Momentum Podcast: 462
Why Planning Makes Us Uncomfortable
by Alex Charfen
As a company, we just finished our quarterly strategic planning, and it is such a weight off my shoulders. We have clarity, confidence and commitment as to where we're going in the next quarter.
However, in the process of planning I'm often uncomfortable. In fact, even though our company shows companies around the world how to create and execute strategic plans, planning is not easy for me, and it's not easy for most entrepreneurs. In fact, there's a reason it makes us uncomfortable, sometimes frustrated, uneasy, and even triggered, and it might surprise you.
My team and I have just completed our quarterly planning. Planning is not easy for me and it's not easy for most entrepreneurs. There's a reason that it makes us uncomfortable. When you are in the act of planning, you are making the admission that you do not yet have a clear outcome. This is why so many of us avoid planning. It makes us feel frustrated and out of control. If you can get used to that feeling of restlessness when you enter into a planning situation and push through to actually making your strategic plan, you will feel the weight lift off of your shoulders and you'll experience momentum like never before.
I want you to feel the clarity, confidence, and commitment that comes with effective planning. Our personal planning cadence is in momentummasterclass.com check it out. If you're a business looking to grow your team and need clarity around strategic planning on a larger scale go to billionairecode.com
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: As a company, we just finished our quarterly strategic planning, and it is such a weight off my shoulders. We have clarity, confidence and commitment as to where we're going in the next quarter. However, in the process of planning I'm often uncomfortable. In fact, even though our company shows companies around the world how to create and execute strategic plans, planning is not easy for me, and it's not easy for most entrepreneurs. In fact, there's a reason it makes us uncomfortable, sometimes frustrated, uneasy, and even triggered, and it might surprise you.
Alex Charfen: 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. Should 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.
Alex Charfen: 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.
Alex Charfen: This week as a company we were getting ready for, and then, we actually went through our strategic planning for the quarter. I'm driving in the car, so you might hear some background noise. I'm on my way to get a haircut, but I just feel such a weight off my shoulders, because I'm in momentum. I mean, insane, crazy, huge, out of control momentum, because me, and Greg, and Deanna, and Haley just went through our strategic planning for the quarter, and I am so excited that we got it done, and that we're ready to go, and that it's ... we have our outcomes ready and set.
Alex Charfen: Here's part of the reason I'm so excited, is that in order to be in momentum as an entrepreneurial personality type you have to have three things. One, a clear outcome, a clear understanding of where you're going. Two, you have to know what role you're playing in that outcome, and you have to have the appropriate help from other people to stay in momentum, and three, you have to have a scoreboard measurement, a way to know that you're actually making progress in momentum, and that you're moving things forward, and that's exactly where I am right now, because we just finished planning, we have our waterfall, we have our strategic plan, and I'm ready to go.
Alex Charfen: However, often when I'm going into planning meetings, or I'm getting ready to plan, I'm uncomfortable. In fact, here's what happened this week. It was pretty funny, and it gave me a chance to like relate to someone in a very personal way on my team. This week we were getting ready for quarterly planning, and early in the week I got on one of my morning phone calls with our operations manager Haley who is amazing, and I could tell something was off, and I said, “Haley, are you okay? Is something wrong? It seems like something's bothering you.” And she's like, “Something is, I don't know what it is. I feel frustrated. I'm like, a little triggered. I'm a little irritated, and I don't know what it is.”
Alex Charfen: I said, “Well, how does it feel?” And so, she started, explained to me. She felt a little stress, she felt like she was forgetting something, she felt like she was missing something, and as she was explaining what she was thinking it snapped for me, and I said, “Haley, see if this resonates. We're going into our quarterly planning this week.” And, she's like, “Yeah.” And, I said, “Have you been thinking about it all weekend?” She said, “Yeah, I was, you know, I'm thinking about it. I want it to go well, I really want us to have a great outcome, to plan an incredible quarter.” I said, "Well, see if this makes sense. When you are going into a planning meeting, when you are in the active planning, you are also making the admission that right now you do not have a clear outcome, because when you're planning, you're in fact creating that clear outcome.”
Alex Charfen: I asked Haley, “Does it make sense that maybe you're a little uneasy, or you feel that discomfort, because we don't really have a clear plan right now? We're creating it, we're in the process of doing it. We know we're going to have it soon, but right now we don't have a clear plan." And, she kind of smiled at me, looked at me, and said, “Yeah, you know that does kind of make sense.” Because when you are an entrepreneur who doesn't have a clear outcome, when you don't have absolute clarity as to where you're going, here's what happens, you can't feel like you're in momentum. We are evolutionary hunters, we are that small percentage of the population that drives the outcomes in the world, that makes things happen. Very few of us are even comfortable being passengers in any way. We wanna be in control, we wanna be making things happen, we wanna be driving the outcome, we wanna understand it, we wanna see it, we wanna know what's happening.
