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Wealth is in the Eyes of the Beholder

santa-claus This is our twist on the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Many people are enduring a rough holiday season. We may not be spending as much as we normally would. We see that as a bad thing. We don’t want to disappoint our kids.

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Sometimes we forget how much we already have. As we get older, we put expectations on ourselves and judge ourselves based on what we have and the gifts we can give.

The cardboard box

Have you ever seen a little kid get his or her first bigg toy – the one that comes in the bigg cardboard box? Have you ever seen a kid put the real toy aside and start playing with that cardboard box? They turn it into a fort and have fun with it for hours, playing with their friends. Through the eyes of us adults, that cardboard box is extraneous. Through the eyes of a kid, the cardboard box is a valuable toy itself.

We develop our point-of-view from our experiences. Obviously, we want to learn from them, but we need to be careful not to take away the wrong lessons. So this holiday season, try looking at the world through the eyes of a child again. Look at things as if you were seeing them for the first time. Be innocent again.

Through the eyes of a child

We want to share a touching story comparing how we perceive things as adults to how we might see them through the eyes of a child. A rich dad wants to show his daughter how less fortunate people live. So he took his daughter out to the country, where they spent a couple of days and nights on a farm with a family most people considered very poor. Here’s the conversation as they drove back to the city …

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dad
How was the trip?

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girl
It was great, Dad.

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dad
Did you see how poor people live?

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girl
Oh yeah.

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dad
So, tell me, what did you learn?

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girlI saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them. We have a staff that serves us, but they serve others. Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.

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As you might imagine, the girl’s father was speechless. He thought he would teach his daughter a lesson … it turns out that it was he who needed to learn one.

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We really appreciate you checking in on us today. Join us next time when we talk about the best present of all. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image of the car by stOrmz,CC 2.0)

(Images of dad and daughter in today's post by stockbroke)

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A Sure-Fire Way to Stop Innovation

island We read the transcript of a great speech, entitled How to Get Rich, given by Jared Diamond at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It offers some great lessons in history, economics, and innovation.

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He asks the question, “What is the best way to organize human groups and human organizations and businesses so as to maximize productivity, creativity, innovation, and wealth?”

Now wouldn’t we all like to know the answer to that question?

He says that in the thirteen thousand years of human history, we have thousands upon thousands of “natural” experiments. To answer his question, he looked at extreme examples of societies in isolation.

The isolation begins

About ten thousand years ago, the places we know as Australia, Tasmania, and Flinders Island were connected – people could freely travel back and forth between them. Then the glaciers melted.

Even though they were only about 200 miles apart, the water-going craft of that era couldn’t traverse the rough seas between these three islands. So the 4,000 people of Tasmania and 200 people on Flinders Island became completely isolated from the rest of the world.

The isolation ends
In the seventeenth century, these two islands were “discovered” by the Europeans. The first to be rediscovered was Tasmania. It was noted that, at the time, the society was the least technologically advanced and most primitive group of people in the world.

They had no fire. They didn’t have any tools. They didn’t even know how to fish. In fact, archeologists have shown that they had less technology than they had ten thousand years before.

So, you ask, what about the 200 people on Flinders Island? When it was discovered around the same time, there were no people there. They became extinct.

Our islands

So we learn that small isolated groups don’t innovate. They may even regress. This historical example got us thinking about islands that we create, often without even realizing that we’re placing ourselves in isolation.

Field

Discoveries aren’t isolated to a single field. If you only talk to people within your field, if you only consume content in your space, you’re missing out on a whole world of ideas that may be fruitful for your field.

Media
Many people only consume media with which they agree. Seek out the opposing point-of-view. When you do that, you’ll either reinforce your beliefs or you’ll start to discover other alternatives.

People
Universities often don’t hire graduates of their own programs as professors. They fear it will lead to nepotistic thinking. Let’s learn a lesson from their policy. Get outside your circles of friends and business associates. If you work in the for-profit world, get to know some people in the non-profit world. If you work in government, make sure some of your influencers are in the private sector.

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georgeI’m a pretty social person. But looking back on my former businesses, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t feeling fulfilled because I didn’t spend enough time seeking out ideas and alternatives outside my sphere.

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It’s so easy to get so busy running your business, working your career, or managing your life that you fail to invest important time in connecting yourself to people, places and things that expand your mind.

Islands are a great place to visit. Just make sure you don’t get stuck there.

What islands have you seen people create?

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Find Your Fortune Through Promiscuity

Don’t be alarmed – we just thought it was a catchy title. Nothing explicit here!

A lot of very successful entrepreneurs have multiple businesses. So today, we’ll look at starting the “other” business!

Benefits of the other business

#1 – Your Compensation
You have one business now. So you can draw one salary. When you have two businesses, you get two salaries!

Your current business pays for your company car. Why not have two businesses so you can have two cars? And two expense accounts. Two planes! You get the idea!

There may be better ways to do this, but that’s beyond the scope of today’s blog.

# 2 — Diversification
Basic financial theory says you should diversify – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!

If you have one business, you’re completely subject to the ups and downs of that one business. With two businesses, one may pull the other one up during times of adversity and vice versa.

