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The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy That Will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life

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Zigzag Your Way to Success! Have you ever set your sights on the top of a mountain and then started your ascent by heading straight through the trees and up the sheer cliffs? Or driven in your car to the other side of town--as the crow flies? Of course not! Because you instinctively know that, just as a river has to wend its way around obstacles, the best route is never Zigzag Your Way to Success! Have you ever set your sights on the top of a mountain and then started your ascent by heading straight through the trees and up the sheer cliffs? Or driven in your car to the other side of town--as the crow flies? Of course not! Because you instinctively know that, just as a river has to wend its way around obstacles, the best route is never actually a straight line! In The Zigzag Principle, Rich Christiansen applies a foundational law of nature to business management, entrepreneurship, goal-setting, and life in general as he explores why zigzagging toward our intended outcomes is more effective than trying to bulldoze our way through whatever stands between us and our objectives. Christiansen helps you get started, make your way over the big hill to initial profitability, and minimize risks along the way. A s the head of well-established corporations and as the brains behind numerous start-ups, Christiansen has been through it all, and he's charted all the zigs and zags you'll encounter. In The Zigzag Principle, he documents everything he has learned, including how to: Identify your destination Create a defined set of values to help you as your business finds its way Add resources and hire the right people, as you turn the cash you have into fuel for more Replicate your successes to bring your product to the masses Protect your resources, your family, and your sanity The simplicity of a straight line can be seductive. But it's not a realistic way to go about achieving your goals, because you will always come upon unexpected obstacles in the road. Zigzagging requires you to be nimble and flexible, to "bootstrap," and to be able to take advantage of multiple opportunities. What it delivers is success--in business and in life--far beyond your initial plans and dreams. Use The Zigzag Principle to assess your resources, use them to their fullest, and keep yourself and your team motivated--all while living a life of balance. Praise for The Zigzag Principle "Rock-solid principles so simple that you will read this book wondering how you could have missed seeing truths that are so obvious." --Stephen R. Covey, bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People "Our economy will be saved and grow again through the industry of focused entrepreneurs who will hire thousands of employees to meet the needs of customers. This thoughtful and inspired book will guide creative and energized business men and women to accomplish their loftiest dreams and restore America's prosperity once again." --Alan E. Hall, entrepreneur, angel investor, venture capitalist, cofounder of Mercato Partners "The Zigzag Principle is the new way of doing business. It will increase your chances of success by 90 percent and eliminate so much of the stress that business owners face." --Garrett Gunderson, New York Times bestselling author of Killing Sacred Cows "The Zigzag Principle has revolutionized the way I run my business. It works, it measures, it performs. Every business should know and implement this principle!" --Curtis Blair, cofounder and general manager, Froghair "Rich Christiansen is one of the most insightful, practical, and cost-conscious entrepreneurs in the world today. Listen to Rich. He won't steer you wrong." --Roy H. Williams, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling Wizard of Ads trilogy "I don't believe entrepreneurship is something you can truly learn from a book. Everyone has to make their own mistakes. Nevertheless, if you've already made some mistakes then you'll find The Zig Zag Principle to be a no b.s. guide to starting, nurturing and succeeding at entrepreneurship." --Jeffrey Eisenberg, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal marketing bestsellers Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark? "Entrepreneurs, you need not fear failure anymore! With The Zigzag Principle in hand, you will have all the tools you need to increase your probability of success the instant you apply the concepts in this book." --Rick Sapio, founder and CEO of Mutual Capital Alliance, Inc, Dallas, Texas "The Zigzag Principle isn't feel-good fluff--it is a logical and practical formula that you can put your hands on, and it will increase the rate of success of any business you apply it to." --Moe Abdou, Principal and founder, 33 Voices "The Zigzag Principle is more powerful than the 'release and iterate' mentality which is so prevalent today. I have adjusted my planning to incorporate this principle in our product launches. Properly executed, The Zigzag Principl will keep folks like me out of financial hot water." --David McInnis, founder of PRWeb.com and founder and CEO of Cranberry LLC, Venture Partners "Most entrepreneurs find it complicated and difficult to build their businesses. Rich has done a masterful job with The Zigzag Principle to make complex things simple and the difficult easy--and it works! It will help you get where you want to be with more confidence and certainty." --Murray Smith, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Answer and CEO of MainStreetMentor.com "Whether you are a parent, an entrepreneur, a factory worker, or a middle manger, The Zigzag Principle will provide you with a framework and a formula that will empower you to make changes in your world you had never felt were possible." --Joseph Grenny, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything The Zigzag Principle delivers the epiphany of the decade for business owners. These strategies are non-intuitive, but proven to be solid and dependable, which is why this is such an important work. Not only will you profit faster than you thought possible, you'll also enjoy greater balance and fulfillment in the process. --Leslie Householder, Award-winning bestselling author of The Jackrabbit Factor: Portal to Genius About the Book:


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Zigzag Your Way to Success! Have you ever set your sights on the top of a mountain and then started your ascent by heading straight through the trees and up the sheer cliffs? Or driven in your car to the other side of town--as the crow flies? Of course not! Because you instinctively know that, just as a river has to wend its way around obstacles, the best route is never Zigzag Your Way to Success! Have you ever set your sights on the top of a mountain and then started your ascent by heading straight through the trees and up the sheer cliffs? Or driven in your car to the other side of town--as the crow flies? Of course not! Because you instinctively know that, just as a river has to wend its way around obstacles, the best route is never actually a straight line! In The Zigzag Principle, Rich Christiansen applies a foundational law of nature to business management, entrepreneurship, goal-setting, and life in general as he explores why zigzagging toward our intended outcomes is more effective than trying to bulldoze our way through whatever stands between us and our objectives. Christiansen helps you get started, make your way over the big hill to initial profitability, and minimize risks along the way. A s the head of well-established corporations and as the brains behind numerous start-ups, Christiansen has been through it all, and he's charted all the zigs and zags you'll encounter. In The Zigzag Principle, he documents everything he has learned, including how to: Identify your destination Create a defined set of values to help you as your business finds its way Add resources and hire the right people, as you turn the cash you have into fuel for more Replicate your successes to bring your product to the masses Protect your resources, your family, and your sanity The simplicity of a straight line can be seductive. But it's not a realistic way to go about achieving your goals, because you will always come upon unexpected obstacles in the road. Zigzagging requires you to be nimble and flexible, to "bootstrap," and to be able to take advantage of multiple opportunities. What it delivers is success--in business and in life--far beyond your initial plans and dreams. Use The Zigzag Principle to assess your resources, use them to their fullest, and keep yourself and your team motivated--all while living a life of balance. Praise for The Zigzag Principle "Rock-solid principles so simple that you will read this book wondering how you could have missed seeing truths that are so obvious." --Stephen R. Covey, bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People "Our economy will be saved and grow again through the industry of focused entrepreneurs who will hire thousands of employees to meet the needs of customers. This thoughtful and inspired book will guide creative and energized business men and women to accomplish their loftiest dreams and restore America's prosperity once again." --Alan E. Hall, entrepreneur, angel investor, venture capitalist, cofounder of Mercato Partners "The Zigzag Principle is the new way of doing business. It will increase your chances of success by 90 percent and eliminate so much of the stress that business owners face." --Garrett Gunderson, New York Times bestselling author of Killing Sacred Cows "The Zigzag Principle has revolutionized the way I run my business. It works, it measures, it performs. Every business should know and implement this principle!" --Curtis Blair, cofounder and general manager, Froghair "Rich Christiansen is one of the most insightful, practical, and cost-conscious entrepreneurs in the world today. Listen to Rich. He won't steer you wrong." --Roy H. Williams, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling Wizard of Ads trilogy "I don't believe entrepreneurship is something you can truly learn from a book. Everyone has to make their own mistakes. Nevertheless, if you've already made some mistakes then you'll find The Zig Zag Principle to be a no b.s. guide to starting, nurturing and succeeding at entrepreneurship." --Jeffrey Eisenberg, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal marketing bestsellers Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark? "Entrepreneurs, you need not fear failure anymore! With The Zigzag Principle in hand, you will have all the tools you need to increase your probability of success the instant you apply the concepts in this book." --Rick Sapio, founder and CEO of Mutual Capital Alliance, Inc, Dallas, Texas "The Zigzag Principle isn't feel-good fluff--it is a logical and practical formula that you can put your hands on, and it will increase the rate of success of any business you apply it to." --Moe Abdou, Principal and founder, 33 Voices "The Zigzag Principle is more powerful than the 'release and iterate' mentality which is so prevalent today. I have adjusted my planning to incorporate this principle in our product launches. Properly executed, The Zigzag Principl will keep folks like me out of financial hot water." --David McInnis, founder of PRWeb.com and founder and CEO of Cranberry LLC, Venture Partners "Most entrepreneurs find it complicated and difficult to build their businesses. Rich has done a masterful job with The Zigzag Principle to make complex things simple and the difficult easy--and it works! It will help you get where you want to be with more confidence and certainty." --Murray Smith, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Answer and CEO of MainStreetMentor.com "Whether you are a parent, an entrepreneur, a factory worker, or a middle manger, The Zigzag Principle will provide you with a framework and a formula that will empower you to make changes in your world you had never felt were possible." --Joseph Grenny, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything The Zigzag Principle delivers the epiphany of the decade for business owners. These strategies are non-intuitive, but proven to be solid and dependable, which is why this is such an important work. Not only will you profit faster than you thought possible, you'll also enjoy greater balance and fulfillment in the process. --Leslie Householder, Award-winning bestselling author of The Jackrabbit Factor: Portal to Genius About the Book:

