Momentum Podcast: 570
Your Momentum Equation
by Alex Charfen
When we as entrepreneurs finally understand how we can create momentum, things shift in our lives for the better. In this episode, we’re going to walk through an important exercise I call the Momentum Equation. I’m going to share with you the framework and questions that work universally to create success and identify clear patterns of growth.
Simply by thinking of periods of momentum in your life and answering three questions, you can revisit the momentum in your past, apply those lessons in your life today, and get back into momentum to make things happen. If you’re listening to this on the go, take mental notes. But by the end of the day, I ask that you sit down and write out the answers for this exercise. Because physically writing things out and visually seeing them is proven to be more effective. Tune in as I share with you an example of a period of momentum in my life, and reveal the framework for the Momentum Equation.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: This is the Momentum Podcast. I'm really excited for this podcast because in the next few minutes I want to show you something profound. See, any speaker, any thought leader, any influencer, can tell you how they have created success. It's pretty easy to share your life story with somebody, but what I want to do in this podcast is show you the questions in the framework that will reveal to you definitively how you create success so that you can take those lessons from the past of exactly how you got into momentum and made things happen and apply them to your life today and go get into momentum and make things happen.
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 this podcast is going to be a little different than the ones that I've done in the past. And before I get started, I just want to let you know I have an ask for this one. I actually want to request something of you when you listen to this podcast and here's what that is. If you're listening to this in the car, when you're walking, while you're working out, whatever that is, I totally get it. That's fine. Listen to it. Go through the mental exercises, you're going to get something out of it, but here's my ask. Before the end of the day of listening to this podcast, go sit down and write out the answers to these exercises. We have worked on this process with thousands of entrepreneurs, and here's what I can tell you that when an entrepreneur finally understands how they create momentum, when they can see the elements in front of them, things shift in their lives, things will shift in your life.
Now you will get something out of this if you do it in your head. But if you're willing to sit down and commit it to writing, take the time to actually put it down on paper, see it for yourself, everything in your business and your life may shift for the better. Because what I want to show you by sharing some questions with you is exactly how you create momentum. So let's take a minute here and first I want you to take a couple deep breaths. Sigh it out, take a couple of deep breaths through your nose, I want to open up your memory. I want to open up the timeline of your life and here's what I'd like you to do. I'd like you to travel back through your life and think about what were three periods of momentum that you experienced in your life. Three periods where you know you were in momentum, where you were growing, where you were making things happen, where the world was exciting.
When I go out and speak, when I share this with people, we get answers like, "When I started my business, when I went to law school, when I opened my medical practice, when I got married, when I had a baby," all kinds of periods that give people momentum, "when I was in college, when I was in high school." What are those three periods of momentum in your life? Now, one morning here, if you're in your early twenties or teens, you may only have one or two periods of momentum. Other than that, most people have at least three that they can access and write down and I'll share one of mine with you just so that you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.
So a major period of momentum in my life, one of the most significant, was when I was 13 years old and I got into Rick Lara's speech class in high school. And Rick was my coach and he saw something in me and encouraged me and pushed me and really pushed me hard. It was not easy. He made me stretch. I was shy. I had a hard time getting in front of the room. He made me stretch. He made me do those things, understand new frameworks and new processes. I not only became a speaker, I became a captain on the speech team. I started coaching other people on the speech team. Even today at 47 years old, that was one of the most significant growth periods of my life.
So what were those periods for you? What were those three periods for you? Bring them up and I want you to just hold them in your mind because we're going to ask some questions about each of those periods and you'll very quickly understand why I want you to write this down. For the purpose of this podcast, I know you have three different momentum periods in your mind. Let's just use one for the mental exercise and if you're writing this down, just pause me and write all three down. So let's call up a period of momentum. I'm going to use the one that I just did, Rick Lara's speech class. So the first question I have about the period of momentum that you experienced is, what was the outcome you were shooting for? What was it you were actually trying to do?
So I'll tell you, when I was in Rick Lara's speech class, the outcome I was shooting for, it was simple. I wanted to survive the speech class. I got put in it by accident. It was a counselor's error that made me get in the class. When I got into it, I was totally intimidated. There wasn't any massive outcome. It wasn't impressive. I just wanted to survive being in Rick's class. So what was the outcome for you in each period of momentum? As an example, if it was getting married, it's just getting to your wedding. If it's having a baby, surviving having a baby. If it's opening a business, you wanted to open the business and make some money. So what was the outcome you are aiming at? That's the first question.
