Momentum Podcast: 874
True Visionary CEO
by Alex Charfen
I had a conversation at my event recently with an off-the-charts visionary about how frustrated he was that the people around him didn’t see what he saw. I know this feeling. I’ve struggled with it most of my life. Like all visionaries, I’m part of that small percentage of people that goes into the future, create a new reality, come back to the present, and demand that it becomes real. And like all visionaries, I’ve struggled most of my life to communicate what I see in that future. And for most of my career, this led to frustration and resentment of the people around me. The future was so real to me, so clear, so compelling. It just didn’t make sense that they didn’t see it as I did. What I’ve learned over time is that uncommunicated expectations lead to predetermined resentments. I also learned that it is my responsibility, my life‘s work, to help everyone around me see what I see. To communicate in a way that I am heard. To translate my vision into an actual plan that the people around me believe in and know they can execute.
Once I understood this, everything in my life got easier. But it’s never easy. Don’t let anybody tell you that it is. If you are a visionary running a company, this is one of the foundational principles of how you will create the life, income, impact, and business you want.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you've probably heard me say things like, “As entrepreneurs, we give up a 9 to 5 to work a 9 to 11. And I don't mean in the morning.” And so many of us get into this for freedom, but we end up stuck and plateaued and in a place where we're doing way too much. We have a never ending to do list, and we feel like the biggest bottleneck in our businesses. If this relates to you, then this podcast is for you because today I want to talk about how we ascend, how we climb, how we become a true visionary CEO, and I'll share the definition with you and the path to get there in just a second.
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.
If you've been a listener for a while, then you've heard me say before that, you know, as entrepreneurs we often end up the biggest bottleneck in our business. We often end up with way too much to do. We are in this place of being overwhelmed. We start feeling like if we grow the business, it's going to cause us pain, which causes us not to grow the business. And all of this, all of this, this list or all of these things kind of add up to this list of creating a overwhelmed, completely tapped out CEO or visionary that is not working in their strengths. And here's what I know. Having been a visionary for 30 years, here's what I know. Having worked with hundreds, you know, really thousands of visionaries around the world is when we tap into our true visionary strength, is when we change the world. That's when we change the world. But it starts with changing ourselves, changing our relationship with our team, improving the relationship we have with our company. And then we go on to absolutely change the world and create the contribution we want to create. I know because I've been there, I've been through this process, I've been through this process over and over again. It's such a spiral, a circular process of each time the business grows, we up-level. Each time the business changes, we have to shift. And when you are working as a true visionary CEO, everything changes. And let me just give you an idea of what it was like to be a true visionary CEO.
I took some notes here because I really, like, did some meditation, some contemplation around who are the true visionaries I've worked with and what were their behaviors, how did they work with their companies? How did the people I know and was able to walk side by side with grow businesses from the millions to the tens of millions from the tens of millions to the hundreds of millions, and in some cases from the hundreds of millions into the billions. This is the list. So when you are a true visionary and I'm just going to lay this out for you, then I'm going to tell you how we get there. So first, I want you to just take a deep breath. If you're driving or walking or working out or just listening to this podcast, take another deep breath as I move into this, because here's what I want you to do. I want you to let my words wash over you as potential. I want you to listen to what I'm saying as a possibility. I want you to allow that what I'm sharing can actually be the reality for you as an entrepreneur. Because I love you. I believe in you, and I want you to become a true visionary CEO. I want you to take those ideas you have about changing the world, about making this world a better place, about helping people, about making a greater contribution. And I want you to turn them into the reality we interact with every single day. It's extraordinary the opportunity that we have as entrepreneurs. You know, I have a very deep, real belief in a higher power. You could call that higher power of God or whatever works for you. I don't judge, but I'm not an atheist and I don't believe that there's nothing. I believe that there is a creator, a source that we all come from and that this reality came from. And I also believe that that source, that creator, shared some of that capability, that godlike quality. And I don't want to offend anybody. I don't want to offend anybody by saying we are gods, but man, we do have the capability of a higher power to create reality. And what I mean by that is right now you are surrounded by a reality that was created just like some, just by someone just like you and me. If you're driving, it's the car you're driving. And if you're running, it's the shoes you're wearing in the clothes you're wearing. If you're laying in bed, it's the bed you’re in was first imagined in the mind of an entrepreneur, just like you and I. And then that person did what it took and made the commitment and exposed themselves to the vulnerability and the risk and the challenges of making it real. We have the capability to create like a creator, and I want yours to be at a ten out of ten, maybe a 12 out of ten, because man does a world need changing today every time I look. I feel this empathy and pain for so much of what's going on today. But I also feel this undying optimist because I believe in you. I believe in me. I believe in the entrepreneurial world that whatever is going on, we're going to figure out a way to solve it. And this is part of that path. Because, see, when you step into true visionary CEO, everything changes. Here's what it looks like to be a true visionary with a team.
