Saving Money Dream: Big Change The Kaizen Way

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SavingMoney-BigChangeSaving money is a big change. At least, it is for me.

Fortunately, help has arrived in the form of a nifty bit of software, called, appropriately enough, Big Change.

I was introduced to this software by its inventors, Scott and Jarrett of Kaizen Qualities.

I only just installed Big Change on my iPod Touch and will be using it over the next week so I can report back on it.

But in the meantime, I thought it would be interesting to hear what Scott and Jarrett have to say about their inspiration for Big Change, and how it fits into their dreams.

We conducted an interview, and here’s what they had to say.

What’s your company story? How did you guys come up with the idea, and what’s the connection with Kaizen?

We were in a mentor program together. We really got a charge out of sharing personal growth ideas and knew we wanted to do something, but it had to be passive since we both have careers that we enjoy and we didn’t want to do anything that would detract or conflict with them.

Jarrett came up with the idea of Kaizen Qualities as a name since it means “continuous change” in Japanese and to be honest it sounds cool.

How does Big Change work?

It’s built around what we consider the 4 cornerstones of successful goal achievement: clear definition, personal accountability, progress measurement, and rewards for positive behavior. Big Change is not only a mobile app, but also an evolving community with a website and Facebook presence focused on making a positive difference in how people live.

What are some of the ways people can use Big Change?

Wow, where do we start?

Not only can people use BC to start on fitness, savings and self-improvement goals, but, maybe more importantly, they can use Big Change to break habits that can be damaging to their quality of life. These habits can be anything from drinking, smoking, gambling, etc. So for example, if your goal is to lose weight, you could set your reward account to be a new wardrobe and every pound you lose could be worth $10 for new clothing.

We also have a ‘custom goal’ option within the app, the beauty of which is that it can be personalized to help with any goal a person may have.

Do you use Big Change yourselves – as individuals, or as a company? 

[Jarrett] Scott uses it, he eats a frog every day and each time he does, he gets $3 towards a new putter.

[Scott] “Eat a frog” refers to the Brian Tracy book [Eat That Frog!]. I try and do my least desirable but highest impact activity first thing every morning. I am fighting procrastination. If I can do that I deserve to enjoy a little golf.

[Jarrett] I use it to curb my spending on expensive indulgences by making a commitment in the morning to forego them and when I do that I get $10 towards my emergency fund.

What do you think the biggest obstacles to change are for most people?

Getting started and dealing with the uncertainty of taking the first step; also keeping the momentum going.

How does Big Change help people overcome those obstacles?

We use the power of motivational quotes to reaffirm the decision; we’ve incorporated social media so you can include your network, and have built in constant progress tracking to encourage ongoing effort. One neat feature in Big Change is that when there has been no progress in a week your progress tracker will turn red.

Plus we think that when you download an app you are taking the first step and are more inclined to use it to get started.

Have you collected any success stories from people already using Big Change?

No, not yet–we only launched two weeks ago, but we have some really interesting people trying it out and we look forward to hearing what they are going to share with us. We have set aside a section of our website to share the stories as they come in.

Any tips and tricks that people might want to know about?

The civil rights leader Andrew Young said it best, “Start where you are.” Start now and let your success guide your way. Also, go to our Facebook page, we share a lot of great tips, quotes and blog postings from a lot knowledgeable people – 8 Women Dream, for example!

What are your dreams for Big Change and for your company?

We see Big Change as a movement that, as it gains momentum, can make a positive impact on a lot of people, improve lives, and help redirect all of the resources that are currently being spent on undesirable habits to better things. In the future, we hope Kaizen Qualities will be the backbone of a host of helpful apps people can use to help find their best selves.

Also we really want to see someone we don’t know posting on Facebook or tweeting that they have accomplished a goal using Big Change!

Thanks, Scott and Jarrett, for introducing me to Big Change and for spending a few minutes with me!

World of Dreamers, I’ll be back next post to tell you about my experience after a week of (hopefully) saving money with Big Change. Meanwhile, you can check out Big Change (for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) at the company website, or you can download it from the app store.

Jayne Speich

  • I love this concept and they are right about the many things having to do with trying to change your life. I’ve seen this myself with dreamers on 8 Women Dream. The ones who never start, never work on, or never complete their dream. The never-start ones are the ones that sadden me the most. But I understand that it’s all caught up in how REALLY ready you are to make changes in your life.

    I like to watch the show “House Hunters” on hgtv because the people featured take such amazing giant steps toward living their dreams. One young couple had this cute Charlotte home near where the wife’s family lived when the husband was offered an engineering job in Erlangen, Germany. She couldn’t get a work visa, so she would have to find something to do while he was at work.

    Without hesitation, they sold their home and packed up for Erlangen, Germany where the average home sells for 5550K. Their budget only allowed for 300k, so they decided to rent this really cute apartment downtown. What I like about the show is that they go back and check in on the people several months later.

    When they went back to check on the couple, their apartment was decorated so cute and they were spending their weekends traveling through Europe. They both seemed blissfully happy living their dreams.

    What risk-takers to set aside such a happy, lovely life in Charlotte (one most people would kill to live) and take off for the unknown in Germany. It will be an adventure they will remember for the rest of their lives.

    I love the idea of this app! I don’t have an IPad tho…. :( I think it is a great product and I’ll be curious to hear how you like it.

    Great interview — they sound like wonderful people.