Momentum Podcast: 896

Master the Mindset of A Multi-Million Dollar Business Owner

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

“In this episode Alex talks about how running multiple million dollar businesses changed the way he thought about them from the outside. It’s easy to think million dollar businesses have it all figured out and in order but they don’t. In this episode Alex gives you an inside perspective to have they are on the inside and the struggles of running them.
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Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

If you master the mindset of a million dollar business owner, you can grow to multiple millions, 8 figures, and beyond. But if you have the mindset that most million dollar business owners have, you will probably stay stuck, frustrated, and in a place where you're doing way too much for way too long. In this episode, let me help you master the mindset that will get you to multiple millions and further.

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.

Over the course of the past 30 years, I've worked with hundreds. Well, at this point, probably thousands of businesses, and I've owned probably a dozen myself. And there is a consistency in the people that I've worked with that hit that million dollar number where there's a split. Some people grow the business. They go further. They get to multiple millions, sometimes even 8 figures. I've even seen people go beyond that. And there's a lot of people who just stay stuck somewhere in between 1 and 3000000, and it's frustrating. It feels like constraint. You have this business that's doing well, but it's not doing better than you want it to or it's not doing as well as you want it to. And you stay in a place where as a business owner, you are very stuck. I wanna explain to you the difference, the habits that will take you from that stuck place to the growth place, and how you can be a million dollar business owner that grows and actually has a business you're excited about running and you don't do everything yourself.

Now here's the biggest challenge. For us as business owners, when we started our business, I'll ask you. I just want you to think in your head the answer. What did you have to do in order to be successful when you started your business? The answer is everything. You literally had to do everything. If it's just you starting the business, there's no 1 there to help. There's no resources. You are doing everything. And here's what happens. If you're approaching a million dollars or you're over a million dollars, what we know is you did everything and you created success. Now here's the challenge for us. Doing everything conditions us to believe that in order for us to be successful, we have to do everything. And so we did everything. We get stuck in this place where we have, like, this, like, almost subconscious, unconscious pattern that keeps us doing way too much.

And I wanna help you walk out of this because here's how you grow a business past a million dollars, past 2, past 3 to to 8 figures and even beyond. If you wanna hit 10000000 and beyond, here's what you have to do. You have to stop doing everything in the business, and you have to take on the mindset that the more you're doing for the business, the greater a liability you are. And let me explain why that what that means. The more you're doing for the business, the more you are the liability, the more you have to be there, the more you are the person who has to get things done, the more that you are driving the growth of the business. And as the entrepreneur in charge, as the business owner, you wanna get out of that situation as quickly as you can. There's 3 things that you should do. Number 1, you should stop solving for your team. Number 2, you should completely transfer responsibility. And number 3, there's a magic question you have to ask every time somebody brings you an issue on your team.

Let's start at the beginning. The first 1 is solving is not serving. Solving someone's problem is not serving that person. So when I'm coaching or working with somebody on my team or helping somebody come to a solution, I never give it to them, and I'm very careful that I don't actually solve people's problems. Let me explain to you why this is so crucially important. If you're a business owner and you get into that million dollars, you hire some team members, what will invariably happen we're gonna actually talk about this twice. What will invariably happen is that you're going to get questions all the time. Like, hey, Alex. How do I do this? Or how would you solve this? Or how should we do this? Or how should we fix this? And the challenge we have as business owners is we are conditioned to do everything. Remember that? Doing everything created success. And so when somebody says, hey. How do you do this? We immediately wanna fix it. We wanna give them the answer. We wanna do it for them.

In fact, I remember coaching this 1 female CEO who ran about a 2000000 dollar company, And we were at an event, and she was on a panel. And she actually said, you know, I'm really, uh, you know, I take my team very seriously, and I make sure that if they ever ask me for something, I immediately get the answer back to them. I immediately get them what they need. I immediately show them, like, what what I want them to do and give them the answer. And afterwards, I went up and talked to her, and I said, ‘Hey. You know, I wanna talk to you about the answer that you gave, that that hyper reactivity to your team. And she goes, what do you mean hyper reactivity? And I said, well, when a team member asks you a question, how quickly do you wanna fix it by giving them an answer? She said, immediately. I said, why? She goes, well, because if I immediately give them answers, they know I care. They know I care about them. They know that, uh, I care about the business, and they know that I really want them to be successful. I said, okay. So what do you think happens?

And I asked her this question. What do you think happens every time a team member has an issue and you give them the answer? And she was like, what do you mean? I said, well, who owns the solution to that problem? And she paused and she kinda looked around, and she looked back at me and she said, telling me that if I fix them for it fix it for them, then I own the solution. I'm like, that's exactly right. Because here's what happens for us as business owner owners. If there's an issue in the business and we give the answer and we solve it, whose problem is any type of outcome? Whose responsibility is any type of outcome? And so what happens is if you have 6 people on your team and you're solving for them all the time, what they're really doing is just acting as an extra set of hands for you to go do what you told them to do. But they're not actually creating their own intelligence. They're not doing their own experiments. They're not figuring things out. They're not coming to you with solutions because you always solve for them. You will actually train your team to become accustomed to you giving them an answer and solving.