When you're a true visionary CEO, you can think of whoever you want, like whoever triggers that impression, that vision for you. I think of Tony Hsieh with Zappos some years ago. I think of Elon Musk. What an incredible visionary like him. Love him, hate him, man. You can't say he's not a visionary. He's changing the entire world. I think of Steve Jobs and just the incredible visionary capability and qualities he had. And when you look at what a visionary actually does, here's what it is. A visionary owns nothing but the vision and culture of a company. I think as entrepreneurs, too many of us own too many projects. A lot of us own all the projects in our companies, and we are trying to act as project manager and operator and visionary and manager and bookkeeper and everything else. And it's just too much. You know, you are moving towards a reality where you own nothing but the vision and culture of the company, which means that doesn't mean that nobody owns it. That means people on your team own the outcomes of projects. People on your team advocate for the projects. They report progress, they get the right people involved. They move those projects forward, and those projects are achieved without you having to own them. You might be involved. But that's up to your choice. See, the second part of being a visionary. Is that true Visionary? Is it because you want nothing? You can back out and take a look at the plan you have for your company. Take a look at what your team's executing this month. This sorry, this quarter, this month and in the month you can choose to be strategically involved in the projects you want to be. You know, we hear this mythology, especially around Steve Jobs. You know, you hear that when they were developing the iPod music player, that he was so involved that he would walk right into the cubicle of an entry level engineer and say, “Okay, show me what…” And maybe not entry level, but a project engineer and say, “Show me what you're doing with the battery” “Show me what you're doing with the player.” “Show me what the headphones are going to go like I need to see them”.
And why did he do that? Because he backed out as far as he could. And then he said, Here's where I need to be strategically involved. And was he tactically executing? No, he was getting strategic input. He was understanding what was happening because he was a visionary who owned nothing but the vision and culture. He had time to insert himself where he needed to to get the highest and best work out of people. And you can do this. You don't ever believe you can't do this. You absolutely can. A visionary, true visionary CEO, is rarely tactical. In fact, a true visionary CEO not only understands their gifts and strengths, but they work in them most of the time. Here's my assumption about you and what I know about me when I'm working on my gifts, when I'm working on my strengths: It's nothing short of magical. And I don't say that to boast. I don't say that to speak highly of myself because I don't work on my gifts all the time. I work on this just like you do. But when I'm in those gifts, when I'm in that space where I do what I do best, we have massive outcomes in our business and everything changes for the better. When I'm in my gifts and strengths, we create momentum like crazy as a company and a team. And the next part of being a visionary CEO is that you actually have time to be a visionary. Here's what I want you to understand. If you are constantly tactically overwhelmed in your business, if you are constantly executing in your business, if you don't have time, if you don't have space, if you don't have time for yourself to take care of yourself, to play, to exercise, to move heavy things, to do cardio, to eat healthy, you are not operating at your full visionary capacity. So many of us, though, have a fear of not being fully utilized all the time, every day, working all the time. We need to get over this fear so that we can actually move into being the visionary we were all born to be.
So I'll summarize, this is what it looks like for me to be a true visionary CEO: You own nothing but the culture. You choose the projects you want to get involved in and go work with those people where you feel that they need you or they tell you they need you. You are strategically involved with those projects, rarely tactical. You working your gifts and your strengths. You have time to be a visionary and you have time for yourself. This is what it means to be a true visionary CEO. But here's the problem. The problem is that the entrepreneurial world has sold you this bill of goods that you have to get up every day and work 14 hours a day, maybe 6 hours a day, maybe 20 hours a day if you really want to be successful. The entrepreneurial world, the dogma out there right now says, get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee, go sit down at your computer and go as fast as you can all day and don't even eat, if you you can help it. And the dogma in the entrepreneurial world says the only path to success is to sacrifice everything. And you may feel like I'm exaggerating, but man, do I hear these messages too much today. Sorry, I just slapped my desk. I hope I don't sound too aggressive or angry because that's not my intent. My intent is that I'm just passionate about this because here's what I know. After coaching the people I've coached, after owning the companies that I've owned, after becoming the visionary that I am, and that will be some day, is that. When we have time and space, when we choose the projects we are involved in, when we're not tactically involved, when we work on our gifts and strengths, the future we can create as visionaries of the future we can see as visionaries. The future we access is so much greater than when we are working like the average entrepreneur getting up, going as fast as you can, burning yourself out, not eating, not working out, not hydrating, not moving, not sleeping enough. And we are burning our visionary capability down. We are diminishing our ability to do what we as visionaries were put on this earth to do, which is get up every day, go into the future, create a new reality, and come back to the present and demand it becomes real. This is who we are. This is our birthright. But so many of us are creating this massive handicap in this situation because we don't give ourselves the time, we don't take care of ourselves. We don't create the momentum for ourselves first, and then we wonder why we don't have the profitability we have. We want sorry, not have but want, why we don't have the company that we want, why we aren't making the progress we want, why we're plateaued, why we're out of momentum, why we're stuck. And it's because we are not working in that place of being a true visionary. Here's how you get there. The problem for most of us, thankfully myself, is no longer included because I've worked on this for decades now, and now I help other entrepreneurs do the same. The problem for most of us is that we are running our business through our personality, not process. And what that means as personality ran business, as you get up every day and tell people what to do, you check that it got done. You tell them what to do. Again, you own all the projects you run, all the meetings you're doing, all the things you are running your business by personality. And if we pull you out of that business, even for a day, things slow down and they don't get done and the team doesn't move forward. If we pull you out for an extended period of time, the company ends up in chaos because you don't have a process through which you are running the company. You are the process through which you are running the company. I often joke with entrepreneurs, if you don't have an assistant, you are one. They'll say, “Oh, Alex, that hurts”. Well, if you don't have a process through which you run your company, you are the process. That should hurt.
