Momentum Podcast: 33
What If You Lose Passion?
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.
This is a question I get often from entrepreneurs, especially those who have achieved a level of success and financial stability.It is surprising for each of us when we recognize this loss of passion, drive or enthusiasm.
Out of nowhere, we realize that we are approaching the day to day with a less than enthusiastic attitude. We may no longer feel like our activities are inspiring or exciting and we recognize we are simply going through the motions.
This does not usually last long, we either need to be inspired and compelled to go forward or we will have a difficult time getting things done. Eventually, a loss of passion can lead to procrastination, missed deadlines, and even what appears to be self-limiting behaviors and self-sabotage.
There is only one consistent way that I have seen entrepreneurs reignite their passion, create the excitement they once felt and get back into momentum.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, world makers, shot takers 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 obsess about creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to the rules but only so we can bend them, break them and 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.
This is episode 33 of the Momentum podcast for entrepreneurial personality types, and if you've been with me for a while, you’ve probably recognized you are an EPT. You're starting to understand even better what it means to be an evolutionary hunter and how important it is for us to be in momentum, achieving, moving forward and making things happen. That’s why this episode, What If I Lose Passion, is so important.
See, most of us, especially if we're a momentum, can’t foresee a time where we would lose passion, can't foresee a time where we would lose the excitement, the new rush, the pressure, the enthusiasm, the invigorating feeling of serving the people we're serving, of going out there and making things happen, of growing our business, of doing what we want to do, but here’s what I can tell you with a high level of certainty. That loss of passion, that feeling of apathy towards what we’re doing, that out of nowhere feeling that it just doesn’t matter enough anymore happens to all of us, and here’s what’s interesting.
It happens usually when you would least expect it. It happens when things are going well, when things are going really well, when you're starting to put money in the bank, when your business is running almost without you needing to be involved, when things are really happening and when you can see easy successes on the horizon, when you’re knocking down where you want to go, when things are actually happening for you this is often where the evolutionary hunter loses passion, loses that innate motivation to drive forward.
It’s happened to me, it's happened to my clients, and I have helped a lot of people through this. I want you to know what it feels like first, and then I’ll tell you the only way that I’ve seen people consistently overcome this challenge. This loss of passion will most likely sneak up on you. You’ll see it in your behaviors. You're not doing what you should be doing. There’s a huge gap between what you know you should be doing and what you’re actually achieving and accomplishing on a daily basis.
You’ll see it in a lack of progress. You don’t feel like you're moving forward. Maybe things around you are, but you don’t see the progress. You don’t feel the excitement. You don’t have that rush of getting things done, of making things happen. You’ll start seeing it in your numbers and metrics eventually. First, it’s in our behaviors. Then we don’t see progress. Then our numbers start flat lining or going down. We might even start hating plateaus. We're not growing at the rate that we want to.
All of these can be the symptoms of a loss of passion, of a loss of excitement, of a loss of that enthusiasm that we had when we started whatever we're doing. Now, I’ve seen entrepreneurs try and reignite this passion in all kinds of different ways. When you look at trying to do this by putting a new financial goal in place, well here’s the problem. If you’ve already achieved financial goals, if money is no longer a major issue or if you're getting as much as you need at the present time, that might not be enough.
I’ve heard people tell entrepreneurs to focus on their "why", their kids, their family, the people around them and you know what? At best, to compel you to go back to your business, back to your main activities and do more, that will be a temporary fix. I’ve seen people say all kinds of things like, "Go create a vision board, a dream board. Make your outcomes bigger," and I only chuckle because cutting out pictures from a magazine and putting them on a board might be a fun activity, but if you expect it to reignite your passion for anything more than a temporary fix, it won’t, even though there’s people out there that will tell you it will.
