Momentum Podcast: 810
Avoid Creating a Habit of Losing
by Alex Charfen
There is a reason why so many entrepreneurs today feel stuck and constrained and out of momentum. We are setting goals in a way that feels intuitive and empowering but instead creates the opposite pattern.
Unfortunately, experts and thought leaders have convinced us to create a continuous habit of losing in our lives that holds us back, drains our momentum, and makes us feel stuck in place. It does not have to be this way.
In this episode, I share the primary reason for this problem and, just as importantly, the tactics you can use to eliminate this from your life and create massive momentum.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. If you're new to listening to my podcast, then you will soon find out. And if you've been listening to my podcast for a while, then you already know that a lot of what I share and the concepts and strategies I share are counterintuitive to a lot of what's shared in the rest of the world. In fact, they're contrary to a lot of the people who teach entrepreneurs how to set outcomes and achieve and execute and make things happen. And the reason is, I've spent a over 30 year career working with entrepreneurs, with people like us, and I've seen clear patterns on what helps us move forward. But what also holds us in place creates massive constraint and takes away our momentum. Today in this podcast, I'm going to share one of those contrary opinions contrary strategies to help you achieve more, get more done in your life, move forward in the way that you really want, and stop what some people have told you to do. That, I believe, is creating a habit of losing. 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. Should 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. In the introduction when I said, I want you to stop what I think is creating a habit of losing for you. If you're like me, as I said it, I had a physical reaction because if somebody said to me, Hey, you have have a habit of losing, I would be sensitive to that. I would feel that I would be irritated by it. I would say, like, what does he even mean? A habit of losing. So I want to let you off the I'll give you felt that way. And I want you to know that when I've shared the concepts I'm going to share with you in public, oftentimes there's been people who've been frustrated with me or irritated me, or maybe even a little triggered because what I'm going to share goes against a lot of the people out there that share with entrepreneurs how they should create goals and set outcomes in their lives. And the reason that I'm going to share this is in the time that I've spent with entrepreneurs, I've seen this pattern of entrepreneurs creating a habit of losing which takes away our momentum, reduces the confidence in what we think we really can do. And I feel like it takes away our ability to really do what we want to do in the world. So let me share with you what I mean by creating the habit of losing. See, I think that the way as entrepreneurs that we have been taught for most of our careers and by most goal setting thought leaders, the way we have been taught to set goals is actually creating a pattern of us falling short of what we want over and over and over again. And when we fall short of what we want over and over again, we actually create this pattern in our lives of setting an outcome, missing the outcome, and being okay with losing. We create this pattern of losing gracefully. We create this pattern of not really getting what we want and then going right back and doing the same thing again. And I'll share with you exactly what I'm talking about. See, when I look at most goal setting experts or most public speakers of personal development speakers, they talk about goals. What they tell us to do as entrepreneurs is to think bigger, think as big as we ever can, create the biggest, most incredible, most intense outcome we can, and then use that as the goal that is going to propel us forward. And I understand why this is what shared. I understand because for us as entrepreneurial personality types, where that small percentage of the population that goes into the future creates a new reality, then comes back to the present and demands it becomes real. And when we first start out, maybe we're not aspirational enough, maybe we don't believe in ourselves enough, maybe we really don't think about how far we can go. And so I think a lot of people feel like they're doing the right thing by getting us to open up that thinking, to think as big as we possibly can and to think as bigger than we ever have before. Now, here's the challenge for most entrepreneurs in this situation. When we're with a goal setting expert that says, you know, I want you to think of the biggest number you've ever made, then cross it out and double it, then double it again. And now that's your goal for next year. Here's the tactical in real life, what happens? I've watched this myself at events so many times that I can't even count how many times I've seen somebody do an exercise like this and I'll be sitting next to somebody. And these days, a lot of times when the goal setting experts come out, I don't even stay in the room. I go in and do something else because a lot of goal setting experts are not really goal achievement experts. They're motivational speakers. They get people pumped up, they get people excited. But motivation without tactics to actually achieve and execute is hollow. It actually makes us feel like we're broken. And here's what I mean by that. I'll be sitting next to somebody and I remember a specific time at a specific event, but I'm not going to name the event or the place because I don't want anyone to feel judgment around this or go judge a speaker over this. Because I feel like most speakers who are doing this are actually doing it from a place of feeling like they're helping people. But I was at this event years ago. Gosh, really, reality is it's probably over a decade ago and it was a real estate event. And I was sitting next to a couple of people, one on my left, one on my right. And this speaker started the goal setting pitch and, you know, talking, shared some stories of people who had set goals and achieved amazing outcomes and talked about people throughout history that didn't think they could. And then once they really, you know, put together the the goals that they had, the goals that they should have been pursuing, that's when things took off for them and they had these amazing outcomes. And so he said, you know, I challenge all of you right now to write down the biggest number you can ever imagine earning and put it down in front of you. And I, you know, probably shouldn't have, but I was kind of looking over the over on the paper of the two people sitting on either side of me. And one of them wrote down 250,000 and the other one wrote down a million. And then the speaker said, All