Premature Diversification

Wednesday 12 December 2012 @ 10:13 am

Rich Christiansen The past several weeks I’ve been preparing for a trip where we will represent several up-and-coming, exciting brands for one of my companies. Through the course of these activities I’ve been exposed to several very creative and very innovative ideas and concepts.

There’s one company in particular that has received an extreme amount of attention. They were featured on the television show Shark Tank and were indeed one of the winners. They won again at a statewide entrepreneurial conference and have received an excessive amount of media and exposure. As I met with these young entrepreneurs I was exhilarated but also dismayed in our very short meeting. Their high-energy level, exuberance of entrepreneurship, and the zeal for which they were attacking opportunity was exhilarating. However I was dismayed as I saw what they were doing. Indeed they had come up with a very novel creative market concept that had been broadly embraced and was getting them a lot of attention. What did they do with it? Rather than dig deeply, rather than fully explore all the channels, rather than totally take advantage and captivate this corner of the market they’ve instantly started to branch out and add all sorts of diverse products. For instance they were scheduled to fly down to meet with a celebrity’s daughter the following day to start a new line of handbags. They’re developing cell phone technologies, literally exploiting the small channel that they’d developed on ancillary things that haven’t yet proven success.

Indeed my one of the entrepreneurs that I really respect is David Norton who will often make the statement that the reason for failure in small businesses is premature diversification. I personally think that the number one reason is cash flow, but I agree with David that the second reason is premature diversification. If I were to wind the clock forward several years I would suspect that these young entrepreneurs would learn this lesson (hopefully not too much the hard way).

In the early stages of our business we need to find something that works and do more of it efficiently and effectively and fully develop the channels and make sure you have adequate conversion before you diversify. It’s not to say that diversification is not appropriate, it’s just doing it at the right time.

Go forward, prosper, and win in your business.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Freeze Your Cookies Off 5k

Monday 5 November 2012 @ 10:01 pm

What are you doing the Saturday before Thanksgiving? What’s your health and diet plan as the holiday season rolls in?

One of my teams is headed by moms, and here’s their solution to dealing with extra calories during Thanksgiving and every other day of the year too. They call themselves Cookie Athletes and they commit to workout so they can eat cookies (or pie, or extra Thanksgiving rolls, and tons of turkey and gravy, etc.) I’m starting to learn this is really a popular lifestyle–and I have to say I quite like it.

Going without treats indefinitely is not going to happen. Instead…workout. Simple. 

If you’re free on November 17th (the Saturday before Thanksgiving) Come take part in the race this team of moms put together. Run the 3 mile course, indulge in cookies and hot cocoa at the finishline, and just have fun. Additionally, a portion of every race entry goes to support one of my favorite organizations, Choice Humanitarian, the organization my teen team worked with in Guatemala

It’s a great weekend to bust out a 5K. Join us.

FREEZE YOUR COOKIES OFF 5K & COOKIE BUFFET

  • NOVEMBER 17TH, 9:00 AM
  • AMERICAN FORK REC CENTER, UTAH
  • GOURMET COOKIE BUFFET & HOT COCOA
  • PIE TASTING
  • COOKIE ATHLETE TECH SHIRT
  • A PORTION OF PROCEEDS SUPPORTS CHOICE HUMANITARIAN
  • $20 PER PERSON. $85 PER FAMILY OF FIVE. (Prices go up Nov. 8th)

 

Cookie Athlete - Freeze Your Cookies Off

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



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.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Combo Meal Post

Tuesday 23 October 2012 @ 2:02 pm

Today’s post is a combo meal. You get two for the price of one largely because I couldn’t decide which one to blog on so here goes both.

My first concept is all about working hard and playing hard. I believe that working hard and then playing hard is far more efficient and productive than just working hard all the time. Each year I schedule a hard working day with my sons, particularly my younger sons. I do this to give them the experience of working on a hard project, jumping in, and just tackling something really difficult. I then make sure to always follow that up with a fun play experience.

