Chris Williams on Clarity, Power & Follow-through
Marni: [00:00:00] Hey, so here on the entire life summit today, I have a Chris Williams. Chris, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and we'll be glad to get to know you.
Chris Williams: [00:00:14] Absolutely Marni. Well, first of all, thanks for having me on this. And I'm so impressed with you for putting all of this together, giving people an opportunity to learn from this, many people at once. It is such a tremendous accomplishment, let alone just the value that everybody's going to get at us. Just so thrilled. I can't wait to watch all the other speakers and learn, learn, learn.
Marni: [00:00:37] I know some of them, one of them as I was interviewing her, I liked her lead magnet so much. I'm like, I want that one.
Chris Williams: [00:00:44] You do that, right?
That's the way I do it all the time. Yeah. I'm always talking to other entrepreneurs on the phone. What are you doing here? They're like, Oh man, that's such a good idea. Yeah. Well, let me tell you a bit about me. So for me, being an entrepreneur, I think, is in my blood or my experience. And I [00:01:00] don't think people are necessarily born entrepreneurs, meaning successful or not as entrepreneurs.
I think that's a learned skill, but I think there are some traits, personality pieces, or experiential life pieces that build people into what it takes to be an entrepreneur. So for me, in the early stages of being an entrepreneur, I was cutting grass. I traded someone a lawnmower to be able to cut their grass all summer long.
And then I got to use that lawnmower to cut other people's grass. And I got to build a lawn business. Right. And I was 11. And so I already had the work drive. I loved being out and doing something. I had a hard time sitting still, I guess. And, and that was beneficial. So when I sold that, when I was 21 with three crews, the trucks, all the equipment, all that stuff.
That paid for a lot of the fun that we had in college and traveling. My wife and I were getting to date and do an enormous amount of cool things and then got married, all that kind of stuff. But apart [00:02:00] from just the early stages of that journey, learning to sell, get customers, build teams, and all the operational stuff you learn doing any business.
I think it's life that crafts us. And many people are watching this because they're entrepreneurs. There's a really consistent data pattern in entrepreneurship. Often, people who are entrepreneurs come from hard backgrounds. And it's not to say that everyone has to have a hard background to be a successful entrepreneur, but there's something in entrepreneurship that is hard, and you have to overcome and build and grow and change constantly.
And for me, I came from a really abusive home. There's no other way to say it. Physically and emotionally, spiritually abusive home. And it took decades. If anybody's been there and you're listening, you're watching it. You know, it takes a long time. You may not have started healing from that. You may be on the journey of healing.
You may be through it, but it takes a lot of time and effort. It takes emotional energy. It takes problem-solving. [00:03:00] It takes that will and determination to overcome and grind through it. Some days you don't think you're going to make it some days, you know, you're going to make it there's everything in between.
Yeah. That's entrepreneurship. That is, that is at its crux, what it is. And we have so much to figure out, particularly if you're doing your own thing and not buying someone else's 20-year old business that's already running that you're building, you're creating,
Chris Williams: [00:03:24] it takes so much effort.
Marni: [00:03:26] Yeah, yeah. It's really cool.
Well, thank you for sharing that. I come from a similar background, and you know having challenges. But the nice thing is, is that my family were real entrepreneurs. My grandfather started in the Canadian Bush up in Canada with twenty-five bucks.
He was amazing. He ended up being a multimillionaire, and I grew up on a ski area and a summer [00:04:00] golf resort. So that was my winter and my summer. Right. From something that he created. So yeah, I get you. And then, there was, you know, abuse along the way, not from my grandparents at all, they are freaking awesome, but like my stepfather and, you know,
Marni: [00:04:17] stuff like that.
So I'm, I've been there, and I get that. I think we were talking when I first interviewed you about landmark doing landmark. Yeah, that helped me a lot. So yeah, what you're saying is so absolutely true. I love connecting with the speakers and getting to know you guys. It's so
interesting. The thread that ran through them and ended up being a little bit anti-authoritarian seems to be one of the things there, you know, and yeah. Cool. So [00:05:00] I'm proud of us for being entrepreneurs. So tell us what helps you get clarity.
Chris Williams: [00:05:11] Good question. So for me, in, in my busy life, I guess my busy brain more than my life really.
For me, clarity comes from being outside. I need the sky, and I need trees. I need grass., water, and all those natural things around me. That is where I go to live, to breathe. I can feel it emotionally, just talking, I'm like picturing myself outside, going for a hike, walking, or running a bike with the dog.
