Momentum Podcast: 199
Why Climb The Code
by Alex Charfen
Why climb the Code? Growing a business, going up the Billionaire Code is one of the most difficult undertakings a human being can commit to in their lifetimes. It's also one of the most spiritual and the most rewarding. Make no mistake, it is one of the most difficult. In my career, I've spoken to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs. One of the questions that I often ask is, “How hard was it for you to start your business?” I've had people say, “It was harder than getting over cancer.” “It was harder than when I got cancer.” “It was harder than my divorce.” “It was harder than,” and you answer just about anything else and I've heard it. Starting a business, going up the Billionaire Code for an entrepreneur is traumatic.
Going up the Billionaire Code is one of the most difficult undertakings anyone can commit to in their lifetime. The day you declare you declare yourself an entrepreneur is the day you become a commodity. The Billionaire Code comes with a warning. If you’ll not willing to let go of your ego and make behavioral change, it will not work. This isn’t for everyone.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. Instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive, human evolution and we always will be.
Why climb the Code? Growing a business, going up the Billionaire Code is one of the most difficult undertakings a human being can commit to in their lifetimes. It's also one of the most spiritual and the most rewarding. Make no mistake, it is one of the most difficult. In my career, I've spoken to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs. One of the questions that I often ask is, "How hard was it for you to start your business?" I've had people say, "It was harder than getting over cancer.” “It was harder than when I got cancer." "It was harder than my divorce." "It was harder than," and you answer just about anything else and I've heard it. Starting a business, going up the Billionaire Code for an entrepreneur is traumatic.
Here's what happens. The day you declare yourself an entrepreneur is the day you become both a product and a commodity. You now become a liability, because you've stood up to the world and said, "No. I don't work at Chase as an accountant executive. No, I'm an entrepreneur. What does that mean? Judge all of me, judge who I am, look at me because I'm the entrepreneur." We all know that's what happens.
Make no mistake, that's how society looks at us. I mean they judge ... People judge entrepreneurs constantly. That's why the most successful among us are called The 1%. For anyone going up the Code, it's difficult. Here's the reason why I think you should still try. If you're listening to my podcast, you will always want more and you know it. When's the place where you're going to be satisfied? Does that word even exist in your vocabulary? Are you just going to kick back one day and be okay when you get to some level where everything doesn't bother you anymore?
Or is your need for momentum so visceral and so real that it will always call for more? If that's who you are, if that's how you feel, then I want you to know, you can do this. You should climb the Billionaire Code. Here's what happens, as you ascend to each higher level of this framework is as you drop the behaviors from one place and pick up the new ones, and you make sure you add process or a project or a person in place to keep doing what you were doing, and as you modify and as you change, each higher level gives you greater leverage. You now can do more in the world. You can have a greater effect. You're affecting more people. You're making more happen.
You're still one human being who has the same 24 hours in the day, but there is more time and effort and energy being focused on you and your product and your outcomes, so you also have greater speed to execution. The bigger your team gets, the more you can accomplish, the more you can achieve, the more you can put out into the world because you can't possibly know everything there is to know in a business, unless you make a really small business. I wouldn't suggest you do that.
Once you get to any size of a business, you can't be the expert in everything. Let's be honest, when you start a business, you can't be the expert in everything. You just have to. As you grow the business, you have this opportunity to go out and recruit expertise. This week, one of the most exciting weeks of my career because I've been able to recruit back someone I've worked with in the past. His name is Matt [Olia 00:05:04]. He is one of the most brilliant business minds I've ever worked with.
He worked with me years ago and helped us manage a continuity product, that was a $99 continuity product, that he helped us grow from about 2,000 members to over six million dollars a year. He is incredible. I know what he's capable of and it's so much more than I am when it comes to marketing, far more. He has a genius and a view and a way of looking at this, it's so much better than anything I could pray to come up with.
I know that our company is going to completely change, and so I have much ... And it's not just greater speed to execution, it's a higher quality. Any entrepreneur that can't admit that by going out and hiring the right people they will do better than you do, then you're in for a humbling. Every time you hire someone, you're going to end up seeing that eventually they start doing things better than you do. I know Matt will. I'm 100% certain of him, because I've worked with him before.
With each higher level of the Billionaire Code, especially once you get past builder and operator and leader, what gets fun is that you're building more and more insulation from the pressure and noise of running a business. See, if you do things right and you build the right executive team, if you find the right people when you're at that one to three million dollar operator, and then at leader, you build a leadership team around you, an executive team around you that you learn how to have that leadership team.
Then, at the next level, owner, 10 to 30 million, you recruit. You develop that team. You have the executive team, the leadership teams. What happens is all of those teams, if you do things right, they insulate you from the noise. When you're the only person running the business, you know every sale. You know every complaint. You know every issue. You know every challenge. You start growing a larger organization and you don't have to know those things anymore. Your world gets quieter if you do it the right way.
You only have to talk to the executive leadership. You have conversations at a very high level. That's the next biggest thing that happens. At each level of the Billionaire Code you ascend, including the next one which I'll cover tomorrow, 100 million plus, you get not only greater insulation from the pressure and noise, but you enter into higher levels of leadership conversations. For people like you and I that are strategic, I've mentioned this before, the more strategic a conversation you can have, the better it is for us.
