Momentum Podcast: 644
Contribution Creates Momentum
by Alex Charfen
Thanks to Ryan E Ross and Lisa Saladino Garife I had the opportunity to speak to the Urban Leadership Foundation of Denver last night. I have had the opportunity to speak to some of the most exclusive crowds in the world. I've been on some of the most important stages out there. But there's something about having the opportunity to contribute in this way that lights me up like nothing else.
Being able to volunteer my time and share our concepts with people gives me a different level of motivation than getting paid for a keynote. There was a time in my life when an entrepreneur and made a massive contribution to me and I feel like it changed everything. I've been on a quest my entire life to do that exact same thing for as many entrepreneurs as I possibly can.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum Podcast.
There's very little that is more powerful than entrepreneurs making a contribution and changing the lives of those around them. In this episode of the Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to share with you the power of contribution, and why he's on a quest to make a massive contribution and change the lives of as many entrepreneurs as he possibly can.
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.
Last night I had this amazing opportunity here from my office, sitting right here, I was able to reach out through Zoom and spend a couple hours with the members of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Denver. And it was such a rush. As a speaker, as an entrepreneur, there's things that I absolutely love, that I just, I get so much energy out of. When I'm in front of a crowd, in front of a stage, and I get to sell, and we announced an offer and people jump up and go to the back of the room, that is a massive rush. When I'm invited to speak at a major conference, like when Russell asked me to be at Click Funnels a few years in row, man, there are very few rushes like that on the planet.
When I got to speak with Robin Sharma in Switzerland at his Titan Summit with Sean Stevenson, I posted a picture of that earlier today, just because I've been thinking about Sean and my mom a lot. And they both passed away within about a week of each other last year. My mom, and one of my closest friends, it was a rough year. But I remember these events, I remember these times where I got to share in such a profound way. But there's something about being able to volunteer speak, there's something about being able to create enough value in my presentations that it means something when I give them away, that is just so incredibly motivating for me.
For the past few years, I've been able to speak for a number of different organizations. One of them is American Dream University. I've spoken to thousands of transitioning, military members. I've gotten to speak to entrepreneurs who don't really have the type of access that you and I have. And those are the most motivating presentations for me, as I talk about it I'm getting chills because it reminds me of when an entrepreneur changed the course of my life.
I think I've told this story on the podcast before, but for some reason, I've just been thinking about it so much in the past couple of weeks. With everything that we have going on in the world, really just the past couple of months, with everything we have going on in the world, with all the controversy, with all the frustration, with all the conflict. Man, the amount of conflict right now, out there on social media and in the media and in politics, and just in the general public is overwhelming. I've made posts in the past few weeks that I thought were funny or where I was just trying to share a concept, and somehow they've become political or divisive or frustrating for everybody. And man, I know that feeling.
And right now, more than ever as entrepreneurs, the more we contribute to each other, the more we support each other, the more we're looking to look past or willing to look past our differences and help each other, the more we're going to change what's going on in the world right now. I look at this crisis like every other crisis in history, what will happen? Not what might happen, not what could happen, but what will happen, is entrepreneurs like you and I are going to rise up above the noise, identify the opportunity, to grab hold of it, make it real, get into momentum and take the world with us. We need you to. And sometimes we're an entrepreneur. All they need is a push or some help, or for someone to show up and accept them for everything that they are, because they can give them everything.
And so, I felt so privileged to be able to be with this group last night. And a lot of that stems from, like I said earlier, when an entrepreneur changed my life. I was probably 10 or 11 years old. It was the weekend, it was a rare weekend where I wasn't working with my dad, I was garage saling with my mom. I started working at a very young age, and my parents did not have a lot of money when I was growing up. I don't think we were ever on government assistance, I can't remember ever having been, but there were times where there wasn't a lot. And I'd say 90% of everything we ever bought was in a garage sale.
