Momentum Podcast: 65
Throttling Unintentional Consumption
by Alex Charfen
The amount of information available for an entrepreneur to to consume today is unlimited. If you started today and listened to just the free content it's available you can spend all day everyday and you would not come close to finishing what is available in your lifetime.
This presents a opportunity but also a challenge for entrepreneurs. The opportunity is the information we need to move forward from where we are today is available and we can go get it. The challenge is if we are clear on what we need and where we are, you can get into a loop of unintentional consumption that will rob us of our momentum.
There is a simple and elegant way to stop unintentional consumption. I have use this with hundreds of clients around the world to pull them out of the negative loop of consuming content without creating momentum.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kind. Those among us who can't turn 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'll pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, and 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, 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. Welcome to the Momentum Podcast. This is episode 65. So excited to be recording this one. It's called Throttling Unintentional Consumption.
So tonight, I was on a coaching call that I do with this international group from around the world of entrepreneurs who are optimizing and creating momentum and understanding themselves better, and I got a really good question that prompted this podcast. The question was, in a world where there's so much to consume and so much that'll make you better, and so many different things to listen to and watch and that attract us to them, how do I stop from wanting to consume it all? How do I stop from consuming it all and just constantly listening and taking things in?
It is a such a critical questions for entrepreneurs today because here's the challenge for so many people is that the amount of information available to us today is near unlimited, and if you started listening today to just the free content, you could not listen to all of it in a lifetime, if you listened to it at 10 times speed and didn't stop, didn't sleep, didn't take breaks, and just consumed. And that presents a challenge for people like us because when we see something that's attractive, when we see something that looks like momentum, we want to go consume it, and we want to go be part of it. We want to go learn. We want to go absorb, but the challenge is this. Consumption without application is the illusion of momentum. I'll say it again. Consumption without application is the illusion of momentum.
See, when we make the decision to consume, we get a little hit. We get some serotonin, some dopamine, some adrenalin. It's like, "Hey, I'm starting a podcast. I'm doing something. I'm moving forward. I'm creating here." But the challenge is if we don't apply, then that momentum is a [inaudible 00:03:10]. That momentum is ethereal. That momentum goes away in the moment where we fail to apply what we've learned.
I remember years ago, going to a Tony Robbins conference, The Unlimited Power Weekend with Cadey. I've done that conference twice. I did it when I was 19 years old, and I did it again when I was about 32, right before my wife and I got married, and each time, there was this weird phenomena where people came up to me, and they would say, "Hey, how many times have you been?" And I'd say, "Been to what?" "Well, been to this event." "Well, this is my first time or my second time." And I had people say, "Oh, well this is my 28th." Or "I've done it 36." Or one woman was like in the 50s. Why are you coming back to this same thing over and over again? If you come, you apply it, you can move forward, you create momentum.
And I think that for so many of us, the consumption sometimes becomes the goal, and we lose site of the fact that we consume with a purpose. We consume to apply.
So here's how you throttle and intentional consumption. Here's how you stop this habit because it can get carried away. I'll share with you in a moment a story of one of my friends that really got carried away, but here's how you slow this down.
So one, identify where you are right now and what it is that you need, what it is that's going to change your world? Where are you in your business? Where are you in your goals? Where are you in what you're trying to achieve, and what are the things that are unknowns for you? Be really clear.
So if you're in a place where you're not getting enough leads or you're not attracting the right customer, that's what you need to learn about it. If you're getting a ton of leads, and you have trouble converting, that's what you need to learn about. If you can't figure out what product you want to put out there, or what market you want to go serve, that's what you should learn about to the exclusion of just about everything else. Because what happens to us as entrepreneurs, is if we learn the right information at the wrong time, it means nothing. If we learn something today that we don't need right now, that we needed in the past or might need in the future, right now, we aren't spending the currency of time in the most effective way possible to get the biggest return on our investment.
So here's how you change this pattern. First, you get painfully clear on where you are. What is it that you need? Second, you consume information only around that subject, and here's the big one. Third, you hold yourself accountable to application before you consume more.
Here's what that means. You hold yourself accountable to behavioral change. You hold yourself accountable to implementation. You hold yourself accountable to doing whatever the content you consume said you should do before you go out and consume the next podcast, product, the book, the next book, the next whatever it is because so many of us have gotten into the habit of consuming as the goal.
