Momentum Podcast: 550
Part 1: Become a Passenger in Your Business
by Alex Charfen
The next three episodes are part of a special series. Just a few days ago, my team and I were all together in Austin, Texas hosting our Billionaire Code Summit. We hold this event three times a year, and this one was by far the best one yet. We had entrepreneurs with 6, 7, and 8 figure businesses come to this event from all over the world.
We decided to capture a portion of it so you could feel like you were right there with us. Tune in to hear from Daniel Rosen, Emily Hirsh, and Wallace Nelson during our client panel. They share with us how they were able to become a passenger in their businesses, how they learned to drop their ego, become vulnerable, and ultimately surrender to scale massively. The three of these entrepreneurs are breaking records in their businesses, and I think you're going to benefit a ton from hearing from them.
If you're looking for more support and want to know how we help entrepreneurs at every level grow and scale their businesses, build their teams, and make sure their contribution in this world is massive, head on over to https://billionairecode.com/apply-now.
Full Audio Transcript
Jeremy: Hey everybody, it's Jeremy, really excited to introduce today's episode to you. This is recorded only a couple of days ago at our Billionaire Code Summit . And if you don't know what the Billionaire Code Summit is, you might want to check it out because three times a year, entrepreneurs, six, seven, eight plus figures building their businesses, everybody just descends into Austin, Texas from all over the world. And we work on their businesses for three days.
So in this episode, part of the Billionaire Code Summit , we had a panel where Alex was interviewing a few of our members. And in this episode you're going to hear Alex and these members talk about what it's like before you start implementing the communication structure that we teach entrepreneurs and what it's like to do after and what it's like in their lives now, today. Building seven, eight plus figure businesses. This conversation's amazing. I think you're going to love it.
Alex: 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.
All right, so Daniel, I'm going to start with you. Because you expressed this really profoundly when we are in the ground scale meeting. Can you just take us through first the anxiety around becoming a passenger in the Cadence? Then what happened when you finally let it happen?
Daniel: Okay. No. It was very terrifying because of all the years of trying to grow the business, because it started with me wearing all the hats and doing everything and being... I was Tammy on support. I was Phil on sales. Yeah. Everything and eating all the stress and the pain. I couldn't let go of it. And even when we started to have a team, I couldn't let go of it. And Keenan would tell me, "You're in support tickets. Get out of the support tickets."
Alex: We're a $4 million company. You're still doing support.
Daniel: Yeah. I couldn't stop. And I guess I was addicted to the pain and the stress. And so I was tense all the time and it was not pleasant and I kept thinking, someday I'll be happy when we get here. I'll be happy when we get in... But it was just so much pain. And then we tried doing the Cadence and we did it unsuccessfully. And then we brought in [Ekey 00:03:36] is amazing at the Cadence and took everything on and started getting me to offload things and horrible things that I hate and she loves. Yeah.
But then the weirdest thing happened. Once everything was off, I should've been happy. But instead I was really, really depressed and I got incredibly depressed for four months or so. I was terribly depressed. I didn't know what to do. And I would come into work and I'd pretend like I was working but I'd playing on Facebook and it was just... But then I started seeing the momentum of the... Because I wasn't feeling the momentum myself because I wasn't putting out the fires all day. But then I started really getting into the meetings and really getting into hearing about what the team was doing and how happy they were and how their lives were changed and I started feeling the momentum through their momentum.
And you mentioned something the other night, that's true, I'd been thinking about ever since. When I was in all that pain and stress, I was also hating our customers. I really, really hated them. And now I love them. I love them. And my only thing I have to do now is grow the movement, grow the culture, learn to be a better leader. But the most amazing thing is I'm actually really, really having fun. And then I realized I'm having a blast now. I don't think I've ever had fun in my life, because all my life, no matter what I was doing, even when I was 30 years in show business, it was all trying to climb up a cliff with your fingernails. And you'll always be happy when you get that gig, but it's always out of your reach and, yeah. This is the first real happiness I've... And it's amazing and thank you.
Alex: You got it, Daniel.
Alex: So awesome. I love that story. Thank you. Emily, can you share this? Because you've done the same thing and you've even taken it to the next level. You're only giving your team three days a week.