The past several days I had my wife assemble a list of every nasty, disgusting, difficult assignment that she could come up that needed to be done for our rental properties. I took my two youngest sons, Timmy and Alex, which I affectionately refer to as my “Little Men” and we embarked on chasing down all these projects. Indeed we worked our guts out but actually had a really good time doing it. There’s a great personal reward in seeing a project through to completion.

After we finished our projects we went swimming in a natural spring pool, had a great dinner, and went crawdad catching. Now for those of you who have never tried catching these little critters there are a couple of things you need to know.

You can’t catch these things with your bare hands or even a net. You’ve got to toss a stinky, rotten piece of meat (I prefer bacon) on a string out in the warm water, count to ten, and then pull it in. This year was particularly good. Every pull we were catching anywhere from seven to fifteen of these little crayfish. My sons were absolutely delighted as they pulled in each catch with these little guys hanging on with one pincer and snapping with they other saying, “You give me back my bacon!”

This leads to my second concept: There are important things you have to let go of in your life in order to succeed.

There are a lot of life lessons associated with this. I’ve found myself acting like these little crayfish at times by hanging on too tightly to business ventures and projects. Things that would normally scare me and make me swim upstream to safety will actually grab my attention with a piece of stinky bacon. I hang onto that piece of meat, snapping away until something bigger squashes and kills me.

It is important that you give up bad personal and business habits and recognize when you’re hanging onto a piece of moldy bacon. We have a little business right now with one of my groups where we’ve been snapping away at it for nine months. We’re just not getting any traction. As a matter of fact we’re ignoring some other, more meaningful opportunities and I’m right on the verge of labeling it a bad piece of bacon and giving counsel to let it go. Now there’s a fine balance of being doggedly determined and then there’s pouring all your focus into a rotting piece of bacon. Do NOT be as those crawdads and hanging hang on until your very death when all you have to do is let go and live to swim another day. 

In closing here are the two key important business lessons of today:

Lesson #1: Work Hard. Play Hard. It’s far more productive than just working into oblivion.
Lesson #2: Let go of the caustic things in your life that are actually causing destruction, both in your business and personal life.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Free Teleseminar: Rich Dialoging with Rick Sapio on Value Gatekeeping and Saying No.

Friday 12 October 2012 @ 2:49 pm

I’m really excited to announce that on Tuesday October 16 at noon (Mountain Standard Time) I will be interviewing and dialoging with Rick Sapio about Value Gatekeeping. In both books I’ve written I’ve discussed the importance of saying no. In Bootstrap Business I say that the number two reason for failure in small businesses is premature diversification. In other words: doing too many things and not being able to effectively say no to the things that are distractive. Rick Sapio is heavily quoted in my book The Zig Zag Principle and indeed a brilliant mind on this topic.

What a rare, unique opportunity for you to attend this free teleseminar and learn from Rick, the direct master of the concept of value gatekeeping. Learning the in’s and out’s of value gatekeeping allows you to set filters that keep the crap out of your life while allowing the important things to get through.

Again, this call will be on October the 16th and will start at noon Mountain Standard Time and will run from an hour to an hour and a half. To sign up for it simply click the link below and register for the free event. You’ll receive an email with the information and the option of attending the seminar via telephone or web.

https://bfs.infusionsoft.com/app/form/valueswebinar

I look forward to seeing you on the call and I’m also looking forward to learning more from Rick about Gatekeeping. See you Monday!

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Mastering Media

Monday 8 October 2012 @ 8:34 am

I love the story of the old crusty New York politician that made the statement, “I don’t care what you say about me, just make sure you spell my name properly.” Indeed, the power of getting your name or your business in the press or in the news is so powerful. I’ve always known this but I’ve come to a stark realization of the dramatic importance of it, particularly at this time.

Recently Google made dramatic changes to their algorithm known as the Panda update. This Panda update looks at two things. First of all it looks at trending data to help rank in the search engines. The second thing that it looks at is disparity of traffic sources meaning traffic from various locations.

