You Don’t Find Peace, You Have to Go and Get It

April 22nd, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

This past week I’ve been in New York City supporting one of my clients. I’ve been to New York City hundreds of times through the years and I love the vibrancy of the city. I love the energy. I love the “Make it Happen” attitude and I especially love the delicious food.

However, each time I leave the city I find myself exhausted, depleted, and honestly just a little bit worn out. But my perception changed somewhat this trip. The first day of our meetings I was with Gary, CEO and founder of his company. Our day was very intense as we were discussing vital, critical, and difficult strategies trying to prepare for the change coming to Gary’s company. After several hours Gary turned to me and said, “Rich, come, let’s walk. I need to find peace.”

I thought, Peace? Peace in the middle of New York City? We’re sandwiched right here on Broadway, Gary! We’re between the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building. Where are you going to find any peace in the madness down on the street?

But, I didn’t say that. Instead I followed Gary. We left the building and began walking until we arrived at Madison Park. At the front of Madison Park I observed a large bird holding a rose in its mouth. I thought, humorously to myself, Maybe there’s the nature and peace that Gary is seeking. The only problem is the bird was made out of nails, stood about twenty feet high, and the flower was artificial.

But I soon found myself relaxing and becoming calm and my soul restoring as we walked and made circles in the trees, shrubbery, watching birds pecking at the breadcrumbs in Madison Park. Gary told me the importance of meditation in his life, of calming his soul, and soothing his spirit. He did this by walking and talking. I observed several times throughout the day Gary reciting the Serenity Prayer and indeed Gary’s countenance was as calm as mine. At the conclusion of this little walk Gary and I were rejuvenated, ready, and prepared to fight the next battle.

My office is also purposefully located near opportunities to find serenity. I have a beautiful workplace that overlooks ponds, a beautiful golf course, and snowcapped mountains. I love watching the geese and the ducks fly in and out. Indeed, when I get anxious and stressed I’ll close my door and go to the window and look at the beautiful scene and take a few deep breaths.

Although I didn’t publicly say it to Gary, I want to announce it now:? Thank you, Gary for teaching me a lesson here. Thank you for teaching me that peace indeed is something you go and find and decide for yourself to have. It is not an environment that you necessarily have to wait for it to come to you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of Madison Park or a bustling New York City sidewalk with drivers screaming and honking at each other. It doesn’t matter it’s the Empire State Building or pine trees looming over you. You have to make the decision to find peace and then move into that state of mind and where you can find some level of calm and serenity. Indeed, the park in New York City is just as profound a place to find peace and meditate as is the view out my window overlooking Mount Nebo and the East Bay Golf Course with the ducks flying in and out.

Indeed, peace is not something you find, but something you have to go and get.

Hang on Tight, Stupid, or (Better Yet) Get out of the Way.

April 15th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

One week ago I took my family on a much-needed family respite to the Southern Caribbean as my children were on Spring Break. These are some of my favorite islands in the world. It’s just a grand adventure. There was one destination in particular that I was excited to visit and that was Maho Beach or what is better known as the Airport Beach in St. Maarten. I pride myself that I’ve visited many of the “Ten Most Dangerous Airports in the World” including the Lukla airport in Nepal. ?Indeed, the St. Maarten’s airport is one of the ten most extreme airports in the world. Large jumbo jets come barreling over this beach and you feel that if you were to jump up in the air you would touch the planes’ underbelly. ?Watching these jets blast past you as they fling debris, sand, and dirt is actually extremely exhilarating.

I watched with great interest as several fools attempted to hold on to the back of the chain-link fence that separates the beach from the airport runway, staring down the barrel of a 747. As that engine roars up it throws up debris and sand and everything goes flying, including those tourists who can’t hold on tight enough to the fence. A few of them hang vertical for a while but eventually lose their grip and fly back, sliding down the sidewalk and pavement. ??As they are doing this I think, “You’ve got to hang on tighter than that, stupid or better yet just get out of the way.” (You see I stood behind a smaller airplane and that was enough for my pallet.) Nonetheless it was really fun to watch these idiots attempt to hold on to the fence. As I looked at that I could not help but liken it to a business analogy as I always do. Today I have five strong tips to help you know how to either hang on really tight or get out of the way. Here are my five tips.

Number One: When you see many other failures occurring. Similar to that airport, when people are flailing around on the ground, trying to find a stronghold it means it’s probably time to run and get out of the way of the jet engine’s blast. It is the same way with a business.

Number Two: When there is great confusion in the industry. Take note when everyone’s confused as to what’s going on in the industry. We’ve recently seen that with Google and their Panda and Penguin updates. Everyone’s confused. That often means it’s time to sit down, hunker down, and get out of the way. In the case of the airplane it kicked up all kinds of sand, dust, and debris. People couldn’t even see until the commotion had died down. Once everything settled down it was easy to navigate the beach again.

Number Three: When prices decrease dramatically. When your margins or prices are rapidly decreasing that is typically a sign you are on a downward wave and that the wave is about to plummet and grind you into the ocean floor.

