Momentum Podcast: 219
When You Chase Two Rabbits
by Alex Charfen
I recently posted on Facebook a just simple sentence. If you run two businesses under one million dollars, you're going to struggle. And from time to time I make posts like that on Facebook because I wanna gauge what people are thinking, how people feel about business, what type of responses am I going to get about that. Because when I post something like that, what I'm really posting is my core belief around business. That is my core belief. I have a belief that if you are running a business under one million dollars and you're not all in on that business, that is the reason why you're struggling with the business.
Entrepreneurial anxiety is real. The faster we come to terms with it, the faster we can do something about it. So where does entrepreneurial anxiety come from? It comes from people like you and I wanting to be in momentum, make progress, get things done, and not being able to. If we lean in and embrace the anxiety, it will help us move forward.move the business forward. You also need to recognize and eliminate where you are uncomfortable. Don’t deny the anxiety. It only makes it worse.
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. And 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.
When you chase two rabbits. I recently posted on Facebook a just simple sentence. If you run two businesses under one million dollars, you're going to struggle. And from time to time I make posts like that on Facebook because I wanna gauge what people are thinking, how people feel about business, what type of responses am I going to get about that. Because when I post something like that, what I'm really posting is my core belief around business. That is my core belief. I have a belief that if you are running a business under one million dollars and you're not all in on that business, that is the reason why you're struggling with the business.
And if you have two businesses that you're trying to grow at the same time under two, or under one million dollars, the saying is, when you chase two rabbits one gets away. And the challenge with growing two businesses under one million dollars is that you have to face the fact that under a million dollars the entrepreneur is the greatest source of productivity in the business. Because you are going to be doing the most, you're going to be making the most decisions, you're going to be creating the most productivity especially in the first few 100,000, you have to be there doing it.
And if you're building a real business, drive it to seven figures and then beyond where you can start building a team and a leadership team and a real organization with real processes because then you have a business that's going to survive. And I was shocked at how many people push back and gave advice around running two businesses. I mean, when I say I was shocked, I was really, truly shocked. Because plenty of people said, "Well, I think you could do it or I would do it." And I started replying to people, "Well what size is your business? How many businesses have grown over a million dollars?" It was ... what was really shocking was how many people had an opinion, but had never grown a business beyond a million dollars.
Because here's what I can tell you from talking to 1,000's of entrepreneurs who have. Sorry, I was on a plane today. I'm a little dehydrated. I'm gonna hyper hydrate. Here's what I can tell you from talking to 1,000's of entrepreneurs who have grown businesses to a million dollars or more. They will tell you it's the hardest thing they ever done. When I asked the question, "How hard was it to start your business?" At conferences or when I keynote speak or when I'm in front of entrepreneurs, I get answers like, "It was the hardest thing I ever did." I actually had a person say it was harder than beating cancer, harder than my divorce, harder than when my son got sick.
Those are the types of answers I get because starting a business is that difficult. When you start a business, you have to find your avatar, find a lot of them in a low acquisition cost, then get them to buy your product, create a sales process that actually works. You're creating a movement around that business. Every successful business in history has been a movement. And it's hard to create two movements at the same time. And so when you try to grow two businesses, you're chasing two avatars, creating two sales process, trying to create two movements. It's just not going to go as well as it could.
And when you look at what really happens for entrepreneurs, when we get tactically overwhelmed in the present, that's when it makes it harder for us to do everything. Pressure and noise makes it harder for us to do everything. In fact, our superpowers, under high pressure and noise, make us look like we might need help, make us look like we were challenged, but when we lower pressure and noise everything gets better for us. We're better at what we do, we're better at how we produce, we're better at what we put out there, we're better at seeing the future, which is really the only way that an entrepreneur ever truly creates momentum is to go out into the future, create a new reality, and then come back to the present and insist it becomes real.
