Fragile, Quick, and Beautiful

Friday 2 November 2012 @ 3:05 pm

Yesterday at 8:30 in the morning my wife called me and informed me that my brother-in-law, Lyman Huntsman, had just passed away. 

Lyman was an amazing individual who faced many hard challenges through his life. His first wife passed away from an aneurism a few weeks after having their sixth child leaving Lyman with a newborn and a young family to raise. He met my sister-in-law Marie, also an amazing individual, such a pure, good heart and a determined, strong woman who was always committed to raise her children well and properly. She had the courage to exit a very difficult and abusive relationship. She and Lyman met and fell passionately in love. They had a child together, one that Lyman would affectionately refer to as their “Love Child”. You could tell every time their child walked through the door how his eyes would brighten and just glow. As a matter of fact I think all his children had that effect on him. Although he came across as gruff and grizzly at times everybody knew he was a huge teddy bear.

I remember talking to him last Thanksgiving. He was talking about his kids and tearing up, talking about another situation, and becoming emotional. We did not know then that Lyman would be diagnosed with a quickly spreading brain tumor. We only discovered this a month and a half ago. The situation worsened and two weeks ago we knew that this was going to be a very difficult situation. I felt strongly prompted to go down and say goodbye to Lyman and regretfully I didn’t get down there in time to do it. I was planning on going down this weekend to honor and respect Lyman, express my love to him and thank him for the man he was and for the courage he showed in how he raised a family of “Yours, Mine, and Ours”, coupled with how he treated and adored my sister-in-law.

Lyman, I couldn’t tell you face to face, but I do want to tell you publicly: Thank you for being the man that you were. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for having courage. There are not a lot of real men left that have the tenacity to stand up and to do the hard things and to do it with love and respect and to have the courage to really stand up. You treated my nieces and nephews as your own and raised them as such and I can do nothing but honor you. I hope I can be and show the attributes of being a real man as you did. I respect you in every way, Lyman. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my extended family.

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Saturday 17 November 2007 @ 12:02 pm
How To Tie a Necktie

This past week a press release was done on the website that my son’s and I have been working on this past year. I thought this is something worth posting on my site. I hope you enjoy the story and information on this site.

Utah Family with a Knotty Sunday-Morning Situation Creates a Website All About Neckties and How to Tie Them

Sunday mornings can get pretty hectic around the Christiansen household. With five boys who always want to look their best for church, the rush to get to services on time occasionally led to a rather knotty problem – neckties flying in all directions, sometimes along with the frustration of being unable to tie the perfect knot.

That led to a confab among the tie-wearing contingent of the 7 member Christiansen family. Father Rich Christiansen and his three sons, John, Matthew, and Nathan got together to investigate ties and how to tie a necktie. Of course, Rich had demonstrated the most common necktie knots to each of his boys – many, many times. But when they started to unravel the humble necktie, they were surprised to discover over a dozen different knots, along with a quirky history that went back to Ancient China.

Rich saw an opportunity to take what they had learned and turn it into a practical and educational family project. With over eight years experience creating successful web entrepreneur communities, Rich put his sons to work on the concept and design of a helpful new site focused simply on How To Tie A Tie. “This was a wonderful opportunity,” Rich Christiansen said. “Not only are we filling a real need, but it’s a chance for my sons to learn the process of how to build a website.”

It is evident that these boys have been discussing the business model. Sixteen year old John Christiansen says: “We are going to give all of the instructions and diagrams away for free. We will sell ties and stuff and any money we make we are going to put into an education savings account. Half of this money will go orphan girls in Nepal, and the other half will go to our personal college savings.”

Based on the family’s research, the site is full of information about neckties, as well as men’s fashion issues, and tips for shopping. But the most popular part of the site is sure to be the step-by-step, illustrated instructions on how to tie 15 different ties ranging from the popular Windsor knot to the difficult bow-tie!

Fourteen-year-old Matthew Christiansen is proud of the result: “We worked really hard and we came up with a site that is easy to use and gives people some really helpful information.”

His brother Nathan 11 agrees, and likes to point out that is the result of a family working together. “We did the research with my dad and learned that there was a lot of potential search engine traffic,” Nathan said. “It was crazy my dad has us work with people from all over the world to do this site. The design and programming was done in India, the content here in the USA, and the diagrams in Pakistan.

Matthew at the age of 14 has already become a necktie-tying legend. “The knots really work and are easy to follow,” Matthew said. “It’s how my brothers, my friends, and I tie our ties every Sunday. It really works!”

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11 Year Old Managing Engineers In India

Saturday 17 November 2007 @ 10:15 am

The beginning of this past summer I committed to myself to begin teaching my three oldest sons fundamental business principles. I decided the best way to do this would to actually build a businesses together. Each Saturday and Sunday afternoon my three sons and I would go down in my office and have a “board meeting”.

The first few meetings began as a brainstorm where we would discuss potential businesses. Nothing was off the table. We had some real interesting ideas pop up (particularly from my 11 year old Nathan). After several weeks we narrowed down the business options and informally discussed the pro’s and con’s using the Porter Model. What did we settle on? A website focusing on How To Tie a Tie. Why you ask? Well in our research we discovered that the 4th most searched “How To” phrase on the internet is How to tie a tie. There are over 2,000 searched a day on this term. Once decided we were off and running to the races. It has been a rather slow moving project, but one that has simply been life changing for my boys.

How To Tie A Tie Diagram

I am thrilled today to announce that last week we formally launched our website So why was this so important to me? The primary reason I wanted to do this with my sons was to give them a feel early in their life of what it took to create a business. I also wanted them to live the process not just talk about it. I also wanted them to take some ownership in saving and preparing for college in a manner different than just getting a job. Not that I don’t want them to also have a job and work hard, I do. But I want them in the mindset of creating assets rather than working a job. There has been one huge side benefit from this project that I had not pre-mediated. It has been the process of exposing my sons to the global economy. As we were discussing the project last night it was pointed out that:

    The project plan and specification had been put together by us in Utah.

    The initial site design was done in Ahmedabad India. With over 10 back and forth iterations of the design.

    The witting of the step by step instructions done initially by a writer in Eastern Europe (and failed).

    We then engaged a professional witter in the USA that I had previously worked with

    The picture diagrams were done by a talented diagrammer in in Pakistan

    The Assembly of the Pictures and Steps were then returned to India for build out and engineering

    The Quality assurance and debug of the site done by my sons back in Utah

    The online store is being done using which is located in New York

    The Video diagrams is being outsourced to my oldest sons 17 year old friends Scott and Wyatt

    The ties that we will eventually sell on the website will come from Thailand and Korea

    We engaged several link building efforts with two different firms, one in Southern India and the other in Romania

    We also did a press announcement which was distributed out of Washington State

Wow, that is quite the world tour for a eleven year old. The reality is, we live in a global economy and the only way our children will thrive is to learn to dance in this world. I am so proud of how my sons have interacted and embraced this experience. All said, I think the experience interacting and coordinating the efforts all around the world proved to be of more value than the business experience.

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Rich Christiansen