Momentum Podcast: 635
Flexibility Creates Momentum
by Alex Charfen
As entrepreneurs, we are physiologically sensitive, momentum-based beings that are highly reactive to constraint. We're reactive to any kind of constraint. And in this episode of the Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to break down the two ways that flexibility creates momentum. Flexibility in our thoughts and in our bodies.
The entrepreneurial personality type is defined as “a physiologically sensitive momentum-based being that is highly reactive to constraint”.
We are reactive to any type of constraint. When we are inflexible in our thoughts, we create constraint in our lives and can hold ourselves back.
When we are inflexible in our bodies, we create physiological constraint that can keep us stuck in place.
Whether our inflexibility is in our thoughts or our bodies both rob us of our momentum.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: This is the Momentum Podcast.
Speaker 2: As entrepreneurs, we are physiologically sensitive, momentum-based beings that are highly reactive to constraint. We're reactive to any kind of constraint. And in this episode of the Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to break down the two ways that flexibility creates momentum. Flexibility in our thoughts and in our bodies. I hope you enjoy.
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.
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.
I hope you're having an amazing day. I just got out of an incredibly intense experience and I'm going to get into it and share with you why it was so intense and how it relates to the topic that I want to share, which is flexibility creates momentum.
So for the past six weeks I've been in group therapy, and if you're new to hearing me, if this is the first time you've ever heard of me or the first time you've ever listened to my stuff, I'll share with you. I've been in therapy for about 21 years now. I started when I was 26 with EMDR therapy to get over a lot of the stuff that happened to me when I was a child. I had some PTSD symptoms, some other stuff. And so I've been in individual therapy forever. I've been in individual therapy for 21 years, and six weeks ago, it was really like eight or nine weeks ago, my therapist suggested that I join this group therapy session.
And I didn't want to, at first. I don't really love groups. I kind of felt repelled by it, but I agreed to it. And I am so glad I did. I learned so much about myself, so much about my interaction with other people. So much of how much of a trigger or pre-loaded feeling I bring into groups, how inflexible I can be. And that's why I wanted to share why flexibility creates momentum. But going through this experience has been wildly intense because here's what I've found in the past six weeks, is that by being in a group where you share openly you're feeling, and then rather than in a normal situation where you don't really know what's going on for other people, they get to share how they're feeling as well.
And we were all in this group where none of us know each other. We don't have any bearing on each other's lives, but in this group setting, I could still feel myself reacting and having reactions I was shocked by and having feelings I was shocked by. And here's why it was such a profound experience, is because I was able to feel my feelings, feel the reactions I was having, feel the constraint it was causing me, and how inflexible I was in groups. I think up until this six week period, I didn't realize just how triggering groups were for me or just how triggering interaction with other people can be for me. And so it has been an incredible learning experience. And it's interesting how these things work.
So this morning, I looked down at my Momentum planner, which is the tool that we use and we train our members to use. We sell this planner. We don't sell it individually yet, but we're going to soon. And I looked down at the bottom of this page and we put quotes at the bottom of each page to kind of remind people of why they're doing this and maybe give them some inspiration. And the quote at the bottom of the page says, "Flexibility in both body and opinion creates momentum." That's my quote. I said it, but when I saw it this morning, it was like I was hearing it for the first time. Flexibility in body and opinion creates momentum.
And it's fascinating how these things work because I took this and I posted it as a post on Facebook. I just threw up and said, "Flexibility in body and opinion creates momentum." And one of my favorite members, Laurie Noga said, "Hey, can you explain, or is this a podcast you could point me to?" And I realized that I haven't really ever explained this quote, but man, right now, having had this experience in this group and given what's going on in the world, I feel like I can explain this better than I ever have.
The entrepreneurial personality type is a physiologically sensitive, momentum-based being that is highly reactive to constraint. Let me say that again so it can wash over you. I kind of flubbed it the first time. The entrepreneurial personality type is a physiologically sensitive, momentum-based being that is highly reactive to constraint. I know that every entrepreneur I've ever coached is highly reactive to constraint. Entrepreneurs are the type of people that get angry at red lights. Anything that gets in our way, we want to knock it down, we want to go through it, we want to get going. And so when we create constraint in our lives, it affects us, even if we don't know that it is.
So let me give you some quick equations. I sat down and I actually charted this out because I wanted this to be effective. I wanted to share like how this really works. So check this out. Flexibility in both body and opinion creates momentum. Let's do the opposite of that. Inflexibility in your body or inflexibility in your opinion, creates constraint. Let me show you how this works. If you're not flexible in your body, if you're not moving, if you're not creating movement, if you're stiff, if you're sedate, if you're sitting down, if you're sedentary, here's what happens. You actually create tension in your breathing patterns. You reduce your lung capacity just through the fact that you're not using your lung capacity.
So not moving creates this massive constraint in your lungs and your lungs draw in oxygen, which is the life force for us to be alive. And if we have tension in our breathing, here's what happens. We create tension in the body. So if we're not moving, we're not breathing well. And if we have tension in the breathing, we actually increase the tension in our body. And here's what I know about working with entrepreneurs. If we are carrying body tension, because we are physiologically sensitive, momentum-based beings that are reactive to constraint, if we are carrying body tension, that tension acts as constraint, which affects us everywhere.
And so if we're inflexible in our body, if we're not moving, if we're not getting out there and doing something with our bodies, and we allow ourselves to become sedentary, sedate, we allow our muscles to atrophy, we will create massive constraints. So if you are inflexible in your body, because you're not moving, you create the tension in your breathing, you become pre-loaded, and that creates constraint everywhere.
And I've watched this with entrepreneurs. I'm a fanatic about water, borderline obsessed about water, if you asked most of my members. We show people how to grow and scale businesses. We show them hardcore process, structure, and routine to grow a business from startup all the way to $100 million plus. And we are helping people do exactly that. The first lesson we start with is water. We don't sell a physiology program, but I show people that they need to drink more water because we are going to take their activity up. We're going to take their thought processes up. We are going to use more of their physiology. And the more water you drink, the more you clear constraints.
So that drinking water actually clears the constraint in our physiology, in our bodies. And so if you're inflexible physiologically, chances are you are going to be inflexible in your thinking, and in how you react. And if you're coming into a situation pre-loaded or tense or dehydrated or hungry or exhausted, we all know we're going to react differently. We all know that those conditions, most of the time, are going to create massive constraint for us in the present. And so, if we are inflexible in our body, we create massive constraint. We rob ourselves of momentum.
Now, let's go to the other side of this. Flexibility in both body and opinion creates momentum. So what is opinions? Opinions is our thinking. Opinion is what we will stand for. Opinion is what we will defend. Opinion is what we will share with people. And it's our thought processes. So if we are inflexible in our thought, we create a natural tension in the world. Now there's places where I know that all of us have our non-negotiables. This is how I think, and I'm not going to give this thought up, or this is my opinion and I'm not going to back down from it.
But today, when I go on social media, I joke with Cadey, my wife, for those of you who are new, that I don't think you can make an apolitical post on Facebook today, or on social media. Anything you say is going to have somebody latch onto it and start going crazy about the opinion that they have, and what you see on social media and playing out in the public and the press and all over is an inflexibility in opinion.
And I see it over and over again. People who are hard and fast, like, "This is how I am, and nobody can tell me anything about it." I want you to know, I used to be that way. When I was younger... It's kind of hard to even think about, but I was raised in a way that created racist tendencies. I was raised in a way to create a judgment of other people. I was raised in a way that created inflexibility of opinion. And it took me forever to understand how much that was damaging me, how much of that was hurting me, how much my inability to let other people in or near me who weren't just like me, how bad it was actually damaging me. And I have a incredible example. Oh wait, let me finish the chart here.
So inflexibility and thought creates a natural tension with how we exist. If we create natural tension in our minds through thought, we actually, again, constrain our breathing. If you get into a mood, if you're triggered, if you have something that you are defending, your breathing pattern will change. Again, that breathing pattern creates lung stress and reduces lung capacity in most cases. It actually becomes more shallow, more clavicular breathing. That gets our body wound up.
And so here's what the irony is, that inflexibility in thought creates a natural tension with shifts our breathing, which creates more inflexibility in thought. And you can see it in the Facebook comments that you read under controversial posts. You can see people just going upping the ante and upping the ante and upping the ante. And let's get real. You're just yelling at somebody on Facebook, but there's this massive inflexibility in thought, and you can see the cascade effect of how people become more aggressive, more tense. And you can just imagine what's happening to their bodies in that situation.
I had somebody say something that was just insane. They went back and deleted it. I was shocked that it was on Facebook. I was stunned, and it's been deleted, but that's that inflexibility in thought. We start an argument, we stay in the argument, we defend our position, we don't hear the other person. And man, that will create massive constraint in your life, especially if you don't let other opinions in.
So here's the example I was going to share earlier. And this is a tough example for me to share, because when I was younger, I had massive inflexibility around who I wanted near me. I wanted people who were like me. So as a result, I built this business. It was a consultancy. It was very successful. I made a lot of money. It was incredibly stressful and it almost killed me. So I always feel like I need to share all of those things at the same time, because just making money doesn't matter, if you're almost dying. And I was. I wasn't happy.
Now that I know what happiness can look like, I was in massive constraint, now that I understand what it feels like not to be in constraint. And I felt like I had momentum because I had money and I was hitting new numbers and I was hitting highs. But man, now I know what momentum really is. How much different it can be, how much more it can be than money.
And so I ran this consultancy and I'm embarrassed to say it now. I started when I was 21. And at one point I ended up with a team of everyone looks like me. I'm from Latin America and my mom's white, she's from Ohio. And when I think back to that original team, every single person looked just like me. They were either Latin American or they were white. And we had an entire team of men that were very similar to me.
And I think it's part of the reason that company almost killed me, because we had massive inflexibility and thought because we didn't have different opinions. We didn't allow for other opinions, we didn't bring in other perspectives. And it was crazy. We would get deadlocked all the time. We had challenges in that company. We had personnel issues. I was constantly putting out conflicts. Honestly, I was the CEO of the business and I did everything I could not to spend time with my team, because I knew it was going to create constraint and there would be conflict. I felt like every time I showed up, there was conflict.
And today I know that the reason is we had no different perspectives in the room. We all had the same types of opinions. We all had the same types of viewpoints. We had very similar ways of expressing them. And so when we got together, we just butted heads. When there was a disagreement, we butted heads, and it was hard to get any type of perspective that would pull us out of it. And it created massive inflexibility in thought for me.
And it wasn't until probably six or seven years into running that business that I hired one woman in Mexico. I remember her name, [Berenice 00:14:43] Montez. She was so awesome. And in a consultancy like we ran, it was really rare to have a female person in a consultant role, not in a support role, not in a secretarial role, not in an administrative role. She was our person in Mexico and ran our Mexico office, and actually with another person, with Raul. And just the addition of one shift in perspective and opinion in thought, changed the way we solved problems, changed the way our business grew. I feel like our business grew way faster after that.
When I was in my thirties, I got out of that business and I sold out of it. I didn't want to keep doing it. I was very young when I built it. It was an inflexible in opinion business. It was inflexible in how I had to run it. I didn't build it the right way. And so, in the next business I ran, up front I started thinking about how do I not create that same level of inflexibility? How do I create diversity? How do I get different opinions in the room? And in the business that I've run today, I've done the same thing. I proactively go out and say, "I want to make sure we have different opinions in the room." I want to have different perspectives, different life experience represented, because that creates this momentum from perspective, this momentum from seeing different people's point of view.
It helps me learn about myself, about who I am, just like being in the group therapy session did. Because if I go back to that first business I ran, most of the time, if I said, "Here's what we should do," everybody said, "Okay." And most of the time, if I said, "Hey, this is what I think," everybody was like, "We think the same thing." And most of the time, if I said, "This is the best plan," everybody on my team said, "Great, that's the best plan." And when we deadlocked, it was over stuff that it was hard to get undeadlocked from, but it was like having yes men all around me and I rarely had an opposing opinion. And so I could remain inflexible in my opinion, inflexible in my thought, and just continue to press forward. And as a result, it was hard. It was difficult. The business was successful, but it was so much harder than it needed to be. I know that now.
Because now, in every business that I've run since then, I make sure that we never create that dynamic. I want all different types of perspectives and viewpoints. Why? Because I want to be objected to. I want someone to say, "No, I don't think that's a good idea." I want somebody to be real with me and tell me that they have a different opinion, because I know that if I don't have that reflection, that push back, it actually creates constraint. And I lived it. I lived just how much constraint it can create.
So today I actually create an environment in my business where flexibility and opinion is almost forced, because I bring a diverse group of people together so that we have those perspectives, so that we have those viewpoints, so that we have different opinions. And it keeps me flexible. It's the same reason why I get up every morning, and in my written morning [inaudible 00:17:40] every morning, there's a whole range of mobility exercises that I do to improve my flexibility, to move my body, to expand my lungs, to make sure that I'm not creating physiological constraint.
And so if you're an entrepreneur, here's what we need to understand. If something is not giving you momentum, then it's taking it away. And if you have an inflexible opinion, it's probably not going to give you momentum. It's going to take it away. And if you have tension in your body and tension in your physiology, it is robbing you of momentum. And so those are two places, as the entrepreneurial personality type, that you can open your perspective to creating massive momentum in your life. And I know that might sound nuts, but I can't tell you how many times I've been working with an entrepreneur where we got them to hydrate, to start walking in the morning, maybe do some breathing exercises or meditation, and without them even getting into our business content yet, the business starts improving. Communication improves. They see their team differently. Everybody starts to get along better. Why? Well, I believe we started creating physiological movement, physiological activation. We cleared physiological constraint. And that creates momentum.
On that same token, I can't tell you how many times I've had a conversation with an entrepreneur where they say, "Well, this is how I feel, Alex." And I'll say, "Hey, can I share a different perspective?" And sometimes I don't get permission. Sometimes people will say, "No, I don't even want to talk about this. This is how it's always been." And in those cases, here's what I've learned. If I say, "Can I share a different perspective?" and somebody says, "No," I believe him. I'm just going to leave it alone. Mandy Keene, who's one of the most amazing coaches on the planet, shared and reminded me of the quote, "Help the people swimming towards you."
If somebody is flailing in the water and they're angry and they've got their inflexibility in opinion, don't go over there. They might drown you along with them. But when somebody says, "Yeah, I'll hear the opinion," I can't tell you how many times I've been able to, thankfully, because I've done so much work, calmly and rationally share a different perspective with somebody. And as I'm sharing it, I can see them shift. As I'm sharing it, I can see them open up to a new reality. As I'm sharing it, I can see the inflexibility melting away. And here's what I know. When the inflexibility melts away, so does the constraint. And in that moment, we create momentum.
As entrepreneurs, we work all our lives to get into momentum and stay there. Two things that will take us out so fast, almost less than consciously, is inflexibility in our bodies and inflexibility in our minds. Two things for you to think about and two places for you to focus, you can create massively more momentum. And if you're an entrepreneur growing a business and you want to help, you do not have to do this all on your own. We help entrepreneurs around the world with the process, structure and routine it takes to predictably grow a business that you're proud of, without having to feel like you're doing it all yourself.
And at the end of the day, when you do those two things, you build an amazing team that creates an empire that goes out and changes the world. And if that's your goal, we would love to help you. You can go to predictablebusinesssolutions.com, it's predictablebusinesssolutions.com. Answer a few questions from my team, sign up for a call with one of us. We don't have salespeople. Our coaches actually take all of our calls. There is zero pressure. We will actually help you for an hour and then share with you what our options to help you in our programs are. And either way, if you want to move forward with us, we would love that. And if not, we will help you on that call to create momentum and understand where you are in business.
So predictablebusinesssolutions.com. And thanks for being here with me. I'm 47 years old and it took way too long for me to realize that when I open my perspective to other people, that it would naturally create momentum in my life, and that when I moved and I breathe and I meditate, that that would naturally create momentum with my life. I don't want it to take anywhere near that long for you. Hopefully this was helpful. Again, if you want some help, predictablebusinesssolutions.com. Thanks.