Momentum Podcast: 865
Stay on the Right Side of the Entrepreneurial Personality
by Alex Charfen
There are two sides to every entrepreneur. One side is the visionary leader, changing the world, driving progress, and making a lasting impact for good. The reverse is a being of destructive habits who can profoundly harm the people around them. The difference between the two comes down to Pressure and Noise.
If you are going to reach your full potential, both are required for your success. The challenge for many entrepreneurs today is they're caught up in the hustle and impression that the only way to create success is to endure more noise than anyone else. This just isn't how it works. There is a path that great entrepreneurs throughout history have taken, it begins with making a commitment to lower pressure and noise.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
I remember when I was younger and people would say things like, “Your network is your net worth”, and I just wouldn't believe it. But these days, I absolutely know it's true. In fact, this week I was able to share with a really high level group of entrepreneurs. They were mostly over $3 million a year, some of them much higher than that in Dan Martell's high level mastermind. And if you're not familiar with Dan, he is an incredible entrepreneur. He wrote the book Buy Back Your Time. He runs, I think, $100 million investment firm that invests in software as a service companies. And he also runs a coaching program where I was able to share with his highest level group, and I shared the billionaire code with them, which you can go check out a billionairecode.com. That's not what I am going to share with you today. I actually want to share with you part of the introduction I made and how that became a lot of the discussion we had. In fact, people were taking screenshots of this simple comparison and posting it on social media because it made such an impact. And I think this will be valuable for you if you're an entrepreneur, growing a business, running a team, taking care of a family and doing all the things that we do.
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.
Thanks for being here and listening to this podcast episode. Real quick before I get started, I just want you to know we have revitalized our YouTube channel. We are posting on YouTube again. You can go check us out at Alex Charfen on YouTube and see some of the shorts. We've been posting some of the new videos we've been posting all about helping you grow your business and build a team and stop feeling like you have to do everything yourself. I'd love to know what you think. Leave me a comment if you go check everything out now.
Today, though, I want to share with you this really simple comparison that I share with entrepreneurs when I speak. You know, I remind entrepreneurs and I remind myself that we are that small percentage of the population that goes into the future, creates a new reality, comes back to the present and demands it becomes real. And let's be honest about doing that. As entrepreneurs, we face a massive amount of resistance. We face frustration. We're trying to change things. We're trying to do things in a different way. We're trying to make something new in the world, make a massive impact. And let's get real. We're also trying to make a massive income, and that is outside of the norm. And what happens with all of those things is that it causes a lot of pressure and noise in our lives. And when I shared with Dan's group, I shared this list of ten qualities that I think all successful entrepreneurs have and maybe don't have ten out of ten, but you probably have nine out of ten. Let me just share this list with you. And then when I go out and speak, I actually collect the answers from the audience. And so often these are the answers that come up. These are the answers that come up most often. So when we look at successful entrepreneurs, here's what we are. We are intense, intelligent, focused, aware, relentless, restless, confident, driven, curious, fixated, and even bold. We are that small percentage of the population that does things differently with that small percentage of the population that sees a better way and then insists that it becomes reality. We are that small percentage of the population that has these attributes, and for most of us, we not only have ten out of ten of these attributes, but on a scale of 1 to 10 compared to the average human being in the world, we are a ten out of ten. And what I know about intensity and intelligence and being focused and aware and relentless and restless and confident and driven and curious and fixated and bold is that these are the very things that make us successful Entrepreneurs take a minute right now and and really let that list sink in. Isn't the reality that you are all, if not most of these things and if you compare yourself to the average person in the world who's not an entrepreneur, you're probably a ten out of ten.
And here's what I know. When pressure and noise in our lives goes up, when we are doing too much, when we're overwhelmed in the day to day, when we're buried in the tactics of our business, when we don't have clarity as to where we're going, pressure noise goes up. And here's what I know happens to these qualities that make us look talented and gifted and like we can do anything. Our intensity can become aggression. It's a coin flip, high pressure noise, intelligence can turn into arrogance. Our ability to be focused, aware and relentless can become obsessive and sensitive and cutthroat are restless behavior that helps us go out and find what we need to do next. Our confidence that lets us move forward, our ability to be driven even when other people are not. When there's high pressure and noise, that restlessness can become hyperactivity, that confidence can become conceit, that ability to be driven can become irrational, and our curiosity and way that we get fixated on a solution and our boldness can be seen as paranoid, antisocial and risky. See this other list? Aggressive, arrogant, obsessive, sensitive, cutthroat, hyperactive, conceited, irrational, paranoid, antisocial and risky is just as much a factor of the entrepreneurial personality type as the first list I read. And when we look at people like us, when we understand people like us, when you read the stories about entrepreneurs throughout history, we actually see these qualities.
