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The Zigzag Principle: The Goal Setting Strategy that will Revolutionize Your Business and Your Life Hardcover – October 4, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rich Christiansen spent the first half of his career as an executive, running the PC division of Mitsubishi Electronics, working at Novell, and becoming general manager of About.com. Today, he is in high demand as a mentor and small business consultant. Christiansen is coauthor of Bootstrap Business: A Step-by-Step Business Survival Guide.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071774580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071774581
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Chancellor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There is certainly no shortage of books teaching how to set and achieve goals. In The ZigZag Principle, Rich Christiansen, the author brings a unique perspective to the process. Most books on the subject teach the direct approach. Figure out where you want to go and charge full steam ahead toward your goal.

If you have been in the business world even for a short time period, you have probably met someone who was hard charging, running over anyone and anything that got in their way. While this approach produces short terms results, the long term effects are crash and burn. As Mr. Christiansen points out, that approach is not sustainable. In fact it is normally quite destructive. There is a better way - The Zigzag Principles.

The book starts with a little story about the author and his son on a skiing trip. This was his son's third trip and he was still in the beginner's stage. Somehow they made a wrong turn and ended up on a very steep, black diamond run. Instead of heading straight down hill to a certain wipe out, Rich told his son to zigzag safely down the hill.

The same principles apply in business and life. Instead of trying to go head on at or through all obstacles, learn to zigzag around them.

While the principles of the book work in both business and life, the book is written primarily for the entrepreneur. The first section of the book deals with foundational issues. You must know your values and where you want to go. Once the foundational issues are solid, it is time to move to the three zigzag principles.

The first principle is to get to cash first. Far too many businesses fail because they do not understand and follow this principle. Focus on making the business profitable.
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Format: Hardcover
The Zig Zag Principle is an easy to read book that offers some great ideas on setting goals and starting businesses. It is a practical guide that boils down the basics of business in digestible bites and makes the process simple to implement. It is refreshing to see an entrepreneurship book that focuses on the right things . . . resources, cash, and scaling. It is easy to get caught up in overcomplicated business plans and life plans that are not achievable. This book will show you how to quickly get where you want to go without overextending yourself.

What I Liked:

* The value equation: what mental capital and relationship capital mean for a new business
* "Entrepreneurship is having the courage to wonder in the fog."
* How to set achievable goals that overlap areas of influence and concern
* Building a foundation of values and how to set and mind the guardrails
* The first thing your business should do: Be profitable! This is often lost in business literature and is a point that bears repeating again and again. Rich Christiansen does an excellent job of emphasizing the importance of cash first. Don't focus on your website, SEO, contacts, network, newsletter, business plan, systems plan, or anything else until you are profitable. Focus on the 20% that will get you there.
* Great worksheets throughout the book to encourage the right kind of goal setting

What I Did Not Like:

* The last Zig is the weakest in explanation. Could have used more support on The Four Rules of Scale. However, the decision matrix outlined in this section is a very helpful decision making tool and the principle of scaling is just as important as the first two.

All in all, its a great book on entrepreneurship that is an easy read.
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Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
My name is Kelsey and I graduated from college with a business degree, thinking I knew what it took to start a small business. Boy was I wrong. When I first got married my husband had a pretty good job, (enough to support our family) so I talked him into letting me start my own small business. I had read business books before, or at least what I could before they got so boring I wanted to throw them through the window.
I thought I had a good idea so off I went into the business world. Two short months later I was back. Broke, bruised and tired.
Enough about me. That was four years ago. I recently picked up a copy of The ZigZag Principle and it has totally changed my perspective on the way to start and handle your own business. There were so many great things I learned in this book but I only want to share two.

'-The first "Zig" (you will learn about zigs and zags) is a drive to profitability.
"This first zig requires sheer grit and determination... Whether you are starting out in life or starting a business-or are broke and stating over-your first zig always needs to take you toward profitability." I loved that. That is exactly how i failed in the first place. I didn't have enough money after the first month to keep up.
'-Failing efficiently.
"What I mean by failing efficiently is that if you can't get to profitability, you need to accept the fact that you have nowhere left to go."
This is great information. The book teaches you to get out before the devastating consequences.

I loved this book. I am planning to put each and everyone of these strategies into my next business.
A great and interesting read!
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