30 review for The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy That Will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    I read this book as part of the 12 Books online book group during the month of May 2012. I admit that when I first read the title I was a little confused. I love anything to do with entrepreneurship despite my rather poor track record thus far. The reason I was so excited to read this book is because the author has just an established track record in starting successful companies. Rich has launched over 30 companies with less than $10K in capital and among those over 10 went on to be BIG success I read this book as part of the 12 Books online book group during the month of May 2012. I admit that when I first read the title I was a little confused. I love anything to do with entrepreneurship despite my rather poor track record thus far. The reason I was so excited to read this book is because the author has just an established track record in starting successful companies. Rich has launched over 30 companies with less than $10K in capital and among those over 10 went on to be BIG successes. The book is really about helping entrepreneurs understand that the best way to get somewhere isn’t always a straight line. In my reading, this major concept took a little while to sink in but as I moved from chapter to chapter I really discovered that the material is designed to give an entrepreneur a new type of road map that allows one to chart a course that is most likely going to lead to success. The three main zigs and zags were critical components that talk about things that most of us understand are critical to success. Getting to profitability quickly, failing efficiently, adding resources, scaling the business, setting goals, and motivating a team. Most students of business are already familiar with these necessities but having them as part of an effective road map is the key to getting off the ground. As I reflect on my reading of the book I feel like there were a few golden nuggets that will really stick out to me as I move forward in my career. First, as elementary as it sounds, I think a key insight for me was the need to get to profitability before scaling the business. All too often I think people (myself included) are too eager to make the business big before we discover the key system that generates profits on a consistent basis. The Zigzag Principle taught me that you always focus first on a profitable and dependable model before you invest in scaling the business. Second, Rich’s insights about living a life of balance were really compelling. I have fallen victim one too many times to the attitude of “just this one big project” and I’ll be able to spend more time with the family (or insert other life goal). There will always be one more project, trial, or other issue. As individuals we have to determine what our real goals are and create “guardrails” that keep us on our path and within our boundaries in business and every other aspect of life. A great read and a great experience with the author as part of the book group. If you are reading this before March 25, I would invite you to join me in a live Q&A with the author. http://www.12booksgroup.com/may2012we...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I purchased this book on recommendation from another book I was reading, Five Day Weekend. FDW is a book on lifestyle design, and it pairs with this one fairly well since it emphasizes the need to invest in your own ventures, many of which may be businesses. This was good timing for me since I'm in the process of launching my own first business. When I first started reading the book I thought to myself that it was a little hokey, but that impression soon disappeared and the more I read the more I I purchased this book on recommendation from another book I was reading, Five Day Weekend. FDW is a book on lifestyle design, and it pairs with this one fairly well since it emphasizes the need to invest in your own ventures, many of which may be businesses. This was good timing for me since I'm in the process of launching my own first business. When I first started reading the book I thought to myself that it was a little hokey, but that impression soon disappeared and the more I read the more I realized that what Christiansen was outlining was good business sense for anyone launching a start-up and provides some guideposts to beginning and growing your business in an organized fashion. I loooooove organized things. Interestingly, I'm reading this at the same time I'm reading The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, and the two authors have incredibly different business philosophies, personalities, and methodologies, yet both are very successful. My personal style aligns far more with Christiansen, who is pragmatic, careful, and methodical. In The Zig Zag Principle (Can we agree to shorten this to ZZP? Okay, thanks), Christiansen wants to impress upon you a set methodology for growing your business: 1. Profitability. He calls this "getting to cash," others might call it "proof of concept," and another group may call it "viability," but essentially, your business has to be profitable with just the resources you already have before you do anything else. 2. Adding Resources. Once you've started generating a profit from your business, you can start adding resources, such as technology that makes the job easier, or human resources that take some of the workload from you. 3. Scale. Finally, once you've got some resources in place, your goal is to stop working within your business and to start working ON your business. This is where you have to take a step back, ensure that solid systems and processes are in place and documented, and look at how to make the business bigger. This is actually a brilliant strategy and helps a newbie on the entrepreneur scene such as myself to look at where I should be expending my efforts and what types of tasks and goals I should be focused on achieving. Christiansen also lays out some foundational pieces, such as determining your values system, the purpose or destination of your business (your "beacon in the fog" as he calls it), and finding passion for your work. Because he begins with these concepts, I originally felt that the book would be a bit hokey, but as I continued to read, he explained the why of the importance of these concepts, and the whole thing came together. A fast read with large typeface, lots of space between lines, and cashing in at only 200 pages, you can finish this in a day and then go back and complete the exercises, which are quite useful. I even realized that one of the tools he uses to help him with his decision making process (The Decision Matrix) is extremely similar to a tool I developed in my own decision making process, and I was delighted to see someone use the same method for helping to make clear the pros and cons of a number of viable options. Toward the end there exists an obligatory couple of chapters on management and the philosophy of balancing your life to include family and health. This is a definite pattern with business, lifestyle design, and similar books. Even Grant Cardone mentions these in The 10X Rule with his vastly different philosophy toward success. All in all, this is a great book with practical and useful exercises and worksheets, and the examples were straightforward enough not to be annoying. Highly recommend, especially to newbie business owners like myself.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kashif

