Momentum Podcast: 371
Lack Of Transparancy Creates Anger
by Alex Charfen
As an entrepreneur, as a coach, I have been watching entrepreneurs for over two decades. I've also been reading about successful people and how they grow their businesses, how they grow their contribution to their world for over that long, and I feel like that has allowed me to see equations that the average person, the average coach, the average expert doesn't see, and one of them is that lack of transparency will create anger.
This might be interesting for you, especially if you're in a place where you've been frustrated, upset, confused and not knowing what to do. Lack of transparency creates anger.
There are three alignments that matter to the EPT. Three alignments that keep us sane, alive, and moving forward.
It's simple, first is the alignment with how we are treating ourselves, how aligned are we with what we want?
The second is the alignment we have in our relationships, it's usually the alignment with a significant other that drives all our other relationships.
Thirdly is our alignment with our business. When we fail to be transparent with ourselves, with our relationships and with the people in our business what happens is we end up tolerating too much.
A lack of transparency eventually creates frustration and anger. If you're driven by anger, you will not be successful.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: As an entrepreneur, as a coach, I have been watching entrepreneurs for over two decades. I've also been reading about successful people and how they grow their businesses, how they grow their contribution to their world for over that long, and I feel like that has allowed me to see equations that the average person, the average coach, the average expert doesn't see, and one of them is that lack of transparency will create anger. This might be interesting for you, especially if you're in a place where you've been frustrated, upset, confused and not knowing what to do. Lack of transparency creates anger.
Years ago, I was coaching an entrepreneur who had a ton going on, and this is very common for me. But I was just thinking about this morning because I just had several different clients, current clients of mine go through this issue where lack of transparency creates anger, and I'll share with you first this story and then the equation that I see. So years ago, I was coaching a very successful female entrepreneur, a CEO who was just a game-changing CEO, and she had a ton going on. She was in a challenging relationship with her spouse. He was not very supportive. In fact, he was the opposite of supportive.
He really did his own thing, didn't support her, didn't give her a lot of time, didn't even help out with their kids. She had a couple of kids that she had with him, and she was very frustrated with their relationship, which ended up with her getting frustrated with the kids. Then what happened over time, she had a deteriorating relationship with her husband but didn't tell anybody about it. She kept it all inside. She didn't tell her team. She didn't tell her parents. She didn't tell her family, anybody around her.
She told me. I was really the only person who knew. Then what happened was she started having challenges with her team, and some of those she shared with me, some of those she didn't. But what happened was because she started with a lack of transparency in one area in her marriage, and then she wouldn't share about her marriage in other areas, she just started to be less and less transparent. Here's what happened. I finally got a call from her where she just broke down. She fell apart on the phone call, and I remember her sobbing and sitting there and waiting for her to tell me what was going on.
She finally said, "I'm just so angry at everyone and at everything. I feel like I'm angry at my life." I have seen so many entrepreneurs get to that exact place, that angry at my life place, that frustrated with everything place, that feeling like you just don't want to go forward. In fact, really feeling like you want to take your toys and go home. I remember her saying that and then waiting a few seconds and then saying, "Hey, do you mind if I walk you through how I think you got here?" Thankfully, she said yes, and I said, "I just want you to realize something. How much pressure are you feeling in your marriage right now?"
It was dramatic. She's like, "I'm feeling so much pressure I don't know how to communicate. I don't know what to say. It's been like this for so long. He doesn't support me. He's not doing what I want." I said, "Okay, okay. So how much pressure are you feeling from your business right now?" She said, "There's three people in the business that I haven't talked to that they're really frustrating me, and it feels like everything's falling in on itself, and just the systems aren't working, and I feel so frustrated by it. I just don't know what to do."
I said, "Well, how frustrated are you with your family and the relationships that you have and the people that are around you right now?" She's like, "Oh, so frustrating." I have to go spend time around them, and they don't know what's going on with my husband. They don't know what's going on in my business. So I just have to pretend like everything's peachy and great, and that makes me even more frustrated and angry.
I said, "So what I just heard from you was it in three very important areas of your life, the alignment in your relationship, the alignment in the relationships around you, and the alignment with your business, you are not being transparent. As a result, the alignment with yourself, you are lying to yourself, and you're putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, and you're literally in a situation where you have walked yourself down a path to where now you're angry with everyone and everything, and like you said, angry with your life."