Then some of the wrong ways people go about reigniting passion, getting excited, getting that feeling back, I’ve watched entrepreneurs get up in the morning and try and force it day after day after day. It’s like pushing a rope uphill. If you don’t have the passion, it's one of the hardest things for us to get excited about. If you’re not in momentum, if you’re not feeling the rush of achievement, it’s hard to force it. I’ve seen, and I’m sure you have too, entrepreneurs who lose passion going out and picking fights or looking for conflict so they can get that rush of adrenaline, that surge of chemicals in their body that lets them know they’re alive, but when we begin to motivate ourselves through conflict, that is not a progressive pattern. That's degenerative. It will get worse over time. It will destroy what you’re trying to do overtime if you’re out looking for conflict in order to move forward.
One of the worst ways I’ve seen entrepreneurs do this is to create a false sense of anxiety or to actually make them sometimes feel like they’re in a place where they’re not achieving, they're anxious. They use that anxiety to try and propel them forward. I’ve never seen any of these work for more than a very temporary, and to be very candid, a costly fix because when we try and do these things, we are spending as much momentum as we are getting back to try and move forward. That trade-off of forcing it, picking fights, creating anxiety, any of those, it uses as much momentum as it generates so you will barely break even on a daily basis.
So here is what will move you forward. Here is what will reignite passion and propel you forward. Here is what has propelled those who have changed the world forward throughout history. When you look at a Steve Jobs or an Elon musk, or someone who has made so much money they no longer have a need for money for the rest of their lifetimes and generations of lifetimes, what propels them forward, what gets them excited, what makes them drive forward? There’s only one thing that will work, and you can start thinking about it right now.
If you haven’t lost passion, consider yourself lucky because you have the opportunity to anchor this for yourself right now so that you don’t. If you haven’t been feeling the passion you want lately, if you’ve been noticing your behaviors are different than what you should be doing, if you’re feeling that lack of progress, that plateau, your numbers aren't showing the progress that you want to make, and you don’t feel that excitement, you have that passive feeling towards what you’re doing, this gives you an opportunity to right now move in the right direction because here is the one thing that reconnects the evolutionary hunter to the passion, the drive, the momentum, the chemical feeling of being on the hunt. It's what will get you physiologically excited.
You will feel it in your body and you will have more momentum, more stamina. You will be able to do more. It's what will get you cognitively excited. Your mind will actually race with the ideas, the excitement of helping, of moving forward. This, probably most important, is what will get you chemically excited because I think by now you probably understand that people like us are hardwired different than the rest of the world. We have a chemical excitement, a chemical energy towards what we do and when it's present, physiological, cognitive and chemical momentum, everything moves forward for us. And here’s how you get that. You create a deep connection to those you serve.
This may have been said before, you may have heard it before but I want you to hear it today in a different way because for entrepreneurs, there comes this day where you have everything you need. We actually start realizing that there’s a massive difference between needs and wants, because our whole lives we’ve been running away from something, we've been running away from not achieving, we've been running away from not having enough, we've been running away from not having the money we want, the resources we want, the choices we want, the options we want, but then there’s a day and it comes much sooner than we'd ever expect it where all of those things go away.
We create enough success and enough financial wealth and enough resources around us that we no longer need to work to take care of our needs, and the only thing I’ve seen successfully replace this for anyone over time is a deep, passionate connection to those you serve. It might even have to be in deep care or obsession with the market you help. So my question to you is if you’ve lost passion, who do you serve and why is it important to you?
I think of some of the companies that I’ve worked with and how amazingly successful they were and continue to be. At one point, I was a consultant with Logitech. When you look at most computers in the world, they're surrounded by Logitech equipment. In fact, I’m filming on a Logitech camera right now. When you look at Logitech, the company, the people, the product designers, everyone there has this deep passion for the heavy computer user, for somebody who really wants to get the most out of their computers, and they continue to win.
When you look at Home Shopping Network, a company that I had over a decade experience with, sold hundreds of millions of dollars on that channel. They have this deep, passionate connection to her. In fact, that’s how they refer to their client, "her", to that woman who is self-made, who wants to improve her life, who wants to do things better, who wants the right equipment, the right information, the right clothing. Whatever she’s looking for, HSN goes out to find it with a passion. I worked for years with RE/MAX, one of the largest real estate brokerages in the world, and Dave Liniger, the CEO, became a close friend of mine. What I realized about Dave one morning when we are standing on front of his office, he pulled up to drop off his car. He had somebody park it, and he opened his door and there was a motivational CD playing. To give you perspective, Dave and his wife Gail are billionaires. They have all the money they would ever want in the world, the biggest house in Colorado, the second biggest house in Arizona.
