Momentum Podcast: 574
Stop Chasing Transformation
by Alex Charfen
Entrepreneurs are addicted to transformation. There’s that burning desire in us to grow, evolve, do more, and achieve more. The problem is, our hope for change leads us to chase transformation rather than chasing an outcome.
As entrepreneurs, we need to know where we are going. We need a plan in place with clear expectations. Otherwise, we are unconsciously consuming, and that becomes the activity we focus on. But when we chase outcomes rather than transformation, everything in our lives change. We get into momentum, and that’s when we truly transform.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum Podcast. As entrepreneurs, we want to grow, we want to evolve, we want to transform into something more powerful, more capable, more impactful. We want to be able to do more day after day throughout our lives. And as a result, we chase transformation as entrepreneurs. But here's the challenge, if you are chasing transformation without a clear outcome, you are an entrepreneur at risk and I want you to understand it.
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.
This podcast is inspired by a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a friend of mine who came over to my house. We sat down and we were looking at his business and the transition that he's going through right now. And I actually have two friends in this situation and I've had similar conversations in the past six months where there is not a clear outcome right now and there's not a clear thing that the person is chasing. And for me, when entrepreneurs don't have a clear outcome, I feel like an entrepreneur is at risk.
Now, I want to tell a story that I think will demonstrate this concept of chasing transformation. I think as entrepreneurs, so often we want to transform, we want to evolve, we want to become something. So we chase transformation. And I used to teach this in my classes. When we had a course called Enlightened Leadership and I would teach a section on entrepreneurial loops and spirals. An entrepreneurial loop, in my definition, is a loop where we do the same thing over and over again. We don't get an improved result, but we continue to do it hoping that something will change. That is a loop.
Now, it becomes a spiral when we do the same thing over and over again, hoping to get a result, but we don't. But then the activity that we're doing starts moving in a regressive manner. As an example, one of the worst entrepreneurial loops is maybe each night we're having a few glasses of wine to unwind and then the glasses of wine become a little few more glasses of wine. And then that loop of having a few glasses of wine to improve our state doesn't really work. When you start using more wine and then it becomes a spiral and it goes in the wrong direction. Now nothing against people who have a couple glasses of wine, but I think that demonstrates the point. It's that what we do over and over again in our lives gets a result. And when we start getting a diminishing result, that is an entrepreneurial spiral. And when I would teach this concept, I would use the example of the entrepreneurial loop of going to seminar after seminar, after seminar, after seminar.
I remember one day specifically, I was standing in front of the room, we had a pretty big class and I was teaching this concept of going to seminar after seminar. And I said here's what happens to us when we chase transformation as entrepreneurs, we don't have an outcome. Our outcome is some type of change, some type of transformation. So we get up one morning and we get motivated and we buy a ticket to an event and the event is going to cause a transformation. It's going to change things for us. So we get all this dopamine, all this serotonin, all these positive chemicals from making the decision to go to the event. Then we go to the event. And when you're at the event, I call it the Tony Robins effect. You go to any event and there's the audience and the sound and the music and it's exciting.
So now you're at the event and it feels like you're doing something because you are in fact doing something, you're at an event but you're not at ... you don't have an outcome. The outcome is the event. And what happens is you go and you get all these positive feelings and the music and the people and the crowd and you get all the dopamine and serotonin and adrenaline and it feels great and you're transforming. And then the event is over and a few months later you realize not much has happened.
So what happens to entrepreneurs in this situation? They get stuck in this loop of now I'm going to go to another event and another event and listening to another podcast and read another book and do some more seeking and do some more searching. And the challenge is that when you chase transformation as an entrepreneur, it is completely and totally hollow.
In fact, one day when I was teaching this, and I'm going to change names because I haven't asked for permission to share this story, but I remember one of our clients that actually was a real estate client of ours from Florida had been with us for a long time. We'll call her Cynthia. I turned around and as I was teaching this loops and spirals and talking about going to events, I turned around and I looked and she was in tears, not one tear rolling down her cheek, but a lot of tears. And I stopped and I said, "Cynthia, you're having a huge reaction. Tell me what's going on?" And she said, "Alex, you've just described my life for the past five years. Can you help me?"