Media, specifically press, helps address both of these problems in a very coherent fashion while actually driving true, real converting customers to your product. 
I first realized the full impact of press at the hands of my dear friend David McInnis. David indeed was the founder of PRWeb, a major online press release service, and at the launch of Zig Zag principle David was kind enough to come and spend several days with me helping me tie and piggyback Zig Zag concepts directly onto hot and trending news topics.

It was brilliantly and masterfully executed and I watched with great delight as David was able to strategically tie into an Apple product release that gained great momentum and Zig Zag was at the very top of the news listings tied into that momentum. If you have not yet considered or used the medium of press releases I would strongly encourage you to do it.

David McInnis has formed a company called Cranberry.com. Indeed he consults only with selective, small businesses and helps them launch. If you fit these criteria and have interest in engaging the press to help your business erupt I would encourage you to reach out to David and see if there’s a way that he can help you with your efforts.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



The Pendulum Swings

Wednesday 3 October 2012 @ 2:12 pm

For the last five years I’ve watched with fascination at what is known as the Pendulum Principle. This concept was developed by Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads, and widely propagated by Michael Drew, my book agent for Zig Zag.

The concept of Pendulum is that every forty years the pendulum swings from a civic society or a group collaboration of everyone working together to the other extreme of an individualistic society then swinging back forty years later. Each time a society reaches a pinnacle the youth rebel and they start bringing the pendulum back.

This book goes through statistically showing that this has happened over and over for hundreds and hundreds of years just exactly how we swing between a civic society and an individualistic society. Interestingly enough we just crossed over into a civic era again and I watch with great fascination in being able to predict and to see the trends that are occurring that wouldn’t have occurred ten years ago. It’s reflected in our media, it’s reflected in our music, and it’s reflected in our social behaviors.

Pendulum released this week and this is a book I can’t wait to get my hands on to re-read. I would suggest that this is also a book that you should be reading if you’re attempting to have a crystal ball that lets you see into the future to understand the behavior patterns that are occurring and trending in our society.

Understanding this helps you dramatically predict what to do in your business to have a higher probability of success. Again, the name of the book is Pendulum and you can click on the link below to get to this book.

Happy Reading.

Check out Pendulum here.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Monday 1 October 2012 @ 10:57 am

Good morning, everyone! I’m coming to you live from my office today! It’s been a little while. Today’s topic was important enough that I wanted to go face to face with you. I’m so thrilled with the outcome of what we’ve seen from the Zig Zag Principle. Only one in ten small businesses were succeeding. The people that are using Zig Zag Principle and have read it we’re finding that one in six, and one in seven are finding success. Really a great increase in the odds, but something really troubles me. That’s still too low of odds. The reality is the individuals that I’ve mentored (or there’s been mentoring in some form), the odds for success are one in two to one in three. I like those odds a lot better. 

This has been a real quandary for me. There’s no way that I can individually mentor everyone. I have no training program. I have no big boot camps or anything like that to get one on one with individuals, but I know that the odds of success are so much higher if you actually engaged in the system and have some type of mentoring and interaction going on. To that end I’m doing something that I haven’t done before. I’m endorsing and I’m encouraging you small business owners who are struggling to go engage with Rick Sapio. He runs a website called “Business Finishing School”. It has high-definition, quality videos that go through many of the processes and discuss many of the topics in detail that I have covered and it also provides you a level of engagement and feedback that quite frankly we haven’t been able to provide you in Zig Zag Principle. 

As you know, Rick Sapio is probably quoted more in the book than any other individual. There are two specific things that I really drew on from him. First of all is the values as the basis and second of all the concept of dismissing inappropriate things from your life in the form of a gatekeeper. 
I encourage you to click on and go to Business Finishing School as part of this blog post. As I was discussing with Rick he’s going to give you a money-back guarantee here. He’s also going to give you a signed copy of Zig Zag Principle and invite you to the big event that’s coming up and I encourage you to investigate this, to look at this, and sign up for his program. It will definitely increase your probability of success. 
Good luck, go forward, Zig Zag, and find success.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Hole-in-One on a Horrible Day

Thursday 27 September 2012 @ 9:35 am

The last three weeks have been a misery-fest on earth. Everything that could wrong has indeed gone wrong. I had to lay one of my teams off. There’s another team that’s been pressing very hard, but they’re on life support and despite doing EVERYTHING right they just cannot get a break. I mean CANNOT get a break in any shape, form, or fashion. We have a third team that’s actually having some good success but we’re not reaching our potential.

