Momentum Podcast: 92
Are You Building A House Of Cards?
by Alex Charfen
Last week, I had massive, overwhelming anxiety. Here's why, I was sick. I was actually sick from before the 1st of July, until about Saturday or Sunday, so over seven days.
As entrepreneurs when we are growing our businesses, we must to do everything. In order for an entrepreneur to successfully start a business, by definition they have to do everything.
The challenge with this dynamic is that if we successfully grow a business, we become conditioned to doing everything. Most entrepreneurs do far too much in their businesses. They don't slow down enough to look for areas where someone could help.
Here is a simple rule that I share with entrepreneurs… If your days are getting tactically harder, you are building a house of cards. There are no exceptions to this rule, only brief periods where we get away with it. Eventually if your days continue getting tactically harder you will have a breakdown.
Full Audio Transcript
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the momentum podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trail blazers, 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 and 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 enter 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.
Welcome to this episode of the Momentum Podcast, are you building a house of cards? This is for everyone, it's for you, but if you're an entrepreneur who's building a team in the early stages, just getting some contractors, getting some people around you, getting some leverage, or if you have a team, you're growing your team, then this is specifically for you.
Because for my clients that are growing teams, I share with them often, if your days are getting tactically harder, you are building a house of cards. Here's why. If your days are getting tactically harder, if your days are making you ... If you're doing more, if you're to do list extends beyond the end of the day, if it feels harder, if it feels like you can't get everything done. If you're feeling more stress, more overwhelmed, more pressure, more noise. Then eventually that will break.
And if your days are getting tactically harder, here's the types of things to happen that happens to us as entrepreneurs. If our days are getting tactically harder, then we will stop growing our business, whether consciously or subconsciously, we will get into a rut. We'll hit a plateau. We won't see new opportunities. We'll have a hard time moving forward, growing in any way. We get stuck.
And part of that is, because if our days are getting tactically harder, somewhere consciously or subconsciously we protect ourselves from getting to the point where we're totally overwhelmed. But here's the problem. If your days are getting tactically harder and you continue to push and you continue to test that threshold, you eventually hit the days, or the day where you can't keep going. Where you can only do much, where you can't get everything done and the house of cards comes tumbling down. And this often happens with businesses, but it happens most often with businesses where the entrepreneur's starting to get leverage.
Here's the irony. We start to build the team, we start to put people in place, we start to get help, but the problem is we don't get help for ourselves. And here is how it usually happens. If you're an entrepreneur building a team, I want you to think about this. Have you done this to yourself? We start growing our business and we say, "Well, I need help with this one thing." So we get someone to help with, say for example, sales. And then we get somebody to help with, maybe doing some writing, doing some marketing or doing some other items within the business. But when do we get someone to help lower the noise for us?
If you're an entrepreneur building a team, you're already breaking the odds. 29 million businesses in the United States, 22 million of them are under $100,000 a year and 90% of them are sole proprietors with no help. So if you're building a team, here's the critical question that I would ask you. Who on that team is lowering pressure and noise for you? Who is making it easier for you? How are you making it so that you are not building a house of cards and things are getting easier for you?
The only way that I've seen this work, is when we slow down and start building process into what we do. We start committing to the time that we're going to spend with our team. We start looking at how we're going to plan with our team and how we're going to create the future together that everyone knows where the company is going, so that we don't just get to this place where we're just overwhelming ourselves.
And here's another major challenge if you're building a team. A lot the content, a lot of the stuff what we watch on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram or anything out there is about hustling. It's about doing more, it's about working harder, it's about how much can you do? How much can you run? How hard can you go? Here's the challenge. When you start building the team, you need to stop asking yourself that.
You have to start asking, how much smarter can I work? How much can I offload? How can I offload where I'm uncomfortable so that the team actually builds and grows. Because here's the other side of that coin, if your days are getting tactically harder, you're building a house of cards, the team's not being built correctly because you're doing too much. The definition of doing too much is your days are getting tactically harder. Because, here's the other side of the coin. If you offloading on a daily basis where you're uncomfortable, if you get help from your team where you're feeling the pressure and noise. If you look at your team with the purpose that they actually have and here, here it is. A lot of entrepreneurs get confused, let me tell you the purpose of the team. They are there to make your life easier and growing the business easier on a daily basis.
Far too many entrepreneurs don't understand this. You know where this comes from, I know where this comes from, but it takes a while for some of us to connect it. You know as entrepreneurs, when we start our business, we are literally doing everything. Success comes from us getting up every day, going in and doing everything. Because when you start the business, who else is there? It's just you. And so, successfully starting a business requires the entrepreneur to do everything.