Number Four: When there’s a lot of noise and blather. When you get the industry experts and pundits all standing up and blathering and making bold statements about the confusion that’s a pretty good sign that it’s time to stand back, let the dust settle, and get out of the way.

Number Five: When you see non-natural or contrived ways of doing business happen all around you. This is a pretty good sign that some disaster is soon to follow and it’s time to take a step back. Indeed timing is everything. ?In business just getting on the front of the wave can mean great success that will push you for a long time. On the other hand trying to ride the back of a jet airplane and having it thrash you into the ground is a time to get out of the way.

In business people frequently just hang on too long. I’m confident as you watch for these signals it will help you navigate the storms of business and of jet airlines blasting you in the face and enjoy it. In closing I’m including a couple of bonus YouTube videos as a bonus that shows just how close the airplanes get at this beach and just how dumb some of the tourists act and if you ever get the opportunity to go to St. Maarten take it and go visit this airport beach.

Their Name Matters

April 8th, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Rich: Hey! Rich Christiansen here. Their name matters. I’m here with Lane Tucker. He’s the base operations manager at Eagle Point and every time I come down here everybody knows my name! It makes me actually want to come here more. I took a large group of twenty young men down here and Lane and his staff knew all their names. This is one of the most service-friendly places I’ve ever been. Lane tell us a little about Eagle Point and about your philosophies.

Lane: Here at Eagle Point we make it a point to get to know everybody that we come in contact with. If we don’t know your name we’ll at least be able to recognize your face. We people to know us and we want to be able to know you. We’re a small resort with a home-town feel and we want it to be quaint and for people to be happy.

Rich: I gotta tell ya, this is the greatest snow on earth, and I’m gonna grab the camera here and I’m going to show you. I have a ski resort thirty minutes from my home but this is where I come. This is where I come to ski every single time and it’s largely because of the service and anyone (here, I’m going to give you the camera back. This is real, raw, and relevant) every time they come down here they say this is the best-kept secret in the world. This is the best skiing in Utah. Today I sang at the top of my lungs. No one was within five lifts of me. Good thing no one heard me. I didn’t have to wait in a line once. This is the best skiing in Utah so come and visit Lane here at Eagle Point.

Lane: Thanks.

Multi-Tasking is Stupid and Does Not Work

April 1st, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Rich: Hi everyone! Today I’m here with Desire Ward. ?
Desi: Hello!?
Rich: I’ve been mentoring Desi. Desi has just launched a new website called Unconvential Kitchen. In the first couple of months this site has grown to 4,500 subscribers. Desi is the cat’s meow but she is facing something that is extremely challenging for all young entrepreneurs. Give a big sigh. ?
Desi: Woah. ?
Rich: Overwhelmed?
Desi: Yes, overwhelmed.
Rich: Here, let me show you how Desi is doing it. Desi, there’s lots of stuff going on, ready? CATCH!
(Rich tosses a bunch of golf balls at Desi) ?
See all the balls drop on the ground? Let’s try that again. ?
Desi: This is why I love Rich. He’s a great mentor.?
Rich: Let’s try this again. She caught three. Now, drop those. There’s a better way.
Desi: Let’s see if I can actually catch these.
(Rich tosses them to her one at a time.)
Rich: She only dropped three that time and caught a few more. Now, multi-tasking is stupid and it does not work. Multi-tasking is stupid and it does not work. Pick your top three things you have to do in your life, for example, Desi? You just identified your top three. Pick your top three things you have to do in life and then DO them. Don’t try catching all the balls at one time or you will absolutely drop them.

Multi-Tasking is Stupid and Does Not Work

April 1st, 2013 by Rich Christiansen

Rich: Hi everyone! Today I’m here with Desire Ward. ?
Desi: Hello!?
Rich: I’ve been mentoring Desi. Desi has just launched a new website called Unconvential Kitchen. In the first couple of months this site has grown to 4,500 subscribers. Desi is the cat’s meow but she is facing something that is extremely challenging for all young entrepreneurs. Give a big sigh. ?
Desi: Woah. ?
Rich: Overwhelmed?
Desi: Yes, overwhelmed.
Rich: Here, let me show you how Desi is doing it. Desi, there’s lots of stuff going on, ready? CATCH!
(Rich tosses a bunch of golf balls at Desi) ?
See all the balls drop on the ground? Let’s try that again. ?
Desi: This is why I love Rich. He’s a great mentor.?
Rich: Let’s try this again. She caught three. Now, drop those. There’s a better way.
Desi: Let’s see if I can actually catch these.
(Rich tosses them to her one at a time.)
Rich: She only dropped three that time and caught a few more. Now, multi-tasking is stupid and it does not work. Multi-tasking is stupid and it does not work. Pick your top three things you have to do in your life, for example, Desi? You just identified your top three. Pick your top three things you have to do in life and then DO them. Don’t try catching all the balls at one time or you will absolutely drop them.