Today I reached a breaking point. You see I started out the morning in a board meeting where we had to determine to close one of the businesses that I’d invested in so the entire month has been one difficult conversation after another. I’ve also had multiple individuals the last couple of days coming to me with just completely brain-dead, insane requests and demands upon me and my resources.

I handled these maturely but I knew at the end of the day that if I had even one more slightly delicate conversation I would erupt and would have cleaned all of China in the process. So I checked out ten minutes early and I snuck out by myself, grabbed my new Callaway golf clubs, and went to the golf course. I didn’t care how I played. I was so steamed up all I wanted to do was squish that golf ball.
I got onto Hole 1 of Gladstan, pulled out my driver, and ripped it, and of course I drew it a little bit left, but on the fairway still. The next hit took the ball smack down on the second shot on the green where I overshot the green a little bit but managed to chip back and get my card. I didn’t care about my score at this point quite frankly. It just felt good to squish that ball and get a little frustration out in a positive way.

Got onto the second hole, a par three across the water, one hundred and seventy-eight yards with the pin just a little bit forward. That’s a 7-iron for me. I pull out my 8-iron thinking I am just gonna get after it. I normally hit my 8-iron a hundred and fifty-five yards. I come down on the ball and hit it perfectly. I saw the ball flying directly towards the pin and saw it land right next to the pin. It looked like it came just a little behind and I thought, “Wow. That was a great shot.” But I was frankly still just so ripped at the day that I didn’t give any credibility to it until I pulled up to the green.

My perspective on life and the day changed dramatically when I pulled up and I saw no ball and I knew at that moment it had gone in the hole because I knew I had hit it really close.

Sure enough, some guys came up and said, “You just hit a hole-in-one.” I walked up to the hole. The ball had landed three feet and one foot to the right behind the pin, spun back, and dropped directly into the hole. I’ve been golfing since I was fourteen years old. I’ve hit a lot of great shots but never a hole-in-one. Indeed, I got my first hole-in-one when I was on the verge of killing half the universe and quite frankly felt like throwing in the towel and giving it all up. This was a glorious opportunity for me individually and it gave me a great life lesson. My hole-in-one was was a turning point for me, my golf game, and I can guarantee that my business life will also flip around and be positive now because I’m going after it to win rather than playing not to lose and not being a victim. Indeed I’ve fallen into victimhood a little bit. Sometimes we all do. I think there are some great life lessons to learn here and in business.

Keep hitting the ball. Try taking the pressure off a little bit. Sometimes we amp it too hard, but you know what? You’ve got to keep striking the ball because the brakes will come and the tide will eventually turn. Then at the very last second when you least expect it to happen is typically when it happens. The last thing that I had on my mind quite frankly was playing a good golf game. If you want to get a good chuckle watch my righteous indignation in the video below. I was pretty delighted about the hole-in-one but you can see a little bit of the steam coming off in the process.

So stick with it, keep with it, crazy economy and all. All us entrepreneurs are the glue that will hold this economy together and let’s keep after it. Let’s keep the faith and remember that the universe gives us a hand every once in a while.

 

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 



Maybe They’ll Blow You Some Kisses

Thursday 6 September 2012 @ 2:56 pm

Seasoned business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs alike, I want to share a fun video from one of the teens I work with. Zach Van Pelt made this spot as a creative way to ask a young woman to Homecoming.

This was simply the best date invitation I have ever seen.

Business Advice: If you ask your customers to the dance with the same gusto and creativity as Zach asked his date to the dance, you are certain to get a kiss.

[Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post 





«« Previous Posts
Rich Christiansen