Momentum Podcast: 354
When Your Ego Holds You Back
by Alex Charfen
Scaling a business isn't just about creating an opportunity, finding the market and selling more. See, scaling a business is about evolving yourself as an entrepreneur every single day.
Our ego is one of the most important things in growing a business. It convinces us we can do it, it helps us put up with the negative feedback and the frustration. Our ego is what keeps us going and pushes us forward when times get tough. A strong ego is critical as an entrepreneur and it will help you in so many ways.
But when it comes to scaling your business you need to get your ego out of the way. One of the reoccurring obstacles entrepreneurs see when they are considering building a team is the question, “what if I'm the only one who can do what I do?” This belief that we are the only person who can do what we do is one of the biggest stumbling blocks entrepreneurs face when they're looking to grow and scale.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: Scaling a business isn't just about creating an opportunity, finding the market and selling more. See, scaling a business is about evolving yourself as an entrepreneur every single day.
This week I had the opportunity to fly out to Phoenix, Arizona and speak for a day at the Two Comma Club X Conference, or Two Comma Club X Event with Russell Brunson. Russell has become a good friend of mine over the past couple years. He's helped me a ton in my business. I joined his inner circle. He's helped me with what I do. And then last year he asked me to help him with the Two Comma Club X Program and it's been an absolute honor to teach with him, to work with him and to help the Two Comma Club X students. This week in Phoenix we had about 300 business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs as I like to refer to them, who are growing and scaling businesses. I spoke for a full day about team building. And one of the recurring issues we had coming up over and over again during the day was what if I'm the only person who can do what I do? What if I'm the only person who can deliver what I deliver or do what I do in my business? And it was over and over again because this, this belief that we are the only person that can do what we do is one of the biggest myths in entrepreneurship and one of the biggest stumbling blocks, roadblocks, brick walls we run into when we're trying to grow and scale our businesses. And it happened over and over.
It happened with a woman who has a company where she helps people write books. It happened with a guy who has a large multi-million dollar, 15, 20 million dollar construction firm that does luxury housing. It happened with, over and over with entrepreneurs who were in the room who had this question, how do I find people to do what I do when I'm the only one who can really do it? It happened over and over again with a guy sitting in the front row, a Dee Jaffey, who owns a drug rehab, who he helps, he works with people who are going through drug and rehab counseling. And everyone of them, all three of them and the other people who brought this up, always say things like, "Well I'm the only person who can do this. How can I train someone else to do this? This is the magic that I do. This is what I really do to make things happen. This is how the business has grown."
Now here's the challenge. As soon as we believe that we are the only person who can do what we do that is when we are letting our ego get in the way of growing our business. And one of the challenges that I give back to people who say that is I'll say exactly that. "You are letting your ego get in the way of growing your business. Get your ego out of the way." And as soon as I say that a lot of times entrepreneurs are shocked. They looked at me, they look at me. They give me this hurt look like, "Aren't you the guy who love entrepreneurs? How could you say something like that to me? I'm trying. I'm trying to do the best I can. What do you mean get my ego out of the way?"
Well here's why I say that and a lot of times bluntly and forcefully because the second you believe you're the only person who can do what you do, the second you believe that no one else can step in and do it, is the second that you've stopped growing your business. It's also the second you become your business' biggest liability because if anything happens to you for any reason that means that unique deliverable of your business is over. That is one of the greatest places of exposure for an entrepreneur.
When we convenience ourselves that we're the only person who can do it, when we're the only person who can create the result, the outcome, do what we do in our business we have now created a massive exposure for ourselves as entrepreneurs. We've literally created a situation where we are the only person in our own belief system that can deliver what our company delivers. And as soon as we believe that we're stuck. We're stopped. We can't move forward. In fact, we get to this place where we literally can't do anything other than work as hard as we possibly can so that we move forward, move our business forward, but we literally have made the commitment to doing all of the work ourselves.
There was this interesting exchange that I had with the guy who, I can't remember his name right now, but the guy who ran the large luxury home consulting company 'cause here's what I have everybody do in the course. One of the recommendations I make to entrepreneurs all the time is to do a two week times study. Sit down and for two weeks write down what you're doing in 15 minute increments and look at everything you do over the course of two weeks and then make it either strategic or tactical. And here's what you'll find. Every time you do this you will find a whole list of activities that you're doing that are tactical. And rather than just trying to change everything in your business at once, here's the mental gymnastics we start going through as entrepreneurs.
I've been doing everything for so long how could I possibly get somebody to do everything that I do? Well here's the secret. You don't. Little by little you offload what you're doing by figuring out what's tactical at any given time, what is, and here's my definition of strategic versus tactical. If it's strategic, you're the only person who can do it right now. If it's tactical, someone else can do it. So answering emails, strategic or tactical? Tactical. Maybe writing the book, the final proofreading, the final okay for it, that is strategic. Everything else, the first drafts, the outlining, everything, maybe that's tactical.