Emily: Yeah. I don't have a great story like that. I'm not as good at telling stories as Daniel. So, yeah. For what it's been like for me, I mean, I actually implemented it really fast, in a month cause I'm just, that's my personality. So I've had the Cadence running for a year and a half probably. when I came in it was watch all the videos, do it, implement it, we're changing everything. This is tomorrow. And so that's what we did. So we've been running it for a year and a half and it's been great. I think the biggest things that it's changed for me is that I can see farther in the future than I could when I would just wake up and be like, "Okay, we got to get through today or even get through just this week." And now I can see all the way, basically next year, and be that visionary. And I've just implemented it I guess even more by... Yeah, I only work... This is a couple... In the last couple of months, I only work three days a week now.
And I have two days where I can work if I want and do content, but I also sometimes don't. Sometimes I go to acupuncture and just do whatever. I'm still busy. I like to be busy so it's not like I'm just sitting around. But that's been amazing because I think for me, what I realized is to get to the next level, and I've gone from one to 3 million since I joined the program. It's about how do I give myself more space constantly to think and strategize and be that visionary and offload things? So that's what it's done for me and my team runs it all now. I don't even run... I'm going to be in Hawaii for nine days and they'll do the weekly planning. They'll do all of that and it's the only thing they know now at this point. So it's not like I'm having to be like, "We have to do it this way." I mean, it was that way for a month, but now they know this is how we plan in the company, this is how we get things done and they're onboard.
Alex: Awesome. Wallace, the same thing. What has it been like for you? Because you went from being in the CEO spot but absolutely trying to drive to not.
Wallace: Yeah, completely. What we were laughing about the other night is I think one of the funniest things that's happened is my team still all comes over and they're like, "Hey, I hate to bother you because I know you're really busy." And I'm like, "I'm not." I don't tell them that. I'm like the mystique of being really super busy. But the big change has been that sort of stepping away from trying to personally run everything, has brought several real luxuries essentially into our life. One, I really hadn't thought how hard life was, trying to do it all last year until really just the last day or so.
I haven't even talked to [Ashlyn 00:08:45] about it yet, but do you remember what life was like a year ago? It was constant putting out of fires and I don't think I really appreciated how much that had gone away until being here and thinking about this again. And that's changed a ton. The other thing that has changed a ton is that everything happens, whether I'm involved in the process or not. So it gives us the opportunity to... We went to Alaska for two weeks in caught salmon last month and we didn't skip a beat. Everything, everything was fine. If we had cell coverage that I could be in the huddle I was, but if I wasn't, I wasn't. And it just went on without missing a beat at all.
And then there's been space created in that that I never really knew I was missing that has allowed me to take on the next thing. So Alex talks a lot about needing to create all this space in your life and almost make yourself irrelevant to what you were formerly doing because there will be new challenges that pop up that you do not have the capacity to handle right now when you're so buried in everything else. A big one came up for us this week, that we have a major change that needs to happen in the company. And even though that was true last year when I was here, I would've had absolutely no capacity to see, to understand, to converse and bring up the point of how much this change needed to happen without creating that space. So now that that's happened, I'm going to be able to go back and lead us through a next tough stage of transition, which primes us for that next phase of growth.
Alex: So I'll ask one more question and I'm put it out here. So here's my question for you. I could feel energy in the room, Wallace, when you said we were gone for two weeks and the weekly's happened anyway. And when Emily said the same thing, like, "My team, we'll just do it." I could feel people like, "What?" So help us understand how your team can go through the targeted interactions, make decisions and get out the other end and you're not nervous about it.
Wallace: We just have developed such a habit around this process that certain things happen at certain times in certain ways and it's predetermined. Nothing is dependent on personnel within the C Cadence. It's not a personality based thing. So we know at what time the huddle happens and what things are handled in the huddle, what things are being prepared in advance for the huddle, how we run it. It has become the culture of my company operationally. And so I literally don't do anything. I don't prep anything for the huddle. I just show up. Some days I'm a minute late.
I'm not supposed to do that but sometimes it happens. But you know, really prior... When we started, I was trying to run it all. And so for me, my entire morning was getting ready for the huddle and preparing all the information for the huddle and having everything ready to go. And now the reason I ever might be late is that we might be discussing something exciting going on with a client, or something I'm like, "Oh my gosh, it's the huddle." I literally don't even have to think of the huddle until we're there. And then I'm using the planner, everything I need for calling out, people getting them shouted out for some of the positive stuff they do. It's all basically inside the system. So I don't even need to think about any of that happening. So when I come, I truly am just a participant.
I just add my pieces there. I give feedback, but it's not dependent on me to happen and they're meaningful, productive, positive meetings, whether I'm there or not. As Alex said, the decisions are being made because we've already laid out what it is we're trying to do and how we're trying to get there for our entire team with the Waterfall. So if a decision has to happen when I'm not there, they already know what I would want to have happened because we've decided that through the planning portion of the Cadence.
