Momentum Podcast: 623
Process Produces Growth Part 2
by Alex Charfen
By far, my favorite part of our events is hearing from our members. I love to listen to entrepreneurs who are in Momentum, changing the world, and absolutely, and totally willing to share exactly how they'are doing it and will help anyone around them. If you listen to the first part of this panel, you already know that's exactly what we're hearing here is entrepreneurs who are ready to help anyone. That's just how our membership is. And on the second half of our member panel sharing how they're growing their businesses, I think you're going to get a ton of insight into the process, structure, and routine that really makes businesses grow.
Welcome to part two of an inside peek into our exclusive Charfen Summit. This is the second part of a panel of our members who are experiencing growth and success by implementing the right processes, structures, and routines into their life and business. These are some of the most talented entrepreneurs on the planet who are in momentum and creating positive change with their businesses.
The biggest topic of conversation in this section was about how to lead your clients and your team. The reality is, entrepreneurs are natural leaders, but we can fall into the trap of managing people transactionally instead of transformationally. With the right framework in place, you can get out of the loops of telling people what to do, checking that it got done, and then telling them what to do again. These entrepreneurs will share with you exactly what that feels like.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: This is the Momentum Podcast. By far, my favorite part of our events is hearing from our members. I love to listen to entrepreneurs who are in Momentum, changing the world, and absolutely, and totally willing to share exactly how they'are doing it and will help anyone around them. If you listen to the first part of this panel, you already know that's exactly what we're hearing here is entrepreneurs who are ready to help anyone. That's just how our membership is. And on the second half of our member panel sharing how they're growing their businesses, I think you're going to get a ton of insight into the process, structure, and routine that really makes businesses grow.
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 evolution, and we always will be.
Lars, same questions for you. So, I know you were in our programs way back in the real estate days, but now, especially with you transitioning out of Traction, what would you say are the things that maybe anybody who ... We do have a bunch of people who come to us from EOS, so what would you recommend to them? Or what would you just recommend in general to anybody who's on here to get started quickly, and to get up and running quickly?
Lars: Yeah, one thing I really appreciate about the way you've laid out all of it, and you call it minimum effective dose. It really is something that I haven't seen in any other program I've been part of. So it just allows you to get into the content and learn a piece of it. And so actually when we signed up, every night, I would just tell my wife, like, "I'm going to go work out," and I would just get on my Peloton tread, and I would just walk for like two hours, but I was just consuming your content. And she's like, "You're working out for a long time." I'm like, "I've got to get in shape." But really, it was honestly just an excuse to really get through as much of it as possible, and just really process in my mind the differences.
Because being in Traction, we were deep in Traction, implementer $5,000, $5,500 a day, five times a year type expense. And so getting out of that mindset, and really seeing ... I wrote down, "Traction ended at the 90-day." Honestly, and it's not good, or bad, or indifferent, it just ended. And then it was all on me and Stacy. Like, "Okay, I guess we're going to lift these rocks for the next 90 days," and we'd be lifting these rocks in our businesses. And just seeing as painful as the OTAs were the first time, I left that meeting with the biggest headache. We were four hours into our first set of OTAs around our 90-day targets, and I'm like, "What did we do before?" I asked Stacy, "How did we get to the point where we're a multimillion dollar business and we didn't have real clear outcomes, super transparent, and this is who's accountable?" commitment, that meeting, the whole team is there eyeball to eyeball, this is what we agreed to do. I can't do it this week. Can you do this thing for me this week? And it's just a different ... And then the daily huddles, Stacy and I each had real estate teams, and we failed multiple times running daily huddles before. We think they're this ... It never landed. And so we both had fear around that. And just to suspend disbelief and just start doing it, and I have all my scripts, and Stacy runs all of it. I don't know where they are right now, but it's right there. It's choreographed. And we are just going through the motions now. We're only on our third week of daily huddles, and the team is already super engaged.
