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Weekends are for Wimps

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In Wall Street (the original one), Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) said, “Lunch is for wimps.”

So are weekends.

Many people think being your own boss means setting your own schedule. It’s a myth that ignores the realities of entrepreneuring:

Work gets in the way.
Milestones need to be reached.
Deadlines don’t always accommodate weekends.
Customers need to be cared for.
And there’s the ongoing drive for cash flow.
You have to lead by example.
The buck stops with you.

So, we’ll be working this weekend. Because we’re not wimps.

How about you?

Clutter Contest

cluttered_desk.jpgBigg success is life on your own terms. The five elements of bigg success are money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on play, but like many of the subjects we talk about there is overlap. Time is definitely part of today’s topic.

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In our corner of the world, it’s finally starting to feel like spring. And here we are almost at the beginning of summer!

We’ve been busy cleaning up outdoors. Washing the windows. Cleaning out the gutters. Trimming the bushes. Picking up sticks in the yard.

Sometimes homeownership feels like work!

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marylynnPicking up sticks has its own reward because we bought a fire pit last year. I just love sitting around a fire and smelling the burning wood! It’s fantastic on those cool nights.

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georgeWe had a lot of great evenings last year relaxing around the fire. I’d say it’s already paid for itself. Plus it keeps your fire burning in a contained area, Mary-Lynn!

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Planning for a rainy day

We know what we’re going to do the next time we have a rainy day on the weekend. We’re going to have a Clutter Contest!

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marylynn
You win, George. You have the most clutter!

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georgeThe idea is to get rid of the clutter, Mary-Lynn. But thank you for pointing out my clutter!

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marylynnWe’re going have a contest between the two of us – the person who clears out the most clutter wins. Can you tell that we’re competitive?

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The prize

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georgeSince it’s just the two of us, we can cater the prize however we want. So, if you win Mary-Lynn, I’ll give you a back massage.

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marylynnOoh, I love massages. That will be great. I’ll tell you what, George, since you do most of the cooking … if you win, I’ll cook you dinner!

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george
I’m not sure that’s such a good prize!

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We’re really trying to highlight that you don’t have to spend money (hey there’s another one of the elements of bigg success) on prizes. They can be personal.

For your family, the prize could be the winner’s favorite home-cooked meal. He or she could choose the next movie to watch or game you all play. It’s completely customizable.

You can have more the one prize. For example, you might have a prize for the person who donates the most. You get stuff out of the house and a favorite charity gets goods they can sell. How’s that for win/win?

Even if you’re not a clutter bug, there may be someone in your house whose clutter drives you crazy. They’ll be more likely to clean it out if they can win a prize they really want. And think about it … they should be the odds-on favorite to win because they have the most stuff!

Household chores aren’t the most exciting way to spend our time off. However, this is one thing that can really ramp up your productivity. Studies show that the average American could save about an hour a day if they cleared out their clutter!

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marylynnWhen I heard that statistic, it really made me think about how to get more organized.

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georgeIt made me realize that it was time to clear out my clutter. Now I need to go get the ladder so I can start looking through that pile on my desk!

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Thanks so much for the gift of your time today!

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Please join us next time when we’ll discuss saving for (and allowing yourself to spend on) bigg ticket items. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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(Image by sindesign,CC 2.0)

Taking Time Off to Get More Done

work See if you can relate to this. You push and push and push, burning the candle at both ends – the early bird meets the midnight oil burner. Day after day – six, seven days a week – week after week. Finally, you reach a point where your mind and your body say, “Enough already!”

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We recently experienced this, so we listened … for a change. We crashed! We took some time to decompress. We often don’t realize how tired we are, how much we need the time away from our work.

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georgeWhen I was a graduate student, I worked in the Undergraduate Advising Office. As one weekend approached, I asked the Dean how his weekend was looking. He replied, with a little frown on his face and his shoulders drooping slightly, “Ugh. It’s not good. We have plans on Friday night and again on Saturday.” Or he might say, “Oh, I can’t wait. We don’t have anything planned for the whole weekend!” I didn’t understand his thinking at the time, but now I see the wisdom in it!

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So that’s how it went for us last weekend. It was great to wake up in the morning and realize there was nothing on the to-do list – nothing we had to do, nowhere we had to be.

We work crazy hours like many, if not most, business owners … especially those of us in the early stages of our businesses. But at a certain point, it becomes counter-productive.

We spend time doing what we do, but we don’t do as much as we could if we got a little rest, some time away to decompress. So we realized that we needed to learn from this.

As bigg goal-getters, we push ourselves to extremes. But we learned it can be counter-productive. On top of our business keeping us busy, we’re pretty social people. But sometimes it’s good to say no to just about everything and just have time to yourself.

We admit that we aren’t so good at work-life balance. We do a relatively good job of integrating our personal and professional lives. We can turn on a dime – talking about work one minute and moving to the personal the next. But we need more than that as we learned this past week.

We realized that the only way that we will take the time off we need is to treat it like everything else we want to get done. We put it on our calendars!

We’re saying “No” to seven days week. We need a day off every week. God did. Why should we think we don’t? Every other week, we’re setting aside two days.

Now it doesn’t mean we won’t work per se. It just means we won’t have a to-do list chockfull of things that we must do.

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georgeI love to do research. I find it very relaxing. While I try to fit in a little research time every day – and to some extent I’m always in research mode looking for show topics – it’s great to do research at a leisurely pace.

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marylynnAnd I’m a gadget girl. I love to play with my techie tools. That’s one of my roles in our business. I enjoy looking at new technologies and seeing how we might use them in our business. When I’m just searching and having fun, it doesn’t feel like work.