Probably not with kids. I love my kids, Jill and I have five. They're fantastic, but it doesn't give you the Headspace to be clear, right, if you're running around with a bunch of little kids. So it's just time outside for me and breathing and walking and just stopping to think. When I go out and get [00:06:00] clarity, I leave the phone.
I leave the headphones, and everything stays behind. And I just go to be with my thoughts and with nature. That is where it's at for me.
Marni: [00:06:10] That's beautiful.
Chris Williams: [00:06:12] Yeah.
Marni: [00:06:12] For me, it's, it's the ocean. I have to be able to see the ocean, or it's like, I don't know. I get, I get sad.
Chris Williams: [00:06:25] Totally understand that.
Marni: [00:06:27] I have to see my ocean.
And I love going out on my deck every day. This morning, actually, I was so sad. We've got a kind of plexiglass along the cliffs that run along with our property. And there was a little Finch, and he had hit it. We had a little Finch funeral this morning, but I love going up there, listening to the birds and all the flora and the phonic hits right on the cliff there. We've got a beautiful, like, [00:07:00] large area.
Chris Williams: [00:07:00] So. Wow.
Marni: [00:07:03] Love that. Love that
Chris Williams: [00:07:05] we can do interviews at your house from now on. That should be how we do these interviews.
Marni: [00:07:09] Absolutely. You can come to visit me. You can come to me. We've got an Epic view here in Solana beach, out over the race track and the ocean there. It's
Marni: [00:07:21] wonderful. Tell us what about power, as you know, sometimes there are days when we have, you know, basic where things just don't go.
Right. Right. So how do you power through those? Or how do you have the willpower to carry on when things get kind of tough? Cause they do.
Chris Williams: [00:07:48] That's a really interesting question. So let me give you a little more background about what I do professionally now because I think it ties in well to that. I'm an efficiency and team-building guy.
So I run and [00:08:00] own a creative agency. We do full service messaging and marketing for really specialized surgeons and really niche communities. Very, very niche down, but, but I love the efficiencies, and I love the team-building piece of that because I love time. So for me, time is restorative, right? It gives me time to go outside.
I work less than 30 minutes a day, probably. And I love teaching and investing in others in my, in my free time. But when my head gets so caught up in the teaching and training and doing with other people, it starts to get really clouded. And I start feeling sad, and as the old feelings of depression and anxiety I used to deal with when I was healing from all the trauma.
All that starts coming back out, not trauma, but there are old patterns. Those, you know, those old ways of thinking are kind of like ruts in the road. And when we start slipping off where we're supposed to be. Old things come back.
Marni: [00:08:58] your ear.
[00:09:00] Chris Williams: [00:08:59] Yeah, you're right there. So, for me, just making sure that I look back at the structures that I'm keeping, there are freedom and structure.
And as an entrepreneur, none of us love structure. None of us want to have a boss. That's a prison. Right? But the S the frameworks that we choose are freeing. I know. So it's time management that always comes back to it. Am I working more hours than I should? Am I, even if I'm only working 30 minutes a day, am I doing this all day long?
Right. I was staring at my phone. Yeah. That's working. So I have to be really disciplined to shift back and say, where's the structure? Where are the parameters that will keep me safe and keep me heading down a really healthy path?
Marni: [00:09:49] I remember when we talked earlier, you had mentioned that of Facebook, you only have two tabs open.
Chris Williams: [00:09:58] Yeah. Yeah. So on my, [00:10:00] on my Chrome browser, there are two links at the top, you know, a little bit marks. I have my Facebook group that I lead linked to there because I enjoy interacting with people through Facebook messenger, and I enjoy the people in my own group.
I do not go anywhere else on Facebook, literally nowhere else, except my group and my messenger to answer questions.
Marni: [00:10:29] That's awesome.
Chris Williams: [00:10:31] It just drains your soul. I don't know. That's horrible. Sorry, Mark Zuckerberg. It just like, it's not evil or bad. It just, you get in there, and all of a sudden, everyone else's creativity and ideas and best and worst are pouring into your heart.
As entrepreneurs, as creative people, we need the heart space to formulate our ideas so we can lead others and Facebook or social media platforms are typically the opposite of that.
[00:11:00] Marni: [00:11:00] Right. Right. It's about that clarity, right? It gives you that clarity by not having a fire hose.
You know at you. And so, just so the last piece of it, follow through? It's so funny that you said that there is freedom in structure. I have said that literally. Three or four times on this summit and you said it, I'm like, Oh my God, we're all going down the same road.