right, now I want you to take that number of crosses out and double it. So the 250,000 became a half million and then it became 2 million on the other side. And then he kept talking about, you know, the bigger we think, the bigger we achieve, the more you conceive, the more you achieve them. The body follows the mind. You'll manifest these things in your life, all of these different things, that goal setting speaker say which a lot of them are true but. Not in this capacity. See, I watched as he did it again and said, Cross it out. And now the 500,000 became a million and the 2 million became 4 million. And then he he dropped it on the audience, like, okay, that number in front of you, that is your goal for next year. And then he shared a couple more stories and everybody got excited. The stories were emotional. So there was a lot of emotions in the room. And he finished and he got a standing ovation. And I sat there thinking, like, really? I wonder what's going on with these two people that I was sitting there and I had talked to him earlier in the conference and I had spent some time connecting with them. So when we came back from the break, I started talking to him again and I asked, you know, individually, I asked him, so how much are you making right now? And both of them were under a six figure income. Neither one of them had made $100,000 yet. And they now had these outcomes of $1,000,004 million to chase for the next year. And I asked, you know, how confident are you in that goal? And they gave me both of them in different ways, gave me the answer. He'd give it a seminar. I feel so excited. I'm confident. I just I'm so, you know, thrilled that this is where I'm going to be next year at those types of things. And I and I said and I didn't want to deflate them. I didn't want to take away that goal. But I just simply asked, okay, so how do you think you're going to get there? And neither one of them had answers. They just kept saying, I'm excited and I feel confident and I feel like, you know, this is awesome and I can't wait to make this much money. And I've always wanted to be wealthy. And I ask again, how are you going to get there? Like, what things are you going to do in the real world to be able to get there? And after I had asked it a couple of times, have each of them in separate conversations, they both said, like, I don't really know. And I explained to them, you know, well, here's the challenge with the goals that you've set up, and I'll just use the million dollar example as an example. I said, So, you know, here's what that goal means. That goal means that you're going to make $83,000 a month for the next year. And so next month, realistically, how much do you think you're going to make? And I can't remember the amount, the exact number, but the woman said something like $6,000. I said, okay. So at the end of next month, you're going to be 76,000 or 78,000, whatever the math is, $78,000 behind. How much do you think you're going to make the next month? And she said, you know, I don't know, probably about the same, maybe a little bit more. And I said, okay, so what behaviors are you going to modify? What are you going to do differently so that you can get to this goal of $1,000,000 next year, which is $83,000 a month? And we're two months into the year and we really don't know how you're going to get there. And she looked frustrated. She looked upset. And now if you're sitting there thinking, man, you took away her dream, she could have manifested it. You're not letting her do what she could do. Well, here's what I can tell you. I've watched hundreds, maybe thousands of people go through these exercises. And here's what happens. More often than not, are there people who write down $1,000,000 and actually get there? Yes, but it's like winning the lottery. And typically there is something going on in that person's world already that is going to help them get there. But if you're in a place where you're at six figures or you've never hit six figures and you set the outcome to get to seven figures in a year, the likelihood of that happening is incredibly low. In a room of 10,000 people, there might be one or two people who can get there. And I guarantee you the next time that goal setting speaker goes and speaks, he's going to share those stories. He's not going to share the stories of the the, you know, 9999 people who didn't achieve their goals. In fact, he's not going to share the stories of the people in that greater number that I talked about, who six months after the conference, find the sheet of paper where they had written down that seven figure goal and they feel deflated and depressed and frustrated with themselves and like they did something wrong and like they aren't aren't showing up like they need to do or like they need to. And, like, there's something wrong with them. In fact, if you think about this, because I've been through this experience when I was younger, I'm going through the exact same type of process, writing down some huge outcome. And then because that outcome was so far afield of where I was, I didn't even know what to do in the present to move myself towards that outcome. And if you think about it, has there been a time in your life or have you been through that? You've been through that process and have you found that or have you looked at it? And what was your thought process? If you're like most entrepreneurs I know you don't say, Man, that goal setting expert didn't know what he was talking about. I didn't get there. We take responsibility for it. We think manner. But other people in the room had their goals and I bet other people in the room went through that same exercise I did. And now they're sitting there with $1,000,000 business. And here I am months later and I'm nowhere near what I said I was going to do. I'm nowhere near what he said I could do if I followed his instructions. So there must be something wrong with me. And the more we go through this process of setting outcomes that we can't even see from where we are, the more we create this habit in our lives of losing, we create a habit of not achieving. We create a habit of falling short. In fact, I've seen this scenario more than once where the person sitting in the chair sets in the million dollar outcome and they're not six figures yet. And at the end of the year, they've worked as hard as they can, they've done what they need to do and they get to $200,000 in a year. That type of growth is extraordinary. It's amazing. It's awesome to be able to get there. And you know what? They feel like they're $800,000 short. Instead of celebrating the win of more than doubling their income. Instead of celebrating the win of being in a multi six figure income earning bracket, they are saying, Man, I didn't hit the million. I lost. And that habit of losing. We think it's motivational. We think it moves us forward. We think that if we continue to go