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Why You Should Mix Business with Pleasure

your amygdala and your social life | BIGG SuccessThere’s this teeny tiny part of your brain – it sits at the base of your brain – that apparently reveals a lot about your friends. It’s called the amygdala.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that people with a bigger amygdala have more friends. This almond-shaped area is more than twice the size in people who are more social.

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Perhaps the most striking part of this research was the difference between the two groups:

  • Less social people had less than 15 people with whom they had regular contact
  • People with a bigger amygdala had as many as 50 acquaintances

The researchers aren’t sure of the direction of the relationship. Does a bigger amygdala lead to more friends or do more friends lead to a bigger amygdala?

The lead researcher said that the brain is a “use it or lose it organ.” So she postulated that it expands with the number and the nature of your relationships.

A simple way to have more friends

The thing we found most interesting was a BIGG tip about how to get more friends: People with more friends tended to have more complex relationships.

In other words, they mix business with pleasure!

And yet we’ve heard our whole lives – don’t mix business and pleasure. Wrong! You should mix the two.

It’s consistent with the BIGG idea behind BIGG success – synergy. We used to think it was essential to separate people into two camps – professional and personal.

However, many people miss a lot of opportunities by drawing this line between work and play. You can have better relationships with more people if you erase that line.

The relational power of social media

While the researchers didn’t look at online connections, we think this actually highlights one of the best things about social media. We get to see the whole person now.

We may meet someone in a business setting. But once we connect online, we can learn about their families, their hobbies, their interests and more.

Social media will help you keep track of what’s going on in the lives of more people. By watching status updates in your stream, you can pull something personal up with business colleagues.

It deepens the relationship instantly. The people in your life know you’re paying attention to them.

It helps create synergy which leads to more fun AND better results. Now that’s BIGG success.

Have you found that social media helps you keep up with more people?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
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Stop Giving 110 Percent to Be a Success

stop saying this to be a BIGG SuccessWe hear people say this all the time – “I gave 110 percent.”

(It’s funny – if you watch them closely, you’ll see that, most of the time, most of the people who make this claim aren’t even close. But that’s not our point today.)

This is a phrase we’d like to see just go away. It sets false expectations.

You can’t do it. You can’t give 110 percent. It’s physically impossible.

If you believe you can, you’re wrong. So stop trying.

You’re not a slacker if you don’t give 110 percent. You won’t come up short if you don’t give 110 percent.

Can you pour 8.8 ounces of liquid in a cup with an 8 ounce capacity?

Of course not. By trying, you waste valuable energy and effort.

Your capacity is 100 percent. That’s the maximum, the most you can do.

So focus on giving 100 percent to everything you do. No more. No less.

Work

Give 100 percent to your work. By the way, 100 percent still means going the extra mile, doing those things that most people don’t do.

Because most people don’t give 100 percent. To anything or anyone. Except possibly themselves.

So you’ll be a BIGG success at work if you just give 100 percent.

Relationships

Give 100 percent to your relationships. It’s the only way they’ll work.

Some people think they can build a relationship by giving 51 percent. Or 80 percent.

It won’t work. If the relationship starts to grow, it will wither up and die if both parties only give 50 or 51 or even 80 percent.

You have to give 100 percent to any relationship if you want it to bud into something beautiful. And so does the other person.

Since you can’t control them, you can only focus on your 100 percent. If you don’t get 100 percent back, then you know they aren’t committed to building a relationship with you.

Yourself

Give 100 percent to yourself. You have to. It’s a requirement if you want to be a BIGG success.

Yet most people neglect this one. They give their all at work. They give their all to others.

But they don’t have any energy left to give to themselves. Don’t make this mistake.

Make sure you give your mind, your body, and your spirit 100 percent everyday.

All you can do is all you can do. But all you can do is what you must do if you want to be a BIGG success!

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Entrepreneurs and Cave Dwellers

entrepreneurs can be cave dwellers | BIGG SuccessWe have a friend who finally got fed up. Like most entrepreneurs, he’s endured some super tough times the last three years. But he survived. And he’s done a lot for his community. By that, we mean he’s created jobs. He’s expanded the tax base – both sales taxes and property taxes.

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He told us about an incident recently which pushed him over the edge. He was serving as a volunteer on a community committee. He shared some forward-thinking ideas. He got an intense amount of pushback.