And for the gentleman who is designing the custom homes, here's what we did in the class. Rather than doing a two week time study where you write everything down in 15 minute increments, we did what I call a historic time study or a time study looking backwards. And for three days I had everybody in the class write down what they did for three days ... I didn't do this for three days. I had everybody write down what they did for three days in a week in the class in 15 minute increments. So they went back through their calendars or their day timers or their phones or wherever, however they could figure out what they had done over the course of three days. Then I had them mark strategic versus tactical. And there was this moment where the CEO of the home building company, I looked over at him and I saw this just shocked and surprised look on his face. And I threw him a microphone and I said, "Hey, tell me what you're going through right now. Why are you having reaction?" And he said, "I'm looking at this sheet of paper and I'm realizing that so much of what I do today is tactical. And I didn't realize I could offload all of this."
And what happens for entrepreneurs when they have that realization it's like a lightening bolt because here's why we get stuck in this thinking. Here's why we get stuck in this place where we say, "I'm the only one who can do what I do," because what we think of as entrepreneurs is absolute. I need to offload everything I do all at once and there's no way I could possibly do that. But here's how we get our ego out of the way. We do it little by little. You do a time study. You look at exactly what you're doing all day. You figure out what are the tactical things you can offload and then you up level what you do with every hour because here's what I can tell you about every entrepreneur I've ever worked with who's ever done a two week time study. 100% of them have found a precious resource that will help you scale your business and get help and move forward. That resource, time.
Every time you do a time study you will figure out what are the things that are tactical for you that you don't have to do any longer. And what will happen is, if you do a time study today for two weeks and you look at exactly what it is that is tactical versus strategic and you spend the next 90 days offloading the tactical, at the end of 90 days that you will up level what you do with your time. You'll increase the value of how you spend your time. Then you know what you do? Another two week time study. And this is how we fool our ego into allowing us to offload what we do best.
And it was interesting. The guy who's a custom home builder, he had a moment where he actually was disgusted with himself, frustrated with himself. I could see it on his face when he was thinking like, "How could I not have seen this before?" Well here's what I want him and everyone of you to know. We, as entrepreneurs, we go into the future. We create a new reality. We come back to the present and we insist it becomes real. That activity of doing that, going into the future, not staying in the present, creating a new reality, challenging the status quo, coming back to the present and insisting it becomes real. That activity conditions us to believe that we are the only person who can grow our business.
And so what we have to do is get really present in the now, in the reality and a time study does that for us. And it shows us exactly where we can get help. It fools our ego into offloading what we do best or what we think we do best. And here's what I want you to know and anyone who ever has felt like they had, can't grow their business because they're the only one to, who can do it to know is that there has never been any discipline that can't be offloaded in some way. Even when you look ... And people who are creative tell me all the time, "Well I'm the creative." Well then there's tactical things around the creative that you can offload.
I had a person in class who said, "Well I'm a filmmaker. I'm the only person who sees the filmmaking." He did the three day time study going backwards. It's not even as effective as doing it in the present and writing down what you're doing in 15 minute increments. He stood up later and said, "You know when I look at these three days now I can see everywhere I can get help."
So what I want you to do is think about doing a two week time study because as entrepreneurs our ego is one of the most important things that there is in growing our business. It convinces us that we can do it. It allows us to put up with the negative feedback with the controversy, with the frustration of growing the business. Our ego keeps us going when times get tough. Our ego is what drives us forward when everybody else is saying you should just stop or get a job of give up or stop trying. Our ego is critically important. And having a strong ego as an entrepreneur will help you. But when it comes to scaling your business we need to get your ego out of the way. And the way we do that is by getting present now, in the present looking exactly how you're spending your time and offloading everything you can today. Don't try and replace yourself completely all at once. You do it little by little. 90 days at a time. One two week time study at a time. Offload everything that's tactical and you will see your business explode.
Every entrepreneur I've ever worked with who's willing to go through this exercise has had a massive increase in their business. And here's what's even more important, they end up doing more of what they love to do, what they want to do, what they're best at. And over time they get massive leverage around it so they finally start making the impact and have the influence that they've always wanted and I know you can too.
If you're ready to start growing your business then we want to talk to you. The reason that Russell has asked me to be part of the Two Comma Club X Coaching Program is because our organization helps entrepreneurs build teams, build leverage and grow empires faster than anybody out there. And we can help you too. So if you're interested go to billionairecode.com/apply. There's an application there that if you answer some questions from my team and I, we will give you exclusive information about how we help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, explode their numbers, build their teams and create empires fast. Go to billionairecode.com/apply. And don't wait. In fact, here's my commitment to you. Just filling out the application at billionairecode.com/apply, will give you momentum. I actually had one of the people who filled it out sent me a message and said, "Just going through your process was cathartic." Here's why. We know entrepreneurs better than anybody else. And if you're finally ready to get the leverage, the team, the business around you that you've always wanted and make the impact that you've always known you could, go to billionairecode.com/apply.