I'll share a very dramatic example with you. I had a friend and a client ... All my clients become friends, so they're synonymous Who I remember the day I saw a post on Facebook where he said, "Hey, I'm joining this challenge where you read a book a week for a year, who wants to join me?" And I remember thinking, "Oh gosh. No. This is terrible." Because do you know how hard it is to read a book a week and then apply it? Unless you're doing some type of research, unless you're doing some type of study, like to take on a tactical book or a theoretical book every week and try and apply it, it gets very hard.
Well, here's what happened. At first, he was reading, and when someone's reading, when you're consuming through the medium of reading, that throttles you in the beginning because you can only consume as fast as you're ready to consume at that time, as fast as your comprehension is. And what happened was, he would read, and he was consuming, and he did maybe 20 weeks, 25 weeks where he got through a book a week. That was the challenge. He was going to make the challenge.
Well then, life got busier. He couldn't get to a book a week, so he started listening to books on audio, and I didn't talk to him for a few months, but I went up to his office, and I remember he picked me up, and I got in his car, and when he turned the key, the most heinous sound came out of the speakers. It was like Alvin and the Chipmunks in that high-pitch [inaudible 00:07:32] crazy, whiny voice, like yelling at me about business implementation or something. And I remember like being jarred by it, and I turned to him and said, "What the heck is that?" And he said, "Oh well, I've started listening to audio books at 300% of speed. You know I did that challenge where I was reading books, and then I couldn't get to all of them, so I started listening to audio. Then I started speeding them up, and now, I'm listening to four books a week."
I remember like a pain in my chest, and I turned to him, and I said, "What do you mean you're listening to four books a week?" He said, "Well, if you speed them up, and I listen on the way to work and on the way to the gym and when I'm driving to lunch, and I'm going to appointments, I can get through about four books a week. Like, I'm taking on more information than anyone I know." And I crushed him with one question. "When do you apply any of it? What are you changing? What behavior is it modifying? How are you actually implementing anything from these books?" And I actually felt a little bad at just asking the question because he looked like somebody had punched him in the stomach. But that was my intended result. I wanted to wake him up to the fact that consumption without application only creates the illusion of momentum. And that slowed him down.
But here's what's interesting. Just like any other negative loop or spiral, go back and listen to the episode on that. Just like any other negative loop or spiral, once we're in that mode of consumption, once we're in that chemical addiction of hitting play, hearing the podcast, feeling like we're moving forward, hitting play, listening to the book, feeling like we're moving forward, hitting purchase, buying the seminar tickets, going and feeling like we're moving forward. We have to extricate ourselves from that. We have to pull ourselves out of that, and the easiest way to throttle unintentional consumption is to start writing down what you're reading. Writing down what you're consuming. Writing down and then figuring out how you've applied every single bit of it.
Now, that's not to say that if you read a book or you listen to something or a buy a product that's really bad, you should implement bad stuff, but you should at least understand you're not implementing intentionally. It's not because you're just moving on to the next thing.
See any one of us is subject to getting into a negative loop or a negative spiral when we do the same thing over and over again, and we don't get results. With content, with consumption, it's actually pretty easy. Hold yourself accountable to application, and everything in your life will change. Identify where you are stuck, consuming exactly what you need, apply the right information, and you'll develop a new set of challenges, and you can go consume information around that.
See, when you do that, you start doing this magical thing where you hard wire intentional consumption and application. The most successful people I know, billionaires, are so intentional with what they consume. If they walk into a conversation that is not something that's going to move them forward, they often walk away. I have friends that are billionaires that don't allow TVs to be on certain channels because they don't want to be thrown off. I have friends that are worth tons of money that will walk into a room, and if there's someone in the room that throws them off, they'll walk out. They won't even allow a meeting to be consumed. But when you look at the average entrepreneur today, it's like they're in a contest to see who can consume the most information, the most videos, the most social media, the most of all the stuff that's out there.
Here's your chance to opt out and dramatically increase the results you are creating in the world right now. Get focused on where you are. Understand exactly what you need. Apply it, and you will create an entirely new situation in your world where you can do that again.
This is one of those habits, one of those strategies that will change your life as an entrepreneur, and I can't wait for you to apply it.
If you haven't yet, do me a favor. Leave us a rating, a review on this podcast. Let us know what you think. I love reading them. I actually get up every day. I go look and ask, "Is there any new reviews?" "Is there any new ratings that people have given me some feedback or can tell me what they think." And I would love to hear from any of you, and I'd love to hear from you specifically, and if you haven't yet, back up to hit the subscribe button. That way, every time we upload a new podcast, you will get it first. Thank you for listening to episode 65. I'm excited about tomorrow. I'm telling you. The call I just got off of was a treasure trove of information for entrepreneurs to move forward, and I can't wait to share more with you tomorrow. Thank you.