Alex Charfen: And, Haley is exactly like that, and you probably are too. That's part of the reason I love her, is because her drive, her motivation, her insistence that things get done. That's just how she is. However, all of those strengths that insistence that things get done, that drive, that motivation, that absolute personal vested interest in making things happen is exactly why she was frustrated, and it's exactly why so many of us as entrepreneurs are frustrated around planning, and I would go as far to say, that it's why so many of us are ... so many of us avoid planning. We actually don't plan, we avoid planning, because we have that feeling that it's just something we don't wanna do.
Alex Charfen: And so, I want you to try this on [inaudible 00:05:54]. See as you go into planning, if you can get used to that feeling of restlessness, that frustration, that irritation, and then, you lay down a strategic plan you feel like I do right now. Here's where I am right now. I know that for the next 90 days I do not have to ask the question, what are we doing as a company? I know that for the next 90 days we have absolute clarity on exactly what we're executing, and what we are going to crush to create momentum for our clients, and I know that for the next 90 days there's no question, my team's going to be productive, we're gonna move our company forward, and if we finish what we have on the waterfall, see, here's why it's so special.
Alex Charfen: If we finish what we have on the waterfall, I know that right now when I look at the waterfall, and I say man, if we hit 80% of this in 90 days we're gonna be a completely different company. We're gonna be in a totally different growth spurt, we're a growth curve, we're gonna be in a totally different place for lead generation, for delivery, for our clients, for everything else, and I absolutely can't wait to get there, but it all feels that way because we put the time into creating a strategic plan. It feels that way because we put up with the discomfort of feeling like something is wrong going into planning. It feels that way because we created this massive clarity in, even though it's something that isn't easy for people like us, because see, if you can start equating that restlessness, that frustration, that feeling of not wanting to plan with that calm before, or that storm before the calm, that's really what it is.
Alex Charfen: It's that feeling of restless, and frustration until it finally gets pinned down, put into a plan, and you have clarity, and all of that shifts completely into momentum. I paid attention this time. I wanted to share this with you, going through this planning period. When Haley said she felt restless and irritated, the reason I knew what she was feeling was because I was feeling the same way, and so, I wanted to pay attention, and see what happened, and really gauge my feelings, and here's what I can tell you having been through it this time, and this is coming from someone who's planned a lot. These are my observations having planned a lot, but now I've been through planning sessions a lot, and here's what I can tell you, all of the restlessness, all of the ambiguity, all of the vulnerability, all the irritation I was feeling has shifted in to a massive feeling of boosted momentum.
Alex Charfen: Because, it's not that I'm clear, it's that I'm clear, it's that my leadership team is clear, it's that given the waterfall we just laid out my entire team is going to be clear, and everyone in my business is going to know exactly what they need to do in order to create momentum for each other, to support each other, to move our company forward, and to help our clients as much as they possibly can. Even though we avoid planning we shouldn't, and it's one of those things, this morning Greg who handles all of our systems said, “Planning is kind of like working out.” It's one of those things where if you sit down, and as you're thinking about doing it, you don't really want to, but if you sit down, and you finally do it afterwards you feel better, you feel energized. There's blood coursing through your veins, and that's how it is so often for us when we're going to the gym.
Alex Charfen: I know sometimes I feel that way. People think that I get up every day just wanting to work out, because when I'm on Instagram it looks like I wanted to work out. Well, the reality is there's some days I'm talking myself into it, but I've learned over the past 46 years that if I can get myself into the gym on the way out I feel that much better, and so, sometimes, it's a little harder to get in, but it feels so much better once I've done it, and that's the same dynamic when it comes to planning. Sometimes it's hard to get started, sometimes it's a little frustrating, sometimes it doesn't feel like it's gonna work out, sometimes I feel restless and agitated, but every time when I'm using the right framework, the right systems every single time it feels like momentum, it feels like massive momentum on the other side.
Alex Charfen: I want you to know this feeling. I want you to feel this, so if you are an entrepreneur that's under $300, 000 a year our personal planning cadence is in momentummasterclass.com. Check it out, and if you're over 300, 000, and you wanna get clarity in your personal life as to have a strategic plan, how to execute, how to plan on a daily basis, and get things done go to momentummasterclass.com, and if you're running a business with a team, and you want the feeling of having a strategic plan that you know every member of your team is going to execute, and blow things up go to billionairecode.com, answer a few questions.
Alex Charfen: We'll show you exactly where you are in the Billionaire Code. You will get an opportunity to set up a call with a member of my team, and let us show you how we can help you create a strategic plan. I had to learn how to say it first, let us show you how we can help you create a strategic plan, put together the right communication system so that your team knows exactly how to execute it, and grow your business faster than you ever thought possible.