through that same process of setting goals that we can't even see from where we are, that someday we'll get there. But here's what I've seen over and over again. Now, this is counter to a lot of what you've heard. But when I work with entrepreneurs and we have them set goals that are incremental goals that they can measure from where they are, that they can understand what they're going to do to get there. And there's a clear path for execution. Here's what happens more often than not, because we create an atmosphere and an environment of winning. When somebody is at, say, $6,000 a month, let's say they're around $70,000 a year, and we say, okay, what do you know? What do you want to set for next year? Well, I'm going to set the goal of 140,000. Okay. That means you have to be at 12,000 in January and 12,000 in February. And let's let's see what we can do to get you there. And then they start making progress towards that goal and they start feeling themselves winning. They start seeing the finish line. They get into that place of momentum. They get physiologically, cognitively and chemically boosted, like we do as evolutionary hunters every time we are in momentum. And you know what happens? They blow right by that $140,000 goal. They achieve way more than they thought they could. And then they do it again. They say, You know what, I didn't get 240. I got to a quarter million. Next year, I'm going to see if I can hit 400,000. Then they start that process again. They start that process of winning. They start that process of moving things forward there. And then they do. They get to that place where they're there at 400,000, they blow through it. Maybe they get to five or 600,000. And because they keep themselves in that place of momentum, in that place of achievement, in that place of winning, there's all these benefits to us as entrepreneurs where we feel the dopamine of winning, where we feel the happy chemicals when we're in that place in momentum, where we're physiologically, cognitively and chemically boosted and we're not feeling like we're losing, even though we're achieving at a massive scale. And when I've worked with entrepreneurs one on one, and they've done this within just a few years, they're at that seven figure business or more. I've helped dozens of entrepreneurs go from seven figures to eight figures, maybe more than dozens at this point. Hundreds of entrepreneurs go from 6 to 7 and 7 to 8, maybe thousands. When you look at all the products that we've sold in our career and how we show people how to set goals, and when I say our career, I mean me and Katie. We've got most of these businesses together. Katie's my wife, and there's this consistency to achievement when we keep ourselves in this place of winning and when we can understand what we're going to execute, when we can understand what we're going to do more of. And what happens when you're at $70,000 a year and you set the goal of 140 and you get to 200,000, you know what happens? The whole world looks different. There's inputs that didn't exist before. There's opportunities that didn't exist before. There's things that you're seeing now that you wouldn't have seen before. But what I've seen for far too long. And who I've talked to for far too long and who I've had in our events. You know, I've had one on one conversations with are the people who year after year for three years, five years, seven years, ten years have gone to seminar after seminar, gone through the same or similar process to what I described, set extraordinary outcomes. And stayed exactly where they are or maybe experience some marginal improvements, but absolutely feel like they're losing and they start to feel momentum from the seminars more than the momentum from the achievement that they have. And they get addicted to this place of going and hearing those things again and doing those things again, because they're in this place where they've created this pattern of losing in their lives. And the thing that feels like winning is going through the process again, but not actually achieving. And if you relate to this, then I want you to know when we as entrepreneurs are winning, we have an entirely different outlook on the world. So if you've been through a process like this, if someone's told you to set unrealistic goals that you can't even see from where you are, if you don't have a process for achievement and for moving things forward, my advice is stop the habit of losing. Pull your targets closer, give yourself realistic outcomes and you will see the world around. You change. You will see your capability, change your feelings, change your ability to show up, change you will see yourself accomplish so much more when you approach things in a way that you can actually get into momentum and start winning. Then if you approach things in a way where you're constantly setting up this punitive behavior of giving yourself targets you can't achieve and feeling like you're losing, you know, this is something that we teach. And if this is a place where you're looking for help and you'd like to understand how to set outcomes and achieve them much faster, we have a system called the Momentum Planning System, and it's not just a planner. It's an entire goal setting process to get you clear on what you want in your life, how you can set those outcomes in a way that's achievable, how you can measure those outcomes and know that you're moving forward so you have perspective and get more done than you ever have before. So you start actually building the life you want, not just talking about it and set and setting unrealistic goals around it. And if you'd like to get some help with that process, you can go to our website Charfen dot com forward slash m as in momentum p as in planner as in system so Charfen icon and forward slash NPS and check out our momentum planner. And it's a system that can help you do all of this. But here's what I want you to know. You don't have to have the momentum planner. It might make things easier and give you some shortcuts and save you some time. But if you just go through the process of pulling the target closer, making sure you know what you're going to do more of what you're going to improve, what you're going to change so that you can get to that new target. You will create the attitude of winning, the habit of winning, and all of the positive benefits of winning for yourself as an entrepreneurial personality type. Thanks for being a podcast listener, and if this episode meant something to you, there are so many entrepreneurs who are caught in that habit of losing and judging themselves and feeling bad about themselves and feeling like there's something wrong with them. If you know someone like that, do me a favor. Copy the link to this podcast. Send it to them and let them know you think you can help them. I appreciate you listening to the podcast, being here with me and have an incredible day.