Building Your Guardrails – Zig Zag Principle #55

December 22nd, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

 

Building Your GuardrailsThe guardrails you create must be closely aligned with the values you set in chapter 3.  You need to have people in your life who will tell you out when you are out of bounds.  I have a good friend who was a successful and well-known college basketball coach until he got embroiled in some politics and lost his job.  We were talking not long after that, and he shared what I consider to be a very profound insight.  He said, “Rich, when I was winning championships, everyone laughed at my jokes.  Now they only laugh when my jokes are actually funny.”  You need someone in your inner circle who knows you and who you trust to tell you if your jokes are funny or not. 

 Alex Mendozian is a teleseminar trainer.  We had discussed the possibility of working on a project together.  Before we began, he called me and said, “Rich, I have some good news and some bad news.  I’d really like to work with you.  That is the good news.  The bad news is before I do, I need to have an intervention in your life.”  I pushed back, thinking, “What is he talking about?  I don’t have a drinking or a drug problem!”  He continued, “Yes, you need an intervention!”  He then got my wife and his executive assistant on the phone and explained he was having this intervention because I had to quit saying “Yes” to everyone and everything.  Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”

Sometimes, in your zeal to reach your beacon in the fog, everything seems possible.  It’s a time when you’re generating a lot of ideas.  It’s a time when, out of necessity, you need to fire, fire, fire, and then aim.  I refer to this part of zig number 1 as the time I have to weave gold out of straw.  During this time I may not have a lot of resources, and I may find myself holding things together with duct tape and bailing wire. As I’m trying to get something to work that will generate cash, I find myself saying, “Yes, yes, yes, no; …yes, yes, yes, maybe.”

Once I get to the next zag, I have to create systematic and organized processes so I can hire employees and teach them how to make the business work.  During this time, I find myself saying “No” about half the time.  Part of that involves learning the discipline of delegating and letting others do the work for me. 

Getting to the third zig demonstrates that I have achieved success by reaching cash creating an organization that is working.  Now I need to scale it.  This is a much more controlled phase of the process because I do not want to destroy what I have just created.  I finally have all of the gears meshing, and I now need to figure out how to scale the business so it will generate income independent of my direct involvement.  During this period, I find myself needing to say “No” far more often. 

Another guardrail you need to put in place is identifying and empowering those people in your life who will help you say “No” and who will let you know when you are heading out of bounds.  For me, those people include my wife and my executive assistant, both of whom are excellent at letting me know when I am crossing the lines I’ve established.  My children will sometimes even tell me when I am out of line—and I’ve learned to listen.  My business partner is another person I make sure I listen to.  Unfortunately, it’s rare that your subordinates will point out when you’re heading toward danger.  Some see things quite clearly, but many are either making sure they look good in your eyes, or they are afraid of your reaction.  If one speaks up, listen, unless it feels like they’re stoking your ego. 

 

Strengthen Your Business by Strengthening Your Marriage!

November 4th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

 

Strengthen your business by strengthening your marriage!Have you ever thought how closely connected success in your business and success in your marriage are?

I have, and I am convinced that when I am happy at home, I am more creative at work. I have more energy. I am definitely more productive, and I seem to make more money.

My dear friend Dino Watt and his wonderful wife Shannon pointed out this powerful concept to me recently. They have a company called the Business of Marriage where they help people learn to strengthen their marriage without sacrificing business success.

In short, they take the best systems and practices used by successful companies and help you infuse them into your marriage. This will help you have more love, passion and fun in your relationship. It’s really a unique concept that is revolutionizing the traditional way to overcome your marriage challenges, and it aligns perfectly with Zig Zag Principle number 10: avoiding the all-or-nothing trap.

And now Dino and Shannon have just released a FREE four-part video series called Marital Revolution, and we want to give you access to it. Just click here to see what it is all about. You can thank me later.

You need to act quickly though because they have only given me permission to send out this information until midnight on November 22nd. So don’t wait! I can’t believe they are giving away this much content, some of which their mentoring clients have paid up to $5000 to learn.

I’m watching the videos, too, so come learn with me how to strengthen your marriage and your business.

 

Watch for Hurricane Irene in your Business

August 27th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Take a look outside this weekend. If you’re on the east coast, it’s possible you’ll see some of hurricane Irene! As hurricane Irene slides up the coast and people prepare to sit out the storm, I can’t help but think of how important it is to pay attention to the changing weather in your businesses to avoid getting caught unprepared in a hurricane.

Checking on the industry’s weather is vital for you to keep your business out of a hurricane like Irene. But just like some people don’t believe a storm could really be that bad, some entrepreneurs find themselves ignoring evidence that it’s time to get out of a business before disaster hits. They choose to stubbornly hold on to their enterprise and trust that rain won’t hurt them.

This is another danger of plowing straight through to your goal: you don’t stop to make sure what you’re doing is going to keep you out of danger of losing your business or money. But when you zig zag to your goal, you pause to look ahead and think about where you’re going. You make sure your market is still around. You are able to react to changes in competition and demand. You avoid potentially devastating hurricanes.

I hope and pray for the safety of everyone who has to batten down the hatches and deal with hurricane Irene this weekend. I hope everyone in its path was able to either get out of the way or sufficiently prepare for what comes, and I hope you can also learn to watch out for hurricanes in your business.

Don’t Over Think a 3-Foot Putt

July 29th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

Today I took a young man named Landon Swenson and my dear friend Ellis Taylor up golfing at one of my favorite golf courses, Wasatch State Park. The outing was in celebration of Landon leaving for a couple of years to serve an LDS mission in the Philippines.

As we started out the day I had a beautiful fairway drive. I got up on the drain three feet from the pin. Then I got a little awkward and ended up missing the three foot birdie putt. That mess up got embedded so deeply in my mind that throughout the rest of the day, every single three-foot putt was a mess.

Each time I got wobbly kneed, crooked, and started thinking, “Don’t miss it, don’t miss it!” Then…panic! I ended up missing almost every three-foot putt that I had today. By the time I got done I had counted seven putts. I put in an incredible round, but I couldn’t hit the easiest shot that there was.

As I thought about this, I realized how frequently I have done that in business. Sometimes I have a straightforward, simple task to do in business, something I just need to finalize it and put it to bed, but I over think it. I get too stressed out. I get too tied up in it, and I end up over-contriving and jimmy-rigging the thing until it ends up a failure.

When you are in business, go with your gut intuition. Don’t put every little thing through too much brain processing. When you have something difficult, go forward with confidence. You will have a much higher probability of success and you won’t miss all your three-foot putts.