And in order to do that, as you grow towards a million dollars, you are going to have to prioritize everything you do. You're going to have to prioritize yourself, your self care, your family time, your eating time. Because I've worked with 100's of entrepreneurs that have gotten to a million dollars and what I can tell you that everything becomes more difficult in your life. Everything starts to become harder to get to and harder to have the time for and you will lose time. You will end up not doing the things you should do. You'll miss birthdays. It's hard because you have to prioritize everything. And if you're trying to prioritize everything, and then not just one, but two businesses, it becomes near impossible.
You know, the statistics on business tell us everything we need to know. Most businesses fail within the first five to 10 years. It's over half in the first five years. It's upwards of 70% in the first 10 years. And when you look at the failure rates of businesses, there's a clear reason. Starting a business is not easy. Starting a business is not something that's done in your spare ... starting a business can be done in your spare time, but growing a business to a million dollars, really can't. It's something that you have to dedicate your time to and be dedicated to and if you have a family, if you have kids, then you have limited time to grow your business.
So it should be 100% focus in the time that you have on the business that you're growing. Because each new outcome you add raises the complexity of everything you do in your life. See one of the challenges we have as entrepreneurs is that we have massive ambition to get things done. We have massive ambition to change things, to create new outcomes, to make a dent in the universe, and the challenge is that many times we will be a lot more excited about starting then we are about following through and pushing through the difficult decisions and doing what we need to do to really grow something.
And as you grow towards a million dollars, the transitions you will go through will be profound. Because at the beginning, you're gonna have to do everything. Unless you're working with a spouse or a partner whose working for free, you're gonna have to do everything. And then you slowly transition in, and this is all in the first million dollars. You start, when you get to enough of a run rave, enough cash coming in or if you have some money to start the business, you gotta be really careful investing it, but then you find someone who, maybe a contractor who can start doing some things for you. And in that transition, you start using people as process. You look at what you're doing and you hire contractors to do items for you, to do things for you, to get things off of your plate so that you don't have to do them.
And then in that same process, you go from people as process to then bringing people on to your team, developing actual job descriptions, and having that person fill a role on your team. So you develop a role for them, you onboard them, you bring them in, you have them actually become productive in their role. Again, you're doing this for two businesses at a time? It's near impossible because then the next thing you have to do is as you develop those roles, you have people that are actually doing things for you. They're now chasing outcomes for you. You now, as your business grows, you start to transition those roles into departments. So the people that are there or the people you recruit will then start recruiting a team around those roles as they expand in your company.
And then as those roles expand, you'll have executives that are running those departments and then another layer of leadership and then people below that, that are being managed. You won't know some of the people in your organization. And this is as you grow beyond a million dollars and you continue to grow. But here's the challenge, you won't get to the point where you have multiple layers of leadership, you won't get to the point where you have a real team and a real organization if you're trying to do this two different companies, at the same time, under one million dollars. Because you can't recruit enough resources so that you can step away from the business enough to run the other one just yet. But when you get to a million, then you might have the resources, but here's my plea with you.
I've been doing this for a long time and one of the challenges we have as entrepreneurs is that we like to start things much more than we like to finish them. And the true test of an entrepreneur is not can you get to a million. The true test for an entrepreneur is how big can you make it. How far can you take it? What size can you really get to? And can you build a team and build an organization and become a transformational leader and can you make it through the transitions that we make. It is a proven fact that when things triple or when they grow by three, that everything feels like it's breaking. So when you're growing your business, when you first get to the first 30 to $40,000, you're gonna feel like everything you were doing to make that first 30 to $40,000 isn't working anymore.
And then you'll figure some stuff out and adjust and then you'll get to 100 and then 100, you'll feel the same way. Most people. And then it becomes profound. Around 300, you have those same issue. It feels like everything that you were doing is no longer working. That's what the entrepreneurs in our leverage program, our billionaire code leverage program we're working through. And then you go from 300, you get to a million, and at a million, it feels like everything's breaking at a level you've never experienced before. And then you go to three million. And at three million, you have a real ... an ord chart that starts getting deeper and wider. And you're exposed to more people than you have been in a long time on a daily basis.