I remember just pausing to see what her reaction would be, and there was a dramatic pause. I'm like, "Holy cow. Did she hang up on me?" She came back, and she said, "I think you're right, but I don't know what to do." I said, "Well, this is going to be one of the hardest transitions you're going to make in your entire life, but I want you to know something. It's going to be hard going in and the biggest relief you ever felt coming out, because what I want you to do is go start being honest with people and go start really communicating with your husband, with your team, with your family, and it's going to allow you to communicate with you because there are three alignments that matter to the entrepreneurial personality type."
There are three foundational alignments that keep us sane, that keep us alive, that keep us moving forward, and those three alignments are simple. It is the alignment we have with ourself. How are we treating ourselves in the world? How aligned are we with what we want? The second is the alignment we have in our relationships. It's usually the significant other relationship which drives all of our other relationships. If you want to know how somebody's going to behave in a relationship, look at how they behave with their boyfriend, their girlfriend, their spouse, and you will see how they behave in all relationships.
If they cheat on their spouse, they're going to cheat on you in a partnership. If they respect their spouse, if they communicate with their spouse, if they're honest with their spouse, they're going to be honest with you in a relationship. That's just how it is. Then the third alignment is our alignment with our business. See, we are different than the rest of the world. Those three alignments are the foundational alignments that keep us sane.
Here's the issue. When we start ... Let me say it in a different way. When we fail to be transparent with ourselves, with our relationships, and with the people in our business, what ends up happening is we by default start tolerating too much. Something in our business frustrates us, we stuff it down. Something with our relationship frustrates us, we stuff it down. Something with what's going on with the people around us frustrates us again, we stuff it down. We don't communicate. We don't tell people what's going on.
A lack of transparency eventually creates anger. Here's what happens to entrepreneurial personality types driven by anger. When we get to the place where we're angry with the world, our cortisols go up. Our stress hormones go up. Adrenaline goes up. Our thyroid starts burning, and we start putting ourselves in a physiological state where we will not be successful. I want you to understand what I'm saying. When we start to deny what's going on, when there's a lack of transparency in our lives, everything will go downhill.
In fact, I used to even tell entrepreneurs, your body will show your lack of transparency, and people would freak out and say, "What do you mean by that? Your body will show your lack of transparency?" Well, here's what happens. I've been there. I've been there. The way I know how this feels is I've been there. I'm trying not to get emotional. In my 20s, I was running a $250 million company where I wasn't transparent with people. I didn't tell them what really was going on for me.
I was in a relationship that was abusive. I was being treated abusively. It was mentally abusive, emotionally abusive. Thankfully, it wasn't ever really physically abusive, but the mental and emotional abuse and the withdrawing and everything else I was dealing with was over the top, and I wasn't transparent about it. I didn't know how to be transparent. I sucked it up and I tried to make it better myself. I wasn't aligned with who I wanted to be. I was dealing with so much in my business and in my relationship that here's what happened.
I got to a place of anger and confusion and frustration that I felt like I couldn't get out of, and I ended up running a huge business that anyone around me would have said, "Man, that guy's successful and that guy's doing so well." But here's what it really felt like. It felt like I was hanging on for dear life, and at any minute everything could come crumbling down, because I wasn't telling people what was really going on, and I wasn't really communicating what was happening for me.
That lack of transparency, here's what it did to me. I ended up drinking too much in all candor. I ended up eating way too much. I ended up ... I stopped working out. I was so stressed out working out felt like it hurt, and I didn't really want to, and I didn't really want to put in the time. So I ended up in a situation where my cortisols were through the roof. My body fat went off the charts. My blood pressure went up.
By the time I was 30, and I had met Cadey, shortly after that we went to a doctor's appointment for me, and my doctor told me he had an aging ... He said, "Alex, I have an aging population in South Florida. Most of my clients are 20 years older than you or more. Most of my patients are 20 years older than you or more, and you are my next likely most case of a heart attack," and he wasn't kidding. It was because I sucked it up, and I stuffed it down, and I didn't tell people what was really going on. I wasn't honest.
That lack of transparency created anger in my mind. It created constraint in my body. It made me feel like I couldn't move forward like I was stuck, and it was the most frustrating thing in my life. Here's what happened. I finally got real and started telling people what was going on for me. I finally started communicating what was really happening. I started having real conversations in my relationship, which ended it. I started having real conversations in my business, which changed things, and then later on I decided I wanted to sell it and change what I was doing completely.
I started having real conversations with myself about what I want in my life to be like and who I wanted to be and how I wanted to feel and what I wanted to do on a daily basis and what type of contribution I wanted to make, and I changed everything. But here's the bridge that I used that I want you to use. Transparency. Start telling people what's really going on for you. As an evolutionary hunter, when you hold it in, when you don't share, when you don't let people know what's going on, it just tears you up and burns you down.