They can see the value of it. And then getting the whole team on the Momentum Planner, I think is really, really important. So, we're all showing up to that daily huddle. We've already planned our day, and Stacy will say, "Did everybody do their ... have they done their daily plan?" And everyone will either show, or will say yes, or will admit that we haven't, or whatever the problem was. So it's just really just different. And when you said, I think it was on a podcast, you said, "A passenger in your own business." I liked the sound of it. I didn't really believe it.
Alex Charfen: Nobody does.
Lars: And now you can, you can really just see that this thing has a life of its own, and it's not this effort. Every quarter was this monumental effort for me, and I remember a couple years ago, I just had a breakdown on my business, and we had just gone from one seven to one eight to one nine. And on one nine, we spent $1.4 million of expenses. And I told the team, I'm like, "I am just so over this, All this effort, all these meetings." We're in California, somewhere on a two-day event, and nothing is getting done, and we're not actually moving the business forward. And so, yeah, so it's just it feels like I can breathe again, knowing even though we had to put the reps in, I'm breathing easier knowing that we're on the front end of something that's really going to give us whatever a similar word to Traction is. Momentum, momentum.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, momentum, baby. So Lars, real quick question. Have you seen any changes or shifts in the behavior, or how your team shows up now that they're using the Momentum Planner?
Lars: Yeah, and well, when you first started asking that question, the first thing that came to our mind is one of our team members has experienced with us in Traction. And I can see her mind going to Traction tendencies, like taking a project that's just for her department, or not looking at the business as a business and the five core functions, where is the business? So that just came to mind. Yeah, most of our team members did not have any kind of planning process, or any way to ... What we've seen is that they are showing up to their daily huddles ready to talk about where they're winning, and what they're grateful for, and who's copying [inaudible 00:00:07:10]. And we were following the script to the script. And so, I think that we had a lot of loyalty in our teams, and Stacy did a good job of building that up, where they're willing to trust us. And in a short period of time, they're seeing ... at first they were like, "Oh my gosh, that seems you have 12 quarterly or 90-day targets." And we're just like, "Let's just get to work on them. Let's not judge if it's too much or too little," and we're knocking them out. We're only two months into that, and we've knocked most of them out already.
Alex Charfen: That's awesome. That's so awesome. Yeah, Julie just commented, too. That's the thing I realized with implementing the daily planners, most team members don't have a daily productivity system. We make assumptions like, "Oh, hey, they're good on their side." But I learned this a long time ago, when we implemented the Franklin planner, we used to use the Franklin Day Planning System. The Momentum Planner was born from me using the Franklin for 14 years, and realizing what a complete tactical loop that program keeps you in. That system, it's incredible at doing the exact same thing every week, every day for months and years at a time. But there's no exit to that every day, everything.
And so when we created the Momentum Planner, it was really what can we use from the CEO level all the way through the business to create alignment, and to create the same type of progress? So, I appreciate the feedback Lars. So [Adi 00:08:33], same thing for you. I think that this is really an opportunity for a lot of people, because on this panel, you have the smallest team. It's just a two-person team right now, but you've had massive results. That's why we asked you to be on this panel, because your results are really intense. What would you recommend to someone who feels like, "Hey I'm towards the beginning of the billionaire code. I'm getting started here." What should they do first? What did you do to tab the results you have?
Adi: So here's the thing, I think what you really spoke to that resonated with me so much the first time I heard you speak is I'm really good at the things I'm good at, and I know that. It's been proven to me time and time again. That's easy for me. Put me in a room with somebody who's struggling, and thinking of killing themselves tomorrow, and I'll turn them around. And by the end of that day, they're excited about what the next week or month is going to look. I kill there.
But I mean for me, the process started with reading a Russell Brunson book and thinking, "Oh, how am I going to go online?" And I did WordPress programming back in the day when I used to do a blog, and I've done all this stuff. And so I did the same thing. I jumped into this place where I just learned how to ... okay, I sign up for click funnels, started to horribly design terrible pages. You said this at 2CCX, the system was there to allow my revenue to grow far beyond what a private practice would be. So I took it to 100 or 125 with nobody helping. But then, I just kept trying to make it grow more, and more, and more just on my own back.
And what I realized was I was starting to hate my own work. I was good at it, but I just wanted to leave the business. I couldn't fathom being ... My wife was hating where I was going. Nothing was good. And so I hired help, because I don't know if you remember this, but one of the first things you said was, "If you're asking the question of, if you need an EA, then you already need an EA." So I went out, I was barely [crosstalk 00:10:34]-
Alex Charfen: And I said, "If you keep asking it, you are one."
Adi: Yeah. So I went out, you hadn't done all the training yet, so I didn't know how to hire or whatever, but I went and got help. And I got a little bit of feeding of what that felt like. And then you did this eight-hour training, and we started putting systems in place. And the first thing I felt was not more money. The first thing I felt was, okay, I get to at least show up to my business and not hate what I do every day. It doesn't matter if I'm good at it. If I despise it, I'd rather go get a part-time job somewhere, at least enjoy my life. And so that was the first thing. But what showed up after when the processes started being put in place was, I think we talked about it yesterday, but every time we had to figure out, well, how do I do this thing? We had to sit down, and we have to put a process in place to go, "Okay, well, how does that happen?" And it's a pain in the butt. And, and it would take me months.
We have our accountability coach, which is essentially our customer service rep for our signups. It took me probably three months to come up with, okay, what's an onboarding call like? When somebody first signs up, because my people are struggling. When somebody first finds me, they're not trying to make more money. They're not looking to travel. They're not looking to get better at selling real estate. They're at their last. If this doesn't help them, they don't know where to go.
Alex Charfen: They're hanging out at rock bottom.
Adi: Yeah, and so it needs to be a really sensitive call. And so I trained this person who's doing amazingly well now on this, literally decision tree. If they say this, what do we say? A script, something I never thought that I would do. But you told me, we were sitting one day and I said to you, "Well, these are the things I have to do," and one of the things was, I have to do the group coaching, and I have to do the one-on-one coaching. And I remember it was, I don't know, there were like 400 people at the Two Comma Club X event, or something like that. You looked at me like, "Really?" And we almost fought about it. It was like a five minute discussion where I was like, "No, no, no. I have to be the one that does the coaching. Nobody else can coach. That's why I've started this company." And you looked at me and you kind of said like, "Well, cool. But then your business isn't going to grow. You're going to be the guy who does the coaching." And I fought with myself for, I don't know, a couple of weeks before I went, "Wow, I have to complete ... It's not even about hiring people into the business. I have to change the concept of what my business is."
Alex Charfen: Yes.
Adi: Because if I'm going to be the guy in front of all the groups, I'm either going to go back to hating my business, or I'm going to figure out how to train other people. And so we put in place our first training program for coaches. And it was, oh my God, it was held together with duct tape, man. It was insane. But I got my first two coaches out of it. They even paid for their own training. So I got my first two coaches, and it allowed me for the first time to take a 20% step back from coaching.
And now we're iterating that again. And we're going to bring in 5 to 10 more people into coaching, and slowly allow me to build the business I wanted instead of having a fancy pretend online, private practice. So it's funny that you say that the growth has been incredible, because what I came out of the morning session was we're at ... is a builder. I think we're a builder, but we just crossed into builder. But I already found two or three things that we haven't put in place from the earlier systems. And I couldn't figure out why we're not having the growth that I expected us to have. And when you said, "Hey, you got to look to the left, and what have you not completed?" And not only for me, but my operator, there's some things that we need to put in place for her to have the opportunity to grow.
Because I feel when we nail a couple of these little things now, we'll very quickly move to the top of builder instead of just having etched through it. And I think that's why it feels to me like ... I'm not going to lie to you guys. I hate online summits. I don't log into online summits, but I knew when this thing started, I'm like, "There are very small, incremental changes that I need to make in my business, and I don't know how to make them." And so, what did you put in the process? I'm indefinitely, I'm in conscious incompetence, and at least I know that I'm unconscious incompetence where at least I'm not in the first step, but I'm not a business operator. I've never been one. That's not where my power is.
And so you, first of all, gave me the freedom to do that. And then secondly, what I noticed is that I put small pieces of the puzzle. I already got this amazing growth, and Deanna knows this. When I came on, I said, "Oh, I implemented everything based on that eight-hour training." I had no other training from you. And when we joined, I was like, "Oh wow, we did 40% of the stuff. We barely even started touching it." So I'm really excited for what'll happen when we actually go back and start implementing each one of the pieces to the real extent that you get in this program instead of what I got before.
Alex Charfen: So there was a question about what was this eight-hour training? so here's what it was. Russell, a few years ago, asked me to be the coach for Two Comma Club X for scaling and productivity. And so I did an eight-hour training that was the equivalent of the Planning section of Strategic Direction, and that's it. It basically had from a Client Centric Mission all the way down to Weekly Commitments, and that was basically the only thing. So when Adi says he did about 40%, it's about 40% of the base strategic direction call content. It's probably 5% of our actual platform content once you're in growing scale, maybe 3% of the actual platform content. So I don't want to go too longer, because we're already running over these panels. We always run over, and it's because they're my favorite. And I would rather listen to our members than listen to me.
I want to give you guys a question that we can close on, well first I want to get a reaction from all four of you. So one of the things that I tell people all the time is you're not a unicorn, and we even had stickers made this time, so that you can stick it on your forehead. We'll make them backwards next time. So you can see it in the mirror because ... and I'm like, "I want it tattooed on the inside of my wrist." You're not a unicorn, because here's this belief we have as entrepreneurs. We're so different. We're so special. We're so unique that it's going to be really hard for us to get help where we really need it.
And one of the things that we talked about in this program always is the day you think you're a unicorn is the day you stop growing. The day you think you're better than everybody else is the day you stop growing. The day you think you're the only one who can do it is the day you have created as much entrepreneurial constraint as you possibly can. So just open question to all four of you, anyone who wants to answer, what is something that you've given up since being in this program? What's something that you've delegated or given responsibility to somebody else that you just didn't think you would? And what part of your unicorn-ness have you given up since you got into the program?
Alex Charfen: Let's hear it, Megan.
Megan: I never thought that I'd give up the control of the finances, because it was always something managed by us. And we just handed that off in the last weeks, and it feels so liberating and free to let somebody who's classically trained to do that, and to make decisions on budgets, and to make decisions that I was doing because I was a leader, or because I saw the vision. I never thought I'd hand that over, and now it's a huge time back.
Alex Charfen: Yeah, is it just time, Megan?
Megan: It's also energy, and emotion, and the stress of the little things. When we look at the big picture, then it takes me out of that panic mode as well, and it reduces the noise. It reduces the amount of things that I'm nitpicking. Where did this money go? Why did we test out this new software, when we've got this other one that does the same thing, right?
Alex Charfen: Yeah.
Megan: And it allows the Operations Team to have a little bit more freedom and flexibility without me bearing down on them.
Alex Charfen: That's awesome. Yeah. I mean, it's such a good ... I love the finance handoff, because here's what a lot of entrepreneurs find with the finance handoff. Just in handing off finance, the tactical pain in the business goes down by about half, because it's that whole financial management process where you almost relive every decision you've made three or four times. Is that fair, Megan?
Megan: For sure.
Alex Charfen: Awesome. All right. Who else? Who else has one out of the three that are left?
Lars: I would say, just trusting Stacy with running the entire cadence, just getting really clear that this passenger in your business ... just hearing you talk about how we think we're doing good in the business, and we think when we chime in, we think when we take something and do it ourselves, we think we're doing good and we're helping, and we're not. And just trusting that, just trusting our people more and more, and really just developing that relationship with Stacy, my operator, and just letting her run this thing. And that to me has been the biggest weight. Financially I'm good, my physical health, I've got a great family. I just carry this heavy, heavy weight all the freaking time, no matter how much money I have in the bank, no matter how many vacations I take. And just in the last few months, I'm feeling that weight, even with COVID a little bit just dissipating.
Alex Charfen: That's awesome.
Lars: And just knowing that now, Stacy ... Well, now she has a lot on her plate. So the session with [Hayley 00:20:12] was super powerful. I didn't know if she was on when it started. I'm like, "You got to get on. Get on right now." So I think there's even power in that, because we've got someone in our business that is going to be able to be her right hand person and sort of like my EA, that triangle that you guys talked about. So, just the weight of her carrying the cadence, loving on the team, seeing where the blind spots are has been the biggest shift.
Alex Charfen: I love that, Lars. It's such a big deal. And what I heard, I always listen to what entrepreneurs are saying, and it translates into my language in my head. Because here's what I heard, is that there's this massive weight of pressure and noise that's been relieved. And here's what I know for entrepreneurs. When we get that background noise, that weight you've been carrying around, that pressure on your shoulders, when that starts to dissipate, creativity goes through the roof, and the ability to check in on the business goes through the roof. And here's what's crazy. Even for those of you who don't believe you can, your ability to build relationships with the people around you completely transforms. Have you felt any of that, Lars?
Lars: Yeah. And just realizing, and some of this is just hearing you talk through the podcast as well. Nobody really teaches this transformational leadership. I mean, I'm 13 years into building businesses, and nobody has really taught it to me. And how we undercut our people with this transactional, give them a bone. They go eat the bone. They come back for another bone. And that's sort of been my style for a long, long time. And even with the other system we ran, it was the same way. I had all the bones, and you had to come to me for them. And I don't know if that just made me feel good, or ... so, just knowing that the next step for me is ... it's really that 3 to 10, even though we're 2.3. It's really acting like that 3 to 10, acting that way before we get there, so that my team can step up and fill the gaps.
Alex Charfen: I love that. Julia, or Adi, do you have something you want to contribute?
Adi: Yeah. I mean, I talked about one that was the absolute biggest realization. It happened before I started here. It happened when I got exposed to your stuff, but letting go of that notion that I'm the only one who can. Just that in general allowed me. I mean, that was so suffocating. I held onto it like it was special, but it was actually just suffocating. It was, if I'm the only one that can do it, then how much of this am I going to be able to do? And where are we going to be able to grow? So that was a big one.
And then another one, and I'll be perfectly honest, I'm getting better at this, I'm not quite there yet, but is stopping micromanaging. I mean, it actually just happened a little bit this morning, because I'm still paying attention to this stuff without going to solve it. So I left a note to our team on customer service, because they're trying to implement a customer service ticketing thing. And instead of ... my input was like ... it was 6:00 in the morning. I was waking up. I wake up to work out. That's why I woke up that early, so I could get in before this. But I saw customer service thing that hadn't been answered from yesterday, and the natural me wants to go in and answer the ticket. It doesn't matter that I've never met this person, and I have no reason in answering the customer service ticket, because we have a customer service rep. It doesn't matter. My inclination is, I got to answer this. What I did instead, and I learned it through these processes is I left the note for our customer service person.
And then I jumped off to get to the huddle, even though we were in the middle of this, because that was a critical issue for me. And I said, "Hey, we want to solve all tickets within a day." I'm not going to go solve it for you guys, but we have to put a process in place to make it. So that was huge for me. Maddie, who's my EA, is so much better at managing people than I am, because I'm just ... that thing where nothing seems a win in my head, unfortunately it also translates to the people under me. Unless it's a home run, I don't count it as a win, and that makes everybody else feel really bad about the work they do with me. So offloading that to somebody else means I just get to participate in wins, and it's a beautiful thing.
Alex Charfen: That's awesome, Adi. And that bar that we set for ourselves that's so high, I know this sounds crazy, so crazy. If somebody told me this when I was in my 20s, I would have just left the room and completely discounted any advice I was getting. So I'm saying that upfront, but here's what's interesting. The more we lower the bar to what we consider a win, the more we actually win. And keeping that bar so high that you keep banging your head into it is not really helping you, and it's not helping your team. You lower it so far ... This is what I tell my coaching team. We have to lower this bar so far that our clients coming in, our members coming in that are stressed, and have so much going on, and they're frustrated, and we know how they're coming to us. We need a bar they can trip on. We need them to trip over it, not have to do anything else, just trip over it. And then we'll give them the next one, and the next one.
Adi: Can I say something?
Alex Charfen: So, lower that bar. Yeah, sure.
Adi: Because what you just said translates. I've always had that mentality about the work that I do. It's the barrier to entry into getting help for me should be so low, you can literally fall stumble onto it. But weirdly, I didn't treat my team that way, right?
Alex Charfen: Right.
Adi: And so, that's where the disconnect really happened is I was like, "Okay, well we need to make it really easy for them, but I'm going to make it really, really hard for you to make it easy for them." And honestly, if I would have found you four years ago, before my company I had before this collapsed, we were already at a $3 million run rate. I just had no idea how to run a company. And it got too big, and it just collapsed on itself, but I had no systems. So, you live and learn, right?
Alex Charfen: I'm glad you're here, brother. Julie, did you want to share? I want to close with you. What have you given up? What have you moved on from that you didn't think you could?
Julie: Yeah, I made it my mission when we built processes to not ever have to log into Process Street. So I got the team to build out all the processes without me actually having a login.
Alex Charfen: That is amazing.
Julie: Which is so hard to do. It's so hard to do, but they own it. They own it. I don't have to be involved at all. So I'm really trying. I hear your voice all the time, correct the process, not the person, correct the process, not the person. So I'm always asking, "Okay, well, is there somewhere in the process where we should have addressed this?" And, and I don't know. I can't say this should be in the process, because I don't actually know what they built. So I always have to ask, and yeah, it's been really, really good. And I'm still surprised that I haven't felt the need to go in there and meddle, but it's been a really, really good thing that I did that, because my team has full ownership of the processes. And they're way better than if I had been involved in building them. So ...
Alex Charfen: What a great insight. I want to just translate a little bit more of that for everybody. So what we're worried about as entrepreneurs is the outcome, right Julia? It's the outcome. It's like, what is at the end of this process?
Julie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alex Charfen: Here's what happens to all entrepreneurs. We treat everything equally important. So we treat the how you got there, just as important as did you get there? And the reality is, in most cases, the how you got there is not as significant as whether the goal was actually achieved. And so in this case, what we have here is an illustration of a CEO running a business, growing like crazy, succeeding, a huge success here, and literally not even paying attention to the process, focusing on outcomes, clear outcomes, coaching success, you can hear there's coaching, and then getting leveraged results.
So even if you don't have a log in to the process system, you can do this. Julie, that's super insightful. Thank you for being here. I just want to thank all four of you. I love these panels. I don't know if you noticed, but I end up taking notes every time we're on one of these panels, because it's so insightful. Julie, thank you. Lars, amazing. Adi, so awesome to have you on this panel. Megan, of course I love every time I get to listen to you talk, and to listen to you speak. So for everybody, they are not, like I said, not public speakers. These are our members. Can we do a quick unmute round of applause for 10 seconds?
Alex Charfen: There we go.
Julie: Thank you.
Alex Charfen: I wanted to let that panel go on, and on, and on. I can listen to our members all day. There's just something about entrepreneurs, especially these, that are willing to give all of it away, willing to share what's really going on, willing to be transparent, and vulnerable, and real. And that's really how our whole membership is. And if you're an entrepreneur navigating this market and growing a business, you don't have to do it alone. In fact, you shouldn't. Being part of a community is an incredible life-changing choice. We have a community exactly that on Facebook. It's called the Charfen Community. And I would love to have you join. If you go to Facebook, just look up my last name, Community, and answer a couple of questions for my team. We'll get you added, and it's where we put some of our best content. I'll see you in the Charfen Community on Facebook.