And here's the issue that you create. If you train your team that you own all the answers, your team will not try and come up with answers. And this is gonna be important in a minute when we talk about the last 1, the the magic question that you need to ask when there's a problem. See, if you train your team that you have all the answers, they will not come up with answers. And if you wanna grow your business, you need multiple people on the team who can solve problems, create answers, figure things out, move things forward, and create solutions, or you will always, always be the biggest bottleneck in your business. And being the biggest bottleneck in a business is so frustrating. It's so challenging. You feel like you're always getting too many questions. Your to do list never ends. You're doing everything. It's overwhelming. You feel like you can't get out of the day to day. The more you solve, the more you will stay there. The more you solve, the smaller the company will stay. And if it does grow, it's you will grow into pain as the owner. If you're solving for anyone in the company for everyone and the company grows, you're just solving way more for everyone who's in the company. So solving is not serving. Stop solving. Let's take the second point that I shared earlier. The second 1 is you really need to transfer responsibility for to people for what you want to have done.

Now here's what I mean. As entrepreneurs, we are not very good at delegating. We're actually terrible at asking for help. We have a hard time asking for help. Anytime we ask for we need more help than the average person to get to where we wanna go, but anytime we ask for help, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and exposed. For most of us, those are childhood wound wounds of not being seen, not being heard, not getting our questions answered, being different. All of those things kinda add up to us having a difficult time asking for help. And because we have a hard time asking for help, we don't transfer responsibility for an outcome to our team. We give them partial This is the outcome I want, the final solution I want, or the the the outcome. This is what I wanna have happen, and I wanna talk to you about how you're going to do it so you can tell me, and then I want you to go do it and figure it out and solve the problem and and move things forward. That's transferring responsibility. Now when when we are not transferring responsibility, we stay in this place of transactional management. Transactional management is the worst because here's when we don't transfer responsibility and tell them the outcome we want and then tell them to come to us for coaching when they need it, here's what happens. We tell them what to do, and then we check that it got done. Then we tell them what to do, then we check that it got done. Then we tell them what to do, then we check that it got done. Then we tell them what to do, then we check that it got done. If you're getting irritated listening to me, I'm getting irritated saying it over and over again because I've been in that situation. In my twenties, I didn't understand transfer responsibility. I didn't understand, hey. Here's the outcome I want. You go make it happen and come to me if there's an issue and we can talk through it. I didn't understand that. I would actually tell people, here's the step of the project I want you to do today. Here's the step of the project I want you to do. Here's the step of the project I want you to do. In my twenties, I had a team of dozens of people, and it was exhausting because I was And so I was the biggest bottleneck. I was also the engine that made the company run, and it almost killed me. And I'm not exaggerating. When I started running that company in my twenties, I was in really good shape. I've been a runway model in California. I I was in extraordinary fitness. By the time I was 30, I was almost 300 pounds, massive body fat on 3 or 4 or I was on 4 prescriptions. They were about to give me a fifth, and my doctor told me I was his most likely case for a stroke or a heart attack at 30. And we were in South Florida, and he had older patients, a lot of patients that were older than me. That transactional management almost killed me.

Here's how you move from transactional management to transformational leadership and transfer responsibility. When you transfer responsibility through transformational leadership, there's 3 steps. Instead of telling them what to do, checking they got done, and telling them what to do again, 1, you give them a clear outcome. You say, here's the outcome I want. I want this many leads generated. I want this type of a page done. I want this type of design done. I want it to look like this. You give them give them some information, clarity around the outcome. Then when there's an issue, you coach success along the way rather than having to check-in and say, did it get done and micromanage and and and look at that transactional look at it transactionally, you let them know. If if you get stuck, let's talk through it. Let's come up with ideas together. Let's figure this out together. And, again, you're not gonna solve. You're gonna talk to them and let them figure it out so they own the solution. And when you transfer responsibility in this way, you give them clear outcomes. You coach success when they need it. You come and help them when they need it. You get leveraged results. And here's what I mean by leveraged results. A lot of people miss this. When you allow a person on your team to chase an outcome, they learn in a different way. They actually learn to create a result. They don't just learn to do a task.