Steve Jobs was one of the most intense people in the history of the world who was able to get things done. And if you look at that list, that first list, I read he's a ten out of ten on all of those. But when pressure and noise went up, when things weren't going his way, when he was frustrated, when he was confused, when he was irritated, he had the ability to be all of the other list that I read, that second list I read, and it's legendary Steve Jobs yelling at people and, you know, scaring people and intimidating people. And Apple is literally part of the legend that we tell about him. And it's not just him. It's every one of us. I know that when I am fixated on something and when I'm focused and when I have a high level of awareness, that's when I solve problems. That's when I help people. That's when I move things forward. But I also know that my fixation can make me antisocial. I can actually pull back my relentlessness, my focus, my ability to be aware can become obsessive, sensitive and cutthroat and not just appear that way.
I've been an entrepreneur for long enough, and I'm honest with myself these days, certainly not in the past. But I've become honest enough with myself to know that I didn't just appear this way. I was this way. I have been arrogant. I have been aggressive. I have been completely obsessive, oversensitive, and cutthroat. I have hyperactive qualities. When there's too much pressure and noise in my life, I can appear and be conceited and irrational and paranoid and antisocial and overly risky. And here's what's helped me throughout my life is to consistently and repeatedly lower the pressure and noise in my life. In fact, recently I've been on a lowering pressure and noise spree throughout my entire life. I'll share with you just one thing that I've been doing. To really lower noise in my life is, you know, I always tell entrepreneurs and and again, you probably heard me share this concept of coaching Inception. I find myself coaching an entrepreneur. In the past, I would find myself coaching an entrepreneur and in the back of my mind, I would think, “Oh man, I really need to listen to this”. Well, now it's happened so many times. When I'm coaching an entrepreneur, I ask myself, “What part of this do I need to hear?” Because I look at that reflection from that entrepreneur as information that I probably need to hear. If everything happens for a reason, I'm coaching somebody on something that is probably a place where I need some work. It's probably a place where I need to lean in. It's probably a place where I need to understand how I can use this to my own advantage. And so when I coach entrepreneurs, I often say, if you want to lower the pressure and noise in your life aggressively, look at the people, the places and things in your life that are not giving you momentum because momentum is binary. We live for momentum.
I define the entrepreneurial personality type the evolutionary hunter as physiologically sensitive momentum based beings that are highly reactive to constraint, and we are highly reactive to constraint. In fact constraint, the feeling of constraint, the feeling of too much going on, the feeling of overwhelm or anxiety or any of those things is exactly what makes us aggressive, arrogant, obsessive, sensitive, cutthroat, hyperactive, conceited, irrational, paranoid, antisocial, and risky. And so I take an inventory of the people, the places and things in my life, and I ask myself, what is giving me momentum and what's not? And if it's not getting me momentum, I'm. obsessed with moving it out of my life and getting rid of that noise. And I'll share a really personal outcome that recently happened. You know, I've for a long time had somewhere between three and five cars. I love cars. They're a passion of mine. I've always loved cars. I've always had fast modified cars. I like to go quick. I like cars that sound great. But here's what's happened over the past few years. I have one car that I love. It's a newer BMW, and I've been driving that one a lot. And I had a couple of other cars that I just wasn't driving and I had to keep putting them on track or chargers to keep the batteries charged. And sometimes I would forget that and I would go out and the cars were dead and I wasn't driving them enough. And a friend of mine shared with me this quote that really resonated. The more things you own and the more things on you. And so I had to get real with myself. I loved the two cars that I had. I had an older BMW Roadster and a completely tricked out Porsche that was ready for the track. I could drive it over to a race track and just drive right on and be super competitive. But I wasn't driving them and I started to recognize the noise that it was causing me walking out to the garage and seeing the cars that I wasn't driving. I started to feel the frustration of going to twist the key and having the car not work because I'm not driving it enough. And this is just one example of where I've lowered noise in my life. There's a lot of other ones, but I think this one's relatable and I want you to think about it because where do you have stuff, things that are in your life that were important to you at one point and now aren't so important to you? And I came to the realization that these two cars were causing me noise. I came to the realization that I was paying maintenance and insurance and all types of other expenses for cars that I wasn't even really driving. And I finally put them up for auction and sold both of them in the same week. And it's funny, the world has this interesting way of validating when we've made the right decision. As the truck was coming to pick up the Porsche and ship it to the buyer, I had a little moment of regret. I was like, . And I walked out to my garage and got in the car to start it and pull it out to the truck that was picking it up and it wouldn't start. Yeah, I'd been in Costa Rica for a couple weeks. I hadn't started it during the time that I was selling it and I had to go grab my jump box like I have so many times and jumpstart the car to get it on the truck to send it to the buyer. And any regret that I was feeling was immediately resolved and I realized I had made the right decision to move that noise out of my life.
