Momentum Podcast: 879
Entrepreneurial Supression, Going Deeper
by Alex Charfen
As entrepreneurs, sometimes we feel the need to dull ourselves and our abilities. If you are an entrepreneur you are probably reading this and thinking “I've done that before” You aren't alone. In this episode, Alex talks about the times he's done this and what he does to prevent himself from doing it now.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast.
It has been intense. How many synchronicities there have been. As I go back to record the original episodes of this podcast and update the Entrepreneurial Personality Type, the Evolutionary Hunter content. And today I want to talk about the concept of entrepreneurial suppression. This is something that I developed by looking at the Entrepreneurial Personality Type and in my book, “The Entrepreneurial Personality Type”. Entrepreneurial suppression follows the discussion of entrepreneurial attributes… of these attributes that make us so gifted, so talented, but can also make us look challenged. For this re-record, this process, it feels like I should discuss entrepreneurial suppression first, because, man, in the past couple of weeks I've seen so many examples of how this concept, how this entrepreneurial suppression of how the world holds us in place and how the world suppresses our abilities as entrepreneurs. And if you're one of us, I can near guarantee you that you've experienced suppression and you have doubled your abilities and your light that you can put out in the world. And in this episode, I want to help you understand that. And in the next couple episodes, I want to help you understand the attributes you have that you won't find anywhere else that are incredible and filled with momentum and can help you change the world. In this episode, I'm going to cover suppression. I'll be right back.
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.
So when I talk about the synchronicities that have come up, as I'm re-recording these episodes, I'll share a quick one with you from yesterday. So yesterday I was writing the outline for the next episodes. I'm recording for the podcast right before I got on a summit for a friend of mine, Chad Kothari and Chad Owens Dash Quick. He's got like 90 team members. He's absolutely changing lives out there with what he does, helping people understand how to market, how to grow, how to get online. And I was in the VIP question and answer session that he held where I was answering people's questions. And I had the most interesting question from an entrepreneur. He said, you know, I had just shared the Entrepreneurial Personality Type content. And his question was something like, I run a $4,000 a month agency, but I don't feel like I'm an entrepreneur. I feel like I'm more of a communicator. I don't really feel like I'm one of the people who runs businesses in the world. What would you say to somebody who doesn't feel like they're an entrepreneur and is running a business? And I had to take a deep breath and and my answer to him was, if you're running a $40,000 a month agency, you are an entrepreneur and you need to accept the fact that you're an entrepreneur and not just accept the fact, but be proud of the fact that you're an entrepreneur and stop denying the reality of who you are. A $4,000 a month agency is actually a really significant accomplishment in this market, and that's what I shared with him. I told him, you know, I think what happens to so many of us is that we acquire this belief system that for one reason or another, we're not entrepreneurs. And in my book, I have a reason why this happens to us. Let's get real about entrepreneurial suppression. Every single one of us, every entrepreneur I've ever talked to at some point in their lives, has heard things like, ‘Hey, can you stop talking?’ or ‘Stop asking so many questions’ or ‘Stop being so loud’ or ‘Stop being like you are because you're making everyone else uncomfortable’. You know, I can't tell you how many times in my life I heard, Can you just sit down and be quiet or can you stop expressing your opinion or can you stop asking the questions that you're asking? And in almost all of those cases, not 100%, but in almost all those cases, my inquiries, my questions, my behavior was sincere. I was being exactly who I am. But the reflection that I got from the world around me was that I needed to stop. Then I needed to stuff those feelings, those questions, those emotions down, that I needed to stop sharing what I was sharing, that I needed to back away from what I was doing. And I call this entrepreneurial suppression.
