Momentum Podcast: 226
Culture Meeting Part 2
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
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 evolutions, and we always will be.
Culture Meeting two. Yesterday, you heard the first half of our company culture meeting for this month. And today, you're going to hear the second half. It kicks off with Paul, who writes for us with a pretty hilarious introduction, but what I want you to listen for is, how much you learn on these meetings. How much you hear about the people who are on your team and the connections that are created. The atmosphere that's created in the culture meeting where everyone comes to the table, and explains why they wanna be where they are together achieving and accomplishing as part of your team.
Every time I have one of these meetings, it's incredibly inspirational and it inspires me to become a better CEO. This meeting, in particular though, had me walking away and dedicated and committed to the becoming the CEO that's worthy of leading this team. When you listen to the second half of the culture meeting, when you hear the conclusion of just how incredible the team that we've assembled is, you'll see what I mean. Every single day I make it my responsibility to live up to how incredible they are. Here's the second half of our culture meeting. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being in it.
So let's go to Paul.
It's convenient that this is the one when Hagen's not here, because he knows everything I'm about to tell you.
Alex Charfen: See how zoom, zoom provides.
Paul: Zoom provides.
Alex Charfen: Just kidding.
Paul: Like the good Lord. I'm Paul, I'm 26. I'm new to this whole life thing, but I'm having a great time. So, I'm in the U.S. Army. I'm a military police officer, surprisingly. I don't do any actual policing, I do desk work. I actually wrote out a process checklist. Alex, I actually use your stuff at work and my boss loves it. I'm detailing out processes that he can use in all of his different teams and all this other stuff, and it's brilliant because what I'm doing is basically I'm replacing myself with processes, like you teach, but for my nine to five job, that way I can work on your stuff and I have more time. And I want you to know Alex, you basically trained me for this job. You took me from nothing and made just someone who had no clue what he was doing and made me into someone capable of pretending to be you on Facebook. It's a beautiful cycle. I'm like a clone.
Alex Charfen: That is so awesome.
Paul: Thank you, but seriously, the Momentum Master Class got me started. You came on the podcast. I was in Gallant Dill's group when I found out about you and I thought like, "Sweet. This guy will probably do a show with me because he's trying to promote his new podcast," and you did. That's how we connected, and it was great. You sold me, you pitched me on your momentum masterclass beta. You started it off brilliantly. You said "This is not a sales pitch, but I just opened up the new [crosstalk 00:04:18]" I don't know if you remember that, and I said "Right, not a sales pitch, got it."
But, I signed up, 'cause I loved it and it was great. And I'm still paying for it, and I'm happy to pay for it, 'cause you have me on the hundred dollar a month plan. So, I'm paying for til' July, which is fine. I'm happy to pay for it. But, I love it. Changed my life. I have my momentum planner right over there. I got two of them. I got one that's like this thick, and it's all my back log going back to last August or something, and then I got my smaller one that I actually use. So, I use this stuff a lot.
Sometimes I fall off, but I always come back relatively quickly when I realize that I need it. 'cause ...
Alex Charfen: Yeah, we're not looking for perfection, Paul.
Paul: It works. Well, it's close. Dude, it's like 90%.
Alex Charfen: No, I mean, we're not looking for you to be perfect. It's cool, you miss a day. Guys, I made the momentum planner, I miss a day or two here and there. But man, every time I do, I'm like, "Why do I ever do that?"
Paul: Yeah, it works so well. It's just such a difference. I got my morning checklist over here, on my whiteboard. So, yeah I'm a true believer as they come. So, that's why I'm here. Why the hell else am I ... you programmed me for this job. Like, if you didn't hire me, it'd be cruel. I mean where else am I going to use all this knowledge, this information.
So, I'm working for you, the Army, and then I'm also the CEO of Excelsior Industries, which is the software company that Hagen and I are starting. Hagen is the COO, my second in command, right-hand man, and he's doing a fantastic job. He's amazing at all the stuff that I suck at. So, we have a great team. I'm super excited, but that's much more of a long term thing. We're working on AI and Blockchain to ... We want to be like Apple 2.0, basically and make internet 2.0 software, basically for when the internet revolutions in five years and no one knows what happened and we're like, "Oh, hey. We've been working on this for a while."
So, that the plan. So, loving it and can't wait to get out of the army and just do this full time.
Alex Charfen: Awesome. Thanks Paul. That was super entertaining. Justin Hester.