All he wanted was to be heard. And he would like to feel appreciated. Not all the time. Just once in a while. But he often doesn’t. Do you ever feel unappreciated? If you do, you’re not alone!

Your two choices

You have two choices when you start feeling this way. They are the same two options that mankind has faced since we first inhabited this planet. You can fight or you can flee. As entrepreneurs, we fight every day. We fight to meet payroll. We fight to get another customer. We fight and fight and fight. Do you ever get tired of fighting? We all do. So we flee.

That’s what our friend did. He’s an incredibly social, outgoing person. But after the incident we related earlier, he became a cave dweller. And he seems perfectly content to stay there. He’s still running his business day-to-day. But other than that, he’s really withdrawn. He has pulled back from his involvement in his community. He has stopped doing a lot of things which put him in the public eye. And that may be just the prescription to cure his ails.

3 things to know about cave dwelling

So let’s be clear – we’re not talking about quitting. We’re not talking about running away from your obligations. But as entrepreneurs, we all occasionally face situations which make us want to flee. We should note that it’s probably not just one situation. It’s an accumulation of things. But one particular thing on one particular day finally pushes you too far and you just have to get away.

So here are three things we’d like to share about entrepreneurs and cave dwelling.

  • 1st) It’s healthy to retreat to your cave now and then.

It’s not only necessary, it’s desirable.

Solitude is sweet, especially as you spend more and more time in the public’s eye, as you gain fans and followers.

You may spend time in your cave with family and friends. But make sure you also allow time for just you.

Proactively set aside time to explore the caverns of your mind, heart, and soul.

  • 2nd) Too much cave dwelling is bad.

Our Paleolithic ancestors got out of the cave. They hunted. They gathered.

You’ll starve if you never get out of your cave. Not literally, of course.

But you’ll starve your mind, your heart, and your soul.

We need more than just our businesses. We need human interaction.

So it’s okay to react to a situation and retreat to your cave to let the wounds heal.

But set a time limit. Don’t let cave dwelling become a way of life.

  • 3rd) Hang out in the caves of other entrepreneurs.

    The only people who can truly understand what entrepreneurs endure are other entrepreneurs. We need to support each other. Entrepreneuring is an emotional experience. It can bring down the strongest man or woman. It can make you feel like fleeing. We need to hang out together. We need to support each other. That’s one of the reasons we started BIGG success. It’s why we don’t just share practical tips in our posts.

Entrepreneurs ride an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes you have to flee back to your cave. But make sure you don’t hole up for too long. Reach out to your fellow entrepreneurs. Reach out to us. It will help you reach BIGG success. What gets you out of your cave?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00813-060812.mp3

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Should You Stop Making a Daily To-Do List?

stop making to-do lists for BIGG SuccessLinkedIn recently released the results of a survey about to-do lists. Of the 6,500 professionals queried:

  • Almost two out of three (63%) stated that they regularly create a daily to-do list.
  • Yet just a little over one out of ten (11%) said they regularly complete all the tasks in a given day.
  • Agricultural workers had the highest success rate. They work fast so they can get back home and make sure some stranger isn’t hitting on their daughter.
  • Legal professionals were the least productive. They spend too much time messing with their briefs.

The most frequent reason cited for not completing their to-do list was “unplanned tasks”. These include “unscheduled phone calls, e-mails and meetings”.

We’ll share three suggestions to make sure you are more like a farmer and less like a lawyer.

Make a “to-don’t” list

Let’s not take the professionals in the survey at face value just yet. Let’s assume for just a minute that there’s another reason for the shortcoming.

What if the truth is that they are just unproductive too much of time? Let’s face it – it’s easy to fritter away a day these days.

The temptations are ever present – texts from friends, social networking, etc. It’s especially difficult for entrepreneurs who aren’t accountable to anyone for their time.

To make matters, it may be easy to justify the time. The line between productive and unproductive can be a very fine one.

We know from personal experience. Like us, you may have to ask yourself some hard questions. For example:

  • When networking online, are you making valuable connections or just playing with friends? 
  • When surfing the web, are you conducting valuable research or just feeding a fancy? 
  • Even worse, are you moving forward or pushing off something you know you need to do but don’t really want to right now?

You may be better served by doing something unusual. Stop making a daily to-do list, at least for awhile.

You may find it helpful to make a “to-don’t” list instead. These are things you want to stop yourself from doing when it’s time to be productive.

Make a list. Display it prominently. When you find yourself starting to stray from what you know you need to do, take a look at the list.