    Why this book was written: Gives a crisp framework for reaching your goals; whether in business or in life Synopsis: The first zig is to achieve profitability, the second zag is to add resources and the third zig to scale. Too often we get hung up trying to scale a business before we actually get to profit, causing disaster. This book shows how to avoid this using the simplest of frameworks. Key Highlights: Zig 1 [Getting to Profitability]: Assess resources, find your beacon in the fog (endgame), Why this book was written: Gives a crisp framework for reaching your goals; whether in business or in life Synopsis: The first zig is to achieve profitability, the second zag is to add resources and the third zig to scale. Too often we get hung up trying to scale a business before we actually get to profit, causing disaster. This book shows how to avoid this using the simplest of frameworks. Key Highlights: Zig 1 [Getting to Profitability]: Assess resources, find your beacon in the fog (endgame), create catalyzing statements, Zag 2 [Adding Resources]: Define processes, add resources, Zig 3 [Scale]: Scale, stay within guardrails, develop reward system. Other Highlights: We all have resources; some have cycles, while others jets; but we all do. You don't need money to make money; only mental and social capital. Set written, measurable and realistic goals. Use 5 Minute Whiteboards for weekly plans and transparency. Attach rewards to your major goals and it'll be easier to achieve. Catalyzing statements of "Landing a man in the moon by the decade is out" helped achieve the goal. Always have your beacon in the fog (end game) in mind; you don't know when the perfect opportunity will appear; because luck favors the prepared mind. Finally, start to live the life you desire from today; because the rat race has a habit of making life pass by before you know it. Beautiful book worth reading for anyone looking for a fulfilled life and successful ventures.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dondi Ligon

    It's an agile journey. It's an agile journey.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Doss

    Some pretty solid nuggets to approaching life but the principles can be learned in other books. Still an interesting concept and worth the read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Devara Zain

    Memotivasi

  7. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

    Brief review: I read this book as a part of 12booksin2012 ( http://www.12booksgroup.com/ or on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1... ) I enjoyed reading this book. I believe that the zig-zag principle can be both useful and inspiring especially in regards to entrepreneurship. Because i do not want to spoil anything for potential readers, i will not go into depth with the principle of zigzagging. In addition to the zigzagging principle itself, i liked the descriptions of catalyzing sta Brief review: I read this book as a part of 12booksin2012 ( http://www.12booksgroup.com/ or on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1... ) I enjoyed reading this book. I believe that the zig-zag principle can be both useful and inspiring especially in regards to entrepreneurship. Because i do not want to spoil anything for potential readers, i will not go into depth with the principle of zigzagging. In addition to the zigzagging principle itself, i liked the descriptions of catalyzing statements, the linkage to values and setting up guardrails and boundaries. This was particular helpful for me, as i believe that it gave me an insight in that i have the same tendencies and time (mis-)management issues as Rich (the author) has experienced in his younger years. The book is useful as a reference for yourself and can enhance the understanding of how You either as an individual or as an entrepreneur can develop your business. Furthermore the book is packed with personal touch and stories, which makes it very easy to relate to the principles explored. Inspiring principles, well structured, well written, well done!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Des Hague