Justin: Alright, my name's Justin. I do customer service mainly. Deal with all of the phone calls, emails, and such. I also do minor technology stuff, as well. I kind of update the platforms of the resources and everything and content. I've been here since January, and I've worked a wide array of jobs and stuff like that. My past, coming out of high school, was actually an automotive technician for Ford and General Motors. After that, I was an assistant engineer for Amerequal, who ... they produce all the MRE's for the military. I was K-9 deputy for ten years.
Paul: Some of these stomach aches owed to you.
Justin: I was just a purchasing agent and an assistant engineer for that, that's it. I didn't make the food. But anyway, I was a K-9 deputy for ten years, did that for a while. And then, also, was a customer service rep, for kind of a technical advisor, so I did tell people over the phone how to fix their engines, transmissions, differentials and stuff like that for Jasper Engines, but that was just like a local company, but they're actually pretty big across the nation.
And then, stepped in to this role. I loved it ever sense. It's kind of nice working from. Everybody on the team, love them. And actually, the transparency of the whole team, 'cause me, I'm all about honesty and integrity, and this whole team really bleeds it and I really love that. And it's actually for the first time in a long time that I felt appreciated for what I do and everything else too. So, it's very nice and I don't know, it's just a very welcoming and very appreciative team and I love it, so thank you.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, thanks for being here, Justin. I appreciate it, man.
Justin: My pleasure.
Alex Charfen: Hagen.
Hagen: Alright, guys. So, I kind of was born in to entrepreneurship a little bit. My father was a real estate agency. He owned areal estate agency. He flipped and developed properties, and I was kind of right-hand man. I would have the boyish charm and I would help him, 'cause I knew what a prospect was and I would just be all friendly and I'd be like, "Oh, my dad's the greatest," and I got a lot of joy out of that. I also helped my grandfather care take for a while. Then eventually, I got in to roofing my grandfather's company. And my grand plan around that time, I was like 14, 15, I wanted to bring everything together, because remodeling and real estate kind of go hand in hand. And I'm like, "Hey, if I can be the glue, I can create an awesome family company." Then '08 hit, and it's like, "Oh, well I guess that not gonna work out," and everything just fell off from there.
So, I struck out. I tried to make it in music in Austin, Texas, actually. But the punk rock scene wasn't as big 'cause the modern indie stuff was taking off. And then, I found trading and something about that, I really loved it, 'cause it was just so analytical, so many numbers and just doing all the calculations and stuff. And I really love that, and I did it for about three years until I got with a marketing agency. At that point, it was really my introduction to how the business world worked, 'cause I was the guy that just basically wore all the hats and had kind of a stake in everything.
And then, I actually met Paul and we really clicked because we were totally out there. Our ideas were so far unconventional. That's kind of how we clicked, and then he turned me on to the momentum podcast, and boy, it was like you were in my head, basically. And it really ... your message really stands for why I love entrepreneurship so much, 'cause entrepreneurs usually have issues early on, especially when it comes to conventional work environments, or just the status quo or the school system. They're always telling us, "Oh, you got something wrong with you because you want to be creative and do something different," or "You don't see things the same way." I think a lot of people grow up thinking there's something wrong with them, but those are the exact people we need in the world right now.
So, it's so important that people realize there's so much more that they can contribute, and that's what really resonates with me. 'Cause you stand for the thing that really makes it all worthwhile for me at the end of the day, is basically self-actualization and developing those core skills that give us meaning, 'cause that's like the most powerful thing that we can do and that's why we help the world out, and that's why I believe in this so much, that's why I love the content, 'cause I really believe that stuff like this is what's changing the world.
Alex Charfen: Thanks Hagen. That's awesome. Dang. Leanne.
Leanne: Alright. So, I met Alex a couple of years ago actually, with my friend Jean, who is a childhood friend of Cadey's, and Jean had asked me ... Jean's a hair dresser and she'd had asked me to go with her to an event that Alex was teaching. So, I went for two days, and was just blown away by the content. But, I was a GM then, at Crate and Barrel, doing that. But, just so much of what he said about cultivating teams and accountability, transparency, and it was so what I believe and so opposite from what I was having to live on a daily basic in my job, but it was super powerful.
So then, fast forward a couple of years. In 2017, I lost my job at Crate and Barrel. They did a massive ... got rid of a bunch of GM's, and so I was out of a job for 11 months and just trying to figure out what the next thing was going to be, and I just knew I couldn't go back to doing something that was as heartless as that. And so, ... yeah. And so, Jean was cutting my hair and said, "You know, you need to call Cadey. They've got a lot of things that they need to have happen at their house. I don't know what it would be but I just told her that ..." These are Jean's words, so please excuse my profanity, but she said, "I just told her you're like Mary Effing Poppins, and you can just make stuff happen." I was like, "Okay, is that what she said?" And so, I was like, "okay, well that's kind of a tall order."
