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Just in Time Play Leads to Success

Enjoy just in time play for your BIGG SuccessWe’re testing a concept and thought we’d share it with you. If you’re a regular here, you know we think that work-life balance doesn’t work.

Our thinking has evolved over time. We believe life is a system. BIGG success is life on your own terms.

Work and play are two of the five elements of BIGG success. The BIGG idea behind BIGG success is synergy. Synergy begins with syncing work and play.

Just-in-time play

You may be familiar with just-in-time inventory management developed as part of the Toyota Production System.

The goal is to increase the return on investment by bringing inventory into the production process at the precise moment it’s needed.

So we’ve been testing what we call just-in-time (JIT) play. The goal is to increase our sense of fulfillment (i.e. our returns) by making time for play right when we need it.

Avoiding the crash

This is a response to what we’ve typically done. We love our work. But sometimes we push too hard.

We work and work and work. Followed by a crash.

We didn’t choose downtime. It chose us.

And it wasn’t very productive.

Your inventory of time

We all have a fixed amount of time. Unfortunately, we never know when we will be “out of stock.”

In the meantime, we all want to make the most of our time. In order to do that, play is essential.

Play is as much a part of BIGG success as work. The two go hand-in-hand. In fact, play makes you more productive at work.

Signals

With JIT inventory management, signals are sent to tell workers when to order parts. With JIT play, we look and listen for signals that it’s time to bring in some units of play.

For example, when we get stuck writing, we’ll take five minutes to rejuvenate. When we start having trouble getting started in the morning, we know a day off is the ticket.

By getting essential play on our schedule when we need it most, JIT play is helping us maximize our productivity and get away more often.

Our business permits a great deal of flexibility on when we work. If your schedule allows you to adapt, give JIT play a try. Now that’s win-win.

And it may be your ticket to BIGG success!

Image in this post from stock.xchng

 

 

Are You Tired of Working Hard and Not Making Enough Progress?

working hard but not making enough progress | BIGG SuccessMany people waste time and money trying to find shortcuts for reaching BIGG success.

They buy programs that promise an easy road to riches. Unfortunately, these programs almost never deliver.

Time and money wasted…once again.

We’ve talked before about hard work and BIGG success. In most cases, the first is part of the explanation for the second.

So here’s the dilemma:

What can you do if you’re working as hard as you possibly can but not making satisfactory progress toward your goal?

We relate to this subject all too well. We put in long hours almost every day of the week.

Yet, when we finally shut down for the day, there’s always so much left to do. It can wear on you after awhile.

So today we want to share a few things that have helped us.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


iPhone/iPad Podcast Player

[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00752-111011.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #752″]
The 5 elements of BIGG success

Let’s do a quick review (or a quick primer for those of you who are new here):

BIGG success is life on your own terms. The 5 elements of BIGG success are money, time, growth, work and play.

Time and money are your two resources.
Time is more precious than money but, at any given moment, you only have so much of either one.
Almost every human (and every organization) faces resource constraints.

Work and play are your opportunities.
Growth bridges the gap between resources and opportunities.
Growth begins as an opportunity but can become your most significant resource.

Expand your capacity

As growth moves from opportunity to resource, your capacity expands.

As you master anything, you’re able to cut through the complexity and see the simplicity again.

This helps you get more done in the same amount of time.

You can also grow your capacity over time. It’s like any other sort of training.

How far could you jog right now?
If you did that every day for a month, do you think you would be able to either run the same distance faster or run further in the same time?
Of course, you could. This works in all areas of your life.

End your energy crisis

The BIGG idea behind BIGG success is synergy. One area to look for synergy is between the five elements.

We both love our work. We found that we often worked so hard for so long that it became counter-productive.

So now we schedule downtime. Here’s the funny thing:
We usually get more down when we work a little less!

Of course, there’s a limit to this. But there’s a reason for the fifth element of BIGG success – play!

Nobel Prize winners know how important it is. Have you ever wondered why kids have so much energy?

Because they play!

So don’t think so much about managing your time. Manage your energy!

Where to start

When you think of your goals, what’s the most important thing you need to do today to reach it?

Start by getting it done.
Then move onto the second most important.
Then the third.

What difference would it make if you got your three most important things done every day? It’s huge, isn’t it?