Gosh, I remember first being shocked because I didn't realize she was in this loop. I didn't realize she wasn't actually creating outcomes because when I saw her it felt like things were okay. I actually knew her pretty well, she had been in a few of our events. And I said, "Can you tell me what's going on?" And she said, "Yeah, everything you just described, I'm addicted to events. As you just talked about it I realized that I've gone to event after event after event, even this event, I just keep going to events and I don't even really know what I'm getting out of it. But I go to the event hoping that something in my life is going to change." I relate this to entrepreneurs today when I talk to some entrepreneurs and they say things like, "Oh, I listen to a minimum of 40 podcasts a week."
And I think, how can you listen to that many podcasts in a week? And they say things like, "I listened to them on double speed or triple speed." I even had one entrepreneur tell me that he put speakers under his pillow and while he was sleeping, he played back content at four times speed. So he would subconsciously adopt it and subconsciously absorb it.
As entrepreneurs, all of these things are chasing transformation. We listen to podcasts on and on and on. Like Cynthia said, she came to the event, she didn't even know what she was getting out of it. We chase this feeling of transformation. I can remember talking to her in the event in front of everybody, it was such a such a generous interaction on her part that she allowed it to happen in front of the room because as she was talking and saying, "I sign up for an event, it feels good. I go, I might even change some stuff in my life, and then I do another one and I sign up and I go and I make some modifications and some changes." And then she said, "But when you just said that when you're in a spiral, the object of the spiral, like going to the event becomes the outcome and you forget what your real outcome is." She said, "I felt like I was falling off of a cliff because when you said that, I knew that's exactly where I am right now." And I can remember thinking, this is exactly what happens to entrepreneurs when we don't know where we're going. So I backed up and I said, "Cynthia, in the past five years, what has your outcome been? What is it you've been chasing?" And she looked at me and there was a exaggerated pause and she almost whispered, "I don't know."
Here's a woman who had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of years, had gone to so many events she could name almost any speaker, any topic that they speak on. She knew what their point was. She could tell you what their one hour pitch looked like. She had been literally traveling sometimes from one event to another without going home. And she had just come to this stark realization that there was no outcome that she could define. She had no clear expectation from what she was doing. So the expectation of transformation was that it would happen by accident. That there would be some miraculous event or some very fortunate event that would somehow run her into the outcome that she was looking for.
And here's what I want you to know as entrepreneurs, when we chase transformation, when you listen to podcast after podcast, and when you go to event after event, when you are unconsciously consuming, what happens is that becomes the activity that you're focused on and you will not transform. You will learn, you will hear, you will see stuff. But because you are not chasing an outcome, you are not in momentum. And that is the only time that entrepreneurs like you and I grow. See, when we chase transformation, when we don't have a clear outcome, we stay in this place of dopamine and adrenaline and serotonin and let downs and frustrations and trying to figure things out. But when you don't have an outcome, everything will stay stuck in your life.
So that day with Cynthia, man, I'm like, I'm remembering it so vividly right now, sharing it with you. That's one of the joys of this podcast is that when I get to to retell stuff that's happened and I'm sharing it with you, it really, it makes it feel so much more real and I can remember thinking like this. This is an opportunity because here's this poor woman who's been to event after event after event and has come out stuck and we're going to make sure that does not happen this time and she will not be stuck. And we're going to get her into momentum because here's the other side of this coin, when you chase an outcome, everything in your life will change.
As entrepreneurs, here's what we need from momentum. I've shared this with you before. It's called the momentum equation. We call it the momentum equation when we show people how to figure it out, then we call it the performance culture equation in a business because this is both prescriptive, we can ... Oh sorry, this is both diagnostic, we can figure out what's happened and then it's prescriptive, we can tell you what to do. Because here's what you need in order to be in momentum, to stop chasing transformation and actually get into transformation by getting into momentum and changing your life. You need one, is a clear outcome. Two, you need to understand what you're doing, you need accountability for yourself and the people around you. And three, you need a scoreboard, you need something that will give you perspective as to whether you're moving forward.
