Momentum Podcast: 381
Little Things Will Take You Down
by Alex Charfen
As entrepreneurs, part of our job is to mitigate risk, to stop problems from happening before they ever start.
What's interesting is sometimes it's the little things, especially in our personal lives, that can catch us off guard, knock us down, and sometimes get us into real big trouble.
As an entrepreneur, one of the first places you'll overlook, ignore, or neglect is your personal life. You won't treat with a sense of urgency the things that seem minor but become so major when they're not taken care of. When your business is exploding and you become so busy all your energy goes to your family and your work. The little things like the car registration will be forgotten or delayed day after day. But, sometimes it's the little things that will knock you so far back that you don't even know what just happened! Little things can suddenly become very important if you're not getting them done.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: As entrepreneurs, part of our job is to mitigate risk, to stop problems from happening before they ever start. What's interesting is sometimes it's the little things, especially in our personal lives, that can catch us off guard, knock us down, and sometimes get us into real big trouble.
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. 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 always will be.
When somebody joins one of our coaching programs, we have them go through a series of exercises. One of them is going through our foundational stability checklist. This is a checklist that we've created over time to make certain the CEOs, the entrepreneurs, the executives in business, don't get into a place where they get themselves in trouble because they've missed something seemingly insignificant that ends up throwing us off guard and causing us massive challenges. We've driven this checklist down to finite detail.
As an example, one of the things on the checklist is, is your car registration calendared? Here's what we mean by that. We all have cars, or most of have cars. Is the date that you need to get the registration renewed for your car on a calendar, and is somebody doing it for you? Do you have a process in place to take care of it?
Here's why we drive to such minute detail in our foundational stability checklist, is that, when you are a CEO, running a fast growth company, and growing a business, here's what will happen, not might happen, not may happen, not could happen, it will happen, that you will hit a time of growth in your business, where the business takes so much from you that you have trouble paying attention to anything else. What will happen is you will get to the place where you pay attention to your family, your significant other, hopefully, the people who are important to you. Small things, like a car registration, will get delayed day, after day, after day, after day.
Well, here's what I want you to understand about the little things and running a business. Sometimes the little things will knock you so far backwards you don't understand what happened. I just want to share a story with you that happened about, probably, 12 or 13 years ago with a CEO I was working with. His business absolutely exploded. Went from one million to multiple millions within about a 15 month period. He hired a ton of people. The business was growing like crazy. He was getting a ton of media, a ton of press. It was absolutely incredible how well he was doing and how fast his business was growing. However, we didn't have these processes in place. I didn't know to tell a CEO I was working with, "Hey, you better have your car registration on a calendar." In fact, he helped me figure it out, because here's what happened.
He was driving one day, got pulled over, and had not only an expired car registration but he had a ton of unpaid parking tickets, because business was growing, he got a few parking tickets, didn't do anything with them, fines had mounted up, his car registration was expired. He got arrested. He actually got taken to a holding cell, because ... I can't remember if it was the amount of the fines, or the fact that his registration was expired, or both combined, but he actually got arrested and held until his wife could come, or somebody came, and paid bail, and got him out of a holding cell. If you're an entrepreneur growing a fast growth business, do you know what a delay in momentum, what a punch in the stomach it is to get put in handcuffs, put in the back of a squad car, driven to a station, and put into a holding cell, because you didn't take care of something minor? Now, this is an extreme example.
Here's what's funny. Just a year ago, when I was working with Alex & Leila Hormozi, who were growing Gym Launch, Alex and Leila took their business from around two million to over 20 million in a one year period, when we were working together. Same thing, they were exploding. They were doing so much. They were heads down in the business, hiring people, making a massive impact in gym owners' lives.
I remember, when we went through this foundational stability checklist, Alex actually joked with me. He's like, "Come on, dude, we've got to put our tuneups and our car registration in a calendar?" I said, "Alex, I just want you to know, this is one of those places that people make fun, they question, some of them don't do it, but this will be a game changer for you if you do it, and it could be one of the most embarrassing things that happens to you if you don't." Two days later, no joke, I get a text message from Alex that his car had just been ... They bought a BMW i8, which is a super car, incredible, electric drive, amazing car with gull wing doors, just beautiful, and it had gotten towed because it had an expired registration. I remember the two of us laughing about it, and specifically laughing about the fact that he had made fun of me for telling him he had to get his car registration on a calendar. Here it was, just a few days later, he was experiencing exactly the result of what happens when you don't.
As a CEO, and an entrepreneur growing a business, here's something that is crucial for you to do. All of the important personal stuff that can throw you off and catch you off guard has to go on a calendar, and you have to have somebody helping you with it, or you have to have process for getting it done. When we didn't have help, or in the times where Cadey and I haven't had help, everything was on a checklist and a calendar, and we made sure it happened when it had to. Now that we have help, everything is done for us by somebody in our organization, but we know it's getting done.