And when you coach their success along the way, they understand more about how you think. They understand more about how you feel. They understand more about what you want. So they're chasing an outcome, and they come to you with questions, and you can talk through those questions with them, and then they learn more about how to achieve for you. They learn more about how to knock down goals for you, how to get things going for you, how to make things happen for you. This changes everything in a business. When you have multiple people who can chase outcomes, not multiple people who can do tasks, you now have significantly exponentially increased the potential productivity of your company by transferring responsibility. Now the third thing that I brought up, and this was important. This is the magic question. As a CEO, as an entrepreneur, as a visionary in charge, here's what's going to happen to you. Invariably, people are going to come to you and say, hey. We have this problem. What should we do? In fact, when you really look at what what what happens to a lot of visionaries, like the got a minutes and the interruptions and the, hey. I need you to tell me how to do this. That takes up a tremendous amount of time. So we actually wanna train our team not to do that. So first, we stop solving. That'll train our team to do that less. Then we transfer responsibility by giving them outcomes and tell them to come to us when they need help. We will actually be engaged with them, but in a totally different way because they're chasing a response or they're chasing an outcome, not asking you the next step of what they should do. And if they're in that habit of asking you the next step, you just coach them to figure it out and then show them that they should be doing that. And now the magic question, if anybody comes to you and says, hey. We have an issue, your answer should always be, what would you do? What do you think we should do? How would you handle this? Turn it right back on on on that person and teach them to think. Teach them to problem solve. Teach them to come up with their own ideas in your business so that they learn how to work better with you so that they learn better how to get things done. And so here's how I I would suggest you do this. Somebody comes to you with a problem, you say, what would you do? And now here's the key. If someone comes to you with a problem, you probably will have a solution in your head. And what a lot of visionaries do is they sit there thinking, okay. You better tell me the solution I'm already thinking about. And then when the person says, here's how I would do it, the visionary says, well, here's what how I would do it. And you know what we've just done? If that person had an idea that could have potentially worked and you tell them to do it a different way, you not only solved, but now you told them that when they problem solve, it wasn't valid. You told them that it wasn't a good idea. You told them that you they needed to do it your way. And what we really want is an entire team that can solve problems, move things forward, and make things happen. And there is no 1 exact right way to do just about anything. I can't tell you how many times I've had this conversation with a team member where they say where they come in with a problem and I say, what would you do? And they give me a solution and and instead of here's here's what my mind wants to do. My mind wants to tell them the solution I want. My mind wants to tell them the solution that I already thought of. And instead, I listen to their solution and then I start asking questions. Such an opportunity. That moment of listening to the solution and instead of correcting it, you start asking questions, now you're teaching that person to think. You're teaching that person to problem solve. You're teaching that person to be a much more effective team member and to do way more for your company. And as they give you the idea, this is what I do. When they give me the idea, I start asking questions. And I wanna see if they've thought through it. I wanna see if they've thought through contingencies. And I start asking as many questions as I can until I feel comfortable with their solution. And here's what has happened so often in the businesses that I've run. Somebody comes to me with a problem. I say, what would you do? They give me their idea.

My initial thought is that's probably not gonna work. So I start asking questions, and then I realize they know this problem better than I do. They're the ones actually dealing with it. I don't really have a visual or an understanding or a full co you know, full comprehension of what the issue is. And as they're answering my questions, I start realizing their solution is far better than what I would have given them. And then I keep listening and they explain it to me, then I let them go solve that problem and correct that issue. And I ask them to come back and tell me how things went. And so often, because I contain that instinct to say, no. This is how you should do it, we end up with a much better solution by someone who's learning to think, by someone who's more effective for the company, and by someone who's created massive momentum on their own.

And this is how you grow a business from that million dollar range to multiple millions and 8 figures.3 things. Solving is not serving. Stop solving for your team. Have them do it. Transfer responsibility. Don't transfer step by step. Tell them the outcome you want and then coach their success along the way. That's transformational leadership. You're gonna change everything. And then whenever anyone brings an issue to you, you turn it right back on them and have the discussion with them and have them solve the issue, and you will train your entire team to grow your business, to be more effective, to be more efficient, to stop bothering you with everything, and to grow like crazy so you can make a bigger impact and a much bigger income.

My company, Simple Operations, trains a system that will show you how to grow your business in 40 hours a year. And I know that sounds completely unrealistic. You know, Tim Ferris's book from years ago, The 4 Hour Workweek, was actually pretty extraordinary and changed a lot of people's lives. Well, we actually have people who have gone through our membership, and they're running their business in 40-hours a year, maybe a little more, sometimes a little less. We actually have a couple who's running 20 or 30 businesses, each of them in 40 hours a year in an entire portfolio.

So if you're interested in seeing how as a visionary with the right structure, process, and routine in place, you can literally grow your company in 40 hours a year and have all your time to do something else, go to 40 hour year dot com, download the framework, check it out, and you can see how you don't have to work all the time as a visionary. In fact, it's better for us if we don't. It's better for us if we're out of the day-to-day. It's better for us if we can put 40 hours a year into the working in the business and the rest of our time into creating the vision, creating the solution, seeing the opportunity, and creating massive momentum. Thanks for being here with me again today, and go to, check out the framework, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

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