But this is operant conditioning. Just like Pavlov's dog. Pavlov's dog, when you ring the bell and he salivates because he thinks he's gonna eat. Well, because you're an entrepreneur who has done everything to create success, by starting a business. Successfully starting a business, conditions entrepreneurs to do everything. So, even when we get help we keep doing everything. Even when we build a team, we keep doing way too much. Even when we bring in support, we still are the intermediary for everything. And what ends up happening for so many of us is we start feeling like we are working for the team instead of the team working for us.
Right now there are million dollar business owners that are listening to this, it might be you, that are thinking to themselves, "If only I could go back to when I was doing it all myself. If only I could go back to when I didn't need a team. If only I could go back to when it was simpler and easier. If only I could go back to when it wasn't so complicated, to when there wasn't so much noise." And the reason is, we build the teams without lowering the noise for ourselves. We build teams and we continue to allow our days to continue to get tactically harder. We build teams as we build a house of cards.
The only way I know to scale the business over time and to grow it to seven figures. And then consistently seven figures per year, and then get it into the eight figures and go beyond that, is to grow a cohesive team that understands what's going on that knows how to support you, that knows how to understand the roles, the responsibilities, the results that are required of them and can show up every day and not just move the business forward but move the business forward and take the pressure off of you.
I'm working with an amazing CEO, Brandon Pullen, at Lady Boss. And their company, Lady Boss, him and his wife Kalen run this company and it is truly a phenomenon. They have over a hundred thousand clients in weight lost. 100,000 women following Kalen, learning to love themselves and get in shape and look better and feel better and eat better foods and take care of themselves.
Brandon left me a message in the last 48 hours and he said, "Hey I just wanna let you know the last month that we had at Lady Boss had to be the best month we've hade in the business and the reason is, we put your cadence in place and we put the systems in place and I feel like I know what's going on and I feel like I can see what's happening and it's just been amazing." And just so you understand the scale of the business Brandon's running, they did over seven figures in a month. That's such rarefied air and such an amazing place to be. Brandon and Kalen, I mean, they are a phenomena. Like, if anybody's thinking about joining us, I can't promise you're gonna get their results, because they are absolutely amazing.
But here's the key. In the last month, Brandon has committed to making his days easier. He has committed to putting process into the business so the whole team knows what's going on and they know how they're gonna be communicated with. He's committed to dropping the hustle and really supporting his team and growing the systems that grow the team and having everyone on the team know where the company is going and be aligned in the same direction. And as a result, biggest month in the company's history, but Brandon the CEO also feels like it's the best month they've ever had in alignment. Best moth they've ever had in productivity. Best month they've ever had in the team getting a long. Best month that they've ever had in pulling together. And that's how it works. That is the opposite of building a house of cards.
When you build the foundation of a communication system with your team. When they know when they can count on hearing from you. When they know that there's the right meetings in place and that they're going to get checkins and they're going to be held accountable and they understand what they have to produce and they're all doing it together. This is how extraordinary outcomes are created.
Because there's no such thing as an awesome company on its own. Let's be honest. Awesome companies are places where awesome people have decided to work, all at the same time together. You don't have an awesome, incredible, world changing company without an awesome, incredible, world changing team. And I challenge anyone to prove me opposite.
I've shared a couple of times, I heard a speaker, a thought leader, a expert, I can't, I don't really know what he was. But we were at a meeting and everyone was making introductions and when it came to him, he started talking about all the stuff he's doing and then he said, "And I wanna be the first self-made billionaire that doesn't ever have to have a team. I hate having teams, I don't want to hae a team. I don't want to have people around me. It's so frustrating, they never do what you want and it's, you know, so much constraint that I just ... I'm excited about being a self-made billionaire on my own."
And a couple of other people in the room smiled, a couple other people in the room kind of looked at him funny like they didn't understand. And I just felt sorry for him. Legitimately sorry for him, because one of the greatest experiences you will have as an entrepreneur, in your entire career, is to build a company with a team. Building a team successfully growing a company, it's one of the most spiritual undertakings we can have in our lifetimes. Because you will grow so much through the stages of growing the team. First, when you first hire the team and they're supporting you and growing the business and you're in that, "How do I get further ahead, how does my team get me further ahead?"
And you see that people are willing to support you and help you and help the company grow, especially if they are true believers. They will help you make what you want to have happen in the world. And that will change your impression of the people around you. Then as you grow past that level, when you get to the point where the teams are a little larger and the company gets stable and you start asking a question, "How do I help my team get ahead?" Everything in your life will change. Because if you're listening to my podcast, somewhere in the back of your mind, probably for most of your life, there's been this whisper, this idea, this seed that says, "You're here for more. You're meant for more. You can do more. You can be more. You can change the world. You can have amazing outcomes that modify what's going on around you. And you can leave your dent in the universe."