    Great book on a unique strategy for starting a business. The trick to lasting success is to take time to plan out every move - to go in a ‘zigzag’ pattern - instead of barrelling ahead to the finish line. Christiansen gives readers the tools they need to create a strategy for lasting success in a startup. He breaks his steps into four sections: 1. Focus on the mission: Defining the values of the company. 2. The ‘zig’ principle: Making the company profitable. 3. The ‘zag’ principle #1: Adopting a Great book on a unique strategy for starting a business. The trick to lasting success is to take time to plan out every move - to go in a ‘zigzag’ pattern - instead of barrelling ahead to the finish line. Christiansen gives readers the tools they need to create a strategy for lasting success in a startup. He breaks his steps into four sections: 1. Focus on the mission: Defining the values of the company. 2. The ‘zig’ principle: Making the company profitable. 3. The ‘zag’ principle #1: Adopting additional resources. 4. The ‘zag’ principle #2: Scaling up. I recommend this book to anyone thinking of starting a business, or just looking for a new lease on life. Christiansen takes an unconventional approach to success, but it is the only way that works.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    This was one of those books I wasn't sure why I was reading it, because I didn't, at this point in my life and my business's life, need to get into any more of this stuff. But it was good for something, because, less for my business than for personal stuff, it helped me finally identify the stage I was currently at, and where I needed to think of moving to next, which was a place I'd concluded must be it, but I wasn't sure. This book, in that sense, was pretty much "the one helpful thing" becaus This was one of those books I wasn't sure why I was reading it, because I didn't, at this point in my life and my business's life, need to get into any more of this stuff. But it was good for something, because, less for my business than for personal stuff, it helped me finally identify the stage I was currently at, and where I needed to think of moving to next, which was a place I'd concluded must be it, but I wasn't sure. This book, in that sense, was pretty much "the one helpful thing" because, having read many books like this one, this was the only one I've heard of that identified such stages the way I was experiencing them and concluding them to be. This might not speak to other people that way at all, but it was there at the right time for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    I received this as part of the First Reads program. I was honestly not expecting too much, another business book, but I ended up enjoying it. It has some of the standard messages you would expect from a business book, but also some good insights that I haven't seen elsewhere. It lays out the principles in a pretty straightforward manner and with clear, simple stories to help illustrate the points. I did find the constant reinforcements of the message to be slightly annoying at times (I like to t I received this as part of the First Reads program. I was honestly not expecting too much, another business book, but I ended up enjoying it. It has some of the standard messages you would expect from a business book, but also some good insights that I haven't seen elsewhere. It lays out the principles in a pretty straightforward manner and with clear, simple stories to help illustrate the points. I did find the constant reinforcements of the message to be slightly annoying at times (I like to think that I'm not stupid), but that was really my only complaint. It has inspired me to make some changes to my life in the new year and gave me a feeling of hope about changing certain things. What more can you ask of such a book?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adam Grow

    This book is fantastic for teaching practical rules in building a business. The author isn't trying to teach you some theory he came up with, but a strategy he has proven several times over. His sensible, calm and logical approach to business makes sense, and it gets you really excited to start putting these principles to use. Though The Zigzag Principle is an easy read, it's worth way more than so many "in-depth" books because of how driven it gets you to work hard on something that makes sense This book is fantastic for teaching practical rules in building a business. The author isn't trying to teach you some theory he came up with, but a strategy he has proven several times over. His sensible, calm and logical approach to business makes sense, and it gets you really excited to start putting these principles to use. Though The Zigzag Principle is an easy read, it's worth way more than so many "in-depth" books because of how driven it gets you to work hard on something that makes sense.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Eikenberry

    I’ve read lots of books on goal setting and achievement, both those with a personal focus and a business or organizational focus. This book, by its title, purports it will help you both personally and professionally. At some levels it does, and I see it more valuable on the business side. - See more at: http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leade... I’ve read lots of books on goal setting and achievement, both those with a personal focus and a business or organizational focus. This book, by its title, purports it will help you both personally and professionally. At some levels it does, and I see it more valuable on the business side. - See more at: http://blog.kevineikenberry.com/leade...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Stevens

    Based on the preview, this book sounds very promising. I like to think I am in control and gaining insight into how to better flow with the problems that crop up and the detours that seem irrelevant would be beneficial.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Serene NG

    It just crystalize my thoughts on my zigzag goals i have in life. More clarity now as i moved on with this Zigzag Principle from Rich. Keep looking, finding and searching. Eventually i will reach my goal in a zigzag way. Thank you Rich.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    Very practical, doable approach. Will add it to my business library.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Longo

    Great read. Speaks to the struggle of building your brand, whether personal or corporate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Radwa

    The idea may not be brand new, but the presentation itself is the trick.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rickey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jimy Ferrer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rahul Singh

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reed Starkey

  22. 4 out of 5

    JUSTIN

  23. 5 out of 5

    Милутин Маринковић

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sathish Kumar

  25. 4 out of 5

    James Harward

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Johnson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo Corradi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Austin Lewis

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Grimaud

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ngo Danh

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