Momentum Podcast: 238

The Power Of Proprietary Language

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

One of the single most important things you can do in your business to help it grow fast is to understand how important vocabulary and language is. 

Everyone on your team needs to be able to interpret exactly what you’re saying in the same way. If you create proprietary language, everyone in the business knows with crystal clear accuracy exactly what’s being talked about. When you reinforce consistent language in your company you remove ambiguity and build infrastructure faster.

Full Audio Transcript

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.

The power of proprietary language, this is one of the single most intense and important things you can do in your business to help it grow fast. It's understanding how powerful vocabulary and language is. We are here in Chicago. We're about to go to the Taylor Swift concert tonight. Cadey and I are here with Kennedy and Reagan. Reagan's actually in the room with me.


Hi, everyone, just wanted to say hi.

Alex Charfen:

She gets really excited when she gets to make cameo appearances on the podcast. And today is no different. But this topic is really crucial. It's understanding just how important the language and the vocabulary that you use in your business is. And I know this sounds like one of those don't say bad words and don't use the wrong language. That's not what I want to talk about today. What I want to talk about today is how the power of proprietary language in getting clarity around the key vocabulary in your company will change everything. Let me give you an opposite of this first. I worked in corporate America for over a decade. I was a consultant to the Fortune 500, to large organizations, and it took maybe two or three years for me realize one of the biggest issues that those companies have is that people don't understand what's being discussed.

Let me give an example. Somebody might say quota in the meeting and to one person in the meeting, quota means what you're going to do, to another person in the meeting, quota means what you think you're going to do, to another person in the meeting, quota means the exaggeration you tell because you want to keep your job. And this happens over and over again with terms like quotas and projections and targets and goals and outcomes and objectives and all of those things. It almost always, the language being used in the room meant something different to the different people in the room. And that's where so much confusion was created. In fact, when you talk about outcomes at corporate America, they just talk about outcomes in general. There's not normally a lot of timing to it and not a lot of specificity to it and not a lot of clarity to it.

I want you to have the opposite of this. This is how I coach every single client I have. We create proprietary language so that everybody in the business knows with crystal clear accuracy exactly what's being talked about. And here's what I mean by that. When you reinforce consistent language in your company, you remove ambiguity and you help build infrastructure faster, because what we want to do as CEOs, we want to build the infrastructure where we're not doing everything, where we're taking advantage of the opportunities that we have and where we're maximizing everything that we can do as a business in the shortest period of time, at the highest level of profitability. And the way that you do that, without question, is to get everyone in your organization marching in the same direction, understanding the same outcomes, understanding what you're aiming for and what you're really trying to do.

That is how you change your business's growth curve. That is how you get everybody aligned and pulling in the same direction. And when that happens, the momentum is unstoppable. Here's how you do it. Use proprietary language in your company. Let me give you an example. Every organization I work with has the exact same forward planning language. Let me share it with you. And you probably heard this before if you listen to my podcast. Your long-term outcome, that one that you're aiming at, the thing that you're going to change the world with, that is your client-centric mission. Go back and listen to the episode on client-centric mission. Write out yours. You'll see it's the most effective way, not only to focus your entire team, but to give life to your movement, because the client-centric mission is the same as the foundational statement for your movement. It's your elevator pitch. It's everything.

Then, the second after your clients enter the mission, you have one year objectives. If somebody in my company says, "Hey, tell me about that objective," everyone else in the room knows we're talking about a one year timeframe and like that, everybody's on the same page. It's like a huge shortcut. Second, we have the 90 day targets. We always know that targets are for a quarter. They are a three month process. It's 90 days. Everyone in the organization knows that if somebody says target, we are working on something that's going to take the company 90 days. Then we have our 30 day goals. If someone in our organization says goal for any reason, we know that it's a 30 day goal. And then we have our weekly commitments and daily productivity.

When somebody says, "Tell me about that commitment," everybody knows that it's a weekly commitment. And so by having this proprietary language in our company, we have a massive forward planning shortcut. When someone in our organization ... When someone joins our organization, within the first month they're with us, they've heard these terms over and over and over again, in the exact same context, used the same way. So, we build the proprietary language for each person, so everyone in our organization knows exactly what we're doing. And here's what happens. When everyone understands what you're doing, when you have communication shortcuts with your team, when your team can communicate in a shorthand, when people all are pulling in the same direction, they have clarity to the outcomes, they know exactly what you expect, your business will, not maybe, not possibly, it will explode.

