Perfect Action…Pathetic Timing

February 14th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

Last night my wife and I had a rotten guacamole, terrible night. I had been traveling all week long doing lectures and I was dead tired. I got home at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., spent a little time with the family, and finally made it to bed about 11:30 p.m. At midnight someone began banging at our door, the dogs started yipping, and come to find out our second son had forgotten his key and was banging on the door to get in. We painted smiles on our faces, went out to let him in, spent a few minutes talking with him, and then crawled back into bed.

At 1:00 in the morning we heard the shower running and couldn’t figure out what was going on. The dogs start barking again, and at this point I almost didn’t dare go back to sleep.

We were again woken up at 4:30 a.m. when in stomped our 3rd son, ready to go to Drivers Ed at 5:00 in the morning. Again at 7:00 a.m. the 4th son headed to school and finally at 8:00 a.m. our final son departed. By the time we get him to school, needless to say, very little sleep had actually taken place.

My wife and I did eventually get a hearty laugh out of it when we figured out who had been showering in the middle of the night. We discovered that Nathan (Drivers Ed son) had looked at the clock wrong, got up at 1:00 a.m., showered, got dressed and completely ready, and then realized that the clock had said 1:00 a.m., not 4:00 a.m. I still chuckle thinking of it now.

This pretty much sums up the counsel that I gave in three of the lectures this week. The sequence of Zigging and Zagging is critically important. There is a reason why Zig #1 is Drive to Profitability, Zag #2 is Add Resources, and Zig #3 is Add a Scale Element.

Indeed the timing is critical.

So frequently people attempt to jump directly to Zig #3, which is a scale element. This is exactly what Nathan did this morning—causing havoc to our entire family. It of course is the perfect thing to do…have a shower and get dressed…but 1:00 in the morning is not the perfect time to take the action. The same thing is true with scale and so many other aspects of your business.

You see, when you are making cookies–how you put the ingredients in, and the order in which you put them in, is as important as the ingredients themselves. The sequencing and timing of how we build our businesses and how we take action is actually the trickiest part of making a perfect batch of business cookies…or getting a good nights sleep…or getting dressed properly and appropriately.

Remember when you are zigging and zagging: Zig #1 Drive to Profitability, Zag #2 Add Resources, followed by Zig #3 which is a Scale Element. Don’t get tempted to jump directly to Zig #3. Always nail it before you scale it.

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