And so if you've been in a place where you have high pressure and noise, if you can relate to any of that second list that I that I shared with you, if you're introspective enough and honest with yourself enough to know that you've had some of those qualities recently, here's my question for you, where is the noise coming from in your life? Sit down and look at categorizing. It makes it easier for me. People, places, things. Sometimes I take a 20 minute walk. This is what I coach my clients to do. This is what I do myself. I take a 20 minute walk or more. I come back and I dump out on a sheet of paper, sometimes two, sometimes three, everything that's causing me noise. And it was exactly that discipline, that exercise where I wrote down the Porsche and the Roadster. They were causing me noise. I was tired of walking by them and not using them. I was tired of them being dead when I went out there. I love the car that I drive day to day. I'm driving it 99% of the time. Why do I have this hanging out in my life? And so making this change immediately felt like this massive reduction of pressure and noise in my life. And so for you, if you've found yourself feeling some entrepreneurial anxiety, if you've been a little accelerated, if you feel like maybe you're not as grounded as you could be, this is a really important question for you. Where is the noise coming from? Take the 20 minute walk, come back, sit down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Don't type, don't, don't, don't involve a computer, don't involve electronics. Do this. This is a conversation with yourself. Write down everything that's causing you noise. And here's this really amazing thing that happens when we take all of the noise in our lives that is rattling around in our head and we are willing to write it all down, which is a confronting and difficult process. Almost immediately we feel the noise come down. I know I did. I didn't even have to take action. It's just I immediately felt the noise come down because I had an inventory. It's sitting right here in front of me on my desk from when I did it before. Of everything that was causing noise, of everything that was not giving me momentum. And I look at it as if it's not giving me momentum, it's binary, it's taking it away. And so if you have not done this recently or if you've never done it before, this is a discipline that will help you lower noise in your life. It will help you show up better everywhere that you show up as a business leader, as a spouse, as a parent, whatever is important to you, it's going to help you do those things better just by understanding where the noise is coming from and then methodically and systematically moving those things out of your life. Even if there's a little bit of an emotional attachment like I had to my cars. Even if things have become part of your identity like my cars had, and even if it's something you never thought you would consider doing because I've always had 3 to 5 cars and today I only have one. But I can tell you as I share this with you, I feel lighter, I feel more grounded. I feel more in my body and way more productive. You can too.
And if you are a business owner who is growing a team, who is growing a company, and you've gotten to that point where you're getting help and you're getting you're delegating to the people around you and you're growing an organization, reach out to us because not only can we help you lower the pressure and noise immediately, but let us show you the process, structure and routine that will help you consistently grow your business, lower the noise that you're experiencing, and get way more out of what you're doing on a day to day basis. Go to simpleoperations.com and take a couple of seconds to fill out the survey. It takes literally about a minute to fill out and then set up a call with my team. Let us show you how we can help you lower the pressure and noise everywhere as you consistently grow your business while doing less on a day to day basis and you don't feel like the biggest bottleneck anymore. Thanks for being here. I appreciate you being a podcast listener.