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So we’re still integrating work and play. We’re just planning our play better so that it feels more like play and less like work. Because you know what they say about all work and no play!

When we work, we want to be highly productive because our work is still a means to an end, not an end in itself. We love our work, but we love it more when we’re refreshed.

And we get more done. This week, we’ve accomplished a whole lot because we had more energy because we took time to decompress. So that’s your motivation … take some time off so you get more done!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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When it comes to our personal finances, we hear a lot about savers and spenders. But there’s a third category we rarely hear about. And it’s the one we really should strive to be. Join us next time to see what it is.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Now plan some time off! Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00335-022009.mp3

Related posts

I Need a Day Off

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Why Work Life Balance Doesn’t Work

(Image in today's post by biewoef)

The Art of Knowing Yourself

questions In the movie, Pretty Woman, Vivian Ward (played by Julia Roberts) and Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) go to an opera. Edward explains to Vivian that some people who go to an opera for the first time love it. He continues that others don’t love it; they may come to appreciate it, but they will never love it. At the end of the opera, Vivian is crying while Edward sits stoically watching her.

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There’s a great article, by Eriq Gardner over at Psychology Today, about what your choice in art says about you. He describes four 4 personality types:

#1 – Taste hunters
These people are always looking for new art and sharing their discoveries with others. If you visited their home, you’d find an eclectic mix of books, CDs, and DVDs. These people are more likely to become artists themselves.

#2 – Thrill seekers
These people are highly social, connecting with others at concerts, clubs & theaters. They crave sensory excitement, often consuming several media at once. They enjoy bold colors or themes of sex or violence.

#3 – Self-medicators

These people may be somewhat neurotic, evidenced by anxiety and sensitivity. They are highly creative and emotional. So they like art that depicts emotion – romantic movies and books, and music like rap and heavy metal. They use art to regulate their moods and validate their feelings.

#4 – Art as decoration
These conscientious people are dependable, focused, and task-oriented. They enjoy order and rules. So they like art about things they like in real life. They choose art for its aesthetics, often selecting it based on its market value. Conventional art is preferred over modern or abstract. Musicians who are technically accomplished are favored.

Which type are you?

Edward Lewis was definitely the “art as decoration” personality. He went to the opera to be seen by people who viewed as important. He chose the best seat because it made him look important. He consumed art in a very logical manner. He didn’t experience it fully, but he appreciated the craftsmanship that went into making it.

Vivian Ward was very extroverted, enjoying flashy clothes throughout the movie. She felt the opera deeply. This all steers us toward thinking she was a “thrill seeker”. But she was also very emotional, perhaps showing some tendencies of a “self-medicator”.

That’s the thing about these four personality types. Most of us probably fit into more than one. What type or types are you?

Consuming art can reduce your stress

The article also cites a study of office workers – one group looked at art, the other didn’t. It took five hours for the group that didn’t look at art to wind down after work. The group who looked at art achieved the same stress level in forty minutes!

It also helps you understand yourself better. By thinking about the type of art you like, you get to know yourself better.

It’s also a great way to get a conversation going. It helps you connect with others. By knowing what art a person consumes, you come to understand them better.
So take advantage of the upcoming weekend to take in some art!

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success.
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll discuss smart investors in tough times. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Related posts

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(Image by ilco)

Backyard Bliss

at_the_topWe both enjoy our work so we tend to work a lot. We feel fortunate that we get to work side-by-side. However, just because we’re physically near someone, it doesn’t mean you’re really “together.” So this past weekend, we took our own advice and had some bigg down time.

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marylynn I love garage sales because there are so many great bargains! So George drove, and I dragged him all over hitting garage sales.

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georgeAnd thanks to Mary-Lynn, we followed that up with … yet more shopping.

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We have these gorgeous, bigg, old trees on our lot, but that means there are a lot of limbs down after every storm. We had a fellow who mowed our yard and hauled the limbs away. But he had knee surgery this spring, and the gentleman who mows it now doesn’t do that.

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marylynn That’s right. But here’s the thing … I have a love for fire! So I thought … why not burn these limbs? So we bought a fire pit! But there was something about the fire pit we bought that George really liked.

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georgeYeah, I thought it was cool because it’s also a grill. Since I’m a purist, I like to cook with charcoal rather than gas. This way, we can cook on wood, which we get for free, and not spend money on charcoal!

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Even hassles don’t create angst

We also bought a chain saw. Now, don’t be alarmed … this chain saw is about the size of a blow dryer! But when we opened the box, there were pieces missing. So back to the store we went. Then we realized it didn’t come with the oil we needed. Back to the store again.

It proved the theory a friend of ours has – no home improvement project is complete until you’ve made at least three trips to the store!

But it was our day off! We weren’t in a rush so we enjoyed the time together in spite of it all.

Backyard bliss

So last Saturday night, we sat around our fire as we listened to music and grilled some hot dogs … and okay, a few marshmallows! It was so relaxing … all on our own back patio.

We had backyard bliss. (Don’t confuse it with the song “Ballroom Blitz”!)

So we caught up by slowing down!

Even if you work with your spouse or significant other – and maybe we should say, especially if you work together – it’s important to have “together time” that’s not associated with work.

We wish we could say that we planned to do this, but we would be lying. We’re good at planning our business and work activities, but sometimes we struggle with planning personal things.

But now that we have our fire pit, it will be easy to walk out the door and relax! Not long ago, we talked about why it’s good to spend time in nature. For many of us, nature is in our own backyard!

So you don’t have to do a lot of planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Stay at home and have some fun!

marylynn Don't forget the bug spray…that was our 4th trip to the store!

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