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Phil KristiansonPhil Kristianson is a Professional EOS Implementer at EOS Worldwide, where he helps entrepreneurs and leadership teams unlock their full potential by implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in their organizations. With over 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, Phil has successfully built, operated, and exited multiple businesses across various industries.

Throughout his career, Phil has been a prominent member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), holding numerous leadership positions and contributing to the growth and development of the entrepreneurial community. His expertise spans business operations, growth strategies, organizational development, and team leadership.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Phil Kristianson shares his entrepreneurial journey and the founding of his company
  • How Phil discovered EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) and its impact on business operations
  • The importance of Vision, Traction, and Healthy aspects in the EOS model
  • The relationship between the visionary entrepreneur and the integrator in an organization
  • Phil’s experience exiting his Hawaii business during the pandemic and its effect on his entrepreneurial focus
  • The implementation process of the EOS system and its powerful impact on organizations
  • Phil’s insights on navigating change and embracing opportunities in the current economic climate

In this episode…

In an ever-changing business landscape, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to adapt and find effective strategies for success. Phil Kristianson shares his journey and insights into navigating business cycles and implementing EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) to empower organizations.

Throughout his career, Phil discovered the value of the EOS system to simplify operations and focus on the essential aspects of Vision, Traction, and a Healthy team dynamic. The EOS model helps create a balance between visionary entrepreneurs and integrators, allowing businesses to thrive and maintain steady progress.

In this episode of the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast, John Corcoran speaks with Phil Kristianson, a Professional EOS Implementer at EOS Worldwide, about his experience during the pandemic, exiting his Hawaii business, and refocusing his entrepreneurial energy. Phil cites the importance of staying prepared for change and the role of entrepreneur networks in staying informed about emerging trends.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02

Welcome to the Rising Entrepreneurs Podcast where we feature top founders and entrepreneurs and their journey. Now let’s get started with the show.

John Corcoran 0:13

Alright, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here I am the co host of this show. And for those of you who’ve never listened to this program before, check out our archives because we’ve got great interviews with smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs from all kinds of different companies. And I’m also the co founder Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And this episode, of course, brought to you by EO San Francisco, which is the local chapter in the San Francisco Bay area of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which is a global peer to peer network of more than 16,000 Plus influential business owners in 200 chapters across 60 plus countries. And if you’re the founder, co founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a company that generates over a million dollars a year in revenue, and want to connect with other like minded successful entrepreneurs, then eo is for you. And you can learn all about how it works and come to a test drive at And my guest here today is Phil Kristianson now I’ve known Phil for quite some time now I’ve had the benefit of being in trainings with him. And he’s phenomenal does an amazing job. He’s both a member of our chapter and also a sponsor. So thank you, Phil, for everything that you contribute. He’s an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader, he’s based out of Sacramento. He has over three, three decades of experience starting and running successful businesses, including at the ripe old age of nine selling kindling needed from discarded material, we’re going to ask him all about that story. And he now is a professional trainer facilitator for several programs within Entrepreneurs’ Organization. And also EOS Entrepreneurial Operating System, which is a phenomenal tool for all of you entrepreneurs that are running around with your head cut off, it helps to put some organization in place. And so we’re going to talk a lot about his work there. And Phil, thanks so much for giving us a slice of your time. Here today. I know how valuable it is, every time I talk to you. I come away with some bit of wisdom that leaves me for the better. And I want to dive into your story. First of all, as a kid, you saw an opportunity you were raised by some parents who wanted to teach you to be scrappy and industrious and, and self supporting. And there’s a story about your father pushing you to go make something of some extra wood and sell it. So tell us about how you ended up selling kindling Door to Door of all things.

Phil Kristianson 2:36

Yeah, thanks, John. I grew up in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. And my, my father was a he built logging roads, that was his his profession, but he was very into woodworking and one of the neighbors wanted to have a shake roof and he bought all of the materials. And but he was too busy and his health was failing a bit. And so my dad thought it would be a good idea for me to help him out. So my dad turned a mallet out of wood on his lathe and bought me a sheiks wedding fro which is a big blade with a wooden handle and introduced us and he let me negotiate the deal. And so the the neighbor was paying me per square, which is 100 square feet to split shakes for him. And so I started doing that was really hard work. The pay wasn’t great, as I figured out later, but so these are like wood. These are the kind of the wood, what’s the word tile or whatever that you put on a roof. They’re split, here.