Here's what I mean. We get all the way down to the granularity of, is our car insurance paid? Is our life insurance paid? Is our house insurance paid? Is all of our utilities calendared and paid? Is our internet paid? The last thing you want to do is get up one morning and have something as insignificant as having missed paying your internet provider bill, but then you're sitting in your home office or in your office without internet for a day. Those things can often take a day or two to get set back up and get turned back on. I know that's happened to more than one entrepreneur I've worked with. Little things become really important when they don't get taken care of. The best thing for you to do is to create a structure around getting them done.
Start thinking about all the things in your life that happen on a routine basis and how can you get them all done without even thinking about them. I haven't written a check in years. Cadey and I have a person bookkeeper that takes care of all of our personal finances and lets us know what's happened at the end of the month, and she ensures that all our bill get paid, that everything gets scheduled, that everything's taken care of. We also have an assistant that, when we need things, like tuneups, and oil changes, and car registration, our cars literally get picked up by a towing company that we have a relationship with. They come, they get the car from the house, they take it where it needs to go to get whatever it needs to get done, and then they drop it off later that afternoon or the next day, so that all of those things are happening without any stress on us.
Now, it wasn't always like this. I can tell you. Here's what happened to Cadey and I. We've had this all set up before, and then we've lost a person, and we hadn't captured the processes, and within a year, all of our car registrations were overdue. Our cars weren't getting oil changes. We weren't getting tuneups. Not only do you have to have a person in place, but build clear processes. Build a check list. Have a spreadsheet that has everything you need personally in one place, so that you can have anyone in your company drive it to a conclusion, and if there's no one there, you can do it for yourself. There was a time where Cadey and I downsized our business. It was recent. We downsized our business. We went down to one team member about a year and a half ago. We didn't have the person in place that was doing all this, but we did have the spreadsheets and the processes, and we were still able to get it done.
As an entrepreneur growing a business, one of the first places we will neglect, or overlooked, or ignore, is something that we need personally. We will put the bills on the table until tomorrow. We will wait on the car registration. We'll call the insurance guy when we get back to him. We won't treat, with a sense of urgency, the things that seem minor but can become so major when we don't take care of them.
Now that you've listened to this, I want you to go through an exercise. Think about all of the things that you need done on a monthly basis, on a quarterly basis, and on then on an annual basis. For us, monthly is things like paying the bills and making sure that the lights stay on, and making sure that we have our bank accounts reconciled, and all of the things that we have people or process to do. Then, on a quarterly basis, for me it's things like the blood tests that I get, and making sure that we're setting up our financials, and our goals, and our outcomes, as a couple. On an annual basis, it's things like renewing insurance, and paying our taxes, and making sure our property taxes get paid. All of those things are critical when they don't get done. They seem minor when you're doing them, but when they don't get done, they can become mission critical. Before they do, take care of them and get them into a process.
One of the things that most CEOs, most entrepreneurs, near refuse to do until it's something that is forced on them is put process in place to take care of themselves. I want you to take care of yourself. I want you to take care of the foundational things in your life so that you don't have the day where the blue and reds go on in your rear view mirror, and you're wondering, is it going to be okay? It's one of the worst feelings in the world, and I don't want you to ever have that feeling. I want you to know that your bills are paid, your registration is clear, your license is up to date, you have insurance, and everything else in your life, that foundational stability is clear.
Here's what you don't know, and here's what you can't understand until you've taken care of it all, is that even though you're not thinking about it on a day to day basis, if any of these things aren't taken care of, that creates an open loop in your mind that is creating pressure and noise for you. Here's how you will know just how much pressure and noise there is. When you get everything documented, when you get the list put together, when you build the spreadsheet, when you have people or process in place to take of everything for you, you will breathe so much easier. What does that tell us? If you're breathing easier afterwards, that means there was unrecognized pressure and noise before. I want you to trust this process. Get these things taken care of. Lower the pressure and noise in your life, because if you lower the pressure and noise in your life anywhere, it gives you more of your currencies everywhere, more time, more effort, more energy, and more focus, that you can use to grow your business, build your empire, and make your greatest contribution. I don't want you to be pulled over and be nervous about it. Let's get it taken care of.
If you're ready to stop limiting behavior, create unlimited momentum, and understand yourself better than you ever have, get a copy of my book, The Entrepreneurial Personality Type. Go to freemomentumbook.com. Right now, we have a promotion where, if you pay shipping and handling, we will send the book to you absolutely free, freemomentumbook.com. It is a book that is created for entrepreneurs to help you understand who we are, your unique strengths, how they've been suppressed, and how you can wake them up and have everything that you've always known you should. You know that voice that sometimes you feel is crazy in the back of your head telling you, you are meant for more, you are meant to do more, be more, leave more behind, and create a bigger outcome on this planet? I want you to know something, that is the most rational part of your mind. Lean into it. Go make stuff happen, build your empire, and get into momentum, freemomentumbook.com.