You're not a process, you're a visionary. You're a person who is here to change the world, to make a massive contribution, to impact as many people as you possibly can, to impact yourself, to break the chains in your lineage, to be a brand new solution on this planet. And I want you to get there so bad. And the way we get there is we stop running our business by personality and we start running a buy process. We install a process in the company through which we plan what we're going to do, execute like crazy and make sure we have the right people on the team and they're managed and led and taken care of. And if you do this, here's what it takes. If you work with us, there's other companies in the operating systems. Ours is clearly the best for visionaries. I mean, we've helped so many companies go from 6 to 7 figures, but even more go from 7 to 8 figures. Companies like Credit Repair Cloud run by Daniel Rosen went from two or 3 million to over 30 companies like Jim Launch and Atom and Prestige Labs run by Alex and Leila Hormozi that collectively started at under a million or around a million and then ended up over 40 million companies like Rachel Rogers and her company Hello Seven and her book, How We Should All Be Millionaires. Rachel started with us when she was about two. She went to four. She went to eight. The last year she worked with us, she was at 13. You can do this. You can have that type of growth. You can have that type of impact. Here's what it takes. Dedicate time each week to building the process that runs your entire business or dedicate time each week to installing it. Reach out to us.
Go to simpleoperations.com. Let us show you the best process in the market for visionaries to plan the future, execute like crazy and know what everybody's doing and have the right people on your team. The second step is once you create this process, trust that process. Don't second guess it, don't change it, put it in place and let it run. Have a high commitment level to going from personality to process so you can become a true, true visionary. And then here's the big one. Here's the big one. You have to change behavior. You have to give up some of what you're doing and delegate it to your team. Actually, let them take ownership. Not just short term responsibility. And if you do this, if you go through these steps, you will move from having a company run by personality to a company run through process. And when there's a process in the organization, you know what that means? That means you don't have to be there every day because the process is. That means you don't have to tell everybody what to do because the process does. That means you don't have to check in on every single project because the process is managing the progress. That means that you have a company that can expand beyond your capabilities to show up every day and check all the boxes, which is what I think every single one of us wants. And when you do this, you step in that place of true visionary. You step into that place of seeing a greater future, seeing better solutions, seeing a bigger impact you can make, and changing the world with the people that you and your company interact with because you have the capabilities and the team around you and the infrastructure necessary to actually be the visionary that makes the most massive impact you possibly can.
I often share with entrepreneurs, if you don't have the business you want, you haven't become the person who can run it yet. And part of that is if you don't have the business you want. You don't have the process that can run it yet. And once you have that process, once you have an operating system, it will free you up to do so much more than you ever thought you were capable of and go out and do what you have always known you should. Change the world, make a massive impact, make a massive income. Of course, I want security and stability and a foundation for you and your family and go out and help the people you want to help more than anyone on the planet so that you are known as the leader in your category and you are known as the person who provides those solutions. You get there through becoming a true visionary CEO. I hope this helped.
Today. I'm feeling super inspired. I don't know if you can tell. I just got back from the Archangel convention in Canada and it was extraordinary. So many breakthroughs, so many incredible relationships, so many friends there. Having a community is everything. And it was just so good. And if you're ready to become a true visionary CEO, if you're ready to step into this role, if you're ready to have a process through which you run your business, do something right now, right at the end of this podcast, right when I'm done, flip over your browser type in simpleoperations.com, click on the button on the home page, answer a few questions from my team and sign up for a call with us. Let us show you how you can go from being overwhelmed in the day to day of your business to actually becoming the visionary you've always known you should be. So you can change the world, make the impact and change yours and your family's future. We are here to support you and we can't wait to connect with you. Go to simpleoperations.com. Click on the button on the homepage, answer the questions. Set up a call. We're looking forward to talking to you. Thanks for being here and I'll see you on the next episode.