We know it. And, and that's, it's, it's reassuring to hear, and it should be for all of you attendees, you know, when you hear it, the exact same thread. And that's one of the reasons I wanted to do it this way. When you hear the same things coming through these successful business owners,
Chris Williams: [00:11:49] you
Marni: [00:11:50] know when that thread is constant, that's a truth.
Right. It's kind of like how I look at religion where it's the [00:12:00] commonality between all of them. Okay. There's such truth.
Chris Williams: [00:12:04] Right.
Marni: [00:12:05] And I just, I forget everything else. If it's not common, it's just fluff.
Chris Williams: [00:12:12] That's a really great lead-in for what to do. So from an action taking standpoint, when I go to conferences or when I attend a virtual summit like this.
Two things happen in my head. One is I'm blown away by everybody's amazing story and how successful they are and how much they can do and all the things that are so cool. And I want to be like everybody on stage, right? And then I have to get down to brass tacks, and they say that I forget the numbers, but it's like, you lose like 80 to 90% of the information you get within like 12 to 24 hours.
When I'm going to a conference, I am making notes on my laptop or paper. I'm looking for things that apply to me. And then I go back at the end of each day, and I look for the common, like you said, those common threads that apply to me that I've seen in 10 or 12 or 20 liters, [00:13:00] whatever it is.
And if I can find those threads and realize that's a consistent pattern, most people are finding success with it. I want to emulate that because that means it's not nuance to a personality or a time in life or an opportunity they grew up having. It's a common thread. So with that, when I get that bit of information, it comes down to execution, and I teach all the people I get to lead.
But the execution is really 90% of what we should be doing as entrepreneurs. Yeah,
Marni: [00:13:31] absolutely ideas. Aren't the thing.
Chris Williams: [00:13:33] No easy
Marni: [00:13:35] ideas. Like, Oh my God, my boyfriend can come up with 15,000 ideas in one day
Chris Williams: [00:13:41] and
Marni: [00:13:42] You know, I'm always like, okay, well, how are we going to execute that? How are all the little pieces going to come together?
Chris Williams: [00:13:48] And that's,
Marni: [00:13:50] the hard part, but the valuable part.
Chris Williams: [00:13:53] Yeah, it is getting things done. There are so many books, and there are so many podcasts. There are so many conversations like this, about it, [00:14:00] but unfortunately, most of us entrepreneurs, we love learning. We love a new shiny object, and we love it. Going to the next podcast or reading the hottest new book.
But, if you took the best business books or podcasts series, you can find today that talks like a three-part five-part series about some fundamental business piece. If you spent all of the next year working on that one thing and became an expert at that, doing it, changing your life with it, you would get way farther than if you tried to ingest a hundred or even ten leaders' information. So pick one, pick that common thread, determined to do it, set milestones along the way for the next several months, and get it done and get accountability. Find a friend or family. Tell them what you're doing. Get accountability and get it done.
Marni: [00:14:49] Awesome. Awesome. That is, that is such good points there.
I totally get that. So tell us, what would you like to give [00:15:00] to the attendees today for them to take away so that they can get more information, but what you do and, and how you can help
Chris Williams: [00:15:06] them? Yes. So in my creative agency, we deal with many surgeons, assuming there are not many surgeons watching it.
If there are, feel free to reach out, but the best thing I can do for entrepreneurs is our elite agency mastermind.com website. So elite agency mastermind.com. Yes, it's a sales page. It's a funnel. And believe it or not, we've never sold one thing through that page because that is not how you join my mastermind, but there is information about it, but here's why I'm sending people there.
The top of that page has a scoring video where we actually walk you through how to score your agency or business. It works for any business. I've been using it for years. It's a series of questions, and I walk you through the questionnaire right there on the screen. You can take out a piece of paper and follow along.
And you can find out where you're weak or where you're strong in your business, in the areas [00:16:00] of profitability processes and people. And then you can really narrow down and take what you're learning from this summit and say, here's that common thread that deals with profitability or processes or people, whatever.
And here's why I should focus on it. And what I should focus on first just kind of helps you bring clarity because clarity is that strategy piece that we should spend about 5% of our life on, but then it gets down to execution. So go through a little training, gain clarity, and then do the freaking work.
Do the work, get results every time. Awesome.
Marni: [00:16:32] Awesome. Thank you so much,
Chris Williams: [00:16:34] Chris.
Marni: [00:16:35] We have been, yeah, you've been a real joy to interview today, and all the best to you going forward.
Chris Williams: [00:16:42] Thanks so much. See everybody.