John Corcoran 3:48

Okay, so you’re like cutting them up?

Phil Kristianson 3:50

Yeah, so I’m splitting these shakes. And when the shake block got small enough where you couldn’t make a shake, you would just discard it. And one day I realized this would make really great kindling. So I just started to take these scraps and split them into little cute little squares and put them into grocery bags. And I just started going to my neighbors that I realized that they had a chimney they had a fireplace. And it turns out, I was making more money selling the kindling, that I was splitting shakes. And truth be told, I think I got a little less efficient in my shake splitting, making the had the script.

John Corcoran 4:30

Oh, I don’t know what happened to this one. I’ve lost another one.

Phil Kristianson 4:33

But I yeah, I just I remember that really. I was way more excited to knock on doors and sell this kindling and I was to split the shakes and that’s probably when the my entrepreneurial gene kicked in.

John Corcoran 4:48

And you also later in high school. There’s some great lessons in this you apprentice as a boat builder, and a cabinet maker and you learn from the person that you were working with that is was an interesting combination of doing something that they loved, which was building the boats but wasn’t as profitable. And it was actually the kitchen work the cabinet work that was more profitable to tell us a little bit about that experience.

Phil Kristianson 5:13

Yeah, so throughout high school, I apprenticed at Grand Banks Dorie works. And the person who ran it ended up being a great my first mentor. And I watched him do what he loved to do. His passion was boat building. But he wasn’t very good at making money at it. And so he would build boats, and then run out of money. And then he would build kitchens, which he was quite profitable at. And I sort of watched this dynamic. And I think the thing I was left with was, you know, how do you integrate the thing that you’re passionate about, but also have it support you financially so that you weren’t jumping from one thing to another? And so it’s something that stuck with me is paying attention to try and integrate passion with business.

John Corcoran 6:03

Now, you said you grew up in British Columbia. And I’m, I think I’ve heard this story somewhere before, but somehow you end up in Hawaii, you’re in you’re in Sacramento now. But saw you and open Hawaii? Did you board a boat and just go out to Hawaii? What’s the story behind that?

Phil Kristianson 6:19

So I was heading to California on my motorcycle at 18. I figured, yeah, California was the place to be. I had all these great, you know, images from television of what California was. And I stopped off at a friend’s place in Vancouver just to overnight, before I headed down through Seattle, and I ended up hooking up with his roommate. And I was 18. She was 29, which is pretty awesome. And ended up never making it to California at the time. And we had a summer romance. And at the end of summer, she was heading off to Hawaii because she had some family there. And I realized that I was missing her. And so I packed up everything I had and headed off to white teachers, usually a woman that he.

John Corcoran 7:05

You followed a girl. And what did you do when you got there? What was the plan?

Phil Kristianson 7:12

Just, you know, at first, it was just an adventure and ended up on the Big Island burst and then jumped around different islands ended up down in American Samoa for a while. And yeah, it was just it was a really cool adventure and ended up staying. And

John Corcoran 7:31

I know you ended up in just starting a general contractor business. Did you kind of just keep yourself busy and afloat by doing odd jobs and construction work?

Phil Kristianson 7:42

Yeah, I mean, I, you know, I had all the skill that I built during high school around construction, and so did finished carpentry ended up working for a general contractor. And then at one point decided to start my own general contracting company, the idea I was hanging around a lot of artists at the time. And the idea was I was going to be a general contractor that would do artists installation, if they did really cool, big, complex physical projects. Realize that that was probably too narrow a scope. And I did a couple of couple of them and don’t feel as much like my mentor, there was no money in it. And so

John Corcoran 8:21

Could be an extra Burning Man now, but this is, I think, pretty Burning Man.
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