Momentum Podcast: 261

Urge To Quit Rising

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

Every entrepreneur has got to the place where they want to quit. It happens to everyone, including me. All of the noise and short term tactical urgency can make you want to just give up. If your days are getting tactically harder, you're building a house of cards. There is a better way.

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 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.

Urge to quit rising. Every entrepreneur I've ever worked with has gotten to that place in time where they want to quit, where they want to stop doing what they're doing, where they want to just throw it all away, go back to being by themselves, get rid of their team, become small again, and stop feeling so overwhelmed. And here's where things like this happen. This is when this quitting fantasy, this urge to quit comes and gets us. And I can tell you it's everyone, including me. In fact, two days ago I actually had these feelings just like any other normal entrepreneur would. I got up in the morning, my house was crazy noisy. We had some construction going on. It was hard for me to get my morning routine done. Then my calendar ... I went in and looked at my calendar and I had overlapping appointments.

If you listen to my podcast, you know I'm intimidated by, confused by, frustrated by calendars. When I get up in the morning and I can't figure mine out, I just want to go back to bed. I had tons of short-term tactical things piling up in front of me. At the same time, our doorbell wasn't working. Somebody got stuck outside. We had some issues with the air conditioning in the house. It was like everything all at once. And here's what happened. All of that noise in the present, all of that short-term tactical noise piled up and you know what happened? I wanted to quit. I had the feeling right in the moment. Like, "Screw it. I just don't want to do any of this anymore." Because here's what happens. This is why we get the urge to quit. This is why, as evolutionary hunters, as entrepreneurs, we have this thing that says, "Get out."

Because what happens is when everything in the short-term gets tactically harder, when things pile up around us, when the noise gets higher, here's what happens. Our ability to be vulnerable goes down. That morning when everything was going wrong, I didn't feel vulnerable, I felt defensive. I felt frustrated. I felt like the world was attacking me. I certainly didn't feel like I was going to be transparent and honest and open and growing that morning, because all of the short-term noise was making that feel and near impossible. That's why I share with entrepreneurs if you're days are getting tactically harder, you are literally building a house of cards. And that's what happened. See, if we move forward as entrepreneurs and we're growing our business, growing our contribution, growing what we're doing, but at the same time we are making each day tactically harder for us, each day it's gets harder to get everything we want done. Each day it gets harder to accomplish the to-do list. Each day there's more noise coming at us in the business. Each day we're dealing with more, we're putting up with more, we're handling more.

You get to the day where you cannot keep increasing of level of tactical difficulty you deal with in your life. We get to the day where the noise can't go up any higher in the moment, because you just don't have the capacity to deal with it. And we get to the day where if things get tactically harder, the house of cards comes tumbling down. People say things like, "Oh, it was the straw that broke the camel's back" Or, "I wonder what happened to that person? She was doing so well." Or, "That entrepreneur just sabotaged everything. Look, they tore it all apart." Well, here's what happens. If we don't take care of ourselves, if we're not diligent about making sure that things are not getting harder for us, if we don't on a daily basis beat back the pressure and noise and get help from the people around us, it is inevitable that we will get to the day where we want to quit, because for people like us short-term tactical urgency is overwhelming.

In fact, overwhelm is a pretty predictable equation. The feeling of being overwhelmed only requires two factors. This is it. And I'll take all comers on a discussion on this, because I've analyzed overwhelm for most of my career, because it is such a common entrepreneurial condition to be overwhelmed. Well, when I look at entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed, here's what I see. There's two conditions present. Number one: High pressure and noise. And number two: An unknown outcome. When you combine high pressure and noise in your life with an unknown future outcome, where you don't really understand where you're going, you don't know the next steps to take, that will create massive overwhelm. Let that sink in. Don't just listen to what I just said, feel it.

If you're in a situation where there is tons of short-term tactical urgency and you can't clearly see the next steps, that pressure and noise plus the unknown outcome will create overwhelm. And overwhelm is a feeling that for people like us stops us in our tracks. It's a defensive mechanism. It's a survival mechanism. When our systems get overwhelmed, they all say, "Stop! Do no hunt. You're overwhelmed and you could die." So that feeling of wanting to quit hits us with an urgency that surprises us. It hits us with an urgency with a feeling that may overwhelm us even further. Well, to get out of overwhelm is actually not that hard. The first thing we need to do is clarify today. Clarify where you are. If you feel overwhelmed, if you feel like you have that urge to quit, sit down and write down everything that's really going on.

Write down everything that causing you pressure and noise. Make a list. Make an exhaustive list, because here's what happens to people like us. We are evolutionary hunters. We are sensitive to the world around us. If we allow the world to become too tactically urgent, if we allow things to pile up, if we allow our days to get tactically harder, we only see the difficulty around us and because we are evolutionary hunters that are pre-programmed to protect ourselves and to survive, our brains will exaggerate all of that. In fact, when you sit down and start clarifying today and writing everything down and getting clear, what you'll find is it's a lot less than you thought.