And your growth will be massive, because in almost all cases, what's holding a company back from growth, one you build the team, is communications issues. You can back almost any issue you've had in the company down to communications issues. If you look at why something didn't happen, why something didn't get achieved, why it wasn't actually done the way you wanted it to be, almost always, when you look at it, there was a miscommunication in the setup, there was a miscommunication as the project was getting done, there was a miscommunication as to the finish, there was a misunderstanding in some part of getting stuff done. And that is why, most of the time, objectives aren't achieved. Let's be honest. The fact is most people want to succeed. If you've hired decent people on your team, if you've hired good people, they want to win.

The reason they're not winning is usually a communications issue. I say this all the time. 99% of problems in a business are due to communication. When you start using proprietary language, when you use the same terms in the same way, over and over again, everybody in your organization is going to know exactly what is being referred to. And in our company, there's a lot more. When somebody says onboarding, we know exactly what onboarding is. It's the 90 day period after we hire somebody, to bring them into the organization. Or, it's the period after someone joins one of our programs, when we're getting them up and running. When somebody in our organization says self-assessment, everyone knows that's the monthly self-assessment that our organization uses, that our team does. When somebody says culture meeting, everyone in our organization knows that the culture meeting is the meeting where we share who we are as a company and it helps everyone understand how to move forward.

For you, in your organization, what type of proprietary language are you using? What type of communication system are you setting up so that your team has shorthand, so that your team has shortcuts in communications, so that there's absolute clarity, and so that you don't get people pulling in different directions? I can't tell you how frustrating it used to be to sit in a meeting at corporate America, as a consultant and listen to five, 10, 15 people talking about objectives, talking about outcomes, discussing what was going to get done and I sat there knowing, because I'd been there long enough, that they all thought they were saying the same thing, but they all were actually saying something different, because they were using terms that were ambiguous and undefined. And when you use terms that are ambiguous and undefined, everybody in the room leaves confused and you're confused. And your chances of success are very, very low.

You can even use proprietary language in marketing. As an example, when you go ... for us, for me, one of the proprietary phrases that I use is entrepreneurial personality type or EPT. That is a massive shortcut for somebody who understands our content, understands what we do. Also, another huge shortcut is when you're in a room or when you're somewhere and you hear the word momentum, we've been using that as our proprietary language for years now. And here's what's interesting. If I'm in a room and someone in the room says momentum for any reason, people look at me. And I sit there thinking, "It's working." The proprietary language we're putting out there is working. In fact, Taylor Swift has proprietary language in her marketing. Reagan, what is a Taylor Swift fan?


A Swifty.

Alex Charfen:

Are you a Swifty?



Alex Charfen:

A proud Swifty?



Alex Charfen:

Proprietary language actually helps us communicate internally and communicate externally when we define it, commit to it, and use it consistently. As the founder of your company, as the person who's driving the business forward, as the person who's making things happen, this is place where you can help yourself, you can help your team, and you can gain massive productivity with very little effort or energy. All you have to do is get clear on the terminology you use for the important things you do as a company and your entire team has shortcuts for communication that are going to make you infinitely more productive. And, will help you avoid the challenge of when you are communicating with your team and there's miscommunication, because the proprietary language isn't there. It will help you avoid the breakdowns in communications that are caused when one person sees a vocabulary word as one thing and another one sees it as another. And it will help you get the momentum you want to go forward as a team. And proprietary language brings a population of people together and helps them feel more bonded.

This is one of the most powerful strategies you can use in your business, with your team, and even with your membership. Proprietary language truly does have massive power. If you're ready to grow your business, and learn the lenses that I was just telling you about, so you understand how to set up one year objectives, 90 targets, 30 day goals, weekly commitments, and daily productivity to the point where your team is moving you towards an eight figure business and then a nine figure business, reach out to us. Go to, give us some initial information, and you can set up a time to talk with a member of my team. If you're ready to finally grow the business you've always known you should have, get beyond where you are today, so that you can get as much productivity and efficiency in your business as possible. And, if you're finally ready to grow to the point where you make the contribution you've always known you were capable of, go to, answer a few questions for us, and let's connect.

Thank You For Listening!

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With gratitude,


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