They have an entire golf course that is just theirs called The Sanctuary. There’s two members, Dave and Gail Liniger, but what makes Dave so propelled, compelled, excited, motivated that he gets up in the morning and even as a self-made billionaire puts a motivational CD in his car so that he can make sure that he is as excited, as motivated and ready to serve as he possibly can be? Well, I asked him, and he has a deep connection to the over 90,000 real estate agents worldwide that carry a RE/MAX business card and help move that company forward.
I fully and totally believe that it’s Dave’s connection to that market that has propelled RE/MAX to be the top brokerage year after year after year with some of the best agents in the world. Then we can look at some of the companies out there that have just gotten fundamentally confused. Walk into a RadioShack store and a store that used to be dedicated to the do-it-yourselfer, to the person who wanted to get things done, to the person who wanted to make their own devices, their own outcomes, has now been watered down into a store that looks like a small piece of another store that should have a lot more products in it, and their stock and their market performance shows it.
Go to a Sears that used to be the place where anyone anywhere could go in and find what they needed for their home, for themselves. Sears had one of the most extensive catalogs at one point. You walk in today and it’s difficult to understand who they serve, and if you’re ever in a Sears store these days, you'll realize there isn’t a lot of people that they serve because most of the time there’s more people working in a Sears than shopping in a Sears. That says a lot because they don’t have a lot of people working there these days. See, these major companies, you can see the contrast between having a passionate market that they serve and getting confused as to who they are there for.
So I ask you, who is it you care about, who is it that you are obsessed with, and what is the market that you love? It’s that important because any time I've helped an entrepreneur to create a widget where the focus was the widget and then he had to go find a market, or she had to go find a market, they have struggled for years to be successful, but anytime I’ve helped an entrepreneur who is passionate about a market and they've created a product to sell to that market, to serve that market, to help that market with their goals, their wants, their desires, their needs, that has created an overwhelming level of success.
So here’s my question for you. Who is the market that you love, because here’s the definition of love, a simple definition. Love is putting someone else’s self-interests above yours. If you are passionate about and committed to a market, you will put your self-interests above ... Sorry, put their self-interests above yours over and over again. We can’t help but do that as we're growing a business, as we're increasing our influence, as we're making things happen, and as we we're creating our greatest contribution. That deep connection, that deep passion to those people that we serve, to those who we know need us will keep us going, keep us motivated and help us stay in the momentum that for people like us is just as important as the oxygen we breathe, because the only time we feel fully engaged, fully excited, and dare I say the only time we feel alive is when we're in momentum serving those we are passionate about, serving those we care about, serving that market that we are willing to put above our own self-interests because we care so much.
If you’ve lost passion where you don’t feel like you have enough right now, take a moment and reconnect to that market you serve. Take a moment and think about the people that you’re doing what you do for. Take a moment and remember the contribution you’re making because that will help you reconnect to why we do what we do as entrepreneurs. In the next episode of the Momentum podcast, 33, I want to take you through an exercise we call the client-centric mission. This is a statement you can use to tell people what you do, this is the statement you can use to clarify who you serve, and this is the statement that will serve as the foundation for the movement you are creating that is your company, your business, your greater contribution, and it is the statement you will use to identify who you serve and to go make your dent in the universe.
So don’t miss the next episode of the Momentum podcast. If you haven’t yet, go to momentumwebclass.com. Momentum W-E-B-C-L-A-S-S .com and check out our newest course on how to create momentum in all areas of your life, how to quickly and easily get back into momentum and compel yourself forward because for people like us, there’s only two options. You’re either in momentum or you’re doing everything you can to get back to it. Either way, go to momentumwebclass.com and let me show you how you can live there permanently. Thanks for being a Momentum podcast listener. I appreciate you being here. Take a second, share this, subscribe and maybe even leave us a review. Let us know how we're doing. I appreciate you being here.