Focus isn’t fun.
It isn’t easy.
Focus sometimes means forcing yourself to do something you really don’t want to do.

If it’s important, get it done. Then relish in the accomplishment.

Oh…and keep going!

Can you borrow time?

We’re not talking about the traditional definition of “borrowed time”. It has negative connotations.

This is all positive. You know you can borrow money but you can also borrow time.

Money and time are your two primary resources. Your need for them is negatively correlated.

If you have money to spare, you won’t have to invest as much time. If you have time to spare, you don’t need as much money.

Let’s say you buy a house that needs to be painted.

  • If money were no object, you could hire a contractor. If you’ve selected them carefully, you shouldn’t have to lift a finger other than to write a check.

 

  • If money were a little more constrained, you might hire a freelancer.

 

  • If you have almost nothing left after buying the house, you’ll have to do it yourself.

 

  • If you have plenty of money and plenty of time to spare, you can do whatever you want!

 

So you can borrow time by spending money. However – even if you don’t have money – you may still be able to borrow time by taking on a partner.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you share a vision and you have the same values. Otherwise, your partner will cost you both time and money!

Punt

Finally, we come to the last resort. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by how much you have to do, it may pay to punt. By that we mean:

Push back your due date.

We caution you to think long and hard before you do this. However, you may conclude that your goal was too ambitious.

If you’re stressing out so much that it’s starting to affect your health, the best action you can take may be to decide to give yourself more time to reach your goal.

It’s better to reach BIGG success a little later than to not reach it at all!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00752-111011.mp3

Image in this post from photobucket

Entrepreneuring Your Work Week to Be a Success

work and play | BIGG SuccessOur ancestors worked six days a week. It was tough work – on the farm, in factories and mines.

As the Industrial Revolution kicked in, the growing prosperity created a desire for more leisure. Henry Ford was a leader in this endeavor.

He wanted his workers to have time to shop. So the five day work week became the norm.

But how many people actually follow this regimen today?

Do you?

We sure don’t.

Almost none of the people in our industry do.

Most professionals we know don’t either.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast.


iPhone/iPad Podcast Player

[haiku url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00734-090911.mp3″ title=”The BIGG Success Show #734″]
Finding your ideal work week

Now we love our work. And we go full tilt. But we have learned to entrepreneur our work week.

It’s kind of like engineering it. But engineering is a science.

Entrepreneuring is a science and an art. So we think of it as entrepreneuring our work week.

Work and play are two of the five elements of BIGG success. You need to find what works best for you in the work/play dynamic.

The only way to do that is by experimenting.

If you’re an employee, of course, your boss will have a say. But even if you’re self-employed, you may need to work your schedule around your customers.

But customers can be led. Chick-fil-A has been very successful and they don’t open on Sundays, even though their competitors do.

What we do

We rotate our schedule. Most weeks, we will only work a partial day on the weekends.

So it adds up to about six days of production in most cases.

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George KruegerWe often approach this time off from two different directions. Mary-Lynn tends to start later than me. I tend to stop earlier than her.

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Mary-Lynn FosterI’m more of a night person and George is more of a morning person. Our point is – your schedule doesn’t always have to align with your partner’s.

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Of course, there are weeks when we’ll schedule a whole day off. We both love our work so we can go and go and go. But I’ve found I reach a point where my get up and go gets up and goes!

The key to making it work

The key for us is getting it on the schedule. If we don’t schedule it, we keep working.

In fact, we did this post to remind ourselves of this very fact. We hope you find it helpful, too.

As we said earlier, our tendency has been to push and push and push. The problem with that is that you eventually run out of fuel.

You need to fill your tank before that happens. And the only way to do that is to get some time away at regular intervals.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. Our terms are to have less routine. You may do better with more routine. If it works for you, it works.

The only way you’ll know is to test out different work / play schedules. Finding one that fits you perfectly will help you reach BIGG success!

What works best for you?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00734-090911.mp3

A Fat Lip and a Skinny Pocketbook

pocketbookOur President got a fat lip while playing basketball over the weekend. Fortunately, it was a minor injury which won’t impact the President’s ability to do his job. Although, he may talk a little funny for a while!

But it got us thinking about work and our spare time activities. For example, a hair stylist we know broke her leg while skiing. She wasn’t able to maintain her full schedule for over a month.