If the activity you’re about to partake in is on the list, stop. Then go back to work!

Of course, you need to plan for some “down” time in your day. Complete a task. Then reward yourself with a goody from your to-don’t list.

A sticky daily to-do list

If day after day, you can’t complete all of the tasks on your to-do list, the answer may be a simple one – plan to do less.

Before we dive deeper, though, we should make one cautionary note: Be honest with yourself.

It may be worthwhile to conduct a time audit for a day:

  • When you start working, set an alarm to go off in fifteen minutes. 
  • When it sounds, write down what you’re doing. 
  • Set the alarm for another fifteen minutes. Write down what you’re doing. 
  • Repeat until you stop working.

Now look at your notes. If you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to, you have too much of something:

  • too much play
  • too much work

If it’s the former, make the to-don’t list we discussed above. If it’s the latter, you’re simply trying to do too much.

It’s a common symptom among BIGG goal-getters. We tend to think we can accomplish way more than is humanly possible.

So to keep yourself out of that trap, get out a 3″ x 3″ sticky note. Draw an X through it.

You now have 4 triangles. Write down the four most important things for you to accomplish today.

If the task can’t be described in the triangle, it’s too much to take on. Carve it up into smaller tasks.

By the way, it’s okay to write down less than four tasks. But by using a small sticky note, you won’t be tempted to write down more.

You’ll feel so much better if you regularly complete your daily to-do list. You’ll be energized. You’ll feel more confidence. And besides that, you’ll reach BIGG success!

How do you make sure you complete your daily to-do list?

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Life Blend and a Weekend for Winners

Having a winners weekend for BIGG SuccessIf you’re a long-time reader of ours, you probably know we’re not fans of the concept of work-life balance.

We feel that the term work-life balance is a mislabeling. It implies that work is not a part of life.

Listen to this post! Click a player to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 6:40)


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We think the concept creates an unrealistic expectation. It may have been fine a generation or two ago, but work-life balance doesn’t work now.

We like the term life sync. Strive for harmony by syncing up the various areas of your life.

And always look for synergy, the BIGG idea behind BIGG success.

BIGG success is life on your own terms. You create your own custom life blend. It’s the perfect mix of both your personal and professional lives, along with all the various parts of each of them.

So let’s talk about 5 ways to have a winner’s weekend. BIGG goal-getters are givers. But today, we want to focus on YOU.

You need to make sure you’re taking care of you too. It’s how you stay invigorated and energized for the BIGG work you’re doing. So we’re going to use an acronym to describe the winner’s weekend:

RELAX!

R is for Read

Don’t read the stuff you always read. Winners open themselves up to new ideas and escape to different worlds.

So relive a great moment in history through the words of an author. Read a great work of fiction to expand your mind to things you’ve never experienced.

E is for Experience

Get out and enjoy the wonderful world around you, and experience nature in all her majesty. Whether it be sunny or rainy, take a moment to be awed. Go for a walk along a river, lake, or ocean.

Admire some great works of art. Study them. Get inside the artist’s head.

And don’t forget the music – take in some awesome music that stirs your soul.

L is for Love

We said this weekend was largely about you. But you won’t be whole if you don’t share some of yourself with others.

And don’t forget that love is also a verb. So show the people closest to you how much you love them.

Love grows when you give it away, at least if you love the right people. So give your love to expand your heart and the hearts of the most important people in your life.

A is for Activity

Get out from behind your computer. Turn off the TV. Go do something you love to do.

Better yet, do something you loved to do when you were a kid.

Get out your Frisbie. Play some wiffle ball.

What did you do when you were a kid? Bring back your child-like nature to expand your creativity and exercise your body.

X is for eXorcise

(Yes, we know – we cheated a little here. But c’mon – X words are tough!).

Take some time to exorcise those things that will hold you back.

Are you angry with someone about something? Forget about it. If you don’t, they win.

Holding a grudge? Forgive them.

Do you have regrets? Stop thinking about it. If you don’t, you’ll have more to regret tomorrow.

Also take this time to get rid of your inner demons. You know – those things that you tell yourself when things don’t go as expected. Fight them now while you’re strong. Remind yourself of your strengths and your successes.

You may have noticed as you read this post – the winner’s weekend is good for your mind, your soul, your heart, your body, and your humanity.

So RELAX for your BIGG success!

What invigorates you? How will you RELAX this weekend?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00811-052412.mp3

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