Zig Zagging in Italy

August 17th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

I wanted to share a brief video from my latest trip. Me, my business partner, and our wives were enjoying a well-deserved vacation in the Mediterranean where we met a fascinating entrepreneur who, I believe, is the very epitome of a bootstrapper.

We met Petro who is the owner of Can’t Be Missed Tours on the train heading down to Florence. He and his team were handing out brochures to the passengers, inviting them to become his touring clients. This channel development strategy fascinated me and I had to learn more. In the video Petro and I talk about where he got his start, his business philosophy, and what the next steps are for his business.

 

Petro’s information for Can’t Be Missed Tours:

www.cantbemissedtours.com
info@cantbemissedtours.com
Petro’s Cell Phone: +39-329-129-8182

Retracing Footsteps

August 11th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

How incredible would it be if the important people in our lives were able to pause and retrace the important events and experiences in our lives in a kind of celebration tour?

Indeed I was able to do that exact thing a month ago with a sweet Japanese woman named Mrs. Yamagami. I met her husband, Mr. Yamagami early in my engineering career when I worked at Mitsubishi Electric. I remember Mr. Yamagami as a silent, quiet individual, but very deep and thoughtful in his approach. I gained a lot of respect for Mr. Yamagami as we both advanced in our respective careers. He came over from Japan several times to visit me and we always made sure he had a nice room with a view, that we went out to a nice dinner, and that he came to my house to meet my family.
Little did I realize how meaningful his visits to my hometown were to him.

Sadly, Mr. Yamagami died of sudden heart failure in 1998 leaving behind a wonderful wife and two young children. Mrs. Yamagami worked very diligently to raise these children and was very successful. Her youngest son graduated this last year and is now a doctor.

Mrs. Yamagami loved her husband very much and recently decided that she wanted to celebrate her husband’s life by going to four or five of the most meaningful places in his life. One of those places happened to be Provo, Utah in connection with his experiences regarding myself and Novell. ?Mrs. Yamagami flew in from Japan and we spent several days retracing her husband’s footsteps by taking the time to appreciate the beautiful mountains, eat delicious seafood dinners, and I also made sure we spent some time in the conference rooms where Mr. Yamagami and I held discussions those many years back.

I have often said that a stupid man never learns from his mistakes, a smart man learns from his mistakes, and a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. How healthy it is for us to look back and reflect. If we could learn from the prior generations especially from those who have gone before and those who have done great things then just imagine the powerful lessons we could learn. 
 
 

By No Means Did You Ask the Wrong Question

August 3rd, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

Nightmare.?
One hour ago our luggage was sitting in the belly of a plane scheduled to arrive in New York City while the rest of us were waiting to board a rerouted flight that would take us to Paris and from there to Barcelona. We’d been rerouted due to flight delays but our luggage had not and to make matters worse we found that it would not be forwarded to our final destination. As our luggage sat there on the plane right in front of us, getting ready to travel in the opposite direction, it seemed there was no chance of recovery.

Knowing full well that traveling for two weeks through the Mediterranean, Greece, and Turkey without any fresh clothes or anything would have been a total nightmare I did my best to fix the situation. As I spoke to different gate agents about recovering our luggage the overwhelming and resounding response was, “Once the plane is loaded we can do nothing about it.”?
“No.”
“No.”
“No.”
I received the answer “No” twelve times. ?Finally, not being rude, but being a little brisk, I asked to be escalated.  I explained the situation to the gate agent Red Coat named Diana who was very understanding and sympathetic and she began making calls. We soon discovered that Diana authorized a girl named Kelly to do what they call a baggage reclaim. Kathy dug through the belly of the plane and pulled seven of our eight pieces of luggage off the plane just before it left. We could now begin our much-anticipated vacation with peace of mind and our luggage in tow thanks to the wonderful Diana and Kathy.

After the dozen times of politely asking the same question in different methods, namely, “How do I get my luggage off that plane?” I found an answer other than, “It is not possible” by exploring another venue.  My experience time and time again in both my personal life and in my business career is that when you get the answer “No” it simply means that you’ve asked the question the wrong way.  Oftentimes you have to escalate to get to the right person who can answer your question and do it in a way that doesn’t tick everyone off. I would encourage you in your personal life and in your business life that if you’re not getting the response you need to step back and take a look at the questions you are asking. Hearing the word “No” does not mean you’ve hit a dead end. It simply means that you’ve asked the question in the wrong way.

In closing I want to repeat my thankfulness for the level of support that was offered to me by Diana the Red Coat agent of Delta and Kathy the baggage recovery claim girl. They were absolutely delightful and I compliment them to the highest level of how they handled the situation. Indeed I am a Platinum Medallion level member with Delta so I’m sure that helped get a little extra special attention; nonetheless they took time on a personal level to understand my needs. I so appreciate their willingness to help our group out of a tough situation and get us started on the right foot. You saved our vacation and for that I deeply thank you both.