I Don’t Think That Is Such a Good Idea

March 29th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

This past weekend our family and good friends went for a final ski excursion to our condo at Eagle Point  (which, by the way, is the best kept ski secret in the USA).

We drove down the night before, stopped at a nice restaurant, then went up to the condo for a good night’s sleep. The next morning we woke up, got our gear on and prepared to go out for a day of skiing. My beautiful wife suggested that she hold the car keys, but I insisted, “I think it is safest that I hold onto them.”  

It was a beautiful day of skiing. The runs were groomed. There were 6 inches of fresh powder on the slopes and my dear friend Matt Duffin and I acted like 17 year old boys racing past our sons on their snowboards. After a nice lunch, Matt and I hit the slopes again. It was such a memorable, beautiful day that I thought,  “I am going to snap a few pictures.”  You can see the last picture taken on this post.

When we got to the top of the lift, I told Matt, “I think I am going to ski for a moment or two just to show how cool this is in a video.”  Matt’s comment back was, “Rich, I don’t think that is such a good idea.“  I begrudgingly agreed, placing the cell phone in my inside jacket pocket next to my credit card, driver’s license and keys. You see, I had an ulterior motive.  I figured that I would race down the black diamond run called Satisfaction, get ahead of everyone, stop and then flip out my cell phone and video everyone else coming down the mountain. Therefore, I reasoned that I did not need to zip up that inside jacket pocket – after all, I hadn’t fallen all day.   Right . . . you can probably guess what is coming next.

Well my  problem was, my second son Matthew has set a personal goal to speed demon past Dad at every opportunity possible.  So upon getting off the lift I  immediately found myself trying to catch Matthew who was racing down Satisfaction turned on full tilt. Half the way down the mountain, I realized that I was not going to overtake Matthew or video anyone from the bottom so I paralleled my skis coming to an abrupt halt -  a bit too abrupt aRich Christiansen - Matt Duffin Skiingctual. I found myself flipping head over foot. No damage done I thought, no one had seen. I quickly recovered and reached into my pocket to get my  iphone to video Matt and his son racing down the mountain. I then realized that I had no cell phone. It had fallen out of my pocket during my little loop de loop that I had just completed. Matt and his son stopped and after a moment of panic, cool heads prevailed and we had the brilliant idea to call the cell phone. After the fifth call we heard a faint ringing deep in the snow. Ten calls later, we managed to dig up the cell phone and claimed victory as we retrieved the phone out of the deep powder snow.

I sheepishly realized that I had just cheated fate. I carefully put my cell phone back into my pocket and carefully zipped it up this time. We completed the day skiing and had a delightful time with everyone. At the end of the day, I pulled up to the lodge and reached inside my secured pocket to retrieve the keys to the van, when the next wave of panic rushed over me. The keys to the van were missing. I realized that when I had done my little trick flip, the keys had flown out with the cell phone. Buried on Satisfaction somewhere under 6 feet of snow is where the van keys now reside. Those keys are not going to be seen until Spring – or until the millennium.

Things then deteriorated and went downhill rapidly:

- The retrieved cell phone was now nonfunctional due to being in the wet snow
- Matt Duffin did not have even one extra seatbelt in his car, no ability to get anyone off the mountain here
- The car dealership was closing at the time that I was calling to get the special keys to open the van
- The new powder snow that we had found so delightful was now coming down in torrents and the roads were iced up
- They were trying to close up the lodge and get everyone out as I was attempting to rescue my family
- We discovered that the condo that we were staying in was supposed to be rented out that night so we couldn’t stay there, and we needed to get it cleaned up and ready
- When we did get to the condo, those keys were missing too (also under 6 feet of snow)
- Our spare key which was hidden had also been removed

At the moment of despair an incredibly generous employee at Eagle Point named Mark Tucker offered to drive us down the mountain in his truck. The condo next to ours happened to have a spare key to our condo, and they were able to let us in to get our things and clean up. We all crammed like sardines into this truck and inched our way down the mountain. We got to my father’s home, and his wife fed us a nice bowl of soup and gave us their car to drive home. We all crammed into their Buick and made our way through the storm. We arrived home safe and thankful, but my ego a bit bruised

The white van still sits on top of Eagle Point Ski resort at 10,500 feet. I will go back early tomorrow morning to pick it up.

 This has been a great life and business reminder to me.  I think it may actually even be funny in  say  …. about 10 years.  

Here is the lesson.   When a trusted advisor and someone on your inside circle says.

 ”That is not such a good idea,” my suggestion is . . . LISTEN!

What’s Really Important? It

March 18th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Viagra online

At 4:17 in the morning on Friday March 11 my wife and I were awoken by a phone call informing us that Tokyo had just been hit with an 8.9 earthquake. Indeed this was very concerning to me in that I have many friends and many contacts in Japan. However, the death knell was my 20 year old son John Christiansen is presently serving an LDS mission and is located in Tokyo. My wife and I were fixated to the TV as we watched the horrors of the aftermath of the earthquake unfold, including a 30 foot wave tsunami hitting the shore of Japan. The anxiety increased through the day, and I was rendered almost useless as I was attempting to carry on and function in my business capacities while keeping a close eye on what was going on in Japan. No word, no information from my son was received as the hours progressed.

I have a dear friend in Tokyo named Takahiro Abe who works for Mitsubishi Electric right near the Presidential Palace. Takahiro Abe had instantly reached out to me wondering, “what’s the status of your son? What can I do to help?” I was deeply moved to find out that Takahiro  had come out into the street right next to Tokyo Station, and after he had secured the location and safety of his own family, he was doing everything in his capacity despite complete mayhem around him to scurry around to make every phone call and to reach out attempting to locate my son.  
John Christiansen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was scheduled to do a presentation that afternoon, and literally two or three minutes before I went in front of the audience, I received the following text from my son.