Now the second question is, who helped you and who did you help? Like what were your responsibilities? Who helped who? When we are in a period of momentum, here's what we always know, there is mutual contribution and mutual accountability. For me in Rick Lara's speech class, I helped the other students. Rick helped me. We helped each other. There was a ton of mutual contribution and here's what I can tell you about being in Rick's class, my responsibilities were incredibly clear. I had to speak. I was a captain. I had to show up at the right things, like I knew exactly what my responsibilities were. So one, I had a clear outcome. Two, I knew exactly what my responsibilities were. My hallucination is that it's going to be very similar in each period of momentum in your life.
And now here's the third question for each period of momentum, we now know what the outcome was. We know what you were accountable for and who you were helping and who helped you, and now here's the big one. In each period of momentum in your life, there was a scoreboard and I want you to identify what was the scoreboard in that period of momentum? In Rick Lara's class, it was literally a scoreboard. He had a scoreboard on the wall. We also had grades. There was scores at the tournaments I went to, I got reviewed by students. There was a ton of feedback, but there was clear scoreboards. If you are having a baby, there's a scoreboard. It's called the book, What To Expect When You're Expecting, you're counting down to the day. That is a scoreboard. When you're starting a business, you might be looking at how many clients you have. You might be looking at your bank account. You might be looking at the leads that you have in a database. What was the scoreboard you used day by day to tell you you are moving forward in that period of momentum?
Because here's what's interesting. We've done this with thousands of entrepreneurs and we've had tens of thousands of periods of momentum examined and here's what we always see is present in all three of them universally. One, there is a clear outcome, clear understanding of what needs to be achieved. I was trying to survive a speech class. Two, there's clear accountability, we know our responsibilities and that creates mutual accountability and mutual contribution. So I knew my responsibilities in the speech class. I knew what I had to do. I also knew how I was contributing to those around me and so I had clear understanding of what I was doing. And then three, in every period of momentum, what you will see is that there's a clear scoreboard. It might not look like a scoreboard.
I once had somebody say, "You know what? I've got a period of momentum and there's no scoreboard in one of my classes." And I said, "Great, that'll be the first time." And he said, the person said, "Well, I was studying to be a priest. I was in theology classes, huge period of momentum. But I was studying to be a priest. They didn't score anything. They didn't give us objective feedback." And I asked, "Well, in your studies, were you following a curriculum?" And he said, "Absolutely." And I said, "Was there a amount of work that you had to get done?" He said, "Yeah, I had to work through all of this different stuff in order to be approved as having done the right study in theology." And then I pointed out to him, "Well, your scoreboard was the things that you had to accomplish in order to be approved." So every time we have had a period of momentum, there is a scoreboard that is providing perspective.
So if we take this high level, here's what I can tell you about periods of momentum in your life, my life, and every other entrepreneur's life. They require the following. One, a clear outcome. Two, clear accountability that creates mutual contribution. And three, a clear scoreboard that gives you perspective. So now let's flip this around. If you're not in a period of momentum in your life right now, I'll ask you which one of the three is missing, because that is all that is necessary. See, as entrepreneurs, we complicate things way too much. We complicate things like success and momentum and progress, and we make them more difficult than they should be. But when you look at the simplicity of this process and the simplicity of what we call the momentum equation, here's what we know, when you have a clear outcome coupled with clear accountability, coupled with a clear scoreboard, you will have momentum.
That's how it works for human beings. When we know what we're aiming at, when we have the help around us that we need, and when we know with perspective what we're doing, we will create momentum and it will go forward and we will change and we will experience a massive amount of growth in our lives. So I want you to just look at that because here's what's interesting too, I want to circle back now and look at this from a different perspective. I want you to look at each period of momentum in your life and if you're doing this in writing, write down each period of momentum and then next to it, I want you to consider what you got out of that period of momentum...