I see as entrepreneurs, we have these skills, these attributes that make us completely gifted in the world when we are using them in the proper way. Like one of them is high sensitivity and awareness is the one that I talk about a lot. It's the one that I really relate to deeply. You know, high sensitivity and awareness is that ability to see opportunities. It's the ability to see where something should be resolved. It's the ability that when you walk in a room and everybody else has a huge issue and they can't figure it out, you already understand the problem. It's the ability when you walk into the room, you know, the tone of the conversation that was being had, this high sensitivity, an awareness is literally like a superpower. But when there's high pressure in noise, that high sensitivity and awareness can attack us. Now, a lot of us have had the understanding of our high sensitivity in awareness. So I'm just using it as one example. I'm to go to all ten in the next couple of podcasts, but it's just one example of the entrepreneurial attributes that make us so extraordinary. But here's what happens when we have one of these attributes leads to a behavior like high sensitivity in awareness. It might be that we notice something in a class that nobody else notices. And so we bring it up. We say, “Hey, look, there's things happening that nobody else has seen”. And if we're in a place where we get positive stimuli, it reinforces that awareness and it makes us do it more. It makes us more curious. It makes us have higher sensitivity. But if what happens to you is what happened to me, what often happens is we express these attributes through our behaviors and we get negative stimuli. And just like touching a hot pan, when we get negative stimuli from the world around us, when the world's reflection to us is not positive, we try and do less of that thing. Almost all of us do this. And as Entrepreneurial Personality Types, we're better at pushing through. We're better still being who we want to be. We're better at refusing the suppression of the world around us, but we're not completely immune to it. And so many of us have suppressed not just our abilities but our perception of ourselves to have these abilities. Because when we have one of these attributes and it creates a behavior, we express that behavior in the real world and we get negative feedback. We started having doubts about that behavior. We started pulling that behavior back. We started pulling that attribute back because we no longer want to express it through the behaviors. And this is where so many of us have doubled, turned off, shut down, and turned away from the very skills and attributes that make us great.
When I go back to the example that I just shared, here's somebody who has come up with an idea, gotten a business off the ground, gotten it up to $50,000 a year, which, by the way, in the United States, there are 29 million businesses, according to the last numbers that we can pull. 16 million of them are under $40,000 a year. So this person's already ahead of half of the businesses in the United States and thinking, ‘Hey, but I'm not an entrepreneur’. And I know that cascade of feelings that comes with it because I've heard it from so many people. I'm not an entrepreneur. I don't have what it takes. I don't have the skill set. I don't have the natural abilities. I don't have, you know, what I need to have in order to do this. And at the end of the day, what does that really translate to is ‘I'm not enough, I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not enough’. And as I say, I feel some emotions because there's so many times in my life where because of this oppression of the world around me, because of the reflection of the world around me, I felt like I wasn't enough. I felt like I shouldn't do what I was doing. I felt like I should figure something else out. I felt like I was going in the wrong direction, even though I was following my heart, following my intuition. I had this negative feedback from people in authority, from teachers, from people around me, from the world around me that made it so that I felt like I really shouldn't do what I'm doing. And if I really get real about that, it made it feel like I shouldn't be who I am. And I think every one of us has been through this. You know, I look at kids today where we have these incredible human beings. They have chosen to join us on this planet right now. So many of the younger kids that I meet through my daughters or through our neighborhood friends are just extraordinary human beings. They have this sense of awareness, curiosity. They're completely different than I remember myself being. They see so much more. They understand so much more. Yet we're in this place where still today these young children are getting a massive amount of negative feedback and suppression.
I've shared on the podcast before one of my neighbors kids who's just an extraordinary little boy, I think he's now probably eight or nine. I've known him for four years now and he is a completely different kid. He is very intelligent. He talks to adults like they're people, not like they're adults. He just has conversations. He asks questions that kids don't normally ask. They both reveal that he has a tremendous amount of curiosity, a very interesting amount of emotional intelligence and knowledge that most kids his age don't have. And I love when he asked those questions. I'm so fascinated by how he thinks. And I find him to just be one of the most intense little kids that I've ever been around. But along with that intensity and curiosity and emotional intelligence and knowledge comes the fact that he's a little kid who's super awkward around some adults. He actually makes a lot of adults uncomfortable. He asks them questions that maybe they can't answer. And as a result, my neighbors, his parents, have been encouraged to put him on medications for years. And at one point they did. They didn't just put him on one medication. They put him on, I think two or three, because they were following the advice of doctors. They were following the advice of the people who know what's going on. They were actually getting tremendous pressure from the school, from the teacher, from, believe it or not, from other parents for their kid to stop being the disruption, for their kid to stop being the exception and just make him, like everybody else would say, just drop something. Let's medicate him into being just like everybody else. And in conversations with my neighbor, you know, I let her know that I think her son's extraordinary. And I don't think he needs to be on medications. And I think he needs a different type of instruction and a different type of care. And someone who answers his questions and somebody who understands just how extraordinary he is. And through discussions with me and with other people, they finally decided to take him off of medications and do some validation