?APAN JOHN

Parents. this is john. an ?.? Earthquake struck japan. all of our missionaries are reported in. the president told us to email from text because power and the trains are shut off.
i am ok. alot of miracles kept us safe. right now nagoya  mission looks pretty bad. the president told us to buy store of food. me and my comp are in a place far from the sea so the tsunamis and mud slides are far away. we are ok. ill email more when i can. i LOVE you.
??????

ELDER Christiansen

As I came onto the stage, emotion rushed me and I couldn’t help but share what’s most important in life.

The comment from my mentor and great advisor Dr. Peter Horne is the statement that summarizes this. It’s simply this. We can replace anything in this life. We can replace money, we can replace jobs, we can replace cars. We can replace anything in life, but we can’t replace our family, we can’t replace our trust relationships, and we can’t replace our health.

Through our business and corporate careers, our entrepreneurship endeavors, don’t lose sight of this fact. If we sacrifice the things that are most important to us, we’ve missed the entire purpose for doing it.

With emotions still very fresh and close to the surface, I’m now very pleased to inform you that my son John is indeed safe. He’s well. They’ve transferred him, and he arrived in  Fukuoka yesterday.   This experience reiterated to me the most important things in life.

 We can replace anything in this life. We can replace money, we can replace jobs, we can replace cars. We can replace anything in life, but we can’t replace our family, we can’t replace our trust relationships, and we can’t replace our health.

 

 

 

Patrick Gentempo

March 8th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

This past weekend I flew to Colorado and drove up to the base of Pike’s Peak to spend several days with an individual whom multiple people have been screaming at me for years that I must meet.  This individual is none other than Mr. Patrick Gentempo.  I respect individuals who are intelligent. I admire individuals who work hard, and I enjoy associating with individuals who have good hearts and solid intent. 

Very seldom have I associated with an individual with a triple combo who exhibits all three characteristics.  Patrick lived up to every expectation set for him and indeed exhibited all three of the attributes I described above.  Not only was I captivated by listening to Patrick lecture as he quoted Plato and Aristotle tying them into wellness topics, but I also discussed with Patrick his vision and hope for the future and its aspirations.

Patrick is an amazing man.  For those of you who do not know Patrick, he is one of the thought leaders in the wellness industry.  Over the weekend he jump-started me on several legitimate and achievable wellness objectives:

  1. Eat more regularly
  2. Get plenty of sleep
  3. Don’t drink carbs, instead drink water and lots of it; summarizing just being more moderate and smart with what I take into my body.

The fundamental premise that Patrick espouses is that the central nervous system has the capacity to help keep the body well and vibrant if we don’t confuse it, pollute it or mask it.  He is a strong believer in not using medication or other drugs and keeping your soul and senses alive and vibrant, while exercising and eating healthy, natural foods.

Two statements that Patrick said that really jumped out at me.

  • In the US, we don’t have health care, we have sick care.  It’s important to have sick care when we have accidents and other health issues to address. But let’s not confuse health care with sick care.
  • All of us have stresses imposed to our system–be they physical, emotional, social, etc.–that can cause us to wear down and become sick.  We have two choices for how we approach this: one is to eliminate stresses and two is to increase our body’s ability to manage, cope and deal with the stresses.

Being a very intense and active individual, I am dismayed at the thought of removing life’s experiences from my schedule, thus, the insight that there is a second option that I can consume healthy foods, exercise more regularly and sleep more regularly would allow me to engage in more amazing life opportunities was an exciting new concept to me.

You’re going to love Patrick, you can learn more about Patrick  at  Patrick Gentempo.   For great wellness tips visit  Creating Wellness.

Will it Blend George?

March 4th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Who is crazy enough to blend an iPad?  Someone who gets viral marketing and has the YouTube page views to prove it – George Wright!

This past week I sat on a panel titled: “Utah Social Media Kings”  We spent an hour discussing the applications, uses and benefits of social media.  We also discussed the equally important misapplications of social media.

The panel consisted of:
David Bradford
Paul Allen
George Wright
And myself – Rich Christiansen

Let me summarize a few key take-aways from this panel discussion:

  1. Don’t try using all media for all purposes. I use social media for SEO, for promotion of my book: ZigZag Principle, platforming building and maintaining business relationships.  The tool for each of these purposes is dramatically different for each of these.  Identify which social media best serves your purpose and zero-in on one or two
  2. Understand your purpose clearly before engaging in social media
  3. Keep your content real, raw and relevant.  Meaning, don’t be fake, artificial, plastic or spammy.
  4. Know your tools.  Facebook is a great personal communication tool.  It can also provide a forum for targeted segment promotions.  Linked-in is great for business connections.  Twitter is great for quick thought promotion, but often misused.

In summary, if you don’t carefully engage in social media, then you can easily waste not only your time and resources but that of others; there is a big difference between motion and momentum.

One of the comments that I made that I think is particularly important is that this medium allows us to very carefully democratize media targets.  The example I like to use is with my children.  My teenage sons like to watch Julian Smith and his waffles segment.  They laugh uncontrollably every time this video is played. 

While my wife and I look at each other perplexed.

On the other hand my wife and I will play “swagger wagon” over and over musing at the great humor, while my kids look at us as if we were born in the last century.

After the panel discussion, we entertained a few questions and then I took the opportunity to interview George Wright for a few tid-bits of advice.  For those of you who don’t know George, he was the brain trust behind the campaign: “Will it Blend”; which has become one of the definitive case studies for how to generate traffic using social media resources.  I hope you enjoy his comments: