Momentum Podcast: 137
Find Grounded Advisers
by Alex Charfen
As an entrepreneur you are going to experience far more pressure and noise than the average person. A normal day in our lives would put the average person into a sweaty panic.
You have an endless stream of things to react to and issues to deal with. You are growing your business, growing your team, and doing what you can to stay in momentum. None of us can do this alone, in order to grow your business you will need help. But you want a very specific type of help.
You want advisers to make you feel comfortable, calm, present and aware. You want to stay away from the advisers who excite you, get you “motivated” and have too many ideas.
Coming up with the ideas is your job, being grounded and making your life easier is the mission of everyone of your advisers.
Full Audio Transcript
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.
Find grounded advisors. As an entrepreneur, your life is going to have a tremendous amount of uncertainty. What you do every day, how you grow your business, the decisions you make to move in the direction you want all are laced with uncertainty. We are that small percentage of the population that says I would rather be in charge of the decisions of how I move forward rather than follow someone else. We are that small percentage of the population that says hey, I got this. When it comes to what I'm doing, when it comes to where I go next, I want to do this. And as a result, you will be exposed to exponentially more pressure and noise than the average person. You'll have to make more decisions. You'll have to to be more aware, more present on a daily basis. You'll have to bring more of yourself to the table and then the average person does.
You think about the average person. They go to work, and just like school, they have someone tell them everything they need to do. They have someone to tell them when to show up, what to do that day, what they need to finish, what they need to complete. No one in my organization works that way. They know what their outcomes are, and then they go and chase it down.
But as an entrepreneur, you are the person who is who is going to have the highest decision making, the most options, and the most alternatives when it comes to what to do next. And one of the places that will make or break you, and I don't mean to make this dramatic, but it is, and it's real, and I've seen way too many companies taken apart by this, is your advisors. The people you surround yourself with, the people you allow into your business. Here's who I'm talking about. I'm talking about the attorneys and the CPAS and the bookkeepers and the advisors and the coaches and the consultants.
Here's a challenge with so many of them that work with entrepreneurs, they're not grounded. They're the stimulating advisors. They're the ones with all the fancy ideas. They're the ones with all the stuff that they want to try.
One of our advisors is a attorney named Elizabeth Morgan. Elizabeth is one of the best attorneys on the planet, and that's not just my opinion, that's fact. There's a course for financial advisors called the Certified Professional Financial Advisor or something like that and whatever that course is Elizabeth, our attorney, wrote the asset protection modules for financial advisors that they have to follow. Not just that. Elizabeth is such an expert. She wrote the articles of incorporation for the country of Liechtenstein. She literally went to Lichtenstein and worked with the country's leadership to write the articles of incorporation. It just so happens my family has a trust in Lichtenstein. Elizabeth Morgan did our trust documentation. She also wrote the articles of incorporation for Lichtenstein, so if somebody wants to mess with our trust, good luck. We have the best attorney in the world who is as grounded as they come.
She was in our house last week. She comes here, sits down with us for a couple of hours. We signed a ton of paperwork, did a ton of legal work that normally would make me anxious and accelerated, and I don't like going through contracts and I don't like signing my name over and over again. But when I sit down with Elizabeth, I know everything's gonna be okay. She's been with us since 2007. She's set up our entire life structure. She knows where Cadey and I have everything, and she's one of those people that every time I sit down with her, I feel calmer when we're done.
That is a grounded advisor. That is finding the right person to help you. That is finding someone who lowers pressure and noise.
Now there's another type of advisor that is exciting. When I was younger, in my twenties, I had to find somebody to help me with accounting for my business. I had a business that was exploding. It was growing crazy fast. I needed help with my bookkeeping, with my taxes, with everything when it came to finance. I went out in south Florida and talked to a few guys. This was over 20 years ago.
And I remember, I did go out and speak to three different financial people, three different accounting companies. Out of the three, I went with the most exciting one. I went with the guy with the coolest ideas, not the one that had been around long enough. I went with the one who was the most fun to talk to, not the one who really sounded like he knew what he was doing and had proof that he had been in the business for a long time. I went with the one who felt most like me, not like the other boring accountants that there were. And almost immediately, he absolutely delivered. He had great ideas about how we were going to change the taxes on my company and create a dividend process and opening another corporation to save some amount of money. And I was so thrilled that I had the right advisor.
Now, I'll tell you what happened in just a second, but I also want to give you the feelings I had when I talked to him so you can know what to look for. When I would talk to him, I would be excited at everything he was doing, but unsure as to why. When I would talk to him he you would throw out a whole bunch of things that made it feel like it was going to be exciting, and it was necessary, and it was new, but I never really understood the details as to what he was doing and why he was doing it. And it was never explained like it is with Elizabeth.
Elizabeth came over last week, and when she was here signing documents, every time we signed anything she took out a flow chart and reminded us what document it was, where it fit in our structure, showed us on the flow chart and made it feel safe. That is a grounded advisor.
The guy that I met when I was in my twenties would call me, and had great ideas, and he'd call me from his car and he'd say here's how we're going to do this. We're going to save you X number of tens of thousands of dollars, and we're going to create a company here in an organization here. And I thought I had the best guy working for me. Until I got a tax lien. And until I went to his office and it was closed. He had disappeared. Apparently the advisor I chose was also chosen by some of the Colombian mafia or drug dealers in south Florida, because he literally disappeared. It was in the news. He disappeared. That was my accountant. That was the advisor I found.
I always have believed that everything happens for a reason, and when I was younger I really analyzed that entire decision. Like what happened? Why was it so challenging? How did I end up with this guy that not only got me in trouble with the IRS but literally got disappeared. It was because I wasn't looking for grounded advisors. It was funny, the next accountant that Cadey and I had ... Or actually, that was when I was single, and I was clearing up the tax lien when Cadey and I met, because it was epic, there was a lot of mistakes made, and a lot of corners cut, and a lot of strategies tried that weren't really real. We went out and found another accountant, and he used to put Cadey to sleep. But I picked him ... Like literally. We would go to meetings with our accountant, and within 10 minutes Cadey would be falling asleep in the chair.But I picked him because everyone I talked to told me how solid he was and how real he was and how he knew his stuff and he never got anybody in trouble and how I did the accounting exactly like it should.
And you know what? The fact is for accounting, it should be on or off. Your CPA should either be done or not done. There's not that many questions to be answered. If your CPA is making things confusing, or if they have a lot of input, if they're arguing with your attorneys, or if they think that they can save you money through some really cool idea, they're probably going to screw you.
And if you have an advisor around you that every time you get on the phone with them, you feel jacked up and weird and pumped up after you're done, you should get rid of them. Because coaches, consultants, advisors should make you feel present, aware, in control, and ready to take on the world. If your coaches, your advisors, your attorneys, your accountants, any of them are making you feel jacked up or riled up or anxious or excited, then they are not the right advisor for you.
For any of us who are trying to grow a business. One of the most important things is our ability to be in that business, to be present, to be aware, to have the right information at the right time, to be grounded, to be the transformational leader that we all want to be. And if you have an adviser, any adviser around you that is consistently changing things, having new ideas, getting things exciting, riling you up, they're going to take away from your ability to run your company.
When it comes to advisors you want advisors like I endeavor to be. See, I know there's a lot of conferences where people go and they get excited. In fact, it's funny, I just had a conference last week here in Austin with 30 entrepreneurs from around the world that literally are running businesses that will change the world. And one of them is Brandon Poulin and Caitlin Poulin. from LadyBoss. Amazing business people. And at the end of our conference, the second day, there was about two hours left. And I said all right guys, let's start this back up. I'm going to wrap things up. And Brandon said oh, this is great. We get to see Alex close and get everybody jacked up. And I said yeah, you know, that happens at most conferences, Brandon. But today what you'll see is how I close. I close in a way where we bring the energy back to where it needs to be. Where we get you grounded and centered. Where by the time I'm done with the next two hours, you will look down in front of you and you will have a strategic plan that you trust, you will know your next steps, and you will feel the momentum, but you won't have to have the empty motivation.
Brandon's reply to me was so great. He was like, oh, that was the best answer ever. I don't even know what to say back. That's why I love Brandon and Caitlin because they're so honest and transparent. The way Brandon said it, it meant the world to me. Because I don't want you to just have grounded advisors. My goal is to be one of those grounded advisors that can help the entrepreneurs I work with lower the pressure and noise in their life. When somebody gets off of a call or an interaction with me, I want them to feel calmer, more aware, more present, more able to take on the world. When someone comes to one of my events, I don't want them to have empty motivation and be all jacked up. We all know that lasts minutes, days and sometimes weeks if you're lucky, then it all goes away and you're left with your thoughts.
See, when someone comes to one of my conferences, I want them to have a clear plan, a simple to execute agenda. I want them to be ready to go forward in the way that they know that they can, and be present, aware, and ready to move on as a transformational leader.
For you, while you're growing your company, build a new set of rules around who you let in. Are they grounded? Are they aware? Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they make you feel like you can do more? Like you can be more? Like you have the right answers? And if any advisor you have in any capacity in your company or out ever makes you feel unintelligent or less than, or like you didn't know what you were supposed to know, or not as good as anybody else, get rid of them now. Because their job is to empower you. Their job is to give you the information you need. Their job is to make things easier for you. And if they're not, stop paying them and find someone who will.
When you find grounded advisors, everything in your company's growth will be easier. If you're a CEO growing a company and you're ready to do more, be more, take on more take our natural thirst challenge. I know it's weird that I equate water with growing a business. But growing a business is about awareness and about you seeing the future more clearly. And if you want to stop brain fog and confusion and the feelings of anxiety and frustration that we all feel as CEOs, you can buy yourself more runway. put more gas in the tank, and make yourself even better at dealing with those things by going to getthirstynow.com. That's right, getthirstynow.com. And I know thirsty means sex. We did that on purpose. It's kind of a funny double Entendre, but when you go to getthirstynow.com, you'll be signed up for the 10 day natural thirst challenge, and within one or two days you'll be drinking more water than you ever thought possible, and water is a gateway drug to success.