So, I met Cadey over coffee and we decided to do a little trial, see what I could do. So, basically I went and organized the girl's homeschool room. Did that for a couple of days, and then Alex saw what I did and was like, "Can you fix my office?" And so, I did, and I think he still has post-it notes up in his office, that I've done. So basically, I was just completely open. Like I said, I had been in a position for too long that where I loved the people that served on my team, but my job wasn't what I wanted to be, and so then I got to go here every day and watch these people walk the walk and talk the talk and be with their kids and kind of just observe how they were with you guys, because I was just someone helping in their home, organizing their sock drawers and stuff. And so, a position ... Alex had a need and said, "What do you think about doing this?" And I said, "I've never done that before, but I'm totally open and I'll give it a shot. These are all the things I'm not good at, but these are the things I am good at." And, he's still dealing with the kinks of what I'm not good at, but I think every single day's a good day. Every single day I'm happy to be there.
And this sort of encapsulates the whole thing: I was driving to work the other day and I was talking to my dearest friend Chase who lives in Boulder, had him on speaker, and I saw Alex and Kennedy and Reagan walking. They were doing their little walk, and there was little Kennedy with her little broken chicken wing, and I rolled down the window and I said, "Good morning, family," and they were all waving at me, "Good morning Leanne," And so, then I rolled up the window, 'cause this was their family time and I wanted to make sure they still have their family time before ... I invade their space every single day. I rolled up the window and then I just watched them, I was still on the phone with Chase, and I watched them. They all got in their little primal squat. [crosstalk 00:15:34] and I clicked Chase over to face time. I was like, "You got to see this," and he watched and he was like, "It makes me so happy to know that every single day, you get to go with people that do that."
And I do, you guys. I mean, I love all of you guys, but I'm the luckiest one because every single day I get to be a part of that. It's amazing. So, there are a lot of things I'm not good at, but every single day is a good day.
Alex Charfen: Thank Leanne, that was awesome.
Paul: I don't notice any of those things you're not good at.
Isla: I was gonna say that, I don't think so Leanne, 'cause you are Mary Poppins.
Leanne: Really, super not technical, but Justin Hester is my friend. He has my Voxer on my computer for me now and I had to do a little dance and tell him how much I love him, so.
Alex Charfen: Nice. Yeah, that's awesome. I didn't realize, Justin that you were capable of that level of tech support. That's really cool, 'cause that means you can train it.
Leanne: He's really good at it. He's incredibly patient, incredibly patient. As a recipient, I know why he's good in customer service.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, dude, that's awesome. Because if you were telling people how to fix cars, that's crazy high level tech support.
Justin: Thank you.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, that's awesome. Well cool. Dude, that was the craziest culture meeting introductions ever. It's never felt like that before. I love the momentum podcast.
Paul: I'll be right back. I'm listening, but I'll be right back.
Alex Charfen: Okay cool. So, I just want explain the client centered mission. Everybody knows what it is, we help visionary entrepreneurs build and grow teams so that they can create world-changing companies and make massive contributions. But what's more important is, I want us to grow business where we make a massive impact, but we don't increase pain on the people in the business.
Here's ... what I'm really good is growing businesses, but if won't do it in a way where we build the right types of products and we put up the right boundaries and we're careful and protect our time and protect ourselves, then we'll grow business, we'll grow business that makes it hard for all of us. But, if we're considerate about what we do and we keep in my mind that we do not want to make this painful, we can grow a business that we all have fun in.
You know, CDP was crazy. We had, at our very biggest, it was only 90 people, and we got to 12 million and we had the US treasury say we pulled foreclosure crisis forward seven to ten years. They were now saying it was a 13 to 14, or 13 to 18 year crisis and that we had actually halved it, and they said that on video in our office. And, when you look at the massive impact we were able to make with that small team, it's 'cause we did a lot of things right. We had massive leverage and we did stuff with a very small team, we led with revenue and we're gonna continue to do all those things, and so I want to just understand, that's the real mission, is that we do it in a way that, when we say we're a constructive company and that we raise value for all stakeholders, I want us to mean it.
And then, I'll share our company tenants with you guys really quick. There's five of them, and if there's any questions or comments, I want you guys to just stop me and I'll just watch the screen. So, the first one is we walk our talk. The biggest challenge I have with personal development companies is the people in the company don't seem like they've ever taken the company's products and it freaks me out. When we were at ... this is an even I'll never forget. So, Dave Ramsey and I did a ton of stuff together, and at one point we took five people on our team to one of his events in Nassau in the Bahamas, and we spent a week with Dave Ramsey and his team.
