Momentum Podcast: 743
Progress Over Destruction
by Alex Charfen
In life and in business, when we improve, change, or move something forward, we often damage what was there before.
This is part of progress.
Alex Charfen, a business growth coach who helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses, gives practical, tangible, and actionable tips that you can implement into your business right now.
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that I have used throughout my business career and my life: Progress often looks like destruction.
When we are in the act of improving something and making it better, we are also often destroying, unsettling, and crushing what was there before. I've lived through this for the past month as my house has been completely torn apart and is being remodeled.
There are two sides to this experience. There's one side where I can see everything that's been destroyed and everything that's no longer there. The other side is I can see the improvements we're making, how we're moving things forward, and how exciting it is.
So, in life and in business, progress often looks like destruction. We can focus on the progress or we can focus on the destruction. The choice is ours, and when we maintain an optimistic outlook, everything gets better for us and our teams.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
What's up, if you have been following me on social media, then you probably know that for the last month I've been on a road trip with my family. I just got home, just got home a couple of days ago. And and we've still got probably about four to six weeks of our rehab. Sorry, I got out of the frame that a little bit. And so I wanted to talk about this concept that applies like crazy to doing rehab in your house or doing anything like this, a remodel or any of this kind of thing. I call it a rehab because we used to rehab and sell houses. It's really a remodel when it's fancy like this. And and this phrase that I share with my team off and progress often looks like destruction. And I'll be candid. So my family and I went for a month long trip. We came back and I walked into this house and I was emotionally affected by it.
And I was like, oh, I wanted to be more done. I wanted to see more progress. I, I can only see what was wrong. I can only see the challenges honestly. I can only see the destruction. I really didn't see any of the progress. I couldn't see that we had new flaws that were being made, that the cabinets are going to be incredible in that moment. Progress wasn't showing up for me. All I could see was what we had destroyed, what we'd pulled apart, what wasn't working and what wasn't happening. And there is such an incredible parallel for this inbusiness.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazer, 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.
You know, every month my team has a monthly theme that we share at the beginning of the huddle, and I think it was last month, the month before, maybe it was a couple more months and that I can't remember exactly. But we had the quote, progress often looks like destruction is a Chinese problem. We had that quote at the beginning of our huddle because in our business, we were undoing so many things. We were changing so many things. We were updating, making things new, canceling one program, refining another, and really moving in a direction that's going to create massive progress is going to be like we're remodeling the business. But even in a business, progress can feel like destruction.
When we create something new, we're usually affecting something that was there. When we update something, we usually destroy the previous model. When we are in a place where we're making massive changes in our business, it can feel unsettling and can feel destructive. That can be frustrating. It can. And when I say unsettling, it can be really unsettling. In fact, right now in our business, we are going through a period where we are making major changes, where we're changing some of the aspects of how we deliver our products. We're changing some of what we do with our team internally. We're bringing some some new people. We just brought a couple of new people on. We're bringing some
more people on all of that progress. All of that change can be seen as innovation and moving in the right direction and bringing in what we need to move forward as a company. But you can also just focus on what's broken. You can focus on what's not happening. You can focus on what's what. You can focus on the deficit. It's actually really easy to focus on deficits. In fact, when I look at us as human beings, especially entrepreneurs, I think entrepreneurs are like deficit based human beings. We look for the deficit. We look for what's wrong. We have a hard time seeing what's right. We're celebrating a success or celebrating something that's moving in the right direction. In fact, if everything is moving in the right direction, you notice about yourself. I'm the same way. If everything's moving in the right direction and one thing's going wrong, that is where your focus will be. And so.
The analogy I want to make to the point I want to make with my house torn up like this with my business right now going through massive transitions, I am in a place where for me, even though I have the experience that I do, even though I coach other business owners, even though I work on mindset all the time, even though I've done thousands of hours of personal development, therapy and personal work, I can still get caught up in this and let it affect me, let it affect how I show up for myself, whether if I show up for my team. The first day when we were back from traveling, it was not a great day for me, but I kind of had a little bit of an adult tantrum. And I think that as entrepreneurs, if we're not checked in and if we're not invited and we're not paying attention to how we feel, we can get into that adult tantrum place in our business. If the numbers aren't moving fast enough and progress isn't happening fast enough, if we're in a state or in a frame of major transition, we can just start seeing what's broken.
We can just start focusing on the destruction. We can just focus on the deficit, the issues, the challenges, the frustration, and in that, more than anything, as an entrepreneur will hold us back. Because here's what I know about working with entrepreneurs for almost 30 years now when our orientation is positive and optimistic. You know, it's interesting when you have positive, optimistic orientation, you find solutions and you don't see a lot of challenges.
When our orientation is frustrated and anxious, when we're focusing on the deficit, when we're focusing on the destruction, not what's being put in new, our outlook will create a state where we don't see solutions, where we only see challenges, where we don't see progress, where we don't see ourselves moving forward. And that is near debilitating for us as entrepreneurs because we are momentum based beings more than any other type of person in the world out there. I work with entrepreneurs, so I know us very well. I won't speak for everyone else. But entrepreneurs are momentum based beings. And here's what that means. That means we live for momentum. We want to be in momentum, momentum. We want to feel momentum, forward progress, making things happen. The world following in our way.
And the way we do that is we focus on the positive. We focus on the progress, not the destruction. When something changes in our lives, we can look at that same exact thing in two ways. You can walk into my house right now and go, oh, my gosh, the carpet's gone from the the stairs and the the balance Justin gone and the cabinets are gone and the entire kitchen is gutted and it just looks horrible. Or I can take a step back and say the changes that we wanted to have made on the stairs have been made and the new tile floor is being laid and it looks amazing.
And the cuts that we wanted on the stairs so that they're not so flagrant and fancy and curvy and all the other stuff that they used that they're clean and modern have already been made. And if I come in here and rather than focus on the destruction, I only focus on the progress. I actually leave here feeling better and a little more excited, honestly. Still a little frustrated. My office isn't done, but but feeling better and a little more excited. You can do the same thing in your business as entrepreneurs. It's up to us to monitor our outlook, to monitor our perception, to monitor how we're showing up and when we find that we're showing up in a way that's negative, when we're showing up in a way that we're focusing more on the destruction than the progress, that's up to us to take a step back, understand that progress often looks like this death destruction.
Start looking for the progress, for the positive, for the move forward and focus there. It will get easier for us. And I guarantee you it will get a lot easier for your team as well. Thanks for being here with me for this video today. If you are looking for help, growing your business, growing your team, and you'd like to join an incredible community of entrepreneurs around the world that are growing their business in a way that's predictable, using the right process, structure and routine so that you as the entrepreneur no longer have to do everything. Go to billionaire COCOM, answer a few questions for my team. Download the billionaire code, the nine levels that every entrepreneur go through to go from zero to 100 million dollar business. And if you are interested, you can set up a call with a member of my team to find out how we might be able to help you and remember, join us as entrepreneurs.
The definition of entrepreneur is taking a resource and increasing its value, having more equity, increasing equity for everyone around you and making things better. But in order to do that, we always modify what's there. We always destroy just a little bit when we're making things better and sometimes we destroy a lot. But that is progress. So remember, focus on the progress, the progression forward, the movement forward. Don't focus on the destruction, focus on what's changing and what's new. And you will stay motivated with a positive outlook which makes everything easier for us and our team's billionaire. Go, Dotcom. Thanks again for being here with me today.