And your team is growing at a very fast ... at a very ... if it's growing at a fast pace, it's harder and harder to get everybody onboard and to have everybody be cultural fits to make sure that everybody's doing the right things and moving in the right direction. You have to create a tight culture. Because then you get to 10 million and everything breaks again, I can tell you, every time I've been through 10 million. It's excruciating. And I've done this a bunch of times and every time I tell myself, "It's gonna be easier this time. I've got so much in place. I've done it. I'm ready." And then there's some curve ball that happens in the organization. And I just think ... everything that I have our cadence that can work us through those crazy transitions because when somebody tells you they can help you grow your company on autopilot or they can make it easy or there's a system that can run any business and it's something that you can apply in 90 days or less, here's what you have to understand.
When you're growing your business, success creates deficits. And as you grow and as you bring in more people and you grow a team and you grow a culture, you grow a company around a mission, a client centric mission where they will help you fix those deficits, they will help you fill the gaps, they will help you do what you need to do to continue to serve the membership you serve, the audience you serve, the movement you've created. And if you think that you're capable of doing that for two companies at the same time, then try, but really pay attention to how much momentum you're feeling in both businesses. And start looking at whether you really feel like you're getting to where you want to be in both of the businesses and start asking yourself the really hard question.
That sounds something like, "If I went all in on one of these, how fast could I really drive it past a million and then even further than that?" Because like I said again, and before, entrepreneurs like to start things and a lot of us start that second business 'cause we're facing resistance in the first. Maybe you hit 300 and then you start spilling [inaudible 00:13:06] out the side or you hit 30 and you decide to get the second one or you hit 100. Where I see it a lot is entrepreneurs hit a million and then they decide they have to have the second business. Ask yourself if you really should. Because at any level of entrepreneurship, running more than one business, being the person driving more than one business, is always going to cause you challenges with prioritization, challenges with your time, and it's going to take a lot of your attention and split it into two different businesses when growing a business is one of the most difficult things you can commit to in your lifetime.
You may just wanna choose one and if ... here's something I can tell you about our organization. If we're working with somebody under a million and they have two businesses, they have to choose one. We know what we have to do to help our clients succeed and we don't allow our clients to chase two avatars under a million because we know that one will get away and what normally happens when an entrepreneurs running two businesses under a million, they both suffer to the point where sometimes that entrepreneur just stops being in business. I don't wanna see that happen to any of you. And even if you're over a million, ask yourself, what would happen if you went all in? Can you grow a real organization? Can you get to three? Can you make the transition to 10? Can you make the transition to 30? Where everything breaks again and then do 100 where everything breaks again, but you built a team and a culture and a leadership organization and a training system that is created a formidable organization that adapts around everything that's going on and continues to grow beyond you.
That's what it takes to really feel momentum as an entrepreneur. That's where we really feel like we've broken through. And if in the back of your mind you've always had that feeling that you were meant for more, to be more, to leave a massive dent in the universe, to make changes here, then you owe it to yourself to create an insane level of focus around doing just that and I would suggest you stop chasing two rabbits. If you're ready to get real about your time, start prioritizing the right thing and create massive momentum. Download my morning routine. This is used by 1,000's of entrepreneurs around the world. It's a morning routine I spent years creating.
If you go to charfen.com/morning, charfen.com/morning, you can download my morning routine that will give you everything you need in the morning to feel physiologically, cognitively, and chemically awake and alive. And support your body through breathing, hydration, nutrition, and movement that will create momentum so that you get more out of every day. Download my morning routine and put more gas in the tank every single morning. Increase your awareness, lower brain fog and fatigue. Morning routine will change your life. Make the first hour of day your best hour of your day. Charfin.com/morning.