The Zigzag Principle | Rich Christiansen

Summary of: The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life
By: Rich Christiansen

Introduction

In ‘The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life’, Rich Christiansen presents a systematic approach to reaching business goals by effectively utilizing your resources, including financial capital, mental capital, and relationship capital. By aligning your passions and motivations with disciplined planning, Christiansen teaches readers how to gain control of their influential areas and establish attainable ‘beacons in the fog’, or goals to guide them toward success. With clearly defined values and strategic steps, you’ll learn the importance of pacing yourself along the zigzag path and wisely distributing relationship capital, all while maintaining a focus on profitability and personal growth.

Zig and Zag Your Way to Success

The book advises entrepreneurs not to take a direct approach to their goals. Instead, they’re urged to set a series of linked objectives and systematically zig and zag their way to success. The author believes this approach has a higher chance of success than trying to bulldoze through obstacles or find a shortcut.

Maximizing Your Resources

The Zigzag Principle by Rich Christiansen talks about the importance of recognizing both your financial, mental and relationship capital as essential resources to achieving success in both career and life. Your mental capital includes your knowledge, expertise, and skills, while your relationship capital is made up of your network of friends, family, and associates. By utilizing both, you can find the financial capital you need and even take advantage of opportunities you didn’t know you have. Building relationships is not easy and can take years, but it’s crucial to always do the right things for the right reasons, and never use people for your own benefit. By maximizing your resources, you can overcome challenges, drive towards profitability and achieve your goals.

Discovering Your Beacons

In “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Covey advocates creating beacons – goals that act as guides toward creating an ideal life. To find your beacons, think about what makes you joyful, the goals that excite you, your talents, and your ideal life. A beacon should be a challenging yet achievable stretch goal. Identify and separate your areas of influence, where you have complete control, and your concerns, where you have limited influence but can still affect change. Set your beacons between these two zones, focus on them, and avoid wasting time worrying about matters beyond your influence. Committing your goals to paper and making them measurable and realistic will increase the chances of achieving them. By discovering your beacons, you can create a clear direction for your life that aligns with your soul purpose.

Corporate Values

Corporate values are essential to the success of any business. It’s not just about moral values; it’s about establishing rules and defining the corporate culture. A mother of six, living in poverty, instilled a strong work ethic and educational values in her children. Despite financial difficulties, she was determined to provide her children with opportunities for success. She encouraged practical classes and university scholarships, which led to all six children attending college and enjoying professional careers. The mother’s values serve as a guide to their lives. These values serve as touchstones of corporate culture and help businesses navigate hard times.

The Zigzag Principle for Startups

To help new companies grow their business operations, the Zigzag Principle recommends getting cash, adding resources, and scaling up. This three-step process involves taking a flexible approach to pivot when necessary, continually improving the product or service, and seeking out new opportunities. By zigzagging through these steps, startups can achieve success by adapting to changing circumstances and innovating along the way.

Tips for Starting a Profitable Business

Starting a profitable business requires hard work and determination. Instead of trying to reach your goals right away, focus on turning your skills and experience into money-making opportunities. Don’t be tempted by the quick-fix solution of credit cards or loans. Choose a few key individuals who can help you but carefully define and limit how much relationship capital you’re willing to spend. Spend your time and effort on activities that contribute to the bottom line, and remember the 80/20 rule. Be grateful for relationship capital and give back to those who help you. Assess your relationships and withdraw from people who drain your energy.

In starting a profitable business, the first step requires hard work and determination to be successful. Instead of rushing headlong towards success, it is advisable to pace yourself. The key to profitability is earning enough cash to sustain your business after paying your expenses. Avoid the temptation of credit cards or loans as an easy means to this end. Rather, turn your skills and experience into moneymaking opportunities. Choose a few key individuals who can help you and carefully define and limit how much relationship capital you’re willing to spend. Spend your time and effort on activities that contribute to the bottom line. Always remember that the 80/20 rule applies, meaning that just 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results. In business, be grateful for relationship capital, and give back to those who help you. Remember to assess your relationships and withdraw from people who drain your energy.

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