And here's the issue for so many entrepreneurs today, including Cynthia. Cynthia was stuck in this transformation seeking loop that had her literally stuck in her entire life because she didn't have a clear outcome. She didn't really know what she wanted to do, and here's part of why she didn't have a clear outcome. She was trying to make it so significant and so important that it wouldn't matter. But here's the reality about every period of momentum in our lives. If we go back through our lives and we look at the mass of periods of momentum, here's what I would bet for most of us is true. If for most of the periods of momentum in your life, you were chasing a humble outcome. It was a simple outcome.
One of the biggest periods of momentum that I remember in my life was being in high school, which is so weird because it was also one of the hardest periods of my life, but I had this speech coach, Rick Lara, and when I got into his speech class, my goal was to survive the class. The outcome I actually got was so much more than that because it put me into a state of momentum. My goal was survive the class. In four years with Rick, I had clear outcomes, clear accountability, clear scoreboards, literally hanging on the wall in the class and I got into a period of momentum. Then instead of just surviving the class, I learned leadership. I learned how to speak. I learned how to stand in front of a room. I became more confident in myself. I learned so much. It was absolutely life changing because I had an outcome. I was moving forward towards an outcome. I wasn't just chasing transformation.
So now let's go back to Cynthia. I remember that day in the class, the interaction that we had, everyone in the room was leaning in and so many people in the room could relate to what she was saying, directly, they had been in the seminar loop, or indirectly, they could identify loops in their lives maybe like you're doing right now.
And I started talking to Cynthia about what did she really want and what did she really want to have come out of this. And she went through one of our frameworks for goal setting for outcome setting. And we created a one year strategic plan for her life and we got her quarterly targets set up and she had her 30 day outcomes and she knew exactly what she was going to be doing next. And this is how profound a change there was in her after this seminar. She committed to everybody in the room that she wasn't going to do any grand gestures or massive changes. She had a really clear plan that was going to move her forward. It was a simple plan that was going to move her forward. And she left and returned to Florida.
About a year later, that simple plan that she had left with to move towards starting a small business had turned into her taking on a partner, buying someone else's business, building an aviation company, and starting to buy airplanes. And now she and a partner run an aviation company out of Florida where they train people, they lease the planes. She's having the time of her life, she became a private pilot and her entire existence transformed. She's a completely different person now.
I remember about a year after that seminar seen a picture of her and here's what's so profound. When I saw the picture, she actually looked like a different human being. She carried her face differently. Her head was in a different place between her shoulders. She looked more confident, she looked more happy, she looked more like who she should be. And it's because she went back and chased a humble beginning, a simple outcome, but it was clear she could actually charge through it, no grand gestures, just something that we knew she could accomplish. And as she started accomplishing the door to accomplishment kicked open wide and she got into momentum and then the growth and transformation and learning and new relationships and everything she had been looking for for years in a seminar started to actually appear in her real life because instead of chasing transformation, she actually started chasing an outcome and created a massive transformation in her life.
Chasing transformation just doesn't work. I've watched it for too long. I've watched too many entrepreneurs get stuck in this loop and I've watched too many people spend far too much time, effort, energy, focus and man, way too much money trying to create a transformation in their lives. If you want to change this right now and create a massive transformation by getting into momentum and accomplishing and moving forward and learning like people [inaudible 00:15:49], have a clear outcome, understand your responsibilities, your accountability, and a clear scoreboard and everything in your life will change. When we get into momentum, that is when we truly transform.
Now, if you're ready to transform your life and your business and start moving forward in a way that's dynamic and changes everything for you, where you actually create massive transformation as your business grows, reach out to us. This is what we help people do. And we've helped entrepreneurs just like you for years grow businesses and get the support they need and create massive impact.
If you're ready to finally see what your business is capable of and have the support you need, go to predictablebusinesssystems.com, answer a few questions with my team from my team, and jump on a call with Jeremy, he doesn't sell, he only consults. Let us show you how we can help you in your business. predictablebinesssystems.com.
Stop chasing transformation. Put the systems in place so you can chase an outcome with confidence. Create massive transformation and growth in your life and have a business that goes out and changes the world, predictablebusinesssystems.com.