Even the most overwhelmed personally, professionally, physically, biologically, entrepreneur I've ever worked with, even those that are having problems in their marriage, with their kids, with drugs, with alcohol, all of them, when we sit down and clarify today, the noise level goes down. Because when it's ambiguous and flying around in our heads, that's when tactical urgency comes up. That's when we get overwhelmed. When we write it down, we clarify today and then are you ready for the next step? Because it's easy.

All you need to have in order to turn overwhelm to confidence is clarify today and then go from an unknown outcome to a partially known outcome. Here's how crazy it is. All we have to do to take you from feeling overwhelmed to feeling confident is to sit down and clarify today and then figure out what your next few steps are. That's it. What are your next few steps? What do we do from where you are right now to help you move forward? What do we do from where you are right now to help you create momentum? What, now that you have an inventory of everything that's really going on today, what are your next steps? And if they don't reveal themselves to you, that's okay. Sometimes that happens to us as entrepreneurs.

But what I want you to do is get the information of what you should be doing next. Because if you feel overwhelmed, if you have that urge to quit, if you've felt it in the past few months, then there's some level of ambiguity around what you're doing. You don't have that clear today or those clear next steps, that partially known outcome that will flip overwhelm to confidence. I've watched it hundreds of times. I can take somebody who's completely overwhelmed in a class, at an event, on a coaching call, clarify today, get them to tell me exactly what's going on, then figure out what their next few steps are and each time it creates massive confidence.

We want to share with you what your next few steps are. I want to help you eliminate this entrepreneurial ambiguity and massively and immediately lower the pressure and noise in your life permanently by knowing exactly what you should focus on next to move forward. If you go to right now and answer a few questions, our survey will show you three things. Where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success. There's nine levels. They're gated by revenue and by the activities that you do and what you should be focused on next. And if you don't know what level you're in, that is vital information to understand exactly where you should be focused. First you'll know exactly where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success. Second, what you should be focusing on in order to create maximum momentum. And third, what's coming next so that you can anticipate where you're going.

See, the challenge for most entrepreneurs out there and why so many of us have that urge to quit rising is that we don't have clarity around where we are, what we're doing next, and how we're going to create momentum. For me, the other day where everything piled up in the morning, where I felt that short-term tactical urgency and I had that urge to quit, it was just two days ago. As I talk about it, I can remember it. And here's why I'm sharing it with you. Because I can now understand that that is a survival mechanism. I now know that when I get that urge to quit it's because there's too much short-term tactical around me. I know that when I'm overwhelmed, it's because I'm not protecting myself and I'm not looking at things with the right perspective.

Here's what I did that morning. I looked up and I took a few deep breaths and then I started clarifying today. I went to my company waterfall so that I could see exactly where we're going and what we're excited about as a team. I went to my personal waterfall so I could see the future that I'm building and understanding exactly the goals, the outcomes, the objectives that are going to move my life forward. I got into clarity around where I am and where I'm going next. And by looking at all of that, I didn't just turn overwhelm into confidence, I turned overwhelm into confidence, clarity, and commitment. And I was ready to go out and kill it that day.

Now I'm lucky, because, and I feel lucky, because when this used to happen to me, as a young entrepreneur, I might have been derailed for two days, three days, four days, sometimes even a week. When tactical urgency piled up for me when I was younger, I would check out. I'd have a hard time talking to people. I'd want to just pull back and regress. And I want you to know those feelings have never gone away, but instead of lasting two days, three days, or a week, these days they last 10, 15, or 20 minutes. And when I get into those patterns I can identify them and it helps me help my clients back out of them as well.

I want you to know something about being an entrepreneur. You're never going to hit the time where everything just feels incredible all the time. You're never going to be in that place where you don't have those survival instincts kick in as an evolutionary hunter and slow you down. And you're never going to be in a place where everything's perfect. In fact, you should disavow any idea of perfection, because the pursuit of perfection only causes pain. The realty is that as an evolutionary hunter, you will always have reactions. You will always feel like there is short-term urgency when you let it pile up. And, if things get too loud for you in the moment, the urge to quit will hit you every time you have short-term tactical urgency. The urge to back away, to not do as much, to no want to engage, will be there when you feel overwhelmed.

And the urge to stop, to slow down, to pull back, to shrink, to make yourself less than, and show up as smaller than you should be, will be there every time these feelings combine. However, if you're willing clarify today and understand where you are, partially clarify your next steps and know what you should do, then you will turn overwhelm into confidence every single time. If you haven't yet, go to Let us give you everything you need as an entrepreneur to create momentum right now. We will show you where you are on the path to entrepreneurial success, what you should be focused on next to move forward, and how you can create unlimited momentum by anticipating where you're going. This information has never been available to entrepreneurs before. It is now. So don't wait. Don't listen to the next podcast. Don't stop here. Go to, answer a few questions, and let my team and I help you create unlimited momentum.

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