I didn't really understand. When I was really young I didn't really understand retail stores, I thought you just went and got stuff other people would used at their house. And even though I was really young, I was watching late night TV, and in the eighties you could not get away from the Tony Robbins infomercials. And you couldn't get away from Wayne Dyer on PBS, over and over again, Dr. Wayne Dyer. And there was these people that I looked up to and my mom and I were at this garage sale, and it was a really nice modern house. And there was a guy sitting behind a folding table who ran the garage sale. And within a couple minutes of getting, I had identified this box of audio tapes and books. And when I say audio tapes, this is old-school. I mean magnetic media, cassette tapes, 47. So this was over 30 years ago.
The box was marked a hundred dollars. And while we were at the garage sale, I was following my mom around as she looked at all this guy's stuff and saying, "Mom, this is why I need this box. This is why we need to buy this." You don't understand, one of those tape sets is worth a thousand dollars. It had the original Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power series that he sold on late-night TV for 600 or 800, I can't remember how much. And then it also had Wayne Dyer and it had stuff that I wanted to listen and I wanted to have it so bad. And so this whole garage sale, I'm following my mom around and selling her on why she should spend a hundred dollars on this.
And to give you insight, I knew how absolutely unrealistic what I was saying was. My parents didn't have a lot of money. And when we went garage saling, sometimes my mom's budget would be 20 bucks. Sometimes it would be 50. Sometimes it would be 10. And we would go anyway, because she'd find shorts for 25 cents each or stuff for the house, they are really inexpensive. She'd bargain with people and get them to give her stuff. But for me to be asking for her to spend a hundred dollars on audio tapes and books was completely and totally unrealistic. And as I was begging her, I knew this. But I couldn't let go, because once I had looked in that box, I knew there was information that I needed. And I felt with my entire body that I wanted so badly to understand.
And I was 10 or 11 years old, so I was already failing miserably in school. I was failing socially. I didn't get along with other kids. I have a 10-year-old now, Kennedy, who is going to be 11. I have a 13-year-old as well. And I see a lot of that in Kennedy too. She's not great socially, she's not great with other people sometimes. She's so much better than I am, thank God. But when we had her in school, she ran into a lot of the same problems I had. And so I now see what this looks like, a generation later. And I remember thinking to myself I was going to do whatever it took to convince my mom to give me that box. And she just kept very kindly, but very firmly, saying, "We're not going to spend a hundred dollars." And at one point she looked at me and just said, "Alex, please, we don't have a hundred dollars." So it was like, I couldn't get it if I wanted to.
And that probably calm me down for 30 seconds. And then I started back up of why I needed it, and what it was going to do and how it would change things and why I wanted it so bad. And I remember I had my back to the table where the guy was sitting, and my mom was moving towards leaving the garage sale. And I had this feeling of lost opportunity and I wasn't going to be able to get the box, and I needed it so bad and the opportunity was right there. And I felt like everything was just crashing down in that moment. I was so frustrated. And then I heard a voice from behind me say, "Kid, you need this more than anybody I've ever met." And I turned around, and it was the guy running the garage sale, holding this box and handing it to me.
And I know my face looked shocked. I had no idea why he was doing this. I knew a hundred dollars was a really fair price for everything that was in that box. Just a few of the tapes that's were worth well over a thousand dollars combined. And so I couldn't believe he was handing it to me. And in that moment, my mom started to say, "Oh, you don't have to do that. He's okay." And I remember thinking, "Mom, no. Stop talking, let this happen." And thankfully that entrepreneur said, "No, your son needs this." And then he looked at me and he said, "I'll make a deal with you. I will give you everything in this box if you promise me you will listen to the tapes, and you will read the books and you will actually do the work."
And I remember being like, "Oh, I promise. I'll do it today. I'll listen to all of them. I won't stop." Whatever I had to do to get that box. I knew that I needed the information. And as soon as I said that he just handed it to me. And I remember getting this box and walking back to the car with it and thinking somebody had just given me the keys to the kingdom. This was information, there was no way I was going to get anywhere else. And I couldn't believe how incredibly lucky I was, how lightening had struck. And that day my life was going to change, I could feel it.