and some discussions with him at home and make sure that he feels stable and secure. And he's now in a place where he's doing so much better without having his senses and his behaviors and his tiny little intellect dulled by being on medications without having his personality shaped by pharmaceuticals. And when I look at that situation, just this one situation, it makes him think of how many hundreds and thousands and millions of children who are like me and like you. They're different. They're momentum based. They're driven to pay attention to what they want to. They don't care about anything else. They have a hard time sitting still. They have a hard time sitting in class. They want to explore. They're curious. They want to learn. I remember being just like that and having everyone around me tell me that I needed to stop. I've shared this before. For me, it was so dramatic that when I went into school, I can remember being in second grade in Southern California and sitting at my chair and getting in trouble for moving. I would always get in trouble because I was moving, because I was bouncing or moving or moving around and shifting in my chair. When I even share this, I'm like, Why did I get in trouble? Why was it a big deal that I was moving? I guess I just was irritating the teachers that were there. And because I would move around because I shifted around in my chair. I had teachers that would send me out in the hallway or I'd end up in the office for being a disruption, or I was not paying attention. I get caught off guard and so what I would do is go into my classroom and at the beginning of the day I would cross my feet under the chair beneath the chair that I was sitting on and squeeze them as tight as I could until my legs fell asleep and then I wouldn't bounce around anymore. As an adult, I know that that process of putting all that pressure on the top of my feet actually collapsed the arches in my feet. They didn't develop fully. My pinky toes were way smaller than they should be. My feet, like, literally didn't develop because of how long I kept them in this stress position so that I wouldn't get in trouble, so that I wouldn't be the exception, so that I wouldn't have challenges in class. And it's a dramatic example of this oppression that I experienced. And when I think about and I contrast that with what happened when I got into high school and I got into speech and debate classes and I had support around my differences, and I had someone who really saw who I was and who was really willing to answer questions for me and was okay with me being opinionated and, you know, sharing what I what I really cared about and who supported those things. That helped develop my skills and abilities in an incredibly intense way, so much so that I started learning how to speak when I was 13. And since then, I've been a professional public speaker for my entire life. That ability, had I not found that class, had I not met my teacher, Rick Laura might never have come to the surface, it might have been suppressed for the rest of my life.
And I think for so many of us as entrepreneurs, here's how I see the process of our life. We're born with skills and abilities and attributes that are absolutely life changing, game changing and can change the world. And then the world does what it can, either consciously or unconsciously, either purposely or not purposely, to suppress those differences that we have so that we are just like everyone else. In fact, most of us grew up in a school system where the stated goal was standardization. Let's make everybody exactly the same. And I feel like what happens to us is we go through our early development and lives being suppressed, being stuffed down, being told to be like everybody else, being told to sit still, be quiet, not make everybody else uncomfortable. And then we have the rest of our lives to work through that suppression and discover who we really are and bring those things to the surface and bring those abilities to the surface so that we can help the world around us, so that we can change our own lives, so that we can create massive momentum, so that we can have the lives we want. And that's why in the next couple of episodes, I want to share with you the entrepreneurial attributes that make us great, that make us game changers and make us world changers. And those same attributes under the wrong condition can also make us look incredibly challenged. But when we understand both sides of the coin on these attributes, we can start removing the entrepreneurial suppression that we have experienced in a much more profound and faster way. And we can show up in the way where we are expressing fully who we are and make a massive difference in the world. And I'm excited to share those attributes with you.
And I hope that this lesson on entrepreneurial suppression helps you maybe consider some things in your life. There's a chart that comes along with the concept of entrepreneurial suppression that I think will help you understand it better. And if you're listening to this series, you already know I've got that coming up on Black Friday. You can go to charfen.com/blackfriday to check it out. But just as importantly, I'd love for you to have the chart on entrepreneurial suppression so that you can see the visual of how this works. I think it will help you undo it. And you can for now, for right now, you can download a completely free copy of my Entrepreneurial Personality Type book, including all of the charts and all of the illustrations at freeeptbook.com. The reason I share this with you is I want you to see the visual. I want you to understand what I'm talking about. I want you to have it for when I go into loops and spirals later and re-explain these concepts. Because I think the visual for people like us really helps this land and really helps it hit home. And so thank you for being here with me for this podcast. I appreciate it. Thank you for allowing me to revisit these concepts and for giving me your attention and for allowing them to potentially help you and to help you create momentum and to help you understand who you really are. This has been exciting for me. It's been fun for me. And if this has been meaningful for you, I'd love to hear from you. I'm on Facebook. I'm on Instagram. Any feedback you're willing to share would be fantastic. If you want to leave us a review on this podcast, I would truly appreciate it. It helps us with the algorithm and it also helps us reach more people. So thank you for being here. I appreciate it and I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the next episode the entrepreneurial attributes that we were given and. We all hold that are what truly help us change the world or make us look incredibly challenged. And I can't wait to share with you the difference and to give you a deeper understanding of what makes us great as Entrepreneurial Personality Types. Thanks for being here today.