Certified EOS Implementer® Chris Naylor’s grandmother Irene always said you have to find your why before you find your what. She told her that finding that why allows someone to feel more energized and purposeful and to deliver great work.
To this day, Chris lives by the motto that finding your why will help you find your focus. And for her, the “why” is in the many small businesses she’s been able to help to overcome challenges, become more successful, and contribute to the good of society.
Raised in an Entrepreneur Family
As a child, Chris spent time in her grandmother’s beauty salon in Bemidji, Minnesota, running errands and soaking up local gossip. She remembered her grandmother taking days off when she wanted to and calling the shots. Other Naylors in the family-owned Naylor Electric. So she often heard family discussing aspects of owning businesses like how to solve problems or which opportunities to seize. As she grew older, the family enlisted her pro bono services of clerical and other grunt work.
Like many a rebellious teen, when she graduated high school, Chris decided to do the opposite of her family tradition. She went to college and got a job as a consultant working for a large corporation. There she would consult on organizational changes from mergers and acquisitions.
Before too long, she realized that — unlike her family of entrepreneurs — she was part of a giant machine, lacking control over her own career. So, she returned to the family model she knew so well by becoming an entrepreneur herself, hanging out a shingle as a business coach. Chris’s coaching company thrived by using her previous experience as a corporate consultant. But after years of growth, she hit a ceiling. As the sole employee, she could only do so much based on her limited time and energy. Chris realized her business had become a trade of dollars for hours.
Becoming an Implementer
Around this time, a fellow entrepreneur introduced Chris to EOS®, telling her to read the book Traction by EOS Founder Gino Wickman. She took one look at the cover and said: “This has a tire track on it. What does this have to do with me?” Chris didn’t read the book right away. Instead, she put it aside for a year. But EOS kept coming up in different conversations. Eventually, she read the book and felt immediately drawn to the system.
“The lightbulb went on,” she said. “I thought all my experience could be put into this model. My reality of how I want to work with a client is in this model.”
As soon as she finished reading the book, she signed up for a Professional Implementer Boot Camp™, certain she wanted to commit to EOS full time. And true to her Kolbe Quick Start Action Mode®, Chris marched into Boot Camp assuming she’d ad-lib her way through training with her experience. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that preparing may have served her better. Assigned to deliver “The Talk” for 90 minutes, she blanked and said she almost felt sick because she hadn’t prepared.
“I didn’t understand what I was getting into,” she said. “Because I had done so many of these types of sessions for so long, I figured I would absorb this and ad-lib. It was humble pie, and I learned my lesson. And that lesson has served me ever since, with meticulous pre-session preparation and post-session follow-through.”
Passion Areas of Focus
Now, nearly a decade later, she finds herself even more excited and energized by the EOS Model®. Chris loves helping business owners who may have hit their ceiling or find themselves experiencing burnout. She helps them use EOS as the “Rx” for burnout by teaching them how to elevate and delegate tasks to the right people in the company.
After working with more than 100 companies, the scenarios may vary, but Chris knows the value of the EOS Model to help. She said she looks at each company like a puzzle and collaborates with leaders on how to fit everything together. By working with small businesses, Chris feels like she’s making a real difference in the world. She said small businesses create employment, cultures, environments, and core values that perpetuate good values in the world.
“I’m making a difference in the world every single day,” she said. “Whether with clients or my family or at church, EOS allows me to do that. I can really impact teams and people and families and communities. That is just incredibly rewarding and purposeful for me.”
Mentoring New Implementers
When someone tells Chris that they think they want to become an EOS Implementer®, she likes to hear their why. She wants to know what motivates them and where their passions lie. She likes to ask a lot of questions before assuming anything.
“I would ask about core values because those are sacred to us,” Chris said. “I ask about their Core Focus® and whether they have read Traction. Because sometimes people talk about wanting to become an Implementer but haven’t read the book yet.”
Then she shares the reality of the pros and cons. She said becoming an Implementer serves as a wonderful way to impact the world.
“You can do what you love, with people you love, get paid fairly, have time for your passions and make a huge impact in the world,” she said. “And we all live our own versions of this EOS Life®.”
Chris said she has found the EOS Implementer Community provides a constant source of information, feedback, and inspiration. For someone open to honest feedback, these interactions serve an important function as everyone wants every Implementer to succeed.
But it all comes back to her why.
“I want to be remembered as a person who loved others,” Chris said. “That’s the bottom line for me. If you love others, then you care more. And if you care more, people can feel that you care and trust you enough to make a connection. And I get the benefit of that connection as well.”