CEO of Mighty Ventures
Have you heard the one about the model, the monk and the millionaireChristine Comaford-Lynch has held all three titles – for starters.
The woman without a high school or college diploma has built five of her own businesses, been involved in 36 start ups and funded more than 200 including Google (an opportunity she landed because of diligent networking). She is a New York Times bestselling author, www.RulesForRenegades.com, has consulted with presidents Clinton and Bush, and once built a client base of 700 of the Fortune 1000 companies – in three years.
Her newest company, Mighty Ventures, helps entrepreneurs increase sales, product offerings, and company value. She started the business after trying to retire, but multiple requests for her services and the experience of caring for her dying father in his final days made her think about giving to others and leaving a legacy.
Launching in August of 2007, the company reached $100,000 in four months with only Christine and a few outsourced people. This year, with a team in place, she is on track to do $1million.
As child who grew up being called ‘useless’, Christine spent her life proving otherwise. At sixteen, she ran away to New York City to be a model. She became a Buddhist monk to gain the guidance and approval she never had from her father. She trained as a geisha to learn the secrets of power. She taught herself to program PC’s and landed positions with Microsoft and Lotus. Her remarkable path is detailed in her book ‘Rules for Renegades’, a must read for anyone who wants a fabulous career without giving up their personal life or their values.
What I learned from Christine: “Don’t sacrifice your life on the altar of success. Use your job as a path to self discovery.” When your values and career are in alignment, life gets easier and more rewarding.
Calling Microsoft’s Bluff – the Renegade Takes a Risk and Lands the Job
“When I called Microsoft in ‘86, I said, ‘Windows is a fabulous idea, congratulations. But it’s never going to succeed looking as lousy as it looks. If this is going to be the next world standard, you need me.’ And after their laughing fit, over the phone they said, ‘If you’re so smart, come and fix it.’ And I said, ‘Great, I’ll be there in an hour.’ And I actually showed up and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, that chick who called us with that prank call is here.’ Give them a reason to give you a chance and then prove yourself.”
What I Learned From Bill Gates
“Gates is supremely self-confident. But self confidence is a choice. We have to declare victory as we step onto the battle field.”
Where There’s Pain, There’s Profit
“When I started doing startup consulting, I realized that every company needed money and couldn’t afford me. I called some mentors. Within three months, we had $22 million dollars and focused on seed stage financing.”
It’s a Lifestyle. It’s a Business. No, Wait – It’s Both
“Build a personal life component to your business – plan to take time off throughout the year. Work with the right people. I recently fired a negative client. I want to work with upbeat, forward motion people. They’re the ones that can build a great business.”
Will that be Visa or MasterCard?
“I don’t like when people get financing through high interest credit cards. At www.propser.com, lenders are automatically matched with people who need financing. For a $25,000 loan, you might have as many as 30 interested lenders.”
Get the Right People on the Bus or Throw Yourself Under It
“It’s better to tough it out alone than to hire the wrong people. We just started using a technique called ‘top grading’ to build and retain ‘A’ players. You can buy the rapid read book for $7 at www.pritchettnet.com/catalog/HandbooksAlpha.asp#t.”
Acquire 700 Fortune 1000 Clients in Three Years? Yeah, I Can Do That.
“Accelerating business means reinventing yourself. We have to see or reinvent ourselves as people who can accomplish these things.”
Get More Business. Expose Yourself.
“Women have to go out of their way to develop credibility. For $100/month, www.prleads.com will give you press opportunities. After coming out of retirement, I got on http://technorati.com, made posts on blogs, got press, and refreshed my ‘linked in’ network (www.linkedin.com ). Raise your profile and opportunities will come.”
How Does a One-Woman Show Grow?
“We package my expertise, have different techniques for group learning and place a premium on individual personal attention from me.”
A Mighty Venture in the Making
“One of our clients was a makeup artist that wanted to start her own business after seven months in our group sessions, she raised $50,000 in funding, developed an advisory board, and boosted her profile. She recently made up some top celebrities and launched a non-profit program that helps young, at-risk girls develop a positive self image.”
The Zen of Networking
“When I was 19, I added my first contact to my Rolodex. Today I have 5,000 contacts and through them, I know one million more. Learn to love networking. Help others get what they want first. The universe has a perfect accounting system. What you give comes back. If you give to Jane and she doesn’t reciprocate, someone else will show up. So many entrepreneurs are lone rangers. Join a networking group and help foster other people’s career dreams. Life equals the people you meet plus what you create together.”
Hanging on When you Want to Give Up
“I’ve often said, ‘This is too hard.’ When I get discouraged, I make a list of what I’m tolerating. If you are getting drained and discouraged because people are slurping energy out of you, make a change.”
Curl Up With a Good Obituary – Yours
“I write my obituary and review it regularly. It’s about creating a legacy. I want people to say that I touched their lives and helped them achieve their own potential. Many people don’t believe they can achieve, when they can. I want to provide a path.”
Christine’s Next Launch
“We’re launching a platinum group next year where we will work very closely with just 30 businesses. We will meet for three days, three times a year. There will be monthly phone calls and personal access to me. This program will move people along much faster.”
This Featured Lady was profiled by Sandra Sellani, an author and business consultant specializing in marketing and branding. She is based in Newport Beach, California.