And if you're listening to this podcast, you know it's always been there. It's that little voice, that little corner of your mind that you won't even share with anyone else, because it feels so ostentatious. It feels so arrogant, it feels so crazy to be able to say, "I will change the world." But I want you to know, that is who you are. And when you protect yourself, when you build the team around yourself, when you let them lower the noise for you, everything in your world will change.
Lee Iaccoca, who I consider one of the best CEOs and entrepreneurial personality types to lead people in history, took over Chrysler when it was a failing company. When it was literally in bankruptcy. They thought it as going to shut down, never come back, be over. He never got a bailout. He actually created the minivan with Chrysler. He created the Ford Mustang with Ford. I mean, this guy was amazing. And turned Chrysler form a company that was going to go bankrupt to the most profitable car company in the United States, in just a number of years. That type of titanic shift in an organization is near impossible. But Iaccoca had some incredible theories about leadership.
One of the things that he was fond of saying all the time is, "The speed of the boss is the speed of the team." So many people have misinterpreted that to say, the faster I go as the leader, the faster the team will go. But the fact is this, the faster you go as the leader, eventually you can't go any faster. Eventually you can't hustle more, eventually you can't push more. And so the constraint on the team will be you. If you take it that way.
Because the biggest constraint in an entrepreneurial company is always the entrepreneur. How do we fight that? How do we help that? How do we make it so that you don't feel constraint? So that you are not constrained, so that you can grow this business. Well, we look at what Iaccoca meant, not what he was saying. We look at the discussions he had around that quote, not just taking it at face value. And what he said was, "The speed of the boss is certainly the speed of the team." But Iaccoca was referring to the speed with which you offload where you are uncomfortable and modify your behavior. Because as a leader, if you offload where you're uncomfortable, have other people do it for you. Find the person on your team who's better skilled at where you're uncomfortable.
Fill in those places so on a daily basis, you're doing more of what gives you energy. You're doing more of what gives you momentum. You're doing more of what feels effortless. You're doing more what you have fun and enjoy doing. Your entire business will explode. I watch this every day with my clients. When we can move any business owner that's around $1 million or more from doing things that they don't like, from doing things that they're struggling, from doing things where they're frustrated to being in momentum most of the time. Businesses explode.
But this is why it's so counter intuitive. It's that early days of starting the business that gets us stuck in this thinking. Because when we first started, when I first started my business, when I first started any business I have, did I have to do things that I didn't want to do? Of course. You start a business, you do everything. Did I have to do things that were difficult and made me feel like I was constrained? Yes. In starting businesses there were times where I had to do things I didn't know if I was going to be able to get done or able to do. But you do them, you push through, you make it happen and eventually you start feeling some level of success.
But hustle and fail forward and doing the things that were uncomfortable, they're okay to get us started. That whole phrase, "Get comfortable being uncomfortable." That's okay to get started. But once you're building the leverage, once you're building the team, once you've got people around you. That type of thinking will aggressively help you build the house of cards.
Because once there's people around you, once you have a team, once you're creating in this business, the question has to be, where am I uncomfortable? How quick can I offload it? How can I stay in momentum? How can I only do things that I like? How can I create the meetings, the momentum based meetings in my company so that when people get together they're excited? We get what we need to get done, it's focused, it's fast and we leave feeling like momentum. How do I make it so time with my team, instead of draining and frustrating and irritating, like most entrepreneurs talk bout. They can't stand meetings. How do I make it so every meeting feels like an exciting celebration of what you've already done and then incredible anticipation of what you will do?
This is how you stop building the house of cards. This is exactly what we help clients do. It's exactly what we help entrepreneurs just like you do. Because my belief is, if that voice in the corner of your head has been telling you that you're meant for more, you can do more, you can be more, you can leave your dent in the universe. Then it's your responsibility, your moral obligation to go out and do that. Because we live in a world that needs a tremendous amount of changing and entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
And the way you make your change in the universe, the way that you leave your dent in the universe is by making things easier on you, make sure you are not building a house of cards and get into momentum and stay there. This is a shift of perspective for most of us, because for so long we've been doing what we have to do. For so long we've been hustling. For so long we've been making it happen. But as soon as we start building that team, as soon as we start getting leverage round us, we have to think in the opposite way.
Because I do not want you to have your days get tactically harder because eventually that house of cards you're building will come down.
If you're an entrepreneur building a team and you're ready to haver your biggest month and have it feel like your best month and your most connected month and feel like you've connected with your team in a different way and can only go create more momentum, then get a hold of us.
We help entrepreneurs build formidable teams that change industries. We'll put you as in firmly established as a market leader and allow you to make the change you want to make in the world. I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for being here with me and I'll see you again tomorrow.