Alex: That's so good. Emily, do you want too answer to, or Daniel? Either one.
Daniel: Well, I want to add to that. Our team works better when I'm not there. And I went away to India for two weeks. I think I maybe was on two meetings. And I trust in Keenan and Ekey and our entire team. We'd have this amazing trust because of the Cadence, but also I think we've got a really good client centric mission and all decisions are based on it and that makes it really easy for everyone to make decisions.
Alex: That's awesome. All right. Who has a question, Joe?
Joe: Okay. In the process of giving up, and you went through, I'm sure, a lot of self awareness on that. How much of this do you think was ego, nobody does it better, or just habit, this is what I've always done, therefore I'm going to keep doing it?
Daniel: In my case, I was confident that I've hired people that are much smarter than me and they make better decisions than`me.
Joe: But how did you get to that?
Daniel: How did I get to that?
Daniel: Oh, well that's a long story about how I met Keenan [inaudible 00:13:56] in high school and he started giving me advice and I ignored it. And then months later started falling and we started making more money and now he runs everything. So everything I go, "What do you think Keenan?" And then it's pretty much all his decisions. And so that got me used to it and then Ekey, I just... Now they make all the decisions. I don't make any and it wasn't... I think I was tired of putting out all the fires and making all the decisions and I just was ready to surrender.
Alex: Ah, that is so... So I just want everyone to hear what Daniel just said. Just take a minute and let that sink in because what you just heard was.. Because Daniel, isn't normal for you to say it but you just said, "I had to surrender." Surrender requires two things that you drop ego and you become vulnerable. Is that what he did, right? Because you're not... Does anybody hear ego in anything Daniel's saying? None. None. I mean there's no there... The ownership is of the success over there, it's not here. And so surrender is really when we say, "Trust the process", what we really are saying is surrender to the process. Stop fighting it.
Wallace: Thanks. Yeah, I'll just add. For me, I wasn't tied to all the things I was doing because I really wanted to do them. It was about getting the outcome, getting the result that I felt was necessary. And I was stuck in a trap that I thought in order to get the results necessary, I have to be the one doing it. But as soon as I was able to focus solely on the results and start finding places within the system where other people could get those results that I desired, basically I felt safety in the fact that all those results were being produced.
And it was a relief that I wasn't the one who had to do them. So I think maybe I felt a little overly self-important because it was that whole if you want a job done right, you have to do yourself. And it's like, "No, if you want a job done right, just make sure that there's a person or a product or a process in place to get the job done right and then go do the next thing." Go plan the next steps for your company because they just happen and happen properly when all that's in place.
Speaker 9: So it's amazing that you're able to go on vacation for two weeks and the business keeps running. I can go on vacation for two weeks too. When I get back, nothing's happened. And that's the problem. So my question is what do you do when your operator wants to go on vacation?
Emily: Oh, no. I mean, my operator went on two week almost, I think, vacation this year. Everything still doesn't depend on one person. I think people do hype up like, "Oh, your operator." And yes, you need a good operator. But still, everything should never depend on one person in the company. They have to be able to leave and that just means that people who report to my operator have to step up for those that time that they're gone and they leave a handover document with making sure everybody's clear what they're doing and that questions are answered and everybody knows their tasks and their projects.
And then the leader... The team below them will have to step up and be able to do things and then you become available for questions. Like when mine was gone for that, I think she was gone for two weeks to Europe and it's different times zones, so she was gone. I was a little bit more available for questions for people that were reporting to her, but nothing should ever depend on one person in the company.
Wallace: Let me jump real quick. It doesn't happen very often, but my EA preps everything for all the meetings and has it ready. Comes in and kind of runs that choreography out. And so anytime she's going to be away, she sends all the prep to whoever else on the team can get the prep done. And then that's the one time I like to run the meetings because I think I'm funnier than she is. And so those are I'm like, "Yes, I get to run the huddle today." And so I don't hardly ever do it, but at the time she's gone I think is a ton of fun. Because then I come in and kind of old school jump in and run it and it's funny and everybody laughs and I'm like, "They're so much more fun when I run them, but I only have to do it once and then I don't do it again.
Jeremy: Thanks for hanging with us this week again, everyone. Really appreciated. If you're looking for some more support, if you'd like to know how we actually help entrepreneurs, at every level, grow and scale their businesses, build their teams, and make sure their contribution in this world is massive. Head on over to billionairecode.com/apply-now. That's billionaireode.com/apply-now.