#3 – Your Wealth
Entrepreneurs have most of their wealth tied up in a single asset, but they typically have more wealth than the average homeowner. So owning a business is a great way to build wealth. Why not double the pleasure and own two?

One reason not to do it
Obviously, there are many reasons NOT to do this, but space doesn’t allow a full discussion. Let’s look at one – how to maximize your opportunity while minimizing your complications.

Ask yourself this question – how much can you grow your existing business? If it’s still significant, stick with what you have. Growth consumes money, so keep it in your existing business to maximize that opportunity.

Why take on the complication of the other business if what you have now is satisfying you?

Borrow a page from bigg business – feed what’s growing. It’s evolutionary. But as its growth winds down, get revolutionary – find the other business!

How to know you’re ready
Let’s assume that you’ve taken your business as far as you can. It’s still a good business, but it’s hit a plateau. There are two sides to knowing if it’s time for you to move on:

  • Your head – Is your baby ready for you to leave?
  • Your heart – Are you ready to leave your baby?

Here’s a great technique to listen to your head and your heart – take an extended vacation!

For you workaholics, this may require baby steps. If you haven’t been on a vacation for awhile, take an extended weekend. Then get away for a week. After that, make it two. Work yourself up to at least a month away.

You’ll find out if you’re emotionally ready to leave. You’ll also learn how your business functions without you. Who calls? Why? What are the problems?

If no one calls, you’re probably ready to go for it. The worst case scenario is that you’ll come back with the knowledge you need to get ready.

If you’re interested in pursuing a second business, get our FREE special report, Don’t Make These Mistakes When You Start Your Second Business.

You’ll learn important lessons that often trip up second-time entrepreneurs, even those who have succeeded wildly the first time out.

Just e-mail us: bigginfo@biggsuccess.com
Type “2nd business report” in the subject line.

Our bigg quote today is by Michael Gerber, the great author and entrepreneurial guru.

“The entrepreneur is our visionary, the creator in each of us. We're born with that quality and it defines our lives as we respond to what we see, hear, feel, and experience. It is developed, nurtured, and given space to flourish or is squelched, thwarted, without air or stimulation, and dies.”

So if you’re getting the itch, it may be time to pursue the “other” business.

Next time, we’ll discuss why women can’t win. Things could get heated on the show! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Does It Pay To Be Smart?

We ran across an interesting study about what your IQ says about how rich you’ll be. The study was conducted by Jay Zagorsky, an economist at Ohio State University, and published in the journal, Intelligence.

Zagorsky measured the income and wealth of people who were 40 to 47 years old. He sorted the data by IQ level.

Does it pay to be smart? Yes … and no.

Yes, it pays to be smart.
Zagorsky’s study confirmed what previous studies had shown. People with higher IQs tend to have higher incomes. We wonder if it’s a function of IQ or if educational attainment plays in – since it’s also been proven that higher levels of education tend to result in higher incomes.

Regardless, people with above-average IQs tend to earn more.

No, it doesn’t pay to be smart.
Zagorsky found that people with lower IQs are just as wealthy, perhaps even more so, than people with high IQs! Zagorsky defines wealth as assets minus liabilities. How much you own compared to how much you owe.

Few people with below-average IQs had high income. However, a relatively large number of them had a high net worth.

It turns out that people with higher IQs were MORE likely to have trouble paying bills, have maxed out credit cards, and have declared bankruptcy, than people with lower IQs.

Why aren’t smart people rich?
Zagorsky offers several theories for why being smart doesn’t necessarily lead to being rich. It’s possible that smart people are more confident in their ability to earn more money, so they spend more money. Perhaps they feel they can take more risk, because they can make more money if they need it.

We wonder if it’s not because of the age group. People with IQs below the norm probably started working earlier, on average, than people with high IQs, who were earning advanced degrees. So people with lower IQs have had more years in the workforce. Will people with high IQs catch up with them over time?

Smart or not, we’re only human!
What this study really confirms is a timeless principle – the real secret to accumulating more wealth is to spend less than what you make. How profound!

We’re all human – some smarter than others. However, we’re all subject to that human trait that makes us spend as much as we make. Make more … spend more.

Do you remember the secret to begin accumulating wealth, as told in The Richest Man in Babylon?

A part of all you earn should be yours to keep.

If you don’t spend it, you’ll always have it. And more – because your money will make money for you if you invest it right.

For whatever reason, people with below-average IQs seem to do a better job of that than people with above-average IQs. At least according to this study.

What do you think? Why do people with lower IQs have more wealth? What tips do you have for managing money? Let us know.

Our bigg quote today is by Benjamin Franklin.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.”

It’s smart to save money, because being smart with your money is money in the bank.

Next time, we’re going to talk about your own personal SWOT analysis – analyzing strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities. It’s a follow up to Visualize The Life You Want and Live Your Dream Life With Purpose.

If your goal is to save more money, learn how to achieve that goal with our Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook. It’s free when you subscribe to our free weekly newsletter. We bet you’re smart enough to recognize that for the deal it is!

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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