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So entrepreneurs need to be particularly sensitive to this issue. Of course, as we learned from President Bush, even eating a pretzel can be dangerous.

While BIGG goal-getters certainly live a full life, you have to be conscious of the risks. Just like entrepreneurs manage risk at work, think about risk when you’re at play.

Here are 4 tips to keep a fat lip from leading to a skinny pocketbook: 

1. Put safety first
Just because there is no OSHA for our activities off-the job doesn’t mean they’re any less risky! No matter what your hobby is, be smart about it.

2. Maintain your financial safety net
Build up your cash reserves so you can go for at least three months without income. Entrepreneurs who have more erratic income probably may want to bump that up to at least six months.

3. Plan for it
What if you weren’t able to work for a period of time? Who would be in charge of your company? If you’re a solo entrepreneur, who would take care of your clients?

4. Purchase disability insurance
This one’s often overlooked, but the odds of not being able to work for a period of time make it worth checking into. The link above is to an independent organization that’s a great resource to help you with this.

As the entrepreneur of your life, think about the risks you face and find ways to keep a fat lip from leading to a skinny pocketbook. It leads to BIGG success!

What do you suggest?
 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00650-112910.mp3

(Image in today's post from plex)

2 Important Things to Know About Your Customers

customerIt was a beautiful day in our area on Sunday so we decided to go for a drive. There’s an outlet mall about thirty minutes from us. So we stopped and shopped!

We like to combine work and play. While we were playing, we got a couple of ideas for post, including this one today.

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Where are your customers from?

As we made a purchase, the clerk asked us for our phone number. She said, “We like to know where our customers are from.”

Isn’t that an important thing to know about your customers? 

Geographic area
This is what the store we were at wanted to know. This may or may not be important to your business. It may be useful for targeting areas for your marketing.

Marketing activity
Unlike large companies, small businesses can’t afford to invest a lot of money on building their brand. When we spend money as small business owners, we need to see a return in the short-term while also building our brand long-term.

So discover what marketing activity is driving people to your business. While this is an inexact science, you want to determine as closely as you can if the time and money you’re spending on various activities are paying off.

Consumers often segment the research and the purchase. They may do some research on you as a result of one marketing activity. Then they may respond to another one to make a purchase.

The first activity may be important to the process but doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

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georgePrior to Bigg Success, my businesses relied on inbound telemarketing. In other words, our customers called us to schedule projects. Our Customer Service Reps might ask this question, “How did you hear about us?” Later in the process, we might also have them ask, “How did you get our phone number today?” We often got a different answer from the same caller!

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marylynnIsn’t that amazing? You don’t want to annoy your customers with too many questions. You do want to get as much information as you can as a natural part of the conversation you’re having.

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Demographics
There are a number of factors that may be important to understand about your customers. What is their level of education? How much money do they make? What is their occupation?

Obviously, you may not directly ask them some of these questions. You may survey them anonymously.

This information helps you target your products and services better. It’s also highly likely that your future customers will be a lot like your current customers. So it helps you qualify prospects.

Where are your customers going?

It’s arguably more important to know this one. What are your customers trying to accomplish? What problems are they having trying to do that? How can you help them?

Retailers
The type of business you have will dictate how you find this out. Let’s say you’re a retailer serving lots of customers with relatively small purchases. While they’re checking out, you may ask them if there was anything that they didn’t find.

You may want to keep a list of their requests. When you start seeing something over and over, you may want to add that item to your inventory.

Consumer services
For a consumer service business, the question is very similar. “Is there anything else that I can help you with today?” 

We used a version of this in my service businesses and it was amazing the projects we would uncover. For instance, we often learned that they were considering a remodel from this simple question.

Business services

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marylynnIf your business serves other businesses, the best way to find this out is the hard way – talk with them! This is what we do. It takes a lot of legwork to keep in touch with your customers at this level. But it’s the best way to find opportunities.

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Nobody likes to be sold. People like to buy.
Discover what your customers are trying to accomplish.
Uncover the problems they’re having getting there.
Then show them the solution you can provide and you’ll be a bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll celebrate a bigg milestone. Until then, here’s to your bigg success.

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00519-111109.mp3

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(Image in today's post by LotusHead)