That's how we think, that's who we are. Having tactical conversations about how to do the thing is often difficult for people like us. Having strategic conversations about how to make big things happen, about how to create larger projects, how to make bigger outcomes, that's who we are. I know it's who you are. Until now, the needs weren't clear. It was ambiguous, like how to build a company. Now, as you go through the Billionaire Code, you know where to focus at each level so that you can graduate to the next one, and know exactly where to put your time.
This comes with a warning. I want you to understand something about the Billionaire Code. If you go to BillionaireCode.com and you enter your information and you get the framework and you start climbing this framework, I want you to know something, it's going to work. You have to be committed to being the right type of person to go through this framework. Here's what I mean by that.
Not everybody should try this. If you're not willing to make the following changes, if you don't have the following in you, then you should just not go to BillionaireCode.com. I would dissuade you from trying to do this. This content, if you do it and you follow it, it will move you up this ladder. If you're not willing to, one, give up your ego, you're going to have a hard time with this. I want to give you right now the realization that with clarity, that each time you achieve a new level of the Billionaire Code, you know who the person in the room who is a trainee is? It's you.
From this point forward, you will always be the trainee. If you're going to climb the Billionaire Code, you will always be leading an organization you have never led before and you don't have the experience to lead. Just get over it. You're going to be wrong all the time. Admit it to your team, hire intelligent people that will tell you you are wrong and you will still win.
Do not climb the Billionaire Code if, two, you're not willing to make behavioral change. In a vast growth company, the entrepreneur is always changing. By virtue of the fact that the company has grown, volume will change your position. Period. It's just how it works. You might be doing something similar. With CDPE, at the very beginning, I was doing, as a way to get leverage, I was doing webinars.
There was a period where, as a way to get leverage, I was on television three or four times a month, sometimes more than that. Same type of activity but one, I was sitting at home in front a computer screen. The other one, I was in a broadcast studio in front of a camera. You're going to make behavioral change. I made behavioral change. It was still massive change. If you're in a fast growth company, you will be changing all the time so get used to change.
Then, if you're going to get used to change, if the world's going to be changing around you, if your business is going to be changing around you, this is why I am so driven to get everybody I work with on a morning routine and do a good planning system and with clear cadence in the company. The business will always be changing. That creates crazy noise for people like us. In order to get the noise down, that's the other thing you must do.
Three, create a morning routine and become a person of process. Create process so that you don't have to think about things in your life. Everything you're thinking about, everywhere you're using your intellectual capital to make decisions during the day, you are causing decision making fatigue in your business. There's a reason why so many billionaires wear the same thing every single day, because they know they don't have to make a decision.
Since I stopped making choices about my wardrobe, the amount of noise that that eliminates is insane. I know that my behavior is going to have to change near constantly. I'm always going to feel like I'm changing.
The next one, four, take radical care of yourself. If you're going to climb the Billionaire Code, the first thing that will stop you is an illness, an injury, a problem, some other type of challenge that you have. I don't want that to happen. I want you to be able to get through the Billionaire Code. If the world is always changing around you and things are going on and you have to be making behavioral change and your business is growing and new people around you all the time, because as you climb this Code, you just better get used to it, you have to take radical care of yourself. You will experience more pressure and noise.
Five, get used to being completely and totally transparent. Stop hiding stuff, just tell people what's going on. One of the things that I witnessed and observed with my friends that became wealthy, really wealthy, the people who have money that you couldn't spend in a lifetime, they were radically transparent. Some would say blunt, some would say they didn't have a lot of social kindness, but they were radically transparent. They told people exactly where they stood.
What I observed was, as a result, they got exactly what they wanted all of the time. Tell your team what's happening, tell them how you feel, tell them when you're frustrated, tell them when you need their help and be real with them. That doesn't mean be violent and yell and scream, transparent doesn't mean ... It doesn't give you a license to be a jerk. It just gives you a license to explain to people what's going on, so they can help you.
Then, the last one is get over feeling exposed and vulnerable. As you're climbing the Billionaire Code, you have to be able to let go of that feeling of needing to be safe. You're going to feel exposed and vulnerable over and over again. Every time you hire, every time you fire, every time you bring somebody in, every time the company grows to another level, you will be in a constant adjustment. You will have more exposure. You will have more vulnerability. That's why you have to take radical care of yourself, because this isn't easy.
If you're willing to do these things, at the top of the Billionaire Code is a completely and different life. A life where you get to be strategic, a life where you get to choose whatever you want to do, a life where when you want to make a change in the world, you can have it executed by saying you want it, rather than having to make it happen. What is true power? Is true power being able to have a lot of money? Is true power being able to do a lot of stuff? Or is true power being able to see something you want changed and being able to make that happen?
That's where I want to be. That's where I've always known I should be. I'm willing to admit that that's where I've always known I would end up. I think you probably, in your heart of hearts, would admit the same.
Thanks for being here with me tonight. If you're ready to see where you are on the Billionaire Code and to understand exactly what you should be focused on right now, go to BillionaireCode.com, answer a few questions for us and we will send you the full Billionaire Code framework. Then, check in with me tomorrow as I share the ninth level.