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5 Success Factors

It’s the first day of April. Isn’t it hard to believe the first quarter of this year is gone?

So how are you progressing toward your goals this year?

Today, we want to discuss some hard truths – five success factors. See how you measure up.

#1 – You need the right degree from the right school.
Ideally, you get an MBA from an Ivy League school. That virtually guarantees you’ll succeed. If you didn’t get that, hopefully you’re in the next tier of schools.

#2 – It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
This is one of the reasons that Ivy League education is so important. You have to be connected to the right people to open the doors you need to succeed. What you know is just a bonus.

#3 – It takes money to make money.
Education and connections are great, but unless you have money you won’t go far. Once you have money, you can make more money. The rich truly do get richer and the poor get poorer.

#4 – You have to wait for the right opportunity.
There aren’t that many good ideas in the world. Dreamers think every idea they have is a good one. You’re smarter than that. You know that the perfect opportunity will present itself. 

#5 – You have to be ruthless.

Nice guys (and gals) finish last. You have to go for what you want, with no concern for others. Selfish people win. After all, there’s only so money to go around.

A bigg secret
April Fool’s!

We just discussed five common myths about success.

#1 – Education.

Education is good. In fact, you should get all the education you can stand! But education is neither a prerequisite, nor a guarantee, of success.

How many times have you heard someone putting themselves down for the degree they got (or didn’t get) or the school they attended (or didn’t attend)? That someone may be you.

Education may help open some doors, but your performance is what matters in the end.

#2 – Who you know, not what you know

The reality is that it’s both … and neither. Who you know definitely matters. What you know from education and experience is just as important.

But what’s really important is your reputation and what you deliver. Once again, performance is the key in the end.

#3 – Takes money to make money
Money definitely helps when you start a business. However, did you know that most owners only invest about $25,000 to get started? That’s not that much is it?

What’s more important is delivering value to your chosen group of customers.

#4 – Wait for the right opportunity
A lot of people spend their entire lives waiting for opportunity to knock. They always have an idea, but it’s never good enough.

In reality, most businesses succeed at something they didn’t start out to do. You have to make opportunity for yourself to succeed bigg.

#5– Be ruthless
In reality, you have to give more value than what people pay for to succeed. You’re going for win / win. Finding that balance is the key.

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Our bigg quote today comes from George Orwell:

“Myths which are believed in tend to become true.”

Successful people believe in themselves and then work to prove they’re right.

Next time, we ask the question … are you choking your chicken? Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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A New Leadership Style Emerges

By Bigg Success Staff
06-09-08

Leadership Skills

leaders

If we’ve learned anything from the explosion of social media, it’s that people want to connect with other people. They want to be a part of something. They want to contribute. They want to build relationships with like-minded colleagues.

It calls for testing old leadership styles. Leaders still need the same skills they had, but they need to apply those skills in a different way.

At the risk of over-generalizing, men tend to charge in and demand the most (e.g. the cheapest price from their vendors, the most output from their subordinates).

If you’re doing a one-time deal, that may be fine. But if you seek a long-term relationship, men might learn something from women.

Women tend to collaborate. To seek a consensus. They want win – win.

This may be less fruitful in the short run, but in the long term, it often pays bigg dividends.

People don’t do business with people who have burned them. Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.

So creating an environment around collaboration, where everyone feels like they’re part of the team is productive. Building an organization that allows everyone to win is good business.

And “everyone” means employees, customers, vendors, and more!

It’s a very inclusive organization seeking to create the best opportunities for all the parties involved.

As more and more women obtain leadership positions, this style will become more prevalent. It behooves all of us, man or woman, to get on board the collaboration train!

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

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Jungle Love – Living With Coopetition

By Bigg Success Staff
01-31-08

Career Builders

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It’s a jungle out there. Survival of the fittest, as Charles Darwin said. You have to be stronger than someone else in order to win. 

If you want more, someone else will have to accept less. Your victory comes from their loss. We feel good about ourselves when we win. When we beat someone else. We’re better than they are.

There are some dangerous assumptions lurking beneath the surface of these thoughts.

Dangerous assumption #1 – Resources are scarce.

Let’s get this out of the way – obviously SOME resources ARE scarce and only getting more so. It’s also true that AT THIS POINT, you may face some resource constraints.

However, there are more resources in the world than there are great ideas by people who can bring them to fruition! If you have an idea that makes life better for others, you’ll find an abundance of resources flowing to you.

So are resources scarce? Not the ones you need to live your dream life.

Dangerous assumptions #2 – it’s a zero-sum game.
Once again, we recognize that, in select businesses, this is true. For instance, if you trade commodities, you’re in a zero-sum game. The profits and losses will equal each other, netting out to zero.

However, these are exceptions to the rule – most of time, everybody can win if they put their minds to it!

You can focus on getting a bigger piece of pie. However, you’ll find it’s usually more fruitful to find a way to make the pie bigger. You win … so do others. Is that so bad?

Dangerous assumption #3 – Comparing ourselves to others.
Ancient philosophers asserted that “comparison” went along with “pride” and “vanity”.

And we all know that old saying – “Pride goeth before a fall.”

Constantly comparing yourself to others is a recipe for constantly being unhappy. Every time your neighbor gets a new car, you have to have a better one.

You lose focus on what’s more important – striving for your personal best to get what you really want out of your life.

Dangerous assumption #4 – Not competing with yourself.
We should take a lesson from the athletes that competed in the early Olympics. They competed with themselves. They tried for a personal best every time out. They wanted to excel.

It goes along with our favorite definition of success, which comes from the great basketball coach, John Wooden.

You succeed by doing everything you can to become everything you can be.

You focus on you. Beating your own best performance. It’s not always easy to strive for that next level. But it is fulfilling and meaningful!

It’s true that it the world is more competitive than ever. It’s also true that people are seeing more and more opportunity to cooperate. You need to learn to live with coopetition – that is, cooperative competition.

Some people find it easier to compete; it’s cooperation that comes difficult. For others, it’s the reverse. Today’s world requires the ability to do both, sometimes simultaneously.

That’s easier to do when you think of the marketplace as more than a jungle. Can you feel the love? It comes from the joy of being your best and helping others do the same. Win – win!

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

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Review: The Opposable Mind

By Bigg Success Staff
01-31-08

Bigg Book Review

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The conventional wisdom says that if you want to know how to be a successful leader, look at what successful leaders do and do the same thing.

That won’t work, according to Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and author of The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking

Instead, you should learn how great leaders THINK and apply that to your situation.

He wrote this fantastic book to demonstrate just that – how to think.

Integrative thinking, as he describes it, is the ability to hold two or more diametrically opposed ideas in your mind at the same time. That’s the first part.

Then, you must resist the urge to simply choose one or the other. Seek a third alternative, which is likely a synthesis of the two opposing ideas. That third idea is most likely a much better solution than either of the other two!

It’s a whole book on “win – win”, as Stephen Covey described it in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

This book also shows why it’s more dangerous than ever to surround yourself with “yes” men or women. The best solution is usually something that hasn’t yet been spoken. You need independent thinkers around you to find it.

Successful leaders integrate both mastery and originality. They learn from existing models, but believe they can find a better one. They embrace complexity, an important mindset in today’s business world.

Martin asserts that integrative thinkers move beyond trade-offs by asking probing questions and looking for causal relationships.

In a world where the only certainty is uncertainty, this book provides the framework for effective decision-making. That’s why we put it on our list of must-reads.