And at one point, their team was out one night when Dave had to fly back to the mainland for a funeral, and his team was out and they were totally wasted. And every person on our team had trouble going to the seminar the next day, because Dave kept saying stuff about the culture of his team and they were wasted, and everything he was saying was different from how they acted, and I never want to have that company, even if it was one time. Even if it never happened before, I just never want to have that company.
So, we expect everyone who's in our organization to be using our content. You don't wear Adidas shoes if you work for Nike, so we expect you to be using our planner, that you have an intentional diet that you're eating, that you have a fitness regimen that you're keeping. That you're doing what you should be doing to live like our content prescribes you, you should live, 'cause then, when you talk to our clients about it, it will be congruent.
The second on is, correct the process not the person. When there's a problem in our company, always try and figure out where we had a break in the processes, especially for those of you in leadership. The instinct in every company is to try and figure out who did something wrong. What we're really looking for is, where was the process broken, because then it's a lot easier to fix it, and looking for a person to be wrong is like the hardest way to improve an organization. When you look at where the process is wrong, it's the absolute fastest way to improve an organization.
There's just three more. Success through the success of others. One of things that is for us is of value or is an edict, is that not only are we successful, but our clients are successful. There are people who get a lot attention in information products industry and who are like on stage and who do all kinds of stuff, who sell products where 90% of the people don't complete them. That's embarrassing, and there's even a dialogue in the information product business about how it's okay to sell products that 90% of people don't complete. It's like, "Oh, you're weeding them out with a purchase." Yeah, is that true or are you just selling really shit products that a market doesn't need? Because, if we ever get to the point where we're getting 90% of people not completing the product, we need to stop what we're doing and figure out what went broke. We don't do products that people out on a shelf. We sell products that change people's lives and so, we will always be conscious of what success are we creating in our client's lives, not just, did we actually make the sale?
And then, minimum affective dose is the second to last one. In all solutions that we create as a company, lets look to minimize what we're doing, let's look to make it simple. Occam was right, the shortest point, the easiest solution usually is the right one, let's just use it and not over complicate stuff, because the more simple we can keep our processes, our frameworks, our systems, everything, the easier it is to deliver consistently and scale.
And then, the last one is, momentum in the process. I believe that everything you do in a business should give you momentum, from the meetings that you have, to the time that you spend with your team, to the learning that you do. So, when we teach our clients and when they come to our events, they should feel momentum throughout the entire process. There shouldn't be a place where they have a loss. We should never have that place where they go, "Oh, I don't know what do next." We should telegraph and choreograph everything for them and tell them where they're going, 'cause for people like us what's most important is where I am going to end up, 'cause then I can figure out how to get there.
And then, for our team, when we are working together, we should all feel momentum in the process. If there ever gets to the point where it feels like you're pushing up hill or it's not fun anymore, then we're doing something wrong. Not all of us are going to get to do what we want all the time. I'm not even in that situation right now. But, if it ever gets to a place where it's starting to feel like a drag, then something's wrong and reach to me or somebody else and let's talk about it. Because, I've had a lot of team members come to me and have that conversation, and most of the time, we've been able to figure something out, but I know that I've lost a lot of team members who could have had that conversation and they've gone somewhere else where they didn't resolve whatever was going on. So, let me know if you ever feel that stuff or if any of that comes from you and I'm happy to have to the conversation. And that is the company tenants. Any questions on those, guys or any comments?
No? Sweet. There's a lot more comments in person. Oh, shit. I just pulled up the TI for the weekly and I was super lost. Okay, there's only one more thing: So, there's two company policies that I share with every person coming in, 'cause I don't want anyone to ever say, "I didn't know." And they are, one, there's a no gossip policy. So, here's how we define gossip: it's talking to someone about a problem, who can't actually help you affect a solution. And so, if you are telling a co worker a problem that they can't help you with, that's just super distracting for everybody, and there's no reason to do it other than it's gossip. Because, in our organization, if you can't reach out to the person that you report to, you can always reach out to me, and so there's no reason to talk side to side about issues, and any organization, the person who wants to tell the people around them what's wrong, it just becomes a distraction and the team starts to distrust them.
