An employee who needs permission to buy a box of paperclips can spend
tens of thousands of dollars worth of employee time on bad meetings.”

Waste is waste … whether it’s paper clips or time.

What are your pet peeves about meetings? Leave a Comment and let us know.

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Pages

A Short Pencil is Better than a Long Memory

By Bigg Success Staff
05-30-08

Career Builders

notebook 

The ability to absorb and act upon new information often makes the difference between success and bigg success. One of the best ways to do this is to become a prodigious note taker.

There’s an old saying, “A short pencil is better than a long memory!”

When you write it down, you not only have it available as a reference, you also are more likely to remember it in the first place. So you’re able to absorb and act upon the information better than someone who doesn’t take notes.

So when you’re going to meet with someone – in person or on the phone – take notes!

It’s amazing how many people don’t take advantage of this simple technique that makes such a bigg difference!

Set up yourself apart – take notes!

Take notes when you’re meeting with a group. Take notes when you’re meeting with a single person.

Some people don’t think it’s worth the time. They have it backwards.

It’s a waste of time to invest time in a meeting and then forget most of what you’ve learned. So take notes so you remember what you learned and you have a ready reference in case you forget!

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5 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Meeting

By Bigg Success Staff
05-28-08

Leadership Skills

meeting 

It seems that meetings consume more and more of our time these days. In many cases, people come away feeling like the meeting was a waste of time.

As a leader, you want any meeting you run to be productive. So the next time you’re called upon to run a meeting, keep this in mind:

For every minute the meeting is scheduled to run,
plan to spend at least that much time preparing for it.

In other words, for a meeting that will last an hour, plan to prepare for at least an hour.

As the person running the meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure the purpose of the meeting is fulfilled. One of the primary reasons why meetings fail is because of a lack of preparation. The best meetings happen before they ever start.

Here are 5 tips for effective meeting preparation:

Be specific
Almost nothing bores people more than a bunch of vague concepts that have no tangible value to them in their jobs. Plan to keep your meeting focused on real things that will make a difference to them today.

Cover new ground
Just rehashing the same old topics meeting after meeting doesn’t have any value. Plan to cover subjects that haven’t been tackled before. Move to new areas to keep your people interested.

Stay on subject
Know what you want to accomplish before the meeting starts so you’re able to keep the conversation moving in that direction. Clearly understand the purpose of each part of your agenda so you can keep things moving along to your ultimate goal.

Plan for participation
If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get any. Know when you want your people to get actively involved. Also plan your response if they don’t step up. Thinking about this beforehand is essential. It’s also important to plan how you will keep their conversation going by mapping out some follow-up questions.

Expect distracting maneuvers

There’s at least one in every crowd … that person who loves to hear himself or herself talk. Plan in advance how you will deal with him or her to keep your conversation moving to your ultimate purpose. This isn’t easy, but it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep everyone engaged in your meeting.

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

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