Because here's what I know, I got put into Rick Lara's speech class kind of by accident. I didn't even determine that was my outcome and it was one of the most difficult and intimidating periods of my life. If I zoomed in on that time. It was scary and overwhelming and I felt like I was in the wrong place and I shouldn't be there. And on a day to day basis, I had to talk myself into the class. And when I look at the outcome that I actually achieved from being in that class, I was aiming at surviving. And what I've got after four years of that period of momentum was I realized I could lead. I realized I could speak. I was an award-winning public speaker. I won more awards than anybody in the Orange County School District ever had. I set every single record at my high school. I was obsessed with it. I did everything I could to succeed there.
Through doing those things, I proved to myself that when I focus on something, I can succeed, that I can lead other people, that I can be part of a team, that I could influence people and persuade them. I got so much out of that period of momentum, it's hard to even share it all with you, but all I was aiming at is surviving Rick's class. And so here's what I want you to take away from this analysis is that if you look at every period of momentum in your life, here's what I can almost 100% with certainty tell you, is that they were started by a humble beginning, a humble outcome, something that was not overwhelming or difficult. Surviving Rick's class was something I had to do, and not only will you realize that every period of momentum in your entire life started with humble beginnings, you'll also find if you take a look at all three of them, especially if you're writing this down, they were really difficult.
In fact, if you look at the periods of momentum in your life that you have identified, I'm willing to bet you that they are some of the most, if not the most difficult periods of time in your life. So here's what we can take away from this. As entrepreneurs, we want to be in momentum. But what happens to us so often is that we don't declare a clear outcome because we're waiting for something bigger, something more important, something more significant. So we wait in this place of deciding what we are going to do next, or we have this place of being in between where we don't have a clear outcome and we're kind of stalled and stuck in between. And so we're not in momentum because we don't feel like what we're doing is significant enough. But when you look at our histories, what we know is that it doesn't matter what you were aiming at, the biggest periods of growth come from aiming at something.
So as entrepreneurs, if you don't have a North star right now, that's why you're not in momentum. If you don't have a clear outcome, that's why you're not feeling like you're in momentum every day. And if you don't have that clarity of where you're going, that's why you're procrastinating and not making the decisions you want and not moving forward as fast as you want in life. And that's why you feel constraint. So a simple outcome is better than no outcome. It will put you into momentum. And second, what we can take from this is that we have to clearly understand what we're doing and what the people around us are doing. So if you're not clear on what your responsibilities are to get yourself into momentum, to move things forward, that is crucial. And third, if there's not a scoreboard in your life that is telling you with perspective the progress you're making towards your outcome, that's why you're stalled out.
And so as entrepreneurs, here's what we need to know. A clear outcome, clear accountability, and a scoreboard will put us into momentum. And here's the big takeaway from this. It doesn't really matter what you're pointed at. It doesn't really matter what you're trying to accomplish. If you get into momentum, it is going to be one of the greatest growth periods of your life. And don't ever enter into anything trying to make it easy. Enter into what you're doing, trying to make the outcome you want, and don't worry about whether it's easy or hard because we are hardwired different than the rest of the world. And we get into momentum when we feel the pressure, when we feel the struggle, when we feel the forging process of creating something new in the world. That's how it is. And that's how it always will be for people like us. So use this information to put the elements into your life right now so that you can get into momentum.
And here's what's amazing, if you create momentum anywhere in your life, it will create momentum everywhere in your life. So come up with something simple. Maybe you want to run a 5K or get something new done in your business or start meeting with your spouse and your relationship and move things forward. Whatever it is, create that outcome, understand what you're doing and what the people around you are doing. Create a scoreboard that will show you your progress and get into momentum and it will change things for you. This is how we've always done it and this is how we always will do it.
If you're interested in more information on how people like us create momentum and not just that, how we create outcomes in our lives that move us forward on a day to day basis, we have a course called Momentum Masterclass and in fact, a friend of mine just took it today and I got a message that says, "I want every person I work with from now on to go through this process." Because momentum masterclass won't just show you how you create momentum, but it will show you a process where you can get clear on exactly what you want in your life, in your business, and in your relationships, so that you can create those clear outcomes. It will show you how to create clear accountability and contribution, track things with your scoreboards, and create the momentum you've always been looking for. If today resonated with you, check out momentummasterclass.com, I think it'll change your life.