I don't want that to happen to any of you. So, when there's an issue, reach up and let us know what's going on and we'll help you, and you won't meet anyone who works here for any period of time that will tell you they've had a problem that went unaddressed, 'cause they always are. So, if there's ever anything going on let us know, so that we just don't have gossip. When you don't have side to side conversations about issues when you can't resolve them, you eliminate an entire dynamic of conversation in the company that's unnecessary. And so, we are strict on that. And also, the other thing is, that if it's ever about a person that, that discussions being had, it's you know, I have kind of a no questions asked. If somebody's gossiping about a human being or there's stuff being said about people in our company, I don't stand for it. Because, every one of us has been in a situation at some time in our lives where we are the person being gossiped about, and you know how shitty it feels. And there's no way somebody's gonna get up every day and be in a company where they feel like that, that's happening to them
And the second policy that I want everyone to know is, that we have a strict anti discrimination policy. We hire people, and it doesn't matter what they look like, where they come from and who they sleep with and all of that stuff. I don't give a shit if they're talented. And so, we run a meritocracy, it doesn't matter what you look like. And, if anybody every makes anyone else feel inadequate, or upset, or insulted for who they are, that's the last day they work here, and so. there's zero tolerance and ... I've always had this conversation with everybody coming in to every company I've ever owned. I've had about ten times where I've had to terminate somebody for saying racist, crazy, sexist stuff. And, I used to think when I was younger and I had this conversation, that it would never happened, but you guys would be shocked at how many people I can't stop that conversation and that just shows you how prevalent is in our world, but it will not be on this team.
Because, for those of you who chose, you can unplug from the media, you can unplug from negative people, you can unplug from all the bullshit that's out there, and you can plug in to this team and you will stay in a lot higher rate of momentum than anyone around you. Because, when you work in an organization like this and you achieve together, you start to feel super human and what you're able to see and feel and achieve in the world. And so, that's the opportunity I think we all have. And so, I take it super seriously and I guard this team, so everyone who comes on to it, even for a trial like Hagen's in, is screened like crazy. It's painful to get a job with.
So, I want you guys to know we're gonna continue to do it that way and keep this team as efficient and affective and as noise free as possible. So, any questions or comments guys, before we wrap up?
Paul: Just that, being in the Army, I have to deal the opposite of this every single day and it seriously drives me crazy, because now, I used to not be able to put into words that things that were wrong with how they led the organization. Now, I can articulate. And I'm like, "Here's what you're doing wrong. You treat people like this and blah, blah, blah." But, my point is ... You're absolutely right, most people are living the opposite of how we are.
Alex Charfen: Awesome. Yeah, thanks Paul. Anybody else?
Justin: No, I feel like I've been on a punch of these and you get better and better at explaining them and more efficient and maybe that is partly why there's not any questions is because you explain it well.
Alex Charfen: Thanks, Justin. Appreciate it, man. Yeah, these are ... I'm starting to get use to these. It's only been about 13 years. For real. In multiple organizations. You should have seen the culture meeting I did 13 years ago. Man, did I suck. I can only imagine what some of our client's meetings are like, because when I first started trying to do this, I always ended up walking away thinking, "Do they think I'm crazy?" 'Cause it would be ... I didn't have a process, but now, I just follow our process for our clients and it actually works. So that's good confirmation, Justin. I appreciate it.
Justin: Heck yeah.
Alex Charfen: So, awesome, guys. Well, I appreciate y'all being here, and I'll see you on tomorrow's morning huddle. Oh yeah, and Isla, you should watch this morning's huddle. 'Cause there was actually communication the future Isla, in this morning's huddle.
Isla: I will [crosstalk 00:30:11]
Justin: I'll send it to you right now, Isla.
Isla: If you can send it to me, J. I've watched ...
Paul: Just send it to her, don't just tell her what you said in the video. Present J just sending the video of what passed [inaudible 00:30:21]
Hagen: Alex and Isla can you stick around for 30 seconds i just have one thing to run by you?
Alex Charfen: Company culture is always a reflection of leadership and whether you are purposeful or not, your company will have a culture. You have the choice to make it something you believe in, to make it something intentional, to create a performance culture where people are protected and they're enthusiastic and excited and committed to coming to work. I hope that in these two recordings or these two podcast, you heard a team that is dedicated, that is committed and that is excited and that is ready to take on the world and any challenge that they see. I know you can create the exact type of team we have, because these are systems and processes that any entrepreneur can put in place.
If you're ready to grow your team, if you're ready to have business that you are proud of, if you are ready to have a group of people around you who are supporting you and your outcomes in a way that you've never felt before, go to billionairecode.com, answer a few questions for us, and then, set up a call with a member of my team. Let us show you how you can create the company and the momentum you've always wanted. Billionairecode.com.
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