We as entrepreneurs, as an entrepreneurial personality type, we have a tendency to tolerate way too much. Here's what I know what's happened for you and for me and for everybody like us. We have all been in that situation in our lives where the cards were stacked against us, where we didn't have the right resources. We didn't have enough time. We didn't have the knowledge. We didn't have the skillset. But we saw a tiny at the end of the tunnel. While everyone else in our life was saying, "Hey, that light is a train," we compelled ourselves towards that light.
We brought it towards us. We stepped through that light, made life happen, and that is where we defined who we are today. The challenge with that equation for people like us is that we will tolerate too much because we've all been in the place where tolerating and putting up with and gaming the system and surviving the system got us to what we wanted. But I have news for you. Fail forward, fail fast is a great way to get started, but it is not a strategy for long-term success.
See, the way we create long-term success is through the bridge of transparency. Transparency will change everything in your life. When you let your team know how you really feel and what's going on for you, they will help and support you in a different way. It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I shared with any team that I ever had that I was dyslexic, dysgraphic, and scared of calendars. Prior to that, I used to pretend and fake it. When I finally told my team, "Hey, guys, sometimes, I have a hard time reading as fast as you because when I've got a lot of stuff going on, it's hard for me."
Sometimes, I have a hard time with math when we're in meetings and things are going really fast. A lot of times, when we open a calendar, I get heart palpitations. When I finally started telling my team, they supported me in a way. That made me stop feeling broken. When I finally got into a relationship with Cadey, I felt so blessed and so lucky to be in a relationship with her that I just told her everything, and I trusted that if I was honest with her and real with her, she would be honest and real back with me, and that's why I feel like I have one of the strongest marriages of anyone out there.
To be candid, do we have issues? Absolutely. Do we have challenges? Of course we do. We're two evolutionary hunters who are out to go make our place in the world and make a massive contribution. So every once in a while we bump into each other. But the fact that we can come together and tell each other what's absolutely going on and share with each other, it changes everything for us. The most important place that transparency has affected me and by being real with my team, by being real with Cadey, by being real with my daughters, it allows me to be real with me and to no longer put up with and tolerate and pretend like I'm happy with what's going on.
It allows me to declare the change I want to make in the world and then assemble the team and go out and make it happen. It allows me to draw into my life the relationships that I need and the people that I need and the clients that I want and the help that I need because every one of us needs way more help than we're willing to admit, and transparency will get you there too. So if you've been in a place recently where you feel stuck or frustrated or confused and you're going towards that place of being angry, I want you to know that the bridge out is transparency, and it will change everything.
That story that I shared the beginning, that woman ended up actually being really transparent with her husband, and as a result, she ended the marriage that she had. She realized how abusive it was and ended it and ended up in a new relationship where she felt fully supported, and her new spouse actually really knew who she was. She ended up being really transparent and real with her team, not just about what was going on for her, but what was going on in her marriage and what was going on with her husband. She was blown away.
I remember getting messages from her saying like, "You're not going to believe this. I told my team what was going on, and they're supporting me like crazy, and you're not going to believe this. I told my team what was going on, and they're now doing things for me in a different way, and they're making it so much easier." I remember getting messages from her sobbing the same way she did in the first message but sobbing out of joying gratitude, because when she was finally willing to tell people who she really was and what she really needed, the world showed up and gave it to her, and that is my message to you.
The day you're ready to show up and tell people who you really are and what you really need and what is really going for you, the more transparent you are, the faster the world will rise to help you. The more real you are, the faster the people around you will understand you and help you get what you want. The more transparent you are with everyone, the more they will know exactly what is needed to help you back into and keep you in momentum.
So if there's one message from this podcast I want you to remember is that lack of transparency creates anger. But transparency everywhere creates momentum everywhere. Stop holding back. Stop hiding. Stop apologizing for who you are. Stop tolerating and putting up with things. Be real with the people around you. Let them know what's going on. Practice radical transparency, and you will see momentum in your life everywhere.
I love you and thank you for being on this podcast with me. I actually recorded it live on Facebook. If you want to go watch the video, you can, and you can check out our new Evolutionary Hunters shirt that will soon be a product we're selling, and if you're ready to create more momentum in your life than you ever thought possible, go to freemomentumbook.com. Download the Entrepreneurial Personality Type book. I'll pay for it. You just pay for shipping, and it takes about 45 minutes to read it. But I have had entrepreneurs around the world tell me that that book explained themselves, to themselves, better than anybody ever has. Freemomentumbook.com.