And I went home that day and I started listening to those tapes and I listened to An Awakened Life with Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Unlimited Power with Tony Robbins so many times that at one point I actually legitimately wore out one of the tapes. It was an audio cassette and it started skipping and started having noises, because I would walk around my house with an old-school tape recorder. I don't know if you guys remember what it looked like, but it's wide and narrow and popped up and you put the cassette tapes in it. I would walk around my house with that big suitcase of a thing. And the headphones, it had a single-ear headphone attached to it, listening to these audio tapes.
And I absolutely believe that that is so much of where my current success comes from. My current personality comes from, who I am comes from, just that chance encounter with a person whose name I don't even know. When I was 16 or 17 and I could drive I went to try and find that guy's house. And I found it and I knocked on the door and he wasn't living there anymore. But I wanted so badly to find him and tell him just how dramatically he had changed my life, just how dramatically it shifted things for me. And I never was able to.
And so probably as a substitute for ever being able to say anything to that person, wherever I have the chance, and it makes sense for me and it makes sense for the group, I volunteer my time. I get paid up to $25,000 to speak. And my fees are anywhere from 10 to $25,000. When I say up to $25,000, there's a range, if I'm here at my house, if I don't have to travel, all of those things. But it's gotten to the point where an hour of my time or two hours of my time is worth $10,000 to $25,000. So the fact that I can give that away and volunteer it and be able to have an impact on people, is everything.
I was so excited to speak last night. And I spoke from 7:30 to about 9:30. That is well past my bedtime. I had a hard time going to sleep because contribution really does create momentum, and contribution really does change things. And in the world that we're in right now, we need more contribution person-to-person than we've ever had before. We need kindness and compassion and empathy and support for each other, because we are in this situation, whether we want to admit it or not, that nationally, locally, globally, it's completely overwhelming. And when we reach out and help each other, when we reach out and support each other, that's where we create momentum between us and that's where we help each other move forward.
And so I just want to thank Ryan Ross and Lisa Garife last night, who set up that presentation for me and allowed me to be there. I want to thank everyone at the Urban Leadership Foundation of Denver for the attention, for the time, for being such a gracious audience. And for helping me get the momentum that I felt last night. I always say, when you help someone else, the fastest way to get momentum is to give it to somebody else. And what I mean by that is the fastest way to get yourself into momentum, is to help somebody else. To move someone else forward, to make a contribution to somebody. You will feel it to your soul. You will feel it to your core.
And I think that's why I'm sharing this, because I want you to remember that even at a time like this, where everything feels overwhelming or everything can be overwhelming. And maybe you're experiencing personal challenges and issues and things that are going on for yourself. There's so much uncertainty and so much ambiguity right now, it would be weird if you weren't. But even at a time like this, if we can take just a second and make a kind comment on Facebook, support somebody in a different way, reach out and help someone, reach out to someone you know might be struggling. Because the more we reach out and help someone else, the more that contribution creates momentum for us. And it's just something I want us all to remember as entrepreneurs.
And if you've been a listener of this podcast for a while, I just want to tell you, I appreciate you. And we recently found out we were number 78 for the Entrepreneurial Personality Type, was number 78 in business worldwide. And we're in the top 1000 of all 800,000 podcasts worldwide, which is overwhelming and incredibly exciting. When I saw that this week on the charts, I'm blown away that we got into the top 100. So as a listener to our podcast, I want to thank you personally for, for helping us, for supporting us, for helping us grow this thing.
And I have a request. If this podcast has meant something to you, if there's been an episode that's changed your life or improved your life in some way, I would really appreciate it if you could leave us a rating and a review. If you could give us the rating that you feel is appropriate, I would prefer it was [inaudible 00:15:02] five star, and give us a review. I read all of those, my team reads all of those. We haven't had a lot of them recently, so we have a review drive to see what is this podcast really doing for people. And if you do, just let me know what this podcast has done for you, how has it changed things for you? Has it improved things for you? Has the Momentum Podcast actually fulfilled the goal of giving you momentum? I would love to ... I can't wait to read your review. I appreciate you making it. And thanks for being here with me today.